Five Must-See Places To Travel To (Without Leaving London)

1. India

With Urdu, Punjabi and Hindi being among the top ten languages spoken in London you only need to head to Wembley, Southall, East Ham or Tooting to feel like you have travelled to India. Authentic saree shops, pungent spices, snack bars and restaurants are easy to find and the music of Bollywood is everywhere. You'll come across many Hindu or Sikh temples while visiting these areas; they are often very beautiful and will welcome visitors (sometimes with delicious home-made food). Neasden Temple, arguably the most famous Hindu temple in London, celebrated its 20th birthday last year and is definitely worth a visit. Top shopping tips: buy fresh spices, colourful cheap bangles & shiny unusual homewares like tiffin boxes (these make fantastic lunchboxes). If you'd like help with planning a trip just email us or join one of our tours.

2) Greece

Why get sunburned in Greece when an easier option might be to tune into London Greek Radio at 103.3FM and head straight to north London to Green Lanes for a flavour of authentic Greek (or more precisely largely Greek Cypriot) culture. Try the pastries at Lefteris, the Greek bakers who have been serving spanikopita to Londoners since 1918 or to find an awesome collection of Greek records or videos head to the tiny establishment of Greek City Audio. You can even sign up to learn some Greek dance steps - and practise them on a night out at one of the many local bars or restaurants.

3) Japan

The biggest annual London-Japan event is HyperJapan which brings a riot of excitement to the O2 exhibition centre with massive displays of animation, cosplay (that's adults dressing up in weird costumes), food demonstrations, culture tips and more. If that sounds too much, a trip to the JapanCentre in central London (near Piccadilly Circus) is a must, just to see the wide range of Japanese products for sale. Children will love the cute HelloKitty-inspired pastries and sweets and be intrigued by the colourful packaging and gifts you can buy. If you want to explore Japanese culture further, there are big Japanese communities in Ealing, Finchley and Swiss Cottage. Our Japanese guide teaches Japanese Calligraphy lessons for children near Swiss Cottage as well as leading SharedCity tours. 

4) Africa

If you have always fancied visiting Africa, this summer you can see most of the continent in one day. Spend your morning wondering around Peckham with its glorious authentic Nigerian stalls and shops, picking up colourful fabrics and traditional snacks (try Nims Kitchen in Copeland Park - highly recommended!). For inspiration watch this great intro to Nigerian Peckham.  Our tour guide Kemi makes it all come to life!

5) Latin America

The London community from Latin America is friendly, dynamic and growing quickly. You can find pockets of Columbians near Elephant & Castle (try empanadas at La Cachita, the best Columbian cafe in town). There are loads of Brazilians living in Stockwell & Willesden - check out the delis, butchers and colourful cafes. Try out your Portuguese in Tia Maria an awesome Brazilian pub-restaurant in Stockwell or the tiny hidden gem Baracco in Kilburn. For adults sampling a Caipirinha cocktail is a must and children will love to eat Portuguese custard tarts (pastel de nata). For some of the best coffee & cakes in London, head to Golborne Road W10, the oldest hub of the Portuguese community and grab an outside table to people-watch Lisbon style. If you'd like to learn more about Latino culture in London check out the dates of our next guided trips.