Are you planning a trip to London? If so, you’re in for a treat. London is an incredible city full of history, culture, and vibrant energy. But before you embark on your journey to one of the world’s most iconic cities, there are some key things that you should know beforehand. From knowing which currency to use to understanding how public transportation works, here are seven essential things every traveller needs to know about London before hitting the road to London.
- The Currency
The official currency of London is the British Pound (GBP). While some places may accept other forms of payment, such as American Dollars, Euros, or credit cards, it’s still best to have some local currency on hand for small purchases and tipping.
Be sure to exchange your money before arriving in London, so you don’t have to worry about finding a currency exchange office or ATM in the city. If you decide to use an ATM, keep in mind that there may be associated fees, so it’s best to plan and have some cash ready when you arrive.
- Public Transportation
London is known for having one of the best public transport networks in the world. The fastest, most convenient, and safest way to get around London is through its extensive network of buses, trains, trams, and Underground (“Tube”) lines.
When you arrive in London, you’ll need to purchase an Oyster card that can be used for all municipal transportation. This card can be topped up at any Underground station and will give you access to all of London’s public transport options.
You can also purchase a travel card if you’re planning to stay in London for more than one day. This will give you unlimited access to all public transportation for your stay and save you money in the long run.
- Must See Attractions
London is full of historical monuments, fascinating museums, and iconic attractions that you must check out while in the city. From the Tower of London and Buckingham Palace to the London Eye and Big Ben, there are so many unique sites that you won’t want to miss. Be sure to create a list of all the attractions you want to see during your stay, and set aside enough time to explore them all.
It’s a great idea to secure tickets early for all attractions you want to visit as some places, such as the Tower of London, require that tickets be purchased in advance. The good thing is that the internet makes this easier than ever before, so you can buy tickets online and save yourself the hassle of standing in long queues. As you look for London attraction tickets online, look for credible sites. You want to be sure your tickets are valid, so you only purchase them from reliable sources. Consider also the pricing and how to get the best deals.
If you are looking for a place to stay in London, there are plenty of affordable options for all budget types. Hotels, bed and breakfasts, hostels, and Airbnb rentals are available throughout the city. Be sure to compare prices and read reviews before booking your accommodations so that you can find the best option for your travel needs.
It would be best if you did good research before you booked and looked for discounted offers and discounts available from travel agents. Sometimes hotels offer discounts for last-minute bookings, so it’s worth checking to see if any deals are available.
The official language in London is English, but it’s common to hear other languages spoken throughout the city. If you are visiting from a non-English speaking country, it’s worth brushing up on some basic English phrases before arriving so you can get around quickly.
Although it’s not necessary to be able to hold an entire conversation in English, being able to say some essential words and phrases such as “thank you,” “excuse me,” or “where is the nearest tube station?” can go a long way in helping you navigate the city.
- Dining Out
This city is a foodie paradise, offering an incredible selection of cuisines from all around the world. From fine dining to street food, you’ll find something to suit every taste and budget. Be sure to explore different neighborhoods to experience all London dining options.
If you’re looking for the best value for your money, check out London’s “pre-theatre” menus.
Many restaurants offer special set menus at discounted prices during the early evening hours designed for theatregoers with early showtime. This is a great way to splurge on a delicious dinner without spending too much.
- The Weather
This place can be unpredictable regarding the weather, so be prepared for all seasons. The summers in London are warm and sunny, while winters are cold but usually quite dry.
It is not uncommon to experience a few days of rain throughout the year, so pack an umbrella or waterproof jacket just in case. Thus, consult the weather forecast before your trip and pack accordingly to make the most of your time in London.
London is an incredible city full of history, culture, and unique attractions. By researching before your trip and being mindful of some essential tips, you can make the most of your experience in London.