Travel Tips for London
Ah, London, with its top-notch dining establishments, unrivaled music culture, and extremely extensive history. and tea. The tea, who could forget? It’s easy to travel from point A to point B in London because of the excellent public transit system in England. Each London area has something to offer, and you could easily spend a week or more taking it all in and still have stuff left over for your next trip.
It’s no surprise that the “Big Smoke” is a popular tourist destination with landmarks and cultural hotspots including the National Portrait Gallery, Trafalgar Square, the Tower of London, Tower Bridge, Kensington Gardens, and a wide variety of cuisine, drink, shopping, history, and culture.
Greenwich Mean Time during the winter, British Summer Time during the rest of the year (starting at Daylight Saving Time)
Best Time to Visit England
England’s weather is generally mild and rainy throughout the year, so the best time to visit will depend on your travel preferences. Winter is lovely and festive for those hoping to get their fill of Christmas markets and traditional cheer, while spring, summer, and fall allow for taking in the parks and making the most of how walkable London is.
Facts to Consider
England’s world-class public transit system makes traveling between the many exciting areas that make up London easy and stress-free.
While Americans might not hesitate to smile at a stranger they pass on the street or inquire about their jobs in the first few minutes of a conversation, Londoners and English people generally interact with one another in a very different way than Americans do. Etiquette in London tends to be more private, respectful, and distant. It’s merely a variation in cultural conventions; don’t take this to mean that people are being aloof or unpleasant when you meet them. Discuss topics other than work or family, such as movies, TV shows, books, your travels, and the like.
Fun and somewhat comforting fact: Takeaway sandwiches in London are far superior than those in the US. If your day is too busy for a sit-down lunch, a chain restaurant’s sandwich will be genuinely wonderful. The fact that all British museums are free allows everyone to explore to their heart’s content regardless of their financial situation.
Address: Strand, London WC2R 0EZ, United Kingdom
The Savoy, the only five-star establishment on the River Thames, is renowned across the world for its opulent and exquisite rooms. It has a long and illustrious history as the first hotel in all of London constructed with the intention of being a luxury hotel; admiring its stunning architecture and dramatic design is worthwhile even if you don’t wind up staying here.
Address: 27 Poultry, London EC2R 8AJ, United Kingdom
The Ned, formerly a vacant bank building, was transformed into a five-star luxury hotel in 2012. The Ned, which has ten restaurants under its roof and is decorated in a 1920s-inspired manner, is an experience in and of itself rather than a fantastic place to unwind after your London excursion. The Ned also has a spa with services ranging from massages to IV drips of vitamins. The Ned is an excellent option for a young couple or companions traveling in style. It is trendier than other 5-star hotels, yet it still has charm.
Address: 1 Chiltern Street
London W1U 7PA, United Kingdom
The Chiltern Firehouse, which was formerly a fire station, is compact and quaint. There is 26 rooms total, ranging from regular rooms to lofts and suites, all of which include at least one functional fireplace. A Michelin-starred restaurant with seasonal menus is The Chiltern Firehouse. The Chiltern Firehouse is a singular and intimate experience that truly evokes the feeling of being at home while traveling.
Address: 593 High Road Leytonstone, Leytonstone, London E11 4PA
Thai restaurant Singburi is a hidden gem known for its always-changing menu of mouthwatering and genuine curries, noodles, and seafood. Try something different here; don’t just order your normal Pad Thai takeout (as delicious as Pad Thai is). It should work with a crispy omelet, such as their delicious Kai Jeow (a crispy omelet with oysters).
Address: 34 Drayton Park, Highbury East, London N5 1PB
Fresh fish, small plates, and bread are the mainstays of this well-liked restaurant with a sustainable philosophy. Some of the greatest bread you’ll ever taste, plenty and lots of it. Visit the shop for a pastry, a sandwich, or some of their small dishes, or to pre-order a loaf of bread for a week’s worth of excellent breakfasts.
Address: 34 Rupert Street, Soho, London W1D 6DN, United Kingdom
The Palomar is close to Trafalgar Square and some of London’s best museums, so there’s a good chance you’ll get to taste their contemporary Jerusalem food in a lovely, mosaic-adorned setting. If you want to sample the artichoke chips alone, order the octopus with harissa oil glazing or the Bayt al Maqdis Chicken.
Address: 39 Endell Street, West End, London WC2H 9BA, United Kingdom
Parsons is a modest, environmentally friendly fish restaurant in Covent Garden with a straightforward, always-fresh menu. For the modern palate, Parsons has mastered the art of modernizing traditional British flavors like a smoked eel. They have exquisite fish pies, and if you have room, you should indulge in sticky toffee pudding as well.
Things to Do
Tower of London & Tower Bridge
Address: St Katharine’s & Wapping, London EC3N 4AB, United Kingdom
You almost likely see Tower Bridge when you think of London, not the London Bridge, which is actually the bridge that is most closely identified with the city. Although the Tower of London has a notorious reputation, few people are aware of how fascinating its past is. Fans of the Tudor era will enjoy retracing Queen Elizabeth I’s steps, and free excursions are offered all day long.
St. Dunstan in the East
Address: St Dunstan’s Hill, Billingsgate, London EC3R 5DD, United Kingdom
St. Dunstan in the East was previously a church and was constructed in 1698. It was firebombed during World War II, and the ruins were turned into one of the most distinctive and stunning public parks. Even though the park is modest, entering it is like entering a different universe. You won’t want to miss taking pictures of the ivy-covered ruins, so bring your camera.
Address: Trafalgar Square, Charing Cross, London WC2N 5DN, United Kingdom
The National Gallery is home to one of the most amazing collections in the world, which includes works by a staggering number of artists, including Botticelli, Raphael, Titian, Rubens, Rembrandt, Cézanne, Monet, and Van Gogh. Their 2,300-piece collection is periodically rotated, so when you visit, make sure to check out what occasionally-stored treasures are on display.
Address: Hyde Park has several entrances, convenient to Address: Hyde Park has several entrances, convenient to the neighborhoods surrounding it.
With its enormous 350-acre size and prime location in the center of London, Hyde Park is worthy of a full day’s attention. It is a wonderfully beautiful and enjoyable place to be, filled with events, historical sites, walking tours, and gardens. It is well-known for its Speakers Corner, a platform for free speech and discussion since 1872.
Address: 8 Southwark Street, London SE1 1TL, United Kingdom
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, is the adage that applies to London’s markets. Large and mostly devoted to food, Borough Market is one of the oldest in the city. There is one portion of the city that predates the 12th century even though it was only officially founded in the 19th. Buy yourself a sandwich and imagine how happy your forefathers would be with your riches.
Address: From Tottenham Court Road to Marble Arch
With over 300 businesses, Oxford Street is one of the busiest shopping districts in Europe, welcoming roughly 500,000 customers daily. Whatever you’re looking for, it’s likely to be on Oxford Street. Topshop, Dr. Martens, Flying Tiger, Muji, and Selfridges are a few notable retailers.
Address: 107 Charing Cross Road, Soho, London WC2H 0DT, United Kingdom
The legendary, large bookstore Foyles has a few equally convenient sites, but the flagship — and most stunning — store is in Soho, at Charing Cross. Even people who wouldn’t consider themselves readers make the trip to visit Foyles because of its sheer size, stunning architecture, and enormous book selection.
Carnaby Street is the third of the three shopping streets. Carnaby, which is a few streets over Regent Street, is much shorter and primarily focused on fashion, particularly vintage stores that specialize in clothing from the 1960s. Even though Carnaby Street is narrower, it is no less diverse; there are over 100 stores, eateries, and cafes there.
Neighborhoods to Know
Shoreditch is a hip district brimming with retro stores, cafes, art galleries, and nightclubs. The neighborhood, which has a younger demographic, is home to chain eateries as well as fine dining establishments and artisan coffee shops. Explore this area for some of London’s best shopping.
That Notting Hill, yes, that one. It’s just as endearing as you imagine. Notting Hill, famous for Portobello Road Market and the vintage and antique shops that line it, is also home to upscale eateries, Ladbroke Square Garden, and some of London’s loveliest and most picturesque residential areas.
Covent Garden, also known as the Covent Garden Market, is a beloved neighborhood that is home to a variety of restaurants and eateries as well as odd little treasures like tiny toy stores, bookstores, clothing boutiques, and more. Covent Garden is a bustling and lovely area to sit, enjoy a coffee, and people-watch; it is not a shopping center.
Camden: Also known as Camden Town, though hardly anyone uses that name these days. It borders The Regents with convenient walking access to the London Zoo and a somewhat longer walk to Queen Mary’s Rose Gardens. It is home to Camden Market and the renowned venue Electric Ballroom.
Spring: Spring is a lovely time of year in London and around England. The parks and gardens in London, a very green city, come to blossoming, perfumed life in the spring. Although it can get chilly in the early spring, it can be worthwhile to travel to avoid the summertime tourist rush.
Summer: London enjoys a pleasant and beautiful summer that is typical of England. Rarely do temperatures rise over 75°F. Because of this, it is by far the most popular time to travel, and rates for hotels and flights reflect this. However, the season is also generally livelier and busier than others.
Winter: Although it can get chilly, on average, winter temperatures rarely drop below 30°F. Christmas is celebrated widely in England, where cheery markets can be found. It’s difficult not to feel merry in the home of A Christmas Carol, so if you adore the winter holidays, London might be the ideal destination for you.