“It is difficult to speak adequately or justly of London. It is not a pleasant place; it is not agreeable, or cheerful, or easy or exempt from reproach. It is only magnificent.”
Simply only magnificent, and nothing less indeed.
London is our favourite city in the world, and it is a favourite for many too. It is not difficult to understand why, for the British city has so much to offer and is so very live-able. Wake up to amazement every day, live it up like the Brits, and go to bed each night thanking all your lucky stars that you are in London.
Here are 35 reasons to love London, and it is but the tip of the ice berg. You have to set foot in that part of the world to understand why it is home for so many.
#1 THE INSTAGRAM-WORTHY RED TELEPHONE BOOTHS
Because they are so iconic and everyone loves taking photos of and with them.
What is London without a meal at one of the most popular restaurants? Whole grilled lobsters at £20, anyone?
#3 THE BRITISH ACCENT AND FAMILIARITY OF THE ENGLISH CITY
Every bit of London rings a bell and the familiarity of the places, street names, language and food feels like we are at our second home. And, let’s face it – Brit accent is the sexiest.
#4 THE ONE-AND-ONLY BUCKINGHAM PALACE
Who knows if you might be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge?
#5 THE ICONS OF LONDON – BIG BEN AND LONDON EYE
Take a stroll along Westminster Abbey and breathe in the essence of London. The magnificence of Big Ben is one sight to behold, and you can go on a round on the London Eye to see the majestic city from high above.
#6 HANG OUT AT SOHO
The sexiest and most happening hood is none other than Soho, where you can find an eclectic mix of restaurants and cafes, and little local boutiques and theatres. Peppered with character, and always worth a stroll.
#7 HAVE A PICNIC AT HYDE PARK
Pick a day, enjoy it to the fullest, and have a picnic at Hyde Park. Spot the big friendly swans who are ever ready to pose for your cameras too!
#8 SELFRIDGES & Co – EVERY SHOPAHOLIC’S DREAM
Shop till you drop at this one-stop luxury mall with all the highly coveted luxury labels and high street brands. Just remember to increase your credit limit before your trip! Tax refunds can be done within the mall, too.
#9 A DELIGHTING FOOD TRAIL AT BOROUGH MARKET
This is the ultimate and most visually-arresting farmers’ market and there is nothing to not love here! From fresh produce to a delectable mix of local food and snacks, Borough Market is sure to delight anyone and everyone.
Read our guide on the top reasons to visit Borough Market when you are in London.
#10 ALL THINGS VINTAGE AT PORTOBELLO MARKET
If you love vintage finds and quirky picks, then this world’s largest vintage market is for you! Do take note that it is only open on Saturdays for the antiques and second-hand goods.
#11 A QUAINT NEIGHBOURHOOD – NOTTINGHILL
One of the many quaint neighbourhoods in London is Nottinghill – lined with pretty pastel houses and blooming flowers, it is one morning stroll we’d gladly take all over again.
#12 LITTLE VENICE & CAMDEN MARKET
Punk lovers gather here on weekends, but beyond those acquired merchandise, we fell in love with the Venice-like environment and the art of dining by the canals. There is a marvellous spread of street food here too!
#13 STAY AT AIRBNB APARTMENTS AND LIVE THE BRIT WAY
What better way to experience a local culture than to put up at a local apartment and adapt to their lifestyle? Airbnb apartments are aplenty, and the wide range caters to travellers with all sorts of budget. If you want a backpacker style, you’d find apartments at less than £100 per night. But splurge a bit more and you get lovely units that are strategically located, thematically designed and fully furnished.
Our favourite neighbourhood to stay at is Soho for its sheer convenience and vast availability of food and shopping options around the vicinity. In the day, we woke up to cool mornings and had breakfasts at the many cafes within the hood; at night, we packed groceries and cooked at our kitchen while the crowd came alive and started partying.
#14 FOR THE LOVE OF LONDON, HARRODS
No one leaves London without making a trip to the world famous departmental store and exchanging friendly banters with the giant Harrods bear! All the iconic souvenirs are found here, alongside a more-than-splendid food hall and many exhilarating levels of shopping for refined goods like shoes and bags, perfumes and cosmetics, home products and books.
#15 THE FINEST OF LONDON AT FORTNUM & MASON
An emporium off Piccadilly Circus that houses the best picks of London – think the many kinds of English tea, jams in a hundred variations, cookies in the most elegant tins, chocolates and truffles… you get the idea. This is one pit stop you have to make when in London.
#16 INDULGE IN THE ART OF WATCHING MUSICALS
Watching musicals is a very Brit thing to do, and theatrical art is one so highly appreciated and well-received among both locals and visitors to London. There are so many to choose from; even if you watch one every night, it’ll take you some months to tick all of them off your list.
#17 THE STUNNING DISPLAY OF THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA
If there is only one musical to catch when in London, it is undisputedly Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Phantom of The Opera. This award-winning musical is an all-time gold, and runs daily on a full house at the prestigious Her Majesty Theatre. The stunning display will have you understand what The Music of The Night truly means.
#18 SHOPPING REDEFINED AT OXFORD STREET
Or Bond Street. Or Regent Street. You’ve got all your favourite brands congregated in this area – UK labels Miss Selfridge & Topshop, Chanel & Hermes, J-crew, H&M… yes, you are welcome.
#19 VALUE-SEEKING AT PRIMARK
Primark is a shopping paradise for many because this mega Irish retail store redefines affordable shopping with its diverse range of merchandise. Think basic tops and tshirts at £3 and shoes at £10. And you’d be delighted to know that the quality is nowhere near inferior!
#20 HAVE A QUINTESSENTIAL AFTERNOON TEA AND SCONES
Why, how Brit! Put on your best dress and spend an afternoon at one of the many elegant tea places at London; sip tea and eat scones, because nobody says no to such elegance.
#21 LIVE IT UP AT PICCADILLY CIRCUS
The Times Square of London, Piccadilly circus is one absolutely happening and popular area – to dine, to shop, and for musicals.
#22 LOTS OF GOOD CAFES AND COFFEE PLACES
Connoisseurs are in heaven, for London has one of the best brews in the world. And the cafe scene is world class. We had so much fun cafe-hopping and drinking cappuccino every day!
Read our guide on London’s top 25 independent cafes and coffee shops.
#23 ENDLESS BURGER OPTIONS
Not the most glamorous dining option, but burgers are our favourite messy affair. There are many impressive burger joints, and we are sure after having one good one in London, you’ll never look at burgers the same way again.
Read our guide to London’s Best Burger Restaurants.
#24 THAT GORGEOUS TOWER BRIDGE
No, this is not London bridge. This icon of London is called Tower Bridge, and is a mandatory photo spot. By the way, London Bridge is the grey and rundown-looking one right across it. Now, stop mixing up their identities. Thank you very much.
#25 TAKE A DAY TRIP TO STONEHENGE
Remember the stone formation we used to see on our Windows XP wallpaper? This is it. Take a day trip out to Stonehenge and marvel at the mystery that is left untold for so many centuries. We’d love to think of this as a must-see in everyone’s bucket list.
#26 IT IS A TOYS HEAVEN AT HAMSLEY
Toys heaven for both kids and adults alike! This massive toy store houses all the cutest merchandise; even the grown-ups have fun just from taking a tour around the shelves!
#27 PEOPLE-WATCH AT TRAFALGAR SQUARE
A popular spot to gather and people-watch is a Trafalgar Square. Enjoy the random street performances by talented buskers, or watch the world go by and master the fine art of doing nothing while sipping latte.
#28 FOSSILS AND MORE AT THE NATIONAL HISTORY MUSEUM
It is a fascinating world in here at the National History Museum. History buffs and the curious minds will be intrigued by all the fossils and skeletons, and all that ancient civilization has to tell us.
#29 LIBERTY – A SHOPPING EMPORIUM
The monochromatic building on Regent Street is an avant-garde shopping destination for classy finds and luxury buys. Quite unlike your usual modern malls, Liberty is an emporium that boasts a – for the lack of a better word – Brit interior with a sophisticated shopping environment.
#30 COVENT GARDEN
What used to be a fruit and vegetable market is another happening area to hang out for both locals and tourists. Today, Covent Garden is well-loved for its curated shopping, bars and little restaurants. Sitting on the fringe of West End, Covent Garden is a pit stop for entertainment and art lovers. The renown Royal Opera House sits proudly on this ground too.
#31 TAKE A WALK AT MAYFAIR
A prestigious area in Central London, Mayfair houses the most five-star hotels and luxury properties in London. Fancy taking a walk and breathing in the elegance of the area? Or do a little shopping at the exclusive boutiques? For classical music lovers, the Handel House Museum is also situated at Mayfair, to commemorate the late German-born baroque composer George Frederic Handel who eventually made London his home.
#32 A DISTINGUISHED BREAKFAST AT THE BREAKFAST CLUB
Dubbed as the best breakfast place in London, this small joint at Soho sees a long queue every day. With a casual 80′s interior, hippy music and a menu of comfort breakfast classics, you are in for a hearty and very filling (portions are relatively huge!) meal over at The Breakfast Club.
#33 A SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCE AT ST PAUL’S CATHEDRAL
Embodying the spiritual life and heritage of the British nation, St Paul’s Cathedral is the most highly recognised Cathedral for worship. Religious souls seek inspiration and enlightenment here, and visitors from all over the world are welcome to join the hourly prayers where they can pray in their own languages.
#34 MADAME TUSSAUD’S FLAGSHIP MUSUEM
Since she first opened doors to her wax museum on Marylebone Road, Madame Tussauds’ wax models have been a nationwide hit. Its flagship outlet at London is packed with visitors every day. And since it is impossible to ever meet Picasso and Charlie Chaplin, and even sheer luck may not have us bumping into Kate Winslet and Lady Gaga, why not exchange friendly banters with their life-size wax models at the museum?
#35 THE SHARD
Because it is not every day that you can find a triangular building as grand as The Shard of London.
For more recommendations, read our London Travel Guides.