Saturday, January 25, 2014

London Travel Tips from Being Geek Chic

{Editor's Note:  My dear friend Liz from Being Geek Chic, traveled to London this past fall.  After sharing our adventures with each other, we both thought it would be a GREAT idea to share what we learned from our trips with YOU!  Hoping to help you have an amazing time on a future trip to London, here are Liz's tips.  You can find mine over on her blog Being Geek Chic!}
Liz from Being Geek Chic.
By:  Liz Giorgi

There is no city like London. I promise. It’s absolutely one of my favorite places on the planet and maybe even one of my favorite places in the universe. I can’t know for sure, but you know. Anyway, the point is I can never get enough. I studied abroad there. I loved it so much that I hung out there after college for a while. And I just HAD to go back this fall because I was going through proper tea withdrawals. 

I like to consider myself an expert traveler when it comes to London and its charms. So if you’re considering a trip, here’s five things you must know:

1. There’s nothing quite like a day wandering around a London neighborhood. Hands down, if I had nothing to do for an entire day in Londontown, I would be the happiest. Why? Because London neighborhoods are so distinct, so charming and so historic that they’re worth spending a day or two exploring. Some favorites? Bayswater. Camden Town. Knightsbridge. 

2. Rent an apartment. London hotels are crazy expensive, intensely tiny and oftentimes are not in the most exciting neighborhoods. Nothing will make you feel more like a Londoner than walking out of a skinny row home with little British children skipping to school. Don’t be afraid to just spend some time getting to know the neighborhood (as outlined in #1) and pick a favorite coffee shop and just hang out in the window reading. You will never forget it. 

3. Don’t be afraid of the Overground. The London Underground is the mass transit method of choice for most travelers in London, but when looking to explore some of the outer parts of the city, don’t be afraid to check out the Overground. Just as clean and simple and efficient, it’s a great way to get out to some of the lesser known burbs. Including Leavesden, where you can take a tour of the Warner Brothers Harry Potter Studios. It’s AMAZING. 

4. Double decker buses are cool, but skip the touristy ones. Just hop on a proper London city bus and pay the meager two pounds and enjoy the ride. Or use your Oyster card. Come to think of it, your first stop upon arrival at Heathrow should be to get an Oyster card. If you’re not sentimental, you can turn your card back in when you leave and get a refund for five pounds too.

5. Pret is everything. When people ask me what I miss most about London, I often say the tube, or the Victoria and Albert or the parks or the people or the tea. But inside (especially when I’m hungry) I am really longing for Pret. The value of convenient and affordable organic and healthy food on the go can not be underestimated. Just go. Have the toasted wraps, they’re amazing. And the oatmeal. Yum.

{Now that you have read HER tips, head on over to Being Geek Chic to read MY tips for your London adventure!!  Cheers!}

11 comments:

  1. did you tried to not be a tourist and explore the real London???
    that is the best! and no Pret! go and eat on the street markets, or the independent coffee shops/little restaurants around Hackney for example.
    bayswater, camden and knightsbridge are too touristic!
    you have shoredicth, clapham (north, common, junction and south), kingston or richmond.
    walk next the canal, spend an afternoon at london fields, go at night to small venue with live bands/musicians!
    and there is many more... go and explore what is not touristic and you will fall in love for good! :)

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    1. When I go back, since I have seen all the "touristy" spots, it will be down to get down to business and branch out. I wish I could have spent more time in the city and surrounding towns, but that gives me even more of a reason to go back!

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    2. sweet! you wont be sorry at all! believe me!
      :)

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  2. Man, all these London posts are making me really want to go back there!! So glad to see you ladies had so much fun, and thanks for sharing the tips!

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    1. Thank you Erin for your comment, so happy to help! I hope to return sooner rather than later :) xo

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  3. I love reading about London from a visitors perspective. I agree about Pret! And they give their leftovers to homeless people :-)

    I never take the tube or trains or buses when in London as I try to walk everywhere. However, when I used to commute from Cambridge to London every day for work, my train would stop right next to platform 9 3/4. Made me smile every day!

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    1. Thank you Claire! That was one place I didn't make it to, but was right next to it. Cannot wait to head back and make MORE memories! xo

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  4. Good tips, thanks. I want to add something that was a life saver on my last trip to Rome. I lost my passport during the day and had no idea it was missing. Fortunately, I had a tracer tag on it. A waiter where I ate lunch found it and entered my tracker number on the website. I was automatically sent a text message (and an email) with a pickup location before I ever even knew my passport was missing. Lucky for me, I was leaving in the morning for Germany and getting a new passport would have been impossible. Tags are available through mystufflostandfound.com That tag saved my trip from total disaster and I put them on my phone, laptop and almost everything that travels with me now.

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    1. What an amazing tip!! Thank you for sharing! Going to check this site out right now!!

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  5. I can't wait to ride on a double decker bus in London.

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    1. Miranda, I did not get to do that, really wanted to though! I have to go back!! xo

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