Along the Thames watching the Big Ben in my travel to London

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People who travel to London have a specific and personal idea of the city in their mind. This is why a trip to London is a trip full of symbols.

Big Ben, or the Tower Bridge, or the London Eye are what come first to mind to some people. To some others it’s the Royal Family and their gossip which is lately all over social media. Because now if you say in all the papers you are definitely old-fashioned.

Someone thinks of London as the home of pop, punk and rock music with its Rolling Stones and their neighbors from Liverpool: the Beatles. But also the legendary Queen, Clash, Sex Pistols, or the “newer” Blur.

Who holds on more to their childhood memories thinks of Peter Pan.

Who loves the theatre sees London as the beating heart of shows, musicals and plays.

To some others it’s about beer and fish & chips, the red double-decker buses, the rain, the Thames, the red phone boxes, the black cabs, the left-hand drive, the guards with their big furry black hats.

For me London is like a second home. I go there often and when I let too much time pass without me going I get “Londonsick”.

The first time I had the chance to travel to London was December 2008 with my sister Laura. After this trip we promised each other that we would travel once a year to discover new European cities together.

In Trafalgar Square with my sister

We got completely carried away by the city’s Christmas spirit. London is at its best with its lights, decorations and markets during the Christmas holidays.

Our traveling schedule to visit London in 5 days was pretty busy! We like to take the most out of our time to explore and visit as much as possible.

Then I came back to London several times to visit Simona and Federico who moved to London a few years ago. I met them when I was working on the ship and they have become two great friends of mine.

Along the Thames watching the Big Ben with friends

On these occasions I could see London with different eyes. At a more relaxed pace and off the beaten track for tourists. So I took my time to run in beautiful parks and to explore unusual areas in and around London.

I went back again to London a few months ago with my parents and my aunt for our annual ritual of traveling. It’s been years since we have talked about it and we finally got to visit this amazing city together.

At the Buckingham Palace with my family

Even if I traveled to London many times, each trip is different. There are always new things to do and London changes each month of the year.

In autumn you can wander around the parks with their trees in colors. In winter you can look for shelter inside the free museums of the city and in the traditional pubs at night. At Christmas time walk around the markets along the Thames with some hot chocolate in your hands and try different cookies. And in spring and summer finally enjoy a full day of sunlight around the streets and the parks of the city.

And even if each travel to London is different, there is always something that will never change for me: in London it always feels like home.

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15 Replies to “TRAVEL TO LONDON”

  1. This post resonated with me so much. I completely agree with your analogy about people having symbols when they think of London. There is just so much to do, learn, see and experience. It is a city I also love as I really enjoyed my time there and will visit again for certain. Each time a person visits there are always new or different things to see or experience that you hadn’t done previously.

  2. Anjali Lakhwani says: Reply

    London is such a beautiful place to visit! I so want to make a visit there, From your post I got to know that Christmas must be a perfect time to visit London. I will plan it for next year hopefully. Enjoyed reading your experience.

  3. London feels so royal, even the train stations resemble 5 star hotel lobbys. But the erratic rainy weather can sometimes really make you feel gloomy.

  4. I love London. I went for the first time June 2018 and I’m going back (just for a day unfortunately) with some friends in April (2019). I can’t wait to show them what the city has to offer even if it’s a short amount of time there. London was truly London to me, everything I thought and when I left I felt like I needed to go back immediately.

  5. I feel you! There are places that will touch your heart that way… That’s the beauty of travel! I haven’t been to London (yet!) but it’s always been on my list. I really like the idea of hot chocolate and cookies in winter!

    1. Exactly 😍 This is the beauty of traveling! I hope you can go to London soon 🙂

  6. London feels like a second home to me too. I haven’t lived there or anything, just visited several times. And everything felt just as in my home town, only the people were much more polite 🙂 However, after last weekend… I think Dublin claimed first place. Never thought it could happen, but there you go 🙂 I still love London, though!

    1. Same 🙂 I have never lived in London, just visited many times but still I feel like it’s a second home. I think London gives this feeling to many people who visit the city and this is one of the reasons why it’s such a great place!

  7. I love your guide around London. It’s one of the places on my bucket list and can’t wait to cross it. Ohh I wish I could visit Big Ben and to feed squirrel in the park. But for me London = rain. So, that’t the reason why is waiting so long. I also like your idea about hot chocolate and cookies in winter!

    1. Thank you so much! Well yes London’s weather is not the best thing about the city 😀 But it’s still an amazing place that is totally worth to be visited. I hope you’ll make it there someday 🙂

  8. I haven’t experienced London yet but it is certainly in my bucket list. There are so many things to do and places to see. I agree to you where you mentioned that we have an image of London in mind, when we hear of it. Traveling there will be sooner.

  9. What a lovely, short virtual tour of London! I’m planning to visit this month and this post comes at the right time. Thank you for sharing this, I really enjoyed reading it.

    1. Thank you so much Daniel 🙂

  10. Oh, I am saving London until the moment, when I am a citizen of Finland. It isn’t that much time left. Hope the trip would be as good as yours

    1. This is amazing! Good luck!

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