Are you young, footloose and fancy-free? And thinking of coming to London? If so, you must visit Shoreditch – and here’s what you should know…
Throw yourself into it all!
So just why should you come to Shoreditch? Because you’ve heard it’s a place you simply have to check out; even stay in? Well, if that’s the case, you haven’t heard wrong. It’s undoubtedly one of the hippest, most vibrant, most on-trend and most fascinating areas of London right now. And, for that reason, should you have made the effort to visit the place, the advice is clear; don’t do it half-heartedly. Don’t just tip your toe in – throw yourself in. There’s little point being timid when it comes to an urgent urban centre that’s bursting with so many of the hipster places in London: stay-open-late bars, throbbing clubs, cool coffee shops and awesome boutiques, marvellous markets, eccentric eateries and stunning street art – put simply, you’ve got to go for it.
Don’t be shy – make friends!
If you’re from out of town – especially from overseas – you may have got a false impression. You may have been spoon-fed the stereotype that Londoners are a cold, unfriendly bunch. Don’t believe a word of it. The UK used to be something of a reserved place, sure – but times change. This is the second decade of the 21st Century – and, of all places, Shoreditch feels like it’s at the eye of its storm. This area – and, indeed, the wider city in general – is a centre of extraordinary diversity; every single possible demographic is represented here, which means there’s a chance you could bump into almost anyone from any walk of life and of any personality type. Be open, be cheerful, be friendly, be chatty and don’t be afraid of asking questions; you’ll have no problems making friends, let alone asking directions in Shoreditch!
Avoid rush hour
Or more specifically, the rush *hours*. This really refers to travelling on public transport; that is, the London Underground railway network (the Tube) or buses. The two weekday rush hours via these modes of transport can be hellish (they run roughly 7-9.30am and 4.30-7pm) and for good reason; millions commute around, into and out of London every single day for work. Getting stuck along with and in their way is not the way to experience the capital at its best; that’s for sure. So take care to arrange the times of day you’re looking to travel across the city – why not try getting about from wherever you’re staying (say, in one of the M by Montcalm Shoreditch rooms) by walking as much as you can during these hours of the day? That way, you won’t miss a thing, get an even better feel for the city and, no doubt, discover new treasures you never knew existed.
Finally, be aware that despite the vigour, vibrancy and electricity of this area – like everywhere else in the city – things tend to close earlier here than you might expect. On weeknights, nightspots usually close around midnight (last orders in a pub or bar are around 11pm – and at 10.30pm on a Sunday night). Sure, at the weekend, you’ll find many places won’t shut their doors until much later – 1-3am, say. Yet, only a select number of Tube lines run through the night on Fridays and Saturdays and, although there are ‘night buses’, relying on them may make for a long journey home. You have been warned!