Alistair Langfield | Top 5 Travel Tips For Your First Trip to London

Written by: Alistair Langfield

If you were looking for advice to travel to London for the first time, you have come to the right place. This is one of the most cosmopolitan and interesting cities in Europe (and the world) so we can definitely tell you that you have made the right decision by deciding to visit it. We recommend that you start organizing your trip as soon as possible.

Since London has several peculiarities the purpose of this article is to give you some tips to travel to London that we would have liked to have before our first visit.

London has 6 airports, learn how to get to the center from each one

You get off the plane, excited to have reached your destination. And you have no idea how to get to your hotel! With 6 possible options, the alternatives are too many to solve with jet lag over.

Therefore, we recommend that you find out before you leave the itinerary from your airport. Here we go:

Heathrow Airport is located west of London. The fastest option to get to the center is the Heathrow Express train (15/20 minutes) to Paddington. Other options are the Picadilly line of the metro (50 minutes duration but with the advantage of being cheaper), and National Express, Easybus or night bus No. 9. You also have the classic black taxis, although these are more expensive.

Gatwick Airport is located south of London. The fastest connection to the center is the Gatwick Express train. This takes 30 minutes to Victoria Station. Other options are the National Express bus and the Easybus (1 hour 20 minutes), the Thameslink and Southern trains or the black taxis.

Stansted airport is located northwest of London. The Stansted Express train to Liverpool Street takes 47 minutes. Other alternatives: National Express bus, Easybus or Terravision. There are no classic black cabs but you can find minicabs.

City Airport is the closest to the center. It is easy to get to the center by Tube (metro) or DLR (line between East and South London).

The Oyster Card is the best way to save on transportation

The Oyster is a prepaid card that can be used in all the transport of the city. And it is one of the best tips to travel to London that we can give you! Basically, it’s like having a 50% discount on your trips. So if a Tube trip in central London costs £ 4.90, with the Oyster you will pay £ 2.40. But the biggest advantage is the price cap. This means that when you get to £ 6.60 on a day of travel in central London, you do not spend more. That’s right: with £ 6.60 per day you can travel around the center of the city, without limits.

In London it rains a lot – Do not forget the umbrella

You probably do not see the English using umbrellas unless it pours. And that’s because the small London drizzle is something of an everyday for its inhabitants. If you are lucky you may not witness this inclement weather. But just in case, do not forget the umbrella in your luggage!

London is a big city – Plan your itinerary as much as you can

London is one of the largest cities in Europe. The main advantage is that you are not going to run out of things to do. The problem? May you have enough days to do everything you want! That’s why one of our main tips for traveling to London for the first time is that you plan an itinerary as organized as you can to make the most of your days. Make a list of the attractions you want to visit, schedules and transportation connections.

Find out what documents you need to travel

We know, the formal part of the trip is not the most fun. But one of the most useful tips to travel to London we can give you is that before your visit you know what are the necessary documents to reach your destination. If you are an EU citizen, you can enter England with your passport or identity document of your country. For the rest of the countries, the most advisable thing is to check with the embassy of your country. The English Government page also has a quick guide to know if you need a visa or not, depending on your country. Beyond your nationality, it is always advisable to have papers that prove that you have sufficient funds for your trip, lodging reservations (or letters of invitation if you visit someone) and return tickets.

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Categories: What to See, Where and When


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