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Top 10 Tips For Tourists When Visiting London

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by Nathan Howard (subscribe)
Nathan Howard. I'm a second year student living in London. I like to share my experiences with other's to inform them on London and what it has to offer!
Published July 27th 2017
London Tourist Tips Travel City Break Weekend Holiday Summer Todo
The London Eye, London


Visit in a weekday
We understand for most this may be an impossible task and a weekend break is all you can manage. If you're flexible with your dates however, visiting on a weekday gives you a much more enriching experience when visiting the sights. Weekdays mean less busy, and less busy means less crowd barging and more sight seeing and free time to do the things you've planned. Bare in mind rush hour in London is every weekday like most major cities from 5 onwards, try to plan around this if possible, particularly when getting the tube.... as usually by 7 the busy streets subside significantly.

Get a travel pass
Making use of London's underground system is key to ensure you can visit multiple destinations throughout the day in record time. With all this travelling, making use of a day pass on the tube is key. For a daytime pass to use at any time prices start from £12.30 adult and £6.50 for children, saving you money in the long run. If you're the person who just needs to get the one or two tube rides, then perhaps simply using your contactless card is a better alternative. Using your contactless is never more than any ordinary Oyster card payment, so you really can't lose to be honest!

Tipping isn't essential
Many countries, including the United States and many across EU have a compulsory tipping system in place. Here in the U.K, tipping after dinner isn't as essential and is only really reserved for moments when a service is exceptional and worthy of extra cash. Although it's a nice gesture, let's face it, London's expensive enough and so this could save you and your family some tea spending money to enjoy!

Museums and Galleries are free
You name it, Tate Britain, National History Museum, Science Museum and many more are all free entry for all! This means you can soak up London's culture and heritage at no extra cost! As well as museums, don't forget almost all of London's big attractions are free to explore... why not sit on St James' park right beside Buckingham Palace, or visit the Sky Garden for free for panoramic views of the city?

London Tourist Tips Travel City Break Weekend Holiday Summer Todo
View over Westminster Abbey, London


Avoid black cabs
We see them everywhere in London... but unless absolutely necessary avoid getting a black cab in London. With its hefty prices, why not order an Uber for half the price? With so much choice including bike hire for as little as £2 and a tube journey from £2.60 a black cab really should be used only if absolutely necessary.

Don't just visit the sights
Of course, you want to walk along Oxford St and across tower bridge on your travels, but don't forget the other parts of London too, which can sometimes be the best! Covent Garden, as well as places such as Shoreditch all offer a truer sense of London living. With food markets and small boutique shops, you can experience true British cuisine as well as style in one of these quirky central hubs. Street art dominates the streets of Old St, with an abundance of coffee shops and quite stores to explore.

Don't be shy
We don't bite, contrary to Londoners holding a reputation as having a stiff upper lip. Visiting a quiet pub and meeting some of London's locals can be the difference between making or breaking your holiday. Why not ask for advice on pages to eat or drink? We'd be happy to help if we can, and it can help you feel like you're living in London whilst here, not just visiting.

Use low-cost airports
When we think of arriving in London we think of Heathrow. Sometimes smaller airports including City offer much cheaper fares when travelling to London. To ensure the best deal, make sure you select 'London, all airports' or simply select them all your self when booking to compare prices. Although some airports are closer to central London than others, Heathrow is actually one of the furthest anyway, so landing anywhere else would save time as well as money.

Walk between stops

The tube is a wonderful thing when sight seeing London, but sometimes walking can also be the best thing. If you're travelling one or two stops, you'd be surprised to know this may only be a 20-minute walk. Walking not only keeps you fit, but allows you to soak up the sights of London by walking the streets. You never know, you may even come across something you never knew existed!
London Tourist Tips Travel City Break Weekend Holiday Summer Todo
Buckingham Palace, London

And finally... don't stand on the left side of the escalators
Londoners are a lovely bunch I promise, but nothing upsets us more than standing on the left side (or side by side) of an escalator when underground. Traveling in London can be hectic, so during particularly busy times people using escalators stand to the right, allowing those wanting to walk up along the left if so to get to their destination even faster. Anyway, please remember this one, as forgetting may be the result of an unwelcome stare from a commuter.
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Why? To make the most of your trip to London
When: Anytime
Where: London
Your Comment
Great article Nathan!
by Chloe Doyle (score: 3|1328) 142 days ago
This is really helpful Nathan. I'm sure that I would have stood on the left of the escalators and not known not was rude. Local knowledge is always good in any city.
by May Cross (score: 3|1123) 140 days ago
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