AdventureNotes #14: Artsy London

As promised, this one, and the upcoming AdventureNotes will be about London. I think, London is a city in which art is a major part. Therefore, this first exploration about London will be on art. Artsy London. If you are an art person, London is heaven. The city offers many choices of activities for you, whether you are into visual arts, crafts, music, or theatre. For me, the best part of London is its theatres. I love it so much, especially the musical plays. I am not so much into visual arts, but I quite like seeing crafts and street music. Here’s my experience being an ‘artsy’ person in London.

Visual art is closely linked to art galleries. I may not be the best person to give you suggestion on this, but I should say that art galleries in London are fabulous. There are many art galleries in London, from those displaying more conventional type of paintings to those displaying more contemporary forms of visual art. Say, National Gallery, Tate Britain, and Tate Modern. Those are just the famous names. I can think that every corner of London (well, at least in zone 1) has a dedicated art display. Anyway, I haven’t been to Tate Britain and Tate Modern, but I’ve been to National Gallery. My first impression: the place is huge! You surely have to spare one day alone to explore the paintings inside. If you like looking at paintings from hundreds of years ago, maybe you can go to this place. When I visited the place, I also saw a group of children having a tour specifically made for them. They were given drawing tools and they can try to copy their chosen paintings. That is kind of interesting because art galleries can be boring for children. This way, they can learn to love the art and explore the art gallery without judging that it is such a boring place to go to.

I kind of like crafts – just to look at. Don’t bother to ask me to make one, I will run away. Exploring markets in London can make you stumble upon unique crafts. I especially like to go to Portobello Market because there are lots of small shops and street stalls selling unique crafts. You can find rugs, bags, jewelry, and household stuffs there. Not that I’ve bought anything there, but the stuffs there are quite interesting! I don’t know if there is any place offering some kind of workshop there, but surely it is a good place to explore crafts in London.

Music! This is what I love about strolling on London streets because I can see street musicians performing. I love it! I think the best places to go to if you like street performers are Piccadilly Garden and Southbank area, near the London Eye. I once saw this group of female street musicians who are just wonderful! I can stay and stay and stay until they finish their performance. Well, that’s enough for me who don’t want to spend too much money on concerts. However, there are many music events held in London each year. You can look at Royal Albert Hall websites, the O2 arena, and other places regularly held musical performance. Sometimes, there are also music festivals in Hyde Park. If this is your interest, I think you should at least once feel the experience of coming to a concert in London. Where else can you see famous musicians with relatively not too expensive tickets?

My most favorite part of the artsy London is theatre! God, I love watching musicals! And London is the center of it! Every single time I went to London, I always find time to visit the West End. The area covering Victoria up to Covent Garden is the heart of theatres. Each theatre allocates itself for one type of performance. Say, you want to watch Lion King the musicals, then you have to go to Lyceum theatre. There are tens of performance shown each night and believe me, it is mostly fully booked. If you are into this kind of thing, I would suggest you to buy the theatre tickets way in advance to get the best deal. They sell theatre tickets online and there are lots of websites claiming that they offer the best price. One website that I would recommend is: http://www.tkts.co.uk/. If you are in a hurry and cannot book the ticket online, the cheapest way to see a theatre performance is by going to the ticket office last minutes as sometimes they still have some seats left or as some people may return their tickets for that night. If it is not cheap enough, you can always wait in front of the theatre until the performance begin, and they will sell the tickets in way cheaper price – although you may miss the beginning part of the show. I’ve seen two musicals so far, Wicked and Matilda. Both are great! I wouldn’t mind if someone asks me to watch those again, really. However, I would really love to see Lion King. Indeed, the ticket price never goes down! Poor me. I’d have to save my money before I can watch that show. Fingers crossed, I want to watch the show before I left the UK this year!

Of course, art is not limited to the parts that I discussed. Those are just the big parts. There are many ways to explore London in artsy ways. Look at unique places, festivals, and local art groups to know about it deeper. Next on: Budget London! Stay tuned!

Feb 05, 2016

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