Along with being the most populated city in the UK, London is also one of the most popular destination choices for travellers across the globe. Although with a countless array of attractions, historical sites, dining options and shops, it should come as little surprise as to why England’s capital is incredibly popular.
While the aforementioned points should fill you with excitement as a first time visitor, travelling to London can also be a daunting experience. Not only does it encompass a large area of land, but there is also an attraction to see and do at virtually every turn – to the point where it is overwhelming for even frequent visitors to the city. The London transport system is also an art you must master, however, in two weeks you’ll know the tube system like the back of your hand.
With all that said, here are some important tips to take into consideration before arriving in London.
Plan your activities in advance
Before the big venture to London, planning everything you want to do in advance is a great way to save money and time. For example, the London Pass – along with fast track entry, a bus tour and more – allows you entry to over 70 highly regarded attractions and can save you more than £120 (based on a three-day pass). Instead of purchasing your tickets on the day, buying tickets in advance from said attraction’s website will help save you money more often than not. You may also get to save time with queues.
Learn how to use the London Underground
With various transport lines and countless stations, the London Underground can be intimidating for first-time visitors to the city. Yet, it is generally the most efficient and cost-effective way for exploring London. So before hitting London, have a little study of the Underground map and download the Citymapper app that will help navigate this (initially) confusing transport system. The Citymapper app will also provide you with information regarding tube delays, giving you the fastest route for travelling at that time.
Although traversing the notorious London rush-hour with a car is not advised for your first visit, it might be necessary due to your situation. So with that in mind, you will need to find a place to park your vehicle. Unless you’re lucky enough to land a hotel that provides on-site parking, this means you will have to find a public alternative – and considering the premium for parking spaces, this could be expensive. So when searching for London parking, make sure that you spend some time finding the best option for your location/budget.
Black cabs are the traditional taxis of London, but they aren’t the cheapest way of getting around. It’s recommended that you download Uber in preparation for your visit to London. During rush hour though opt for public transport as the traffic in London can make trips by car very time-consuming.
There’s no getting away from it: London is an expensive place to visit. Sure, there are plenty of free activities on offer and fast food outlets to get cheap food, but you will no doubt want to experience as much as possible when in the city – and that includes visiting those world-famous attractions, sampling the best food and unwinding at a trendy bar. As a result, budget everything in advance and ensure you have enough cash to cover everything you want to do when in London.