You’ll undoubtedly make mistakes while sightseeing in a new city, such as choosing a subpar restaurant or failing to give yourself enough time to get from one spot to another.
Although blundering around London is all part of the experience, there are a few common pitfalls every visitor keeps falling into. So, if this is your first trip to London, keep reading this post – it will help you avoid making these common mistakes while still creating your own memorable experiences.
The standard error tourists make in London is purchasing single tickets or travel cards, which can be very expensive. So, if you’re visiting London, you should get an Oyster card immediately.
Why? Simple – London’s transportation system depends on a contactless slide system, where you’re automatically charged. You can also use a contactless card, but the Oyster card has the lowest fees.
You can get it by following the airport’s signage to the subway and buying a ticket from a machine. In addition, you can acquire a travel card, which gives you unlimited travel with any public vehicle – bus, tube, tram; however, they are only valid for one zone.
You shouldn’t carry necessary paperwork when sightseeing, such as your passport. Instead, you should leave it in the safe at the hotel. Moreover, it is always recommended to have print copies of important documents as well as electronic ones.
Check the validation date on your passport before boarding the plane to the UK. If it’s expired, you’ll have to apply for a new one stat, meaning you’ll need to get a compliant UK passport photo, along with several other steps, and send the documents in for a renewal.
Truly, the magic of London lies in the fact that it offers a new experience around every corner. Sometimes well-known landmarks are tucked away in unexpectedly understated or discreet settings.
So while the Tower of London, Big Ben, The Shard, St. Paul’s Cathedral, and the London Eye are all must-sees, London is much more than just those attractions. The native portion of London, with its verdant towns, secluded parks, and breathtaking views, is where visitors should go to enjoy the actual enchantment of London.
Don’t be afraid to venture out of Central London – this is where you’ll get the true sense of the city.
Londoners’ most used transportation means is the London Underground. So, don’t get surprised when you see hundreds of people waiting for it. A visitor to London who makes the mistake of entering a tube station during rush hour soon regrets their decision.
Avoid the subway between 7:30 and 9:30 in the morning and 5:00 to 7:00 in the evening. Meanwhile, if you are still interested in public transit, the London TFL buses offer a pleasant alternative throughout the workday.
London is a massive metropolis, and seeing all its neighborhoods might seem overwhelming. To get from one place to the next, travelers always choose a black taxi.
Although taxis are the primary way to move around in many cities, the transportation system in London is highly developed, so try using other methods. The main reason why you should avoid these vehicles is that they are the most expensive transportation option here.
Plus, traffic in and around central London is notoriously bad. Therefore, spend some time familiarizing the London Underground map as this will be way cheaper and faster.
The rule is “Stand on the right, pass on the left.” This is more than just a proposal to the people in Britain; it’s a demand. Some riders want to stand on tube escalators so they may reach their destinations. In contrast, others prefer walking up and down the escalators to exercise or catch a specific train.
The most recognizable bridge in the world is Tower Bridge. However, while London Bridge connects the City of London to Southwark, it is often mistaken for the more well-known bridge spanning the Thames. To avoid making one of the most common blunders, you should first learn the difference between London Bridge and Tower Bridge.
While you’re at it, check out a few other landmarks and note which one is where – it’s always good to know where you’re heading.
Many people come to London hoping to capture a picture-perfect photo of the city’s famous skyline. To do this, they frequently shell out over twenty pounds for a visit to The Shard’s observation deck.
However, they might not know that the Sky Garden, also on Fenchurch Street, has equally breathtaking vistas and is open to the public for no charge though visitors must reserve a time slot in advance.
Tourists are always eager to see the top destinations; they forget that there are many more to see. Although these places might not be marketed as the “best place to visit in London,” they still offer some of the most remarkable experiences, accompanied by breathtaking views. What’s even better is that these don’t cost a penny.
The National Gallery, Tate Modern, The British Museum, the Science Museum, and Victoria and Albert Museum are just a few world-class museums and galleries that are easily accessible on foot.
It’s widely known that the rates in airport exchange offices are always way higher than in banks or ATMs. The same case is in the UK. So, instead of losing money on changing currencies, find an ATM or a bank and change them there. Note that you will need to notify your bank so you don’t get your account frozen.
Moreover, don’t withdraw more than you need. If you have some pounds left at the end of your trip, you’ll lose money on the conversion again.
There it is – the ten best advice for first-time visitors to London. Following these tips will surely tap into London’s enchantment and create memories you won’t soon forget.