man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all
that life can afford,’ said English writer Samuel Johnson, and it is
just as true now as it was then. Inviting someone to London means
inviting them to join a fast-spinning carousel of history, culture,
nightlife and exciting people.
The capital of England is a city where everyone can find something to suit their tastes, from food to entertainment. It is easily accessible and has a well-developed public transport system, which, as a visitor, is preferable to going by car. Taking some of the many central bus routes (88, 29) is a wonderful way of experiencing not only the heart of London but also a ride on the famous double-decker bus. It is as fun as some movies show it be. However, if you prefer a more organised approach, there are companies like The Original London Sightseeing Tour which offer open-top bus tours stopping at most famous attractions.
To best way to know the city, though, is to walk it. A good place to start is at London Eye, the renowned Ferris wheel which offers a magnificent, almost plane-like view of London. The ride experience is especially beautiful the closer it gets to evening time because the London lights are being switched on. From there on, you can cross Westminster Bridge to encounter the equally well-known House of Parliament with its sharp towers that shine golden on sunny days. If you get there at a sharp time, you can listen to the haunting chime of Big Ben. Westminster Abbey is only a couple of minutes’ walk away. It is a gorgeous Gothic building and home of the Poets’ Corner where many famous English poets are buried, for example, Poet Laureate Lord Alfred Tennyson.
From now on the city is a playground whose exploration gets dictated by personal taste. There are many things to fill the days, starting with seeing the royal jewels or walking around the execution site of Anne Boleyn at The Tower of London to having a stroll through Hyde Park or Kew Gardens. The possibilities seem endless, from museums and art galleries, west-end theatres and having afternoon tea at one of London’s tea rooms to enjoying a local band at The Blues Kitchen or dancing the night away in a club.
What is guaranteed for everyone, though, are interweaving streets lined by gorgeous historical buildings with an architecture spanning a wide variety of styles and periods. Many of these buildings host, on the ground floor, cafés and traditional English pubs. You can take a relaxing break from sightseeing and sample some traditional English cooking, like fish and chips or a Sunday roast (it usually consists roast beef served with roast potatoes, assorted vegetables and Yorkshire pudding), accompanied by a pint of ale or cider. For those that don’t enjoy the local cuisine, international alternatives are easily available, with Chinatown, in the Soho area, offering a variety of oriental restaurants, bakeries, etc.
Shopping enthusiasts will find themselves at home in the Oxford Circus area, clashing bags with other shoppers on Oxford Street and Reagent Street. A wide selection of shops is available from high-street brands to luxury ones. For visitors with more alternative tastes, Camden Town is a great place to be, not only for shopping at The Stables Market, where many handmade things are sold, but also for the eclectic mixture of quirky places and people.
That can also be said of London in its entirety because, no matter what you end up doing, you will leave having had a plentiful experience and probably an eager wish to return.