This international travel hub is the perfect place to enjoy your next vacation or long layover.
One of the most diverse and cosmopolitan cities in the world, London is packed with history, culture, and great food. Whether you’re there for a week or just for 24 hours, here are some of the OSTRICHPILLOW team’s top tips for unusual things to do in London.
A place to grab a bite… Borough MarketHaving existed, in one form or another, for over 1000 years, Borough Market remains a popular spot for Londoners to do their shopping and grab a bite to eat. Now a trendy haven for celebrity chefs and popup restaurants, it’s the perfect pilgrimage for any foodie. With restaurant options that range from English to Taiwanese to US, you’re sure to leave satisfied. If we have to pick a favorite, the fresh pasta at Padella should not be missed.
A place to go shopping… Portobello Road
A street where the riches of ages are stowed, what began as a food market in the 19th century has grown into perhaps one of the world’s largest antique markets.
Portobello Road is actually home to multiple markets, which sell things ranging from clothing, bric-a-brac, antiques, and, true to its roots, fruit and vegetables. Though each of the 6 areas have their own hours during the week (so make sure to check their schedules) they all come alive on Saturday, making Portobello Market a popular shopping destination for locals and tourists alike.
A place to eat fish and chips… Poppie's Fish and Chips
Though it’s less than a decade old, Poppie’s is already regarded by many as the best place to try fish and chips in London. With an owner who has spent over half a century in the fish and chip business, and fresh fish delivered each morning from third-generation fishmongers, it’s not hard to understand why.
Another reason to go? The retro ‘50s diner vibe, complete with kitsch interiors, jukeboxes, and servers in retro uniforms, adds a fun touch to any already delicious meal.
A place with a rooftop view… Royal Festival Hall Terrace
Even if you aren't there for a concert, you can still take advantage of the Royal Festival Hall’s riverside views. Though its foldable tables and lack of decor won't win its bar any awards, it is the perfect place to grab a drink, sit on the terrace, and soak up the sights at a fraction of the price you’d pay elsewhere. Not far from other top spots like the London Eye and Gordon's Wine Bar, head here for a chill afternoon and some nice photos before continuing your crawl elsewhere.
A place to grab a drink… Gordon's Wine Bar
Thought to be the oldest wine bar in London, Gordon's is a hidden gem and the perfect destination after enjoying the circuit of summertime events you’ll find along the Tate.
In a building that was once the home of Samuel Pepys and that also once counted Rudyard Kipling as a tenant, the bar has countless connections to Britain’s literary and theatrical history. Located in a long cellar and lit by candlelight, the walls are covered in old newspaper clippings and memorabilia collected over 130 years of business. The award winning wine menu is great for connoisseurs and wine newbies alike, and the staff are more than happy to guide you to the best choice.
A way to get around… city bikes
Santander Cycles offers a cheap way to get around and explore London, starting at £2 for a 30 minute ride. With over 830 docking stations across the city, you can use the mobile application or pay with your debit or credit card at the terminal, making it especially convenient. On their website they’ve even compiled a collection of bike-friendly sightseeing routes that take you through markets, quirky landmarks, secret gardens, and independent shops.
These suggestions of unusual things to do in London, were brought to you by our team. When we aren’t busy designing travel pillows and dreaming up products like OSTRICHPILLOW LIGHT, you can find us arguing about the best place to eat along Brick Lane.
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