How to plan a trip to London | Euro Trip Guide
London is among the most visited tourist destinations in the world with millions of visitors every year. This city has so much to offer from magnificent attractions, history, culture, modern lifestyle to rocking nightlife. If you are travelling to London for first time you will certainly do your research to make the most of your trip. The city is expensive to live and visit, but some pre-planning can save you bucks and help you travel the best of London in budget.
Here are some tips that can help you plan a better London trip:
Flights are among the biggest expense when you are travelling to a foreign country and takes almost 30 to 40% of your trip cost. British Airways is the best option to travel to London because of its service and comfort offered compared to the price. Try booking it from Cleartrip as it offers cashback and other offers for its users and flight status can be easily known with a click.
Buy Visitor Oyster Card
Buying Oyster travel smartcard saves you a lot of money on public transport system. This handy card allows travel on the tube, tram, DLR, over ground, most national rail services within London and the river bus too. This travel card is about 50% cheaper than buying one day travel card or single tickets. The card also offers other discounts and offers on food, drinks etc.
Thames River Cruise
The Thames river cruise is about 17 euro per person. There is a cheap alternative you can enjoy instead of river cruise if you are keen for aquatic transport. With your oyster card, you can take the Thames clipper route from waterloo to the dome in north Greenwich. This will cost you about 4 euro with oyster card and is the cheap alternative for the cruise.
Stay just outside the popular touristic area to save the extra expenditure. You can get much cheaper accommodation near popular tourist areas rather than in popular tourist areas. You can use sites such as AirBnB that provides much cheaper accommodations than hotels and you get to live with the locals too that can tell you lot more about the city. You can also try hostels for budget stay.
London pass gets you free entry to about 60 tourist attractions and is good option to buy if you are looking to cover most of the attractions covered in it. These include Westminster Abbey, Tower of London, the London Bridge Experience and even the Thames River Cruise. However, do check the attractions it covers before buying the London pass as it won’t be useful if you look to cover only a few attractions covered in it. Like if you are in London only for two/three days and are not keen to cover most of the tourist attractions then buying it won’t be great idea.
Free Attractions and Events
There are many attractions, landmarks and events in London that are free to do. Why to miss them? The changing of guard at Buckingham Palace is the most spectacular event that is free to watch. The free attractions and landmarks include top art gallery museum like Tate Modern, National Gallery, British Museum, Guildhall Art Gallery & Roman Amphitheatre, Bank of England, Southbank Centre art complex, and outdoor spaces such as Hyde Park and Hampstead Heath. It also includes the National Portrait Gallery, Old Royal Naval College, Natural History Museum, Queen’s House Greenwich, the Royal Academy of Music Museum and a lot more.
Walking like locals and exploring is always fun for me especially in a foreign country. Centre of London is small and you should take a walk to explore it. Try walking from Trafalgar Square and National Gallery, down Whitehall and on to The House of Parliament and Westminster. Wander over one of the Thames’s bridge to the south bank or explore around convent garden. You may find some amazing sights or witness amazing street performance while taking a walk around Central London. It is better to walk rather than getting stuck in traffic jams especially during peak hours.
Book in advance
If you are not doing much sightseeing and not buying London pass, buy online in advance for the attractions you want to visit. Buy ticket for West End Theatre in advance and grab good discounts. London Eye ticket can be booked online at about 10% discount in advance. Similarly you can book for many other attractions and events using trusted websites like tickets.london etc. This way you not only earn discounts but also saves yourself from long queues and ticketing counters. The national rail websites even run occasional offers like two-for-one entry deals to places like Tower of London, Madame Tussauds and the Zoo.
London is a shopper’s paradise irrespective of their budget and the city has lot of options from budget shopping to high end shopping. For budget and bargain shopping the city has markets like Brick Lane market, Borough Market, Greenwich Market and Broadway Market are the ones for you. The Borough Market has lot of food stalls of varied cuisines and good eating points at budget. Greenwich Market is good for gifts, accessories, clothes and lot more.
Food & Drinks
Look out for chain restaurants, cafes that has affordable rates. Purchase readymade food and drink like sandwiches from supermarket at standard rates. Try cheap and appetizing street food of London. Try eating at markets like Brick Lane and Borough Market that offers variety of food at low rates. Brick Lane is lined up with Indian restaurants and you can have a two course meal here for about 10 euro.