Over the summer, I had the amazing opportunity to spend 6 weeks in London as part of my university’s study abroad program. This post is the second in an 8-week series of travel posts, where I’ll be sharing everything from my favorite places in London to my adventures in other parts of Europe (5 countries + Scotland) to my travel tips and hacks.
In this post, I’ll be talking about my last three weeks in London! Curious about my other summer travels? Check out my posts for London Part 1, Dublin, Scotland, Switzerland, and Brussels and Amsterdam!
Climbing the O2
One day in the Tube, I noticed an advertisement for “urban mountaineering.” I really like to get outdoors and explore, so I decided to check it out.
It turns out, you can climb up the outside of the 02 Arena, which is a huge domed concert arena in East London. At 52 meters high, I thought it would be an awesome way to get some unique views of the city. After listening to a little bit of safety training and being fitted with special shoes and harness, I was ready to climb! The climb took around an hour and a half and offered amazing views of East London. If you’re looking for something unique to do that isn’t super tourist-y, I would highly recommend this!
(Shameless selfie at the top)
Cereal Killer Cafe
If you know me, you know that cereal is by far my favorite food. That’s why I was so excited to learn that there’s a cafe in Camden Market that sells ONLY CEREAL. I fell in love with The Cereal Killer Cafe as soon as I saw it! How could you not love a store that sells the best food in the world, and also has an awesome pun in the name?
I was super overwhelmed by all of the options, but decided on a classic bowl of Lucky Charms.
Another really cool attraction with awesome views of London is Tower Bridge! This is the bridge that they hung the Olympic Rings off of in 2012. For less than £10, you can walk across the two suspended walkways between the towers. Both walkways have glass floors for stomach-churning views of the River Thames below.
The Tower Bridge also offers a unique view of London from the middle of the river. There’s The Shard, on the left, and the Walkie Talkie, on the right.
Biking to Buckingham
In London, you can rent bikes by the hour and take them all over London! It’s a little intimidating trying to bike on the roads, but with all the parks in London, major roads are easy to avoid. My friends and I rode through Hyde Park and Green Park to get to Buckingham Palace. It was a great way to enjoy a beautiful British summer day, and bikes are only £2 / 30 minutes, with bike stops available all around the city.
As if a salted caramel milkshake wasn’t enough, Maxwell’s in London takes the classic shake and makes it, well, freaky. A salted caramel shake, topped with mountains of whipped cream, topped with a salted caramel donut, topped with 3 marshmallows. Oh. my. sugar rush.
Another popular option: An Oreo shake topped with whipped cream, a slice of Oreo cake, and more Oreos. A must have treat if you’re ever in the heart of London. Stretchy pants not required but definitely suggested!