Posts Tagged ‘free things to do in london’

Student in the City

London is a lively city, and it seems as if there’s always something to do–whether it’s attending a gig, watching a play, going shopping or browsing the markets. According to my Bandsintown App, which allows you to search for local gigs and concerts, there are literally gigs almost every day of the week! And they are all accessible with the tube. If you love theatre, you can attend one of the many shows in London’s West End, which is such a large and lively area at night. If you’re a shopaholic, you can go to Westfield Stratford which is one tube stop away from Mile End and is one of the EU’s largest shopping malls! And if you want to just socialize with friends, you can visit one of London’s many pubs. I really believe you can find anything that suits your interests in London. If you’re ever bored, you can just head over to the nearest tube station and the city is an Oyster tap away.

Although the universities in London don’t have large campuses, there is no lack of study space in London. There are so many cafes, especially in the East End near QMUL. These cafes are perfect to go to after class to revise and work on coursework.

And though living in London adds up to be expensive for students, there are still many frugal options available. For example, browsing the many museums in London is free–not to mention educational. Living in London is hard on one’s wallet, but it does end up being a good lesson on budgeting as a student.

So far, I have really enjoyed studying in London. In addition to having wonderful experiences exploring my interests in the city, there are also so many places in London that are relevant to my studies in English literature. For example, I’ve been to John Keats’ house and even visited the pub where Charles Dickens frequented while writing his manuscriptsand then I wrote about my visit for an assignment! When I first arrived in London, I admit I didn’t think the city was that great, but now that I’ve been here for seven months, the city has really grown on me, and I’ve come to appreciate the vast amount of options available. Whether you want to spend your day studying in a cafe, going shopping, or browsing museums, any option you choose will be easily accessible in London.

 

 

An Overview (So Far)

What a beautiful sunny day! Today, I can actually see the blue sky but I can’t say that the temperature has gotten that much warmer. I’m originally from Southern California, so I’m use to a lot of sunshine and living in flip-flops. But other than the colder climate, I haven’t had much difficulty adjusting to London. I’m a city girl so I love that every day and night there is something to do and see. And yes, London is a pricey city to be in, but there are plenty of cheap or free options around town!

Queen Mary (from Mile End Park)

If you’re coming here, my first tip is to sign up for the Londist’s emails. Everyday I get updates on what’s going on in the city for free or cheap. One of the best events I attended since being here was Burn’s Night (at the end of January)—an old Scottish celebration that involves lots of dancing—and it was free! I would say it is the equivalent to an American barn dance. Most museums are free to the public or students, so you should visit as many as you can. London is flooded with history and I am amazed by how much there is to learn and absorb here.

Burns Night: celebrating a Scottish poet through dancing!

Oh, and you have to go to watch a few plays here. It’s a must! I’m from Los Angeles where movies are king, but theatre is king in London. There are countless shows going on at once. My personal favorite venue is National Theatre and if you line up early in the morning (it’s easier to get tickets on weekdays and you usually only have to turn up around 9:30 am) you can get theatre tickets for £5 – £12. Such a steal. My favorite shows so far have to be ‘The Magistrate,’ ‘The 39 Steps,’ ‘Kiss Me Kate,’ and ‘Macbeth.’ Theatre-going is actually a norm here in London and people have ice cream during intermission—there’s nothing stuffy about it!

Meeting James McAvoy after his performance in ‘Macbeth’.

And lastly food: it isn’t so bad! I’m a foodie, so I go out looking for good eateries and do a bit of research and I highly recommend the book eat.shop london. It’s a fantastic source for decently priced restaurants and cute shops. If a place looks a bit dodgy, maybe you should avoid it, but I’ve had pretty good experiences wherever I go. There are only a few restaurants near campus (The Gold Fryer and other kebab shops, Nandos, Subway, The Greedy Cow. etc), but I don’t frequently eat out so I can save up. I cook for myself or buy cheap sandwiches during the week and then treat myself on the weekends.

This is just a general overview on my experience so far living in London, but I’ll get into specifics in later posts.

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