When travelling to the U.K, you will undoubtedly pass through the central hub of the countries that make up the kingdom: London. But this jewel in the crown is so much more than a transit city! Trust me when I tell you that you won’t visit a place like it in your life.
Its pop-up bars and cafes, world-class restaurants, endless list of free activities, and unique creative vibe-meets-bustling city will draw you in and have you begging for more.
Before you can take in the experience, however, there are a few things you need to know.
There Is So Much To Do
When I said hub, I meant hub! There are plenty of attractions and sites to visit, each one of them as good as the next.
Obviously there is Buckingham Palace, home to one of the longest reigning monarchs. But, there is also the Houses of Parliament, Downing Street, The London Eye and many more. Afterwards, there is shopping that never ends (Oxford Street, Regent Street, Piccadilly and Carney Street) and all you can eat food. The food in London is incredible – choose where you go wisely.
If you don’t have enough time, you will never get through it all. I would recommend having at least two to three weeks, but if you can’t then make sure you plan ahead.
It’s (sometimes) Expensive
I know what you’re thinking (I thought the same thing). It can’t be that expensive, can it? Unfortunately, the answer is yes. A recent 2014 poll rated London as the third most expensive city in the world to live. And, compared with many other European cities, it is.
So, save as much as you can and budget properly for the best experience. The last thing you want is to run out of cash in the most expensive city in the world!
There Are Freebies
But London can also be affordable! To save a bit of cash, check out the freebies that London has to offer. There are plenty of them to choose from, and they are brilliant fun. For example, you have to visit the Imperial War Museum and the British Museum for a bit of culture.
London has some of the best monuments, museums and art galleries in the world. With the exception of some exhibits, almost all of them are free all year round! Many of the museums participate in “Late nights” each week or once a month. “Late nights” are free and give you the opportunity to explore the displays and exhibits with a wine in hand while there are fewer people (and no kids).
No matter how long you are here for, there is a multitude of things for you and your travel companions to do in London that are budget friendly and fun. Check out free things to do and see in London here!
A good little tip is to remember that the health care is also free on the NHS. So, if something does go wrong, it won’t cost you thousands in medical fees.
Talking about the NHS, it is important to stay safe and negate any harmful situations. Free health care is great, but at the minute the NHS is going through a couple of problems. If you can afford it, go with private health care like the London Doctor Clinic. You won’t have to worry about waiting times, and the standard of care tends to be higher.
The city is massive but very easy to get around. More than 1.2billion other travellers per annum use vast transport network which includes hundreds of bus lines, 402km of London Underground (tube), National Rail and Overground trains.
You will need to purchase an Oyster Card since all tubes and buses don’t accept cash. The transport system can be hard to understand, but the Transport for London website and the very helpful Citymapper app has all the information you need to plan your journey.
London is easily accessible by foot – take in the sites and walk! Find out more about getting around London.
Britain Uses Pounds
Unlike the rest of Europe, Britain doesn’t use euros. If you plan on visiting mainland Europe first, you will have to change your euros into pounds. Find out more about how to best access your cash here.
Enjoy your time in London!
Explore this incredible city and enjoy it! Here are a few things to get you started:
23 FREE things to do in London
Notting Hill Carnival survival guide
Royal Encounters: 5 day trips and weekend escapes from London
Countryside and Seaside: more day trips and weekend escapes from London