It’s not a surprise that London is on my bucket list, probably for the wrong reasons. I have been always fascinated by this city and it was one of my dreams to visit it. Last year, I had the opportunity to go somewhere in Europe for 5 days and you can bet that I chose London.
The moment I got there, I felt the city is strange yet familiar, easy, yet complicated, cold, yet friendly. As you can imagine, I took the wrong train on the underground and got lost. The worst part is that I had 2 huge bags, and let’s be honest, London underground is not the most user-friendly when it comes to luggage. Surprisingly, many people, men and women, offered to help me carry the bags from the platform. As angry as I was, I felt so overwhelmed with people’s kindness.
Being a tourist in London is so easy, from my point of view at least. Everything is so easily displayed and it’s a tourist-friendly city. Obviously, I had the main attractions on the bucket list, starting from the mesmerizing Big Ben, captivating London Eye, Tower Bridge, even Madam Tussaud. The latter is a fun place to be if you’re lucky enough to not care how people look at you.
However, I also had a small list of some hidden gems, that are not on everyone’s list while visiting London.
This is one of my favorite spots in London. It’s a canal area where you can find many cafes and cozy pubs. The canals are full of small colorful boats that add a different touch to it. Even though the name might suggest that it looks and feels like Italy’s Venice, I personally felt it looks more like the canals in Netherlands and Belgium.
I bet that a boat ride in the canals would be a lovely experience, too bad I got there a bit late and I missed the rides. I would certainly go back and go on that ride.
This gem is hidden in a small part of Holland park. This garden was designed as a Japanese Garden, complete with waterfall, bridge, and pebbles. If you’re looking for a spot to relax and enjoy a few moments of serenity and peace, this is the perfect spot for you. What made this spot a place dear to my heart, is the lovely squirrels. They are everywhere and they are not afraid to come close and take some nuts from visitors.
Not sure if this is a “hidden gem”, but I’m sure it’s not on the top of everyone’s list. Made famous by the blockbuster “Notting Hill”, this neighborhood located north of Kensington, is known for its charming architecture and colorful buildings.
The most known attraction is the Portobello market, where people would come and sell everything you can think of. The best part? The prices are very reasonable considering you’re in London. I got some of the nicest dresses from the streets of Notting Hill.
If you’re a fan of the movie, like me, then you should definitely visit The Notting Hill Bookshop. This shop was one of the filming locations, and it’s exactly how you saw it in the movie. They even sell the movie posters! I just bought a nice blue tote bag, which I carry with me everywhere I go. Luckily, people don’t recognize it.
This square is a well-hidden spot in Covent Garden. I only know about it because my friend told me to go there and check it out. Cute, colorful buildings and a home for a great pizza place in London, Homeslice Pizza. There are also many cafes and restaurants there, so don’t feel obliged to try the pizza. Even though I highly recommend it
London is a city full of magic and gems, and I’m sure I just scratched the surface. I can’t wait to go back and explore more of this beautiful city.
Do you know more hidden gems in London? Let me know in the comments below.