When I first moved to London in late 2014, the city won me over in no time. I came with the idea of staying for a year or two – now I just can’t leave. They say you either love it or hate it. I love pretty much everything about it and even after just one weekend away, I look forward to coming back, to coming home. Here are nine reasons why you will fall in love with London. I know I have…
#1 London unites people
The city, as diverse as it is, unites. London may just be the most culturally diverse city on Earth. You will find people from all walks of life, professions, classes, religions,… Cultures are celebrated as we all come together for dancing at the Notting Hill Carnival, drinking steins at the German Oktoberfest, or do the Circle Line pub crawl on New Zealand’s Waitangi Day… Especially in recent times with two terror attacks happening in Westminster and London Bridge and the terrible fire at Grenfell Tower in Notting Hill, we have seen that together we stand by London and by each other. Besides our differences.
#2 London is the culinary capital of the world
Thanks to the cultural diversity of the UK’s capital, you will find virtually every cuisine of the world. What’s better: In many places, the dishes taste just as authentic as they do in their country of origin. Looking for a Pad Thai that’s as good as the one you get Khaosan Road in Bangkok? Plenty of street food stalls in London markets that serve up almost an exact copy. The abundance of restaurants is overwhelming and I’ve become a real lover of weekend brunches. There is certainly something for every taste and budget. Foodie heaven!
#3 London’s markets are class
You probably need a whole weekend, if not longer, to explore the plethora of markets in London. It’s certainly one of my favourite pastimes to stroll around them on a weekend. Get your foodie fix on Broadway Market on a Saturday, then head to Spitalfields or Portobello Road Market to buy art, fashion or souvenirs. On a Sunday, marvel at the colourful Colombia Road Flower Market before snapping up some vintage clothes on Brick Lane Market and fuelling up with street food at Dinerama.
#4 London has lots of green space to recharge
There are lots of park and green spaces for you to enjoy in London – more so than in any other major city. Play ball games in Victoria Park, jog through Hyde Park, gather friends for a BBQ in London Fields, have lunch in Green Park, burn those calories at a bootcamp in Clapham Common, or feed the deer in Richmond Park. You can even go for a swim in the ponds at Hampstead Heath.
#5 London never sleeps
The city is alive 24/7 on 365 days of the year (although it does get quite over Christmas…). There is always something going and no reason to ever get bored. There is always a shop open so you’ll never go hungry or thirsty. You’ll appreciate this once you find yourself in front of locked doors of a supermarket in Germany on a Sunday and realise you’ll have to survive the day without your favourite flavour of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream… The shopping fans amongst you can go satisfy their needs 7 days a week and are spoiled with long opening hours. Nightlife is great and you’ll find places busy even on a Monday evening.
#6 London weather is actually good
You’ll be surprised but the weather in London is actually much better than what everyone believes it to be. It doesn’t always rain (in fact, it rainfall is almost the same in Barcelona!) and we normally get some sunshine every day. London’s not in the rainy and cold North of England after all… Temperatures rarely fall below zero in winter and in the summer months we’re often spoiled with highs in the 30s. What I love about London is that once the sun’s out, no matter if it’s 10C or 30C, we soak up that sunshine and flock to our local pubs to enjoy a cool pint.
#7 London celebrates individuality
I know no place in the world where individuality is cherished as much. You can be who and what you want and dress accordingly. Outfits can be smart or shrill, black or colourful, hipster or classic. You’ll find that anything goes. London is fashionable with very inspiring street style – many trends are started here.
#8 London’s river and canal walks are lovely
I love cities with rivers flowing through them and find walks along the Thames or Regent’s canal truly enjoyable. You’ll pass many sights as you walk from Tower Bridge all the way past London Bridge, St. Paul’s, Shakespeare’s The Globe, Southbank, Westminster and so on with plenty of riverside pubs and restaurants to stop at along the way. Regent’s Canal has got some really cool spots such as Little Venice for a bit of romance or Granary Wharf for an afterwork drink.
#9 London boasts with culture, music & arts
From amazing historic buildings and stunning architecture to countless museums, art galleries and theatres. There’s something here for everyone. The world’s best artists perform here regularly and new ones are discovered on a regular basis. It’s like almost every niche is represented in London.
This city has quickly won my heart over. It cast a spell on me that will be hard to lift.
Share your thoughts about London in the comments below!