Samuel Johnson once said, “When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.”
Big Ben, the red phone booths, and of course, the Queen of England, are all things you think about when you think of London. But there is so much more to this city than the tourist attractions.
Are you soon to be a tourist in this beautiful city? Sightseeing is one of the best ways to see the many landmarks in London. If it’s your first time heading to the capital, you should know a few things first.
Read on to learn how to make the most of your trip to London by going city sightseeing with these helpful tips!
Don’t Travel When It’s Busy
London is always a hotspot for tourists who are heading to Europe. But there are times in the year when London is at its busiest.
By going during low peak times you’ll be able to avoid the crowds and lines. You’ll also be able to take advantage of the lower prices for your accommodation. So when are the best times to head to London?
If you’re able to, head to London during the months of January and February, and again in September through November. Visiting in the early spring is also an ideal time to go city sightseeing in London.
Getting to the city from the airport and travelling around the city once you get there can be tricky. It’s best to know ahead of time how you’ll be getting to all of your destinations.
Once you’re off the plane you’ll need to get to the city. If budget isn’t an issue, you can always arrange transportation through your airport. But this can become a bit pricey if you choose to do so. A cab will also cost you a bit of money.
A cheaper option would be to take the tube. You’ll be able to get to central London quickly depending on the time of day you fly in. Between 6:30 and 9:30 AM during the weekdays are often busy times, so flying in later in the day may be easier for you.
Thinking about renting a car while you’re staying in London? It’s probably not the best idea. There’s a London Congestion Charge that will bite your wallet. You’ll also have to park the car somewhere, forcing you to pay the high parking fees.
You’re better off staying somewhere near the centre of the city so you’re able to walk to your destinations while you’re city sightseeing. Also, public transportation – buses or the tube – will work in your favour.
If you’re choosing public transportation, make sure that you take advantage of the Visitor Oyster Card. This handy card allows you to prepay a specific amount of money that you can use on any type of public transportation in the city. The best part about the card is you’re able to take advantage of discounted rates just by using it!
Be Prepared for the Weather
If you’ve ever read a novel set in England, then you know the weather isn’t going to be like the sunny beaches of Southern California. So before you head out for your trip, check the weather! There’s nothing that will ruin a day of city sightseeing than
So before you head out for your trip, check the weather! There’s nothing that will ruin a day of city sightseeing than travelling through London cold and wet.
The average temperature in the city in July is 19°C (or 66°F). In January, it is around 5°C (or 41°F). However, this is just an average, so always make sure you’re packed for the proper weather. And bring a jacket, just in case!
Carry Your Phone Essentials
When travelling, you’ll always need a phone charger and your cell phone. Travelling abroad means preparing for things to be a bit different.
If you’re coming from outside of the UK, you’ll need to purchase an adapter so you’re able to charge all of your electronics. You don’t want to be caught in London without your cell phone or camera to capture all your memories!
Don’t bother wasting your money on international calling cards. Purchasing a local pre-paid SIM card will save you money, and they’re easy to refill throughout the city.
Plan to Stay Awhile to Enjoy All the City Sightseeing
Unless you’re just stopping over in London on your way to another beautiful city, you should at least give yourself several days to soak in all the things the city has to offer.
There’s no way you can see all of London in one day, so plan to take your time. Rushing around the city trying to get in all of your sightseeing adventures won’t be any fun, and you’ll have a hard time savouring the moment.
So take your time and plan to stay a few days if you’re able to. If not, you’ll just have to come back!
Carry a Map
If you’re new to any city, not knowing where you’re going can create stress, and possibly put you in some tricky situations. When you’re city sightseeing in London, one of the best tips is to carry around a map of the city.
You’ll also want a map of the tube system if you’re not confident enough to wing it. Plus, having a map handy will prevent you from wasting time with missed trains. You can usually find free city and tube maps at your hotel, so take advantage of them!
Of course, there are also smartphone apps you can download to make wandering around London a bit easier on you.
London is a great, historical city everyone can enjoy. There are plenty of things to see, do, and eat while you’re city sightseeing. And while the options are endless and maybe a bit overwhelming, preparing for your visit shouldn’t be.
If you want to make the most of your city sightseeing in London, you should be prepared for all of the things you most likely aren’t thinking about. Ensure you’re prepared for the weather, and make sure you bring a map!
Who knows what fun you’ll end up finding on your journey? Are you planning a trip to London soon? Search our database to find the perfect tour for you!