London is a vast metropolis which is rich in its history, culture, fashion, architecture, landmarks and attractions that attract people from all across the globe, giving it the distinction of being visited by the most number of people in the world. It is a fast-paced city that never sleeps and it has a distinctive character of its own. For people visiting it for the first time, it does present a challenge and if you are not fully prepared, you will appear to be a lost tourist. As such, the following travel tips are being offered to make your trip smoother and more enjoyable.
Order an Oyster Card Online Before Leaving for London: By ordering online, the card will be delivered to your home so that you will have no transportation problems when you arrive. You can also get it at the Heathrow Airport or at any tube station. Not only will it prove to be cheaper than buying paper tickets each time you wish to travel on the Tube or bus, you will also save the effort of having to stand in a queue to buy the ticket all the time. You can put in money as you deem fit for the duration of your stay or you can keep on topping it up, if you run out.
Stand on the Right on Escalators: It is almost a tradition, so to say, that while using an escalator people always stand on the right hand side for the duration of the ascent or descent. This is done so that people in a hurry can pass you by from the left hand side without any hindrance. As such you should also do the same if you wish to avoid getting disapproving side glances. If you have a bag with you on the escalator, you should try to keep the bag on the right in such a way that it does not become an obstacle for others.
Look Left and Right Before Crossing a Street: UK is one of the few countries of the world where people drive on the left side of the road. You must look left and right before crossing the street. You will also find indicators on where to check for traffic on the sidewalks that are labeled “Look Right” or “Look Left” to tell you which direction the traffic is coming from. Moreover, you should only cross a street when the pedestrian walk sign is illuminated. Designated pedestrian walkways are also available but still care should be taken to cross as some drivers may not be following the rules always.
Staying in a good hotel that will give you your money’s worth is essential for an enjoyable trip. Park Grand Central Paddington London is your best bet as it offers luxury at affordable cost.
Take a Ride on Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour: In order to get acquainted with the main attractions and the city as a whole, it is best to take a Hop-on Hop-off bus tour. You will get a better understanding of the locations of the attractions and these tours also include a “free” river cruise, a couple of walking tours, and the ability to use the pass for 2 days. You should also consider buying a London Pass that will get you free entry to more than 60 attractions and will eliminate the need to stand in long queues at these places.
Visitors prefer to stay in Hotels Near Paddington London Station as they are well connected to other parts of London via this station, especially to Heathrow Airport that they can reach in just 15 minutes. Moreover all categories of hotels are available to suit all budgets.
Get Familiar with the 24-Hour Clock: The times displayed in the city are in military time and it will help you if you learn about the 24-hour timings such as 21:30 hrs is 9:30pm.
Tipping is Not Essential: In London, tips are already included in your bill in the case of restaurants, pubs and any other place offering food and drinks. You can tip if you feel that the service was extraordinary for which you wish to reward the person but not always.
Download the Free Tube Map App: It will be helpful if you download the Tube map app on your smartphone for getting around the city on the Tube. You will learn where all the stations are located and it will be easy to plan your trip. Alternatively, you can pick up a mini Tube map in any station if you don’t want to download the app.
Ride the Red Double-Decker Bus: If you sit in the front row on the top level of this bus, you will get fantastic views of the area where the bus is going and you will enjoy your journey while being able to use the Oyster card as well.
Pack Layers: Since the weather in London is most unpredictable, it is best to pack layers so that you are protected if it is cold and you can take off layers if it gets hot suddenly. A small travel-size umbrella should also be carried as you never know when it will start pouring.
Look for Free Things: London is an expensive city but it offers many free things to see and do. These include many free museums and galleries and markets such as Borough Market, Camden Market, or Portobello Market. Most parks and gardens including the Royal parks are also free to enter.
Know Which Side Your Train is Going: You must always consult your tube map or app and know which side your train is going because some train lines split off at a certain stopping point and go in separate directions. It is important to check this aspect before boarding a train. In the case of trains going outside of London, you should know that some are express trains stopping only at one or two stations and some are local lines that stop at all trains stations on the way.