The city of London, England is filled to the brim with a variety of cultures, fascinating museums, cosy pubs and historic landmarks. There is always something to do when visiting so no matter how long you are there for, you’ll want to maximise your precious holiday time so here are ten handy travel tips for your next trip to London.  

1. Invest in an Oyster card 

Oyster card
Photo by lady_oyster on Instagram

London is renowned for its public transport, from the iconic red double decker busses to the underground ‘tube’ maze. We recommend investing in an Oyster card for £7 to save money (much cheaper than paying per ride) and time. It’s easy to purchase, load with money and go! If you’re short on time, never fear – you can also tap on and off by contactless card or phone.  

2. Look out for the Pret star 

Photo by pret on Instagram

There’s nothing worse than being caught short when your stomach is rumbling for food or you desperately need a hot drink. If this happens whilst in London, look out for the red star signage which indicates a Pret-A-Manger store. Pret-A-Manger offers a great variety of fast, but healthy, meals, snacks and hot drinks. We feel like there is a store on practically every corner!  

3. Map your route on Oxford Street 

Photo by jonah_jy on Instagram

If you’re after a mix of mid- to high-level brands and department stores, Oxford Street is a must. You’ll find everything here from Selfridges and Marks & Spencer to Uniqlo, Gap, Primark and Zara. We recommend planning where you want to shop in advance and saving the locations on Google Maps. This way you can figure out a clear-cut route to save wandering back and forth amongst other keen shoppers. If you can, try visit on a weekday when there are less people out and about. 

4. Download these handy apps 

Moulin Rouge show
Photo by masha.meow on Instagram

If there are just two apps you download for London, make sure it is TfL Go and TodayTix. TfL Go is useful to plan your public transport journey, even including suggestions on how you can avoid peak travel times. The TodayTix app is perfect to add a spontaneous theatre show into your itinerary. You can buy last-minute tickets to one of the many Westend shows, making them cheaper than booking in advance. We used it to buy tickets to three shows, all purchased the day prior. Hot tip: a matinee is cheaper than an evening show!  

5. Always check the duration of your trip 

We adore being able to easily walk from A to B in London
Photo by ourcrazylondon on Instagram

London is flat as a tack which makes it an easy, walkable city. So much so that sometimes it can be quicker to walk from A to B, rather than catching public transport! Using the Circle Line as an example – if you are travelling 3 stops or less, that distance is covered in approximately 20 minutes by foot. This saves time (think delays and/or making your way up and down through stations) and a tube fare. Alternatively, if you have the time and the choice between taking the tube or bus, we recommend taking the bus so you can see more of London.  

6. Pack a raincoat or small umbrella 

You never know when the weather can change in London. Even in summer, pack a small umbrella or light raincoat when you’re out and about.  

7. Stand to the right 

…on an escalator. London’s underground system is full of escalators and hundreds of people. To avoid holding up commuter traffic, remember to stand to the right of the escalator if you’re not planning on walking up it. 

8. Aircon is key 

If travelling in warmer months and you need to catch public transport, try catch the Elizabeth Line (the only air-conditioned tube line) or the bus (with windows for some fresh air) for a less sweaty option.  

9. Free activities galore 

Tate Modern museum
The Tate Modern, housed in a former power station

As we mentioned earlier, there is always something to do when in London; and the best part is that a lot of these activities are free! Fancy some fresh air and some landmarks? Take a stroll through Kensington or Hyde Park, or along South Bank and the Thames. Want one of the best views of London? Head to the Sky Garden in the Walkie Talkie building for panoramic (and free) views (just make sure you book in advance). Or are you a museum buff? Most of London’s greatest museums are free, like the V&A, Tate Modern, National Gallery and the British Museum.  

10. Short on time… 

Checking out London from the River Thames
Photo by gr8_leada on Instagram

…but still want to tick off some of London’s best landmarks? Catch the river bus along the Thames as a quick and affordable way of seeing places like the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, the London Eye and St Paul’s (from a distance).  

We hope these ten handy travel tips for your next trip to London make life a little easier for you when you’re on the ground. Looking to book a trip there? Take a look at our Globus and Cosmos range of tours in the United Kingdom today.  

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *