Our time in London has come to and end and so I thought I might put together a bit of a concluding page of helpful tips for travelling through the city that people talk about all over the world. All in all I did not step off the place and fall in love with this place like I immediately expected, however I’ve never believed in first impressions and so of course the city did grow on my. I found that I loved the areas that were less in the business district and more so in parts of the city I found tucked away while wandering a random street. The nightlife and theatre district was always filled with energy and I’ve definitely decided the city in the evenings is something I’m a fan of. Realistically speaking, if you grew up in a city in Canada, london is going to have pretty much everything you’re used to having…probably more. It was by no means a difficult city to be a tourist in. If I were to go back to England I think I’d travel to some other areas before heading back to the city. However I really think it would be interesting to spend more time there to find the parts of the city that only locals know about. Anyways you’ll have to visit and decide for yourself!
Here are some things I picked up along the way that may help if you’re travelling there anytime soon:
1. If your phone is unlocked, there is a phone company called “Three” where you can get a UK phone number and 12GB of data for 20 pounds. If you are travelling for longer they give you a code to top this up whenever you run out of data/texts etc. This also works in most European countries you just need to make sure your phone is unlocked or you won’t be able to use this as I wasn’t.
2. There is wifi virtually everywhere you go– even in most department stores. I even had wifi at Hampton Court Palace. If you’re staying in London you probably don’t even need a phone card. But it can make things easier if you’re trying to communicate with people in the country.
3. People don’t really tip in London. Generally 10%, and you only tip if the service was actually good. This is because their minimum wage is rather good here and most often tip is already included in your bill.
4. The tube is amazing and ridiculously easy to use. When you get to the tube station you can buy something called an Oyster card (another card that you can add money too as you go). You’ll scan your card on your way into the tube and then when you scan it on your way out it will subtract that amount from your card based on the distance you travelled. Make sure you scan on the way out or it will take the entire amount off of your card as a penalty. The best part about this system is that the amount caps off at 6.60/ day. So you can virtually ride the tube as much as you want for that amount
5. Tesco & Tesco express. This is their grocery store (or one of them) You can get anything here, yes including alcohol. The best thing is that they have a meal deal which includes a sandwich, snack and drink for three pounds. For those of you concerned about health I used to get a garden sandwhich, spinach smoothie and organic granola bar. YOU CAN SAVE SO MUCH MONEY IF YOU USE TESCO.
6. Tourist attractions i.e. Museums, palaces & churches close around 1700 with last entry often taking place around 1630. Get up early if you want to fit everything in.
7. London Pass– this pass offers you admission into a set amount of tourist attractions over a certain amount of consecutive days (of your choosing) once you’ve activated your pass. It includeds access to a hop on/hop off buss tour as well. The pass gets cheaper the more days you choose to use it. I highly recommend you determine whether you are going to use this pass to its full potential before you decide to buy it. You will most likely save money if you don’t use it.
8. Check out festivals in the area before you go. There is so much going on in this city! While we were there, their summer food festival was going on. Come July there’s a music festival like every two weeks. The queen’s birthday parade happened while we were there too. This is a happening city!
I expect some other things will come to mind that I’ve forgotten and I’ll update as I go! But for now goodbye London! It’s been a pleasure!