20 Things You Absolutely Need To Know Before Visiting London

20 Things You Absolutely Need To Know Before Visiting London
Email this to someoneTweet about this on TwitterShare on Facebook

Whenever you visit a new place it’s always good to get tips from a local of things you need to know. Especially if you want to have as less ‘touristy’ experience as possible. Well, you’re in good hands because I’ve lived here 8 years and have built up a lot of knowledge about the city. Here are 20 Things You Absolutely Need To Know Before Visiting London.

1. Don’t stand in the middle of the escalator!

There’s a rule in London that when you go on an escalator you stand on the right and walk on the left. If you don’t, people are not afraid to let you know and you’ll hear a loud ‘EXCUSE ME’ behind you.

20 Things You Absolutely Need To Know Before Visiting London

 

2. You can get cheap theatre tickets with this trick

Some theatres in London offer a great day seat scheme where they offer tickets at a reduced rate if you queue at the venue on the day of the performance. See which theatres offer day seats here.

20 Things You Absolutely Need To Know Before Visiting London

 

3. Travel during commuter hours gets very busy

Travel between 7:30am – 9:30am and 5pm – 7pm gets very busy. Avoid travel between these hours if you can.

20 Things You Absolutely Need To Know Before Visiting London

 

4. There is so much free stuff to take advantage of

Do your research before hand and you can find loads of free stuff to do in London including museums, galleries and parks. Find out more on my Landmark and Attraction guide.

20 Things You Absolutely Need To Know Before Visiting London

 

5. Central London is totally walkable

While public transport is good, Central London is very walkable and you’ll get to see loads of things on your route rather than wasting it on the tube.

20 Things You Absolutely Need To Know Before Visiting London

 

6. … and whatever you do, don’t get the tube from Leicester Square to Covent Garden!

I made this mistake once. It takes about 4 minutes to walk or a stuffy and pointless 5 minute tube ride. There is a map on my London transport guide that shows you which stations are easier to walk between.

20 Things You Absolutely Need To Know Before Visiting London

 

7. Avoid Leicester Square and Piccadilly Circus for restaurants

Its touristy, crowded and overpriced. Walk a few minutes down the side streets or to surrounding areas for a better less touristy experience.

20 Things You Absolutely Need To Know Before Visiting London

 

8. Don’t wait until you get to the gate to find your ticket

Sorry but there is nothing more frustrating than people fumbling at the gate to get there ticket out and delaying the people behind them. Us Londoners get very frustrated by that.

20 Things You Absolutely Need To Know Before Visiting London

 

9. Don’t drive in Central London & if you do, we drive on the left.

There really is no point driving in Central London because you’ll spend more time in traffic than actually getting anywhere. If you do, remember we drive on the left.

20 Things You Absolutely Need To Know Before Visiting London

 

10. Go to Camden Market and Borough Market during the week not the weekend if you can.

Camden and Borough Market are two of the busiest markets in London so if you can, go in the weekday not the weekend. They are so much less crowded and completely different places Monday to Friday.

20 Things You Absolutely Need To Know Before Visiting London

 

11. Don’t take cabs.

I’ve got nothing against cabs but London traffic is insane and you’ll end up racking up a lot of time getting nowhere.

20 Things You Absolutely Need To Know Before Visiting London

 

12. Book everything in advance.

You will thank me for this tip when you’re not stuck waiting in queues rather than enjoying yourself. Book as much as you can in advance and that includes attraction tickets, travel tickets and restaurant bookings.

20 Things You Absolutely Need To Know Before Visiting London

 

13. When the weather is nice, London is a totally different place.

The sunshine makes London sparkle even more than it already does. You’ll notice people seem happier, stay out later and eat & drink alfresco.

20 Things You Absolutely Need To Know Before Visiting London

 

14. Public transport is actually really good.

London has a lot of transport options and it’s usually very frequent and easy to navigate. Check out my guide to public transport.

20 Things You Absolutely Need To Know Before Visiting London

 

15. It can be expensive

If you’re visiting from other parts of England you’ll notice London is more expensive than most other parts of the UK. Especially alcohol which can be double the price to what you’re used to. Budget accordingly.

20 Things You Absolutely Need To Know Before Visiting London

 

16. Don’t go on a rickshaw.

A rickshaw is one of those bikes that you pay someone to cycle around with you in the back. It’s a tourist trap that could cost you a lot of money and it’s not worth it.

20 Things You Absolutely Need To Know Before Visiting London

 

17. There’s a pretend Downing Street to trick your friends.

Taking a picture of you knocking the door of the Prime Minister’s house would be very funny to take back home. Well you can, but not the real one of course.  Head to 10 Adam Street, a short walk from Covent Garden that looks just like the famous front door!

20 Things You Absolutely Need To Know Before Visiting London

 

18. Avoid school holidays if you can.

School holidays are hellish and everywhere is busy x 10000000. Avoid if possible or do everything as early in the morning as you can.

20 Things You Absolutely Need To Know Before Visiting London

 

19. Don’t just ask for ‘tea’

If you ask for ‘tea’ you’ll get the answer ‘which one?’ because London has so many different types available. If you want a good old cup of tea ask for an ‘English Breakfast’.

20 Things You Absolutely Need To Know Before Visiting London

 

20. We’re not rude … just not that talkative!

You’ll notice on public transport we keep ourselves to ourselves … probably because we’re on our way to or from the office. Don’t be offended if we don’t chat much, that’s just us.

20 Things You Absolutely Need To Know Before Visiting London

 

Wait! Before you go…

You might also be interested in these other helpful blog posts 🙂

The Complete Guide To London Transport

Tourist FAQ’s

London Area Guide

Tips & Neighbourhood Guides

Essential Things To Buy For Your Trip

London Area Guide: How Best To Explore London As Told By A Local

FAQ'S for People Visiting London

The Complete Guide To London Transport For Visitors and Tourists

Essential Things To Buy For Your Trip to London

Follow:
Not So Basic London

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *