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When I initial visited London I wasn’t certain no matter whether I liked it. Scratch that really. I didn’t fall in appreciate with London. But when a letter of acceptance for a postgraduate degree came in the mail I couldn’t say no and I moved to London following all, and I’m glad I did due to the fact I certainly enjoyed living in London and kept coming back every single time I attempted to leave.

London can be confusing, annoying and high-priced, but it can also be rewarding and charming. If you are going to for the initial time it is crucial to come prepared in order to delight in your check out and come back for a lot more. Right here are my most effective strategies for going to London from a former extended-time resident.

Also Verify:

Exactly where to Remain in London – Most effective Hotels in London

Points to Do In London on Your Very first Pay a visit to

Tips for Visiting London

1. Choose the Proper Time to Pay a visit to Based on Your Preferences

London climate can be rather unpredictable, but every single season in London is unique. If you do not like crowds, possibly you can skip June, July or December, if you do not thoughts cold climate, possibly you must check out in January. Find out a lot more about when to check out London.

two. Bring an Umbrella

There’s no denying that London is a rainy location. Whilst the climate is not so poor as in Scotland (sorry, but it is accurate!), it rains for about a third of the year, so come ready. Get a foldable umbrella, so you do not get wet in case it begins raining.

three. Use Public Transportation, Like from the Airport

London’s public transport is effortless and secure to use. Most vacationers opt for grabbing a cab from the airport to their hotel, but in case of London, that is completely not essential. It will also save you a LOT of cash, and I actually imply a LOT. Use Journey Planner to discover the most effective route.

Underground, buses and Overground trains operate properly and even if they do not on a specific day, there’s generally a replacement service. The only exception is a Christmas Day when public transportation is completely off-limits.

four. Don’t Stand on the Left on the Escalator

In London you will drop your sense of private space when utilizing public transport. Weird individuals saying random factors on evening buses will not bother you any longer following a handful of days either. 

Due to the fact we’re speaking about transportation there’s a single golden rule about escalators: stand on the proper side, stroll on the left side. Londoners are probably to push you out of the way if you are hanging out on the left side. Also, if you will need to cease and study a map of the underground lines ‐ do not do it on a crossover amongst lines or in the middle.

Don't Stand on the Left Side on the Escalator

five. Choose the Proper Airport to Fly Into

London has six unique international airports that you can fly into. Heathrow, Gatwick, and Stanstead are the larger ones and then there’s Luton, London City and Southend Airports.

Every single of them are in unique places of London. The closest a single to the center of London is London City Airport but most flights that fly in and out of right here are smaller sized aircrafts such as Simple Jet or Ryan Air so this, as properly as Stanstead, may perhaps be a excellent solution if you are coming in from nearby European nations.

The larger international flights come in from Heathrow and Gatwick. There are underground train lines and bus or coach routes that run safely and straight from central London to all of the airports. Luton and Southend are the furthest away from the center. 

six. Do not Necessarily Get an Oyster Card

Oyster Cards utilized to be the only way (apart from paper tickets) to move about London’s public transportation. But, some time ago the TFL (Transport for London) introduced a new payment approach to use your contactless bank card. It is a great deal less costly to spend with the credit/debit card, as extended as your bank does not impose higher overseas bank charges.

Also, bear in mind to use the exact same card when you leave the tube that you utilized to enter, otherwise you will be charged a lot for not checking out.

Alternatively, if you are arranging on going to lots of attractions in London, take into consideration obtaining a London Pass. It offers you access to lots of London’s best attractions and a hop-on-hop-off bus ticket. 

What Not to Do in London

7. London is a Large City, so Program Accordingly

1 of my best strategies for going to London would be to strategy your trip in advance and attempt to check out locations that are close to a single a different on the exact same day. Otherwise, you may well finish up spending a lot of time in the tube or bus, as an alternative of enjoying your check out.

That mentioned, keep someplace central. Whilst it may well appear like a good deal to commit half on a hotel close to Heathrow or Richmond, you will not be content traveling on the tube for 1,five hour every single way to get anyplace that you really want to check out. It is not worth saving a handful of bucks.

Click right here to verify out my most effective suggestions for hotels in London and what to anticipate from every single neighborhood.

visiting London

eight. Make a Use of Skip the Line Tickets

There are a lot of no cost factors to see and do but if you want to see some of the common, paid attractions you may perhaps want to take into consideration a London Pass. It is a sightseeing card at a fixed price and covers more than 55 attractions.

In no way obtain a pass till you are certain it presents admission to sufficient locations you really want to see. The London Pass enables you to skip the extended line-ups so you can commit a lot more time sightseeing and significantly less time waiting in London’s busy crowds.

9. Take Benefit of No cost Activities in London

London may perhaps be a single of the world’s most high-priced cities but there are so lots of enjoyable and a lot more importantly, no cost factors that you can delight in. There are a lot of markets in London to stroll about and peruse such as Borough Industry in Westminster and Covent Garden flea marketplace that has a lot of enjoyable English nicknacks. 

You can also check out the National Gallery, the British Museum and the Tate Contemporary art museum absolutely no cost. You may perhaps want to check out these earlier in the day to stay clear of the crowds. Greenwich Park is the location exactly where the Eastern and Western hemispheres meet and it is no cost to stroll about the region, see the Greenwich line and marvel at the view of the city.

It is also no cost to watch the altering of the guards at Buckingham Palace and London has a lot of attractive parks to wander about such as Hyde Park, Regent’s Park and Richmond Park exactly where you can spot some wild deer. Not to neglect all of the amazing street art to be observed in London in the trendy region of Shoreditch in East London. 

free things to do in London

10. Watch Out for Pickpocketers

Sadly, London has lots of pickpocketers, but do not panic – it is not that unsafe. Following years of living in London, the only point that got stolen from me was a plastic bag with a dirty sports bra and a half-eaten brownie (I want I could see the thief’s face when he opened the bag!).

Attempt to put on clothes that zips up valuables safely in inside hidden pockets and do not leave your handbag open when you are walking on the street or taking the tube.

Do not maintain your telephone on the table in pubs or leave your bag unattended. I witnessed a handful of individuals obtaining their phones and purse stolen when I worked in a pub.

11. Tipping Is not Compulsory, But…

Lots of say that tipping is not customary in London, but as a person who worked in hospitality in London I beg to differ. Whilst your Uber or server will not get mad at you (like it occurs way also typically in the US), it is a good gesture to tip servers on a minimum wage. 

Most restaurants typically add on a service charge (typically 12.five%), so it is worth checking your bill if you do not want to tip twice. In pubs it is not usual to tip, but if you have a good chat or service from a particular person behind the bar it is good to offer you a modest quantity of cash or obtain them a drink by saying “and a single for yourself”.


12. Take a Day Trip Outdoors of London

You may well want to escape London for a day to see other locations. There are so lots of wonderful day trips from London, that you can quickly commit a week or two and not get bored. Most vacationers head to Stonehenge, Bath, Windsor Castle, or lately well-known due to its Instagrammability – The Cotswolds.

Any queries about going to London? Let me know in the comments and I’ll attempt to respond ASAP!


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