London is an absolutely must visit place for your bucket list no matter where you’re from. There’s so much to do there; you can have a different experience each and every time you visit. To give you an idea of the sort of experience you can expect in London, here are my top 12 travel tips.
1. Have More Money Than You Think You Need
London can be quite expensive, and you’ll probably want to treat yourself while you’re there. You can travel London on a budget, but it’s always best to have more money than you think you need. If you have some left over, that’s a bonus. It’s always useful to have more money to do more activities or treat yourself if you need to.
2. Research What to Do Before You Go
There’s that much to do in London, that it might not be the best idea to just turn up and decide what to do on the spot. Planning even a loose itinerary is better than nothing at all. You don’t have to stick to your itinerary if you find something better to do, but at least you’ll have a good idea of where you need to go. You can plan things in an order that makes sense, so you’re not spreading activities out randomly in any old order. Sites like TripAdvisor can be a massive help.
3. Try to Pick Accommodation Near the Majority of Your Activities
Your accommodation should be near the majority of your activities. I understand that this isn’t always possible. However, having your hotel near the theatre you’re going to be travelling to, for instance, will save a lot of stress. You won’t have to worry about being late, and you can get there fairly easily. This isn’t a huge deal, I just found it helped my stress levels when I visited.
4. Consider Renting a Car
Many people like to get the tube in London, but it can be difficult to get used to if you’re only there for a day or two. Why not consider renting a vehicle? This will be helpful if you have planned to squeeze a lot of activities into one day. This option is best for travelling outside of peak times, however.
5. Relax in the Parks
You don’t need to be in the hustle and bustle of London all of the time to have fun. Relax in the parks and take some time out. There are a number of parks you can visit, and some of them are perfect for picnics. You can even take leisurely walks around them. One park even shows outdoor films on a big screen! If you’re travelling as a couple, going to watch an outdoor film is extremely romantic. Take your own blanket and some booze!
6. Walk Too
Don’t forget to walk and take in the scenery. Leave the tube and rental car alone for a moment and just walk to your destination. You’d actually be surprised at how close some things are to one another. Not only will you keep your fitness up on your break, you’ll get to discover some things that transport wouldn’t allow. Just keep your wits about you and zip your valuables in your pockets.
7. Try to Avoid Peak Times
As mentioned before, peak times can be stressful. You might feel like a sardine in a tin with the sheer amount of people around you. If you go in the colder months, there won’t be as many people around and you can enjoy many of the activities without stressing.
8. Do Free Things Too
Just because something is free in London doesn’t make it any less worthwhile. There are a ton of free things you can do. The museums and galleries are truly something, and you don’t even have to be a big art fan to enjoy them. There’s the Natural History Museum for dinosaur enthusiasts, and then there’s the British Library, where you can read Beatles lyrics. There’s something to suit everybody!
9. Don’t Try too Hard to See the ‘Real’ London
To put it simply, there is no ‘real’ London. London is different wherever you go, so the best thing you can do is just try to take it all in. Refusing to do the tourist things that everybody does may only hinder your experience. There’s nothing wrong with doing them if that’s what is appealing to you! Do a mixture of touristy things and things off the beaten path.
10. Save Money on Travel With an Oyster Card
If you don’t plan on renting a car, you can always save money on your transport with an Oyster Card. Temporary visitors can top this up as they go along, and make sure they always get the cheapest travel costs. You won’t have to mess around at ticket booths, and you should be able to avoid waiting in queues!
11. Eat an Award Winning Burger
There are hundreds of places to eat in London; something to suit every taste. But I don’t know one person that could turn down an award winning burger. Head over to Covent Garden and into Le Brasserie Blanc, where you can order the burger from the menu of the French restaurant. It’s something special. It’s not as expensive as you’d expect either!
12. Don’t Miss Camden Market
Camden market is a unique and quirky place, perfect for people who like a bit of fun and originality. It goes on for miles, and there are stalls for every buyer. The perfect place to find souvenirs, unique treats for yourself, or just some fresh juice and street food. It’s like a whole different world. Make sure you haggle for your goods, and you’ll get a great price. You shouldn’t miss it!
There you have them; my top 12 travel tips for London. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did on my travels! If you have any useful tips of your own, I’d love to hear them in the comments section!