If you’re looking for some tips to plan your next trip to London, you’re in the right place. In this article you’ll find everything you need to know to enjoy your visit to London: how to move around, where to eat, what to see and what to do.
By Sara & Loris
We’re sharing with you our experience in this wonderful city giving you some tips and tricks to save money and time.
Trip to London: where to stay
A trip to London can be pretty expensive. Based on your holiday’s duration and your budget, you can evaluate different types of accommodations. Here there are some tips:
- A weekend in London: the best solution can be an hotel in the centre of the city. It will cost more but you’ll save transportation money since you can easily move by foot.
- One week in London: a longer stay in the city means that you may want to move around more. Therefore, as we did, you can look for an hotel a little further from the centre. Prices will be lower and then you can invest some money in means of transport. Keep reading to find out the best ways to move in London.
- Weeks or months: If you travel for study or business your stay can be longer. In this case, the ideal solution can be finding an apartment or a hostel. You might have the chance to share costs with other people and therefore save some money.
London’s best attractions: tips and tricks
Needless to say, London is a city that offers many attractions for tourists from all over the world. Whether you love art, history, science or nature you will find what you’re looking for!
Visiting attractions can be pretty expensive so our recommendation is to select the ones you like the most. Here we’re sharing with you some of the highlights we loved! And if you like outdoors, keep on reading to find out free open-air destinations 😉 If you need more details, just have a look at our website www.travellingmeerkats.com
The Tower of London and Crown Jewels: a blast from the past
This is our favourite attraction in London, full of history, mystery and traditions. Living the atmosphere of the castle is amazing and during your visit you’ll get to know everything about ravens’ legend and ghosts’ stories.
London Eye: the most beautiful view
To get a spectacular view of London you can choose to visit London Eye or the Shard. If you’re seeing this city for the first time, this is a must. The view is breath-taking! But make sure to book your tickets in advance to skip the long queue!
London’s museums: history, art and science
In this city you can find some of the most famous art galleries in the world. Art lovers should definitely see the collections inside British Museum, Tate Modern and National Gallery. But there are also many expositions dedicated to London’s history such as the Museum of London. If you love science and nature we highly recommend you a visit to the Natural History Museum and the Science Museum.
We dedicated a whole day to these two places and they’re amazing (also ideal destinations if you’re travelling with kids)!
Trip to London: free outdoor places you must see
London has many wonderful attractions but the thing we loved the most was actually touring the city and discovering its outdoors. When planning a tour, people often list all the attractions and try to speed up in order to see as many as possible. What we did during our trip to London was the exact opposite 😊. We just booked tickets for a few highlights and then we spent the rest of our holiday exploring the city by foot and by bike.
London is a really amazing town and every corner tells a part of its story. If you like walking you can plan your tour-by-foot; otherwise you can take the underground (keep reading to see some tips!).
Here’s the list of the outdoors we loved the most:
Thought being a huge city, London is very green. There are several magnificent gardens that you can explore alone or with the whole family. These are the ideal place to relax and enjoy nature. Our personal favourite is Kensington Gardens but you also must visit Hyde Park (and Winter Wonderland if you’re travelling in winter), Holland Park, Regents’ Garden and Primrose Hill.
Tips to visit London bridges
One of the characteristics of London is the presence of 33 bridges that cross river Thames. Each bridge has its own style and features. Among the most beautiful you certainly have to see Millennium Bridge, which connects St. Paul Cathedral and Shakespeare’s Globe. Also, don’t miss a visit to Tower Bridge, one of the most famous bascule bridges.
Trip to London: Camden Town
This is a district of Northwest London. It hosts several markets which sell some of the most bizarre items. You can find everything in these shops including books, tattoos, clothes and antiques. The buildings are really peculiar since, as you can see from the photo, they clearly show what you will find inside. The main street is very colourful and lively.
Trafalgar Square and Piccadilly Circus
Two of the most iconic places that a tourist must see. They’re both in the city and you can easily go from one to the other since it takes 10 minutes by foot. Trafalgar Square was named after the Battle of Trafalgar (1805). In that naval battle the British Navy defeated France and Spain at Cape Trafalgar. Piccadilly Circus is the centre of the shopping area. It connects Coventry Street and Regent Street and it is known for the beautiful fountain with Cupid.
Leadenhall Market and Platform 9 ¾
If you are fan of Harry Potter’s series you cannot miss a stop by these two places. Getting a picture at the famous platform that brings wizards and witches to Hogwarts is really worth the long queue! You should also visit Leadenhall Market, a covered market not far from London Bridge. This place was used as set for the magical village of Diagon Alley created by J.K. Rowling.
How to move around in London
Tips and tricks about how to move around in London
London Underground: tips and tricks
The easiest way to move around this huge city is the underground. London’s tube covers 9 zones and it has 12 lines that can bring you everywhere.
To save some money, we highly recommend you to buy the Visitor Oyster Card before moving to UK. It is an electronic ticket that you can charge with money at every station (or when buying it). Using the Oyster you can have some discounts on each journey. This ticket also offers discounts for some restaurants, shops and attractions.
If your trip to London is longer, also have a look at the Travelcard option, a paper-pass valid for a few days or weeks on the zones you choose.
Tips to move around in London by bike
A wonderful alternative is hiring bicycles. We chose this option on Christmas day and we really loved it! London public cycle hire scheme is called Santander Cycle and there are docking stations all-over the city. You spend 2£ to hire a bike for 24 hours and the first 30 minutes of each journey are free, so if you make less than 30 minutes’ journeys you will only spend 2£. It definitely is the cheapest way to move and in sunny day it’s really worth it!
Trip to London: where to go for heatly and cheap food
As already said, London is known to be a very expensive city. And food is no exception.
Trying typical food, such as fish and chips, is a must for a trip to London. But if you’re staying in the city for a few days you would need to have some quick lunch while jumping from an attraction to the other.
Mc Donald’s are everywhere, of course. But we highly recommend you two alternatives:
M&S Foodhall: the perfect food shop
If you want to save money having high quality food don’t miss these stores. They offer great variety of foods from appetizers to desserts. You will find typical dishes from all over the world, from cous-cous to Greek cheese, from sushi to Italian pasta with pesto. Food also comes in single-doses and everything is perfectly packaged to take away. There’s also everything you need for pic-nick like cutlery and glasses. We bought there many of our meals and we really enjoyed them!
Pret à Manger: ideal for rainy days
Pret à Manger stores offer both a shop and a restaurant area. They’re ideal for the pretty frequent rainy days of London. In these places you can find different kind of sandwiches, salads, rice, desserts and sweets. If you plan to move around a lot this can be the best solution since you can find them everywhere!
Whether your trip to London lasts a few days of you’re planning to move there, you will certainly enjoy your stay! To find out more about this wonderful city have a look at our blog: www.travellingmeerkats.com
Article and photos by Sara and Loris |Travellingmeerkats