11 things to know before you go to London
We are one hundred percent sure that you are pretty excited about your travel to London. Probably, you are asking yourself questions like “Where to go in London?”, “What is the best time to go to London?”, “What is the cheapest month to travel to London?” and so on. While answering your questions above, we also want to give you some information about the things you need to know before you travel to London. If you want to learn useful information and practical tips starting from London weather to cocktail bars, keep reading! Here are the 11 things to know before you go to London:
1. This is a Big City
Hello, there folks! You are already aware of the fact that London is a big city. Therefore, when you travel to United Kingdom, make sure you are taking your precautions. First of all, you might want to know if is it safe to travel to London. Yes, it is indeed. Stay in close proximity to the centre of the city. Booking a nice hotel in a central place will also help you to decrease your transportation costs and help you to discover the city swiftly and tastefully. Second of all, if it is your first travel to London, make sure you stay in a central place which is located nearby valuable tourist sites. This is a city of millions of citizens, it is best to visit places helping you to explore and enjoy this beautiful metropolitan and keeping away from the city.
2. The Language
No matter if you are a native speaker or a non-native speaker of English, you will definitely experience the different pronunciation of words, even some new words in your travel to United Kingdom. There are a bunch of words, expressions, and phrases you might need to take a look before you are travelling to London. For example, in British English for the word “cookie”, they have a word as “biscuit”, instead of saying “pavement”, most people say “sidewalk”. Another cool example is when the British want to point out how cold London weather is outside, they use an expression of “It’s Brass Monkeys Out”. Keep a note of these. We are sure, you will hear these words and phrases in your daily interaction with Londoners.
3. Public Transportation
Even though you have decided to stay in central London, you may still need some kind of transportation. Consider using public transportation. There is an Oyster card, which can make it cheaper to go from one place to another. It is basically an electronic ticket, in our opinion, way better than getting daily single tickets, which you only add credits to use public transport. You may either use the London tube or the buses. To have the full experience of the whole of London, you should take the red double-decker buses, and enjoy your travel within the city. On the other hand, if you want your travel to be fast and easy, consider taking the London tube and reach the place quickly without any traffic. You do not need to worry about the convenience or rush, the London public transportation system is highly efficient and feasible. It might also be a perfect idea of using public transportation rather than going on foot when the London weather is terrible.
4. Rent a Bike
Being one of the biggest cities in the world comes with its disadvantages besides the advantages. As you might already know from the previous point, London has huge traffic. If you are a tourist and have a limited time to spend in this lovely city, spending your time in a traffic jam is not that pleasant. Therefore, to relish yourself, apart from the public transportation, you might consider renting a bike. Before you go to London, look for the reliable places you can rent a bike or join a bike tour with many other interesting people. Yes, it is not Amsterdam, but we are assured, you will love your bike tours inside the city.
Before you travel to United Kingdom, it is better to be aware of the currency in the country. In the United Kingdom, the currency is the pound. You may also hear a slang word for pound, “quid”, do not be surprised. Our recommendation is to check the current London currency comparing to your national currency before you visit London.
6. Free Attractions
Before we even answer your question of “What is the cheapest month to travel to London?”, let us answer your question of “Where to go in London?” which will cost you less or no money at all. Even though London is a big city and yes, obviously one of capitalism’s hearts, you can actually enjoy your trip to London without even spending money. “Where to go in London, which will cost you no money at all?”. Here is the answer. There are plenty of choices, such as London museums, parks, gardens, and shops. Yes, you read it correctly, London museums are free of charge. Starting from the Victoria and Albert Museum, British Museum, National Gallery to the Science Museum, you can enjoy London visiting those museums for free. London Bridge, the Tower of London, Big Ben and many tourist sites are for free of charge as well. One of the pleasures in your trip to a new city is obviously parks and gardens. In London, parks and gardens are eye-catchy. You can rest, spend some time, have a picnic or just enjoy the fresh air. A lovely activity for free? It is obviously visiting the shops. London is the heart of famous brand shops, so make sure you go and see some beautiful pieces. Our recommendation is not to visit the shops on weekends.
7. Eat like the Locals
One of our major tips before even visiting London is finding places for food beforehand. London is a pretty expensive city and eating out can cost you a fortune if you do not know where to go. There are a lot of tourist traps, make sure you do not encounter with them. Try to search for places where local people mainly eat, for example, consider going to Fish&Chips, or Borough Market. It also makes difference what time you go there to eat, whether it is breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner, it may differ in price in a large quantity.
“Is it safe to travel to London?” - after you discover the great restaurants and tastes, we believe it is not safe in weightwise, as you may gain weight, however it is the risk-free trip ever if you know how to enjoy yourself. :)
8. Shopping Alternatives
“What is the cheapest month to travel to London?”. Well, if you are not a shopping junky, we are sure you will survive any month for your visit to London. However, you may decrease your costs even more than you can imagine. Most tourists will visit Oxford Street for their shopping needs, nevertheless, our suggestions are trying out new streets which have way better shops at affordable prices. A few examples like Regens Street, Covent Garden, and Westfield Shopping Centre will offer you equally good service and tasteful shopping experience. Other than that, it is better to do your own research on where to shop, when to shop. Especially on weekends, it is highly crowded in London Shops. Makes sure you make smart decisions.
9. Cocktail Bars
London is the best city for a night out. It offers you the best cocktail bars you can ever imagine. Make sure you do your research on cocktail bars, clubs, or hangouts. We are sure you will be way ahead of your peers while considering our tips before you fly to London.
10. Grab an Umbrella
Coming to one of your wonders - the best time to go to London, there is actually no perfect time to visit London weatherwise. It is better if you take your precautions and carry an umbrella in your backpack. In London, you never can tell if it is going to rain or not, even in hot summer days and nights. After all, “Is it safe to travel to London?”, well we all know that a little rain never kills anybody. Just enjoy the fresh weather after the rain.
11. Borough Market
There is no best time to go to London for Borough Market. Remember our convection about eating like a British? This can be the best follow-up to that point. The reason you should definitely consider going to Borough Market is, food is cheap, tasty, and surprisingly awesome. We are assured you would love this place more than those fancy restaurants you spend tons of money in.
Best tip for you - Always remember to enjoy your trip! Stay healthy and blithely.
Arzu lives in Hannover, Germany - UNESCO City of Music. She is a student, music admirer and freelance writer. Arzu finds the importance of words powerful. This is exactly why she is passionate about writing and communicating with her readers in unique ways. Indeed, we found her achievements in debates, various international events, in her academic and personal life where words have an essential role. Moreover, she loves music. Just like Hans Andersen stated, “Where words fail, music speaks”.