First time in London: What to do, what to see and what to expect
London is on everyone’s list of places to see. Even the most novice travelers will tell you they want to see Big Ben and Buckingham Palace, go on top of the London Eye and do those typical touristy things. The global city is endlessly popular with tourists from all over the world. This fast-paced city is packed with places to go, things to do and sights to see that are sure to overwhelm anyone, especially first-time travelers.
Here’s a quick read that can help you out while you are planning a trip to the capital for the first time.
Decide what time of the year you want to visit
This is one of the most important things to keep in mind while planning a trip to anywhere in England. London’s weather can be quite unpredictable. Locals are known to carry their hats, umbrellas, and sunglasses all around the year. The city sees a large increase in visitors in the months of July and August as these are generally the hottest months of the year. But if you are looking to avoid the crowd, September through November or March through April will be ideal. London is also very happening on Easter and Christmas holidays.
Book your stay in Central London
Even though staying in the central city can be a bit expensive, it will save you a considerable amount of money and time you would otherwise use for transportation. By staying in Central London, you will get to see more in less time. Staying in the center makes getting around so much easier because many of the main attractions are within easy walking distance or just a short bus ride away. Some major areas you could book your accommodation at our Westminster, Covent Garden, Soho Bankside and South Bank.
Rent a car
Walking to and fro everywhere you want to visit in the city isn’t a feasible option. But you would be missing a great deal of London if you are taking a cab or the tube every time. So a great way to see London is by renting a car. With a GPS enabled device and a laundry list of places you want to see, you can cover pretty much every part of the city.
Don’t miss out on the freebies
Even though London can be quite expensive, there are loads of activities you could do in a minimal budget. Window shopping in the streets of Oxford, visiting free-entry museums such as British Museum, Natural History Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum, or witnessing the changing of guards at Buckingham Palace are some of London’s most exciting, free attractions.
London’s attractions also have a lot of tourist-friendly schemes like skip-the-line tickets, Oyster card, priority passes and the more popular London pass which includes free entrance to places like The Tower of London, The View from The Shard, Westminster Abbey, London Bridge, or London Zoo and experiences like Thames River Cruise or the Hop-on Hop-off bus tour.
As basic as this sounds, it is important to always keep this in mind because public etiquette is really different in London compared to most places. Locals and officials are generally polite and helpful, provided you don’t invade their personal space and aren’t too loud. There are some regulations you wouldn’t be familiar with, such as standing on the right in underground escalators, keeping your music or media volume turned low and using “please” and “thank you” more than you usually do.
Places you must see
Now that you know London a bit more than you did, here are a few places to see and things to do that you wouldn’t want to miss out on!
- Try the popular Fish and Chips from local eateries in Central London.
- A night out in Soho
- Hit the London Eye
- Watch the changing of the guards
- Westminster Abbey, Tower Bridge, Big Ben, British museum are must-visit
- Watch a play at Centre Stage
- Stroll in South Bank
- Harrods Food Hall is not to be missed
If you are planning to take a trip to the majestic city and you need more details, bookings are done, itineraries sorted or any kind of help at all, drop us an email and we’ll take care of the rest!