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The Best Places to Visit While Studying Abroad in London

June 28, 2024
by Giselle Magana
A street full of people and decorated with long strings of red paper lanterns

Discovering London’s Charms While Studying Abroad    

When people first come to London, they tend to wonder, “Where do I go, what do I do?” and that is exactly what I was thinking when I arrived to study abroad there. I spent a lot of time on social media trying to look at recommendations from people who have been there, or people who live in the city. And now, there are specific places, touristy and non-touristy, that I can recommend to anyone who wants to come to London. 

Soho & Chinatown 

One location I keep going back to is the Soho and Chinatown area! To me, it’s like a cleaner version of Chinatown in New York City if you're familiar. The streets of New York specifically in Chinatown tend to have more trash on the sidewalks. In London, the streets are way cleaner.  

I went there multiple times, and the tube ride wasn’t super long at all. We were lucky and had the opportunity to attend during Lunar New Year and it was incredible. They had a parade, red decorations, and dragon dances. The restaurants around the area will not disappoint and the best fruit tea I have ever had is in Soho. It’s called HEYTEA and although the line is usually long, the wait is totally worth it. I am picky about fruit tea, so saying it’s the best I’ve had means a lot. The Soho and Chinatown area is huge, and it’s the perfect place to just walk around with your friends! 

A street full of people and decorated with long strings of red paper lanterns

Chinatown during Lunar New Year

Frameless London 

Frameless London is an immersive art exhibit on the corner of Oxford Street, and it was unique. There are multiple rooms representing different forms of art and it’s like a projector displaying the art pieces coming to life, taking up the entire room. There are also different sound effects and music playing for each piece of art. It helps you get more involved in the art, and it’s a good way to read into it a little bit more. The art pieces transition about every five minutes and they are looped. You can experience the reality of the pieces, and it’s very peaceful just sitting and watching the pieces move around.  

A dark room filled with bright illuminated screens

Inside one of the Frameless exhibits 

If you like locations that are good for pictures, this is one of them. It takes over an hour to get through all the rooms, but you can spend all day in there if you want. Tickets are currently about ₤30, but you can get half off if you use the student discount. I went to Frameless with my friend Clarissa, and I had a blast. Personally, art exhibits tend to make me sleepy, but I was interested in this one the entire time. The art pieces are intriguing to look at, especially because they are coming to life. We stayed there for an hour and a half and even went into some rooms twice. It’s inside, so it’s a good activity for a rainy day. 

Two study abroad students smiling and taking a selfie

Clarissa and I at Frameless 

Borough Market 

Along with Soho, this is a good option if you want to find good food. This market only sells food, so that’s when you know it is going to be good. I went with my friends once and I’m determined to go back. They sell so many kinds of food like pizza, ice cream, and pastries. I recommend going on an empty stomach because I guarantee the food is going to fill you up because of how much there is. There’s one especially famous treat that is sold at Borough Market: the chocolate covered strawberries. They have gone viral on TikTok, and I can gladly say it’s worth the hype they are getting. I don’t really like milk chocolate, but this treat was delicious. They are open every day until about six in the evening, so you can easily go whenever you want. 

The outside of a building housing a covered market with people inside and outside

Exploring Borough Market 

South Bank 

I usually rule against going to the extremely touristic areas more than once because of how crowded they can get, but this is the only exception I can make. The South Bank is one of the most beautiful areas you could go to in London, and most of the city’s most famous sights are there. Just across the water is Big Ben and the Palace of Westminster, and the London Eye is right on the South Bank. It can tend to get a little crowded during the day, so I recommend going at night because I think it is way prettier then. The London Eye lights are on, and you can see the lights under the bridge. The lights were green the last time I went because of St. Patrick’s Day. You can walk on the bridge, take pictures, and attend any free events going on. Along with the other destinations, you can eat good food here too.  

A body of water with a bridge and large building in the background

Beautiful view from South Bank. 

In conclusion, there are so many spots in London that are worth visiting but these stood out to me. The city is huge, and there’s so much to see! 



Giselle Magana is the Content Creator - Blogger in London, England, and is currently studying at University of Houston.
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