London, the City of the Super Rich, with the most number of billionaires than any other place in the world.
I visited London as part of my short stopover from Iceland, and in essence had only 2 full days to take in as many things as I possibly could. Here’s what I think you should not miss if you have just 2 days:
1. See the Architecture
London is an incredible place to just stroll around the main streets and admire the buildings and various structures, some dating back to the Georgian era. If you are an architectural fanatic, you would find London a photo taking haven.
2. Visit the Markets
London is a very expensive city, especially if you come from a place where the exchange rate is half of the British pound. You’ll find dining at restaurants on a daily basis a rather difficult prospective, so the numerous street markets can be useful to get some grub at a decent price.
Some of the more well-known are Borough Market, Portobello Market, Camden Lock Market, and the up and coming Maltby Street Market.
One criticism is that the place can get a bit touristy, and some of the food can be a bit of a hit and miss.
I only managed to tackle Borough Market (more misses than hits for me), and I would recommend the pastries from Bread Ahead Bakery, with its outstanding donuts, Whirld (fudge), From Field and Flower Honey, and Richard Haward’s, which offered freshly shucked oysters to even which a non-oyster person like me enjoyed tremendously.
The highly recommended places that we often read about, Kappacasein (cheese toasties), Brindisa (Spanish chorizo sandwich), and Roast Hog (hog sandwich), were extremely overrated in my opinion.
3. Buy at the Department Stores
London has 2 department store institutions, Harrods and Fortnum and Mason, both established in the 19th century.
While I think Harrods is slightly more commercialized in the sense that you can find some of its products worldwide, both allow you to buy back premium gifts that will delight your family and friends, ranging from cookies and chocolates to coffee and tea, all beautifully packaged.
You’ll be hard-pressed to decide what to bring home.
4. Read at the Book Stores
If you are an avid book reader, London has no shortage of book stores to keep you occupied the entire day.
The chain Waterstones has a huge store in Piccadilly, with 6 floors in itself, catering to people from all ages and interests.
Prices are affordable as well, cheaper compared to back home in Singapore.
5. Shop at the Supermarkets
This might be a surprise to some but I’m always a big fan when it comes to supermarket shopping while overseas. You can always find something that is not available in your home country so it would make for a useful gift or souvenir for someone back home.
In my case, sugar-free or organic produce is not as readily available (and affordable at times) so the Waitrose and Whole Foods chain were a blessing to our trip.
If anything, you can save a few quid with Whole Foods warm salad and food bar, which offers decent fare and a good price.
While I didn’t get to explore London to the fullest, I’m pretty happy that I devoted much of my trip to Iceland, as I’m not much of a city and shopping person, preferring the lure of nature when I’m on holiday.
If you are the kind of traveler that enjoys bright city lights, bustling crowds and shopping, then London is probably the place for you.