The most cosmopolitan city in England and some would say the world is home to thousands of well-known attractions, but that’s not all there is to London. Where can you go that most people haven’t been? Here are some of our favorites.
Brick Lane is located at the end of Osborne Street and it’s a hipster paradise, and there’s nothing else quite like it anywhere else in London. The nightlife is fantastic, with superb live music at 93 Feet East and raves in the back room of Cafe 1001. There are plenty of galleries in the areas and dozens of vintage shops — if you’re the sort who likes to wear a bit of ’50s on top and some ’70s on the bottom, you’ll get stuck here. There’s even Rough Trade, which has a huge range of vinyl, as well as a photo booth which is the perfect source of a Brick Lane souvenir.
If you’re visiting on Sunday, make sure to stop by for the Brick Lane Sunday Market, which will let you buy almost anything for a surprisingly low price.
Food wise there are too many coffee shops to list, as well as two very famous 24-hour bagel shops. The bagel shops are the product of Brick Lane’s Jewish past, and they offer bagels for cheap with almost any filling you might imagine.
The Barbican Centre’s Rain Room
Even if you hate art or don’t know anything about it, the Rain Room is something you’ll hear about if you stay in London long enough.
This interactive art installation is unusual, but it’s just what it claims to be: a room full of rain. England is a rainy place already, yet The Rain Room has seen queues of people waiting to get rained on. The trick? If you walk slowly into the rain you won’t be rained on — the room only drops rain around you.
For European football fans, a pilgrimage to Arsenal FC’s Emirates Stadium is a must. The team holds the the longest unbeaten and longest winning streak records, and a simple stadium tour is worth while for a quick experience while if you’d like to see a match you can find here sold out tickets for Arsenal games even if the ticket office doesn’t have any.
St. Christopher’s Place
Just a stone’s throw away from Bond Street, St. Christopher’s place is just down a side street and best found by looking for the purple clock. It’s a secret escape from the bustling Oxford Street shopping area, and it holds a wonderful courtyard which is decked out with designer shops (like Mulberry) and twinkling lights. Restaurants and bars provide plenty of spots where you can rest your legs and enjoy some refreshment.
The Hunterian Museum
It’s not for those who are faint of heart. The Hunterian Museum is free, and takes you on a macabre but fascinating journey with more than 3000 pathological and anatomical specimens ranging from the skeleton of the 7 foot, 7-inch tall “Irish Giant” (Charles Byrne) to dolphin foetuses. Inside glass display cases you’ll find reproductive organs and digestive systems pickling in jars, taken from frogs, whales, and many other animals.