"You live in London, hell there must be so much to discover."
That's probably the opinion of many.

True. I used to jump on the tube, get off somewhere unknown. But even that has gotten old. I'm somehow running out with creative ideas of what to do. I realized that without some proper planning, you will not find yourself in unknown situations. That's what I learned from a friend this week.

For as long as I can remember, I thought freedom was my holy grail. I'd rather met up with friends spontaneously as I couldn't stand a full schedule lined up for the week ahead. What was really happening was that I ended up without a plan, I was missing out on the city. 

That's why I created a proper plan, here are my 8 ways to find the unknown in London.







#1 Eventbrite & Biletto

This is usually my number one place to start. Here you can find different event types via tags (health, spirituality, food pop-ups, etc.) or the different time selections. Or, you can filter for free events, so you don't even need to worry about additional costs. If I see an interesting event, I simply click the link to add it to my Google calendar and once I collected a couple of events for the week I can then book and finalize my event list during the week if I still feel like going. 

Link: Biletto.co.uk
Link: Eventbrite.com

#2 To-Do-London

Years ago I've created a To-Do-London list on Twitter. Whenever I come across a trendy theater, cafe, museum, gallery or what not, the first thing I look for on their websites is their Twitter follow button and then I add these places to this list. It's basically a breathing entity. So, when I plan some events for the upcoming week, I take 10 minutes or so to scroll through the list and see if anything captures my attention.

Link: @effcaa's To-Do-London



#3 Bookshops

I love how bookshops have become event and community places. These are some of my favorite places. Also note the area codes.

Link: Treadwell’s, WC1E 7BS 
Libreria, E1 5JP 
Link: London Review Bookshop, WC1A 2JL
Link: Foyles, various places


#4 Ian Visits

I learned about Ian Visits from a conversation with a lady sitting at the Horse Hospital. She told me that she found the talk we were both attending via Ian. Sign up for the newsletter, highly recommendable. He really finds those hidden gems in the city.

Link:  IanVisits.co.uk



#5 Meetup

The classic when it comes to finding events. I'd recommend you sign up for several groups which interest you. Nothing feels better than surrounding yourself with like-minded people you share the same interest with. Among others, I met some interesting people from the Analytics industry, was sitting together on Tuesdays with other writers, or met some other photographers.

Link: Meetup

#6 Talks @ Night

This is a concept which aims to take the well known 'Tedx' style talks and make them more accessible. 

Link: LDN Talks @ Night



#7 Londonist & TimeOut

When I first moved to London, the Londonist, as well as Timeout, would be my number one places to check for weekend activities. These sites will tell you what is going on in the city, e.g. is there a parade or a festival etc. 

Link: Londonist.com
Link: TimeOut.com/london

#8 Cultural Venues

Finally, it's always worth checking directly what the big cultural venues have on. Here just a few: 
Southbank Centre
Somerset House
Rich Mix
Wellcome Collection



Finding the unknown is easy when you book a plane ride to some exotic destination. You find yourself in a cultural context where it's obvious that you are in unknown territory. Thing is, I'm slightly tired of chasing and discovering these seemingly superficial unknown realms. It's just not sustainable, I can't be living for a few weeks of holiday in a year. Airplanes are not the world's best friend and I don't want to be a nomad without a home. Nonetheless, I do believe that you can look deeper at your immediate surroundings and find more subtle aspects of life, the only challenge is to put yourself out there. Out into the unknown places of your familiar circumstance. Even that isn't just as easy as it may sound.

That's why I want to look deeper at my immediate surrounding. London offers so much, the only challenge is to put yourself out there. Out into the unknown places of your familiar circumstance. We cannot self-create those wow moment, these moments happen to us as we find ourselves in different situations. 

I thought that it would be best to go with the flow, to just see how I would feel and then do something. Thing is, you are likely to miss out on life. So, I'm taking 30min or so on a Sunday to plan my week ahead. Scan the above options, put some events in my Google calendar, that is the plan.


How do you find out about worthwhile events in your city?

As always, thanks for reading.