Six Tips for Planning Your London Vacation
Britain’s capital is a sprawling metropolis that will leave you breathless. Here are some tips to help you make the most of your visit to London.
With world-famous attractions and historical locations all around, London is an impressive city that has much to offer to its many visitors.
In fact, it might offer you a bit too much since it’s nigh impossible to see everything on a single visit. And with its enormous area, knowing the key locations is necessary if you want to spend the least time in transit.
Take a look at the list of essential tips that will help you plan your London vacation and enjoy the city’s wonders to the fullest.
1. When to Visit
With the treacherous London weather, you might think one time of the year is just as good for a visit as another. But if you’re planning on spending plenty of time on the city streets, it would be best to plan your London vacation for some time between May and September.
Alternatively, you could spend the winter holidays in Britain’s capital, as the city’s Christmas atmosphere is fabulous. The third option would be to aim to arrive in time for one of the numerous festivals in London, as there are many exciting events throughout the year.
With millions of visitors coming to the city from all around the world, you might want to avoid London in periods when it’s overcrowded with tourists. The city’s most busy in July, August, and December before Christmas.
Weekends, bank holidays, and school breaks are also peak periods when London’s streets can quickly become overpopulated.
2. Where to Stay
Without a doubt, first-time visitors would be wise to find accommodation in central London even though this might seem to come at a higher cost. If you opt for the pricier central London vacation rentals, you might initially pay more. Still, the strategic location could end up saving you the money and time you would spend on everyday commuting.
Most of the central London neighborhoods are also excellent sightseeing spots. So if you opt to stay at Westminster, Soho, South Bank, or similar parts of the city, many attractions will be a short walk or bus ride away.
If you invest enough time searching for the most suitable accommodations, you might find a great deal, which will make it a win-win situation.
3. What to See
There are many attractions, cultural spots, and historical things to do in London and it might prove challenging to visit everything you wish. That’s why it would be best to plan precisely what you’d like to see and not make your London vacation a race against time.
If you pick a couple of major attractions, you’ll be able to plan and maximize the rest of your visit. Bear in mind that London’s a massive city, so you must also consider the time it will take to get from one place to another.
Here are some of the essential London landmarks:
- The London Tower and Big Ben
- The London Eye
- Buckingham Palace
- Westminster Abbey
- Trafalgar Square
- The British Museum
- Covent Garden Market
- Somerset House
- Hyde Park
While the list isn’t exhaustive, it should give you a good idea of how much there is to see and the crucial points of interest in the city worth checking out.
4. Planning for a Budget
When planning your London vacation, you should remember to budget time as well as money. London certainly isn’t a cheap city to stay in, but your visit doesn’t have to be overly expensive as there’s plenty to see and do with a budget of any size.
One of the best options for saving time and money if you’re up for intense sightseeing is the London Pass. The pass will allow you entry to dozens of attractions and you could even bypass waiting in line, which is especially important when you consider how long some of the lines can be.
Booking in advance will serve the same purpose, as in most cases, you’ll get better admittance prices than purchasing a ticket on the spot. For some locations, like Madame Tussaud’s, booking a day in advance will be enough.
Meanwhile, you should take care of theater tickets as soon as possible if you want to catch a show at the West End.
5. Where to Grab Food and Drinks
London has a rich dining scene, with food from all around the world that’s representative of many different cuisines. But before you start choosing exotic restaurants, you should make sure to try the classic British fish and chips with a pint of beer.
You can get an amazing meal at various international restaurants that range from luxurious venues to local pubs and delicious street food. The same goes for pubs and cocktail bars.
But for an authentic London experience, don’t forget to go to a classy hotel and have a traditional cup of tea – or as they say, have a cuppa.
6. Learn About the Free Attractions
London has many free attractions to visit, from parks to museums. Nature lovers will find a particular delight in numerous gardens and parks, while the free museums will satisfy your every interest.
Among the most famous institutions that you can visit for free are the British Museum, Tate Modern, Victoria and Albert Museum, and Natural History Museum, but there are many more.
Learning about the sight and activities you can experience without spending a dime should be high on your list of priorities, as you can plan your vacation around those attractions.
Discover the Wonders of London
While it might be challenging to create a detailed plan for your London vacation, the effort will certainly pay off in more ways than one.
Once you know where to stay, what to see, and the best ways to get around the city, you’ll have the freedom to explore Britain’s beautiful capital without pressure. And the best way to get to know the city is just that.