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Your first three days in London

Published On April 16, 2014 | By Mark | London

Congratulations – you have made the move to London!

No doubt this move has been a long time in the planning, making sure that you have all the logistics and practical things sorted so that you can hit the ground running.

However it is important that you don’t forget to enjoy yourself!

When you first arrive in London, you probably have a honeymoon period for at least a few days before you have to knuckle down and focus on some of the less exciting things like finding a job. Here are a couple of suggestions that you might like to try in your first few days in this vibrant, exciting, and sometimes overwhelming city.

1. The hop-on-hop-off tourist bus.

In general, I would recommend avoiding all the obvious touristy things to do in London – you will have plenty of opportunity to experience these when friends and family come to stay. The reason that I would break this rule for the hop-on-hop-off tourist bus is that is a really useful way to get your bearings in the city and tick off all the major sights in one hit.

This is useful because when you are making conversation down the pub you can avoid seeming like you are completely green or fresh off the boat. St Paul’s? Love it! Beautiful! Tower Bridge? Like a post-card! I’ve got some great photos! Westminster? The history! Incredible? Buckingham Palace? Look at this photo of me – waving like the Queen!

The commentary that you get on these bus tours is also surprisingly interesting and gives you lots of little London facts and stories that you can easily drop into dinner party conversations, as well as helping to teach you how to say some of the trickier place names such as Southwark or Holborn.

2. Columbia Road flower market.

There is a widely held belief in London that you know when someone is getting serious in a relationship if they go to Columbia Road flower market together (it’s the same principle as visits to Ikea but somehow a lot cooler). Make sure you know how the market works so that you can look like a local if one of your hot dates ever suggests this as an option. It’s in Bethnal Green (easy to get to – use the TfL website to work out your journey), only operates on Sundays – best to go mid-morning and then finish with lunch in one of the many cool restaurants and cafes that are in the neighborhood (I like the Sunday roast served in the Royal Oak).

3. Ice-cream.

I’m always impressed if I’m out with friends or on a date, and someone says something along the lines of: “I know this great little place just around the corner from here…” A winner with everyone is always ice-cream. Do your research early and this will stand you in good stead as you build your life in London. Two of the best ice-cream options in London are La Gelatiera in New Row in Covent Garden (amazing flavor combinations made fresh each day in the kitchen below), and Gelupo in Archer Street in Soho (an offshoot of the outstanding Italian restaurant Bocca di Lupo).

London is a big adventure waiting for you to discover it. With a bunch of flowers, some top drawer ice-cream, and lots of fun facts at your fingertips, you are good to go!

photo credit: vasilennka via photopin cc

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