London is the most popular tourist destination in the whole world, managing to draw in 30 million international visitors every single year. And no wonder; it’s got everything, whether you’re looking for fashion, history, culture, or something completely new. Before you make your trip to this fabulous city, here are a few things you should know about visiting London and how to make the best of your trip.
A Place To Stay
London is incredibly popular, but because of this, prices for accommodation can be sky-high, and you can end up paying lots of money for something that just isn’t worth it. You want to make sure you select somewhere that’s quality, but not too pricey – although when it comes to hotels, paying more for better quality is always a good choice.
You can book a hotel room in London on this site – they offer boutique hotel rooms which will make your stay extremely classy, giving you a choice of seven hand-picked boutique hotels so you can choose the one that’s right for you. The interface is incredibly easy to use and allows you to lose the stress and focus on being excited, and you’re sure to get somewhere that’s really good quality. After all, no one wants to come back to a grotty room after a day of sweaty sightseeing!
Although we recommend riding in a black cab at some point – it’s the classic London look, after all – we wouldn’t suggest using these for your whole trip. Black cabs are incredibly expensive, and relying on them solely for transport will leave you out of pocket fast. The best way to travel in London is on the tube – it’s incredibly easy to navigate, fast, and much cheaper than alternatives, and covers all the main sights and areas you’ll be visiting. Consider grabbing an Oyster card or Visitor Oyster card to make the most of your money if you’re staying for a while, which gives you more credit than you pay for, and slashes the prices of your Tube fare.
See The Sights
Before you visit, it’s worth thinking about where you want to go – there are countless places and not enough time to see them all unless you’re staying for a good time, so try to narrow down your list and prioritise those you like best. We’ve put a list together to help make your job a little easier.
Classic: Big Ben, the Tower of London, the London Eye and Tower Bridge are all classic tourist sites which are a must-see for anyone interested in the iconic London we all know. Take your time and book tours in advance if you fancy looking around – it’ll save you money and maybe help you jump the queue, too. Buckingham Palace is also a must-see for those eager to get a glimpse of the Queen and her lavish lifestyle and get a snap of the Royal Guards, too.
Thrill-Seekers: For those looking for a bit of a scare, the London Dungeons are the perfect place for a fright – this journey into London’s dark, gruesome past is sure to get you laughing, screaming, and dying for more.
Adventure-Lovers: Kayaking London allows people to kayak along the river Thames, taking a tour of London’s waterways, and seeing many of London’s key sights along the way, giving you a fresh, unique taste of London from a whole different perspective.
Explorers: If you’re looking for something really special, check out Hidden London for tours of places most people never get to see – disused stations and secret places, including Churchill’s secret station, Down Street.
Fashionistas: If fashion is more your thing, hit the high streets and explore highbrow shops such as Selfridges, Benson & Clegg, Burberry, Louis Vuitton, and Tiffany & Co, along with countless others. If you’re really dedicated, consider coming during London fashion week to get a taste of the hottest looks in the fashion industry like you’ve never seen before.
Art: If you’re into art, the National Gallery is a must. Located near Nelson’s column, it’s home to some of the most beautiful artwork in the world and houses a collection of over 2,300 paintings stretching from the 13th to 20th century.
History: The Natural History Museum is the perfect place for those who love history, with galleries relating to the dinosaurs, the Egyptians, space, and much more, giving you the opportunity to learn something new. It’s easy to spend hours here, if not days and is well worth the visit. The Houses of Parliament is also a good hotspot for those with an interest in politics.
Of course, there are no rules you should follow when visiting London, but there are certain tips which can make your trip even more special.
If you can help it, try to avoid visiting during peak periods – so July and August, bank holiday weekends and school breaks. Christmas is also mad; although London can be very pretty during December, avoid the main shopping streets and the last few days before Christmas, or you’ll be stuck behind crowds for the whole visit. Visiting during quieter times will not only save you time, but it’ll save you money, too.
London also has many free attractions that you should make the most of, from its countless parks and gardens (we recommend Victoria Park), free museums (that includes the big ones), and the changing of the guards, which happens at 10:45 am on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays – arrive early to get a good spot. If you fancy seeing lots of the main attractions, invest in a London Pass – it’ll save you lots of money from ticket prices in the long run, giving you free access to over 80 attractions in London, and fast track tickets are available for those not included (we recommend getting one for the London Eye – the queues can really build!).
These are just a few handy tips to guide you on everything you need to know about visiting London. Take time to enjoy the city, and make sure to take some pictures – London is an experience you won’t want to forget.