London is one of the most popular international destinations packed with so many good things but you do need to plan in advance to make the most of your time in this wonderful city. This huge fast paced metropolitan city can be hard for the first time visitors if they do not know where to start from. To make your planning simpler, here are few important things that you should know to relish your time in London. Here are few tips that we have put together that first time visitors must know to make their trip easy and exciting!
Look before you step – While walking on the streets of London, be mindful and watch the traffic that can be coming from the other side of the road. So to help the pedestrians, there are many signs on the pavement, at street crossings. Look for the signs and it will remind you which way to look.
Transit in London – Take bus rides or walk to see the city. You can also use the underground for quick transportation and avoid the rush travel during non-peak hours between 9:30 am and either before 4 pm or after 7 pm. This way you can also save yourself a few pounds. Grab a Tube map, showing the network of tube lines, stations as well as the layout of the city. This will help to avoid any confusion.
Get an Oyster Card – You cannot pay your tickets in cash. If you want to take a ride on the bus, you must buy a ticket or an Oyster Card. In case you are traveling a lot in the city, it is better to buy an Oyster Card that can be used to pay for all your public transport in London. The card with credit of £20 can cover a return journey from Heathrow plus travel around Central London for one or two days.
The local currency – Unlike the rest of Europe, the UK has Great British Pounds. In many shops euros are still accepted but in return as a change you’ll get the currency in pounds. In ATM also, you’ll get money in pounds. Whether you take out cash or use a credit card around, 3% will be charged by your bank. Also some credit cards have no foreign transaction fees as it depends on the cards you are using.
English are serious about breakfast – If you like simple, home style food, you will surely enjoy indulging in English food. Relishing English food can be bit heavy, particularly the breakfast. Though you’ll get to see many attractive restaurants, offering full English breakfast but you must know what you’re getting into before sitting down. There are many variations, but in general an English breakfast includes two eggs, toast, streaky bacon, baked beans with a grilled tomato. Sometimes, black and white pudding is also added to this feast. Even if a full breakfast may not appeal to all but it is an experience that you must try at least once, if you are in the city.
Learn to say it right – Learn the tricks of saying simple words rightly. In London, some common words are used differently altogether like elevator is referred as a lift, lines are called queues, the toilet as loo, chips are called fries. So know the words well!
Where to stay in London – If you are only staying in London for a short time it would be best to stay in the neighbourhoods of central London. This will save your travelling time and you can easily avoid wasting time traveling. Getting around the city via public transportation is also very easy and fast so don’t worry too much. To get the feel of a local, you can choose to stay in a homestay rather than an expensive hotel. Get a great deal in rental apartments that are fully-furnished and well-maintained. Surely you’ll find a home away from home!
Visit the Museums – During your short stay in the city, makes sure to visit the Museums. Entry to these Museums are 100% free. Must visit Museums are the British Museum and the Natural History Museum –these are also two of London’s most popular and best ones.
Go for bargain Shopping – There is nothing new when I say London is one of the world’s most expensive cities to visit but London is a paradise for shoppers’ as well. The city has lots of bargain options to checkout for high street fashion. Some of these stores include Absolute Vintage, H&M, Monki, Primark and TK Maxx. In all these stores, you can pick and shop your latest fashions essential without a designer price tag.
Leaving London is permitted – If you are in London, extend your travel schedule for more than a week as you are allowed to leave the city without any permit. There are many great nearby cities to explore, which are just 1-2 hour journey from London. Use your extended holidays and explore the nearby location like Cambridge and Bath in an easy day trip.