Beyond Big Ben: 5 London Destinations That Make You Look Like a Local

Although the Big Ben is a can’t-miss London attraction, don’t make the ultimate travel mistake by visiting only the most well-known (and touristy) attractions. We’ve compiled a list of five London attractions to help you see all the historic city has to offer. Enjoy your trip off the beaten path!

Greenwich Market

London is full of open-air markets, but Greenwich Market is a foodie’s dream come true. Situated away from the crowds of central London, this covered market is the place to taste foods from around the globe. Shop for anything from spicy Jamaican curry to Thai noodles, and then eat picnic-style next to the Thames. Greenwich Market is open Tuesday-Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

The Museum of Brands, Packaging and Advertising

For living history fans, this museum showcases consumer products from decades past. Its quirky collection contains over 12,000 original items from food packages to shampoo bottles, showcasing products that have helped define daily life for generations. Curator Robert Opie has personally collected items for the museum’s displays since he was 16, creating a truly one-of-a-kind collection.

Take a Seat with Churchill and Roosevelt

Thought the opportunity to sit between FDR and Churchill was long gone? In central London, a bench contains bronze statues of Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill, who appear to be sitting and chatting. There is a handy space for sitting between them, creating one of London’s best (and least known) photo ops! Named “Allies,” the bench was constructed to commemorate 50 years of peace after the Second World War.

Speakers’ Corner, Hyde Park

Situated next to Kensington Palace, home of Royal Couple Will & Kate, Hyde Park is a sprawling outdoor recreation spot. Make your way over to Speakers’ Corner, where people from around the world gather to speak about whatever might be on their mind. Topics range from the serious—think religion and war—to the funny and satirical. Stop by on a Sunday afternoon, when the liveliest crowds draw to watch the stand-up speakers.

Richmond Park

Richmond Park is the largest of the Royal Parks, and home to herds of deer running wild through its fields and trails. Its rolling hills and beautiful oak trees make it one of the most scenic spots of the city, and it also provides great views of London: from certain spots, you can see all the way to St. Paul’s Cathedral. British legend holds that this park was the location of doomed couple King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn’s honeymoon.

Ready to stop reading and start sightseeing? Check out http://www.hipmunk.com/ to book your flights and find your perfect hotel.

 

 

Hipmunk’s Best Hotel Tips

Since it’s Hipmunk Hotel Month, we’re sharing some of our best hotel tips. We’ve asked our in-house hotel expert, Tom, to share some of his favorites. Here are 5 for this week!

  1. Room service can be expensive. Oftentimes, you can get the same food at a better price, by ordering your food to-go at the lobby
  2. Forget your phone charger? Ask the front desk – they often have a spare they’ll loan you
  3. When you check-in to your hotel, ask if it has a view. If it doesn’t, ask to upgrade without the additional fee. It never hurts to ask!
  4. Request to have your mini fridge empty, so you can easily store your own items
  5. Keep “green” by requesting that housekeeping does not wash your sheets every night. They’ll just make your bed instead!

Next week, we’ll have 5 more hotel tips for you! In the meantime, find the perfect hotel for your summer vacation on Hipmunk

Top 10 Places to Visit in 2014

1. Ushuaia, Argentina

Ushuaia is a city along the southern coast of Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego and has been described as the southernmost city in the world. While visiting, be sure to see the Tierra del Fuego National Park and Lapataia Bay

2. Chang Mai, Thailand

Thailand has been a popular travel destination for the past couple years, and still remains one for 2014. Chang Mai specifically, has over 300 buddhist temples and  hosts many important Thai festivals, making it a necessary stop on your trip.

3. Rio de Janerio, Brazil

As the second largest city of Brazil, Rio de Janerio will be a popular destination in 2014 as it hosts the World Cup. The rich culture of carnival celebrations, dances like the Samba and Bossa Nova, and of course the balneario beaches, makes visiting Rio de Janerio at any time of year a must in 2014.

4. Hanapepe, Kauai

Hawaii is a popular vacation destination for those on America’s West Coast, but there is still much to see and discover. Hanapepe, known as “Kauai’s biggest little town,” is a charming area that is loved by both locals and visitors. What once were plantation style buildings, have been transformed to shops, local food stops, and art galleries, which serves as a fun destination to explore when looking for a break from the beach.

5. Kyoto, Japan

Japan is a country that offers so much rich history and culture, and has plenty of cities to explore. One city that should be on your list, is the former capital of Japan, Kyoto. The city is one where old meets new. Home to 2,000 ancient temples and shrines, as well as modern restaurants, Kyoto offers something for everyone.

6. Seward, Alaska

A small coastal town, Seward is known for its beautiful vistas, visitor attractions, and as the entry to Kenai Fjords National Park. The crystal water of the Fjords, glaciers, and possible otters, sea lions, and whale sightings, make this bucket list destination a must in 2014.

7. Bologna, Italy

Tucked in northern Italy, Bologna is a beautiful city that like other popular Italian destinations, boasts a rich art, food, and architectural culture. Known to be the culinary epicenter of Italy, Bologna is a must-visit city for the foodie.

8. Paros, Greece

Paros is a Greek island with pristine beaches that have yet to be discovered by tourists. The island which was once known for it’s fine marble, is small enough to explore, yet has plenty of beaches to enjoy.

9. Auckland, New Zealand

Auckland has become an urban hub with new bars, shops, and locally acclaimed restaurants. While many visitors skip Auckland and opt to explore the coastline, this city is certainly a stop one must make while visiting New Zealand.

10. Brisbane, Australia

Historically dismissed as a quiet town, Brisbane is one of Australia’s most cosmopolitan cities. It’s dynamic in what it offers visitors: boutiques, outdoor attractions, art galleries, and delicious restaurants – all while maintaining the small town aurora it has always been associated with.

 

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