After you’ve studied your English conjugations and phrasal verbs, there’s only one way to be sure your English skills have improved: by taking a trip to London.
Unfortunately, London is a very expensive city, especially compared with Spain and other Mediterranean countries. Luckily, there’s a new, cheaper alternative. Simply find someone to swap rooms with at Room4Exchange, and you’re ready for your low-cost adventure in London or, if that’s not your style, there are plenty of other cities!
London has dozens of famous tourists sites, such as the London Eye, the Tower of London, the Shard, and so on, but since you’ll be sleeping like a native, why not spend your day like a native, too? Here are our favorite unusual and out-of-the-way activities to do in London.
Things to do in London
Eat Street Food
London is heaven if you’re a foodie. You can find food trucks and street food all over the city. It’s a great, low-cost way to sample some of the best food London has to offer. We recommend Street Feast, Kerb King’s Cross or any of these food trucks.
Alternatively, if you want something a little more sit-down, try a pop up restaurant. Your stomach will thank you later!
Visit the Barbican
The Barbican is one of the world’s largest artistic centers, staging theater and dance, hosting art exhibitions, sponsoring concerts, and showing films.
You can take in some culture or simply go and have a look at the building. There are several different restaurants and bars within the Barbican, all as fashionable and cultured as the building itself. The gift shop is an excellent place to find one-of-a-kind souvenirs to take home to remember your London weekend.
See Neal’s Yard, Covent Garden
Author Charles Dickens made reference to the London neighborhood of Covent Garden as an area of ill repute. But today it’s a charming, bustling center. Neal’s Yard is a colorful little pocket, home to health food stores and eco-friendly beauty products. If nothing else, it’s worth going just for the photo op!
While you’re there, don’t forget to pop around the corner and have world-famous coffee at Monmouth Coffee. Just look for the queue out the door! Learn more about Neal’s Yard or find out where it’s located.
Stroll through Highgate Cemetary
If you’re in the mood for a quiet, contemplative afternoon, head to the Highgate Cemetary for a peaceful walk through beautiful gardens and stately architecture.
Visit Karl Marx’s grave or just enjoy the ambiance. But whatever you do, keep an eye open for the supernatural: Highgate is reputedly among the most haunted cemeteries in the world! Visitors have reported seeing both vampires and ghosts, including an old woman who runs about looking for her children with her gray hair streaming behind her, and a shrouded figure who disappears when approached. More information about the cemetery here.
Visit Eltham Palace and Gardens
This site was originally home to a Medieval castle, the ruins of which were incorporated into an Art Deco manor home in the 1930s. Now there’s a bit of something for everyone: history, architecture, gardens, and an outdoor play area for children.
This beautiful site is popular for weddings and special events, so make sure you plan your visit on a day when it’s open to the public. More information here.
Have a pint at the pub
Last but not least, it wouldn’t be a truly British weekend without a pint or two (or more) at a local pub. You can find pubs all over the city, recognizable by their cozy interiors and jolly clientel.
Whether you want to get out of the rain for a few hours or are just looking to back and relax, you can’t go wrong with a lager or Guinness. You might make a new friend, while you’re at it!
Room Swap With Room4Exchange
Your London weekend will be that much more authentic if you stay in an actual Londoner’s flat. The best part is that is costs you next to nothing! Simply sign up for Room4Exchange and find someone willing to switch rooms with you: you go stay at their place while they sleep at yours. Both of you can see a new city, and you don’t need to pay for an expensive hotel. London’s not your style? No worries, you can visit Amsterdam, Paris, Barcelona, or any number of cities. It’s a great way to have a real, non-touristy experience while traveling.