Art in London

Author: Maria

As an art amateur lover there is one thing London for sure never lets you down: Exhibitions. London is filled with beautiful, amazing and most famous museums and galleries. I think it has so many that I have not been able to make it to all of them. However, I will let you know a few exhibitions which I have been and think are definitely worth visiting this winter (especially since it is getting cold around here).

The Royal Academy Royal Academy of Arts - Maria Nov16of Arts – Fell in love not only with its building, but also with the exhibitions it hosts but also their restaurant and the ‘Keeper’s gallery’. First visited it last year to see Ai Weiwei, then became their friend, and do not think I regret that choice. This year their ‘Abstract Expressionism’ exhibition will not disappoint.

 

 

National Gallery and National Portrait Gallery – Trafalgar National Gallery and National Portrait Gallery - Maria Nov16Square would not be the same if these galleries were not there. They not only make the picture perfect look, but also host some of the most impressive paintings! (Being a fan of Monet’s gardens, I think the national gallery permanent exhibition is a win) and now, the National Portrait Gallery is hosting Picasso’s portraits!!! What is not to love about it? You see the phase of all of Picasso’s portraits, from his more conventional painting style to his later phases of surrealism and cubism. It is a must see.

Natural History Museum – Okay, I am not a big fan of seeing animals and learning about Natural History Museum - Maria Nov 16natural history, but I must say, when I went to this museum, suddenly I became very much a fan. Aside from that every year they host, wildlife photography exhibition which, by the way, is fantastic. The music which plays in the background as you stroll around the dark exhibition makes the whole atmosphere unforgettable. Furthermore, you see “out-of-this world” photos from nature which are insanely beautiful.

 

 

Tate Modern because you cannot get any more modern than that ;) and you have a free permanent exhibition that is definitely worth looking at.Bob Dylan Halcyon Gallery - Maria Nov16

Bob Dylan, a musician, and a painter… I didn’t know that until I saw it for myself. Halcyon Gallery is hosting this inspiring artist’s paints and sculptures. It is definitely worth taking a look at if you are already a fan of this great man.

I will conclude it here, but there is never an end to art. London has so many amazing exhibitions that it would be such a shame not to even step in in one of these museums. Now that it is cold outside, what better excuse do you have to go inside and immerse yourself in a world of art? See you around there! Halcyon Gallery - Maria Nov16

Exploring London on a weekend – Shoreditch + Borough market

It’s the start of your weekend after a week of lectures and seminars, and you’re thinking ‘I wanna make the most of my weekend so : what should I do? where should I go? where should I explore?’

Hop onto the overground and get off at Shoreditch High street (Zone 1), wdishoomhich if I were to describe to you would be similar to Camden Town only, less busy and is a mixture of ‘upper-end’ atmosphere with an edgy, grunge feel to the area.  If you’re in the mood for good food, I highly suggest Dishoom in Shoreditch (there are a few other branches in London) which is a beautifully, edgy lit up corner restaurant, with its wonderfully aromatic incense burning away and its Bombay-an styled decor, you’ll be whisked away into the streets of Mumbai, where the restaurant originally began its chain. Try the ruby chicken; your tastebuds will genuinely explode with the glorious flavours that are complimented with both a generous mixture of sweet and savoury. With the food under 10 pounds each dish, you’re bound to leave fully satisfied and wanting to come back next weekend! So now that you’re interested in a well-budgeted restaurant that sounds like convincingly good, I bet you’re wanting to know what type of cuisine it is…

It’s Indian.

banksy

Aside from food, you’ve got to check out Banksy’s artwork nearby the street! You can feel the artwork on the wall and admire all the other graffiti sprayed onto the brick walls – past the Banksy’ art is a Taiwanese bubble tea store which, if you love Bubbleology, you’ll realise what you’ve been missing out on: real bubble tea. (Go for the original milk tea with tapioca pearls)

After all the walking, a group of my friends and I headed over to Borough market (Three Crown Square, a 2 minute walk from the tube station: London Bridge borough fruit- northern/jubilee line) which, by the way if you haven’t been to – make your way down there this weekend! Get some fresh fruit and vegetables there if you prefer going to a market (although it’s definitely more pricey than going to a farmer’s market), taste some freshly made burgers or oysters for just under 10 pounds too! If you love cheese, then forget Sainsbury’s or Aldi, try some soft or hard cheese right there in the pop up market stall and buy them – you won’t regret it! If you, like me, can’t eat until at least 2 hours after you’ve woken up – grab a cheeky pastry from any of the many pastry stalls to choose from, which seem to always be owned by Frenchman, and forget about a strict or healthy diet and ENJOY that pastry.

borough market

So go on, go treat yourself this weekend – it’ll end your hard-working week perfectly, and therapeutically get you ready to begin another busy week at King’s.

Traveling throughout Europe

Author: LeeAnn

As an international student, one of my favourite things to do whilst in London is to plan trips to other places throughout Europe. I’ve always loved traveling and Europe makes it so easy and relatively cheap to get to different parts of the continent.

The first thing to think about is whether or not you need additional visas or paperwork for the places you plan to travel to. This is dependent on your nationality and information can be found online. Moreover, make sure that you always have all of the necessary paperwork and identification to re-enter the UK when you return from traveling.

Once you have chosen a destination and have gotten your paperwLeeAnn - Europeork in order you can start to think about transportation. StudentUniverse offers discounted flights to students if you sign up using a student email and has been my go-to site for flights back to New York and around Europe. You can also compare prices using sites like Kayak and Opodo. Usually airlines like Ryanair and EasyJet are relatively cheap. However, these discount airlines typically do not offer amenities, such as free snacks or drinks. Additionally, you will have to pay to check baggage on these airlines, so it pays to travel lightly! If possible, pack your belongings in a carry-on bag and be sure not to have liquids more than 100 ml. If you choose not to fly, you may not face the same restrictions. There are many different train services, such as EuroStar, throughout Europe that can be reasonably priced without as many restrictions. Many countries offer their own train services as well. Be on the lookout for student pricing when booking your tickets – it can save you a lot of money!

After figuring out transportatiLeeAnn-Europeon, it’s time to look for accommodation. Hostel World and Airbnb are both good places to begin looking if you don’t know anyone local where you are going. I’ve had positive experiences with both sites, especially after booking places with good reviews. I prefer these options to many hotels because I’ve been able to get cheaper, nicer accommodation that is more centrally located, which ends up saving money for local transportation.

Finally, enjoy your trip! Europe has so much history to offer and each city and country has its own “thing” that makes it famous. During the past few months I’ve had the opportunity to travel to Edinburgh, Scotland, Reykjavík, Iceland, and Aalborg and Copenhagen, Denmark. It’s so amazing to see how other people live each day and learn about the different cultures that we are surrounded by in London. Traveling has allowed me to experience such a variety of different things and has made me truly appreciate how lucky I am to live in a city as vibrant as London.