London Tourism Guide

London Tourism Guide

Quick Guide

Electricity

Type A – 100 – 220V

Weather

JAN
5°C
FEB
7°C
MAR
9°C
APR
11°C
MAY
14°C
JUN
16°C
JUL
19°C
AUG
19°C
SEP
17°C
OCT
13°C
NOV
10°C
DEC
7°C

Language
English

Currency
Round Sterling (£)

Visa
Visa Free

Cost of a beer
£3.50 (avg)

Cost of a Meal
£15-£25 (avg)

Average Room Rate
£95/ night (3* hotel)

SG$1 = 0.57 British Pound (Exchange rates can vary)

London has been dubbed the most popular city in the world. It is a travel destination that offers visitors everything they could possibly want. From grand palaces to world-class shopping and world famous museums and galleries, there is no time at all to be bored in London.

London’s allure and appeal comes from its rich multi-cultural history; it has been influenced be a variety of Empires and civilisations from around the world from the Ancient Romans to the Saxons of Scandinavia. Its history is filled with great stories of Kings and Queens and at one point the British Empire was the largest formal Empire in the world (they ruled approximately a third of the world, not a bad feat for such a tiny island). To this day it is one of the world’s most forward thinking, innovative and politically triumphant nations.

A trip through London today will see you surrounded by the beauty of its history, but also the excitement of its modern day culture. It is a fashion and music capital of the world, not to mention a gastronomical wonder with so many traditional, modern and multicultural restaurants and dining experiences all side-by-side.

The City of London is actually a square mile in the middle of Greater London – this is the financial hub of the UK and there are sky scrapers and fine dining experiences to be had here. Interestingly the city of London actually has its own police force and until 1994 there were no official roads within its boundary.

“London is an infinitely rich onion. It has layers of delicious elements to explore; the world’s greatest museums, vibrant boutique neighbourhoods, a blend between modern and ancient history, literature, film – you name it.”

By Alex Berger, Virtual Wayfarer

To ensure we’re providing the best possible information about London tourism to you all, we got a Londoner to write this tourism guide for you. Read on to find out more about the tourist places you must see and the lesser known destinations that will ensure you get the best experience possible. London is also a great place for solo travellers, there are so many pubs, dining experiences, galleries and museums that are easy to enjoy on your own, but also places where you can make friends quickly.

Top Attractions

With so many attractions and fun things to do in London, it’s hard to choose the top three but here are the attractions we recommend you don’t leave without seeing:

Buckingham Palace is the certified London home of Britain’s monarchs and continues running today as their administrative head office. Changing of the Guard is one of the oldest ceremonies involving a New Guard exchanging duty with the Old Guard, in order to stand and help protect the Queen.

 

Tower of London is steeped in history. It was used as a fortress, as residence and as an infamous prison! Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII’s second wife arrived at the Tower in 1536 after being accused of adultery and incest. The Tower is also where the Crown Jewels, collection of 23,578 gemstones, are kept which are still used in royal ceremonies today.

 

Big Ben is the term often used to describe the tall tower, the clock and the bell. It was completed in 1859 and has since become one of London’s most famous landmarks.

Things to do in London

London will never be short of things to do. Londoners are still making their way through the ever growing lists of destinations to visit, sights to see and experiences to be had. Many of the best places to visit in London come in the form of pop-ups; these exciting experiences stick around for a week days, weeks or months and then disappear, but tend to come back owing to popular demand.

Our things to do in London list combines the traditional tourist spots that you really must visit and a checklist at the end of other

Buckingham Palace

This is the London home of the British Royal family and also the administrative headquarters of any current, reigning monarch. This beautiful palace, with 775 rooms, was originally built in 1703, when it was a much smaller townhouse for the Duke of Buckingham. It has since then been extended, rebuilt and redesigned to the imposing building you see today. You may recognise the balcony at the front from many appearances of the Royal Family, including at Prince William and Princess Katherine’s wedding. Buckingham Palace is located at one end of the famous red road, The Mall (the other end is Trafalgar Square). We recommend strolling down this road so you get to see the palace grow in size in front of you. You will also be able to see the stunning white and gold Victoria Memorial; completed in 1924 it was designed to honour the once great Queen Victoria.

Things to do at Buckingham Palace include seeing the historic ceremony called the Changing of the Guards. The times of this ceremony change throughout the year, but it usually starts at around 11.15am and lasts about 45mins. Alternatively, you can actually go inside the palace on a number of tours. The main one is to be shown around the State Rooms and Gardens; tickets for this start at £21.50 for adults and £12.30 for children between the age of 5 and 17. Visit the website for more information.

Buckingham Palace, London, SW1A 1AA

Nearest Underground Station: Victoria, St. James’ Park or Green Park

Tower of London

The Tower of London is a castle that was originally built in 1078 by William the Conqueror; since then it has grown and been used by countless Kings and Queens as a prison, fortress and residence. There are a number of things to do at the tower, including exploring the grounds, learning about the history of the tower through exciting exhibits and seeing the incredible Crown Jewels, including the beautiful Imperial State Crown. This is a fun and exciting place to visit in London, especially if you’re travelling as a family, as the kids will be entertained for hours. The Tower of London is also home to a number of interesting myths, facts and stories, so you’ll be intrigued and amused regularly. Tickets cost £25 for adults and £12 for children aged 5-15; however, discounts can be found if you book on the Tower of London website. This famous London attraction is open all year round apart from the 24th -26th December and the 1st January. From Tuesday to Saturday the tower opens at 09.00 and at 10.00 from Sunday to Monday. Closing times vary depending on season; in Winter it closes at 16.30 every day and the rest of the year it closes at 17.30.

Did you know the Tower of London has six resident Ravens; legend has it if any of these Ravens were to leave the Tower, it would fall. King Charles II was the first to insist they be protected.

There’s a chilling story that the once King Richard III of England, had his two nephew Princes, who were ahead of him in the line to the throne, killed at this tower. This is considered to be one of the most mysterious unsolved disappearances in UK history.

Tower of London, London, EC3N 4AB

Nearest Underground Station: Tower Hill

 

Big Ben – Houses of Parliament

The Palace of Westminster is the official name for the famous gothic building where the UK Parliament resides; the clock tower is affectionately named Big Ben, however, this is actually the name of the clock inside. The two towers are named the Elizabeth Tower (houses Big Ben) and the Victoria Tower, after the two longest reigning monarchs of the UK. You are able to see the Palace of Westminster at any time of the day from the outside and a number of tours are available; visit the website to find out more. On these tours you will be guided through a number of famous rooms, including the Lords Chamber and Commons Chamber. Tickets for adults start at £25.50 and £11 for children aged between 5 and 11. Opening times vary, but if you explore the website from the link above you will be able to see when it is open during your trip.

Palace of Westminster, London, SW1A 0AA

Nearest Underground Station: Victoria, Charing Cross and Waterloo (approximately 20mins away)

Price: Free. Exhibitions may charge a fee.

Opening times: Daily from 10.00-17.45, except for Fridays when it is open until 22.00. The V&A is closed from the 24th-26th December and the 1st of January.

“London always invokes the sense of English royalty (think Rule Britannia playing in the background). Of course, there are also many attractions in the English capital such as the Big Ben, Tower of London, Westminster Abbey, River Thames Cruise, shopping at Harrods and Fish & Chips! But if we were to choose, the change of guards at Buckingham Palace is a must. To take things down a notch, how about a picnic in Hyde Park?”

By Tom, 2 Bear Bear

Museums and Galleries in London

There are a number of museums in London, that each shows the incredible history, art, culture and science of the country and the rest of the world. The following are the ones we highly recommend visiting. Most museums are free to visit in London; however, the museums are run on donations so these are always welcome. Additionally, these museums host a number of exciting exhibitions that you are likely to have to pay for.

  • Natural History Museum (Cromwell Road, London SW7 5BD) – Nearest Underground Station: South Kensington
  • British Museum (Great Russell Street, London, WC1B 3DG) – Nearest Underground Station: Tottenham Court Road, Holborn, Russell Square, Goodge Street
  • Science Museum (Exhibition Rd, London SW7 2DD) – Nearest Underground Station: South Kensington
  • National Portrait Gallery (Trafalgar Square, London, WC2N 5DN) – Nearest Underground Station: Charing Cross or Leicester Square
  • National Gallery (Trafalgar Square, London, WC2N 5DN) – Nearest Underground Station: Charing Cross or Leicester Square
  • V&A – (Cromwell Road, London SW7 5BD) – Nearest Underground Station: South Kensington
  • Tate Britain – (Millbank, London SW1P 4RG) – Nearest Underground Station: Pimlico or Vauxhall
  • Tate Modern (Bankside, SE1 9TG)Nearest Underground Station: Southwark, Blackfriars or St. Paul’s

Price: Free, except for specific exhibitions, donations are welcome.

Opening times: Open daily from 10.00-18.00 except for Thursdays and Fridays when it closes at 21.00.

St. Paul’s Cathedral


This white, domed cathedral sits on the highest point in London, Ludgate Hill, and is a marvel to behold both inside and out. The St. Paul’s Cathedral you see now was designed by Sir Christopher Wren, as part of a project to rebuild the old cathedral after the Great Fire of London. Many famous, royal Brits have been married here, including Princess Diana and scenes from the Harry Potter movies were also filmed here. You can go inside the cathedral to look around the incredibly designed building and challenge yourself to climb up hundreds of stairs into the famous white dome’s interior. Doors open at 08.30 for sightseeing, the galleries open at 09.30 and the last tickets are issued at 16.00 (cathedral closes at 16.30). Tickets for adults are £18 and £8 for children (7-17 years), discounts are offered for groups of 10 or above and if you purchase tickets online.

St Paul’s Cathedral, St Paul’s Churchyard, London, EC4M 8AD

Nearest Tube Station: St. Pauls, Mansion House, Blackfriars or Bank

Price: Admission is free, but there is a charge for specific exhibitions.

Opening times: Sunday to Thursday it is open from 10.00-18.00 and from Friday to Saturday it is open from 10.00-22.00.

 “Venture eastwards on the London tube to the Greenwich district for a different, quieter side of London. Greenwich is home to the Meridian Line and the spectacular Cutty Sark clipper ship museum, both of which fulfil the travel geek in me. For aspiring photographers and sunset chasers, I definitely recommend a trip here at dusk to see the city’s skyline.”

By Amie Hu, AmieHu

London Sightseeing Checklist

There really are an innumerable number of things to do in London, to make sure you do not miss anything, we’ve compiled a checklist of sights below (additional to the ones above). These sights range from historic buildings to things to do and experiences you must have.

  • London Aquarium – here you will be able to see all manner of creatures from the deep, including sharks, tropical fish and plenty of tentacles. Walk through all of the exhibits and take the kids to see some of their favourite characters, such as Nemo and his friends.
  • Madame Tussauds – a popular worldwide institution, the London Madame Tussauds will have you rubbing shoulders with some of your favourite celebrity waxworks, including Star Wars and Marvel characters. Don’t miss out on the Chamber of Horrors where you can see waxworks of some of the most fearsome people from history.
  • Visit Tower Bridge – this iconic British bridge is a beautiful display of traditional English architecture. You can even walk up some of the towers to get a better view of the city.
  • Watch a play in the West End – like Broadway, London’s West End is home to some of the most famous plays around. We recommend going to see The Lion King or for something more adult, The Book of Mormon is a hilarious play, written by the creators of South Park (not safe to go to if you are with children).
  • See a concert in the Royal Albert Hall – this concert hall was built in 1971 and named in memory of Queen Victoria’s Since 1941 it has hosted the famous summer event called The Proms, so if you’re there over summer we recommend visiting their website to find tickets.
  • Go to the top of The Shard The Shard is the fourth tallest building in Europe and the tallest in the UK. You can ride the elevators all the way up to the viewing platforms on floors 68, 69 and 72. Once you’ve reached these platforms you will undoubtedly have the best views of London, being able to see up to 40miles around you. Try to check the weather before your visit so you soar up to these platforms on a clear London day.
  • Ride the London Eye – this giant Ferris wheel is one of the tallest in the world. It also provides an amazing opportunity to view London, while also offering a number of experiences (explore the website to find out more). If you’re a little afraid of heights and are not up for reaching the height of The Shard then this is the best option for you.
  • London Dungeons – this theatrical demonstration of the gloomy, gruesome side of London history is an attraction you should not miss. Not for the faint-hearted (small children may get scared) the dungeons will show you some of London’s most notorious characters, such as Sweeney Todd and Jack the Ripper. Explore the website further to find out more and book your tickets.
  • Somerset House – this building was once a Tudor Palace built in 1776 and now serves as a gallery and exhibition centre for all things art and culture in London. London Fashion Week is hosted at this beautiful, pale, neoclassical building and it also hosts a number of summer events, such as an open air cinema. To find out what is going on during your visit, explore the Somerset House website

Shopping in London

Image Source: Lorenzo G

London is a shopping capital of the world, from the high end boutiques to historic department stores famous around the world, there’s nothing you won’t find. The following are some of the top places to visit around London for a variety of shopping experiences:

  • Oxford Street and Regent Street – These famous roads have been the epicentre of high street shopping in London for decades. You will be able to find famous high street shops (such as the Topshop flagship store) and designer boutiques here – Nearest Tube Station: Oxford Circus and/or Piccadilly Circus (respectively)
  • Selfridges & Co. (400 Oxford Street, London W1A 1AB) – Famously opened by Harry Selfridge in 1909, this is the second largest department store in the UK (after Harrods). It was one of the first of its kind and has been a favourite of Londoners and travellers since it opened. You’ll find everything you need here, from the latest designer and high street clothing to gadgets, cosmetics, jewellery, books and more. – Nearest Underground Station: Bond Street or Oxford Street
  • Harrods(87-135 Brompton Road, London, SW1X 7XL) – Founded in 1835 by Charles Henry Harrod, this exquisite department store is known for its luxury and amazing shopping experience. If you’re in London over Christmas, we implore you to go and visit and discover all that is on offer, especially in the food hall – Nearest Underground Station: Knightsbridge or South Kensington
  • Harvey Nichols(109-125 Knightsbridge, Knightsbridge, London, SW1X 7RJ) – Another department store, this one is more modern and also located in the prestigious Knightsbridge area. You will be able to find all you need here from food to fashion. For a break during you trip, visit the Fifth Floor Café and try some of their classic British meals, with a fine dining twist – Nearest Underground Station: Knightsbridge or Hyde Park Corner
  • Brick Lane – (91 Brick Ln, London E1 6QR) – This street is not akin to the department stores listed above, but nevertheless still offers a different a unique experience. Wander the streets and explore the vintage stores that can be found on almost every corner – Nearest Underground Station: Aldgate East or Liverpool Street
  • Camden Lock Market – (Unit 215 – 216 Chalk Farm Rd, London NW1) – This huge market is full of fashion, food and accessories; you’ll be able to fine vintage clothing and curious stores such as the famous techno clothing provider, Cyber Dog Nearest Underground Station: Camden Town or Chalk Farm
  • Spitalfields Market – (Horner Square, Spitalfields, London E1 6EW) – This market is over350 years old and was originally a fruit and vegetable market, now you can find all manner of items, from clothes, art, books, jewellery and more. This area is also surrounded by a number of boutiques and delicious dining options – Nearest Underground Station: Liverpool Street or Shoreditch High Street
  • Portobello Road Market – (Portobello Road, Notting Hill, London W11 1LJ) – Open on Saturdays this market is a must-visit location for anyone travelling to London. It is still the favourite of Londoners, especially for the antique furniture and trinkets available, perfect for decorating your home or taking back as a souvenir – Nearest Underground Station: Notting Hill Gate

Nightlife in London

Image Source: Tim Greenfield

There are swish bars, classy rooftop terraces and traditional British pubs dotted all over and around London. We’ve got a list of some of our favourites, perfect for all different types of occasions and experiences.

London can be quite expensive so we’ve made a list of different night clubs, bars and pubs for different budgets and tastes. We recommend visiting the websites of these destinations to find out more about dress code and events that may be on during your visit.

Brixton and Shoreditch are two areas that are considered to be the most up and coming in London, additionally, we recommend:

  • Queen of Hoxton whose rooftop bar changes theme every year and is a perfect way to watch the sunset descend over the roofs of London.

1-5 Curtain Road, London EC2A 3JX, opens Thursday to Friday 4pm – 2am

  • The Book Club is a visually stimulating destination that serves food and drinks by day and hosts events and club nights in the evening.

100-106, Leonard Street, London, EC2A 4RH, open Monday, Tuesday and Sunday 10am-12am, and 8am-2am Wednesday to Friday.

  • The Steam and Rye is an American style bar, designed by Hollywood set designer Jonathon Lee. There’s always a spectacle to be seen at this bar, so you’re always in for a good time.

147 Leadenhall St, London EC3V 4QT, open 12.00 until late on Tuesday and Wednesday, 12.00-02.00 on Thursday and Friday, 17.00 to 03.00 on Saturday and closed Sunday and Monday.

For a more sophisticated nightlife in London vibe we recommend you try some of London’s more upmarket nightclubs (remember these come with a dress code and a more expensive bar tab).

 

  • Mahiki is inspired by Polynesian culture; bamboo sticks make regular appearances and decorate the walls and large drinks come in the form of treasure chests with multiple fruits and straws.

1 Dover St, London W1S 4LD, opens 6pm-3am Monday to Saturday

  • Kensington Rooftop Gardens is not only a top class restaurant but also a classy night out with all the fun of something a bit more rough and ready. It has sky-high views of London and their club nights allow you to party in the grounds of their luscious botanical gardens.

99 Kensington High St, London W8 5SA, opens Friday and Saturday from 10pm-3am on Friday and as a restaurant it opens from lunch until evening

 

Britain is famous for its pubs, and rightly so. These pubs are cosy, comfortable and relaxed environments that allow you to try beers from around the world and have a good chat about your experiences in London with friends. A few that we recommend are:

 

  • The Lamb Tavern (10-12 Leadenhall Market, London, EC3V 1LR ) is a 250 year old pub with a truly British atmosphere and some equally as true British beer and food
  • Mr Fogg’s Tavern (58 St. Martin’s Lane, London, WC2N 4EA) offers a Gin Safari; this unique British concept sees each guest receiving one and a half hours of expert tuition on our Brits’ favourite drink. You will get to taste six different gins and have two of your very own Gin & Tonics for only £40 per person (London City bargain!). They also serve quirky cocktails with fabulously dramatic names.
  • The Lock Tavern (35 Chalk Farm Rd, London NW1 8AJ) is an ideal destination to spend a summer’s day or eve in London. Even though the weather does not permit it, London was absolutely made for summer, and this pub was made with this in mind. Their outdoor area looks like something out of a holiday brochure and their drinks will cool down the hottest of travellers.

Fun Facts

  • The Romans were the first to settle where London is today and referred to it as “Londinium”
  • The London Underground is the oldest underground railway network in the world.
  • Buckingham Palace has 775 rooms with 188 staff bedrooms.
  • Marble Arch was originally built as the entrance to Buckingham Palace, but was never used.

Food In London

Image Source: Bob B. Brown

It’s not all fish and chips, pie and mash and jellied eels in London (or any at all of the latter anymore), it is actually one of the most astounding places to eat, owing to its variety of foods from around the world. A number of world famous chefs call London their home, and our list of recommended restaurants includes a number of international destinations:

  • Chutney Mary73 St. James’s Street, London, SW1A 1PH – An Indian restaurant with a lot to brag about; we recommend the Tandoori chicken.
  • Dishoom7 Boundary Street, London, E2 7JE – A popular chain of Indian restaurants, you will always find a queue outside the door, so try and schedule yourself in for an early or late dinner to avoid queuing for a long period of time.
  • Scott’s London 20 Mount St, London W1K 2HE – A fish food restaurant, serving only the finest fresh fish to its guests. This is a fine dining experience not to be missed, and is nearby to the iconic Claridge’s Hotel, so after dinner you could stroll down here to visit this famous London site.
  • Galvin La Chapelle – 35 Spital Square, London E1 6DY – A French Michelin Star restaurant opened by the Galvin Brothers, it is one of the top restaurants in London and not to be missed if you’re looking for a true fine dining experience.
  • The Woleseley – 160 Piccadilly, London, W1J 9EB – This European café is one of the top destinations to go for a truly British brunch or afternoon tea, including the famous cucumber sandwiches.
  • Sketch London 9 Conduit St, London, W1S 2XG – A restaurant that is brimming with attitude and a sensational atmosphere and décor. The restaurant combines delicious food with the artistic talent of Turner Prize winners, including Martin Creed and David Shringley.
  • Sushi Samba – Heron Tower, 110 Bishopsgate, London EC2N 4AY – Located high up in the Heron Tower, this restaurant is a unique fusion of Sushi and Peruvian cuisine. Highly recommended are the yellowtail taquitos and the extensive range of cocktails.
  • Duck & Waffle – Heron Tower, 110 Bishopsgate, London EC2N 4AY – (See the advice from the travel blogger below).
  • Burger & Lobster – 36-38 Dean Street, Soho, London, W1D 4PS – The premise of this restaurant is to focus on what they’re good at; making burgers and lobsters.

Image Source: Magnus D

 

There are also a number of food markets and areas in London where you will find a unique blend of the huge array of cultural influences on London. We recommend visiting the following:

 

  • Brixton Village and Market Row – Coldharbour Lane Brixton, London, SW9 8PS (See the travel blogger description below).
  • Borough Market 8 Southwark Street, London, SE1 1TL – Nearby to the Shard at London Bridge station, we recommend exploring all of the food stalls available at Borough Market; taste foods from all over the world and all of the continents.
  • Brick Lane Food Market Brick Ln, London E1 6QR (Only open at the weekend) – Another chance to experience a fusion of dishes from around the world and do a little bit of vintage shopping while you’re at it.

“Brixton, one of the up and coming hipster neighbourhoods in the city, is chocked full of cool cafes and indie boutique shops. Being the center of London’s Caribbean community, Brixton is brimming with Caribbean eateries and reggae bars. The indoor market in particular is worth a peek especially if you like global flair and unconventional bites.”

By Professional Travel Writer and Blogger, Nellie Huang, Adventure Travel Blogger WildJunket

Top Tips

  • Getting an Oyster card is worthwhile as it’ll reduce the expensive travel related costs when it comes to travelling on public transport. Grab an Oyster card for free and ask at the station’s helpdesk on how to load it with some money. The great thing about an Oyster card is that there is a maximum daily capped amount that you can spend in a day and once you reach this, the rest of the day’s travel will be free! But be sure to check that you’re travelling within transport services that accept the Oyster.
  • Walking between stops may be wise as some stops in London are very close together making it quicker to reach by foot than by tube. For example, the walk between Leicester Square to Covent Garden is less than three minutes.
  • If you want to grab a bargain on west-end theatre shows and aren’t too fussy on the production, then head over to the TKTS Booth in Leicester Square. The unsold tickets for shows on the day will issued at a discount price.

Where to Stay in London

Luxury Hotels in London

As one of the cultural capitals of the world, expectedly, there is no shortage of extremely luxurious hotels in London. Some modern, some coated with elegant London history, it’s hard to imagine not finding the perfect luxury London hotel for you. The Savoy is one of the most famous hotels in London, highly synonymous with luxury and exclusivity. Celebrities, aristocracy and royalty have been staying at this hotel since it first opened in 1889. The hotel is located on the famous road, the Strand, on the banks of the Thames, giving those staying there, sensational views of London all year round.

The Savoy Cocktail Book, from 1930 and written by Harry Craddock at the Savoy, is considered to be the foundation of modern mixology and cocktails today.

The Langham hotel in London is another traditional, classic hotel with many stories to tell. It is a highly influential hotel, with famous historical figures such as Arthur Conan Doyle and Oscar Wilde have stayed here and even come up with the ideas from some of their most famous books here. The rooms are refined and very grand and there is an air of class flowing throughout the whole hotel. It is located in the heart of the West End and guests will have access to a spa and gym.

The W London hotel is a modern luxury experience, with an eclectic mix of art in every room and area of the building, guests will have a lot to talk about. Situated in central London, it is easy to reach the main sights in London. If you’re looking for a party, this London hotel has a number of bars and lounges that are famous across the city. Alternatively, for a well-balanced mix of the traditional and modern, the Rocco Forte Brown’s hotel in London is a hotel you should strongly consider.

All of these hotels will cost at least $500 per night stay on average, however, when you decide to visit and how long for will affect this.

Mid-Range Hotels in London

There are a number of hotels in London that cost, on average, $150-$300 per night’s stay, including the K+K Hotel George London. The hotel is located in the stylish residence nearby to Kensington High Street (a great shopping spot) and other places to visit in London, including the Science, Natural History and V&A Museums. Alternatively, The Nadler Victoria can be found nearby to the Palace of Westminster and Buckingham Palace. This stylish, modern hotel includes amenities such as concierge services and tickets and tours assistance.

The Bailey’s Hotel in London is in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea; this upmarket, stylish and sophisticated area is a cultural hotspot, with places such as the Saatchi Gallery and The Kings Road, approximately a 20 minute walk away from the hotel.

Budget Hotels in London

If you’re looking to spend less than $150 per night (on average), then we recommend the Lancaster Gate Hotel. This London hotel is within walking distance of the beautiful Hyde Park and the Royal Albert Hall is also nearby. The hotel has its own restaurant, The Serpentine Restaurant and Bar, which serves an array of cuisines and fine whiskies, wines and cocktails.

The Belgrave hotel is also within your budget and great option for accommodation while staying in London. Nearby to Big Ben and Buckingham Palace, this hotel also has a bar/lounge and other comforting amenities to make your stay as enjoyable as it can be.

If you’d like a self-catered option, we recommend Club Living; with a fully equipped kitchen and free Wi-Fi, there’s little more you could want. The décor is flawless and comfortable and you will be in the Soho district, nearby to Trafalgar Square and Piccadilly Circus.

For a full list of hotels in London, explore the Expedia website further. Here you will be able to choose a hotel perfect for you, based on price, location and more.

Getting Around London

Image Source: mattbuck

The simplest way to get around London is by using the intricate and handy underground system (known as the tube) and bus network. Jumping in the famous black cabs or ordering an Uber are alternative ways, however, the traffic in London is well-known to be quite something to behold. We would recommend downloading the CityMapper app or the Tube Map app, as this will allow you to see the different ways to reach your desired destination.

Oyster Card

You should buy a Visitor Oyster Card; you can pre-purchase this at home and have it delivered, ready to use when you get to London. You can pre-load your card with a number of different amounts of money, and it can be used on the Underground, buses and the Thames Clipper boats. Visit the Transport for London website to find out more information.

“Every time I travel to London, I make sure to first map out my journey at home. That way I can check which tube station is closest to the places I want to visit and I don’t waste any more time underground than I should. I also have my own Oyster Card, which is cheaper than regular tickets.”

By Sofie Couwenbergh, Wonderful Wanderings

The London Underground

There are 270 Underground stations in the Greater London area; this is split into 6 different zones. Simply tap your Oyster Card on the readers at the station and start on your journey. There are tube maps at all of the stations, but remember the maps are not geographically representative. There are a number of stations that may appear further apart than they actually are; here is a more visually accurate version of the map.

Best Time to Visit London

Image Source: Su–May

Most Londoners believe that London was made for summer, but there are a number of different reasons to visit during the other months (including avoiding a city in the heat). The weather in London is very unpredictable, but it roughly follows the pattern of the seasons. The Summer (mid-June to mid-September) is the peak season, where days are long and you will see the locals out for lunch and dinner, laying in the sun where they can. Temperatures usually average between 16-23°C, but can reach up to 28°C, they really are that unpredictable.

During Springtime (March to mid-June) you will see temperatures cooler than summer, but the promise of summer is in the air, making London a very pleasant and cheerful place to be. However, don’t expect to be free from rainfall and the odd very cold day. It’s a comfortable time to walk about looking at the sites, as temperatures are usually around 13-18°C.

As Summer turns into Autumn (mid-September to November), a new kind of beauty emerges in London, mainly the changing leaves in all of the parks, avenues and riverside walks. The aroma of warm coffee begins to swirl and many a pumpkin based pudding or pastry will come out. Furthermore, it finally means rest from the city heat that has engulfed everyone and everything (especially public transport) for months. Temperatures are usually around 10-15°C, making it ideal for stretching those legs and exploring London as much as you possibly can.

For the rest of the year (November to March) London is very much under the spell of Winter. While the temperatures drop considerably and can often be around the 0°C mark, there is still a lot to be celebrated in London during this time. New Year and Christmas make for a magical atmosphere and visitors here then can see the mind-blowing firework event, held over the London Eye every year. Be sure to be prepared to wrap up very warm, but use this opportunity to indulge in the warm hearty meals on every menu in any London restaurant.

Flights to London

You’ve found out the best bits of London, but to truly experience all it has to offer you’ll need to fly there first. To find out how much flights to London are, or when the best time to fly is, use the Expedia flight find.

Featured Image Source: Davide D’Amico