Kirsten McCroskrie

London Insider Travel Tips: Sightseeing on a Budget

Ensure you have the perfect visit to London with some London insider travel tips and tricks!

Everyone does their research before they get to London, but does anyone consider the best practices once they get there? You don’t want to travel around London unawares or unprepared, so here’s a list of travel tips to make your trip just that bit easier. From how to make the most out of your sightseeing, to downloading the best travel apps and guides, stay one step ahead.

See more, and spend less - Sightseeing in the city

When you get to London the first thing most people want to do is explore the rich culture and history on offer. Just looking around the city, London has buildings that date back centuries waiting to be explored, not to mention picture-perfect landmarks and monuments for that all important selfie. To take the stress and cost out of sightseeing The London Pass is the ultimate package to unlock all the best sites for a snip of the price. A pre-paid for package, it gives you accss over 80 top attractions from the iconic Tower of London, to Westminster Abbey, a Thames River Cruise and lots of fascinating museums and art galleries like the Churchill War Rooms and Queen’s Gallery. You can even add on an Oyster Travelcard to make the package even more all-inclusive as you can explore the city’s famous underground at ease.

Get from A to B the easy way

The Oyster Card is London’s electronic travel card to the entire London transport network, including the famous tube, overground, DLR and trams. It covers up to 9 zones and you can get anywhere through its intricate network covering 250 miles of tracks, stopping at 270 stations over 11 separate lines. London’s underground is in fact the world’s oldest underground, opening with the Metropolitan line back in 1863 and it’s grown into a vast system connecting all the corners of the city. Visitors can make the most of a pre-paid Oyster Card and scan it in and out of the underground and on buses etc to get from A to B. It’s the cheapest way of travelling, and certainly the easiest. But word of advice: don’t travel between 8am-10am - 4.30pm-6.30pm as these are the busy rush hour times when most Londoners will be making their commutes home.

Wine and dine at London’s best restaurants

London is a great city for its broad spectrum of restaurants and bars on offer, so if you’re a foodie it’s the place for you! No matter your preference, you’ll be sure to find something you love - you only need to walk around the streets to notice the queues of people outside the doors waiting to go in, a sure sign it’s worth the wait. There are some great areas in London which have a really unique feel, such as Soho, or Brixton, and where you’re guaranteed to find independent restaurants and bars to be well fed and watered. New pop ups are always appearing every season, so don’t forget to try BoxPark in Shoreditch for rotational restaurants from Caribbean to Malaysian. In the more ethnic areas you’ll also find great Thai restaurants and curry houses in North London. The options are endless!

The best downloadable Travel guides and apps

Everyone has a mobile or smartphone these days and most can’t live without a stream of information at their fingertips. One of the best things to download before you go is a handy travel app you can use offline whilst you’re exploring London. The London Pass® has an app which is your guide to the city, providing you with a list of useful information from attraction opening times, to ideas for days out – and exclusive pass holder offers if you sync your London Pass with your App when you arrive. As well as this you can use their handy maps for the underground to get you from A to B. Another useful App to help you get around London is CityMapper which will help you plan the quickest route – which might often be on foot. The BBC Weather App is another great one, just so you know what to wear for the day ahead!

Where to stay

Accommodation to London is easy to find, whether you arrive on the day and simply turn up, or book months in advance. There are hundreds of thousands of hotel rooms to choose from, not to mention B&Bs, hostels and, the latest trend to sweep the travel industry; Air B&B. From five star luxury along Park Lane and boutique hotels, to smaller rough-and-ready rooms, London has everything to suit every budget. Whether or not you’re visiting with kids, or with your loved one, you can choose to stay central or further out. Just make sure you read the reviews on Trustpilot first as sometimes websites can be misleading and out of date!

Other useful tips

Like any city, pickpockets operate around certain areas of London. Be advised to keep an eye on your belongings at all times and not keep any bags or pockets open, or full of valuable items. Should you need to report anything stolen, go to the TFL information office if you are on public transport, or go to a local police station. In case of emergency, carry your mobile phone on you at all times – and not just for those spontaneous selfies! Make sure you save the number 999 if you don’t already know it which will hotline you through to the Emergency services. Save some in case of emergency phone numbers in your phone as well, should someone need to get hold of your next of kin whilst you’re on holiday.

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