FIRST TIME IN LONDON TIPS
Updated: Dec 18, 2022
London, England, is a city with so many famous spots such as Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, and Parliament buildings worth visiting. Planning your first trip to London can seem daunting with so much to see and do. To help you plan your first trip, I have outlined some of the best tips for first time in London visitors.
How long should you stay in London? Where are the best places to stay? This first-timer’s guide will help you make the most of your visit.
Here Are Our Tips For Visiting London
Stay In Central London
Central London is the heart and soul of the city. You are only a few minute's walk to major sites, bars, and restaurants. By staying in central London, you can see more in less time. Ultimately, saving you money on transportation and your budget because you will need fewer days in the city.
No doubt you can experience parts of London in 24 hours. But on the other hand, 10 days would be ideal. London is a huge city, and you won’t see everything. But you can always come back.
The tube is a public transit system with 11 lines. Speaking of the Tube, yes, it is packed with people. However, it is easy to zip around the city. If you plan on staying in London for more than two days, I highly recommend buying an Oyster Card for the Underground.
Avoid The Holidays
London is regularly filled with visitors as a major city and popular travel destination. However, during bank holidays and school breaks, the number of tourists doubles. People from other parts of the UK and Europe travel to London for a quick weekend holiday, meaning even more crowds. Avoid the busiest months of July & August for your first time in London.
Set Aside Enough Time
London is a massive city, and the last thing you want to do is rush through Buckingham Palace or skip the Tower of London because you ran out of time. For your first time in London, plan to stay for at least a week. This should give you enough time to see the historic landmarks and get to know some of the local neighborhoods.
Get to know London in one day with a sightseeing tour including the Tower of London, changing of the guards.
Book in Advance
This one is crucial! You can spend countless hours of your trip standing in lines if you do not plan. From theaters to the London Eye, you would be amazed at how many attractions you can purchase tickets for in advance. A travel advisor can help you plan your trip and determine whether you should buy the London Pass.London Pass.
Visit Free Attractions
London can get expensive quickly, but that does not mean you have to pay top dollar (or pound) to see all the sights. Many of the museums in London have free admission, and the parks and gardens are also a must-see and cost nothing to stroll around and picnic. Seeing classic London sights like the Changing of the Guard and walking through the famous Harrods is also completely free of charge!
Popular Things To Do In London
See The Elizabeth Tower (where Big Ben is Housed)
Take a Beefeater Tour at the Tower of London
Admire Buckingham Palace, the residence of Queen Elizabeth and a highly recognizable spot in London.
Visit Westminister Abbey, where kings and queens are crowned, where famous people are buried, and where marriage takes place.
Take a Hop-ON-Hop-OFF Bus Tour
Eat, Drink, and Shop at Covent Garden
Walk through the St. Paul’s Cathedral
Ride the famous London Eye, a giant Ferris wheel located on the edge of the River Thames.
The Natural History Museum is a classic museum for first-timers to London. There are lesser-known options like Churchill War Rooms or the Sherlock Holmes Museum located at 221b Baker St.
Local Pubs in London
One can’t miss stopping at the local pubs when traveling to London. This is where everyone gets together for traditional food. For instance, each pub seems to have its history and charm. Sunday, head to your nearest pub for a good old fashion roast with the best Yorkshire pudding in the world.
Borough Market comes to mind because there is so much good food here you will probably go home a few pounds heavier. Perhaps stroll across the Thames, where the streets are quiet, with many quaint bakeries and cafes instead of the busy market.
Before visiting a city for the first time, there is so much to know, but this list is a great place to start planning a trip to London!