There is one thing I hate the most. People visiting London and getting the impression that is nothing special just because they actually lived the city like tourists and not Londoners.
That’s the reason why I’m here to give you my best advices ever for your stay in London !
Let’s START !
- Have a break, relax in one of the amazing parks in London. You will be positively surprised! They are super clean and super well-groomed!
- Try and avoid those food-shops/restaurants in and around Leicester Sq / Piccadilly Circus and other main touristic areas. I mean, not all of them are tourist-traps, but food quality is definitely not the best ever. Generally overpriced, get much better food at a local pub or restaurant!
- Skip the London Eye. I personally do not like it. Choose a free option, like a roof garden, or for instance the top of the One New Change Shopping Center or the breathtaking Sky Garden!
- Another way to get an amazing view of London for free is to go to Primrose Hill (especially on Summer) or to Alexandra Palace!
- Walk, walk and again..walk! You’ll be amazing by all the great little spots you can see in London just by avoiding taking the bus or the tube. London has amazingly beautiful and scenic place that often are discovered by mistake!
- Two of my fave’s spots in Central London: Neal’s Yard and Saint Covent Garden.
- Need an Hotel? Do not book one outside zone 2. I know many do not agree with this, because hotels are slightly cheaper outside central London, that’s true, but it will cost you a fortune to travel back and forward your hotel, especially if you wish to go back to the hotel before going to dinner (and that might happen a lot due to the fact that you might have shopping bags that do no wish to carry with you all evening). Hotels in central London are not cheap I know (although there are several hotels that offer good quality accommodation at a reasonable price) but if you pay less for your hotel because is located miles from the areas you wish to visit, please remember that bus and tube fares are not cheap at all! And on top of this, consider travel time, do you prefer to spend part of your vacation on a bus back to the hotel or maybe…visiting the city?
- I’ve worked in the hospitality and aviation industry for years, so let me tell you something here: consider which airport you pick for your flight to London. Secondly, consider arriving in one airport and departing from another. I know it takes time to find the perfect price combination, but try “and play” with different dates and airports, sometimes it is cheaper to fly with one airline to a specific airport and then back back home using another airline from another airport. London has 5 airports! (Stanstead, Luton, Heatrow, City airport and Gatwick).
- Don’t take the tube for short trips. Its take a lot of time getting into the station, going to the correct platform, get on the train, get off, run up the stairs and get out the station. Walk if you can, it’s cheaper and it will take you less time overall!
- Need a Souvenir? I Love Shopping Britannia in Piccadilly Circus. Of course is super super touristic, but you can find nice staff in there (official merchandising as well) and prices are not that bad!
- I highly suggest you to avoid coffe-shops chains such as Starbucks or Costa. I love Costa, but if you want to feel more like a Londoner, try one of the many independent coffee shops. One of my favourite ones is TAP, also slightly less “homy” (simply because is located very close di Piccadilly Circus) but still very good: Ole & Steen.
- Try and venture out a bit more. If it is your first time in London I believe you want to visit all the most famous and central attractions and areas, but if you do have time I advise you to visit Bourogh Market, Spitalfields Market/Brick Lane, the City of London, Holland Park, you could also go to Windsor which is absolutely adorable!
- Get an Oyster card, don’t buy single tickets! More infos on Oyster card can be found in this post. OYSTER CARD – What a mess ! – Transportation in London is rather expensive, and you should try to save as much as you can!
And what about you, ever been to London and feel like giving others a good advice?
Please leave a comment below !
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