London is one of the largest cities in Europe and among the most popular travel destinations for some good reasons. If you have always wanted to go there but haven’t found company yet or just want to do something on your own, the city is a perfectly suitable place for this situation! We looked into the most important things to consider when traveling to London alone.
1. Choose your neighborhood
Before going to London, it is important to know what kinds of surroundings you want to have – whether it is a party district, quiet suburbs or parks and water. Anywhere from Kensington to Canary Wharf you will have vibrant city life but if you want to see a lot of sights, it is a good idea to stay in the western and central areas of Kensington, Westminster or Piccadilly Circus.
2. Get a hostel
One great thing about Europe is its hostel culture – there are plenty of options from budget to fancier places and from 12-bed dorms to private rooms. Either way, hostels are often much cheaper than other kinds of accommodation and there will be more people around you who are also travelling alone. This makes it really easy to connect with others, explore the city together or just exchange your experiences with each other.
3. See the city
London has so many interesting places spread across the whole city that you could easily spend a week or two there. A perfect mix of historic buildings and modern life, the city always has something to do for you. Walking along the Thames, you can already see a lot of places such as Westminster Palace, St. Paul’s Cathedral or the London Eye, while having a great view on the river all the time. Just follow the water flow and take your time to discover the best things to see at your very own pace if you are traveling to London alone.
4. Feel the city
Depending on the season you are going in, London provides many opportunities for solo travelers to engage in the local life. During the summer time, the huge parks such as Hyde Park or St. James invite thousands of people to enjoy the sun and some also do workout sessions outside. If that’s for you, just join the others and maybe make a new friend there. In the colder months, Covent Garden is beautifully decorated and you can get hot food and drinks around the area and Hyde Park transforms into an ice skating wonderland.
All over the city you will find various markets that are a good place to visit when you are traveling to London alone. Our personal favorite is the Portobello Road Market in Notting Hill, which claims to be the world’s largest antiques market. Other than that, Camden Market is an amazing place for little snacks and drinks, so if you are by yourself make use of it and taste whatever you have always wanted to try!
Museums & Performances
If there is one thing London is famous for, it is the large number of world-class museums and theatres which can be a great thing to do when you are traveling alone. The Royal Opera House, Shakespeare Theatre and Natural History Museum are just a few of the entertaining places that you could visit to have some cultural exposure at a very high level. Many museums are even for free on specific days, so it makes sense to check before and plan accordingly.
Bars and Nightlife
Once the sun sets in London, the city turns into a jungle of fun and all over the place you will find people in bars, restaurants and clubs. Most activities are around Piccadilly Circus, but basically there is something going on everywhere. When we visited London in summer, there were very cool bars open right at the river in Southbank. Another thing you should definitely try is one of the wine bars which are often located in old cellars and make a very original atmosphere. In this case it is best to grab some people from your hostel and enjoy the night with them!