I love exploring those kind of places that tourists normally avoid (because they either don’t know about them or have more touristy stuff to do) and locals favour. Not only it makes me feel more like a local but you can also feel in such places more relaxed without bouncing into crowds with cameras all the time. Another benefit is that these places may be actually very interesting, sometimes even more intriguing than usually pursued attractions.

 

These places are often not included in your mainstream city guide and not many travel bloggers write about them. You’re more likely to find them unintentionally when looking for something completely different.

Park Cafe in Crystal Palace Park, London

I remember bumping into Crystal Palace a while ago and I was intrigued from the first sight. A palace? In London? Wikipedia says there are even some dinosaurs in the park!

 

And I knew this would be a perfect place for a sunny afternoon with my Nerd (who, just like me  and probably any other nerd in the world, used to love dinosaurs when he was little).

 

Crystal Palace is definitely a place where to head with your children if it’s nice outside. Even if you don’t have kids yet but you still consider yourself a playful person and like to explore, you’re on the right path.

 

Crystal Palace Park, London

Maybe you’re wondering what is this place called after. Well, Crystal Palace Park is named after… the Crystal Palace. A huge palace originally built for the Great Exhibition in Hyde Park in 1851 (also known as EXPO) and later rebuilt in a park in south London (which used to be a really affluent neighbourhood back then with large villas around). Unfortunately, the palace had been destroyed by a fire (twice, actually).

 

Although there is no palace in the park nowadays it’s still a pretty (and huge) place for a stroll with various attractions (a children’s farm, playground, sports centre…) and there are indeed a couple of dinosaurs (or Iguanadons, to be specific) although all of them are made of stone 🙂

Iguanadons at Crystal Palace park, London

 

Photo credit: Shirokazan
Crystal Palace Park, LondonPhoto credit: Ben Sutherland

 

So what do you think about Crystal Palace park? Would you pay it a visit next time you’re in London? Do you usually prefer or avoid places that are popular among locals?