As a student abroad studying in Rome, I have been trying to travel as much as I can. Visiting a new country every weekend is amazing but can be overwhelming. Follow along on my traveling journey and use these suggestions as your guide to easier travel. If you are study abroad traveling, London has many amazing sights that you should visit!
Over Easter weekend, I booked a spontaneous trip to London! The only other booking I made besides flights was for a hostel, the Safestay London Elephant & Castle. I had never stayed at a hostel before and was a bit nervous, but my room was actually quite nice. Each bunk bed had privacy curtains and a personal light, which felt very protective from whoever might stay in the room with you. If you are study abroad traveling and looking for an affordable hostel that is just a bus ride away from Central London, I would recommend this place!
On my first afternoon, my friend and I walked around Waterloo and crossed the bridge into SoHo. Since this was on Good Friday, we stumbled upon a large demonstration in Trafalgar Square. Locals were putting on a play depicting the life and tragic death of Christ, while tourists filled the square, watching intently. This was a very interesting event to witness, especially because it made Trafalgar Square even more busy than normal. If you visit London, this area is a must-see because of its historical value and because you can always find something going on in the square.
Additionally, right next to Trafalgar Square is what is called Charing Cross. This area holds many monuments, a few of which I visited while there. Queen Eleanor’s Memorial Cross caught my eye due to the detail of the stone. There are many medieval-looking designs as the monument gets skinnier until the point at the top. On the tip, there is a golden cross, which highlights the other gold accents on the piece. In 1865, King Edward I created 12 memorial crosses to commemorate his wife, Queen Eleanor. Close by, there is St. Martin-in-the-Fields, a Church of England parish church. This building has stood since the medieval period and has been one of the city’s historical churches.
Furthermore, on one side of the Westminster Bridge, you will find the famous Big Ben. This clocktower has been a national symbol for many years and is one of the top-recommended sights to see while in London. I only saw the outside because the inside was closed, but it was well worth it. The details of the building and the gold lining of the clock are beautiful to look at. This visit will not take much time but is amazing to view, so I would highly recommend a visit.
On the other side of the bridge, the infamous London Eye Ferris wheel stands tall. Unfortunately, I didn’t get the chance to go on it because it was a bit out of my college price range. If you want to book a time slot, make sure you do it in advance so the spots don’t fill up. Despite not going up the wheel, it is visible from many streets, bridges, and from double-decker buses! Make sure you look out for it while you are traveling around London!
Finally, I would highly recommend taking a stroll through Hyde Park. There are pretty ponds, flower gardens, fields, and monuments, as well as Kensington Palace inside of its gates. My friends and I stopped to see Kensington Palace on our walk and then continued towards the flower garden. We caught London on a beautiful, sunny weekend, so to take a break, we sat down and relaxed on a grassy field. This park is so large that you could spend hours exploring or relaxing – and the best part is that it’s free!
If you are study abroad traveling, don’t forget to check London off of your list, and visit these sights!
~ Lily Frank