London is one of the most fascinating places that you can visit, particularly if you’ve never been before. Of course, there are a huge collection of guidebooks that can point you in the direction of the most famous and traditional landmarks in the city, such as Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, the London Eye and Buckingham Palace.
As great as those things are, there are lots of other things that you can do and see in the city to explore the way that Londoners actually live and spend their time.
It can be a really good way to have a great holiday in London without feeling like a standard tourist. With this in mind, we’ve pulled together a list of five great things for you to do in the city that are a little more outside the box and will have you fitting into the fabric of London in no time – you never know, you might even get stopped for directions!
Go to Attendant
Perhaps borrowing from the example of Burgermeister in Berlin, Attendant was once an old public toilet that has now been turned into one of London’s smallest cafes. You’ll find this creative little spot on Foley Street in Fitzrovia amidst a bunch of Victorian-era fixtures and features.
There’s also another one of these little toilet Attendants in Shoreditch, which happens to be just an eight-minute walk from one of our amazing M by Montcalm hotel, the M by Montcalm Shoreditch London Tech City – which is another out of the ordinary thing for you to see and stay in when you’re in London.
Our hotel is one of the most modern in the city, it is built in mind of the digital businesses in the area and the millennials who live and work nearby. Come and experience it for yourself by staying in our rooms that are equipped with iPad and iPhone multiple charging docks, unparalleled views of the city and excellent bar and restaurant facilities with on-trend offerings.
Go Sherlock crazy
For those of you who are massive fans of Sherlock Holmes – and who wouldn’t be? We highly recommend that you go to Baker Street and tour the Sherlock Holmes Museum, which you’ll find between 237 and 241 on the famous street. You can take photos with the hat and learn more about this fictional hero of London.
However, if you fancy something a little bit alternative and true to the Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman version of the story, you should head along to 187 Gower Street, which is the setting for this brilliant TV show.
Spot the famous Speedy’s cafe and feel free to take as many pictures as you like outside, but you won’t be allowed inside the building, as it’s a private residence.
To get from the hotel to Gower Street, walk to Old Street Station and take the Northern line to Euston, walk for nine minutes and you’ll be there.
Explore the Tube
Although it’s one of the most popular ways to get around the city, lots of people don’t realise that you can actually go exploring the tunnels of the Tube itself.
There is so much history steeped in this underground network, including lots of stations that are now closed and are subsequently open for tours.
Fans of architecture will also surely be fascinated in the range of materials and detailing that have been used over the years to create the different stations. From the brickwork at Baker Street to the steel and concrete at Westminster, there’s plenty to be admired.
Visit a Hindu temple
BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir is one of the largest Hindu temples outside of India, making London an important stop for all those who come to worship here.
Again, those who have an architectural eye will love this, as it is made from 2,828 tonnes of Bulgarian limestone and 2,000 tonnes of Italian marble, which was allegedly carved by over 1,500 sculptors.
This is a great place to visit, if only for you to appreciate how diverse London is, it’s hard to describe the culture of the city but it certainly is welcoming and vibrant.
Have a full English Breakfast
Eggs, bacon, sausage, beans, tomatoes, mushrooms, black pudding, hash browns and toast are just a small version of what you can expect when you have a full English breakfast. Oh, and you should absolutely have a cup of tea on the side.
This is exactly what you need when you have a big day of walking and sightseeing ahead of you and it’s something that you can’t leave London without trying.
Naturally, there are hundreds upon hundreds of places for you to get one of these, but Forbes recommends you try the Valencia Cafe on the corner of Tavistock Place and Marchmont Street. It’s known for being a greasy cafe, which is exactly what you want when it comes to a full English – nothing hipster will every be a substitute.