I mean, I could go take all the pictures I want in front of Big Ben and Westminster, but what are some cool places in London that people seldom think of, or even know about?

Any international food plazas? Bike tours that don’t get advertised through travel agencies? Historical spots that have nothing to do with Shakespeare or the Queen? And what about the rest of the theater scene, anyway?

Any personal accounts of having been to London and things you specifically remember?

8 Responses to “I’m visiting London for 2 days and am looking for cool, affordable, non-touristy things to do. Any suggestions?”

  • Kirsten:

    well I don’t know about people not knowing about it, but there’s a small stage production I went to of the Woman In Black..if you look it up on google you’ll probably find it. It’s a small production with not many props but it’s absolutely brilliant.

    You could also look for a production of 39 Steps which is apparently very good.

  • what if:

    Go to the hoods in east london ….you’ll probably get shot.

    No im kidding DONT go in the hoods and ghettos of east london youl regret. I live in england not london i live in ENGLAND in lancashire but ive been up london before and altho you think it, london doesnt revolve around shakespear and the queen. When I went there was this place where its not really famouse and was like not many peeps there and it was this food plaza type thng. forgot its name tho. But its near a hotel and nightclub i know that. Oh and dont go near the crack houses. Im only 14 i duno what im onabout. Me and my m8 took coke. Lol im kidding. Sorry, give me thumbs down if yu want. What wwas the point in this answer? sheer boredom/

  • LiveLaughLove:

    I lived in London for 6 months before my visa expired (i’m american) and I can honestly tell you that London has something for everyone. I’m not sure what your scene is, so I’ll try to give you some varying options.

    If you are looking for some flea-market type things to do then there is a great one in Angel. They have an open market as well as some indoor shopping. I believe the market is only open during the day, but I could be wrong. There is also a fun (small) market in Arbour Square (Zone 1, East London), this market is very local so you will find a wide variety of people, products, and languages. This market is only open during the day. And I know you don’t want touristy things, but please make sure you at least do the riverwalk down the Thames towards the London eye, because there is a great market, street entertainers, and food along the way.

    For general shopping check out Kensington high street, Regent’s street, and Oxford circus.

    MAKE SURE you travel down Brick Lane for some of London’s up-and-coming music, fashion, and FOOD (the best curry is at a restaurant called Monsoon on Brick Lane). If you happen to be a vegan (or even if your not) eat on the London Bus. Brick Lane is starting to become more popular, but its still a favorite for locals.

    If you are into the drinking scene (but not paying 20 pound cover charges for clubbing) there are 2 great places in East London that are open late on the weekends. Mary Janes and The Abbey. Both are located in Aldgate, close to the Tower Hill DLR station. Both bars offer a good selection of both inexpensive and pricer beers, cocktails, champagne, and liquors and both usually have live djs until 2am. The atmosphere in both is very classy but fun.

    Basically if you want to stay away from touristy things, stick to East London. The dodgy areas of East London that everyone is talking about are in the far reaches past zone 2. Actually I would feel less safe walking around in the west end because there are pickpocketers targeting tourists everywhere.

    Anyway have a great time!

  • BE24:

    Camden Market is always quite memorable and its not all that touristy – Its got some pretty interesting artifacts 🙂 possibly something you could do during the day? In the evening Ive got to recommend the bar scene and this will help you http://www.timeout.com/beefeater24 – its for a complimentary cocktails for you and a friend – bars listed on Timeout.com

  • Maggie:

    Smithfield Market at dawn. Everything finishes by 8.00 am. Have breakfast and a pint in one of the pubs and watch the meat porters going about their business. Great fun.

    Borough Market, Londons oldest food market. Bermondsey Market for antiques.

    Spitalfields for great art and craft ships and brilliant restaurants. Has one of the best Tapas restaurants in London.

    Go for a picnic and concert at Kenwood House. Last year they had Diana Krall, Van Morrison and Katherine Jenkins.

    Walk beside the Thames from Waterloo through to Rotherhithe stopping at each pub on the way.

    Have a drink in Vertigo 42, the bar at the top of the Nat West Tower in the City. http://www.vertigo42.co.uk/ Not cheap but worth it for the views.

    As for theatres and culture, try the Almeida

    The LondonBridge Festival

    Time Out is the best guide to London’s cultural diversity.

    Museums. Handle a gold bar at the Bank museum or see Dr Barnardo’s Ragged Day School museum.

    Cycling routes

    Walking tours

    Rules – as English as an English restaurant can get. Treat yourself.
    Manzes Pie and Mash. Very East End.

    Fortnum & Mason for luxury food from all around the British Empire (as was) to take back with you.

    How long are you in London for?

  • David S:

    Kenwood House on Hampstead Heath is great – an old mansion with a good art collection and gorgeous grounds. Take the Undrground Northern Line to Archway or Golders Green then a 210 bus

  • Sarah3018:

    go to borough market – great for food.
    portobello road market. great area.
    i have a book called time out london walks. tours are written by clever, funny writers and have lots of little known, quirky info about london. do a couple of the walks they take you through.

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