London – a global metropolis between the New World and the Old. History weighs heavily on the buildings in the city center, but so does a lot of pop culture: the film locations of Harry Potter, the myth of Jack the Ripper, punk and the Beatles are just a few examples. London is – just like New York – a city that you think you know before you’ve been there.

The Shard in London

Days in July are hot and long. In the metro stations, people are advised to drink enough water and to avoid the midday heat. Those who can escape to one of the numerous parks or to the pub for a beer. Drinking culture is popular culture here.

Like most big cities, London gains glamour in the evening hours. The bankers loosen their ties, the streets are blocked, the pubs have no more free seats. Now is exactly the right time for a stroll along the Thames.

Vany's Tip

Every time I’ve been in England, I’ve been lucky with the weather. But our joint trip to London and Cambridge in July 2022 topped everything: With summery temperatures and a bright blue sky, we enjoyed London until late in the evening. My clear recommendation: Explore the city on foot. You should do this in every city, but in London, it’s especially charming. This way, you can combine visits to all the important sights with a walking tour. For example, stroll from the London Bridge along the Thames towards the South Bank – from here, you can enjoy the view of St. Paul’s Cathedral while discovering the newly designed harbor district.

If you’re good on foot, you can also manage our approximately 15km day tour. From Buckingham Palace to Hyde and Regent’s Park and back to Soho, where the famous Piccadilly Circus serves as a bustling center – similar to Times Square – offering various impressions. From here, it’s only about a kilometer to the Thames to see Big Ben and Westminster Abbey. Let yourself drift along on this long tour, have lunch at Mother Mash, for example, take a break in the shade of the parks or (if you have more typical English weather) stop off at a pub.

St. Pauls Cathedral
At the Themse
Big Ben in London
Big Ben in London
Westminster Abbey
Palace of Westminster

“Trash” and “Royality” are close together here. The punk subculture chose the song London Calling as London’s anthem, creating an apocalyptic doomsday scenario. At the same time, London is the seat of royalty, a financial metropolis with exclusive housing for the upper class. Several times in its history, this city was destroyed – in the Great Fire of 1666, for example, or by Nazi bombardments in 1940. Plagues and air pollution wiped out the inhabitants. But in the end this city survived.

Buckingham Palace
Big Ben in London
Walk along the Themse

Just over an hour by train from London is the university city of Cambridge. It is the English equivalent of the American Harvard. Charles Darwin, Prince Charles, Rosalind Franklin, Stephen Hawking, John Maynard Keynes, Sir Isaac Newton and John Milton, among others, have studied and taught here.

The city itself has a sleepy, unexciting vibe. It’s a long walk from the train station to the university campus. The River Cam meanders past the dormitories and faculties. Students and tourists lie on the banks or paddle across the water in small boats. People drink beer together, laugh and have a good time.

Cambridge University
Cambridge University
Cambridge University

Info about our trip