Europe Travel

What I Wish I’d Done in London

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I moved to London last September expecting to spend the next three years, if not the rest of my life there. I did plenty of the stereotypically tourist-y things, but I was in no rush to do everything that there was to do. I had time, I thought to myself. Of course, it was in my comfortable meandering of the city that life decided to play one of those cruel tricks on me and pull me back home due to a truly terrible experience at my university. Despite the fact that I am glad to be moving on with my life and to another uni, I can’t help but find myself missing London and hitting myself over the head for all of the things that I didn’t take the time to do while I was there. I’m sure I’ll be back again one day, though, and this post can serve as a bucket list of sorts to remind me what to do when I return.

1. Visit the Sky Garden

Visiting the Sky Garden was one of those things that I kept trying to organise but just never seemed to happen. Unlike the Shard, it’s free to go up in as long as you make a reservation, and it’s supposed to have some seriously amazing views over the city. When I get the chance, I’d love to be able to simply sit and watch the sunset, drink in hand.

2. Spend More Time in the British Museum

In all the time that I’ve spent in London, I’ve only been to the British Museum twice – and never spent more than two hours there! I was always pressed for time when I visited, and even though I vowed to spend an entire day there at some point while I was in London, it just never happened. I seriously curse myself for not taking more advantage of all of the free museums in London.

3. Watch the Changing of the Guard


Sure, I saw Buckingham Palace. A couple of times. But do you know what I never did? I never watched the changing of the guard, and I seriously regret it.

4. Take a Jack the Ripper Tour

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Around Halloween I got really into the idea of taking a Jack the Ripper tour, which a few of my friends who were studying abroad had already done and said was amazing. Knowing how good I am at following things through, though, can you guess what happened? That’s right, I never went.

5. Visit Hampton Court Palace

Hampton Court Palace was one of those things that I looked at pictures of consistantly and dreamed of the day that I would actually visit. Thanks to Transport for London, though, it would have taken more than two hours for me to get from where I was living to anywhere near the palace, so I set it aside for a time when I was feeling up to the four hour round trip. That never happened.

6. See a Show at the Globe Theatre

I’ll gladly admit that I’m a huge Shakespeare nerd, and at only £5 for a groundling ticket, how could I not want to see a show at the Globe? With no shows that I was particularly excited about over the six months that I was there, however, I had put it off for next year, when the season was full of everything that I wanted to see. Hopefully I’ll be able to make it down for a weekend this year and finally live out my dream.

7. Take the Warner Bros. Studio Tour


When I was a kid, I threw multiple Harry Potter themed parties. The magic of the world that J.K. Rowling created completely entranced me, and it still does. As a broke student, though, I couldn’t really justify spending the money for a ticket, but now I really wish I had cut back on some meals so that I could have gone.

8. Visit St. Paul’s & Climb to the Top of the Dome

St. Paul’s is supposed to be absolutely breathtaking, and as a person who is obsessed with birds-eye views, I was so ready to climb to the top of the dome and look out on the city that I called home. Once again it was the ticket price that got me, though, and it just never happened.

9. Have High Tea at Kensington Palace

I’ll admit it, I like pretending that I’m a princess. I also like cake and finger sandwiches, so having high tea at Kensington Palace was like a dream come true for me. I could never get anyone to come with me, though, so I never went. Silly me.

So there you have it – just a short list of the things I wish I had done while I was living in London. Have you ever allowed yourself to pass up amazing experiences just because you lived in a place? If so, let me know so that I don’t feel so alone in this!

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Booking Flights: The first place I turn when I’m searching for flights is actually just Google Flights - it’s great to figure out what sort of routes are available. Then, I check Skyscanner and Kiwi for deals. I also love Kiwi for its destination: anywhere feature!

Transportation: I love Omio for figuring out the cheapest way to get from one place to another, and Trainline for booking train tickets within Europe.

Accommodations: I absolutely love for finding great hotel deals. After you stay a certain number of nights, you get Genius discounts! For hostels, Hostelworld is my go-to, and I use Airbnb occasionally as well (click here for $40 off your first booking!)

Travel Insurance: I knew that I shouldn’t travel without insurance for the longest time, but I really learned my lesson when I got an infected cut in Bali. Thank goodness I had travel insurance! I use and love World Nomads for their extremely comprehensive coverage.

Travel Insurance: I knew that I shouldn’t travel without insurance for the longest time, but I really learned my lesson when I got an infected cut in Bali. Thank goodness I had travel insurance! I use and love World Nomads for their extremely comprehensive coverage.

Tours: I always check Urban Adventures for great day tours of cities first–I’m obsessed with them! GetYourGuide and Viator are also great options. For multi-day tours, I highly recommend Intrepid.

Camera Gear: I use a Sony Alpha A6300 camera with an 18-105 mm lens and a 35 mm lens. My tripod is the MeFoto Backpacker Air and I loooooove it! I also use a DJI Mavic Air and a GoPro and which allow me to capture everything my regular camera can’t.

Addie Gray is a recent college grad and a passionate solo female traveler. Having traveled to more than 20 countries, she now shares her knowledge on budget travel, solo female travel, and travel photography.

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