This October, I touched down in London for my 7th visit. And every single time I visit London, I fall more and more in love. This city totally has my heart and if it wasn’t so hard on the wallet, I’d move there in a minute. But until that happens, I’m content to be a continual London tourist. I’ll take any chance I get to set foot in my favourite city in the world!
Not sold on The Old Smoke? Check out the 12 reasons why London is my favourite.
The tube is so efficient, it hurts
“Mind the gap between the train and the platform.” Just hearing that, in a posh British accent, puts a big smile on my face. When I took my first tube ride way back in 2012, I was so amazed by this enormous network of underground trains. I couldn’t believe how many lines there were, how much land they covered and how far underground they really went. You can literally get anywhere in London via tube. In fact, in seven visits, I have only ever taken one cab and one bus (and both of those were just to try out the iconic black cabs and the double-decker buses) – everything else was via tube!
Of course, the tube has its flaws. Getting on the tube at rush hour on a hot day? No, thank you! And if you’re over six feet tall, you’re going to have a hard time. But all that stress turns into giggles when you hear the voiceover announce, “This is a Piccadilly line train with service to Cockfosters.” (Yes, I’m 12 and think that’s hilarious.)
The accents are amazing
I’m a sucker for an accent. I love them all – British, Aussie, South African. It’s so fun to listen to people talk in cool accents. And even cooler when they use fun British slang like “jumper” (sweater) and “queue” (line). And unfortunately, I’m one of those horrible people who start using the slang after only a couple of days in London. “I’ll just throw my rubbish in that bin by the lift” = a real life sentence I have said because I’m the worst.
I love that in Europe, you can pass a church that has been around for 500 years and no one even bats an eye. It’s just another church. No big deal; there’s another one on the next block. That sort of thing just doesn’t exist in Canada! I love walking through streets and into buildings knowing that these have been around for so long. And if you’re really into history, London has some really awesome museums and attractions where you can learn more – I’m a big fan of the Tower of London and the V&A Museum.
It’s a big city
For some people, the fact that London is so big is a turn off. But for me, I love it. I grew up in downtown Toronto. I love a big city with lots of people, fast-moving traffic and loud noises. The sounds of sirens and streetcars lulled me to sleep as a kid. I absolutely love having a huge city to explore and packing it with people. The idea of a small town sounds idyllic in theory – but I know I would be bored in an hour.
Beautiful buildings & neighbourhoods
How can you walk through the streets of Notting Hill and not fall in love? Those Easter-egg hued houses, little independent shops and the outdoor market on the weekend? I would move in tomorrow if I could. London is chock-a-block (a British term I heard used in Manchester and hope I am using right) with cool neighbourhoods and gorgeous buildings. I love the little brick houses, towering churches, bright parks, bridges over the Thames and awesome food markets.
There’s something for everyone
I don’t understand people who don’t like London. There is something here for absolutely everyone! Whether you’re into sports, arts, nightlife or nature, you will find something here. There’s all types of foods, languages and activities. There are even things to satisfy every budget.
Musicals are one of my huge loves in life. They’re probably in my top five, along with Ellie, chocolate, HGTV and sushi. I absolutely love musicals! I used to perform in musicals when I was younger. These days, I just belt along to the tunes in the shower. You don’t want to be my next door neighbour when I’m going for the high notes in Defying Gravity. So one of my favourite things about London is the awesome musical and live theatre scene in the West End.
Every time I have visited London, I’ve seen a musical. Usually more like two or three. I love that there are so many shows on all the time and that getting discount tickets is super easy. I get the hugest smile on my face when I hear an actress belting out an impossible note, watch a company nail a crazy dance sequence or see a stage transform with unbelievable sets and costumes. Live theatre is amazing!
For my next visit (or when we’re living in the UK!), I would love to snag some of the toughest tickets to get in town: Hamilton and The Cursed Child.
Tea, scones & Indian food
People are always ragging on British food. And, to be honest, mushy peas or bangers and mash don’t really do it for me either. But afternoon tea? I can definitely get on board with that. Tea, scones, cakes and mini sandwiches – where’s bad?
Plus, with London being such a huge and diverse city, there’s lots of great food to be had. London is well known for its awesome Indian food. I’ve also had some great ramen and baos in London. And I’d be lying if I said that Pret A Manger (found on every corner) isn’t one of my London staples. I highly recommend the hoisin duck wrap and the cranberries in coats!
Again, not for everyone. But I’m a total Royals fan girl! I had a Kate and Will wall calendar in university. I follow Kensington Palace on Facebook. I’m that girl. So being in the home of the Royal Family in London is pretty cool to me. I’ve stood on the steps where Kate and Will introduced their children to the world, walked down the aisle at Westminster Abbey and visited the chapel at Windsor Castle where Meghan and Harry tied the knot. Plus, I’ve also been in London to see the Royal Family not once, but twice, at Trooping the Colour. So freaking cool!
I am a Potterhead. I’ve read all the books, seen all the movies, and attended the midnight premiere of the final film in a (spoiler alert) shirt that said, “RIP Fred.” As a Ravenpuff (Pottermore once said Ravenclaw and then, when I lost my password and had to make a new account, decided on Hufflepuff), I am living for walking across the Millennium Bridge, waiting in line at King’s Cross Station to run into the wall, and visiting the Harry Potter Studio Tour. It’s all pure magic.
Access to the rest of Europe
One of the reasons why I would love to live in London is because it’s so accessible. You can get almost anywhere in Europe from London. And usually the cheapest flights are into and out of one of London’s many airports. I just checked Skyscanner (one of my cheap flight favourites) and you can fly from London to Germany for $31 CAD round trip! How is that even real?
All my awesome London memories
One of the big reasons why London is my favourite city in the world is because of all of the amazing memories I have in London. London was the very first stop on my first solo trip and first trip to Europe. That trip totally changed my life and it meant a lot to be able to start it in London. I stopped in London on my way to spending three months living in Swaziland, another big life changing trip. I’ve had the pleasure of visiting London with my mom, friends from Vancouver, friends from abroad, Colin and by myself. And, somehow, I’ve managed to visit London seven times with only a couple of days of rain!
So, are you sold on London yet?
Let me know in the comments below how you feel about London and which city is your favourite.
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