London is consistently one of the most visited cities in the world. With so many cool and exciting areas in London to see, it’s easy to see why. That’s why visiting places in London is so much fun… there’s just so many areas, culture and food to explore.
Now, with any global city, London has its ever-so-little quirks which can prove to be equally daunting and, tedious if you’re new to the city. This is exactly why I wanted to share some easy to follow tips for visiting places in London.
Take a look, below, at some of the best tips for visiting places in London. Have the best time exploring our city.
1.) London has a lot of secret places to see
Okay, sounds ominous but beyond the popular spots to see is a treasure trove of more secret spots in London to find.
From an almost identical ’10 Downing Street’, to noses and ears scattered around Covent Garden, this a whole heap of tips for visiting places in London that are totally different from the likes of the London Eye or Buckingham Palace.
2.) You don’t need to stay in Central London
In fact, you don’t need to stay in London at all, if you don’t want to. You see, even places like Windsor or Cambridge are only 30-45 minutes away by train.
Plus, the transport system here is arguably one of the best in the world so you have a lot more flexibility with regards to where you stay as you can get around far too easily.
Though, if you don’t fancy spending lots of time travelling, stay closer to the city centre of London (Zone 1, 2 and 3) but you don’t have to stay in noisy Covent Garden to feel like you’re having a truly ‘London’ experience.
Also, don’t forget about Airbnb in London, too. It’s a great way to keep costs down and live like a local in the city.
3.) The best views in London can be free
The best view of London is not always where you’d expect them (and won’t always cost you a pretty penny) so do keep an open mind when it comes to attempting to snag that brilliant London photo.
For instance, you can head up to the Sky Garden London and grab yourself some free tickets to see the views over the city. This is exactly where getting a few tips for visiting places in London comes in really handy.
4.) London doesn’t need to be pricey
London isn’t quite as expensive as you’d think. Well, not unless you want it to be.
There are lots of free (or cheap) ways to explore London which is great if you’re visiting London on a budget. Plus, let’s be honest, even if you’re not visiting on a budget, no one likes paying more than they need to.
Look for cheap ways to tour the city, like the 453 TFL Bus that goes through central London. This will cost a few pounds rather than a £30 ticket on a tour bus.
5.) London Bridge isn’t Tower Bridge
Lots of new visitors to London make this mistake. In fact, an American once bought the old London Bridge thinking it was Tower Bridge instead and swiftly shipped it the USA. How disappointing!
This is also the same for the tube stops, though you can walk from London Bridge Station to Tower Bridge with ease. It seems obvious if you know it, but this is one of the biggest mistakes people make in London.
I promise, by just remembering a few tips for visiting places in London like this and you’ll be much more efficient with your exploring.
6.) A night out can be pricey
Yeah, a night out in London can be eye-wateringly pricey, but don’t just think you need to spend all your savings for a good night.
Truthfully, the cost of a night out in London is totally dependent on what area you chose to party in.
In my experience, West London (and Central) are typically more expensive (and more mainstream) that East or South London. Though, these days, East London’s Shoreditch is a pretty cool (and sometimes expensive) place to have a night out.
7.) There’s a lot of palaces in London
Yeah, you’ve probably heard of Buckingham Palace but there is a shed load more palaces in London that are amazing to explore.
Once you’re here, make sure to get as many tips for visiting places in London to spot all the palaces. After all, not every city in the world has palaces you can go into!
8.) London’s food scene isn’t bad
Trust me on this!
Although once upon a time London had a bad reputation for its food scene, things have totally changed in the last two decades.
The UK often (and rather unfairly) gets a bad rap for its food but London is actually home to some of the most unique restaurants out there. Plus, we’ve got some of the best curry houses, best restaurants and coffee spots you could ever imagine.
You’ll be totally stuffed with all the foodie tips for visiting places in London.
9.) No one shops on Oxford Street
Okay, they kinda do, but most Londoner’s will try and avoid Oxford Street if possible.
It’s a funny thing because the very nature of this being a tourist hotspot (and it’s being popular as a result of that) has meant that Londoners are more likely to venture towards other areas of London, rather than the packed central streets surrounding WC1.
10.) There are lots of vintage shops in London
Truth be told, near Brick Lane is a treasure trove of vintage shops and market stalls where you can grab a few vintage bargains and pre-loved clothing.
For instance, Beyond Retro is one of the largest places to grab a few pieces you’re after. Plus, the team are always happy to offer more tips for visiting places in London that have other vintage finds.
11.) London has the best curry
Speaking of Brick Lane, this is an amazing place to visit for curries and Asian cuisine. Though, a word of warning, my tips for visiting places in London for curry might blow your socks off if you don’t like spicy food.
From places like Dishoom near Kings Cross to the more independent joints on Brick Lane, there is a treasure-trove of curry houses to visit in London.
12.) Public wifi isn’t good
Yeah, unfortunately, London doesn’t have any free-to-access public wifi to connect to. This is where having some knowledge and tips for visiting places in London is essential, especially for that online connection.
Thankfully, lots of the best coffee spots in London and attractions offer free wifi, so there’s no need to fret too much.
13.) We moan (but secretly love) the tube
The tube is great for getting you around very quickly and reliably running 24 hours a day on some lines. Plus, there’s usually a train every few minutes, making it a breeze to get across London.
That being said, the bus is better for seeing the sights as you go around.
14.) Always buy an Oyster Card
Always get an Oyster card. Trust me, as long as you don’t forget to tap in and out (on the Underground only – not the bus), there’s no cheaper way to travel in London.
Plus, by planning and using tips for visiting places in London, you can actually not pay too much at all. You see, after about 4-5 journies, your Oyster Card spend will be capped and you can travel the rest of the day for free.
15.) We have cashless transport in London
Travel is also cashless so buy your ticket before you attempt to hop on a bus or the underground.
16.) London has some epic markets
London’s many amazing food markets are a great way to spend an afternoon while filing up on all the goodies on offer. That being said, we also have a shed load of the best markets in London, selling everything from; flowers, clothes, antiques… anything you can think of.
17.) London isn’t just a summer city
Although it’s usually off-peak when it comes to travel, there’s a surprising amount of fun stuff that goes on in London over winter. Plus, we also have a heap of the best Christmas markets in London – you’ll be spoilt for choice.
Just make sure to wrap up warm and stay cosy whilst exploring the city.
18.) You can use apps to see London
Pre-loading your phone with the best sightseeing, transport, foodie and travel guide apps will save you a ton of time and money when you visit London.
19.) No Londoner likes to queue for a restaurant
Any place (restaurant or bar) that is ridiculously hard to get into or that has a waiting list of several days, is NEVER worth the hype to most Londoners.
You see, most Londoner’s don’t really buy into ‘elitism’ (unless you go to certain joints) and so these places never stick around for long.
The real London gems are places that are famed for what they do (food, drinks, entertainment…etc) and not for how long you have to queue to get in.
20.) You can explore London by foot
Most of the sights you’ll want to see in London can be explored on foot. The city always appears larger than it really is but in truth, everything is a lot more compact than most people realise.
This is honestly one of my favourite tips for visiting places in London, especially as you get to stumble across so many hidden gems.
21.) You don’t always need the tube
On the note of walking, there’s never a need to take a train or a bus between Covent Garden and Leicester Square.
This seems like a very specific, inane and somewhat random thing to say but these two stations are particularly popular in London and are about 1-2 minutes walk from each other (I’ve seen far too many people do this and it takes more time to go underground and catch the train than it does to just walk).
22.) London isn’t a wet city
Well, it doesn’t rain quite as much as you’d think it does in London. In the summertime, London is quite famed for having long and glorious stretches of very hot days! (we’re talking mid 20sC to early 30sC temperatures).
Plus, it’s actually been recorded that cities like New York and Paris have more rainfall than London.