This post is dedicated to all those, who are going to visit London for the very first time, and furthermore, to those, who already “act like a local” when they come back there but they definitely don’t spurn a few tips. In this post, we tried to summarize everything important and interesting about London so that your next visit will be easy, comfortable and cheap as much as possible.
By Bus or Plane? Fly!
This part is basically relative to Czech residents. If you live in the Czech Republic and you consider going by bus or plane to get to London, we recommend buying air tickets. It’s so much faster and more comfortable. Check the websites of Ryanair, EasyJet or Wizzair, prices start at 270 CZK (10 EUR). Another thing is that you need to get somehow from any London’s airport to the city, but that might be more expensive than the one-way plane ticket. Prices start at £5 (150 CZK) for EasyBus, a train is usually twice faster and twice more expensive.
Public Transport: Tips and Tricks
Using the public transport in London is necessary, easy and a bit pricey. We strongly don’t recommend buying single paper tickets. A much better option is to use your contactless card or purchase Oyster card. Although the Oyster has a deposit £5, it’s refundable so don’t worry. Next step is to top up your card. Yes, the card works like pay as you go. You can set the amount you want to top up, but £20 for three days should be ok. If you are budget travellers, use buses (and trams which we haven’t met) only. These means of transport are not limited by zones (London is divided into 9 zones, actually). A one-way ride costs £1.50, the fourth and other rides are free. How is that possible? Cards (both debit and Oyster) are ready for that – when payment amounts exceed a specific limit – called daily cap – you can be sure that you’ve reached the maximum amount you’re going to be charged the following day. As the tube and other means of transport come under zones, count your spending before travelling – daily caps are here.
Must-have Guides and Apps
If it is your London’s premiere, do not forget to pack a good pocket guide. We were absolutely fascinated by British Pocket London by Insight Guides – it’s in English and even possible to buy in the Czech Republic on this link. Talking about apps for your smartphone, we recommend downloading Citymapper and Travel Guides by Ulmon. The first one can find any public transport connection, the second one saves your findings and gives you tips where to go, what to eat and much more. Both are free, for iOS and Android.
Lunch Time? Good Fish & Chips is not that Cheap
If you want to save your budget, stop at Marks & Spencer, Tesco, Lidl or Pret & Manger for a sandwich, a baguette or a soup – these dishes are not over £5. For those, who are looking for a great traditional Fish and Chips, we have two tips – close to the Tower of London is a famous takeaway version called Josef Fish Bar, the second one is a family business Rock & Sole Plaice, a very cosy restaurant located in the neighbourhood of Soho.
Free Galleries And Museums
One of huge advantage of London is an absence of admission fees into many of their galleries and museums. National Gallery, British Museum and Natural History Museum are probably the best. We spent a few hours in spectacular Saatchi Gallery and Tate Modern, from whose lookout tower you can see the whole city. Just for free.
Sky Garden: a great panorama view at 20 Fenchurch Street
There are several options when speaking about panorama views. The most famous attractions are skyscraper The Shard and phenomenal London Eye. However, they’re not just popular, but also a little bit pricey – like £15 – £20 per person. Fortunately, an alternative exists – it’s called Sky Garden and it’s located at the very upper part of 20 Fenchurch Street building, which is for her appearance often called Walkie Talkie. Admission is for free, you just need to plan your visit in advance and book it online. Tickets are currently available to book on a weekly basis. Reservation times are opened every Monday. Book your visit on the official website here. And by the way, as it is free, you can book two different times and see London in the daytime and at night as well. You’re welcome!
St. Paul’s Cathedral from a different point of view
If you want to see St. Paul’s Cathedral from a different perspective, go to the shopping centre One New Change, which is on the opposite side of the street. It’s really easy to get there, just use a lift and press the “top” button. Have a look at the picture below, it’s perfect, isn’t it?
Well, that seems like we are done with tips. What about you, have you been to London? Do you have some secret tips for the city? Share them with us in the comment section below. Thank You! P.&D.