“I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.” -Susan Sontag
If you know me, you know I love to travel. I love to explore new cities, eat new food, and immerse myself in a new culture. I only recently caught the travel bug, so I’ve only traveled internationally a few times. I’m definitely not an expert, but I thought it would be fun to share some of my favorite parts of the places I have been. I’m starting with London, because it was my first European city and sparked my passion for international travel.
1. Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre
For an English teacher, a literature lover, or really anyone, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre on the south bank of the Thames is a must-see. For £15 you can take a guided tour of the Globe Theatre and enjoy the Exhibition in the building next door. Or, for £5, you can buy a ‘groundling’ ticket (standing only) to see an authentic Shakespearean production in the famous Globe. There are plenty of restaurants and cafes right around the Theatre as well. Grab a coffee and a seat on a bench overlooking the Thames and enjoy a Shakespearean moment!
2. The Tower of London
If you’re going to do one ‘touristy’ thing in London, make it The Tower of London. This amazing complex is a fascinating blend of history and modernity. Take a historical tour led by one of the Yeomen Warders (Beefeaters), and learn all about both the history of the royal palace and the men and women who still live and work inside its walls. See the Crown Jewels, walk the ramparts, and meet the famous Ravens. You could easily spend an entire day here.
3. A West End Show
On my last visit, I was lucky enough to see two shows: Wicked and In the Heights. Both were amazing. If you enjoy musicals or plays, seeing a show in London’s West End is a must!
4. Burrough Market
Burrough Market is an open air market full of produce, meat, cheese, pastries, chocolate, and hot food vendors. This an awesome place to get lunch, wander around, and people watch. Try all the samples offered, and then purchase your favorites!
This was an unexpected delight on my last trip. Take a ferry up the Thames to Greenwich to see the Royal Observatory, the Prime Meridian, and the Maritime Museum, but stay for the amazing views, gorgeous park, and adorable shops and pubs. It’s a nice break from the typical things to do in the city while still being really accessible by boat.
Bonus: The Underground
One of the best things about London is how easy it is to get everywhere using public transportation. The Underground is clean, easy to use, affordable, and you can get pretty much anywhere you need to go in the city. Plus, if you buy an Oyster card you can also use the famous red double-decker buses to see more of the city as you get from one place to the next!