Shortly after my arrival in Ireland in 2012, I temporarily relocated to London for a couple of months for work. Despite being in London originally for business, I can say that I loved my weekends there spent for pleasure! Even if I had a stressful week at work, I look forward to the weekends because I ALWAYS have something planned to do – I often stay out until dark!

Christmas Expat
In front of Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park. Photo via Facebook

It’s been a while since I traveled to London but the memories of my fun weekends filled with activities are still fresh from memory. If given the opportunity, I’d take the next plane ticket to take the trip and relive these things I enjoyed during my 3-month stay there!

Go to a museum (most of them are FREE!)

Not a dinosaur geek but I can't miss seeing this personally! Photo via Facebook
Not a dinosaur geek but I can’t miss seeing this personally! Photo via Facebook

When I started traveling, I often visit museums if I end up with a free day or if I want to have a “lazy day”. Museums are definitely not a priority and it is often an afterthought. But with my personal experiences of traveling to museums in London, that changed my museum perception a bit. And I would even gleefully recommend dropping by one or two museums when in London if time permits!

Most museums in London are free or have “free entrance fee days”. So, if you are planning to visit London anytime soon, it is definitely worthwhile to visit at least one to see their interesting exhibits on display!

Indulge in a leisure afternoon with tea (of course!)

My not-so-traditional afternoon tea at the OXO Tower. Photo via Facebook
My not-so-traditional afternoon tea at the OXO Tower. Photo via Facebook

We can all thank Anna, the Duchess of Bedford in 1840, who would go hungry at around 4 PM in the afternoon for this fashionable way to snack on cakes and sandwiches. Eventually, her “snacking” evolved to not just getting rid of hunger pangs while waiting for dinner at 8 PM but also as a high-class social event we all love to share with friends and loved one’s today.

There are lots of places and hotels around the world offering this on their menu but nothing beats the experience of having it in London nonetheless! From simple cafes to five-star hotels, you can take your pick which version of afternoon tea would suit your taste buds and budget! A personal favorite would be the afternoon tea served at the iconic OXO Tower. It may not be authentic but the quirky and artistic take on the cakes plus the superb view of the River Thames on a gloriously sunny day in London is one for the books!

Watch a musical

And, we are about to watch - Wicked! Photo via Facebook
And, we are about to watch – Wicked! Photo via Facebook

Watching a musical has become my favorite past-time. If I were to choose between watching a movie or a musical – I’d definitely choose a musical anytime! There is something so fascinating about actors acting live on stage not to mention the superb way they change the “scenes” and sequence in split seconds!

Luckily before my work assignment in London ended, I was able to watch at the famous West End. The hall was huge and being in such an iconic place for live theater adds up to the excitement, too! The only problem might be choosing which one to watch – especially if you are in London just for a few days – there are so many popular options showing at the same time!

Walk and shop around English markets

One of the many items for sale at the Borough Market. Photo via Facebook
One of the many items for sale at the Borough Market. Photo via Facebook

Before my son was born, one of my favorite weekend past times was strolling around the English market. Even if I didn’t have anything to buy, I just love walking past merchants to see items on display, smell the sweet whiff of freshly baked bread, or free sampling some cheese (yum!).

There are a lot of outdoor markets in London open on weekends but a top favorite is the Borough Market. I love the food selection as well as the easy commute to get there, too. It requires just a few minute walk from London Bridge tube station so it is fairly easy to navigate even for first-timers.