I enjoy visiting London, and the city has grown on me with each subsequent visit. The more I travel, the more I am struck by awe. London's ambience has always piqued my interest; this city has something to offer everyone.
The home of expensive afternoon teas, the Queen, quaint red buses, black cabs, Big Ben, and people who say strange things like "holy-fucking christ" "aight mate," and "innit"
London is a full cup of rich history, abundant culture, and lots of vibrancy in every nook and cranny; planning ahead of time will help you avoid tourist traps while getting the most of it. Here are some London travel ideas to help you make the most of your trip.
Buy a London pass
I’ll make no bones about it, London is not a cheap city to be a tourist in. Visiting this magnificent city can feel like it's burning a hole in your pocket.
Buying The London Pass is an excellent way to explore loads of London's most iconic remnants without incurring additional charges. Although the pass is expensive (£75 for adults and £55 for children for a one-day pass, with two, three, six, and ten-day pass also available), it may be worthwhile if you plan to visit a lot of places in a concise period. The pass includes free admission to 80 London attractions (including the Tower of London, London Zoo, and The View from The Shard, among others), as well as a one-day Hop On Hop Off bus tour and discounts on shopping, dining, and entertainment. It also grants preferential access to attractions, allowing you to skip the line and save valuable vacation time. If you want to see two or three sights each day, this is a fantastic option.
Another card is the London Explorer Pass, which allows you to construct your own tour of London by purchasing tickets to three, four, five, or seven top attractions.
Get an Oyster Card
It's hard to avoid the feeling of being in a Disney ride when you're riding London's public transportation system. The Tube is like an efficient and inexpensive amusement park adventure, with all sorts of surprises around every corner for tourists visiting from faraway lands.
Londoners are typically nice enough that they'll offer personal directions on how best to get where you need to go, so don't be afraid if at first, it seems overwhelming – just ask someone! That's right, Londoners can now purchase a new kind of ticket from their phone. It is called an Oyster Card and it allows riders to pay for public transportation without breaking the bank in fees every time they go on vacation with friends or family members.
The Oyster card has been introduced by Transport For London as a credit-loaded electric ticket which may be utilized to pay for public transport services such as a tube, overground trains, trams buses and boats within the Greater London area. This smartcard was designed so that users could travel freely around any part of England using these modes of transports while paying only one fee per journey instead of having individual fares each day calculated according to how far you are travelling when boarding different vehicles used throughout this great.
Walk as much as you can
Once you’ve got the hang of our sprawling tube network it can be tempting to show off your Oyster skills, but sometimes you’re better off walking. Londoners are a hardy bunch. They're not afraid to walk in any weather, especially when it's inevitable that they might get stuck on the tube for hours because of delays or overcrowding. So if you find yourself between Covent Garden and Leicester Square with no desire to wait at an overpopulated station then strap up your boots and head out! It'll only take four minutes (literally) so why waste time?
I’ll bet you thought I was done talking, but I need to give one last word of advice. Wear comfortable walking shoes because your feet will thank you after a long day on the ground!
Oh, and FFS, download Google Maps too if you inevitably don't want to get lost.
Don't bother driving at all in London
Driving in London is a nightmare and a headache I really wouldn’t put myself through unless you absolutely have to.
Add to the maze of streets, endless traffic, erratic (OK, aggressive) driving style, Congestion Charge, Low Emission Zone (read: additional charges) and you have a recipe for a city that you really are better off taking public transport in.
Vehicles drive on the left in the UK. Pay attention when you cross the road because if you are used to driving on the right you will look the wrong way! Always cross at traffic lights and don’t jaywalk. London roads are busy and you need to concentrate when crossing them.
Use the River Bus instead of Taking a River Cruise
There are plenty of touristy river cruises plying the River Thames. Like the hop-on-hop-off buses, there’s nothing wrong with them and they have their own benefits. But did you know that you can hop on a boat along the Thames for the cost of a normal fare on your Oyster Card?
It’s one of the best travel tips for London that not even all Londoners know.
The River Bus is run by MBNA Thames Clipper and speeds its way to Woolwich in the far east of town and Putney in the far West.
You can’t get one boat the whole route – but you can get one all the way from Greenwich to Waterloo – cruising through central London for just over £7 a pop.
Bring the Right Adapter and Check if Your Gadgets Will Work With the Different Voltage
If you have any electronics that don't work on more than one type of voltage, be warned: our plugs are weird and the voltage is dangerously high. To avoid headaches when travelling to the UK from abroad, make sure to carry a type-G converter for you to successfully charge your electronics of any sort. Make sure you buy one from your respective country, as it may become expensive hunting for one in London.
You’ll also need to check whether your gadgets will work with different voltages (hairdryers are notorious culprits for going kaput)
Pick Up a Local Sim Card
It's the modern-day hassle of going abroad to contend with. The outrageous roaming charges can cost an arm and leg. What are you even supposed to do?
First off, screw mobile phone companies that charge outrageous rates!
You know all those horror stories of people randomly getting kicked off their data in the middle of something important? Yeah, they're real. Screw that and buy a local Sim instead! Three , Lebara and EE have great deals on SIM-only plans with flexible lengths which you can order ahead to be delivered at your hotel when you arrive.