6 tips for visiting London
London is an incredible hub city in the European region with a rich history, amazing food culture and plenty to see and do to make the most of your time in this beautiful city. London attracts around 30 million international visitors each year, the more you can plan your trip, the more enjoyable it will
SEE OUTDOOR ATTRACTIONS EARLY
Peak hour in London is about 6:30am but with the sun rising at about 4:45am to 5am, you've got time to head out and explore without the crowds, despite the fact it may well be terribly cold outside. Attractions that are can be experienced from the outside at all hours of the day such as the Tower Bridge, Big Ben, The London Eye, St Paul's Cathedral and more. Of course at 5am in the morning you won't be able to enter these buildings, but it is a fantastic time to take in the architecture from the outside, as well as take your holiday selfies without the usual overcrowding. Past about 6:30am to 7 in the morning, you can expect to be shoulder-to-shoulder with tourists visiting the sites themselves or just lining up to enter on open! Best to go early to avoid the crowds and take the best holiday photos.
STAY OUTSIDE THE CITY
The City of London is very much a financial CBD full of offices, and worth avoiding staying in this area as it can get packed throughout the day and is often significantly more dirty. Stay west near the West End, or east near the Docklands & Canary Wharf, just outside of the city that way you can experience more of what London has to offer, as many attractions are found outside of the CBD. As bet you can, get to know the areas of London, and what attractions can be found in what areas, as you may soon discover the city is sprawling and many attractions are actually not within walking distance of many accomodations - unless you can walk a couple of kilometres each way!
KNOW WHAT YOU'D LIKE TO SEE
Have a rough idea of what you want to see - London isn’t a very concentrated city and many of the popular attractions and quite a ways between each other. Knowing what you’d like to see can help you to understand what you should do on days together and in the same area. It’s also helpful for knowing what transport is more value for money. In West London you'll find the theatre districts and many artistic expressions as well. To the East you'll find hip and trendy areas like Brick Lane with hole-in-the-wall eateries and pop-up markets. Different boroughs are also home to very different attractions. In Kensington, you'll find Kensington Palace, Hyde park and the museum district. Next door in Belgravia is Harrods and some of the most expensive real estate in London that is incredible to stare at and snap some shots of.
HOHO buses are a great way to see the city and travel above ground. HOHO buses might provide the best value for money to get from one end of the city to the other, but keep in mind, travelling above ground means they’re subject to traffic and other road changes, so although they might be value for money and a great way to see most of London, they might not be the fastest way from A to B. HOHO bus passes often also come with an audio guide to the city as well as discounted tickets to various other attractions and include tickets to other experiences like London walking tours or a river cruise on the Thames River. Check your pass to see how else you can get value out of it.
TRAVEL THE TUBES
Initially the underground system can be daunting with so many entrances, lines and hundreds of trains and hour. Download the Google Maps app which can tell you exactly which station to enter, what platform to be at and provides live updates on the trains and other public transport as well. The stations and tubes are really well signposted so once in, you should start to get an understanding of how they work. They are fast and reliable, with trains passing in and out of stations every few minutes, so transport is never too far away.
BOOK IN ADVANCE
Due to popularity even amongst locals, some of the best to see and do in London require booking such as high teas, michelin star resturants, and some attractions. Many of the museums require a booking however entry is free and booking often still remain available right up until the time of attendance, however you will need a ticket to get in which needs be reserved online and cannot be reserved at the door. There are some attractions which are better booked as a tour, to save the hassle and confusion, and give a better insight to the area, in particular a walking tour of the Queens Mall, Buckingham Palace and all the other royal accompaniments. When visiting any new city for the first time, it is always recommended that you take a guided tour of the city either by bus, cycle or on foot, to help you to get your bearing, see what a city has to offer and to learn more about the history and significance of the places you're visiting. To save you the stress of worrying about if you should book tickets in advance or not, know what you'd like to see and do and reach out to our team, who can point you in the right direction and help you with your tickets too!
Theres 6 easy tips for making the most out of your journey to London. We'd love to hear from you, what else do you recommend for those travelling to London?