Is London a good place to visit?
We asked one of our overseas friends what they thought…..
Fog…. Hitchcock…. Pints…. People associate many things with London, but perhaps none more so than vacations. The city receives countless tourists every year, crowds who come to see the city’s museums, eat at its restaurants, and enjoy its theaters. Like all major cities, visiting London does present some difficulties you should consider before going, but if you decide you can handle them, the city is a must see.
Consider Skipping London If…
Public transit freaks you out: There are lots of ways to get around in London, but visitors sometimes find it daunting. For instance, the city’s complicated tube map puts many cities’ intricate transportation schemes to shame. And like any city’s public transit, London’s sometimes is crowded and delayed.
You want only outdoor activities: The weather in London isn’t as bad as its reputation–it’s neither as foggy nor rainy as it seems–but it is highly unpredictable. According to worldweatheronline.com, spring and summer have rampant weather fluctuations, while winter is unpleasant in general. Thus, people craving sun and time outdoors on their vacation might struggle in London.
Crowds aggravate you tremendously: London has a massive population: 7.7 million people jammed into a relatively small area. Add to that crowds of tourists, and streets and attractions can get pretty crowded. The sights are worth it for a lot of people, but if spending time in crowds would ruin your vacation, you might want to skip London or at least look for calmer areas of the city to visit.
But there are lots of good things about London, which may outweigh the above detractions.
Check London Out If…
Food and drink drive your vacations: Contrary to the shaky reputation of British food, London has a number of great eateries. There are pizza joints, upscale restaurants, and, of course, pubs. Writing for Travel and Leisure, Peter Jon Lindberg remarks that ”Whether it’s burger joints or old-school British lunchrooms; elegant Italian restaurants or trendy Peruvian ceviche bars; weekend markets or semi-secret chef’s tables, wherever your taste runs, London has you covered. Few cities on earth offer food this good across the board.” So don’t let all the jokes you’ve heard about British food ward you off: London’s food stacks up against anyone’s.
You love nice hotels: London hotels are some of the best in the world. On the five-star end of the scale, some hotels offer mind-blowing amenities, like The Milestone Hotel‘s 24-hour butler service. And several London hotels double as historic attractions in themselves, like Claridge’s, which has been standing since the 1850s.
History and the arts attract you: London is a haven for museums, theaters, and the like. Enjoy art? You can check out The National Gallery, which houses paintings by Monet, Michelangelo, and da Vinci, among other titans of art history. Interested in the natural world? The Natural History Museum has exhibits on plants, animals, and human history. And for live shows, the city has a vibrant theater scene, with countless venues putting on performances. If you like refreshments with your entertainment, you can visit a pub theater–where you get a show with your pint(s).
Even if the city’s drawbacks give you pause, it might be worth braving the crowds and weather to check London out. There’s a reason London has been voted the world’s most popular tourist destination: The city has much to offer, from food and drink to historical experiences that can’t be had anywhere else.