Monday, September 30, 2019

Travel Guide to London

Honestly, one of my most asked question is my London recommendations. The minute I tell people I studied abroad there and basically live for all things London they want to hear my favorite spots in the city. This post has been a draft for me since I studied abroad, which now feels like so long ago. But, I knew I wanted this post to be as extensive as humanly possible. There have been so many things I have done, seen, and eaten in London. So, I wanted to make sure I wrote everything down so this can be a great reference when planning your trip to London!

Pictures and the places I recommend are a combination of many trips and days in London! I studied abroad there for a semester and have been back twice since. I also lived in London when I was about 4 years old while my dad was working there for a summer. There is probably no way you could hit everything in this post in one trip. But, hopefully you can find a few things that interest you and add those to your itinerary.


The Harrods Tea Room | The Harrods Tea Room is a great place to stop and get a bite to eat while shopping around the famous department store. My friend and I got burgers here and they were very yummy! The interiors and atmosphere in here are fabulous and can help complete your shopping experience. 

Crumbs & Doilies | This cupcake spot in Kingly Court is a great quick and easy spot to grab a treat. Compared to some of the other options I will share this one is much more of a grab and go spot. Crumbs & Doilies is great if you want to bring it on a picnic in a park or even back to your hotel room to eat later. Either way these cupcakes are delicious and a great tasty treat!

Farm Girl | I went to Farm Girl in Notting Hill on my most recent trip to London. I got the scrambled eggs and toast and it was very good! The atmosphere is super chill and relaxed. They also have a ton of unique coffee drinks. I opted for a rose latte which was very unique! Plus pink coffee, what's not to love? Pro tip: Be sure to arrive around 9am to get seated right away. We left around 10am and there was a line wrapped out the door. So, the early you can go the better! They do not take reservations so waiting is inevitable. 

Elan Cafe | Another new place for me on my recent trip to London was Elan Cafe. There are two locations and the location we visited was a great spot to stop before heading to Buckingham Palace! This place is a pink aesthetic dream. Between dreamy pink chairs, walls lined with flowers, and pink pastries it is the ultimate pretty pink spot! I got a coffee along with a raspberry croissant. They had so many gorgeous pastries to choose from it was hard to decide! But, everything was very cute and tasty. 

Byron | If you are looking for the best burger place in London look no further than Byron. This place is honestly my FAVORITE burger basically ever. It is so so good! Lots of options including different fries, milk shakes, and burgers. Some burgers in London aren't the best but I promise this place lives up to even the best burger in the states. My friend and I used to go all of the time when we lived in London. It is one of my go-to spots for sure. 

Wahaca | This Mexican tapas style place is so yummy! I recommend getting tacos and of course chips and guac. They also have some great margaritas and other drink options. Their location in South Bank is one of my favorites because it is made out of old shipping containers. 

Peggy Porschen | When I say this is my favorite place in London I am not exaggerating. Whenever someone tells me they are going to London this is the first place I suggest. I know what you're thinking, this is just another one of those aesthetically pleasing restaruants. But it is so much more than that! The cupcakes and coffee are to die for. I always get the cookies and cream cupcake and a latte. Or I opt for one of the seasonal offerings. They've now added a second location but the original location will forever be my favorite! As the seasons change they change their outdoor decor so no matter what season you go it will always be different. Trust me when I say this is not the place to skip! 

Sketch | Another FAMOUS London spot is Sketch. I've eaten dinner there twice now and I will say the first time was a little bit better. They change up their menu so it was slightly different the second time I went. The most recent time I went I got steak frites and the portion was super small. Although the atmosphere is super cool and the pink interior is amazing this isn't a place you will leave super stuffed. I still would recommend it just because it is something you should do at least once! It is on the pricer side so it may not be for everyone. You can also do an afternoon tea there which may be the way to go if you want to experience Sketch without going to dinner.

Benitos Hat | A great affordable place is Benitos Hat. They have a happy hour deal where you can get buy one get one free margaritas! Like come on, that's amazing. This was one of my go-to places during school in London because it was super close to Oxford Circus! So this is a great option to stop by after shopping your heart out on Oxford Street.

Paul | Again another one of my go-to easy places in London. They have locations all over the city so finding one is pretty easy. Paul is great for sandwiches, pastries, and more! I ate this no joke at least once I week when I studied in London. You can always count on Paul for a yummy sandwich for an easy lunch or dinner after a day of exploring.

Pierino Restaurant Pizza | This family owned restaurant is an all time favorite. My family lived in South Kensington when I was 4 and this place has always been an Italian restaurant. We aren't sure if it is the original place we used to go to, but we love it either way! I've eaten there a few times throughout my London trips and you can't go wrong with their margarita pizza or a pasta dish. This place fills up quickly so I recommend arriving for dinner around 5-6pm.

Maitre Choux | Another great treat spot is Maitre Choux! These eclairs are probably the fanciest thing I have ever eaten. They are legit a work of art, plus they are so tasty. With multiple locations this place is a great treat to grab while exploring some of my favorite London neighborhoods.

Nandos | Okay, even though this restaurant is now in the U.S. I love the UK locations. This place is perfect for an easy bite and of course chicken. I first heard of it from my favorite celebrity of all time Niall Horan. It was his favorite restaurant back in the day so naturally I had to try it. That's where my obsession was born.

Cote Brasserie | My favorite French restaurant in London is Cote Brasserie. They have multiple locations but I love the location in St. Christopher's Place. Their steak frites are fabulous and my go-to dish. The St. Christopher's Place is also perfectly located to stop by after shopping at Selfridges or Oxford Street.

Aux Merveilleux de Fred | I know I say that everything is a must do in London, but this is for real people. Aux Merveilleux de Fred is a French pastry shop that makes the most delicious brioche on the planet. When my parents and I stayed in South Kensington we would get it every single day in the morning for breakfast. It is a short walk from the Chevall Residences which I will discuss later! I then took my friend there on our trip last October and she loved it too! There is no good way to describe it you will just have to go and get them yourself.

Ale & Pie | A classic pub option that is super close to Tower of London is Ale & Pie. My friend and I ate fish and chips and my favorite cider here on a rainy London afternoon. The service was great, the food was fabulous, and it gives you that real British pub experience. Honestly, I have been to a few traditional pubs and you cannot go wrong with any of them. Be sure to try at least one pub during your trip to London to get some fish and chips or bangers and mash!


Cereal Killer Cafe | If you find yourself in Camden Market you have to try Cereal Killer Cafe! They have basically every cereal from your childhood that you can then customize with different milk. I know it sounds odd but it is kind of amazing. Plus, they have the best 90's throwback decor you could ever ask for.

Ben's Cookies | You can find little Ben's Cookies all around London for a quick easy treat. These hot freshly baked cookies are so yummy and easy to pick up! You can often find them near Tube stops or just around town.

Town House at The Kensington | One of the afternoon teas we went to on our recent trip was at the Town House at The Kensington in South Kensington (what a mouthful). This was by far the cutest afternoon tea in the city. Sadly the Tale as Old as Time tea is no longer offered. But, I am so happy I was able to go while it was still running! I would still for sure recommend afternoon tea at Town House though. The food was great, treats were tasty, and our tea was fabulous. It's a super cozy place which makes it perfect for a rainy afternoon.

Aquashard | If you are looking for a more high end modern afternoon tea option look no further then the Aquashard. I don't think I've ever felt more fancy then here. The Aquashard is in one of the tallest buildings in London The Shard. It has the most incredible view of London! You can also go to the Aquashard for drinks if tea isn't your think. Either way it is a better deal to do tea or drinks at the Aquashard then go to the observation deck at The Shard. We opted for the Mary Poppins Afternoon Tea at and it was just darling! From the plates to the food everything was adorably themed.

Steak and Co | I went to this place a long time ago, BUT they have a great steak frites option! #sorrynotsorry all of my recommendations have to do with steak but... I just love steak okay. It's pretty casual so feel free to stop by and grab a bite after a morning or day of sight seeing.

Laudree | Okay, I know you can get Laudree in the U.S. but their London locations are gorgeous! I love this one in an arcade shopping area. Also, their Harrods and Covent Garden Location are beautiful as well! 


Women's clothing and accessories shopping recommendations: Dahlia Boutique, Coast, Joy, Monki, Barbour, Olivia Burton, Jack Wills, Jules,  Daniel Wellington, Ted Baker, Radley, Cambridge Satchel Company, Skinny Dip, Irregular Choice, Office, And Other Stories, ZARA, and Melissa. 

Cosmetics shopping recommendations: Boots, Super Drug, Pixi, Spectrum Collections, Jo Malone, and Kiko. 

Stationery and random goodies recommendations: Paperchase, Muji, Tiger, and Scribbler. 

Cath Kidston | Cath Kidston is by far my favorite British brand I learned about while studying abroad. Now, I can't go on a trip without stopping by every Cath Kidston store I see. They have amazing purses, backpacks, and travel bags with dainty floral and London themed prints. Also, they are a great place to find home accessories or even clothing! Plus, they almost always have a Disney collection that you can shop. Just another reason to love Cath Kidston. I will say a lot of their items can be purchased on their website with a small shipping fee to the U.S. So, check online to see what you like before heading in store. I ran into the issue of trying to bring back too many things that I could have picked up online. But, they do have some items that are only available in store. Maybe if you have self control unlike me you won't fill your entire suitcase with Cath Kidston goodies. If you can do that hats off to you, I certainly can't resist!

Topshop Oxford Circus | The mothership of all Topshop stores is the Topshop in Oxford Circus. This location is their flagship store and is the largest Topshop in the world. It even has a salon where you can get blow outs, a cupcake shop, and so much more. I suggest heading down to the lowest level where you will find unique London and UK based designer pieces. No worries though most pieces are under 100 pounds. I've found so many unique pieces in there that to this day I still love! Word of warning this place is soooo overwhelming. Be sure to dedicate at least 2+ hours in here if you really want to shop and look at everything. There are 4+ floors that are all huge so it will take a good chunk of time. But, they have way better pieces than the U.S. stores and now that they are closing their US locations this is a must do while in London.

Boxpark | This super cool and hip shopping area in Shoreditch is a go-to place for any cool girl. Shoreditch in general has super cool and unique shops to find your next unique clothing or jewelry piece. Boxpark in particular is a shopping area made of old shipping containers with pop up shop like shops.


Liberty | It would take forever to describe my love for Liberty. Liberty is by far the most gorgeous store in London. Fun fact: the actual structure was made from an old ship! You can really feel the history in this place. Plus, it is filled with gorgeous designer products. I love their stationery section and wondering around the top floor which is equipped with a haberdashery with tons of fabric and notions (if you are a sewer!). If you happen to be in London around Thanksgiving into Christmas be sure to stop by the top floor for their Christmas shops! One of my favorites in the city.

Selfridges | I like to think of Selfridges as the UK version of Nordstrom, but WAYYY better. Selfridges is one of my favorite department stores to shop at in London. They have a great mix of high end designer products but also more affordable brands that are super attainable. During Christmas they have an amazing gift shop on the top floor that will be your go-to place to pick up gifts for friends and family! Plus of course something for yourself. Not to mention they have a great cosmetic area, the largest denim department in the world, and amazing stationery + fashion magazines. Basically this place is heaven if you are a Nordstrom fan. Be sure to check out their window displays as well! They always have such dreamy window displays and theming.

Fortum & Mason | If you can't already tell London seriously has the best department stores in the world (in my opinion). Fortum & Mason is another favorite of mine. If you are looking for some great tea to bring home to your family theirs is one of my favorites! They come in gorgeous tins and a million flavors. Also, they have the best treat and candy counter ever. Be sure to get the marshmallows! Coming in a wide range of flavors and made fresh these things are to die for.

Harrods | Now this is serious.... if you do not go to Harrods you did not go to London! This iconic department store is a must see. It is an easy walk to Buckingham Palace and then onto Big Ben. So, there is really no excuse for you not to go! Be sure to wonder around from floor to floor to see all of the gorgeous displays, goods, and to take in the atmosphere.

Primark | The British version of a Forever 21, but so much better, is Primark. I mainly go for the Disney merchandise. They have a ton of affordable and adorable Disney pajamas, sweat shirts, tees, accessories and more! Basically everything is under 20 pounds, which is crazy. If you are a Disney fan this is a must see to pick up some cute Disney merchandise for super cheap.

Camden Market | If you are more into thrifting Camden Market will be your heaven. We went to Camden Market for class, and I can't say it was my favorite place. But, if you are a fan of thrifting, vintage clothing, street food, and a more hip and cool scene this place is for you. Again, wasn't totally my cup of tea but for sure worth mentioning if that is your thing!

Visit an Arcade | In London there are tiny little shopping areas everywhere called Arcades. Be sure to venture into one and check out all the little shops. You never know what you may find! Plus, they are almost always architecturally beautiful!


The Tate Modern | The Tate Modern is kind of like London's MOMA. They have some very cool and interesting exhibits and pieces of art. Plus they have an amazing view of London from one of their balcony's there. There you can also get a great view of the bridge that was in one of the Harry Potter movies! If you are a fan of minimalism this will be a really cool stop during your trip.

Victoria & Albert Museum | My favorite museum in London by far is the Victoria & Albert Museum. Not only is it in my favorite neighborhood, but their exhibits are fabulous. While I was abroad there was a shoe exhibit which showcased famous shoes and major shoe designers like Jimmy Choo. There is almost always a fashion exhibit going on in London and a lot of times it is at the Victoria and Albert. Museum admission is free so there is also a low commitment level. You can go in, wander around, and then leave within an hour if you really wanted too! If you end up in South Kensington I highly recommend stopping by for a bit to explore.

The Portrait Gallery | Another one of my favorite museums is the National Portrait Gallery. While I was abroad I went to an Audrey Hepburn exhibit there and I just about died. This is also another great museum to put on your list of things to do while in London.

The Courtauld Gallery | This place is impressionist heaven. Some of the famous paintings I remember seeing as a kid in books live in this gallery. Paintings of ballerinas specifically stuck out to me!

The British Museum | The British Museum doesn't hav the most exciting things inside, if I'm being honest. But the architecture is incredible! For sure worth stopping in and taking a peek if you are in the area. Most museums in London have free admission so there is a low commitment level when going in! Stay for as long or as little as you'd like.

If you are a history buff you will adore London. No matter where you turn there is history to be explored. Compared to the U.S. the U.K. is ancient and has so much rich history. Every building is remarkable to me! But, if you are looking for a few more obvious landmarks here are some of my favorites. Some are expected, and some are more off the beaten path!

Big Ben | This is probably one of the most obvious landmarks to visit, but I obviously had to remind you! Currently Big Ben is under construction for refurbishments. So sadly if you visit soon you won't be able to see much of it. You can see how it looked this past fall in the above photo. It appears it won't be back up and running until 2021, but still worth exploring the Westminster area around it as there is a ton of other things concentrated in that area!

Buckingham Palace | Another more obvious pick is Buckingham Palace. You can only go inside during the summer months when the queen is away at her country home. Even if you don't go inside it is for sure worth going for the photo opportunity. Did your really go to London if you didn't post an Instagram with the caption "Welcome to my crib" in front of the queen's house? Probably not. Plus, Big Ben, Westminster, Buckingham Palace, and the London Eye are all in walking distance from each other so it makes for the perfect route to see a TON of London landmarks in one go. 

Tower Bridge |  Often called the London bridge, this famous bridge is actually the Tower Bridge! The London Bridge is something completely different, but people often mistake the two. It is located right near the Tower of London, so again you can kill two birds with one stone. You can walk across the bridge to the other side of the river from Tower of London to see a super cool modern area of London in the financial district. 


Tower of London | One of my all time favorite London landmarks is the Tower of London. If you were to go to any landmark I highly recommend this one! Be sure to purchase your tickets ahead of time to save costs and time. At the Tower of London you can go on walking tours included in your ticket where you can learn so much about London history. From wars, executions, to the crown jewels themselves the Tower of London gives you so much history in one place. Tower of London is probably one my top recommendations for any first time London goers. 

Westminster Abbey | A famous church in Westminster this church is often the scene for many royal weddings. So, if you are a royal fan this is a must see.

Day Trip to Stonehenge | Outside the city of London is Stonehenge the famous rock formation from literally 100s of years ago. This would require a day trip, but it is something cool to see. You could combine a trip to Bath and Stonehenge as they are close together. While I was abroad we took a student trip to both and they were great things to see while in London! There is so much to see in the city but there is also a ton to see in surrounding areas.

Day Trip to Bath | Not too far away from London is Bath which is a gorgeous historic city. The Abbey church is a must see on your trip to Bath along with checking out one of the famous baths in Bath! Get it? Sally Lunn's is a restaurant only in Bath which is famous for their signature Lunn Bun that has a cinnamon butter topping, which was so so good! It is super quaint and cute inside and is very well known in Bath. Also, be sure to stop by Jolly which is one of the oldest department stores in England, which their original location is in Bath. Fudge Factory is a great spot for a treat in Bath too.

St. Paul's Cathedral | I've never actually been inside since it is still a working church, but St. Paul's Cathedral is a gorgeous church that should be on your list to see! Pro tip: there is a shopping mall across the street on New Change. If you go up to the top floor there is like a deck where you can get a gorgeous view of the church and snap a photo! Plus there are just some cool stores in there as well.

The Gherkin | This insane skyscraper in the financial district is a really cool thing to stop by and take a look at. It is one of the newer skyscrapers in the area and I am just mesmerized by it. You may be able to see it from afar as it kind of looks like a spaceship.

The Parent Trap House | Where are my 90's kids at? If you love the Lindsey Lohan Parent Trap this is a must see! This is the house that they used in the film and it is located in the South Kensington neighborhood. It is only a few blocks away from Harrods also! So, what I recommend doing is hitting the Parent Trap House, Harrods, then go on to see Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, and Westminster all in the same day. 

The Barbican | If you are looking for a less touristy spot The Barbican is a really cool area to explore! I went here with one of my classes during my study abroad program and it is very cool. Essentially it's a cultural center, but it has very unique architecture. Plus, they host movies, theater shows, music, and a ton of other cultural activities! I'd say if you are super into art and architecture this is a must stop. Plus, all of the apartments and areas around it are super unique looking!

St. Katherine's Dock | Another lesser known landmark is St. Katherine's Dock. Built in 1825 this dock is situated in the North Bank and is downstream from the Tower of London and Tower Bridge. Again, this is a great spot if you want to escape the tourists but still see some history! There are cute little restaruants around and it just feels like you are in another time.

Hyde Park | Hyde Park is probably my favorite park in London. One of the unique things about London is they have a ton of parks! While you are in them you would think you are in the country. They feel very secluded and you are just surrounded by trees and grass. Hyde Park in particular is very centrally located to basically everything! So it is a must see on your trip. Along with the park itself Kensington Palace, the Princess Diana Memorial, the Peter Pan Statue, and more are situated within the park.

 Princess Diana Memorial | Going off of Hyde Park the Princess Diana Memorial is located within the park. My most recent trip was the first time I went to see it. It is stunning. It is situated near the water and during the fall it is just gorgeous. For sure a calming and reflective experience.

Peter Pan Statue | If you've ever seen Hook then you know this Peter Pan statue! In the movie Robin Williams wakes up near it and I've always wanted to find it. My friend and I paid a visit the last time I was in London. When wondering around Kensington Gardens make sure you pay it a visit. Apparently it's location was decided by the original author of Peter Pan, how neat!

Trafalgar Square | Near the National Portrait Gallery and the British Museum this historic landmark is a must see. Trafalgar Square has a ton of history, that I won't go deep into. But, it is a gorgeous spot and worth the adventure over there to see it. 


In my opinion one of the best activities to do in London is just wandering around neighborhoods exploring, eating, and shopping. But, if you are looking for a more concrete idea of activities to do in London I have quite a few suggestion! From seeing a play, taking a day trip, or going to a market there is always something to do in London.

If you are looking for more kid friendly activities here are a few ideas: The London Zoo, activities near The London Eye, The London Eye, bike ride through a park, and Lego Land London. There are also usually kid activities at all of the castles or royal residences that they can take part in while you are still able to see historic landmarks!

Rooftop Movie in Stratford | While I was abroad my friend and I went to a rooftop movie in Stratford and it was so fun! Everyone has headphones and you sit in little lawn chairs (they provide) and it was such a fun night time activity. It was nice to mix things up and go see a classic movie. We saw Greece but you can see the offerings on their website. Nothing quite like sipping a cider and eating snacks on a London rooftop all while watching a movie! If you aren't into clubbing like me this is a great alternative for a fun nighttime activity idea. We went in the fall so it was a little chilly but just be sure to bundle up. I bet it would be amazing in the spring or summer when it's warmer!

Musical or Play | London has an amazing theater scene as you may imagine. While I was there I saw Charlie and the Chocolate Factory as well as Billy Elliot. But, there are so so many options and shows to see! I highly recommend at least trying to catch one show. Pro tip: Go to one of the many discount ticket places to purchase your tickets. I used to go to the location near Oxford Circus to pick up tickets as it was super close to my school. But, they are scattered around the city. You can usually get a great deal especially if it is last minute or the night of!


Harry Potter Filming Studios | Now, if you are a Harry Potter fan (or even if you aren't) the Harry Potter Filming tour is an amazing experience! My friend and I went and she had never seen a Harry Potter movie. That night she went home and watched half of them! It is just so so cool and gives you a great insight on to how these films were made. You see the costumes, sets, props, technology, and so much more. Plus, there is a killer gift shop and you can get Butterbeer!


Day Trip to Oxford | My friend and I also spent a few hours in Oxford as our tour included the Harry Potter Filming Tour as well as Oxford! If you don't know the famous college Oxford is located in Oxford so it is a very cool place to visit. Adorable shops, restaurants, and many gorgeous buildings are all around! For sure a cute and easy day trip to take if you are interested.


The London Eye | Okay, I will say The London Eye is a major tourist trap. BUT, it is still very cool. I would say doing it once is more than plenty. As I said before though, you can go to the Aquashard for tea or a cocktail and virtually get the same view plus you get food/ drinks. However, I know some people really want to do it. Which I totally get! I did it once with my parents while the visited me at the end of my study abroad. There are different package levels and we just go the basic one and it was more than enough time to see what we wanted to see.

Columbia Road Flower Market | Another great activity is the Columbia Road Flower Market! This market is only available seasonly and usually on Sunday's so keep that in mind. But, this market is bustling with people and gorgeous flowers. You can either pick up some flowers yourself or just enjoy the sights. Plus there is usually cute shops to browse in and even some street food!

Take a walk through a park | As I said before, there are so many cute parks to explore in London! Be sure to take a walk through at least one. Or you can walk through one while on your way to your next destination. They also have rental-able bikes available so you can take a bike ride through a park as well! 
Castles & Houses  

The Kenwood House | Another great off the beaten path place to visit is the Kenwood House! It is seriously gorgeous and has so much history. It isn't as popular as some of the other major castles so it's more quiet and peaceful. It is still located within the city but it is a little farther out, but worth the trip if you are interested in historic interiors and houses. We went with my study abroad class and I really enjoyed it! Especially this pink and blue room pictured above.

The Somerset House | This house was built in the 1700s and is beautiful! Just another interesting place to venture out to in London. There is even a Christmas market with ice skating open during the winter months. If you happen to visit London during Thanksgiving into Christmas consider yourself lucky! There is no one, I mean NO ONE, that does Christmas better than London I can promise you that. Also at the Somerset House there is usually a cool pop culture exhibit going on as well as other exhibitions and things to see. Pro tip: Offices are also here so make sure you don't go into the wrong door, I've made that mistake and it's super awkward....

Day trip to Windsor Castle | Windsor Castle aka where prince Harry and Megan were married is one of my favorite castles in London! Windsor does require a day trip and a more expensive train ticket but it is so worth it!!! It is seriously gorgeous. Plus the town of Windsor itself is adorable. We ate at a great pub while we were there and walked around the streets of the town as well. Just as any castle there is so much history and it is amazing to see.

Kensington Palace | Kensington Palace is super convienent to visit as it is situated right within the city. While we visited the castle they had a Princess Diana fashion exhibit which showcased some of her many evening gowns and other personal items. I will say I do prefer Hampton Court and Windsor to Kensington Palace. But, if you don't want to spend a day traveling/ doing a castle this is a great option. Plus, Princess Diana lived here with the boys when they were growing up.

Day trip to Hampton Court | Hampton Court is by far my favorite royal residence to visit! There is just so much history there and it is incredible to see. Also, very random but they have these little potpourri pouches that smell AMAZING! We got a ton of them during Christmas time while we were there. They used to use the same ingredients to scent the castle. Anyways, this place is honestly just so cool. If you ask my mom she would say this is her favorite thing we did in London.

Neighborhoods & Areas to Explore 

Notting Hill | If you are looking for adorable colored houses and Portobello Road look no further then Notting Hill! This is one of my favorite neighborhoods to explore. There are darling little shops, cute houses, and the vibe is just my speed. If you are a preppy girl like me you will like Notting Hill! But, also be sure to visit if you like thrift shopping or searching for street food and antiques. 

Portobello Road | As I said before Portobello Road is such a cool place to explore. It is located in the Notting Hill neighborhood. Whether you are searching for antiques, cool food, fresh produce, or more the possibilities are endless on Portobello Road. Plus if you have seen Bedknobs and Broomsticks you can sing the Portobello Road song in your head while you visit. If you haven't seen that move a. what are you doing and b. listen to this song. 

Belgravia | Home to my favorite place in the world Peggy Porschen Belgravia is a must see. This area is stunning to be honest. Adorable colored houses, gorgeous store fronts with floral displays, and of course Peggy freaking Porschen. If you are a girly girl this will be your go-to neighborhood. 

Primrose Hill | Another fun area with colorful houses is Primrose Hill. Be sure to keep this neighborhood on your list for exploring!

Chelsea | Another beautiful area is Chelsea. Again, colorful houses, cute restaruants, and fun shopping. Can you sense a theme? Wherever there is a colorful house I want to be there. 

South Kensington | My all time favorite neighborhood by far is South Kensington. I actually lived there when I was a kid for a summer while my dad was in London for work. This place has a special place in my heart. If you get off the tube stop at South Kensington my old flat is above the Lamborghini dealership. This is also where I recommend staying in London. It is very central, you can walk to a lot of things, plus the tube station there can bring you basically everywhere you need to go very easily! Plus it is just gorgeous. Honestly I could make a whole travel guide just for South Kensington since I've spent a lot of time in this area! 

Soho | If you are looking for a cooler hipper area I recommend Soho. Lots of good shopping here but also a lot of restaruants and pubs. After work people gather here to drink beer and visit. For sure worth exploring while in London!

Covent Garden | My all time favorite London shopping area is Covent Garden. Whether you want to shop small boutiques, big brands, or eat this place has everything. Also, if you are missing home be sure to eat at Shake Shack! They also have a Laudree to pick up some macarons or visit my favorite knick knack store Sass & Belle. 

St. Christopher's Place | This is a fun little hidden shopping area off Oxford Street. Lots of great restaruants back there plus some cool smaller stores. One of my favorites Cote Brassiere is located here.

Carnaby Street & Oxford Circus | Other great shopping areas include Carnaby Street and Oxford Street. I'm telling you now, London has a ton of shopping opportunities. I've bought some of my favorite pieces from London so don't miss out! Be sure to go to the Primark on Oxford Street as it has the best selection of product, specifically Disney!

Honorable mentions: Camden Market, Westminster, Paddington, King Cross Station

Where to Stay 

Chevall Residences | I have now stayed at a Chevall Residences twice and I can not say enough good things about them! My mom found this place originally when my mom and dad were visiting me after my study abroad. In London it is very hard to find hotel rooms to sleep 3-4 people. Most rooms just have one bed. So, this option gave us a way that we had a two bedroom two bath suite basically with a kitchen and sitting room! Essentially at Chevall Residences you have a hotel like experience without all of the extra amenities that you may not need in a city like London. For example it doesn't have a pool, bar, restaurant, room service, things like that. You still get maid service, someone at the front desk, and a room key though! We LOVE it! We stay at the their Harrington Court location. It is about one block from the flat we lived in when I was 4 years old which is crazy. It is in the South Kensington neighborhood and about one block from the South Kensington Tube stop which can get you to any part of the city very easily! South Kensington is my favorite neighborhood so this location works perfect for me. They do have other locations across the city that are worth exploring as well. But, personally I cannot recommend the Harrington Court location enough. 

AirBNB | If you are looking for a more affordable option AirBNB is the way to go. There are so many options all over London in a wide range of prices. We stayed in a place in Kensington that was great. We had a total of five girls and it didn't feel tight! Lots of space and two bathrooms.
AirBNB we stayed in: Luxurious Apartment in Kensington & Chelsea
Get a discount on any AirBNB with my invite link!

General Tips 

Use the Tube and buses | The public transportation in London is AMAZING. Trust me when I say it is good and there is no need to pay $$$ for cabs and Ubers. Obviously if it is late at night I'd suggest taking a cab. But, other then that you can use the tube and buses for getting around the city. It is very easy to navigate and figure out. Be sure to get the City Mapper app as it is my biggest resource. 

Carry some cash | Some stores and restaruants do not accept cards. You'll be able to use your credit or debit card most places but just have at least 50-100 pounds handy just to be safe. 

Dress comfortably | When I am in London I am hitting the ground running. There is so much to see so be sure to dress comfortably. Sneakers or comfy shoes are a must because you will put on some major miles while exploring.

Bring multiple coat options | Also, be sure to bring 1-2 jacket options at a minimum. The weather in London is kind of unpredictable. It can go from 70 and sunny to 50 and rainy very quickly. If you have a packable style rain jacket I would highly suggest bringing it. Keep it in your bag or have an umbrella handy. Rain can strike literally in minutes!

Walk when you can | Always walk if you can! There is soooo much to see. Even during a week long trip you can't see everything I would recommend to you. So when you can walk be sure you do so you can see as much as possible. Sometimes taking the tube is the quickest but you don't get to site see. Buses are a good compromise because you can look out the window and see things but it can be faster than walking.

Use Time Out London as a resource | I loved using Time Out London while I was studying abroad. You can look up free activities, shows, concerts, places to eat, and more!

Check out London Instagram accounts before you go | My biggest source of London inspiration is from London instagram accounts. These bloggers and accounts are always posting about the best photo spots, gorgeous restaruants, and cool stores! Here are a few of my favorite accounts to follow: Pretty Little LondonPretty City LondonCandy NicoleMollie MooreBei Na Wei, & Victoria Metaxas to name a few.

If you have made it this far first off THANK YOU and congrats! That was probably my longest post to date. But, I really hope that this helps you guys plan your London trip. London is my favorite place in the world and I will always go back. Each time I go I find something else I love about it. It will forever hold a place in my heart. If you do end up visiting I hope you love it as much as I do. Be sure to tag me on Instagram or wherever if you use one of my recommendations! I'd love to see your adventures. 

If you have any London questions please reach out to me! I am always happy to answer an talk about London to be honest (if you couldn't already tell). 

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