Favorite Places as a London Local?
May 25, 2012 8:19 AM Subscribe
How can I go off the beaten path in London as a tourist? What are your favorite local spots?
posted by gregoryg to Travel & Transportation around London, England (26 answers total) 43 users marked this as a favorite
When I travel I tend to go places where I already have friends and I love just going to their favorite spots - neighborhood restaurants, bars, cafes, venues, parks, etc. I love to get a glimpse of what it feels like to live in a place as much as I can, rather than as an outsider looking in at a novelty. Maybe it's just me fantasizing about moving somewhere new and exciting, but typical tourist attractions generally do little for me.
I'm about to travel to London for a little over a week with my mother to visit some of the places where she grew up and get a larger sense of my family history. We'll be staying at her friend's place in Balham. I definitely plan on asking the friend about her own local favorite places, but I'm not sure I can expect her to be all that in touch with what a 25 year old guy living in NYC might enjoy on the days and nights where I don't have anything planned.
I don't have any London friends to ask about their local favorite places, so I turn to the internet. If you've had time living in London, what was it that you like to do? Where do you like to go in your neighborhoods? What would a typical tourist never find on their own?
As a quick example, I live in Brooklyn in a place that tourists would have little reason to go. However, there's an excellent neighborhood bar a few blocks away with a fantastic folky open mic, great alt comedy, a wide beer selection, and a lovely garden patio. I'd never know about it if I didn't live nearby, nor would I know about half the places I love if I hadn't found them through friends or by wandering around an area I live.
A couple of things that I'm into:
- Alt comedy
- Fringe theater
- Small music venues
- Local art galleries
So lots of things that young hipster-types are typically into, I guess? But I'm totally open to anything outside of those boundaries as well. I'm also planning on going to a handful of museums as well so I won't be missing out entirely on that stuff, but I'd like to have a good mix.