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Nov 29 2017
by Variya Tongtip

10 Things to Do While Studying Abroad in London

By Variya Tongtip - Nov 29 2017

London is one of the most exciting cities to live in. It's filled with history, gorgeous architecture and art. However, it's also no secret that London is one of the most expensive cities in the world. But that doesn't mean that you have to spend money to enjoy the city properly. Here are 10 things you can do in London without breaking the bank! 

1. Enjoy Hyde Park 

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Its always good to take in the fresh air while living in the Big Smoke. Hyde Park is one of the most beautiful parks in London with many spots and places for you to go sit. Take a cup of hot chocolate for the cold winter days, or bring a book to read under the trees. Why not bring a picnic basket and enjoy lunch with your friends? Bonus: It's free! 

2. Find Your Coffee Shop 


Every student should be able to find their spot. Whether it is to study or to just relax, coffee shops can be the best place. Luckily, London has many coffee shops for you to choose from. Cafe Nero, Pret-A-Manger and Costa are all London Chains that you can help yourself to. If you want something more local, try visiting Seven Dials for a variety of choice, or check out this guide to London coffee shops. 

3. Go Window Shopping At Harrods 

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As students, we probably won't be able to afford anything at Harrods, but it is fun to pretend. Harrods is stocked with designers and high-end names, so why not have fun and pretend to go shopping? Look through the designer gowns, home decorations and technology! Plus, the Harrods store has great souvenirs, for example, their bags are quite the staple! 

4. Go To A Pub


Pubs can be seen as the heart of London. It brings everyone together, and not to mention the food there will definitely fill you up. Pubs are where people socialize, so why not take this opportunity to meet a local and chat! Some pubs offer students discounts if you show your student ID. 

5. See A Show 

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London has a variety of shows that you can enjoy! From the Lion King to Book of Mormon, the West End has everything. Don't limit yourself to just the West End, after all, London is home to the Globe Theatre. It is replicated to be exactly like what the Globe must have been like during the Elizabethan times! There is quite literally no other place on earth where you will see trained Shakespeare actors acting in the theatre that Shakespeare has built. For the full experience, get tickets to stand for the performance to be a groundling. 

6. See SOHO At Night 

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London in the daytime is beautiful, but London at night is indescribable. The city lights up with all of the neon signs. Go to Chinatown at night, have your choice of Korean, Chinese, Thai or any other cuisine of your choice. Walk over to Covent Garden to see cute little shops, and Soho to just feel the atmosphere of the city. 

7. People Watch in Picadilly Circus 

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Just outside of Picadilly Circus Tube Station is the Shaftesbury Memorial Fountain. This is the perfect place for people watching. You get to see people walking towards all directions and it's always busy here. Just sit back, and enjoy the quick-paced of the city. 

8. Visit the Tourist Spots 


Whilst in London, why miss the beautiful iconic photos to prove that you were actually in London? Skip the generic red photobooth photo, and opt for the photos with lions of Trafalgar Square or a photo in front of St. Pauls Cathedral. 

9. Visit Neils Yard Remedies 

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For the Instagramers, Neils Yard is undeniably one of the most colourful places in London. In Covent Garden, there is a secretly hidden land, full of colour splashes and food. Go with a few friends for food and to take photos! Bonus: There is no entrance fee.

10. Have Curry in Shoreditch 

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Shoreditch is one of the most vibrant parts of London. It is also home to the best curry in London. My personal favourite is Jasmine Brick Lane, and try their Butter Chicken with Naan, it will be the most amazing curry you have ever had, I guarantee it. 

London is one of the coolest cities you can spend your time in. It's also what you make of it! For other things to do, check out TimeOut! They have fun ideas for both locals and travellers! You can also check out Fresh U's tips on studying in London – remember to mind the gap!

Lead Image Credit: Unsplash 

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Variya Tongtip - Skidmore College

Variya Tongtip is a freshman at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, but is currently abroad in London! Follow her on Instagram: @variyatongtip

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