11 quick tips for Traveling in London
London is a favorite destination for many travelers. On my most recent trip to London, we “winged it”, meaning that we just showed up in London with only our hotel booked and just played our trip by ear. While that works ok, I would recommend prepping just a little bit for the trip. Our last day in London, we just wandered around cluelessly because we didn’t have a set plan. Here are some tips for quick and simple planning for your London Trip!
See my complete London adventures here
My favorite places to eat in London
Yelp isn’t as useful in London so I found it most helpful to reach out to locals for recommendations. Thx Gregg for the tips
Tip #1: Dishoom
I recommend trying out Indian Food while in London. It has been said that curry is London’s national dish. One of the local favorites is Dishoom, there’s usually a wait so be prepared for that. We had to wait 20 minutes for a table but we were delighted when a waitress stepped out with a tray full of hot chai tea and coffee for the guests in line. The scene is very trendy and the food is legitimately spicy! It’s a mid priced restaurant, not expensive but not cheap either. My favorite dishes that we tried were the Calamari and the Prawn Koliwada but everything we had was great!
Tip #2: Hawksmoor Seven Dials
The ambiance at Hawksmoor is dark and moody and there is more than one location in London. This is definitely more of a pricey option and I recommend stopped by for the Sunday Roast. Btw, I didnt know that the Sunday roast was more of a lunch thing than a dinner thing! Hawksmoor’s delicious Sunday roast comes with a huge cut oferved with duck fat roast potatoes, Yorkshire puddings, carrots, greens, roasted shallots & garlic and lashings of bone marrow & onion gravy. YUM!! Sunday roast is only $19.50 which is a DEAL!
Tip #3: The Camden Lock Market
At Camden Lock you can sample a wide array of foods and it fits perfectly with my undying love for food courts! From Korean to Mexican, to Brazilian and more, you can sample an incredible array of cuisines at Camden Lock. There is also lots of free sampling happening all around and tons of vendors stalls with clothing and trinkets. Even better, I happened upon Nylon Pink’s sponsor Irregular Choice in Camden Lock! Make sure to check them out, they have the most fun and out of this world shoes and purses.
Tip #4: Wifi Travel Hotspot
There are several companies that will mail your hotspot to the hotel that you are staying at in London. This is a LIFESAVER! As long as you are all charged and ready to go, you will have wifi almost everywhere that you go. Tep Wireless is highly rated. I won’t ever travel anywhere without a wifi hotspot
Tip #5: External Battery
The external battery is crucial for charging your smart phone, especially if you are using heavy duty apps like Periscope. I would recommend that you own one just to live your everyday life, but its especially important when traveling because you are likely spending the entire day away from your hotel and far away from any charging station. I love my Anker, you can charge two devices at once, but there are tons of external batteries out there on the market
Tip #6: The Oyster Card
If you are staying for a week or more I recommend getting the 7-day travel card. It gives you unlimited usage of the tube, underground, overground and busses. It’s £32.10 if you are traveling in between zones 1 & 2 (most of the major sites in London will fall under zones 1&2) The Oyster Card also allows you to pay as you go.
Tip #7: Uber
Download the Uber app for a backup plan for if you get lost on the Oyster! I was so excited to see that Uber works in London too. Its definitely not as heavily populated with Uber cars as it is here in Los Angeles but it still does the trick! You’ll probably need you Wifi Travel Hotspot to have access to wifi to call your uber. Sometimes it’s just easier to call an Uber home from the bar then figure out the Tube late at night
Tip #8: Hop on Hop off Bus Tour
If it’s your first trip to London, I recommend trying out the Hop On Hop off Sightseeing Bus Tour for the first day. I’ve never encountered such a thing on my travels to other cities, it was a pretty novel concept for me. (Apparently it is available in many different cities although it originated in London) The buses stop at almost all the major attractions in London and during the summertime you’ll likely not have to wait longer than 10 minutes for a bus to arrive. The tours are guided and you can stay on the bus for the entirety of a tour of the city (2 hours) or hop on and hop off as you see attraction points that interest you. I would recommend Original London Tour or Big Bus. Average price of a day ticket: £22.00
Tip #9: River Tour
The various River Tours are another great way to check out the city, especially if you love the water. There are also guided English speaking tours and can also purchase a package with the Hop on Hop off Bus Tour. There’s a Hop on Hop off River Tour for $28 bucks
Tip #10: Bar Hop like a Pro
I’m not much of a clubber, actually I want to avoid the club scene at all costs and London is famous for it’s pub scene. Here’s a great barhopping guide
Tip #11 Buckingham Palace
The Buckingham Palace is a lovely place to visit, its beautiful and monumental but don’t bother staying for the changing of the guard. It is extremely anti climatic! We waited around for about a hour amongst thousands of people and all that happened was a few guards marched down the street….the end! Walk around some of the beautiful parks in the surrounding area, they are pretty lightly trafficked as everyone is waiting for the changing of the guard!
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