London Travel Tips: 10 Things to Know Before You Go

10 things you must know before you travel to London in the United Kingdom. First, the City of “London” is technically a one square mile area, with only 7,400 residents. But the larger london has 8.6 Million Residents in 32 boroughs. Big Ben refers to the bell, not the tower. The tower is called “Elizabeth Tower”
The country is called the “United Kingdom” — England is a part of the UK. Great Britain is an old name when it used to be called “United Kingdom of Great Britain”

2 – When to go:
Low season is between January and February with average daily highs around 8C or 46F
Shoulder season is between mid-September and November and then again in March and April.
Shoulder Season. Mild weather, light jacket.
Cheapest hotels are Jan-March, but often with wind and constant rain
Summer prepare for thunderstorms and crowds. But probably the best time to go. Average highs are 24C/75F. The “city” can make it hot and humid in the summer.

3 – Money: Great British Pound, aka pound sterling, aka quid
1 GBP is $1.30 or 1.12 EUR
A pound is composed of 100 pence, referred to as “pee”
A five pound note is a fiver(smallest note), and 10 is a tenner
Credit cards are generally accepted, but may require “chip and pin”
ATMS are plentiful
VAT is about 20% — and yes, they have a tax back scheme

4 – Getting in: 6 airports serve London
Main airports, Heathrow and Gatwick
Ryan Air and Easy Jet fly in to Stansted (it’s about an hour out)

Due to London’s huge global city status it is the most served destination in the world when it comes to flights. But some connections may be between airports. DONT DO IT!

Heathrow is home to British Airways that operates 40 percent of flights.

From Heathrow the fastest way in to the city is the Heathrow Express — it takes 15 minutes in to the city at Paddington Station, and leaves every 15 minutes. Station at Terminal 4, and another for Terms 1,2,3. It costs 22 GBP. Star Alliance Gold gets free Business/First upgrade.

Also can take the Tube, on the Piccadilly line. It’ll take an hour.

Gatwick is London’s 2nd airport and is the world’s busiest single runway airport

From Gatwick the fastest way is the Gatwick Express, it takes 30 minutes in to London Victoria Station. Also every 15 minutes.

No tube at Gatwick.

A taxi will cost you about 55-65 GBP from Heathrow

Rail fares to London vary enormously from very cheap to prohibitively expensive – the golden rules are to book Advance tickets for a particular train time, don’t travel into the city on Friday afternoons and Sundays, and avoid buying tickets on the day of travel.

London has one international high speed rail route (operated by Eurostar ) rom Paris (2h 15min) and Brussels (1h 50 min) diving under the sea for 35 km (22 mi) via the Channel Tunnel to come out in England. It terminates at St. Pancras International Station.

Whatever you do.. don’t drive!

5 – Getting Around: It’s all about the tube, officially known as the London Underground
Buy an oyster card
Daily cap, or buy a 7-day card
You use the Oyster Card for busses too
Take the double decker busses, tap when you get on. Don’t tap off.
Peak times are Monday to Friday between 06:30 and 09:30 and between 16:00 and 19:00.
off-peak rate is much cheaper.
Download the Citymapper app to help with navigation
London Black Taxis are world famous
Uber is also an option, though black cabs can be faster, they use bus lanes
Santandar Bicycles — first 30 minutes are 2 GBP, every next 30 mins is free if you return it.
The best way to get around is your feet though! Central london is quite compact
Make sure to pay attention to the “look left/look right” signs before crossing the street

6 – Food:

7 – Tipping: Restaurants: Standard is 12.5%, 15% for good service. No tip of there is a service charge
Cabs — round up.. Or 10%.
No tip in bars and pubs for drinks, unless you order food.
Doormen, bellhops a pound.

8 – Language: It’s english, but it’s British English.

9 – Shopping:

10 – Museums:

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You might enjoy watching some of these other videos from London:

Best Cheap Eats London: https://youtu.be/RlNIp45Irjc

10 Best Free Things to Do in London: https://youtu.be/O5o8vgBdZPk

Camden Market in London: https://youtu.be/efHdgV1slqU

Weird things to do in London: https://youtu.be/R-EK4oF4zQI

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12 thoughts on “London Travel Tips: 10 Things to Know Before You Go

  1. It seems like a nice place to visit. Being from the states, I would feel intimidated going there by myself. It’s so much better to travel with a friend like if I knew somebody from there, I wouldn’t mind going because I would be totally lost getting an Oyster card and not knowing the best airport to go to, or the best hotel that is mid priced but clean. I heard somebody say the hotels are cheaper outside of London, and that’s true. But, if you’re going for a week, and the hotel is 30 miles away, you would have to keep taking a train or bus back and forth every day, just to go into town. Another thing I’ve heard about traveling to the U.K. Is there are so many nice small towns outside of London where it’s in the country and you get a feel for the people. In London, as New York, there’s a lot to do, shopping and museums but if you’re looking to get a feel for the British people, you may enjoy traveling outside London. That’s what a gentleman Brit told me when we were talking about traveling there. The only thing is he told me it’s better to travel to the country towns outside of London but I wouldn’t know where to begin to go. Traveling is very stressful and I always wanted to go to Europe at least one time before I die, I don’t think it will ever happen sadly because I don’t know anybody from there and I would only venture to go if I had a friend to show me the best spots to visit. I have never been outside the U.S. and I have zero interest in going to Mexico. London looks very nice though. I have always enjoyed watching older TV shows that come out of the U.K. I find the dramas very engaging and well produced. I enjoyed watching your video. Thanks

  2. London isn’t the capital of great Britain, its the capital of england.. there’s a difference

  3. thanks a lot for all this usefull information about London needed it for my next trip 😉

  4. Whoops you are incorrect… London is the capital of England and not Great Britain. The capital of Wales is Cardiff and the capital of Scotland is Edinburgh.

  5. This video and a few of your others helped us soooo much… Thank you so much for the info..Camden Market was the best!

  6. London Bridge is ugly because someone thought it was a good idea to sell the nicer looking original to an American. It now resides in Lake Havasu City, Arizona

  7. ‘”If” you’re going to get in line’. Trust me you ARE going to be getting in many lines! Not getting in line is extremely unwise cos all that traditional politeness will disappear in the blink of an eye.

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