[Updated January 2018]
TLDR; east ftw.
I stayed in LSE’s summer vacation rental near Angel station, in an Airbnb by Bricklane, and in an Airbnb in Holloway. LSE’s location is definitely the most central, though I think they’re only available in the summer. It’s very affordable and includes breakfast, but it’s a single bed and the bathrooms are shared. My Airbnb off Bricklane was maybe technically in Bethnal Green – I loved the area and its proximity to Shoreditch. Get $40 off your first Airbnb stay here.
The tube is expensive, and there’s no daily cap. Busses are cheaper and there is a daily cap. The public bike share system, Santander Cycle aka Borris Bikes costs only 2 pounds for 24 hours.
ClassPass is available here! It’s a great solution for digital nomads. You don’t have to commit to a monthly or annual gym membership, and instead, get to try all sorts of different classes. In cities where there’s no ClassPass e.g. Berlin, there tends to be local alternatives.
- Google has a Campus in London i.e. free coworking space. You have to signup for a tour in order get a badge/become a member. They only have them I think every Monday, and the next available one was a Monday after I was there. So, sign up early! Maybe even before you’re in London.
- The Hoxton – hotel lobby/cafe type place in Shoreditch. I enjoyed working from here though it gets loud and packed come happy hour.
- Ace Hotel – same as Hoxton, but very, very crowded. Almost looks like a coworking space.
- High Tea. I really enjoyed mine at the beautiful Ham Yard Hotel, and have shortlisted these places for the next time I’m in London: Dean Street Townhouse, German Gymnasium, and Ace Hotel.
- Vagabond is a wine lovers’ heaven. It’s sort of a self-service wine bar. The walls are flanked with wine bottles (loved the handwritten, informative descriptions), and the cheeses are great.
- Barrio is a fun bar with great tacos
- Walk or cycle through Hyde Park, and by Kensington Palace
- Museums. I know the British Museum (home to the Rosetta Stone), the V&A, & the Design Museum are free. The Tate Modern and the National History Museum top the list of must-visits, and the former is by Thames!
- Theatre. Wicked is especially famous.
- The Sky Garden gives you a good (and free!) view over London – book online in advance.
- Stroll or cycle along Regent’s Canal and its many houseboats.
- The Nomadic Community Garden is a quirky enclave in Shoreditch filled with plants, arts, and all sorts of fun things. Some bring their lunch here, and of course there’s the occasional hippie and/or stoner.
- Loved Columbia Road Flower Market. On a lazy (read: late) Sunday morning it comes alive with buskers and locals.
Cover photo credit: Samantha Fu