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London, along with the entire UK, is famous for its bustling pub culture. In recent years, however, the city’s coffee culture has become a close second! The new specialty coffee wave that has swept the globe has finally taken a firm hold in London. Expert baristas from Australia and New Zealand have persuaded lovers of tea and pints alike to give their freshly roasted coffee beans a try, and their success can be seen across the city. Coffee shops serving single origin coffee made with high quality coffee beans from all over the globe have sprung up in almost every neighborhood of London!

In this article, we’ve selected ten of our favorite coffee shops in London. We’ve tried to focus on cafes that offer something a little different than your run-of-the-mill coffee place. From coffee shops that also sell bike parts to cafes that serve coffee-based cocktails at night, we’re confident this list has something for everyone!

1. Kaffeine

Picture of a cup of cappuccino in London A perfectly brewed cup of cappuccino in London

Inspired by the coffee culture in Australia and New Zealand, Kaffeine brews some of the best coffee in town. The experienced baristas use quality Square Mile beans, which you can really appreciated when you order an espresso. Besides coffee, Kaffeine also serves delicious, locally sourced food. The banana bread is something to try! The small café can get quite crowded during lunchtime, so it’s best to visit in off-peak hours. You’ll find Kaffeine on Great Tichfield Street in Fitzrovia, just a couple of blocks north from Oxford Circus. Read the entire story here…»

 

Aerial photo of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London The Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London

Hackney is one of the most exciting areas in London. The borough has an absolutely thriving art scene, many beautiful parks, and if you’re looking for some of the best cafes, pubs and clubs in the city, you’ve definitely come to the right place! Hackney is one of the largest Inner London boroughs and can be found just to the northeast from the City. The area comprises many famous neighborhoods and areas of London, such as Shoreditch, Hoxton and parts of the Regent’s Canal. It also borders the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, which was the site of the 2012 Summer Olympics. The area flawlessly combines the old with the new, and will definitely take you by surprise!

Welcome to Hackney

Hackney is roughly bordered by City Road and the City in the south, Southgate Road and Islington to the west, Amhurst Park and Harringay to the north, and the River Lea and Stratford to the east. It’s serviced solely by the London Underground along its southern and northern borders, but is easily reachable with the London Overground, which has several stops in the borough. The southern neighborhoods of Hackney are internationally renowned for their nightlife and many galleries and creative shops. Meanwhile, the center and north of the borough are up-and-coming areas that provide attractive options for affordable accommodation within an urban environment. The many fantastic markets, restaurants and pubs in the area also attract their share of celebrities! For example, Russell Brand is often spotted in Hoxton cafes such as Love Shake. In this article we’ll tour some of the top spots in the neighborhood, and show you what it’s like to live in Hackney like a local! Read the entire story here…»

 

In our previous London video tour, we explored the historic area of Westminster. In this video tour, we’ll show you around the thriving district of Southwark on the south bank of the River Thames in London. Southwark is a wonderful combination of the old and the new: featuring ancient wharfs and warehouses, but also wonderful new buildings such as the skyscraper The Shard.

Southwark is roughly bordered by Tower Bridge and Tower Bridge Road in the east, Elephant & Castle in the south, Blackfriars Bridge and Blackfriars Road in the west, and the banks of the River Thames in the north. In this article we’ll tell you a little more about the places that are mentioned in the video tour, such as Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, Tate Modern, Borough Market, The Shard and more!

Welcome to Bankside

View of the London area of Southwark and The Shard The neighborhood Southwark in London and its new skyscraper The Shard

The video tour kicks off in Bankside, which is a wonderful place to start your exploration of Southwark. Bankside is easily reached by taking the London Underground to either Southwark Station or London Bridge Station. Both stations offer just a short walk to Bankside on the southern bank of the River Thames. In Tudor times, the area was known for its many theaters, such as the Rose, the Swan and the famous Globe Theatre, which was the theater of William Shakespeare’s theater company the Lord Chamberlain’s Men. Read the entire story here…»

 

For the better part of the past two decades, the Harry Potter books and films have enriched the lives of millions of readers across the world. They have also introduced foreign readers and moviegoers to the wonderful country that is England. From the gorgeous film locations showcasing some of the country’s most magical places to J.K. Rowling’s amazingly detailed stories about life (both magical and non-magical) in Britain, Harry Potter has provided a wonderful introduction to the United Kingdom, and to its capital London.

London has played a big part in the Harry Potter universe. It’s the fictional home of some of the most astonishing places in each book, such as the Ministry of Magic, Platform 9 ¾ and Diagon Alley. London was also emphatically used in the Harry Potter movies to bring the magical universe of these novels to life. Today, you can still find many of the wondrous Harry Potter locations from the books and the movies in London. These locations aren’t just great fun to visit for Harry Potter fans, but also provide visitors with the chance to discover some fantastic lesser-known landmarks in London they wouldn’t necessarily see otherwise. We’ve compiled a list of our top 10 Harry Potter locations in London to inspire you to go on a magical exploration of the city!

1. Platform 9 ¾ at King’s Cross Station

Picture of a plaque of Platform 9 ¾ at London’s King’s Cross Station Harry Potter’s Platform 9 ¾ at King’s Cross Station in London

To start off with the beginning – and ending – of Harry Potter’s magical journey, head to King’s Cross Station on Euston Road. King’s Cross is the station where students board the Hogwarts Express on Platform 9 ¾. Unfortunately, J.K. Rowling was actually thinking of London Euston Station when she was writing the books, so you won’t be able to find the secret barrier between platforms 9 and 10. You will, however, find a lovely plaque stating Platform 9 ¾ on a wall with a disappearing luggage cart at King’s Cross. Here you’ll have the chance to take a picture (complete with a Gryffindor scarf) and to check out the adjacent Harry Potter shop where you can buy merchandise from the books and films. Incidentally, the beautiful Victorian building of next-door neighbor St. Pancras Station was used as the exterior of King’s Cross Station in the Harry Potter films.

2. The Reptile House at the London Zoo

Another defining moment for Harry took place at the London Zoo in Regent’s Park in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. While visiting the Reptile House with the Dursleys, Harry found out he could talk to snakes, and accidentally released a huge boa constrictor. The first Harry Potter film also shot this scene in the Reptile House, and you’ll find a plaque beside the tank that held the snake in the movie, but in reality is home to a black mamba. Also be sure to explore the other parts of the London Zoo, which is a great attraction for kids. For more family-friendly activities, see Visit London with the Kids. Read the entire story here…»

 

Explore London’s Notting Hill Discover Notting Hill in London

Colorful houses, a strikingly blue door, a bustling snow-topped antique market: these images will forever be linked to London’s neighborhood Notting Hill because of the famous 1999 movie bearing the same name. Surprisingly, the neighborhood isn’t so different from the picture painted in Notting Hill. Well-known for its Saturday market among both visitors and Londoners, the largely residential neighborhood boasts beautiful secluded gardens and impressive Victorian townhouses. It’s one of the most sought after areas to live in London, and a wonderful neighborhood to stay in during a visit to the city!

Welcome to Notting Hill

Notting Hill is located to the northwest of Kensington Gardens. It’s roughly bordered by Westway to the north, Inverness Terrace to the east, Notting Hill Gate to the south, and West Cross Route to the west. Ladbroke Grove, Kensington Park Road, Westbourne Grove, and, of course, Portobello Road, are all central streets in the neighborhood. The area is serviced by several London Underground lines, and Notting Hill Gate, Holland Park and Bayswater are its most important stations. While the neighborhood wasn’t fashionable until the 1980s, it’s now an affluent area with many great shops and restaurants. It’s still best known for two things: the annual Notting Hill Carnival and the weekly Portobello Road Market.

In this article, we’ll show you the best spots of the neighborhood, and give you a peek into what it’s like to live like a local in Notting Hill! Read the entire story here…»

 

Picture of Westminster’s Big Ben & Houses of Parliament in London The Houses of Parliament and Big Ben in Westminster, London

When visiting London, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a neighborhood with more beautiful landmarks than Westminster. From the Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament to Westminster Abbey and Buckingham Palace, Westminster is the beating heart of the politics and royal life in London. On your visit to the city, you’ll get to feel like a king or queen when you choose to stay in this gorgeous neighborhood!

Westminster is one of the most central neighborhoods in London. It’s roughly bordered by Mayfair and the bustling Trafalgar Square to the north, Knightsbridge and Sloane Street to the west, and the River Thames to the south and east. The neighborhood is part of the London borough City of Westminster, and not only houses some of London’s most famous landmarks, but also two beautiful parks. There are several subway stations in the neighborhood, making it really easy to travel around town. From the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace to the busy government workers around Parliament Square, you’ll feel completely immersed in London life by staying in this area. Welcome to Westminster! Read the entire story here…»

 

Picture of Oxford Street in London, decorated with Christmas lights Christmas lights at Oxford Street in London

Twinkling lights, frosty air and mulled wine: London is at its most magical during Holiday Season! From November until January, the city is turned into one big winter wonderland. There’s ice-skating at the Tower of London, holiday markets all over town, a huge Christmas tree at Trafalgar Square, and, of course, Christmas shopping on Boxing Day! In this article we’ll list some of our favorite activities in London during the holiday season, so you’ll be able to make the most of your visit to London in the autumn and winter of 2013.

Holiday Markets and Fairs in London

Some of the best things about holiday season in London are the many amazing Christmas markets in the city. Besides Christmas gifts, these markets also offer culinary delights such as mulled wine and farmhouse food.

  • If you only have the chance to visit one Christmas market, go to the Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park. This fair not only includes a huge Christmas market full of stalls offering handmade gifts and hot cider, but also has a Christmas circus, an ice sculpture garden, and the biggest outdoor ice-skating rink in the UK. While these last activities are ticketed, you can enter the Winter Wonderland site and Christmas Market for free. Walking around the snowy park, you’ll truly be filled with Christmas spirit! Read the entire story here…»
 

London’s colorful Camden Markets The colorful Camden Markets in the Borough of Camden, London

London has a wide array of fantastic neighborhoods to stay in during a holiday or longer visit to the capital of England. In this article, we’ll highlight an area that’s often overlooked when searching for the perfect accommodation in London: the Borough of Camden. Located just north of the City of London, a bohemian Camden is more affordable than the inner city neighborhoods, while still very central and nearby many London landmarks. The alternative vibe and vibrant culture of Camden make it a great place to stay for both holiday-goers and travelers looking for long-term accommodation.

Welcome to Camden

The London Borough of Camden is located in the northern part of the city, and neighbors the City of London to the south, the City of Westminster and Brent to the west, Barnet and Haringey to the north, and Islington to the east. Camden Town, or Camden, is the central neighborhood of the Borough of Camden. Camden Town is well known for its famous Camden Markets, and also for its many pubs and live music venues. The community offers a very diverse culture, which expresses itself in colorful restaurants serving food from all over the world, unique shops you won’t find anywhere else in London, and a music scene featuring just about any style you can think of. Welcome to Camden! Read the entire story here…»

 

Londoners already know what many tourists coming to London will quickly find out: there are more free things to see and do in this city than you could ever dream of! London has a reputation for being an expensive area, but if you know your way around you’ll be able to experience free culture, landmarks & more! In this article we’ll list our top 10 free things to see and do in the beautiful city of London. We hope you’ll make good use of them on your next visit to the capital of England!

1. Explore London’s Free Museums

Picture of the British Museum in London, which is free to visit The British Museum, one of London’s top attractions, is completely free to visit!

One of the best things about London is that most of its museums are completely free to visit. Even a world-class museum such as the British Museum charges no entrance fee. Home to gems such as the Rosetta Stone and the Parthenon sculptures, the British Museum is one of the top attractions in London!

Other great free-of-charge museums include the National Gallery, the Museum of London, and the Tate Modern. You can easily spend an entire day in any of these museums, especially during a rainy day! Visiting London with kids? Here are some museums suitable for the entire family: the National History Museum, the Science Museum London, and the V&A Museum of Childhood.

For more tips on how to save money on a trip to London with the kids, see Money Saving Tips for a Family Trip to London. Read the entire story here…»

 

Picture of the Tower of London in summer The Tower of London basks in the sun on a hot summer’s day

Summer is an ideal time to visit London. The Royal Parks are absolutely beautiful, the weather is at its best and London is simply flooded with festivals and concerts! From open-air movies in the city to the carnival in Notting Hill, there’s something new to engage in every day.

This article will list some of the best events to attend in London for Summer 2013. Enjoy the festivities! Read the entire story here…»