Travel·Updated on 5 Dec 201918 Things I Wish I'd Done Before I Left LondonAll the underrated gems and touristy adventures that are actually worth it.by Chelsey PippinBuzzFeed ContributorFacebookPinterestTwitterMailLink At the end of last year, after seven years in London, I broke things off with the first city I ever loved. View this photo on Instagram instagram.com And while my time living all over the city was jam-packed with adventures, London and I still have a lot of unfinished business. It's a massive, exciting, endless-evolving cultural centre, so there's no way I could tackle the WHOLE thing in seven years! Flickr: gemmabou / Creative Commons So whether you're planning your first visit, a Londoner looking to fall back in love with your city, or a soon to be ex-Londoner wanting to make the most of your time left in town... Here's a list of the things I still want to check off my London bucket list: 1. Explore the Barbican Conservatory Flickr: scotbot / Creative Commons The Barbican Conservatory is a STUNNER. I mean, just look at that photo: the installation brings together the building's brutalist architecture with over 2,000 species of tropical plants and trees for a completely surreal and totally gorgeous aesthetic.It's only open to the public on certain Sundays and Bank Hols, so I'd suggest you put aside a Sunday and get yourself over there stat.More about the Barbican Conservatory. 2. Poke around God's Own Junkyard Flickr: dgeezer / Creative Commons This absolutely surreal neon warehouse in Walthamstow screams trendy London but looks seriously legit. Open Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, with an attached cafe, it's the perfect weekend excursion.More about God's Own Junkyard. 3. Attend the Ceremony of the Keys at Tower of London Flickr: tarquingemstone / Creative Commons Did you know that you can book an exclusive experience at Tower of London FOR FREE? Every night in London, you can witness the centuries old tradition of locking up the Tower - all you have to do is book your free ticket in advance, and make sure you're free for your allotted date.Bonus: the 35 minute program from 9:30pm to 10:05pm can easily fit into an after work schedule.More about the Ceremony of the Keys. 4. Take a cable car ride over east London Flickr: simononly / Creative Commons The Emirates Airline Cable cars travel across the Thames between Greenwich and the Royal Victoria Dock, offering a unique bird's eye view of east London.If you're feeling fancy the cable car line offers a champagne flight for a better deal than the London Eye's champagne experience, with the added benefit that you're actually going somewhere.More about the Emirates Air Line. 5. Visit the Mithraeum Flickr: duncanh1 / Creative Commons A temple to the Roman god Mithras was discovered underground in London in 1954, but the excavation has only recently been restored for the public to view. Located at the Bloomberg SPACE in East London, the unique exhibition shows off the archaeological site alongside other artefacts from the period, and also includes the history of the site's discovery and tells the stories of the archaeologists who found it. Access is free, but you need to book your place.More information about the Mithraeum. 6. See the London Contemporary Orchestra View this photo on Instagram instagram.com The London Contemporary Orchestra famously performs in nontraditional venues, and based on reviews, it's an absolute delight to behold, and an excellent opportunity to see London from a new angle.They've performed in Tube stations, abandoned buildings, outdoors, and even their gigs in "proper" venues are a sight to behold, this photo from their show at London's Printroom proves it.More about the London Contemporary Orchestra. 7. Swim in Hampstead Heath View this photo on Instagram instagram.com There are three swimming ponds in Hampstead Heath — a men's pond and a women's pond both open to the public year round, and a mixed pond with open access in the late spring/summer.Who knew a short trip on the Tube could land you somewhere so idyllic?More about the Hampstead Heath ponds. 8. Have a drink up the Shard View this photo on Instagram instagram.com This is one of those quintessential touristy things to do in London, but a good way to get your money's worth.Most Londoners will tell you to ditch the expensive View from the Shard experience in favour of booking a meal in one of the building's restaurants — it's just more bang for your buck and time with the view. More information about the bars and restaurants at The Shard. 9. Explore Highgate Cemetery Flickr: mrthk / Creative Commons London's most famous, and most famously haunted, cemetery is like something out of a Gothic masterpiece. Devastatingly beautiful and undeniably unsettling, the site is a London bucket list must.While Westminster Abbey is a literary tourist's bread and butter, Highgate Cemetery offers its own incredible pilgrimage for bookworms and history buffs. The easily accessible East Cemetery is home to graves of the likes of Karl Marx, George Eliot, and Douglas Adams, while the exclusive Victorian area of the West Cemetery requires a booked tour.More about Highgate Cemetery. 10. Attend Notting Hill Carnival Flickr: onourtravels / Creatice Commons The annual Carnival in Notting Hill is one of the biggest events on the city's calendar for a reason: it's a glorious celebration of London's unique intersections of cultures, and it's an absolute marvel to behold. Whether you go for the food, the partying, or to appreciate the incredible costumes and performances, you're bound to find something spellbinding.More about Notting Hill Carnival. 11. Book into the SkyGarden View this photo on Instagram instagram.com London's highest public garden is another little gem that just requires a little bit of organisation: Access is for bookings only, but anyone can make a booking for free!Tickets are released weekly, or you can book into one of 20 Fenchurch Street's restaurants for access, and turn it into a seriously special occasion.More about the SkyGarden. 12. Visit Kew Gardens Flickr: stephengodwin / Creative Commons Kew Gardens looks like a fairy tale come to life, whether you're visiting during its Christmassy Winter Wonderland phase, catching the flowers in their magical first bloom, or enjoying a lovely midsummer escape, Kew is a dream waiting to come true.More about Kew. 13. Attend Letters Live at Union Chapel View this photo on Instagram instagram.com If you don't know Letters Live, it's a programme that runs throughout the UK that features award-winning actors and other cultural figures reading stunning works of literary correspondence live. Recent readers include Benedict Cumberbatch, Olivia Coleman, Jeremy Corbyn and Nick Cave. You don't know who might appear until the night, but the readings are reportedly always powerful and the experience is one to remember.More about Letters Live. 14. See a gig at Wilton's Music Hall Flickr: herry / Creative Commons Wilton's is the oldest grand music hall in the world. The building dates back to the 1870s and it's rich with both musical and social history. These days Wilton's puts on prestigious and wholly original theatrical and musical performances, and as you can tell from the photo is just a completely dreamy place to spend an evening.More about Wilton's Music Hall. 15. Stand on the Meridian Line Backyardproduction / Getty Images You've got to book yourself into a trip to Royal Observatory to gain access to the famous marker divide between the eastern and western hemispheres, but that's a bucket-list worthy trip itself!More about Greenwich Observatory and the Meridian Line. 16. Climb the Monument Flickr: jtweed / Creative Commons A trip up the Monument is another view I'm still desperate to take in, particularly as it's inexpensive and offers a completely unmissable view of St. Paul's and the Southbank. Plus the Monument has a fascinating history: it was erected in the late 17th century as a memorial to the Great Fire of London and to celebrate the rebuilding of the city. So forget the London Eye and do this one instead.More about the Monument. 17. Watch the sunrise over breakfast at Duck and Waffle View this photo on Instagram instagram.com This open-all-hours luxury diner with a view is one of those magical London spots you can only hope to find yourself in by accident on a great night out. More about Duck and Waffle. 18. Visit Crystal Palace Park View this photo on Instagram instagram.com One of London's more unusual and most historical parks, Crystal Palace became the new home for the... you guessed it, crystal palace built for the Great Exhibition in 1851. Even though the Palace itself burned down nearly 100 years ago, the park still maintains a Victorian vibe, which might owe credit to the centuries-old statues of Sphinxes, deer, and dinosaurs hidden throughout the area.More about Crystal Palace Park. What's still on your London bucket list?