London is a popular tourist destination. It is the home of four World Heritage Sites and iconic cultural institutions like the British Museum, National Gallery, and Tate Modern. For the anglophile in you, these tourist attractions might not be enough. They showcase a rich history, but they do not portray the complete image of London.
To be able to enjoy your London trip fully, look for experiences that are unique to the capital. There are three things you can do to come close to what the locals experience:
- Live in a serviced apartment
Instead of going to hotels, try a serviced apartment in London. You can rent the space for how long you want, from a week stay to months at a time. They have all the comforts of home with full-sized appliances, a laundry room, and living area. You can cook meals and entertain guests, and the lifestyle is close to “living” in London. At the same time, there are extra amenities. Your rooms are regularly cleaned, and there is security, just like a hotel. Staying at a serviced apartment strikes a balance between living like a local and being a tourist.
There are many serviced apartments all around the city. You can either select the locations closest to the tourist spots or settle for one near a residential area.
- Take the tube
Fully experience the city by trying all the offered transportation. Each form of travel from the taxis to the Tube has its upsides and downsides. When you live like a local, the Tube is the first choice. The train setup in the city is very efficient, and it covers most of the popular tourist areas while also covering the more distant suburban neighbourhoods. The Tube does become crowded during peak hours.
You may opt to take the train before or after peak hours to avoid full cars. The city has a decent nightlife, so stay out a little later and enjoy the London skyline lit up with lights. However, if you do decide to take the train, you get to experience for yourself how densely populated the city is. For a short moment, you experience how the everyday commute is if you live in the city.
- Explore the food scene
Londoners love food. They are always on the lookout for their old favourites and new trends. Besides trying their staple fish and chips try other favourite menu items. Have brunch at roadside cafes and have a pub crawl route in mind at night.
Every city has their approach to food. The more restaurants you try, the more complete a picture it paints about the gastro-scene of the town. You can also try cooking for yourself with ingredients you find at the grocer. You might be surprised by the small snacks or condiments and bring them back home as a souvenir.
Ask the locals about their favourite haunts. Soak up the city in any way you can. You don’t have to have a full schedule to enjoy it fully: take walks in the park, visit the drugstore and do grocery shopping—appreciate the small details.