For millions of people all around the globe, traveling to London is the dream of a lifetime. With breathtaking sights, a rich culture, and historic architecture all around, London is one of the best places to spend your vacation days. One of the most well-known characteristics of London is the sweet irony that it presents. The Big Smoke is one of the global leaders in terms of modern innovation. However, it can also be considered a window to the past, showcasing historical architecture present from hundreds of years into the past.
Travelling to London, even just for a few days, can be quite costly. This is why we have created this list of must-know tips when traveling to London so you can make the most of your stay!
Stay In Central London
If your tour is going all around London, most tourist guides in London will tell you to stay in Central London. While there is cheaper accommodation elsewhere, Central London offers convenience and less travel time. The commute to and from London can be tortuous. As tourists, you want to spend most of your day sightseeing and touring the city, not stuck on the road in traffic.
You could choose to stay in other parts of London if the tours that you booked are mainly located in that particular area. However, as a general rule, if you want to get around London quickly, stay in the middle.
Rent A Storage Unit in London
If you will be travelling a lot to different places in London and staying in different hotels over a longer period, we recommend checking out self-storage options. There are multiple cheap storage units in South London that you can avail for a short-term lease. When you rent a storage unit, you won’t have to bring heavy luggage everywhere you go. This will make your stay in London less of a hassle and more enjoyable.
Plan Your Visit Away From Peak Season
London is an extremely popular tourist destination in the UK. Millions of visitors drop in from all over the world every year. It would be difficult to find a date where there are not many tourists. However, there are specific dates that you must avoid if you don’t want to be stuck in cramped places filled with thousands of tourists. Avoid school breaks, bank holidays, and the holiday season.
When you avoid these dates, you can enjoy a more relaxed London. There will still be tourists, mind you, but not as much. Moreover, your bank account will not suffer as much when you tour London away from peak season. Do you want to splurge on your holiday in London? Find out how in this post.
Check Out London’s FREE Attractions
Touring London is a costly affair. Give your wallet a break by adding to your itinerary some free attractions so you won’t have to spend as much. Do alternate days. The first day you go and splurge, the second day you can visit one of London’s free sights. The best thing about London is that it has many places to go to free of charge!
Immerse yourself in British culture and history by going around the free museums in London. Some free museums in London include:
- British Museum
- Natural History Museum
- National Gallery
- Tate Modern
- Victoria and Albert Museum
- Science Museum
- Museum of London
Aside from free museums, you can also stroll around London’s parks and gardens. This is a great way to relax and escape from the madness of the tours. Unwind and have fun without the additional cost!
Time Your Visit to Buckingham Palace
The London experience isn’t complete without a visit to Buckingham Palace. Serving as the official London residence of the UK’s monarchy since 1837, Buckingham Palace is considered the Queen’s administrative headquarters.
You may visit Buckingham Palace any time of the day for pictures but if you want the full experience, come before 10:45 AM on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays. The Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace is a famous military ceremony where the Queen’s Guard passes responsibility for protecting Buckingham Palace and St. James’s Palace over to the New Guard.
Many tourists and residents flock to the area to watch this 45-minute ceremony so make sure to come early!
Buy Fast Track Tickets
No one likes waiting in line. When you’re in London for a limited amount of time, you must make the most out of every minute of your stay. Standing in line for most of the day will not be a great memory. Skip the line by buying Fastrack Tickets. Queues for London’s major attractions like the London Eye can easily mean 2-3 hours of you waiting. Fastrack tickets will allow you to go straight to the entrance gate!
When you’re in London, you can usually pay by credit card virtually anywhere. However, it’s still best to bring a few couple of pounds for emergencies. It wouldn’t hurt you to tip your servers and tour guides with some cash too. Tipping is an excellent way for you to show your appreciation for their service.
If you’re not from the UK, make sure that you always look right when you’re crossing a street. It may sound like a punchline, but it’s a fact that the British do drive on the other side of the road.
Don’t stress yourself out. Some plans will come to fruition; some will not. Sometimes, the plans we take away from the beaten path end up becoming the most memorable. Give yourself a chance to experience London without too much of a strict itinerary. Enjoy!