“When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.”
There is SO much to see and do in London. Here are some of my favorite off-the-beaten-path free or free-ish things to do in the city!
- Shop the Brick Lane Market and grab a bagel at Beigel Bake: When you see a really long line of locals outside of a totally understated shopfront you know something’s gotta be be good. That’s what happened to me on Brick Lane. I was starving and I saw this massive line outside of a shop called Beigel Bake so I hopped on. After being earnestly assured by the older man in front of me that yes, indeed the bagels were worth the wait I ordered a bagel with lox. It was still warm and soft and they were pulling them out of the bagel cooking thing literally right in front of us. Seriously a can’t miss.
- Walk around Serpentine Lake in Hyde Park. I couldn’t have been luckier to live only a 5 minute walk from Hyde Park. It’s such a beautiful walk and there is a ton to see. There are a few lunch cafes around the lake and you can also rent pedal boats to paddle around the lake
- Stroll down the embankment at night: The hustle and bustle down South Bank never ends, but at night the city lights up and thing slow down a little bit. Lewis and I had a nearly nightly ritual of stopping for Cadbury McFlurries at the McDonald’s near the London Eye and strolling along the embankment to look at Big Ben and the wheel all lit up.
- Picnic at Kew Gardens. AH this was one of my all time favorrrrrrite things I did in London. It’s a bit of longish tube ride but SO worth it. Kew is an adorable town and the gardens are so pretty!! Go on a spring day and be prepared to take trillion stunning photos.
- Rent Barclays bikes and go wandering. There is so much to see and do in London! One of the best pieces of advice I got when I first moved to the city is to walk as much as possible for the first few months. Taking the tube is super speedy and convenient but you don’t get a great sense of how walkable and easy London is until you actually are walking it. There are so many little hidden side streets and alleyways that you’d never get to see if you were underground! The Barclays bikes are everywhere and there’s even an app you can download that allows you to pick routes based on if you want to avoid biking on the road, what type of things you’d like to see and how far you want to go.
- Eat your way through Borough Market: On the weekends it will be very crowded and busy but there will be more booths open. On a week day at lunch time it will be much easier to navigate and you’ll find a lot of locals and businesspeople grabbing lunch. Either way you’re guaranteed to find something insta-worthy to eat. Try the grilled cheese or the gnocchi!
- Ogle the most luxurious items at Harrod’s: There are so many incredible things to be seen at Harrod’s. In the toy department there’s a child-size replica of a Range Rover Sport. The whole thing cost nearly triple what my car at home is worth… and my car can actually be driven on highways. They literally sell everything and anything you can imagine at Harrod’s–have you heard the story of Christian the Lion?
What have I forgotten? Please feel free to drop a comment below with more suggestions!