London is an expensive town, but it doesn’t have to be…
Here are some ways to survive when you’re Broke and Abroad:
Visit Camden Town
If you have some time to walk in the life of the late great Amy Winehouse, you should definitely visit Camden Town. The gentrified neighborhood has become one of the hippest boroughs in London (WELCOME TO GENTRIFICATION).
Here you can find everything from exotic food markets and hip night life, to cheap street shopping. Be sure to visit the Camden Lock Market. And if you are into all things bazaar, CyberDog Rave Shop is worth a visit. The fact that they have glow in the dark go-go dancers was enough to peak my interest. It was the first stop on my list.
… And I was able to have a beer at Amy’s “Local” (favorite local pub). Total Perks!
Uncover the Mystery of Jack the Ripper
My fascination with all things creepy can sometimes seem alarming but it has never stopped me from embracing the various realms of creepocity (a word I made up). Being that my mom is an amateur ghost hunter (So she thinks.. LOL), it should be no surprise that I inherited the enjoyment of horror. And of course when she found out that I explored the mysterious world of the era of Jack the Ripper, she was pretty impressed, “That’s so cool, Kimmie”…
There are many free tours, exhibits and museums related to the life and era of London’s most infamous serial killer and his unfortunate victims. But, in my opinion, taking a Self-Guided Tour may be your best bet. I took one of the guided tours, and let’s just say when the sky gets dark there are several of these tours happening at once. If you have any form of Attention Deficit Disorder, focusing on your guide will become an issue. So, to avoid dealing with 5 separate tours speaking at the same time, I’d advise you to do your own Jack the Ripper exploring.
Natural History Museum of London
Kimmie loves Museums! I chalk it up to my mom being an educator. But there’s something about visiting museums that excites me …And can I just mention that The Natural History Museum of London does not disappoint. Like any Natural Museum, you will see a plethora of historical and scientific exhibits; everything from dinosaurs to the miracle childbirth.
This museum is rather large so give yourself about 2.5 hours to explore it all. It should be enough time to experience the simulation of the 2011 Earthquake and Tsunami that occurred in Japan; see the life, size and mind of a neanderthal, and explore the various species of animals.
Did I mention that this museum is FREE (But, leaving a donation is always polite)
Take a Walk: Big Ben, Regents Canal, London Zoo, The London Eye
While London isn’t famous for it’s amazing weather, I must say that if you stumble upon a clear day you are in luck because London is a rather beautiful city with so many things to view.
While there and broke, I thought that walking was a good alternative to spending random bits of money. Of course there’s Big Ben (properly known as the Elizabeth Tower). The famous landmark is one that you should not miss. Along with Big Ben you should also take a ride on their world famous ferris wheel, The London Eye, where you will get one of the best views of London. While in the area, be sure to stop by Westminster Abbey.
If you happen to visit Camden you can walk along the Regent’s Canal, where you will see the friendly yet ironic dynamic of boat homes mixed with London wealth. From there you can stroll into Regent’s Park where you will find the London Zoo.
Take a Royal Tour
One of my favorite things about Europe are the free tours. I promise they are typically worth it. Especially if you are as obsessed with history as I am. Of course in London the most important tour to take is the Royal Tour where you will get to visit the major castles, parliament, see Big Ben and the walk through the royal gardens. While the tour is approximately 3 hours long, if you’re lucky enough to get a dynamic and comical tour guide, the time will fly by. After the tour you should be able to pass any British History test thrown your way (maybe not) but you will become well versed in the brief important points of British history.
Indulge in The Diverse Food Culture
We’ve all heard it before, British food has no flavor. AND, I wont argue with this because the Fish and Chips dish that I ordered had the flavor of soggy cardboard. But don’t get it twisted, if you know where to go, you are sure to get your life in some of the most amazing cultural cuisines. While in London I had my share of Peruvian, Jamaican, British traditional and double portions of Indian foods. “Kimmie what would you like to eat?” The answer was always INDIAN FOOD!
I was very pleased with every dish I tried in London (except for the Fish and Chips… Trust me it’s not ALL THAT!)
**Uber is fairly cheap!
**Soho is really interesting
**China town is worth a visit