If there’s a city I could visit over and over again, it is London. Already as a kid, I dreamed of going to London and seeing all of its beautiful and well-known sights. So, with this travel guide, I hope to provide you with some helpful tips and recommendations for you to make the best out of your city trip to the British capital. But before you can enjoy your stay in London, you first need to get there.
The easiest and fastest way is by plane. London has several airports such as London-Heathrow, London-Stansted, or London-Luton and is, therefore, very well connected to a lot of European cities. The best connection from the airport to the city center is via London-Heathrow, which is directly connected to London’s metro network (Piccadilly Line) and only a 30-minutes tube ride away from the city center. Alternatively, there are also train and bus connections to the British capital, for example via the Euro Tunnel from Calais in France to Dover in England. And although they might take longer, traveling by trains or bus is at least more environmentally friendly.
Once in London, the cheapest and easiest way to get around is by public transport. To use them, simply get yourself an Oyster Card. It works like a pre-paid card, so you put money on it and every time you get on public transport, you check in and when getting off, you check out again. It also comes with a fare limit, meaning that for example for zones 1-3 the maximum amount charged per day is £ 7.60. Oyster Cards are sold at ticket machines at the metro stations or at other points-of-sale such as kiosks for £ 5, which is the deposit you pay for the card, but which, together with your remaining credit, will be refunded to you when returning the card.
Especially during the summertime, many tourists are going to London, so it’s wise to book attractions in advance if that’s possible. That not only saves you time but, sometimes, also some money. While on platforms such as Get Your Guide, you can book single activities and attractions as well as combi-tickets online via their website or app, the London City Pass is the perfect choice if you’re planning to visit more than one attraction during your stay. Alternatively, you can also book your tickets directly at the attraction you want to visit. But what to do now while visiting the British capital? Here are my top 7 things to do:
#1 Picknick at Hyde Park
Although London has so many things to offer, making it difficult to do everything during a city trip for only a few days, you should definitely not miss out on doing a picnic at Hyde Park, given that the weather is also not too bad to do so.
#2 Visit one of the many museums
I know, not everyone is a fan of going to the museum during a city trip. But in London, there are so many great museums, which are definitely worth a visit. Plus, since many of them are state-owned, they are also free. Want to know, which ones are London’s Top 10 museums? Find it out here.
#3 Do a little shopping tour
London is probably one of the best cities for going shopping. With various malls, shopping streets, and Harrods as one of the most popular department stores in the world, London has something to offer for everyone. Also, you often find shops of brands there, which are not sold in other European cities, such as Victoria’s Secret or Jack Wills.
# 4 Enjoy a cup of tea at 5 o’clock
If you’re already in Britain’s capital, you should also make time for probably the most famous British tradition, the 5 o’clock tea. Many restaurants and cafés around London also offer a special menu for this occasion. What to know, where to get your cup of 5 o’clock tea? Find a sample but rather expensive selection of potential places here.
#5 Try some typical British food
Another typical thing you shouldn’t miss when in London is eating Fish & Chips. Although I didn’t like it much when trying it for the first time, it’s what makes your trip to London even more British. Alternatively, you can also go for Chicken & Chips or only order chips if you’re a vegetarian.
# 6 Have a pint at a pub
After work or in the evening, Brits like to go to the pub. Thus, if after a long day of sightseeing, you’re not too tired, visit a pub and get a half-pint beer there while enjoying the vibe of a typical London pub.
# 7 Take a ride on a double-decker bus
Using the famous red busses is included in the Oyster Card as well. So, it is definitely a must to take a ride through the city on one of the many double-decker busses. It’s not only fun to sit in the front row on the upper platform, but also a great way of getting around London and, thereby, even already get a first impression of the city.
And for the rest of the time? Stroll around the city, enjoy your time there, and maybe you are even lucky to find some hidden gems away from all the tourist attractions.