London is well-renowned for its culture, amazing architecture, and royalties, so there’s no wonder millions of tourists choose it every year as their travel destination. The Thames crosses the huge city, shedding wonderful reflections upon the historic buildings, while old Roman roads can still be seen in some corners. We know, it sounds lovely, and there’s plenty to see for sure. However, if this is your first trip, you might find it difficult to plan your itinerary or even understand some cultural customs.
To get the full out of London, excellent planning is a must. You need to decide when, how, and what are you going to visit, and divide everything according to the time you’ve planned. It might seem a bit complicated, and it should be, as you are visiting one of the greatest capitals of the world, but you can manage it if you follow a few simple travel tips and tricks.
Best Time to Visit
Although London is open for visiting all year round, you will probably get the best experience in spring or late fall. Not only that the weather is milder in these periods of the year, but you will find the city less crowded. Most tourists choose London in the summer, thus resulting in huge lines building in front of museums, castles, and other tourist attractions. Although during winter London looks more like a fairytale place, the weather can be a bit harsh, so you should decide if you are willing to put up with that.
It might be nice to visit a small part of London on foot on the first day, but you will soon realize that it is impossible to keep up with your itinerary unless you choose another means of transportation. The most common and inexpensive is the underground train and you will get an excellent deal if you acquire an Oyster card. This is used exclusively for transportation in London and you can top it up with the exact amount you need for your trip. Trust us, you don’t want to buy paper tickets. They cost twice the price.
Another popular way to discover London is by bike, and you will find plenty of spaces that rent them. A bike will offer you more freedom, as you won’t have to stick to a strict schedule, and you will be able to choose your route.
First of all, you need to bear in mind that there’s no time of the year when the tourists are missing from London. It is almost always flooded with them, so you should look for accommodation in advance. We recommend you book the perfect room at least 2 weeks before the trip, so you can get a good deal, this meaning a decent space for decent money.
Another important tip: choose a place in the center of the city. Most tourist attractions are located in Central London, so if you wish to see as much as possible, and you have a pretty limited time, it’s best to be only a few steps away from them. Moreover, check if there’s an underground station close to your accommodation, as this is the easiest and most affordable means to travel through the city.
Unless you plan on staying for months, there’s no way you will be able to visit every attraction the city has to offer. As we have mentioned before, it is huge, with queues forming in front of museums, especially in the summer. As this is your first time visiting, we suggest you take 3 to 4 days to accommodate, sense the pulse of the city, and visit the main landmarks and attractions. Furthermore, make sure you reserve enough time for every activity, including lunch, and a few minutes for rest or the whole trip might just end up in an overwhelming and tiring adventure.
There’s Plenty to See for Free
London is certainly not a cheap city. However, if you know where to look, you will find a good number of places to visit that are free of charge. For example, museums like Natural History Museum, British Museum, Science Museum or the Victoria and Albert Museum are the perfect attractions to get you accustomed to British culture and traditions, and they will welcome you without requiring a tax. Besides that, many public gardens and parks are open to visit, allowing you to find a moment of peace, away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Tasting the London Culture
Britons are famous for their 5 o’clock tea, so you shouldn’t miss this experience. The tea is served in an elegant tea kettle and is usually accompanied by pastries, fruit tarts, and chocolate cake. If your host prepares it, you can delight in the wonderful experience of hearing the sweet sound of the whistling kettle as the water boils and your tea is ready to serve, enjoying a veritable British experience throughout. Moreover, you are presented with a broad variety of tea flavors and combinations, so you will be able to try a new one every day during your entire trip.