My first visit to London was back in February, 2015. Here’s a quick profile of the city as seen by yours truly.
The City: Absolutely massive. It would take ages to see it all properly, so you’ll probably have to pick and choose. It has a huge population, and each suburb is just as packed as the next. Add in all the tourists, and things start to get quite cosy.
The Culture: Pubs. Pubs everywhere. Forget the swanky restaurants or West End Theatres, the centre of the London social life is the good old local pub. Football fans, travellers and weary locals alike all come together to enjoy a nice drink. Or seven.
I found English culture to be quite subtle. There are a lot of social expectations that you’re expected to adhere to, and a lot of things that are done just because. The English have an impressive habit of being aggressively polite, and holding doors open for you when you’re much too far away. Should you commit a faux pas, be prepared to be showered with scorn.
The Food: The only thing milder than the people. Some of it was pretty decent, but London definitely isn’t a city that you travel to for it’s cuisine.
The Price: Both arms and both legs. God damn, even breathing felt like it cost money.
- It’s not a post about London unless you talk about the weather. Always grey, always drizzling, and very depressing. Let’s face it, that’s just England in general.
- The River Thames is the place to be. A cheap river cruise is a really easy way to see all of the sights, and the London Eye provides some incredible photo opportunities.
- The Tube is convenient, but absolutely insane. Avoid rush hour AT ALL COSTS.
- I love football. London is home to some pretty sweet EPL teams, but good luck finding an affordable ticket.
- Sell both of your kidneys, and you might just have enough money to live in London for the rest of your drastically shortened life.
The Verdict: Perhaps not the most popular opinion, but London was pretty average. You’d have to pay me to go back. Seriously, there’s no other way I’d be able to afford it. Did I mention how expensive it was?
London is famous amongst travellers and expatriates everywhere, but I really don’t get why. I feel like it’s a city that we’ve romanticised the hell out of, and now no one wants to admit that it’s actually not all that great. Maybe it was all the hype that I’d heard about it before hand, but I was pretty disappointed.
I genuinely felt like there wasn’t much worth doing unless I was willing to really fork out. I didn’t feel like I was soaking up any culture, or experiencing the new and wonderful things that I usually do when I travel. Being in London was actually a lot of effort, and I often wondered if it was all worth it.
I must confess, I DID end up with some pretty sweet photos.
The Conclusion: You should totally visit London.
No matter how average it was for me, there are some places you simply have to see for yourself.