12 Places to Check Out in London While Getting a Tattoo: Get The Most From Your Stay
London is a pretty amazing city. It has a rich culture, awesome food and drink, and tons of places to shop, explore, and visit. While you might be considering coming here to get a tattoo, we definitely encourage you to stay a while and explore the city!
You’ve already heard of Big Ben, London Tower, Westminster Abbey, and all the other famous London landmarks. While those are all awesome places to go to, London has a ton of unique, quirky, and lesser-known places to visit as well! Getting off the tourist track is the best way to explore a new city and really get to know the heart of it.
Here are 12 of our favourite places in London to check out!
Where to Eat
Just like any large city, London has no shortage of excellent food options. You can always find some British classics like a full English breakfast, scones with tea, or fish and chips, but the culinary scene here also includes the best food from all around the world. It can be pretty overwhelming to know where to start, so here are our top three suggestions:
1. What the Fattoush?
This plant-based restaurant serves creative Palestinian-inspired dishes. They’re available for dine-in and take-out, and even offer meal kits, so you can try your hand at making Shakshuka, Mana’eesh, or a Mezze dinner at home.
What the Fattoush? is highly engaged in current social issues, including educating customers on the history of Palestine through different resources and raising money for MAP (Medical Aid for Palestinians) through artwork sales. Check them out in their pop-up location in Social, a bar in the Copeland Park area of Peckham. The nearest tube station is Peckham Rye.
2. Borough Market
This place is an establishment in London, having existed in some form since 1014! In the early hours of the day, it’s a wholesale market of fresh food to local restaurants, but later in the day it is a foodie’s heaven.
Make sure you go with a big appetite, because there are dozens of vendors to sample from. Take a bit of time to wander through the stalls and enjoy this historic site. Then, stock up on cheeses, deli meats, fresh bread and produce, or sweet desserts. There are plenty of options for prepared meals as well at the various food trucks! Get here with a quick walk from the nearest tube station, London Bridge.
You will not be disappointed by this award-winning Thai restaurant! They were recently awarded a MICHELIN Bib Gourmand and were inducted into the National Restaurant Awards Top 100. They serve some of the most amazing dishes we’ve ever tried, like the crispy sea bass, pork belly marinated in pickled watermelon, and a whole selection of delicious curries.
If you have a bit of time, try their Thai Tasting Sessions, so you can savour a tasting menu of dishes (includes a vegan menu option), served by the chefs who made them. Farang is located in Highbury Square in North London, near either the Drayton Park or Arsenal station.
Where to Drink
Brits may have a bit of a reputation for enjoying a pint or two every now and then. But with so many great drinking establishments around the city, who can blame us? There are tons of places to choose from, but here are our favourites:
1. Gordon’s Wine Bar
This wine bar is the oldest in London, established in 1890. The wine and ambience are equally amazing, and you’ll love sitting in this old vaulted cellar, lit by candles. The walls are covered with photos and newspaper clippings, so you really get the sense of stepping back in time.
They have a wide variety of wines, including their own label, sold by the glass or bottle. An extensive list of charcuterie and cheese platters are available to pair with your wine selection. Make sure to get some expert advice from the staff to choose the best pairing! Gordon’s is located near Covent Garden, between Embankment and Charing Cross stations.
2. John Snow
This classic British pub is the perfect place to grab a pint with some friends and get some classic pub food. The namesake, Dr. John Snow, has a monument just around the corner – an old water pump that he found to be the source of a cholera outbreak back in 1854. In doing so, he stopped the outbreak and discovered how the disease spread. He’s a pretty big deal in the scientific history books, so why not raise a glass to the good doctor and stop by to grab a pint or two! It’s located in the lively SoHo area, between Tottenham Court Road or Oxford Circus Underground stations.
3. The Sun and 13 Cantons
This bar is popular for its music scene, and was once the hub of the film and TV industry in Soho during the 1070s-90s. It has hosted tons of famous guests from the stage and screen! Nowadays it’s a great place to go grab a drink and some food from the curated food pop-ups they host. If you want to experience the Soho nightlife, The Sun and 13 Cantons hosts DJs a few nights a week! It’s located in Soho near the Piccadilly Circus station.
Stuff to Do
Besides eating and drinking your way through London, there are tons of unique things to do. Here are some of our favourite off-the-beaten-track destinations to visit in the city:
1. Museum of Brands
Even if you are not a ‘museum person’, you’ll love this one. It’s the perfect mix of fascinating and nostalgic, taking visitors through 200 years of consumer culture. They have a ‘time tunnel’ which is a walk down memory lane of how brands have evolved over time. They also have rotating exhibits, so there’s always something new! They are located in Notting Hill, near the Ladbroke Grove station. Entrance fee is £9.
2. Crossness Pumping Station
This sewer system was built in 1865, and is one of London’s best-kept secrets. Yes, you read that right: a sewer system. The Crossness Pumping Station is masterpiece of 19th century design and engineering. It was built to deal with the sewage problems of the ‘Great Stink’ in the 1800s, and is now a protected heritage site, open to visitors. The Victorian architecture is beautifully restored and looks more like a cathedral then a toilet! You can get here by driving or train; the closest station is Abbey Wood on the Southeastern train line. It costs £15 to enter, with additional fees for a tour if you’re interested.
3. The Last Tuesday Society
It’s unlikely you’ve visited anywhere like this before! The Last Tuesday Society was founded in 1873 and is dedicated to ‘subverting life, the universe and everything, it seeks to create a new world filled with beauty, wonder and the imagination’. They achieve this through the Viktor Wynd Museum – a collection of the quirkiest artifacts you could see – as well as an absinthe parlor and cocktail bar, events, and expeditions. Check them out for just £10. The closest tube station is Cambridge Heath.
Where to Shop
Your tattoo is obviously your biggest souvenir from London, but if you’re in the mood for something else to take home, spend some time browsing in these three amazing shops:
1. Reckless Records
This shop has been operating since 1984, committed to finding new collections every week! Their staff travel around the UK, or even further, to find the best titles. Whether your sound is industrial, dance, reggae, or avant garde, you’re guaranteed to walk away with something unique! There are thousands of titles to look through, so book of an afternoon to browse here. They’re located in Soho, near the Tottenham Court Road station.
2. END. Clothing
END. is the place to shop for curated menswear. They partner with over 400 brands and designers who are on the cutting edge of emerging, luxury, and streetwear clothing and footwear. You’ve got a new tattoo, so complete the look with a new outfit or pair of sneakers! They’re located in Soho near Oxford Circus Underground station.
3. The Vintage Showroom
This boutique sells all things vintage, with curated clothing from the 1950s-1990s. They also have their own up-cycle brand, which takes old clothing and gives it new life. Not only is upcycling great for the environment, but it ensures you are taking a unique, vintage piece home with you to remember your trip by. Check them out in North Kensington; the closest station is Ladbroke Grove.
This list only scratches the surface of all the awesome things to check out in London! It’s a city we’re proud to call home and excited to share with visitors. We hope it adds some fun and adventure to your stay in this city.
And, if you don’t get through it all on this trip, we’re always here for your next tattoo and London adventure!