5 Reasons You Can not Miss Learning in London

1. Experience history around every corner.

London is a city that perfectly blends together its history with its present. It seems as though everywhere you turn, you are met with a place of historic significance or you’re walking the same streets as an acclaimed individual once did three centuries ago. Scattered throughout the city are historical landmarks, so exploring London’s history is one of the best parts of living in the city. For me, as an American, it’s especially breathtaking to explore sites that date from before the U.S. was even a country — how awesome is that!? Some of the “must visit“ locations include: Westminster Abbey, Tower of London, and St. Paul’s Cathedral.

2. Free museums (and other free things).

One of my favorite things about studying abroad in London was that there were so many museums to visit, and so many of them have free admission! You could easily spend an entire semester in London exploring just the museums. From the classic British Museum or National Gallery to the newer Tate Modern, there is a museum for every taste and every interest. Keep in mind, although most museums are free, there may be an admission fee for special exhibits. The good news is London makes things accessible to students by offering concession rates, which are good to look into for all museums and tourist destinations.

In addition to the free admission to museums, there are loads of other things to explore in London for next to nothing. There are a multitude of markets, which offer a variety of items, such as antiques, clothes, and food. Notable markets to explore include: Portobello Road Market in Notting Hill, Borough Market, Brick Lane Market, and Camden Market. Another location of note is the Sky Garden, which gives you a panoramic view of the city, for free! All you need to do is book a time and then you can see all of London, while also enjoying a drink (if you fancy). For another lovely view of the city, take a small walk up Primrose Hill for a picnic, plus a view.

3. Driving? Forget about it.

You absolutely do not need a car while studying abroad in London. Between the Tube, the Overground, and the buses (along with walking), you can get anywhere you want in London. The efficiency of the public transportation system makes London the ideal place to study abroad — no matter where your university is located, you can easily make your way into central London, pop over to Notting Hill for the Portobello Road Market, or head over to Greenwich to stand on the Meridian Line.

4. Parks in the middle of a bustling city.

London is an active, capital city, and yet, you can still find large areas of green all over the city. The most famous of these is most likely Regent’s Park, which leads into both the London Zoo and Primrose Hill. The park is filled with flowers, and when the sun comes out, picnic goers sprawl the lawns. There is also Kensington Gardens, Hyde Park, and St. James’ park (among others), that make for perfect spots to escape the hustle-and-bustle of London.

5. The theatre scene, enough said.

If you’re into theatre, London is definitely the place for you to study abroad. There’s the West End, which offers a great variety of plays and musicals, but there are also smaller theatres all over the city that present an even bigger variety of shows. From fringe theatres to theatres located above pubs to well-known shows, London has it all. Not to mention, unlike in New York, most theatres have a decent amount of affordable seats for each performance, so you can afford to see a ton of shows without breaking the bank, if you plan well, and book in advance. (Hint: Sign up for National Theatre’s Entry Pass to have the chance to book £5 to each of their shows).