Tips for London Travellers

Serviced City Pads has a lot of guests staying in London, it’s a popular destination both for natives of the British Isles and far flung friends from abroad. Here are a few top tips if you’re planning a trip.

Your trip to London should be easy, safe and fun whether it’s your first or your fiftieth. The city welcomes visitors from all walks of life with open arms because tourists keep the city ticking and traffic to the capital’s events is of huge economic value. It doesn’t matter if you’re staying for one night or twenty, remember that London needs you.

But that doesn’t change the fact that it’s a very big, very busy environment which might seem very foreign if you’ve just arrived in Britain from abroad, or just arrived in a big city for the first time. The important thing to remember is that even if you’re in an unfamiliar place, many rules of life are universal – be polite, be alert and don’t panic if you need to ask for directions or assistance.

It’s okay if you want to take some time to adjust to your new surroundings. When I first arrived in London by coach at Victoria Station, I popped straight into the nearest pub and bought myself a pint. This gave me a chance to gauge the local temperament, look over my map so that I could locate the nearest tube station, decide on the route that I’d take to my apartment and most importantly, use the loo without feeling flustered.

Don’t underestimate the importance of picking up a map, smartphones are all well and good until your battery runs out, and many local maps will include coupons & vouchers which will give you discounts on local attractions. You’ll also want to pick up a map of the London Underground, and if you intend to travel by rail a lot, consider investing in an Oyster Card for cheaper fares. Don’t assume that taking a taxi will be quicker than the train, traffic in London is heavy, if you need to be somewhere in a hurry it would be quicker to go by foot than car.

Keep in mind that London constitutes many boroughs, all with their own distinct style, locality and tastes. Some areas are populated with historic buildings which have stood unchanging for hundreds of years, whilst others thrive with diverse, modern inhabitants and structures. Fashions shift alongside the geography, and there are many different shops, restaurants, bars, cafes and pubs which will reflect these changes as you travel through the city.

Regarding the famous English weather, yes it might rain, but not as much as you might suspect (or fear) it will. On average, one in three days is wet in London, the others might not be sweltering hot but that doesn’t mean it won’t be dry. Pack for all occasions – bring a jumper in case it gets cold, waterproof shoes in case it rains, and sunglasses nonetheless. If you get caught out, you are guaranteed to find somewhere which sells umbrellas.

Finally, you might be wondering – is London expensive? The answer is both yes and no. Of course, it is the capital city of England and as in many capital cities, eating and drinking does not come cheap. Many British locals complain of how expensive it is to have a glass of wine or beer in London, but for foreign guests the prices could either alarm or sooth depending which part of the world you’re from.

Attractions on the other hand might be a pleasant surprise; many Museums, Art Galleries and Gardens will be totally free to enjoy, whilst tickets for the theatre and music events are also likely to be very reasonable – depending on who you’re seeing. There will be lots of locals enjoying the same experiences as yourself, but don’t worry if most people seem to be taking absolutely no interest in the sights – millions of people live and work in the city, so to them, it’s just home.

Thinking of heading to London soon? Why not look at what serviced apartments in London we can offer!