10 things to make your London visit awesome and unforgettable

In the video below you can find out more about how you can move from side to side in the English capital. We have also added some extra tips to the information provided from sources like: Visit London and London & Partners that should help you in making the most of your time in the English capital.


1 – When visiting any city for the first time, it is perfectly understandable that one might feel intimidated in using its public transport network.  The London public transport network currently consists of Trains, Tubes, Buses, Boats & Bikes!  London offers a very comprehensive public transportation system and by combining the different modes of transport you will never find yourself sitting in a traffic jam in the middle of town!  There are overland trains, underground tubes, double decker buses, commuter boats and public hire bikes.   Each mode of transport is designed for ease of use so there you can always ‘go another way’.   Using the Thames Clipper is a great way to see the city from a unique perspective -the river Thames – and is really quick and comfortable.  Key to ensuring your ease of travel is understanding the different payment methods.   London currently has a complete listing for travel payment options at Transport for London (TFL).


One of the best and simplest forms of payment is an Oyster Card there is also the option of using: an NFC-enabled bank card, Apple Pay and Google Pay. While contactless may be the easiest it is worthwhile to confirm that your cards and phone app is compatible to avoid any embarrassment at the ticket barriers.  It is possible to pre-order your visitor Oyster card online so you can have it to hand right from the beginning of your trip – this is especially useful if you plan to get from the airport (Heathrow) to the city by tube.  If you prefer to play ‘fast and loose’ you can get one at any ticket booth (tube or train stations) within a tube stations around the city and recharge it with financial credits (Top-up) at any of the ticket machines located on the network.


It is worth noting that cash payments are not accepted on buses, so make sure that you top-up your Oyster if you want to hop on a Thames Clipper, London bus, Train or Tube. The tube can get very muggy and sticky on hot days, especially during peak (rush) hours.   This really depends on where you are in town, the direction you are travelling and which tube line you are using. Buses often benefit from their own exclusive lanes throughout the city making them more effective in traffic and you can at least take in some of the beautiful scenery London has to offer.  Although buses don’t have air-conditioning with the windows open they are usually quite comfortable outside peak-time usage.


2 – When travelling throughout the transport network, stand to the right-hand side of escalators, keeping the left clear for those in a hurry.  This is especially important when traveling down escalators and is implied on stairways as well.   Be aware of others coming up beside you as people may be moving quickly.


3 – If you have a question, we will be happy to help! Londoners are usually extremely reserved and unlikely to start a random chit-chat with a stranger.   One of the interesting pecidillos about London is that for a major global city it is extremely quiet, most North Americans are stunned at the tranquillity of the city centre.  Most Londoners can be found engrossed in their phones during travel but as a tourist you are entitled to a “guilt-free pass” so take advantage of it.  Choose carefully and identify yourself as a tourist for best results.   It is probably a good idea to download a mapping app on your phone to get your bearings. Our personal favourites are Citymapper or GoogleMaps.   You should also be aware that Londoners may not engage at all and don’t be offended just choose carefully and make sure you let your ‘target’ know you are not a local.  Sometimes having a foreign accent isn’t sufficient don’t be afraid to mentioning that you are just visiting.


4 – As expected in a busy city such as London, queues are everywhere! (queue = line-up). Don’t be surprised to find people even queueing at a bus stop and politely awaiting their turn into the bus. Tourist attractions are especially prone to long waiting times. If you wish to avoid some of these queues, depending on which attractions you wish to visit, is worth looking into getting a London Pass. This combines entrances for various attractions at discounted rates (and even fast track entry at some of them), and other special offers.  The other option would be to sign up with a concierge service for your stay if you are interested in getting access to some great clubs, bars, west-end shows and restaurants.   We partner with Innerplace Concierge.


5 – It is worth checking in advance of your trip for any special events happening in London during the dates of your stay. You might not only get more than what you expected from your visit but it will also prevent potential disappointments, as certain places might experience closures and other disruptions that might have a negative impact in your enjoyment.  There are rarely any events that will cause more than 1 day’s disruption to travel around the city.   Even during the London marathon all the tube lines are running so it’s generally only surface movement that is limited.   Another great reason to check for special events is that very often you can pre-register or book tickets and experience something that wouldn’t normally be available to all but the most canny tourists.


6 – Quick maths lesson: 1 Pint = 20oz ≈ 0.57L  If you are a light drinker, it is probably well worth keeping that in mind before you order a new round.  For drivers 1 pint = 2 units of alcohol so just one pint can be enough to take you over the legal drink/drive limit.  As a tradition, most pubs will ring a bell at the bar announcing that it is time for “last call” as last orders are being served. Each establishment has a license granted by the government that allows them to serve alcohol up until a certain time, historically that has been 11pm for pubs but these licenses can be extended and often are.  Most pubs will close at 2300 Sunday – Wednesday but most now have extended hours for other days, check at the bar for more information about your favourite ‘watering hole’.   All clubs or discos are licensed into the small hours so you can dance the night away!



7 – London offers a plethora of free guided walks . London is a city where you can comfortably walk around, particularly within Central London. For instance, our mews houses  have, on a 20-minute walking radius, most attractions and landmarks including King’s Cross/St Pancras International stationBritish MuseumBritish LibrarySt Paul’s CathedralThe CityTheatrelandCharles Dickens MuseumThe Foundling MuseumCovent GardenSohoChinatownLeicester SquarePiccadilly CircusOxford StreetRegent StreetBond Streetthe StrandSouthbank CentreNational TheatreThe National GallerySomerset HouseRoyal Opera HouseRoyal Courts of Justice and Madame Tussauds just to mention but a few. As scientists have found, just a 20-minute daily stroll can considerably improve your health!


8 – Cycling certainly is fun but please remember that London is a very busy city and the traffic is dangerous, especially for cyclists. You can hire Santander bikes all across the city for only £2/day and have as many 30-minute cycles as you want.  These ‘nearly’ free bikes are a great way to see London and get around town.   With docking stations located all over the city you can plan and combine trains, bikes and boats.


9 – In London and the United Kingdom we drive on the left-side of the road so please keep your eyes peeled for oncoming traffic and, when in doubt, always look both ways just to be sure it is safe to cross.  For people visiting from North America you need to understand that you are forgoing your pedestrian rights.   In principle, pedestrians have the priority over vehicles only at zebra crossings and the vast majority of drivers will stop for you.  We would recommend waiting for the driver to acknowledge your presence and come to a full stop before you proceed. According to the UK Department of Transport there were 3,449 reported pedestrian casualties in 2013 on pedestrian crossings, refuge or central island, and another 2,356 casualties within 50 metres of a pedestrian crossing. London is one of the busiest cities in the world, so naturally things can get ugly so please take care out there and look after your children.


10 – Think outside the box. London has so many different things, off the beaten path places and activities, that whilst sticking just to the traditional and most well-known attractions is a guarantee of a good time, the little secrets the city has to offer will give you an unique perspective of this amazing and vibrant city.  In the days and weeks before your visit we would always suggest that you spend some time investigating the latest events and opportunities.   Keep your eyes peeled for the little things around the corners and you might even spot a few noses and ears here and there…







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