Why visit London? One of the world’s most popular and iconic cities – London in the UK, is teeming with history with 192 museums, 300 languages spoken, and spanning several empires! The city offers everything you can expect from a top tourist destination, including vibrant art galleries, magnificent royal castles, vibrant shopping spots, and more! It is home to famous landmarks from Big Ben, the Westminister area, and the London Eye.
In this article, we’ll lay out everything you need to know from a London trip planner so you can start planning your trip!
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Fun Facts About London
- The world-popular London clock tower that people called Big Ben isn’t called Big Ben. In fact, the tower is known as the Elizabeth Tower. Interestingly, Big Ben is the nickname of the Great Bell that chimes within the tower.
- London is home to over 192 museums, out of which 11 are national museums.
- London also has the world’s first underground railway system. It is known as the Tube, and it dates back to 1863.
- London is the only city in the world that has hosted the Olympics thrice, in 1908, 1948, and 2012.
- Over 300 languages are spoken in London.
Brief History of London
London was founded in 43AD by the Romans, and they named it Londinium. The city continued to grow throughout the Middle Ages. It was converted into the capital of England, and iconic landmarks like the Tower of London were also constructed in the 11th century.
During the 18th and 19th centuries, London witnessed the Georgian and Victorian eras. The Industrial Revolution also took place during this time. It led to increased urbanization and innovation. After the World War II, London became a crucial cultural hub in the world.
Modern-day London has gained a reputation as a global cultural and financial hub. It is renowned for its beautiful neighborhoods, iconic palaces, museums, and theaters.
Top Destinations in London
Here are some popular destinations that should be a part of your London tour planner:
In Westminster, you can visit the marvelous Buckingham Palace, the royal residence of the monarch of the United Kingdom. You can witness the iconic Changing of the Guard ceremony here.
Visit the famous Westminster Abbey. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that has witnessed multiple royal weddings, coronations, and burials of monarchs. You can also tour the Houses of Parliament. Additionally, check out Big Ben and explore world-class art at the National Gallery.
Plan a short trip of one to two days to visit Westminster.
2. South Bank
In South Bank, you can get a panoramic view of London’s skyline from the London Eye. Check out Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre and enjoy a classic Shakespearean performance. History and art buffs must visit the Florence Nightingale Museum, the Southbank Centre, and the Garden Museum. End your day by eating a delicious meal at Oxo Tower. You can explore the South Bank in one day.
3. Notting Hill
Include the beautiful Notting Hill in your London trip plan when visiting London. Enjoy excellent street food and shop at the vibrant flea market on Notting Hill’s Portobello Road. It is known for its antiques, vintage items, and charming houses. Movie buffs can catch a classic movie in the famous Electric Cinema. You can easily explore Notting Hill in a short trip of one day.
4. Covet Garden
Enjoy captivating operas and ballets at the Royal Opera House in the Covet Garden. It is a must-see if you visit London. Wander through the lively Covet Garden Market to enjoy various events, eat delicious street food, and explore the charming boutique shops. A one-day trip is ideal to explore Covet Garden.
What Do You Need to Do Before Traveling to London
Your London trip plan should include the following things before you travel to the city:
- Visa and Documentation: Check the visa and document requirements based on nationality.
- Clothing: London is quite famous for its unpredictable weather, especially rain. So, carry waterproof jackets, footwear, raincoats, umbrellas, and other weather-appropriate clothing.
- Electronics: You will only find Type G electrical sockets in the UK. Ensure to carry the appropriate adapter for your devices.
- Apps: Make sure your phone has the necessary apps like your Maps App, Tube Map App, London Pass App, and your London trip planner app.
The Best Time to Visit London
Travelers can explore London throughout the year depending on their choice and traveling style. For example, you can choose the time between May and June to avoid crowds and enjoy warm and pleasant spring weather. On the other hand, if you want to explore London in all its winter and festive glory with fewer tourists, choose the time between November and February.
What to Expect From the Culture of London
Tipping is customary in London. A tip of 10-12.5% is appreciated in restaurants and cafes. You can round up the fare for taxis and similar services to the nearest pound.
Cultural Norms and What to Not Violate
Londoners are friendly and welcoming. Respect and politeness are highly valued in the city. Avoid breaking queues or talking loudly in public places. Further, maintain a respectful distance and avoid standing too close to people.
Best Area to Stay While in London
While visiting London, some famous and safe areas to stay include Covet Garden, Westminster, South Bank, and SoHo. This is because these areas have plenty of tourist attractions nearby, excellent restaurants, and other amenities at a relatively short distance. So, make sure to include them in your London trip plan.
Is It Safe to Solo Travel in London?
London is a very safe city in general. It ranked as the fifteenth safest city in the world in the Economist’s 2021 Safe Cities Index. So, traveling solo in London will not be an issue. However, as a solo traveler, practicing precautions and keeping your wits about you is necessary.
- Unfortunately, pickpocketing is quite common in London. So, keep your belongings close and out of easy reach.
- Further, if you are a solo traveler, avoid getting too drunk, where you could be taken advantage of.
- International travelers should familiarize themselves with the standard UK emergency numbers.
Best Ways to Get Around London
An essential part of your London travel guide is choosing the suitable mode of transportation. Here’s what you should consider:
London has various significant airports. It includes Heathrow, London Gatwick, London Luton, and London City Airport. So, whether you visit the city from any part of the UK or outside, you can easily find direct flights to London.
The London railway network would be essential to your London trip plan. London has an excellent rail network. It also includes the underground rail called The Tube, which can help you travel around the city. Additionally, overground trains connect different parts and suburbs in London. You can easily take trains for day trips to nearby towns and attractions.
You can also take buses to explore areas not directly accessible by the Tube or trains. Buses are pretty cheap and comfortable for short journeys in London. Thus, they should be a part of your London trip plan.
Famous Local Dishes to Try in London
When making your London visit planner, make sure to include the following must-try local dishes:
- Fish & Chips: It is the quintessential British snack. The dish includes delectable fried fish, crunchy chips, and mushy peas.
- Full English Breakfast: A trip to London is incomplete without the good ol’ full English breakfast. It is a hearty meal including bacon, baked beans, sausages, fried eggs, grilled tomatoes, mushrooms, toast, and black pudding.
- Afternoon Tea: A steaming pot of tea is served with various dainty cakes, scones, pastries, biscuits, and finger sandwiches.
- Sunday Roast: It is a traditional large meal typically served on Sunday. It includes roasted meat, mashed potatoes, gravy, vegetables, Yorkshire pudding, and other accompaniments.
One-Week Budget for Traveling in London
If you are a budget traveler, a one-week trip to London will cost you anywhere between £600 – £1000. Luxury travelers can expect to spend over £2000 for a week’s trip.
Money-Saving Tips in London
- Opt for free attractions like the British Museum, the National Gallery, and the Victoria and Albert Museum.
- London is a pedestrian-friendly city. So, consider signing up for walking tours.
- For delicious and reasonably priced meals, choose local markets like Camden Market, Brick Lane, etc.
Everyone would love visiting London, from history buffs to royal family enthusiasts and foodies to fashionistas. Travel-Wise is here to simplify your London trip planning.
Check out our other Country Guides for your future travels. We also offer an AI itinerary generator to generate top-notch itinerary ideas and explore community-submitted itineraries. Further, you can use it as your London trip planner and create a customized itinerary for your vacation. Not only this, but with Travel-Wise, you can also invite friends and family for trip collaboration. And you can also share your experiences with others in our community!