10 Things Every Twentysomething Should Do In London
In many people's eyes, London is the Capital of the World, and with such diversity and culture, not to mention a nightlife matched by few other cities, it's an excellent place to visit for twentysomething travelers.
So if you're at a stage in life where you can just about afford a sandwich without checking your bank account, then why not make London your next destination? If you do just half of these things, you won't be disappointed.
Here are 10 cool things every twentysomething traveler should do in London.
1. Explore Hyde Park
Anyone who isn't acquainted with the awe-inspiring beauty of London's premier green space probably has a better understanding of the place once you tell them it's London's equivalent of New York's Central Park. Unlike New York's citified yet bucolic wanderlust, however, Hyde Park, though smaller, is far less crowded.
Moreover, with its location being in the center of London, it's convenient for tourists. There's also a plethora of activities. You can go horse riding, visit Europe's premier Serpentine Gallery and if you get there on time, why not rent a rowing boat and take in London's charms as you drift through The Serpentine's 40-acre lake?
2. Pick from a plethora of hip and urban rooftop bars
London has some of the best rooftop bars in the world, despite not exactly boasting much of a skyline. Not that that matters. With vibrant crowds, incredible music and bartenders plying their trade from around the world, you won't be disappointed.
Recommendations are plentiful, but if we had to pick just a few then escape the throngs of tourists and head south of the river to Frank's in Peckham. Offering premier nights perched atop the Bussey Building (a multistorey car park, in other words), it attracts young people from all walks of life, while Radio Rooftop in Central London and Dalston's Roof Park are great alternatives.
3. Attend a Secret Cinema event
Secret Cinema isn't exactly the world's best-kept secret, and we don't think said irony is lost on the brilliant people behind this immersive theater group.
Creating a 360-degree experience for audience members in abandoned buildings, the group base their plays on cult movies and this spring they'll be putting on a must-see production of Moulin Rouge.
4. Feel the love at Lovebox Festival
With much-anticipated headline performances from Frank Ocean and Chase and Status, London's 15-year-old summer festival is gaining a reputation for its friendly vibes.
Better yet, with XL Recordings and London's premier dance club Fabric charged with manning both stages, attendees are all but assured a good time.
5. Club the night away
It would be silly not to include London's litany of world-famous nightclubs in an article about London. Yet there are so many it's hard to tell you which one to pick. For instance, there's the dance utopia of Fabric, the hipster enclave of XOYO, not to mention the more touristy but incredibly bouncy, Ministry of Sound.
For those wanting something different, you could even club the days away too, with Printworks in Surrey Quays offering a brilliant solution to those who can't say no to another boogie.
6. Sign up for a wacky and weird date
Forget Tinder: when you're a tourist in the capital, there's a whole host of dating experiences that offer more than just your average drinks or candlelit dinner.
From dating in the dark to choosing a potential suitor based on their smell, various pop-up shops and singles events offer such things so be sure to check them out.
7. A trip to Camden isn't complete without a wander through the famed food stalls
The moment you step foot in the citified bustle of Camden, the smells from the food market entice you in ways no other smells could, with cuisines from all over the world being served by ambitious young chefs. Being London, you're not likely to find much in the way of traditional British food, but London's poor cuisine is forgiven when you realize places like Camden Market offer the best of every cuisine going.
Admittedly, Camden Market doesn't have the same kudos and reputation that London's more upmarket Borough Market possesses, but Camden's food stalls are more multifaceted in their cuisine, while the prices are considerably lower.
8. Organize a BBQ in London Fields
East London is very much the capital's hipster enclave, and it is often compared to New York's arty Brooklyn neighborhoods for its ability to attract creatives from across the world.
But going to galleries and Instagramming about the minimalist qualities of a mock-Banksy can be rather tiresome, so instead of frequenting pop-up galleries and discussing James Joye's best works over an organically sourced latte, why not arrange a barbecue in Hackney's hip London Fields instead? Meat and fish can be purchased from the nearby Broadway market, and so long as you get there in good time, you'll have an excellent day on your hands.
9. Take a ride on the world's tallest slide
Remember the London Olympics in 2012? And that odd yet highly decorative Anish Kapoor statue? Well, it's been turned into a slide of all things so head over to the Olympic Park and slide down the Arcelor Mittal Orbit sculpture.
Measuring over 178 meters, it takes just 40 seconds to get down to the ground but it's nonetheless money well spent, and as you're in the Olympic park, you're in proximity to an excellent array of shops in Stratford's popular Westfield shopping center.
10. Shop for the hottest vintage apparel on Brick Lane market
Brick Lane is unquestionably one of the best places in the world for sleek vintage clothing, with a sea of sellers from the Sunday market offering everything from retro Adidas Original trainers to swanky Levi jackets and baggy Tommy Hilfiger jumpers
Beyond Retro and Rokit are great shops to start with though if you're feeling overwhelmed by the outside crowds.