8 Fab Museums for Kids in London

8 Stupendi Musei per bambini a Londra in italiano

Coming to London with kids can be super fun and stressful at the same time. Many museums in London have child-friendly interactive exhibits and activities, so don’t stress too much, this is how you can keep them entertained!

Great museums in London that kids will love. Continue reading 8 Fab Museums for Kids in London

CityMapper Best Travel App in London | Londoners cant live without it!

LA MIGLIOR APP PER GIRARE A LONDRA  | in italiano

There are so many Travel Apps and many will definitely make our life easier while travelling in  London.  Citymapper is different tough. Yes, it is the best one, well I truly love it and the majority of londoners love it too. It is by far the best app we need to move around London.

Let’s see how it works.

Continue reading CityMapper Best Travel App in London | Londoners cant live without it!

London UNDERGROUND & General PRECIOUS Infos

“Cosa NON FARE nella METROPOLITANA a Londra!” in italiano

So now you have your Card, ready to get on board? Yes. Ok, how do I navigate the London Underground?! No worries, it’s a lot easier than you might think.

First of all, forget the word “underground”, you are a Londoner now, so call it “the tube”!

Also keep on reading and find out how to fit in with the locals without having Londoners push you off the stairs! Continue reading London UNDERGROUND & General PRECIOUS Infos

OYSTER CARD – In simple words.

OYSTER CARD – Spiegata in poche semplici parole”  in italiano

So here we go, the OYSTER CARD.

Let me tell you something, even Londoners still have dubts about it, so if you are just visiting London, it is totally OK to be confused!

Londoners typically use an Oyster card for their public transport needs, and there is also the Contactless option. As for visitors the situation becomes a little bit more complicated.

Continue reading OYSTER CARD – In simple words.

LONDON – Don’t go there!

LONDRA – Non andarci!”  in italiano

These are just some personal advices, you might not agree with me, but please go ahead and read this post on some places I don’t advice you to visit in London!

Madame Tussauds

First thing first I actually find it kinda creepy to go to a museums that has lifelike looking statues of famous people, then the entry ticket is definitely too expensive for what is on offer, and I personally find it a bit boring too.

The Shard

New building in town and of course everybody wants to go there,e specially because is the tallest skyscraper in eastern Europe. Breathtaking view that’s for sure, but the entry tickets costs 25£ and the only thing you can get with it is…the view. Ok, ok so yeah the view as I said before is absolutely amazing but I don’t think that I’d be willing to pay 25£ (each person!) to just view London from above.

What about if you book the ticket in advance and get a cloudy sky? 25£ each just flushed down the toilet.

The Change of the Guards

I’m not about to tell you not to go there but I’d love you to consider the fact that is a very crowed event, with lots and lots of people just crammed in a small area and it also might take it a lot of time to actually get out of that crowd.

Sightseeng Busses

Please forgive me but I consider them some kind of tourist trap. Ok maybe they are usefull somehow, but I prefer to advice you in walking as much as you can to be able to discover even the hidden places in London, the ones where these busses will never ever take you to.

I’m about to tell you a secret!

Take a London Map and search for Bus number 15 route. It will take you from Tower Bridge to Trafalgar Square, passing by St Paul Caphidral, the High Court of Justice and the City. All of this for the price of a London Bus ride. 1,50£, a fare that you can of course pay with your Osyer Card, which I have explained to you in this post.

Il London Eye

I actually went up there, it was just a month after its opening and I was curioous, on top of this please remember that at that time the Sky Garden and The Shere were still just a dream. The London Eye was a big event. I was so-ooo disappointed. It doesn’t go up that much, and the view you get is definitely nothing special, also because that particolar spot where the “weel” is located, doesn’t allow you to have an amazing view of London, it just overlooks the Parliament and you can see a few more places but nothing that will take your breath away.

Oxford Street

Of course you have to stroll along Oxford Street, but please once is enough. Always so very crowed and has nothing that can be defined as “characteristic”. Just don’t spend all your time visiting all the shops in Oxford Street over and over again. There are thousands of amazing things to do!

London is a multicultural city that really doesn’t represent the UK very much, London is not the UK and I strongly believe that Oxford Street is actually the worst you can find.

Is there a particular place that you discourage people to visit? And why?

I’d love to read your suggestion!

NEAL’S YARD in LONDON

NEAL’S YARD a Londra – Un angolino di colori!” in italiano

So, how many times have I said that in London is so easy to find hidden amazingly pretty places?

Well, Neal’s Yard is definity one of those places.

Full of bright colours, it is a small alley just off Covent Gardens and has pretty and colourfull buildings,  with shops and cafes. picturesque and very hippy style, which is actually some kind of “refretion” of the person who created Neal’s Yard.

 

Nicholas Saunders, a  businessman and pioneer of the so-called “healthy food” lifestyle, loved unconventional stuff so much that his flat in west London soon became a gathering spot for hippies and people who wished to lead a more “alternative” lifestyle.

The flat burnt down by an accident caused by one of his friends, who was using a candle suring meditation, Sanders seized the opportunity to get started in a new adventure which involved some of his friends who had great ideas but very little money and could not put into practice those ideas. He bought a building in Neals Yard and made it a focal point for the high demend of wholefood that there was at that time, selling it at very good prices. He ended up buying almost every single buinding in the alley and opened a Bakery and other shops.

Then he deided to make it look prettier and added in nice trees and colours, he actually had everything painted in bright colours, even rain pipes and garbage bins. The doves you an find in there today have actually been bought and freed there in order to make the alley even more peacefull and nicer.

This is a very nice corner of London and many city workers gather here for lunch during nice weather.

It is very close to Covent Gardens Market but you must be very carefull in not going any further the entrane of the alley, it is actually so narrow it is easy to miss it!

It definitely worths to be visited ! Noce for a coffee, lunch or just a walk in there. To be visited if you wish to forgert for a few minutes about the caos caused by trafic and people in central London, this is a very peaceful place. Kind of the same thing that happens when you step into ……nope, not going to tell you.

Have you read that post? I’ve revealed a similar “secret” in this post, check it out 🙂

 

 

 

 

SPITALFIELDS & BRICK LANE Markets – London

SPITALFIELDS Market – LONDRA”  in italiano

It is not for everyone, but it is one of those things I strongly suggest you to visit in London: Spitalfields Market, London’s oldest market.

There is a little bit of everything in here, vintage fashion and modern items, home design, clothing, vintage children toys, and of course restaurants and food tracks.

It is actually the place in London that has the higher number of award winning restaurants all gathered into one place. Great choices, and it is for everybody: kids and adults, and offers to all of you a family friendly location with lovely cafes too.

It is all mixed up, you can find indipendent small shops next to a well known brand, old accessories and shops with modern interior design items, and guess what the famous beauty and make-up products Benefit is in Spitalfields as well!

 

Some love it, some hate it. Back in 2003 Sir Norman Foster re-designed the entire market, making it a cleaner and nicer place to visit. Some say this renovation kind of took the real hearth of the market away, but still…some just adore it. And I’m one of them.

Yes, it is a market but as you enter it it kind of feels like you are entering a mall, and it is split in different areas. Nice restaurants at both sides and stalls in the middle, this is what is called Spitalfield Market, then we have the area called Old Spietalfields Market, just at the other end of the previous one, with maily stalls all crammed into this space, and there is a third section which is what is left of the original market.

It becomes very crowed on Sunday so if you can try and come on a Thursday for example, which is a good day for vintage fashion and antiques.  Sunday is very lively, a very fun place but it is just like being in Oxford Street, so full of people. Advice given !
Don’t even think about withdrawing cash from ATM’s in the area, they are usually packed with people! Bring cash, plenty of it 😀

One of my favorite place to eat while in this adorable market is Chop’ed, where you can design your own salad and they also sell soups & stews. But of course there are plenty of very good eat places, Bleekers is here too, Leon, the amazing food truck that has a real wood oven inside and serves typical pizza from Naples, Gourmet Burger, Wagamama, and many others. For a complete list please visit Spitalfiels Market Website.

Is this a place that you like in London?! Come on, I wanna know what did you buy on your latest visit to the market!

So, whats in the same area? Brick Lane of course! How could I possibly tell you about the market and skip Brick Lane!

I must admit, although I lived in London for a few years back in the 90’s as well, I’ve never been to Brick Lane lane before, it was just last year that I visited this area and loved it immediatly.

I decided to write about these two places because it is a very characteristic area and needs to be visited, al least once. Street food vendors, shops packed jam with colourful clothes, music and of course tourists, but also the locals hang out here too.

Unlikely Spitalfields Market that can be visited on week days as well, Brick Lane offers its best “show” on a Sunday. So yeah, in order to avoid coming to this area twice, you should accept the fact that it’s better to come on a Sunday and see the best from both places. The locals avoid this area on a Sunday, but they can see it every single place, so be patient and enjoy your Sunday here, because it really is super fun.

What will really  strike you are the independent stores, that have been here forever and one of the nice things about comeing here on a Sunday is that all these small shops will be so full of energy, colours, voices, people, so lively!

Did I convince you to come on a Sunday?! Nope? Ok, I’m sure now I’m going to succed with the following information: Sunday is the day where all food trucks gathered in the area and offer food from all over the world. They are actually part in Brick lane and part in the Old Truman Brewery, just around the corner basically. Seating area, juicy burgers and so many other yummy things to eat!

HOW TO GET TO SPITALFIELDS AND BRICK LANE

Brick Lane’s is very close to  Shoreditch High Street station and Liverpool Street station. If you decided to use Liverpool Street Station and walk your way up, it will take you no more than 8 mins to reach Spitalfields Market, Brick Lane is literally around the corner.

When are you planning to go!? 🙂

 

How SAFE is LONDON?!

QUANTO E’ SICURA LONDRA?” in italiano

London is a very safe city but still it is a very big city like many others where just about anything can happen, so use common sense when visiting and use the same precautions you’d use everywhere else.

London has 8m inhabitants (the Greater London),  international capital for music, culture, universities, fashion, business and much more.

It is rather safe even for women that travel alone, but of course like everywhere else there are particular areas where, for instance, pickpocketing is more common. These areas can either be crowed and touristy area as well as area less central slightly on the outskirts.

I dont find it easy to write about this subject although I felt like the issue needed to be delivered. You can go online and check statistics, but they won’t be of great help either, they are just numbers.

I feel like talking to you all from a personal point of view, from experience.

Personally I do in London what I’d do in NYC, in Toronto, in Los Angeles...in Rome etc – just be careful without being over obsessed by what could happen or go wrong. Of course you will not walk with your wallet sticking out of a pocket, of course you will definitelly not walk into a dodgy area that screams “danger” kinda clearly. It’s common sense not rocket science.

I’ve never felt unsafe in London, I’ve always chosen carefully the areas where I lived and even coming home late at night I’ve never felt like I was not safe. Never been robbed, nothing bad ever happen to me, really. And I’m actually talking about a long period of time so there was all the time and occasions in the world for bad things to happen.

Try to avoid dodgy areas, either if you are just visiting or if you live in London. You can check Metropolitan Police website just to have an idea of the so-called unsafe areas, South/East London has this reputation for being slightly more unsafe, but still this doesn’t mean that everywhere you go in South/East London you will be robbed. Of course not.

Don’t venture out to isolated roads, alleys etc.

As for Terror attacks nobody can really tell what will happen and where, simply like everywhere else. Security / Police is almost everywhere patrolling landmarks that are popular for tourists, but this is happening in any other major city in the world right now, especially after the attacks that occured over the past 2-3 years, and it is natural to be afraid…. but I advice you to read my article “WE ARE NOT AFRAID“.

In London if you don’t go looking for trouble then it will not find you. On the night bus don’t sit on top deck (if the bus is not full). Sit on font seats/bottom deck near driver, just a simple advice that make you feel safer.

Don’t like a clueless tourist, pay attention to what is going on around you, have a good grip on the bag you are holding, don’t show everyone your values you are carrying on you.

Be carefull but do not be afraid.

There are millions of people that go by living their lives in London every day without a care, because even thought there are bad things that could happen, thy should not stop you from visiting this amazing city.

 

Don’t let these fears stop you from travelling the world, don’t let them win.

Read on:  “WE ARE NOT AFRAID“.

 

 

 

 

My BEST 13 TIPS for your visit to LONDON !

I MIEI MIGLIORI 13 CONSIGLI PER VISITARE LONDRAin italiano

There is one thing I hate the most. People visiting London and getting the impression that is nothing special just because they actually lived the city like tourists and not Londoners.

That’s the reason why I’m here to give you my best advices ever for your stay in London ! Continue reading My BEST 13 TIPS for your visit to LONDON !