How to Plan Your Next Trip to London, England

By Mackenzie Taylor
In Culture

According to the State Department, only 36 percent of Americans own a valid passport. Now, to me, that number seems awfully low. With Voyages + Discoveries coming out this week, it’s time to start being inspired to travel and try new places in the world. As much as we love good ol’ STL, it’s nice to pack up a few things and get away for a week—you need a vacation! Whether you’re wanting to drive to another city for a different kind of nightlife or escape to the countryside for stargazing and quiet, there are many places to travel for a great weekend outside the ‘Lou. This week we’re headed to London (yes, that London) and this is how to do it.

Getting There

When I recently purchased plane tickets to London, I used Funjet. The best thing about Funjet is its a book-now, pay-later option on fights. Instead of shelling out that cash up front, you can make payments monthly.

Where To Stay

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Image courtesy of The Dictionary Hostel

The Dictionary Hostel
Located in a very cool and hip area of London, The Dictionary Hostel is one of my favorite places to stay. Positioned right next door to Translate Bar (where you’ll receive discounted drinks!) and right down the street from one of the top brunch spots in LDN, this is one place you’ll want to rest your head at night.

Ibis Euston St. Pancras
Only a 20-minute walk from Baker Street and Oxford Circus, this is a unique and fairly inexpensive hotel to stay. With a friendly staff, delicious food and free candy at reception (!), Ibis Euston is a gem in the heart of London.

Where To Eat

The Breakfast Club
There is always an hour-long queue outside the bright yellow building, but the wait is worth it—trust me. Try the pancakes and berries with a bloody mary that’s hot and spicy like Helen Mirren (or so the menu says).

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Image by Mackenzie Taylor

Nordic Bakery
If you’re a fan of cinnamon rolls (and how could you not?), head here immediately. This cute bakery is located right off Marylebone High Street in North West London and is a must-have.

Sketch
Afternoon tea is a must in London and Sketch is a unique location to have your tea. The gorgeous interior is made for Instagram, and the tea set will make you contemplate sticking the dishware in your bag. Oh, and check out the bathrooms.

Homeslice
Whether you’re wanting just a slice or a full pizza, head to Homeslice. With both traditional and unique flavors on the menu, this pizza spot will satisfy your every craving.

Helen Graves

Image by Helen Graves

Molly Bakes
Freakshakes are taking over the London world with good reason—just look at it. If you’re a lover of all things sweet and don’t mind heading to the dentist early this year, head to Molly Bakes immediately.

What To Do

While London is very expensive, the nice thing is that the major museums are free.

Saatchi Gallery
This art gallery is so weird and so cool. The contemporary gallery hosts well-known and unknown artists and many of its pieces have been at the height of controversy since opening in 1985.

Columbia Flower Market
Open on Sunday mornings until 2pm, get your fill of flowers at the Columbia Flower Market. Grab a bouquet or just walk along for the scents; it’s a fun and enjoyable way to see real Londoners out and about.

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Photo courtesy of God’s Own Junkyard

God’s Own Junkyard
Neon art and signs line the walls of God’s Own Junkyard—the oldest sign makers in London. Whether you’re looking for the perfect place to take Instagram photos or wander around drinking coffee and looking at unique signs, GOJ is somewhere to get lost on a weekday afternoon.

Tate Modern
The building has some of the best views of Southbank and St. Paul’s Cathedral and the artwork inside is bloody ridiculous. Everywhere you turn, there are pieces by Picasso, Warhol, Dali, Rothko, Richter, Duchamp, Hockney and the always weird and wonderful Tracey Emin.

Borough Market
While most tourists know about Borough Market, they tend to head there on the weekend. I recommend taking a trip during the week for delicious street food and people-watching.

Shoreditch Art Walk
Shoreditch is home to some of the best street art in London. Wander around yourself or sign up for a free walking tour to learn more about the history behind the art.

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