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Best London Travel Guide

This London travel guide has everything you need to know. Read about destinations, where to go, how to get a data connection and much more!

oktober 18, 2023

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Planning a trip to the Big Smoke? It’s imperative to stay well-informed and with this complete travel guide for London, you won’t miss a beat! Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a returning traveler, we’ll help you make the most of your time in this extensive and historic city. From the best time to visit and where to go to practical tips and information on staying connected, we’ve got all the details you need to create an unforgettable London adventure.

Big Ben and Parliment, London UK.
Big Ben and Parliament. Source: Pexels.

Why visit London?

London, the capital of the United Kingdom, is a city that seamlessly blends the old and the new. With a rich history, world-famous landmarks, and a vibrant arts and culture scene, London is a place for anyone, no matter their preferences. Explore iconic sites like the Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, and the British Museum, or immerse yourself in the diverse neighborhoods, each with its own unique character and charm. Whether you’re a history buff, foodie, shopaholic, or art lover, the London travel guide has something special to offer everyone.

Fun Facts

Londinium: London’s roots can be traced all the way back to the Roman Empire. In AD 43, the Romans established a settlement there they called “Londinium.” The Romans founded the city as a major commercial and transportation center, and evidence of their presence is evidenced by landmarks like the London Wall.

The Great Fire: One of the most transcendent moments in London’s history is the Great Fire of 1666. During its three days of destruction, it wiped down buildings and major monuments around the city. Following the fire, Sir Christopher Wren oversaw a significant repair project that made St. Paul’s Cathedral and other historic structures prominent features of the city’s skyline.

The British Empire: You can’t travel to London without knowing about the strong imperial history; we’ve included a summary in this guide. London’s importance to the development of the British Empire is beyond dispute. During the 18th and 19th centuries, it served as the political, economic, and cultural epicenter of the British Empire as its capital. Go to the British Empire and Commonwealth Museum to learn more about the historic dynasty. London was a clear reflection of the power and wealth of the British Empire, with the establishment of such venerable institutions as the British Museum, National Gallery, and British Library.

St. Paul’s Cathedral. Source: Pexels.

How Many Days in London is Enough?

Generally, and just like any trip, enough days are all that you want to spend traveling. However, it also depends on the places that you wish to visit. However, a typical visit to London usually lasts 3 to 5 days, allowing you to explore the city’s main attractions and immerse yourself in its culture. Thanks to the fact that there are plenty of resources available when you travel to London, you won’t need an in-person guide. One great helper is the internet; we’ll talk a little about that later on.

When to Travel to London

Most tourists flock to the City of London, United Kingdom, during the summer, between June and August. Here are some of the reasons why tourism is booming during this time:

You can enjoy some of the year’s best weather in London throughout the summer months. The comfortable daytime temperatures of 18 to 24 °C (64 to 75 °F) make it perfect for being out all day. With additional hours of daylight, tourists can take in more of the city’s sights and hotspots.

During the summer, London hosts many events, festivals, and cultural celebrations. Tennis at Wimbledon, the Notting Hill Carnival, and summer music festivals are just a few of the major events that bring in crowds from all over the world. The arts and culture of London thrive during this time, making this a great time to visit.

The parks and gardens of London are especially stunning in the summer, when the weather is warm and the trees and flowers are in full bloom. Hyde Park, Regent’s Park, and Kew Gardens are wonderful locations for outings like picnics and strolls.

The city’s many cafés and restaurants have outside seating available on the sidewalks for those who prefer to dine in the fresh air. During summer, it’s perfect for enjoying a meal in one of the city’s lovely squares or along the banks of the River Thames.

Thanks to school vacations, many families decide to take their vacations in London. With summer being the busiest tourist season in London, you should expect larger crowds and inflated prices. Plan beforehand, keep these tips in mind and get any tickets and airfare in advance.

London Travel Itinerary

3 Days in London

Day 1: Begin your journey by visiting the historic Tower of London and Tower Bridge. Afterward, you can take a stroll along the South Bank of the Thames River and explore Borough Market. Going back to 1756, this huge food market emphasizes high-quality foods in sustainable production. Find out more on their official website.

Day 2: Spend your day at Buckingham Palace and the beautiful surrounding parks. Don’t miss the Changing of the Guard ceremony. In the afternoon, head to Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament. Take iconic photos that you can keep as keepsakes of your adventure.

Day 3: Immerse yourself in the city’s culture by visiting the British Museum, National Gallery, and Covent Garden. Wrap up your trip with a visit to the spectacular West End for a world-class theater experience.

If you’re not sure how to create a travel itinerary, we’ve got you covered.

5 Days in London

Day 1: Start your London adventure with a visit to iconic landmarks such as Buckingham Palace and St. James’s Park. Explore the vibrant West End, where you can catch a world-class theater performance in the evening.

Day 2: Learn about British history at the Tower of London, home to the Crown Jewels. Cross the Tower Bridge, and take a stroll along the South Bank of the River Thames, enjoying the view of landmarks like the Shard and Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre.

Day 3: On your third day, go to the British Museum, where you can explore a vast collection of art and artifacts from around the world. Don’t miss the Rosetta Stone and the Egyptian mummies.

Day 4: Discover London’s royal heritage at Kensington Palace, and then take a walk through Hyde Park. Visit the V&A Museum or the Natural History Museum nearby. Wrap up the day by shopping along Kensington High Street.

Day 5: Finalize your trip by exploring the historic City of Westminster, with visits to the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, and the Churchill War Rooms. In the evening, take a ride on the London Eye for breathtaking views of the city.

Getting around London

London’s public transportation system is very reliable, and there are also several private options that you can go for that are more comfortable. Let’s dive deeper into how to get around and travel through London with the help of the Underground, buses, and taxis with this helpful guide:

The Tube (London’s Subway):

The Tube, as the London subway system is more widely known, is one of the most efficient and cost-effective ways to get around the city. It has an extensive system of stations and lines, making most sights easily accessible.

Pros: The Tube’s trains run on time, and its hours of operation span from early morning to late at night. When on the London Tube, don’t forget to pick up a travel guide and map, which makes it easy to find your way around. Using the map and station names, navigating the system is easy. Fares for the Tube System can go from around $9 up to $13 depending on the area or even for pass cards.

Cons: The Tube can get congested during rush hour, so plan accordingly; even though the lines reach far parts of the city, some parts of London may not be easily accessible by tube, requiring a transfer to buses or other forms of transportation.

Buses:

If you want to get out of the city’s core and see some of the surrounding neighborhoods, you’ll need to take advantage of the bus system. Buses now accept contactless payments, including Oyster cards. Single-trip tickets are also available for purchase on board for around $3.

Cons: Buses can be slower than the Tube, especially in heavy traffic. – Tourists may find it slightly more difficult to navigate bus routes. However, they can utilize smartphone applications and maps for assistance.

Taxis and ride-sharing:

Pros: The notorious and easily recognizable black cabs of London. Licensed black cabs provide trustworthy service and accept all major credit cards and cash. Uber and similar ride-sharing services are also widely accessible, and they generally offer lower fares than taxis. Those who are carrying a lot of gear or just prefer a more comfortable, door-to-door service will appreciate the benefits of private transportation.

Cons: Compared to alternatives like Uber and ride-sharing services, traditional black cabs can be more expensive.
Getting around central London can take longer than expected and may cost more due to traffic.
Tolls called the “Congestion Charge” are charged for services heading to downtown London between certain hours. If you’re taking a car service, keep this in mind.

Are There Travel Restrictions to London?

Before you plan your trip, it’s essential to check for any travel restrictions, visa requirements, or health guidelines. These regulations can change, so it’s wise to consult official government websites and your country’s embassy for the most up-to-date information.

What Should I Prepare for a Trip to London?

Internet Connection

When traveling to London, staying connected is crucial. Here are some options to consider:

  • Airport WiFi: Most major airports in London offer free WiFi, making it easy to get online upon arrival. Keep in mind that the airport WiFi may be unstable and unreliable.
  • Local SIM Card: Purchasing a local SIM card is a cost-effective way to have data and call capabilities during your stay. Nonetheless, remember that SIM cards at the airport are very expensive and you don’t want to spend too much time trying to get one in the city, specially when you’re low on time.
  • Roaming: Check with your mobile provider for international roaming packages. Be aware that this option can be expensive. Check the rates that your domestic operator offers and monitor your consumption so that you don’t end up with a surprise bill when you get home.
  • eSIM: An increasingly popular option is to use an eSIM, which allows you to add a new plan digitally without changing your physical SIM card. You can do this easily on the go and without any issues.

eSIM and Benefits

For a hassle-free eSIM solution that keeps you connected throughout your London adventure, look for an international provider, like Holafly. With easy activation, ample data, and excellent coverage, this service guarantees that you’ll stay connected while exploring the city’s many attractions.

Plans are inexpensive and you can easily check your consumption on the providers’ app. Search for plans that offer unlimited data, like Holafly’s eSIM for the UK, throughout your travels so you don’t worry about ending up without a connection. Just go to the official website, choose your plan and activate your plan with the QR code. You’ll be connected in not time!

Holafly eSIM London UK
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London is a city with many attractions for any type of traveler. Historic sites, incredible nightlife and attractions make it the perfect destination for anyone. You want to enjoy everything, and a data connection is the best way to travel worry-free! So pack your bags, get your eSIM, and get ready for a fantastic adventure in the heart of the United Kingdom.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the top free attractions in London?

London offers several free attractions, including the British Museum, National Gallery, Tate Modern, and Hyde Park.

Is London a safe city for tourists?

London is generally considered safe for tourists. However, it’s essential to remain vigilant, especially in crowded areas, and take standard safety precautions.

What’s the best way to get around London?

The London Underground (Tube), buses, and taxis are popular modes of transportation. Consider purchasing an Oyster card for convenient travel on public transport.

Are credit cards widely accepted in London?

Yes, credit and debit cards are widely accepted in London, including at most restaurants, shops, and attractions. However, it’s advisable to carry some cash for small purchases and in case you encounter places that do not accept cards.