London skyline
London’s skyline from St Paul’s Cathedral

If you know me you’ve probably heard me say the words “love” and “London” in the same sentence at some point in time. I’ve always loved London and though I’ve only been to the city twice, it’s a place that’s almost always on my mind.

But it’s been five years since I’ve last visited London. My semester abroad in London is what set me off on my desire to live and work in Europe—something I’ve only recently figured out how to do successfully. (Curious about how to find work abroad? Check out the Inspiring Traveller’s tips here)

England and the UK has been on my mind a lot as of late, partly because I’m finally living the dream of a life in Europe, but also because living in Berlin, while amazing, isn’t always easy. I don’t speak German (shame, I know) and some of the cultural differences can be a bit tiring.

So with all this on my mind, I’m heading to Brighton & London this weekend. And I’m pretty damn excited about it, too.

London t-shirt

5 reasons why I think I might still love London

  1. It’s the center of the universe
    I read the BBC news website (and app) almost religiously at this point. While I know Berlin is inching closer to overtaking London as Europe’s start-up capital, so much of the world is focused in London.
  2. It can actually be affordable
    When I studied abroad in London, I was extremely cautious preparing for the term. I saved my pennies, but when I was there, I realized I could actually afford to eat out (albeit cheaply) and still have a nice time. This is why I love cities—though they may be expensive, they still have to accommodate for every salary-type. Just may be harder to find, but there’s always something affordable—from cheap hotels in London to £2 sandwiches.
  3. Art! And culture!
    Theatre, museums, galleries, designers. Everything is in London. Most of the museums are FREE. How can you beat that? One of my favorite things to do when visiting the city is to go to a London show and hotel bar for a nightcap. It always reminds me of what I imagine life was like in Victorian England.
  4. The accent
    It’s been said to death, but the British accent is one fine accent. Not to mention that the Scottish are just a few hours away… Oh, and, you know, they speak English there…even if it’s a bit superfluous with extra letters interspersed in words.
  5. Music
    I’m a bit of a music junkie (or at least I used to be) and it’s been a while since I saw some proper gigs or shows. One of my favorite parts from living in London years ago was that I could stumble into club or bar and hear some truly great music.
London is also a great transport hub. It’s easy to get to other cities in Europe (and with Heathrow, around the world). I hardly ever left Londontown when living there because it was so cool, but based on the fact that there are so many things to do in Winchester, in Oxford, Brighton, Scotland and hundreds of other UK cities, the next time I find myself there, I plan to get out more.

I don’t know if these reasons will hold up now that I’m visiting the city for the first time in 5 years. But it’s nice to hold onto memories every once in a while. And it could be fun to shatter my expectations. We’ll see. I’ll let you know.

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22 comments

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  1. Gina

    I also like the arts and culture in London! There are so many impressive museums and theatres there. Well, I also think that some things are quite affordable in London. For me I saved money by cooking my own meals in the serviced apartments i stayed in (Fraser Place Canary Wharf). It had a fully equipped kitchenette with oven, microwave, dishwasher, toaster, fridge etc.

  2. Pingback: the inspiration behind my travels #inspiretravel | Travels of Adam - Hipster travel around the world

  3. I couldn’t agree more–these are great reasons to love London. Did you ever make it to Ronnie Scott’s jazz club? I saw DeeDee Bridgewater there last spring and was blown away. The ambiance, the drinks, it was PERFECT. I highly recommend it! That and visiting the National Portrait Gallery (for the ever-affordable price of free) were two of the highlights of my trip.

    • Adam

      I loved the National Portrait Gallery when I lived in London. Well, I think I preferred the National Gallery right next door, but I’d be willing to check it out again

  4. I’ve been to London twice and really liked it both times. I think it’s too huge for me to ever consider moving there (and probably too expensive from what I hear – my sister’s rent who lived there was insane!), but for a visit it’s amazing. So much to do!

    • Adam

      I think a lot of people say similar things—London is great for a visit, but less so for living. I don’t know if I agree, but I only ever lived there for 4 months. I’m sure if you spend more time there, the city is different. But because London is so so so big, I don’t think I could ever get bored there!

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  6. I cannot tell a lie: I want to go visit London (hopefully with family), and it has everything to do with a fictional TV character bearing high cheekbones and a turned-up coat collar. Thank you, BBC, Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss.

    • Adam

      I still need to see this show! Guess I haven’t watched it yet because I’m afraid to get hooked…

      • It’s addictive indeed. I lent out my DVDs a couple weeks ago and I already want them back…

  7. Duncan @ Travelistic

    What about the food?! £2 sandwiches are good, but so are the restaurants :)

    Why not stay here for a while ?

    Duncan

    • Adam

      Would love to stay in London for a while! Rent is a bit expensive, though—but hopefully I can make it work sometime soon. In the meantime, it’ll just be my weekend destination :)

  8. Thanks so much for sharing our tips post, Adam! I love London too – we’re just across the pond here now in Stavanger so hope to be getting there a lot more.

    • Adam

      My pleasure! I found it really useful…even if I’ve done it myself already :D

    • Adam

      Music makes everything better!

  9. I’m soooo with you on the accents. I like London, but I wouldn’t want to live there long term even if it meant not having to learn German :)

    • Adam

      Hahaha! But the English (and the Scottish!!) accent is so much prettier than the German one!

  10. London my Love! ;-)
    Will return for five days in April and would love to get some special tipps! Like that one: How did you get up St-Pauls Kathedral? Shot through a window? Balcony? Or is it obvious and I am standing on the line again? ;-)

    • Adam

      Hey Heike,
      When I was in London five years ago you could go up the cathedral in the Whispering Gallery & dome. There was an outdoor balcony—pretty sure it’s still open but might want to check on that.

      London is great! I definitely need more visits there soon!

  11. Kiera

    I can’t believe you have only been to London twice! But I agree, after more than 15 trips myself, I love it too!

    • Adam

      yes i know! it’s shameful! but one of the times i was there for four months…

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