How You Should Spend A Week In London

London |© Davide D'Amico/Flickr
London |© Davide D'Amico/Flickr
Photo of Federica Signoriello
24 October 2016

London is a magical place, and part of its charm comes from the ability to offer many new things to see and do. From museums and historical buildings, to unlimited restaurants and pop-up stores, there are many attractions to keep you entertained. Whether you are visiting it for the first time, or you have been to London before, find out exactly how you should spend your week.

Admire London’s Stunning Views

From the natural spots to the artificial, London offers many different views of the skyscrapers and beautiful buildings. If you are looking for the pinnacle, the beautiful St Paul Cathedral offers an unmissable 360-degree view from the top of the dome. Down in Southwark, the Shard is lording over London’s skyline. Since the construction of building concluded in 2012, designed by architect Renzo Piano, this major work has been appointed as the highest skyscraper in the European Union, reaching 310 meters.

If you would rather make the most of the sun, head to Camden and climb Parliament Hill. At 98 meters, it may not be one of the highest points in London but it definitely provides an incredible view of the vast territory. The ideal place for a picnic with friends or family sitting in front of a magic landscape. For all cocktail lovers the SkyGarden in Bank, offers a magical perspective of the capital, in an unexpected tropical garden 155 meters in the air. Not to mention, the Millennium Wheel, the highest in Europe, has become an iconic and unmissable spot for first time visitors.

A view of London from the Parliament Hill, in Hampstead Heat | © DncnH/Flickr

Relax In The Royal Gardens

Hyde Park is the one of the most loved Royal Parks, where you can take a walk around the lake, journey through the trees or bring your bike to ride along the dedicated paths. Whilst you are here make sure you visit the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain. Regent’s Park and the Kensington Gardens are some beloved sites in central London, but did you know that by walking more towards the West you could find an urban Zen experience? Holland Park’s incredible Kyoto Gardens are a surprise, providing you with a place for meditating outdoors within the hustle and bustle of the city.

In the East End, Victoria Park is the perfect place for walks and jogging, with Regent’s canal close by. There’s also Hackney Wick, a Second World War memorial and a pedestrian alcove surviving fragment of the old London Bridge, demolished in 1831.

The Kyoto Gardens in Holland Park | © Ewan Munro/Flickr

Discover London’s Street Art

For street art, Shoreditch should be your first stop over, with mural and graffiti of every kind. London is famed for the street art where you are likely to admire pieces by well known artists, exhibiting in the most unexpected corners. Who knows, you may even run into a new piece by Banksy.

The East End is blooming with wall paintings. In Hoxton, you can find some unique pieces by Stik, famous for his stick figure like people. Just off Brick Lane, Sheffield-based artist Phlegm has uses a dark wall as the canvas of his surreal representations of urban life.

Jumping to the South of the city, Brixton is known for its rough yet fascinating simplicity and is a source of inspiration for artistic studies. Its history has been captured by a series of murals commissioned by the Borough of Lambeth in 1981. A mural in homage to the famous David Bowie, born and raised in Brixton, has recently become a pilgrimage spot for the White Duke’s fans.

David Bowie’s mural in Brixton, where he was born and raised | Louise McLaren/Flickr

Explore Your Senses In The Many Markets

Wake up early to visit the famous Brick Lane Market (open Saturday and Sunday), where you’ll find a wide variety of food and vintage treasures. Continue walking through the North, and you’ll be met with the explosion of colours and sellers’ calls at Columbia Flower Market. A fabulous variety of flowers and plants are aligned along the road, you cannot help but stop and smell the roses. If you’re looking for food, head to the Old Spitalfields Market or Borough Market. Excellent restaurants and interesting food stands are perfect for even the fussiest of eaters.

Portobello Road Market inconic for its unique antiquity pieces and today it is a large tourist attraction in West London. After stopping by, why not head across to the Notting Hill Farmer’s Market. Open every Saturday, this almost-secret location has a wide following of loyal local shoppers offering quality agricultural products. Although poverty and violence have characterised Brixton for a few decades, today, the Market Row and Brixton Village are seeds of regeneration. The village is an indoor space that will give you a choice of international cuisine, with a particular focus on Afro-Caribbean, one of the longer-standing communities of the area.

A view of the Old Spitalfields Market in Shoreditch | © La Citta Vita/Flickr

Visit The Many Museums & Galleries On Offer

From Van Gogh and Monet to ancient Egypt emperor’s sarcophagus’ London’s museums and galleries offer plenty to see. Since entrance to msot of the major collections free, there is no reason not to stop by. The National Gallery and the British Museum are highly recommended, with huge collections of artwork and antiquities. In Southwark, right in front of the stunning Millennium Bridge, the Tate Modern Art Gallery is another must. Located in a former powerhouse, the industrial facade houses one of the world’s largest collections of modern art. The famous Exhibition Road in South Kensington is home to the well-known Science Museum, Natural History Museum, and the Victoria and Albert Museum, offering a variety of exhibitions and many new things to learn. In the West End, many galleries will stand out from the most unlikely corners; the Serpentine Gallery in the Kensington Gardens for example, or the Saatchi Gallery which, since establishment in 1985, has been a vivid springboard for upcoming artists, becoming an essential reference in London cultural life.

The Tate Modern and the Millenium Bridge from the opposite river bank – cropped | © Nana B Agyei/Flickr

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