CENTRAL LONDON

COVENT GARDEN

This particular district is most known for its market. In the past, it was a place for farmers to sell fruit and vegetables. Nowadays, it houses a food court in the basement as well as boutiques and stands on both levels. My favorite store in all of London is located within the market as well: Whittard. Take some time to sample the vast selection of infusions, tea, and hot chocolate.

During my second visit, I also made time to check out the streets surrounding the market. I was surprised by the number of brick houses that lined cobbled streets. Some of them were covered almost entirely in ivy. Neal’s Yard, one of the most colorful streets of London, is also located a short walk from the market.

CHINATOWN

I guess the name of this “district” speaks for itself. If you have ever been to Chinatown in New York – or any other American town for that matter – you will not be surprised by what you find.

CARNABY

One of my favorite districts in all of London was Carnaby. The colorful houses and storefronts make the quarter very inviting. Kingly Court offers a variety of pubs and restaurants, and Carnaby Street has some of the best shopping in town.

MAYFAIR

Where Carnaby is hip, the bordering quarter of Mayfair is high-end. No pictures here, sadly, as I was still making my way through town on a bicycle, and it had just started to rain. This idea of renting one had seemed perfect up until that point. Mainly because you only pay 1 pound to take one of the city bikes out if you dock them to another station within 30 minutes – which is plenty of time to make your way to the next place you want to see.

PICADILLY

If you are looking for an adrenaline-inducing activity during your time in London, I suggest getting on one of those city bicycles and riding down Piccadilly. If you are feeling suicidal, go ahead and cross Piccadilly Circus as well. To this day, I am unsure why I thought it was a good idea to do this. And to this day, I am unsure how I survived that particular trip.

The National Gallery

On your way to Westminster, you will pass by Trafalgar Square and the picturesque National Gallery. It houses the public collection of paintings, which means entry to the main collection does not cost you a penny.