Avoid the tourist traps and go where the locals go.....
London On A Budget
Guide To London | Local Guide To London
Whenever my friends come to visit me in London they always have a list of tourist attractions they want to see and places they want to visit. The problem is that they’re all tourist traps!
Of course, as a London local I want them to see the real London, the London that is barely seen by fly-by-night tourists. So in an attempt to share my recommendations with the world I am putting this little list together – this is a local’s guide to London, the real London.
1. Hang out with the Locals
Everybody visiting London seems to head straight to Borough market, but it seems to have become more of a place to “see” than a place to “eat” these days. As great as it is, if you only have time to see one food market, I have a better suggestion. Head over to Brixton Village and take a stroll around this up-and-coming global food market. All of the stalls/cafes/restaurants offer authentic cuisine at great prices, and it is here that you’ll find the working-class heroes and hipsters of London. Caribbean, European, Asian, British – you name it, you won’t find it tastier than here.
You’ll have to be quick though; with more and more people (like me) shouting about how great this place is it’s fast becoming the next “must-see” food destination of London. http://brixtonmarket.net/info/brixton-village/
2. Laugh with the Locals
It’s hard to resist the bright lights of Soho and Leicester Square, especially when you’re looking for one of the city’s famous comedy clubs. But the truth is, most charge entrance feed which are more laughable than the comedians. Instead, save your money and go to The Good Ship in Kilburn, where you can watch some great comedy and grab a drink for half the price.
The area isn't as pretty as other parts of the city, but it’s a whole lot more “real”. Once you’ve laughed as much as you can, check out one of the nearby pubs where you’ll find live music and more local Londoners.
London Travel Tips
3. Drink with the Locals
London is full to the brim (pardon the pun) with beautiful old pubs and wine bars and many a tourist is sucked into the first one they see. But these pubs prey on tourists and rely on them to pay their over-inflated ground rent fees. If you’d rather save your money and drink where the locals drink, check out Sam Smith’s Breweries’ pubs which are located across the city. They make their own ciders, stouts, ales and bitters (lapped up by the loyal locals) and the prices are significantly lower than the “big name” central pubs.
They aren’t easy to find but there’s a great one called Glasshouse Stores on Brew Street near Piccadilly Circus. Don’t get too carried away with the cheap prices!
4. Eat Traditional British Food with the Locals
London’s great for food lovers – there’s great Indian food, beautiful Italian restaurants on every other corner, Tapas bars and Asian master chefs. But what about the British food? After all, you are in London, aren’t you? For a serious taste of how great British food can be check out this classic little gem, called St. Johns. Their food is traditional yet modern and offers tourists (at least the ones that know about it) an authentic taste of Britain. By the way, forget your egg McFluff in the morning, instead, grab a juicy bacon sandwich and a cupa’ tea here at St. Johns – just like the locals do.
Author Bio When Ben isn’t hanging out in one of London’s finest you’ll find him blogging for Miinto, where you can find clothing and fashion inspiration.