I was last in London a little more than a year ago. I need to head back there—it was one of my favorite cities I have ever visited, and I found it unique in combining history and modernity. I also have a love for the culture after multiple classes on British Literature. (Seriously though, why don’t we have teatime in America?) Here are some tips I found helpful when I was traveling in London.
It’s Safe—But Still Be Cautious
Traveling in England isn’t nearly as fraught with pickpockets and people you might have to be wary about on the Tube as say, Paris or Barcelona, but it’s still a good idea to steer clear of the gypsies in popular tourist areas. Trafalgar Square is rife with people willing to steal your camera or wallet, so keeping these in a safe spot can keep you from dealing with a theft.
Use the Tube…Or Walk
Taxis in London are notoriously expensive, and most everything you want to see you can easily take a short Tube ride to. You might want to consider purchasing a pass if you are planning on spending a few days bouncing from one area to another—you can save money that way.
But don’t be afraid to walk if you can! London is a big city, and there’s a lot to see, but most of it you can by hoofing it. Sticking close to the river can give you easy access to the Parliament Building and Big Ben along with the London Eye, the Globe Theater, and other sights. Take an afternoon and see what you can see while simply strolling. (I would also recommend a quality guidebook—knowing the history behind each monument helps a lot.) If you get tired of it, the Tube is conveniently located and you can simply hitch a ride that way.
Hanging with Royalty
If you hold a fascination for the Royal Family, Buckingham Palace is a must-see. You also might want to see if you can arrive on some special dates—I was lucky enough to happen on a parade rehearsal for the Queen’s birthday, making the changing of the guard an entirely different experience. Standing outside the pristine palace and seeing rows and rows of horses and carriages was incredible. If you want to get the chance to see the queen herself in person, looking at a calendar and seeing what events are going on can aid you in narrowing in your options.
Have any tips for traveling in London? What was your favorite sight to see?