Following the latest data, around 3 million tourists visit London every year. The capital city of England and the United Kingdom attracts a lot of visitors, especially Americans. This is probably due to the position it holds in the world economy.
Not by chance London has been defined by some of the most important sociologists of the XX century as a global city. That’s how people and cultures blend together continuously, creating a multicultural place, where 1/3 of the population is foreign-born. Being a language student, I was impressed when I discovered that over 200 different idioms are spoken in London.
In my travel itineraries I usually try to focus on some unusual places to visit, because I find them more fascinating than visiting the typical monuments or museums, those which everybody already knows. Thus, here you are my top 5 sites in London:
1. Carnaby Street
Carnaby Street is a pedestrianised shopping street in Soho (Westminster) that you can’t miss if you really want to know London. In the 1960s, some of the most influencing personalities of that time, like the Beatles and Brigitte Bardot, started frequenting regularly this area. Thus, this colourful street becomes a melting pot, where cultures and music genres converge
2. Little Venice
If you prefer to be in touch with nature, Little Venice fits the bill. This slice of Italy is situated just near Paddington. In such picturesque canal area, you can appreciate the beauty of the waterways, being surrounded by its typical restaurants and shops at the same time.
Well, guess what? You can also experience a canal cruise learning something about Little Venice’s history.
I think this is the best way to explore such a suggestive landscape!
3. Lewisham Micro Library
In southeast London, a phone box has been turned into London’s smallest library, where you can freely take a book replacing it with another one or simply bringing it back when you have finished your reading session. It is a great idea to bring old telephone boxes to life, also developing a sense of responsibility in citizens, who have to look after proposals like this one.
4. Attendant Coffee Roasters
Personally, I think that it is one of the most original places I have ever seen in Europe. You can easily find this men’s Victorian-era washroom near the British Museum: today it has been transformed into one of the coolest cafés where you can get your English breakfast.
5. God’s Own Junkyard
It is a kaleidoscopic warehouse-maze of neon signs which operates mainly as an art gallery and prop shop. Clearly, it is used for shooting thanks to all the lights which create an amazing atmosphere in the “gloomy London”. However, the God’s Own Junkyard also has a “green task”, as it is exploited as a recycler of signage.