London, the city with a thousand faces
The city with a thousand faces is definitely a good description of London. No matter where you go in London, you always will find people from around the world among local people and not only among tourists. In a sense, this gives another dimension to London. Indeed, at a glance, it brings a touch of exoticism and we can notice a wide open-minded, which is important, nowadays, and, as travellers, we must be sensitive about this kind of aspect wherever we are in this world.
In buses, in trains, in the streets, everywhere in London, you mix with people from all around the world and this is the magic of London, I would say.
London and its workers
London is an incredible city where it moves a lot, where there is a huge positivity, where finally everything is possible. Yes, London is full of good vibes and opportunities for those who want to grab them. The importance is to be enough courageous, have lots of ideas and especially motivated to get opportunities. Whether you have it, everything can be possible but the most important feeling everybody must have is trusting in oneself because thanks to that people can trust in us as well.
More than a city full of opportunities, London is especially well known as a business area where many people are working there. During peak hours, around the main stations, we can see them running after their bus or train in order to be on time at work. In the streets, everybody is walking fast too, this is what you notice rapidly even if you are there for a holiday. They seem to be stress but, actually, they are. Indeed, in these big cities where there is a lot of movement and change, everybody is stressed all the time. They may be stressed because of their work, or their lifestyle or also because of something else. In the streets, in shops, and in public transportation, they are running or walking fast, and in fact, they are really tiring. It grows up your stress too, and you start to do the same thing as them. Being an important place in the world and as the capital of Great Britain, London and its dynamism explain why this city is like a real hive of activity. In order to reduce stress and work’s pressure, London has many parks and squares where Londoners and tourists can have a quiet moment.
For all nature lovers, London has a wide large of wonderful parks and squares where you can have a walk. What is magic in those areas is all the quiet you can find there. No sooner had we pass the gates than we arrived in a quiet place without hearing the noise from traffic beyond doorways, which is pleasant especially while we are living in a city like London where it is essential to have those areas in order to recharge our batteries after long stressful days. Even tourists are enjoying it to rest after a long visits’ day in Great Britain’s capital.
Main Londoners’ parks:
- Regent’s park
- James Park
- Green Park
- Richmond Park
- Hyde Park
- Victoria Park
- Greenwich Park
- And many more
What is incredible is this contrast between the poverty and the richness in London. Indeed, you can walk around and finding rich streets, and then 100 metres further be faced with poverty. However, richness is another thing in London, everywhere you go especially in the big streets such as Regent’s street, for example, you can see it thanks to all luxurious shops.
On the other hand, you may have the possibility to see many homeless and beggars in the Londoner’s streets during your visit. We may see them in different places but especially where there is a huge affluent of tourists such as near to the suburbs of Covent Garden, Soho and many more. We cannot ignore it even if we do not want to see it because this is the reality.
London’s architecture is impressive and such magnificent that we notice all around the city and not only in the main places. When you are walking around, you may feel the History coming from these diverse buildings especially those are in the centre.
It is possible that you did not really notice the “arrangement” of London. Indeed, in one side, on the east side, there is the business place called “the City” with all modern buildings such as the Gherkin, the Sky Garden or also called the Talkie Walkie, and also the Shard and many more. The other side which is the west, there is the old city with all the monuments such as Big Ben, the Abbey of Westminster, the Buckingham Palace.
Places to go for photographers
Photographers will have a large choice of places to go in order to have incredible photographs.
All the streets in London are inspiring for those who like street pictures. The entire city has a magnificent architecture, which can bring a nice British touch on your photographs.
In Christmas time, the main streets such as Regent Street and the intersection of Oxford Circus are brightened with Christmas decorations and it may bring a magic touch to photographs. If you have the occasion to go there at this moment of the year, you should go and try its particular ambience.
For people who prefer landscapes photography, there are several monuments or/and attractions, which allow taking great photographs such as the London Eye, St Paul’s Cathedral, the Shard, and also the Sky Garden, and many more.
London has a lot of bridges crossing the Thames River. From many of them, photographs of sunsets with Big Ben and Houses of Parliament on the background are a good idea especially because there are different possible angles for, thus, having different photographs. St Paul’s Cathedral, the Sky Garden, and the Shard are three particular places where your sunset’s photographs might be incredible especially with colours at that time of daytime.
Tower Bridge is a wonderful monument, which has the merit to be visited. To get beautiful pictures of this monument, there are several bridges such as Millennium Bridge, Southwark Bridge and London Bridge from where you can take pictures. There is also a nice path alongside the Tower of London until Lower Thames street from where there are possibilities to take pictures.
Obviously, there exist many places from where you can take incredible photographs. Do not forget to think of a tour with a helicopter if you have enough money. It could be a great idea and may give another dimension to your photos of London.
Museums, monuments, restaurants and bars
London is a rich city full of monuments, parks, museums, restaurants, and bars. As a tourist, or even as local people, you cannot be annoyed in London such there is still something to suit all tastes.
If you are a culture lover, monuments and museums will enrich your general culture. For most of them, there is no need to pay at the entrance, which is the case with the British Museum, the Natural History Museum, the National Gallery, and many more. For the other ones such as Charles Dickens, London Transport, and Cartoon Museum, you have to pay.
There are many monuments in London for which they need to give them particular importance. I am going to discuss two of them, which are, in my opinion, important but honestly, all Londoner’s monuments must be visited.
Indeed, Abbey of Westminster is a place where I would say, there is powerful energy may be due to all the kings and queens who have been buried in this beautiful Abbey? Maybe altogether they bring this powerful that we feel strongly once gates crossed. This Abbey is really famous, full of History thanks to all the royal events have taken in parts such as coronations and royal weddings. Tombs, statues, and stones of famous people from the 11th of the century to nowadays have been spread around this Abbey. At the back, a magnificent old garden stands. This is a place you should visit during your stay in London.
Another place, which has the merit to be visited, is the Buckingham Palace but only during summer time. It is not included in the London pass, so for that, you must book your place directly on their website. As you know, this is the living place of her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, and her palace is such magnificent that it remains you voiceless. I would rather let you be transported in this particular universes and discover this palace with your owns eyes because it cannot be described in another way.
In London, there is a wide range of restaurants and bars which is pleasant especially when you want to try new kitchens. In general, restaurants in London are very expensive and it is possible that you may pay around £30 and/or more for a menu. Otherwise, there are different restaurants such as Prêt à manger in which you can eat daily and fresh sandwiches, salads or soups but this kind of restaurants are much more for people who do not have time to eat properly at lunchtime like workers, and students.
Travelling in London
In general, walking is the best way to discover a city but London is one among big ones where you can easily walk for hours and get your feet hurt. That is why it is better to be in possession of an oyster card.
Here there is the website of Transport of London with all the information you will need: https://tfl.gov.uk
A suggestion for the transport in London
According to transport in London, the first thing I suggest you is to find the best hours in order to travel in the best conditions so that avoid the peak hours in the tube, trains and buses with all commuters.
Peak hours for Tube, DLR, London Overground, TfL Rail and National Rail Services:
- Around 6:30 to 9:30 and 16:00 to 19:00
The best way to travel in London is definitely the tube thanks to its huge network. Every traveller is rapidly connected with other lines in all underground stations that are very useful. In addition, buses are not recommended because they are very slow because of the traffic.
The London Pass is a tourist card, which is very useful because it allows you not to queue in diverse attractions and museums and also you do not need to pay at the entrances. To get this pass, you can already pay on their website and receive it at home before your departure or all visitors centres sell the London pass.
For more information about the London pass: https://www.londonpass.com
Where to find visitor centres in London: https://tfl.gov.uk/fares-and-payments/where-to-top-up-and-buy-tickets/visitor-centres?cid=visitor-centres
What I suggest for backpackers
YHA London Oxford Street
YHA London Saint Pancras
YHA London Saint Paul
I stayed in London : from October 2016 to December 2016
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© 2018 – Wairua Kaieke
Travel blogger and photographer from Switzerland.
I travel the world and with my photographs I show the beauty of the world in order to raise awareness to people about Planet Earth’s issues, and wildlife.