Tips for visiting London

Heading to London? We share these essential travel tips for visiting London, so that you can plan your next trip with ease. 

London is a bustling, never-ending city that can be exciting, engaging and wow you at every, and any, given moment. It can also be confusing, frustrating and making you want to throw up in the nearest bin – but good luck finding a bin on the underground or at any train station! I digress.

So, for those wanting to visit, here are the essential travel tips for visiting London. Planning a visit on a budget? Head over to Emily’s post on the best hostels in London.

Whilst in the UK, don’t forget to take some of these day trips from London or visit some other awesome cities such as Liverpool or Brighton!

The Currency

The UK use the Great British Pound and very few shops accept anything other than the Pound or card payments. Money can be withdrawn from any ATM but to avoid transaction charges, head to a ATM outside a chain supermarket or a bank. Some hotels and larger stores in London may accept the Euro.

Tips for visiting London

The Weather

The weather in London is hit or miss. November through to March is fairly cold and windy, June to August is (most of the time) warm and sunny but incredibly crowded. April, May, September and October gives temperatures around 14-20 degrees and is my favourite time to head into the city. Regardless of when you visit, bring an umbrella – it will randomly rain at any given point! London is a great place to visit at Christmas but don’t bank on snow!

When to visit London

London gets very busy during the British school holidays. Through the months of July and August the queues are unbearable, as our the Christmas events during the week leading up to Christmas. London is one of those cities that are always busy, but to get the best weather and least crowds, September or June are great times to explore.

Tips for visiting London

The Underground

Tips for visiting London

If it is your first time in London, the underground can be slightly daunting but is by far the best way to get around the city. Taxis are too expensive, buses are too slow and the city is far too big to spend all day walking around. Instead, pick up an oyster card, use the machines to top it up and download the London underground map onto your phone to help you. The TFL website also gives you specific directions from one attraction to another and tells you exactly where you need to change or get off.

The Cost of London

London is expensive. Unfortunately, it just one of those cities that is very pricey – but for locals like us, it does make everywhere else look ridiculously cheap! Expect to pay around £100 a night for a decent private room, at least £4 for a pint of beer, £7+ for a lunch at a café and upwards of £25 per person for a meal.

To see all the historic sights, plan at least 4 days in London – which will cost around £600 for those on a budget (not including travel to and from London).

Tips for visiting London

Save Money in London

Yes, London is expensive but there are a few ways you can save money. For a cheaper pint, head to the Wetherspoon chain pubs, which are also a great place to have a cheaper meal too. Visit the free attractions to save some money too.

Food in London

The UK has a few must eats when you visit the UK and London offers them all. Book yourself an Afternoon Tea at one of the fancy hotels (The Ritz or The Kensington Hotel are popular choices), go to a small local café for a Full English Breakfast and don’t forget to try some fish ’n’ chips.

girls weekend in london
Attractions in London

Things to do in London

Of course, there is so much to see and do in London. The most popular attractions include seeing the Big Ben, watching the changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace, exploring the Tower of London or shop ‘till you drop on Oxford Street.

But don’t miss some of the other amazing attractions in London; take a canal boat up the river at Little Venice, sample the flavours of London Borough Market and get an amazing view of the city from the Sky Gardens. 

London has a lot of amazing attractions and neighbourhoods to explore, perfect for all types of travellers. If you are travelling with family then make sure you check out these things to do in London with teenagers.

Tips for visiting London

Accommodation in London

Book your hotel or hostel in advance. London is not the type of place you show up and walk in – unless you want to be charged triple the prices on booking.com.

If you are looking to save some money, check out the budget chain hotels like Travelodge, Premier Inn or Ibis – just make sure to check reviews online before you go because chain hotels in London can be hit or miss. 

Helpful resources

What to pack for London

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  1. Great tips Katie! The Sky Garden is absolutely fantastic and with the good weather I loved having picnics at the Queen Mary’s Gardens, such a beautiful spot!

  2. I think I am starting to want to visit London after reading so much information on it. I have known about the tip with accommodation, but I didn’t know it’s such a serious problem. Thanks for letting us know that.

  3. As someone who has been to London many times, I find this post to be very helpful! It’s very straight forward and to the point, with all of the most important information. I’ve actually had a lot of success booking stuff last minute in London though, actually… and for much cheaper! But maybe that is not usually the case.

  4. These are great tips for visiting a great city! I love London and one of my favorite activities is afternoon tea. I’ve never been to that Alice in Wonderland one – it looks amazing! Have you been to the Pret-a-Portea at the Berkeley? It’s fantastic!

  5. I love London, but even as a New Yorker, I think it’s expensive. My favorite thing to do in London is go to the theater or eat. I actually like British food but the Indian food in London is my favorite. I also agree that the Underground is fantastic for getting around.

  6. Thanks for letting us know about accommodation details. Now I will definitely book hotel in advance and follow your tips for a visit to London. Thank you for this very informative post.

  7. I haven’t been to London yet. Your tips will certainly come in handy when I do make my way there. I’m especially intrigued by the free attractions and the food related tips.

  8. These are some great tips. We found Underground a convenient way to explore the city of London with well-connected trains. And yes it very important to keep a check on the weather, it rained a few times when we were in London which unexpected and slowed down our trip.

  9. Thanks for sharing all these tipps! I found it helpful to know that July and August are not good times to visit, so we’ll definitely plan our trip for June, as you have suggested. Hopefully the weather will be great!

  10. Having visited multiple times, for short durations, I can vouch for all the points you mentioned. Its expensive, no doubt, but there are also a lot of budget friendly things to do.

  11. […] building around the city. I have compiled a quick guide for travelling in London I hope these London tips help you for your […]

  12. These posts are really amazing. Thanks for sharing this. My favorite is Fave lunch spot: Ottolenghi restaurant in Notting Hill. I really enjoy this

  13. Really enjoying to read this post. My favorite thing to do in London is shopping, travel to different places like
    1. Fave monument: The Animals in War Memorial
    2. Fave shopping spot: Notting Hill
    3. Fave place for brass rubbings: St. Martin-in-the-Fields

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