It’s crazy to think just a couple of weeks ago I was wandering through the streets of Valencia wearing shorts and a t-shirt. The flight from here is around two hours yet it felt so far away from chilly, autumnal Germany. The architecture is stunning and what I loved most is that the city has a beach. In Spain most places shut down mid afternoon so the locals can take a siesta and escape from the heat. Dinner starts late and the overall atmosphere is laid back with lot’s of outdoor restaurants and places to drink in the evening. Just like my recent London Photo Diary I took photo’s using my iPhone as I wandered through the historic city. View Post
Last week I was in Valencia (photo diary coming soon) and I was blown away by the architecture at the City of Arts and Science. The stretch of white buildings, bridges and structures were surrounded by vast pools of turquoise water that seemed to go on forever. It felt like a 60’s sci-fi dream and the last thing I expected to see in Spain or anywhere else. It’s a definite jaw dropper and instagram gold. If you are planning a trip to Valencia then it shouldn’t be missed.
The photo’s in this post were taken using my iPhone 7.
This guide is based upon photo’s from my phone. They weren’t taken with the intention of creating a guide, they are from my wanders around the capital. You can visit all of the places shown below whilst walking. It will take roughly 1-3 hours to see everything depending on your pace. Let me show you the way.
The first two pictures show St Paul’s Cathedral up close. Then among the skyline from the viewing deck of the switch house building at TATE Modern. Both places are super touristy but I love them all the same. When visiting the TATE Modern I get the bus or tube to St Pauls station. On a Sunday morning it’s super quiet and great for wandering around the City of London. This area is only busy Monday to Friday during work hours. The tate is always busy, but it’s worth it, especially with the new building which opened last year. In the second image you can see the Millennium bridge which takes you from St Pauls across the river to the entrance at the tate. This offers the best views of the river Thames, Tower Bridge, Waterloo Bridge and Shakespeare’s Globe. Once you reach the entrance I recommend heading straight up to the viewing deck in the switch house building. You can grab a coffee, enjoy the best views of London and then make your way down whilst exploring the galleries.
Afterwards, head out and when you are facing the river take a left and walk 5-10 minutes along the Thames path toward Blackfriars Station. Keep going and you will find the Mondrian Hotel. If the weather is good. By good I mean not raining. You can sit outside at Sea Containers restaurant and have drinks and snacks. There are so many places to eat around here that I prefer to grab small dishes at different places along the way.
From here you can continue along the Thames path in the same direction and you will soon reach South Bank. There’s lot’s to see with shops or places for food and coffee. You will also find the British Film Institute (BFI). If you walk on for another 10 minutes you will see the Royal Festival Hall. Here you can walk the Hungerford Bridge over the river to Embankment. Follow signs to Trafalgar Square, Big Ben or Somerset House. All of these places are close to Covent Garden (pictured below). The areas are well sign posted so you will easily find directions.
If you are looking to spend a lazy few hours seeing the tourist hot spots then this route has you covered. And when walking you will encounter many hidden gems along the way. I’ve got a bunch more photo’s in my phone that I will upload soon in another post. These pictures were posted over the last year on my instagram.
London is so much fun that it doesn’t really matter where you stay. There is so much to see that visitors will no doubt only need somewhere to rest their head at night. However, there is an amazing selection of hotels in the capital – something for every taste. I’ve put together a list of my personal favourites that are either a little quirky or offer something truly special.
BLAKES HOTEL Is in the heart of Chelsea, away from the hustle and bustle and tourist traps of central London this is still definitely a hot location. The decor is exotic and rich with rooms so decadent they resemble a movie set.
SHANGRI LA AT THE SHARD This isn’t my favourite decor. But the views of London from anywhere in this hotel are unbeatable and luxury is guaranteed.
SHOREDITCH HOUSE The rooms are cute but tiny. Access to Shoreditch House (part of the Soho House group) makes it all worth while as you have access to the rooftop pool and a selection of bars and restaurants. Plus it’s located in super cool East London.
ACE HOTEL SHOREDITCH Located in the heart of the area on Shoreditch Highstreet you won’t be dissapointed by the vibe of this place. It’s a super cool hangout with a great restaurant and bar plus the rooms are really nice. Perfect if you are looking to head out on an alternative East London weekender.
HAM YARD HOTEL The list wouldn’t be complete without somewhere in Soho. The location is super central and this part of the city carries so much soul. Ham Yard Hotel has it all, from a rooftop bar and fine dining restaurant to a library for afternoon tea.
This week I had to make a work trip to Stuttgart, this small city has a few cultural highlights so I took the opportunity to take a stroll through the city center. And this is what I found, and also what I wore ; )