July 23, 2013 - submitted by Sammy, United States of America

Q. Hello there!

I have gotten the amazing opportunity to study in London for a semester, and I was wondering what your top 5 favorite places were?? These could be places to eat, drink, relax, think, etc. Thanks!


The Oracle replies:

I hope you don't mind me presuming that as a student you'll prefer me to suggest places that won't break the bank. Some of these are my favourite places but not all are "top 5" in terms of the best.
Eat: Bistro 1, (3 locations).
Drink: The Nicholson chain (various locations) is competitive for booze or Flat White (Soho) for coffee.
Relax: Any of the parks.
Think: Hampstead Heath.
I also recommend the British Library where you can do all 4!

Most of London's major museums and galleries are free admission with a voluntary donation. They have lockers or left luggage so I suggest checking in your belongings and taking a leisurely stroll around the magnificent exhibits.

Here are a few other ideas:
Live music: Barfly (Camden).
Shopping: Westfield Centre (Shepherd's Bush or Stratford) for High St. shopping. Spitalfields or Borough for markets.
Night Club: Ultimate Power.
Cinema: Everyman (various locations).
Views: Southbank for street level landmarks, Primrose Hill for elevated.

There are obviously so many things to do in London but it's certainly worth considering both tourist attractions and discovering off the beaten track experiences.
There are plenty of theatre, cabaret and comedy nights to unearth without necessarily being West End prices.
One other thing, if the good weather continues, try outdoor film screenings or a visit to the infamous Globe Theatre - take a cushion!
Have a great stay, Sammy.