People always seem to have polarized feelings about London – either they think it’s the best city in the world or they think it’s horribly over-priced, over-populated and pretty much over-anything. I have to admit my own thoughts on London fluctuate quite a bit even to this day, but I have come to believe that the best thing about this city is that you can make it into whatever you want, as long as you know how to.
I used to spend a lot of time in London, as my boyfriend lived and worked there for a couple of years. I would often find myself stranded while he was at work, since I was on a limited budget and sometimes it seemed this city charged you even for breathing air. However, after some exploration and a lot of will, I managed to tailor my own London experience that suited my wallet and personal preferences.
OK, so my feat usually started at Tottenham Court Road. This is where you will find Foyles, the biggest independent bookshop in the UK. The selection is insane, and especially good if you’re into international literature. There is also an amazing map shop nearby, where I could spent hours just exploring different corners of the world. For food, I’d visit one of the tiny Korean restaurants dotted around this area, where you can get a hearty bibimbap for a total of £7 (super cheap for London standards) that will keep you going for the rest of your day. Next, you can roam around Chinatown, which is pretty big and also has plenty of shops and restaurants. My favorite place in the area is The Prince Charles Cinema, where you can catch cult movies (usually The Room, for some reason!), sometimes even with beer and pizza included. Plus, if you get a membership card, you can have a pretty sweet discount and watch a movie once a week for a total of £1. And who says having fun in central London has to cost an arm and a leg!
There’s a really cute coffee shop in Foyles, where you can by a tiny pack of jellybeans (big novelty where I come from!)