London is home to plenty of expats from across the world. A fair number of them make their way to London from Germany, as students or to work and live here. Like with other expat communities there are times when you hanker for items and familiarity from back home. While Germany is not that far away with plenty of cheap flights on offer from Air Berlin, Ryanair and Easy Jet, there are several German attractions to enjoy a visit to London as well.
For those planning a first-time visit to London, one of the best places to stay is at any accommodation near Hyde Park London.
A good choice would be the Hotel Grand Royale Hyde Park, London, conveniently located in central London and in close proximity to some of the best attractions in the city.
For German visitors wanting to experience the comfort and familiarity of things back home in London, the best places to visit are:
Meet up with fellow countrymen: There is a popular German expat online group Meet Up, which offers a great platform to meet with fellow Germans and connect with another back home. These groups host their own social and cultural events including a variety of clubs like book clubs and German conversation groups.
Visit Fischer’s for traditional German food: Fischer’s is reputed as being the finest German bakery in London and definitely the place to visit when you crave for German delicacies. With a distinctly German ambience, the menu offers both German and Austrian fare. There are plenty of wonderful menus from breakfast to dinner (with great vegetarian options as well). Or you could just pop in for a wonderful cup of coffee and cake. Located at Marylebone it opens all the days of the week from 8 am until late night.
Experience an authentic German Christmas market: Germany is renowned for its amazing Christmas Markets, which are not quite replicated anywhere else in the world. The good news is that London does offer a good substitute with the Southbank Christmas Market among the best German Christmas Markets out of Germany. There are rows of stalls selling a variety of traditional German products including the famous gluwein, recognised as the most famous drink to originate from Germany.
Enjoy the experience of a visit to a beer hall: If you want to enjoy an authentic experience of a traditional German beer hall in London, visit Bierschenke, a pleasant stroll from Moorgate or Liverpool Stations. It opens Mondays to Fridays (11:00 – 23:00 hrs) and on Saturdays (12:00-00:00 hrs). The atmosphere is like a traditional German beer hall with excellent German cuisines and of course German Beer. Saturday evenings are when you can try your skills at dancing with an Oompah Band making it a very Bavarian experience. Located in the heart of London it is a great place to experience all things, German.
Try the superb German Deli in Borough Market: If you are longing for some of the best bratwurst in town head to the German Deli located in Borough Market. From the best of German sausages to authentic bratwurst you can savour them all at the deli on all days of the week (with exception of Sundays). The produce is lip-smacking good and all of the German sausages are imported from the motherland. There invariably are long queues including plenty of German expats apart from all those who have a passion for German cuisines.
Looking for classic German bread: The bread sold in Britain is a far cry from what expats are used to eating back home in Germany. The good thing is that there are a number of top-notch German bakers in London, with Kamps, one such establishment located on Tottenham Court Road. Visitors get to see the bakers in action as they prepare the scrumptious bread, which is reasonable in price. They also have an excellent selection of pastries, desserts, cakes, sandwiches etc. Another fabulous bakery worth a visit is Bakehaus close to Hammersmith. Apart from their delicious bread, they offer a traditional German lunch where you could feast on Bockwurst, Schnitzel, Frikadellen and Fleischkase among other mouth-watering dishes.
Tour the Bavarian Village at Winter Wonderland: With Christmas in mind, one of the best places to visit in the festive season is the amazing Bavarian Village that comes up at Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park. There are close to 200 incredibly pretty Bavarian chalets that pop up in the area, which gives it a very Germanic feel and atmosphere. There are plenty of items for sale, including very interesting German gifts for friends or family. A wonderful place to get acquainted with all things German in London!
Get acquainted with Britain’s and German history: A great place to learn about the comparative history of Britain and Germany is the German Historical Institute in London. It facilitates academic research both on modern and medieval history of both the countries. A well-stocked library at the Institute focuses on German history through the ages. There also are regular events, meets and conferences to share their knowledge with history enthusiasts.
Enjoy some skiing: Germany in the winter months offers plenty of skiing options to choose from. While the weather back home in Britain does not offer the same experience if you enjoy snowboarding or skiing on actual snow hop aboard a train from Euston to get to Milton Keynes to hit the slopes. Milton Keynes is where you will find Xscape among the biggest indoor snow slopes in Europe. There are lessons on offer for all levels from beginners to skilled skiers. If you do not fancy skiing you could try your skills at tobogganing instead. A fabulous place to ski and a great location to spend time with the family!