London is one of the most unbelievably incredible places to travel. If you love history, if you love culture, if you love food; no matter your reason for travelling, you will find it in London. London sits as the primary tourist target for the western world and a gateway for all the sights that Europe has to offer. A jumble of historical sites and art filled galleries, all wrapped around a hub of fashion, cuisine and fine art; small wonder London floods with tourists every year. Here are a few tips if you want to join the crowds and visit this wonderful city.
London is so huge and ancient that it would be impossible to list all the great places you could attend, but here are a couple of options you won’t want to miss. History buffs absolutely have to visit the Tower of London and the unparalleled British Museum. Art lovers well get a kick out the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square, the Tate Britain, the Tate Modern, and dozens more amazing galleries. If culture is your passion, then you can’t skip the opportunity to see Shakespeare in the Globe Theatre. Finally, if you want to shop, then just take a stroll around the gorgeous streets of Mayfair and Belgravia. No matter what you want to do, there is something for you in this incredible city.
Where to Stay
Choosing where to stay is quite important if you don’t want to spend all your time on London’s, admittedly excellent, transportation system. Most of the best sites are clustered together, so a well-chosen hotel will let you walk almost everywhere you need to go. If you are interested in seeing Buckingham Palace, Parliament House, Trafalgar Square, the West End theatre District, Soho, and the shopping in Mayfair, I would recommend staying at Grand Royale London Hyde Park. This will put you in the centre of the action and within only a few minutes’ walk from the best that London has to offer. If you want to live more like a regular Londoner, then staying in the East End is quite nice, with easy access to the cool districts of Hackney and Shoreditch, but you will have to travel further for the more traditional tourist destinations.
London is quite large and sprawling and, even if you have chosen a hotel right in the heart of the city, you are likely to spend a fair bit of time using London’s public transport system. Fortunately, the system is both well organised, and extensive; unfortunately, it is also quite expensive. How you approach it depends a lot on how often you need to travel and how quickly you need to get around. If you are doing a lot of travel each day, I would recommend investing in a travel pass that gives you access to both the bus network and the tube, generally with unlimited travel for the week or month. It is fairly affordable and saves you a lot of trouble in terms of updating your Oyster. If you are only doing occasional trips though, stick to the bus network. It is slow, but uses a flat rate that is cheaper than the tube, and it lets you view the city as you travel.
When to Go
London is fascinating at any time of year, so when to come really depends on your personal tastes. If you don’t mind the rain and dislike dealing with large crowds, then I would recommend avoiding the summer and Christmas holidays; come in October and November, or Late January through March. If you want to see London at its most beautiful though, come during June and July. The London summer is truly beautiful with the bright refreshing sun overpowering the grey clouds and Londoners and their most cheerful. There will definitely be more crowds, but it is worth it to see London at its greenest and most stunning.