Spring Break is just a month away – perhaps London?

by Bao Yi Tan

Midterms are probably over and it’s time to start planning for spring quarter, but you got to remember to take a break and start planning something for spring break! A road trip in the country could be nice, but you may have done it multiple times with your family. What about a trip outside the country? If that’s the case, why not London? The city of bars, beers, and famous fish ‘n’ chips. Here are the reasons why it will be an amazing adventure out in Europe.

It is truly a city, just like New York City or San Fransisco. Probably Chicago too. The beauty of a real city is that it is small enough to walk everywhere and explore the streets and get lost in crowds and feel like somebody else. It is pretty safe as well (enough to walk the streets at night). To truly connect with the city, it means it has to have great public transportation and the main mode of transportation in that city usually be walking. You can walk in London or take the underground, also known as the tube. It is very convenient and affordable. For a day ticket (the card itself is call an oyster), you can get it for £13.10 at any station (but that’s only for central London, but that’s probably enough anyway). There are other modes of transportation too. Buses, overgrounds, and some boat transportation. The most efficient one would be the underground. You can explore most of London via this convenient way in a short period of time.

There are many things to do in London. From the museums, theater, cathedrals, shopping districts to the nightlife – there will always be something to do in London. For instance, instead of watching a movie, definitely take advantage of the movies of English people – plays. Plays in London are simply magnificent and there will never be one play there is exactly the same as the previous night, as it is staged live and there will be some spontaneity. There are theaters everywhere and you have to get tickets early morning, in order to get good seats (depending on the demand of the plays). There are also many phenomenal musicals, if that interest you. Also, there’s a student price! There is the Tate Modern, a contemporary art museum, and you can get stuck there all day long. After enjoying the arts, there are cathedrals for the history nerds. But if you want something more raw, there is the Camden market at Camden town. There will be live music and street foods. After all the cultural fun, go to Convent Garden for some food and shopping. Then there will be nightlife waiting for you everywhere, because London is hopping.

London is an old city, so it is no surprise that there will be a lot of old bars (or taverns) around. It is amazing to walk around to be able to get a drink (as the legal age is 18) in the middle of the day and no one will judge you. The beers are great and if you want to try more types of beers, Belgium is a short flight away. There are also the Netherlands (or people call it Holland), France, and Ireland. All the great cities and countries just a short flight away, or take the eurostar train, which I would definitely recommend (even though the prices of the flight and train ride are about the same, you never really experience old Europe until you travel around Europe via trains and enjoy the scenic sights). For example, a train ride from London to Paris takes about 3-4 hours and you go through an underwater tunnel to get there. It is pretty cool.

Plan your trip ahead and you will have a lot of fun. Also, if you can, get an Airbnb and experience local people and their culture. One tip: stay in the city. It might be a little expensive, but do your research and your trip will be a smooth one.

Signing off, Chloe

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