The second week in France, I decided to take a weekend trip to London with a friend! We looked at a bunch of different tickets (airfare, bus, TGV) and decided to take a bus since it was the cheapest option. We took an overnight bus because it saved us the most time and we could sleep on the way there. It was hard to get a full night of sleep because we had to stop at customs but overall, it wasn't too bad! Our bus left Paris at 11:55 pm on Friday night and left London on Saturday at 11:30 pm. Finding the bus stations was sort of confusing but we just asked some random people for directions and were able to make it to the stations. We didn't have to switch buses and took the Ferry across to London. I was kind of hesitant about taking a bus just because it was so far away and wasn't the most comfortable option, but honestly, I would totally do it again. I only paid about $78 for my ticket and airfare would have been almost $200. I know that if I would have planned the trip more in advance I probably could have gotten cheaper airfare but I only planned the trip a week in advance. I would say that a bus ticket is a good option for last minute planning.
I packed a set of clothes for the bus and then a second set for London. I wore leggings on the bus with a t-shirt but only changed by top and jacket when I arrived in London. I packed a tiny bag since we were only in London for one day. I also kept the bag pretty light since I din't want to be lugging around a ton of stuff. Also, London was FREEZING. And windy. I checked the weather before I went and made sure I wore a sweater but still couldn't stay warm. it was in the 50s when we arrived and I definitely was not expecting the constant wind and cold.
We arrived in London at 7:15 am on Saturday morning, grabbed coffee and changed into a new set of clothes. We did our makeup and everything in a Starbucks (lol). From the Starbucks we walked to a restaurant to grab breakfast. We didn't plan an extensive trip but did a lot of exploring and wondering around. We had a list of a few things we wanted to see but didn't schedule tours or anything like that. It was nice to spend a day wondering around instead of in class. :)
Timmy Green Restaurant
We went to this really cute Australian restaurant called Timmy Green and I ordered avocado toast. It was seriously amazing. The atmosphere was chill and it was nice to speak english again. Haha. They also had really great, fresh orange juice.
The Buckingham Palace
We just walked around the Buckingham palace and got some photos. It was beautiful!
St. James Park
After Buckingham palace, we walked through the St. James park and the views were so amazing! Since we were walking through the park at around 9am, everything was quiet and peaceful. A lot of people were jogging or working out throughout the park and it was a rnice break from the busy streets of Paris.
Big Ben & The Eye
I didn't know this before going, but Big Ben is being worked on so we weren't able to see everything completely. It was kind of a bummer but I still got a picture of the clock. We just walked around the area before heading out. Because it was early in the morning, the place wasn't busy, which was definitely nice.
If you know me, then you know I LOVE bookshops. I have visited so many since being abroad and I made sure to visit a few in London. Foyles bookshop had 4 floors of books and each floor was organized differently. I was in heaven. :) We stayed in this bookshop for about an hour and I ended up getting a few books.
The Persephone Bookshop
This bookshop is very unique because they reprint fiction and nonfiction books written by women of the twentieth century. They have 128 books in total and all have really unique covers and features.
The Harry Potter Shop at Platform 9 3/4
This was honestly my favorite part of the trip. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Harry Potter so I obviously had to visit this shop. Its free and you don't have to wait to enter unless you want your photo taken. I did wait about an hour in line to get my photo taken but it was so worth it! The shop had a bunch of really cool souvenirs and gifts and I got a t-shirt and mug (lol). Because I'm a nerd. I wanted to visit the Warner Brothers studio but it was a little out of the way and we didn't have time. Next time, though!
Whittard of Chelsea Tea Shop
The last place we stopped at before heading out was the Whittard tea shop. It had a lot of different tea and hot chocolate flavors. I got the peanut butter hot chocolate and can't wait to try it when I got home!
This trip was super short but we got to see some cool stuff! It was so nice to take a break from France and just explore London for a day. The bus ride wasn't as bad as I thought it would be but I was super tired when I got back in Paris at 8am on Sunday morning. I would definitely ride the bus again since it's such a cheap option.
I hope you enjoyed this post!
Until next time!