It’s impossible to be bored in London – the mecca for the artistic, trendy and down right fashionable. As one of the world’s most bustling cities with over 2000 years of history, it boasts wonderful galleries amazing theatre scene and some of the best bars, bars, restaurants and shopping around.
We’ve both been in London a few times but this time we spent a few weeks living and hanging out with locals – and we left with a total new perspective of the multi-faceted city. There is so much amazing things to see & do here and it was tough narrowing it down our fave spots for our wanderlust tribe! But some places captured our hearts more than others and these are the 12 must see and do London experiences we suggest you tick off your bucket list when you next visit.
1. Get an airbnb in Shoreditch
Shoreditch is the creative hub of London’s trendy East End – where you have everything at your fingertips: An amazing cultural vibe, London’s best street art, the infamous Brick Lane Markets, vintage and design shops, nightlife, rooftop cinemas and an eclectic dining scene that includes everything from trendy restaurants, street food, small pubs, noodle bars, artisan coffee stores and incredible bars. This is the place to stay when you visit London! Check out some cool pads here.
2. Train at FRAME
Nothing energises you more for a day of sightseeing than a good workout. We started our days at this amazing studio in a back alleyway – it’s a hub for East London’s creative types and the classes are attended by instructors and dancers alike… so you know it’s a good spot! Get yourself a 5 session pass and be sure to give the bums and abs class a go:
3. Expirience the Mecca of theatre.
With London’s West End being the Mecca of theatre we were excited to be invited to see a friend perform in ‘MacBeth’ at ‘The Actors Church’ in Covent Garden
(London’s main theatre and entertainment precinct). We were told it was an interactive play and didn’t quite know what to expect… but Holy wow – we were blown away by the beautiful gardens and church that made the perfect setting for this interesting style of theatre where the audience follow the performance around the grounds and in and out of the church. If you’re after something a little different, this is the perfect summer entertainment and a great way to explore the areas while following the actors around the grounds! Check out what’s on at Actor’s Church here.
4. No hangover drinking Redemption bar
Did someone say fancy cocktails with zero hangover? Being suckers for a good health cafe, we fell in love with this ‘alcohol free bar!’ – self-proclaimed as the ‘world’s healthiest bar restaurant, serving up vegan, sugar-free and wheat free food’. You must try their amazing signature Temple of ten bowl and polish it off with one of their incredible raw treats.
5.Barber & Parlour
The interior, the vibe, nails, hairdresser, shop, food, barber – this cheeky little salon is East London’s hottest spot for instant beauty fixes and the perfect hang-out to spend an afternoon. Did we mention there’s a cool vintage cinema in the basement, and an amazing cafe serving coffee, cold-pressed juices and lots of cool magazines to flick through? We weren’t surprised to learn that this is a baby of the ever-so-cool Soho House chain. Check it out here.
6. Indulge in guilt-free ice cream at Nana Bar
We still dream about this not-so-naughty ice cream bar every day and hope it makes it’s way down to Australia one day. We fell in love with the amazing owners Justin and Olivia – the amazing power guy and chick whipping up incredible deserts from frozen bananas, served with nutritious whole-food toppings. Their Shoreditch shop was just a pop-up, but they promised they’ll be back soon! Check out their current location here.
7. Get lost in Old Spitalfiels Markets
We all know London is full of amazing markets and most London bucket lists will tell you to see the Camden & Portbello Markets (which is a must-visit for cheap clothing and unique vintage finds, jewellery and art.) Our local option in an incredible part of town – an abundance of food trucks, art and craft stalls, surrounded by the infamous Brick Lane Curry Markets, street art, quirky shops and trendy bars – allow for some extra time here because it will dissapeara quickly! We recommend trying the injera bread at the Ethiopian Vegan stand – YUM! https://oldspitalfieldsmarket.com/
8.Dance the night away at The Prince Of Wales Hotel
No trip is complete without a late night boogie on the dance floor. With a two-tier funky rooftop decked out like you’re in the heart of Mexico, different rooms to get your groove on and live music, this is your must-stop party destination! There is always a themed event on, rooftop party, quiz night and more, so check out the schedule and spend a summer night here overlooking the streets of London.
9. Get your DIVA on at Pineapple Studios
In the heart of London, the Pineapple Studios is a gorgeous creative mecca, made up of multiple levels and a labrinth of rooms housing just about every type of class and workshop you can think of. Try your hand at everything from urban commercial to ballet, ‘dirty dancing’, theatre jazz or a cool ‘Diva Dance’ class which our glamourous London friend Lotta introduced us to – and it was oh-so-fun! We went left feeling like Queen Bae herself. And if you’re not game to try something new, simply peeking in at all the different exotic classes is worth the visit.
10. The Blues Kitchen
Lace up your jazz shoes and warm up those hips – you’re in for a memorable night of eating, drinking and dancing! Neon lights adorn this darkly lit, buzzing hideaway decked out with a caravan, live music and arguably the city’s best burgers. This incredible Jazz bar is a must-visit if you’re after good food, vibe and a guaranteed great time.
11. Discover a magical hideaway at House of Dreams
They say one man’s trash is another man’s treasure and that’s never been more true at artist Stephen Wright’s not-so-normal home in East Dulwhich. Every available surface of this home is almost completely covered in kitschy mosaics made from abandoned dolls to pen lids and is only open to the public a few days a year. You need to email firstname.lastname@example.org for information on open dates and to book an appointment.
12. Have a Cream tea party!
Last but not least, there is nothing more English then having a cup of tea, and we’ve all heard about the high tea – but despite traveling the world many times over, we had both never heard about an English cream tea! Being introduced to this very common English tradition by our local friend Olivia was certainly a highlight of our trip! A cream tea is an afternoon light meal; basically an excuse to indulge in amazing cakes and we found the perfect place to do it: Peggy Porschen – quite possibly the cutest place in all of London and also home to ‘the best cupcakes in the world’.
13. Play a game of Rounders in the park
Grab some friends (or maybe some some new friends!), pins, prepare a jug of Pimms and head to your closest park! Rounders is a bat-and-ball base running game that will provide hours of entertainment and laughs – a perfect afternoon session and one of England’s favourite summer activities.
14. Cereal Killer Cafe
Were you one of kids jumping of joy when you got to choose a new kind of cereals.. then this is the place for you! The Cereal Killer Cafe is the Worlds first International Cereal Cafe, obsessed with everything cereal! They sell over 100 different types of cereal from around the world and offer 30 different varieties of milk and 20 different toppings to create that real sugar rush feeling bringing you straight back to your childhood breakfasts. And to even further bring out that nostalgic feel – the shop is full of memorabilia from the 80s and 90s for you to feast your eyes on.