London, England

Price: 5 (expensive)

Attractions: 5

Food: 4.5

Language Barrier: None.

Would I return? Yes.

One of the greatest cities in the world.

Full of history, full of culture, and full of wonder. Everyone knows the City of London, and it’s worthy of the reputation of being a “World City.”

I went to London in the Summer of 2015. I got the opportunity to do a 3 week study abroad through Oklahoma State. The first thing that stuck out to me was obviously driving on the left side of the road – as someone who loves cruising on the highway, it was funny being in the left line and it being considered the slow lane.

London offers so many exciting things to do. Whether you are exploring medieval history, modern architecture, sports, World War II bunkers, or the Prime Meridian, London provides whatever you are looking for.

Places I recommend:

Churchill War Rooms. Tied for first, Churchill War Rooms is one of my favorite places to visit in London. For those of you that don’t know, this is the location of Winston Churchill’s bunker during World War II. This bunker was left almost untouched after the war, meaning that many of the items were left in their exact place by the people who actually used them.

Big Ben. Everyone has to go. It is a London staple. Is it over hyped and full of people? Yes. However, getting a picture of Big Ben really sets the tone for a vacation in London.

Greenwich Maritime. Greenwich is a beautiful place. You can see the Prime Meridian, the Maritime Museum, and walk around downtown. The views from the Royal Observatory are also a can’t miss.

Tower of London. Also tied for first, the Tower of London is awesome. The Beefeaters do a fantastic job on the tour of this old castle turned prison. This is also where you get the chance to see the Crown Jewels as well as great views of Tower Bridge.

Oxford Street. One of the busiest shopping areas in the world, Oxford Street offers shopping for all. Although this isn’t one of my favorite places, it does offer a fun experience.

Regent’s Park. A beautiful park with tons of green beauty. My girlfriend and I walked/ran all through this park and it really is fun. There are even a lot of fields for people to play sports and in the afternoons you can walk through the park and watch them.

Soho. A great place to eat and get some gelato!

Covent Garden. If you’re looking to shop this is another good place to start. However, the most fun at Covent Garden is watching the street performers. I watched a guy dislocate his arm to get out of a straight jacket, interesting to say the least!

British Museum. Although museums are normally not my favorite thing, the British Museum offers a lot riveting exhibits. My bucket listed included seeing the Rosetta Stone, and this museum helped crossed that off my list.

Soccer/Football Stadium. My pick is Tottenham Hotspur in North London. White Hart Lane is full of history and the area is fun to see. I recommend avoiding a modern stadium such as Arsenal, and instead check out Selhurst Park (Crystal Palace), White Hart Lane (Tottenham), or Craven Cottage (Fulham). In fact don’t even rule out the smaller clubs of London.

London is an extraordinary city and everyone has to visit at some point in their life. Even just seeing a movie in London provided a different experience than the US. London is unmatched (with the exception of maybe NYC) and this city makes a perfect first stop on your first travel abroad.

You can easily spend weeks here and never get bored. The people here are very polite and helpful (in my experience) – and the environment offers whatever you’re looking for. You can find relaxation, busy streets, hole-in-the-wall restaurants, or touristy destinations. London is what you make of it.

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