As it turns out, a "hop across the pond" is not as quaint as it sounds. When exploring all of the London neighborhoods you're about to encounter, you're left with a keenly intense feeling: a mixture of exhilaration, curiosity, and wonder. This is because as you meander these 10 neighborhoods, you quickly realize that there's only this one city in the world unique enough to be the home of a historic and regal British monarchy and the irrepressible punk movement of the '60s: London. Learn all about where she's been and where she's going in this list of the top London neighborhoods.
1. City of London
Stop by Lamb's Conduit Street, where you can go shopping for vintage and folksy threads while still curling up with a good book. If you're looking for spot of tea, you'll have more than your fair share of choices at cafes like Knockbox Coffee and the signature Bloomsbury Coffee House. The interesting thing is that many of these venues are located in the basement, prime underground locations for artsy and literary intellectuals of the 20th century.
Make sure to take a stroll around the greenery of Russel Square Park with its overflowing fountains, generous foliage, and plenty of park space. It's a good idea to pack a picnic lunch and dine, al fresco, in the park one afternoon. Bloomsbury is also home to the British Museum and the University of London, making this spot in Central London one of the most academic in the rundown of London neighborhoods.
This specific "London" vibe is evident in Bygga Bo cafe, a slice of Stockholm in a fiercely multi-cultural borough. If you're looking for bites while you stroll in Lloyd's Park, well, they've thought of that too: visit Le Delice in the Park for delicious breakfast tagine or roast baby chicken at old-school prices.
Those who love the quirky simply cannot miss the very aptly-named God's Own Junkyard, which is one-quarter art gallery, one-quarter museum, a dash of a thrift store, and perhaps what would happen if your grandma were ever to meet and make liberal use of neon signs to highlight her antique cabinets, courtesy of her hoarding tendencies. This is a serious smorgasbord of stuff including 80s memorabilia, arcane movie figurines, ridiculously over-the-top decorations, and forgotten tchotchkes. The best part? Once you're done being blinded by the neon lights or coaxed into buying kitsch, stop by the Wildcard Brewery, a micro-brewery with a bar that hosts beery beach parties, open mic nights and mini-music festivals on the premises.
8. Notting Hill
9. Stoke Newington
10. City of Westminster
Your very first sojourn of the most famous of London neighborhoods should be dedicated to a classic: Westminster Abbey. Royal marriages proceeding here since 1100 notwithstanding, the gorgeous Gothic-style church is the very picture of regal design and British austerity. Its tall spires, vaulted ceilings, stunning stonework and beautiful, decorative statues speak of more than a thousand years of history, and it's an experience you simply cannot miss.
Next on the to-do list of London neighborhoods is the Elizabeth Tower. What about the "Big Ben"? Well, that's the official name for it! Take a couple of photos because public is not allowed inside. However, you can nip down to the historic Houses of Parliament and undertake a whole afternoon's worth of a guided tour, which will include the Royal Gallery and the Chamber of Commons. Be sure to pop by "Number 10", the colloquial name for the PM's offices and residences at 10 Downing Street (and try to imagine an apple-cheeked Hugh Grant dancing in there as Prime Minister). Once you're done that, head to the iconic London Eye, a symbol of the city's march forward into a new age. Located right on the Thames River, this 442-foot-tall, massive Ferris wheel gives you a view across the river as well as of the city. Take in the view of all of the London neighborhoods you've been discovering on your trip. It's an especially bejeweled view at night.