Where To: London
English writer Samuel Johnson once said, “when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life.”
A diverse city of vibrant art and culture, London is truly an exciting place to travel and live. Check out our guide to visiting London and discover our favorite places to stay, eat and explore!
Where to: Stay
Luxury: Charlotte Street Hotel
This “posh” hotel is located on the trendy Charlotte Street in Fitzrovia. Featuring a screening room and film club, a drawing room filled with British art, and a spa with a range of services, the Charlotte Street Hotel provides a luxurious option for London visitors. Nightly rates start at $300, with options ranging from queen rooms to loft and penthouse suites. Guests can also book an afternoon tea through the hotel.
Mid: Hoxton Holborn
Situated in the Holborn neighborhood between Covent Garden and Bloomsbury, the charming Hoxton Holborn provides a convenient and fun location for young travellers. During the day, the Hoxton lobby functions as a full service cafe, with many students and freelancers working on laptops and taking meetings. At night, the space turns into a buzzing bar and restaurant with a DJ, making your hotel lobby a great place to hang out! Room types include “shoebox,” “snug,” “cosy” and “roomy” with prices starting at $127 a night.
Budget: Generator Hostel
The Generator Hostel is our budget friendly option. With an emphasis on design, the Generator Hostel offers light and airy rooms, a daily happy hour and a central location near King’s Cross and Russell Square. A shared room begins at $12 a bed while a private twin starts at $56 a night.
Where to: Eat
Upscale: Darwin Brasserie
Head to the SkyGarden’s Darwin Brasserie for stunning 360 views of London and gourmet food. Enjoy views of the Thames and the lush garden housed inside the space while you dine.. The menu offers something for vegetarians and carnivores alike, with entrees including herb gnocchi, roasted stone bass and and chicken milanese. Be sure to arrive early to order a creative cocktail from the City Garden Bar before heading upstairs to the restaurant.
Something for Everyone: Dishoom
People say London is known for its Indian food, and the trendy Dishroom is one of the best in the city. The atmosphere is cozy and sharing is encouraged - probably because there are so many menu items worth trying. We rave about the garlic naan, the biryani and the chicken tikka. Note that Dishroom offers multiple options for your vegan and gluten-free friends.
Casual: 26 Grains
Londoners love their porridge - nothing is more satisfying than a warm bowl of oatmeal when it’s overcast and rainy (again). Sounds boring? Not at 26 Grains. The tiny shop in the colorful Neal’s Yard gets innovative with creations like the hazelnut and butter bowl and the nordic pear bowl. The shop has garnered such a following that its founder, Alex Hely-Hutchinson, recently released her own cookbook. The menu is seasonal and you can always expect a bowl incorporating fresh fruits.
Although perhaps London is not necessarily known for its pizza, Franco Manca provides a great fast-casual choice both tourists and locals. The delicious sourdough pizza is baked in a wood burning oven at 900 degrees. The crust is perfectly crispy and the sauce is sweet. Head to Franco Manca to indulge without hurting your wallet!
Where to: Explore
History: Tate Modern
Located on the other side of the Thames River, the Tate is home to some of the most famous works of modern art, including Andy Warhol’s self portraits, Picasso’s guitars and Matisse’s flowers. Be sure to visit the dimly lit Rothko room, where visitors marvel at Mark Rothko’s painted canvases in a space that feels almost spiritual. Admission to the Tate is free.
Adventure: Borough Market
Also located on the other side of the Thames River, Borough Market is the ideal place to explore for a day. Check out the local vendors selling fresh produce, bread, cheese and jams - and try the samples! Borough also offers several “takeaway” stalls and seating when you get hungry for a meal. Favorites include homemade ravioli, falafel wraps and chorizo rolls, all prepared right in front of you!
Ready to get out of of the city? Hop on the train at King’s Cross and visit Brighton, the charming seaside town just south of London. Walk the Brighton Lanes if you’re in the mood for shopping or head to the beach and wander along the path by the water. During the summer, visitors can ride the ferris wheel by the pier or ride down the “Mega Slide.” At night, Brighton offers a great live music and pub scene, with The Hope & Ruin and The Ranelagh providing two of the most popular spots.