Travel: London in 48 Hours

2:30 pm


On my most recent getaway, my friend Feyi and I traveled to London, Manchester, and Paris within one week. We had found a great round trip deal to London towards the end of last year and knew we had to lock in our tickets. Once the flight was booked, we began to plan our adventure. Essentially, we spent about 48 hours or less in each city.


L O N D O N
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Attractions. I had never been to London before so we made sure to hit some of the major tourist sites within the first two days that we arrived. We loosely outlined what we wanted to do and were able to see a lot of major attractions while visiting friends along the way. The key was to go to places that were free and easily accessible by train. A few great places to go or walk by are: Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square, Coca Cola London Eye, Westminster Abbey, The British Museum, and Big Ben. (Sadly, it was under construction when we went)

We also visited Oxford street and Piccadilly Circus area to do some shopping and grab food. One trick to reduce your spending is to strategically place shopping towards the end of your day. Not only does this prevent you from carrying bags around the city, it also puts you in the shopping environment when you have less energy. This, for me at least, equates to only buying things that I love and will appreciate and not making rash purchases.



Food. Something that worked well when while spending all day exploring was eating 2 meals a day using snacks or treats to hold us in between. I'm not sure how healthy this is but by first eating a late breakfast or brunch (which was the case most days since we were jet lagged), then treating ourselves to a snack and coffee or tea in the afternoon, and lastly having a large dinner in the evening, we were able to save a bit of money by opting out of a third meal. Another thing that we successfully did was look for restaurants outside of regular tourist areas. Many of the restaurants near attractions were pricey but after some digging, we were able to find a few local gems. These places included Piccallo Bar, where we had an English Breakfast for a great deal, Feya, a cute cafe with a pretty aesthetic, and Nando's, which does have locations in the US, but is a local favorite. We also ate at Garden Breakfast Cafe and 805 African Restaurants, which is a popular Nigerian restaurant on Old Kent Road. I ate there on my last night in London and the food and ambiance was great, though a little on the pricy side.

English Breakfast from Piccadillo Bar

Red velvet cake and Masala Karak Chai Tea from Feya
Bad quality picture with high quality food from 805 Restaurants.
Top: Grilled tilapia with pepper sauce, fried plantain, and salad. Bottom: okra soup with fresh tilapia and pounded yam.

Parfait from Garden Breakfast Cafe



First 24 Hours:
  • British Museum
  • Feya
  • Oxford Street - Primark, River Island, Selfridges etc.
Second 24 Hours:

  • Piccadillo Bar
  • Buckingham Palace
  • Big Ben
  • London Eye
  • Trafalgar Square
  • Nando's

Recap. It was a short but fun trip spent exploring London. I found it peculiar to be in a place so far from home, but yet so similar. It brought into perspective the historical ties between the U.S. and Great Britain. Additionally, I loved how easy it was to use public transport to get around. I definitely hope to visit the diverse and spunky city again. 

XOXO,

Michelle








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