Top tips for staying in London
1. You don’t have to be right in the centre of London to enjoy everything. Most of the big sights are spread around so no matter where you stay, you will have to do some travelling. I recently stayed in London for a weekend and we stayed slightly outside the city in Ealing. It was a minute walk to the nearest tube station from the hotel and a 20 minute tube ride into Bond Street. The hotel was £84 for 2 nights with breakfast and the most I paid in 1 day was £6 for travel so it was just £102 for the hotel and travel cor the whole weekend whereas you might pay that just for one night in a hotel closer to the centre of London.
2. Use an Oyster or a contactless debit or credit card for travelling on the tube and bus. If you use an Oyster or contactless card to travel, London Transport will monitor your travels and then only charge you the cheapest rate at the end of the day. With the tube you will tap your card as you go in and out but the bus is different, a single fare is £1.50 but if you get off the bus and get into another bus within the hour, the second fare is free.
3. Travel light when you are sightseeing, you don’t need a lot of things with you when you are walking round London. I normally take my rucksack with me as I am always picking things up like souvenirs but I will have my purse, phone and print out of bookings that I’ve made if I have to have a print out. I use a small purse to just have some cash as I have Android Pay on my phone with my bank cards and loyalty cards saved on it.
4. Stay safe at all times. Always keep your phone and purse in the front pockets of your jeans or trousers and then cover your pockets with a long t-shirt or a jumper depending on the weather, don’t want you getting too hot. This will make it harder for someone to get into your pockets.
5. Book what you can in advance. From restaurants to attractions, if you can book in advance it will be save you a lot of time as some attractions have 2 queues, one for getting tickets and the other for going in once you have tickets. If you can, I would suggest spending a little bit more on fast track tickets for big attractions as I once spent over an hour in the normal queue for the London Eye even after we had our tickets, really wish I’d got the fast track tickets.
6. Try to go on weekdays if you have the choice. The weekends can be a lot busier so if you can, weekdays will be best and you may not need fact track tickets. My sister and I recently went to the London Dungeons on a Friday afternoon, we’d booked normal tickets and there was hardly any queue so we went straight in. We came out at about 5pm and there was hardly anyone there for the London Eye so we picked up our tickets and was getting in a pod within 20 minutes.
7. Stay overnight if there is lots that you want to do. London is a big place and no matter how many times I have been to London in the last year, I still haven’t done everything. Plus, going for the day can mean that you just do 2 or maybe 3 things in a day and it will be rushed. Staying overnight or for a weekend will mean you don’t have to rush as you will have more time in the day so you can get so much more done.
8. Pub food can be just as nice as a fancy restaurant for half the price. You are never far from a pub where ever you are in London so there are plenty to choose from.
9. Stock up on supermarket goods. There always seems to be a Tesco Express everywhere I go in London so instead of being charged £1.50 or even £2 for a small bottle of water in a shop, get a litre bottle that costs about 80p. It will last you longer and you can pick up snacks like cereal bars and sandwiches to keep you going.
10. Take your time. It’s all exciting running around and seeing the sights but try to remember to take you time and take it in or you will miss the other amazing sights. There is amazing architecture, statues of historical figures, beautiful churches and cathedrals, street art, street performers and so much more.
I hope this blog has helped you plan your next trip to London and that you have an amazing time 😀