5 Areas You Must Visit in London
If you’re planning a visit to London, then you’ll want to be sure to visit each of these areas, as they are the “bread and butter” of your London experience – presuming you want to experience London rather than just tick off the sights?
Camden is known for its vibrant mix of alternative markets, where you can buy anything from new age potions to new rock boots. The cuisine is just as eclectic with a variety of street food purveyors bidding for your attention as you walk through the alleys of predominantly chinese takeaway vendors, but then when it opens out, you have artisanal street food vans selling everything from pizzas to steak and ice cream. Camden is a great place for live music, particularly for rock and indie tastes – known as somewhat of a hippy and alternative enclave this little pocket of London is a melting pot of cultural and societal values.
Covent Garden is a great place to eat, drink, shop and be entertained. It literally has it all. Covent Garden has some great fine dining options, luxurious hotels, boutique shops, and trendy designers. There’s a certain buzz to this affluent and exciting area that hosts alfresco entertainment at its heart and a plethora of theatres on its periphery. There are now an increasing number of chain stores and restaurants moving into the area, yet it is still managing to retain its independent and boutique upmarket vibe.
Soho is famous for three things, all of which manage to exist side-by-side in this bustling tourist trap. On the one hand you have the Dinner and a West End Show goers, then you have the late night gay pubs and clubs scene, followed by China Town packed full of Chinese restaurants and specialist supermarkets. The vibe is busy. People seem to have a place to be in Soho, whether that’s marching to the gym, cruising around for guys, grabbing something to eat, or rushing before the curtain comes up on their favourite show. It manages to have a chaotic and hectic energy but in a way that makes you want to linger a little rather than run in and run out.
Shoreditch is home to London’s trendy brigade. This is where the majority of creative companies set-up (presuming they are very well funded, of course) and as a result you’ll find trendy juice bars, coffee shops, organic restaurants, street food trucks and designer boutiques. That said, the trendy thing about Shoreditch is that it’s not “trying” to be trendy – it just is – meaning, the majority of places you’ll find are ramshackle bars with furniture made from reclaimed pallets and many independent shops. It still has its original gritty urban vive as evidenced by the plethora of graffiti and general casualness of the people.
London’s South Bank is a hub of cultural activity. Here, you’ll find iconic symbols such as the London Eye, London Bridge and Big Ben. It’s a two mile stretch of arts and entertainment venues that hold regular temporary events, from street theatre to street food. This area is extremely popular with Londoners, as well as tourists; one thing to consider though is that it’s extremely popular with pickpockets too, so don’t forget your travel insurance!