London, one of my favorite cities in the world. I lived there briefly in 2006 and these days, living in Europe, I visit it frequently. And even with all the time I’ve spent in London, I’m still enchanted by its magic. It’s not only the historical and cultural relevance of the city, but maybe more charming? The daily life. No matter where you are, London comes to you. In the news about royal babies, economic crisis, in the dark avenues filled with Sherlock Holmes’ adventures and even in the post-apocalyptic scenarios of movies like 28 Days Later. (Yes, zombies love London too! Scary, but smart!)

My last trip was already several months ago, but I remember why I love London so much. It’s the rhythm of the automatized wandering in the Tube, the smells of the Indian restaurants on Brick Lane, the relaxing atmosphere of walking along the Thames. I’ve done lots of things in London, from visiting the Globe Theater and enjoying both comedies and tragedies of William Shakespeare. I’ve seen one of the best musicals: Wicked! And I would see it again and again and again. And again! I love to get lost in London’s museums (most of them work with donations) and I’ve been lucky to spend hours admiring paintings from Rothko to ancient pieces recovered (or stolen) from faraway places.

So, does it makes sense to keep visiting London again and again? I’ve met lots of people who say that they only travel once to a place and they never come back. The problem is: How can you enjoy London in one single visit? Every time I think about visiting London, my heart beats with excitement. There is so much to do, so much I still have to see. Each time I discover new restaurants, new food trucks, new places to eat. I’ve only walked around Portobello Road a handful of times. It’s where George Orwell’s house is located and, on my last visit, I missed the market because it was closed. For me, London is never finished.

London Street Art

The thing is: that’s exactly the magic of London. I’ve never been in the Sherlock Holmes Museum but I’ve walked in front of it on my way to Regent’s Park. The Tate Modern and the British Portrait Gallery always offer new and exciting exhibitions that are well worth long-weekend trips. Next year, between September 2015 and January 2016, The World Goes Pop at the Tate Britain with more than 200 works created in the 60s and 70s from all around the world. I don’t want to miss that! It’s art and it’s politics and it’s the amazing diversity of our world. London truly has it all.

You would need a whole life to explore this town, but maybe I feel like that only because I don’t live there. I wonder if born-Londoners get bored or stuck in the city. Or if they even feel this longing for the city. I know every time I visit London, I love it. Eating in Chinatown, going to the museums or just writing in my diary at a cozy coffee shop. Yes I know that London is expensive. And yes, it’s very probable that you would spend more money there in one week than a month in India. But it’s worth it. Any chance I can I would visit London again. In fact: I’m going again next month. To enjoy the theater, to visit the Victoria and Albert Museum, to eat (overpriced) fish & chips.

I just love to be sitting there with my computer, up in the air, looking at the clouds through the window and listening: Dear passengers, we are approaching London Gatwick.

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  1. I do love London, the fact that there is always something happening and somewhere new to explore.
    Though, I lived there for 6 months and really did not enjoy living there very much! For me, it’s a great place to spend a long weekend – and to visit multiple times… But I didn’t find it a liveable city.

  2. Kate R

    Loving your blog…..yearning for Berlin, but returning to London in May…. I went to the Benjamin Britten Festival in Aldeburgh last June
    …..amazing and highly recommended. So want to visit Berlin but could not schedule it :(

    • Aw thank you Kate! London is a suitable alternative for Berlin if you ask me :)

  3. Thiago

    I only have to agree with you. Everytime I think about London my heart beats faster. It has a unique vibe that is so difficult to explain, you must feel it! Reading this post made me remember how this city is special.

    • Aww glad to hear you feel the same way about London, Thiago – hope you can visit again soon!

  4. I’m also a London addicted! after shorthly living there many summers ago, I love to come back whenever I can! :)
    as for Londoners getting bored or stuck in the city, do you know the blog “tired of London, tired of life”? it is really inspirational!

    • Ahhh yes I do love that blog Guilia – there are actually quite a few London-specific blogs that I follow just so that I can still feel close to the city even when I’m not there :)

  5. I love London too, but when I was a child I didn’t appreciate it at all. I’m going back soon and I can’t wait! A weekend won’t be enoigh time though, you’re right!

    • It’s funny – there are some places for me that I didn’t like at one point, but I grew to love. And also the opposite! London, though, I’ve seemed to always have an obsession with. I think a lot of it goes back to the books I used to read – many of them were set in London and I always found it to be such a romantic place. And then each and every time I’ve visited (or lived there), it always lived up to the hype!

  6. I totally relate with you Adam, London is one of my favourite cities ever too. I’ve been there several times and I’m never tired of it because as you said there is always something new to do and see. Every time I’m in the city I make sure I go to the Tate Modern too which is one of my best-loved museums, it’s a very special place.. This post reminds that it has been too long since my last visit to London, I must organize another one soon :)

    • Yay! Glad to hear you agree Franca. The Tate has such an incredible collection, I don’t care how many times I see it!

  7. I get it now that I don’t live there, why people love London so much. But, as I’m sure I’ve said before, I used to hate my city. I think it’s quite common to not vibe with the place you’re from as much as places that are ‘foreign’ to you. Anyway, I do really enjoy reading the experiences of non-Londoners visiting my hometown, and I almost always learn of some new places I’d never heard of!

    • You’re right Sam… I think a lot of people don’t share the passion/love for their hometown that foreigners might. I think it’s a matter of seeing the city in a different way with a different perspective. Which is why traveling can really make you appreciate your home more upon returning!

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