London for First Time Visitors
Visiting London for the first time?? Surely, you must be feeling that there's so much to do, and so much to see, but so little time!!! For those first time visitors to London who are eager and excited to see the myriad of things this wonderful city has to offer, but are not too sure how to prepare themselves for their trip, here are a few useful tips which will help you to make your stay in London a memorable one.
Although there's plenty to do and see the year round, you need to decide when to visit depending on your needs. Millions of people visit London every year from business trips to holidaying. You are advised to plan your day of arrival and departure.
The British currency has two units - the pound and the penny. Check the currency rate and where traveler's cheques can be changed before your visit. Banks, large post offices, travel agents and some larger tourist information centres offer this service.
London has five international airports (Heathrow, Gatwick, London city, Standtead or Luton) choose the closest to your destination. This will save you time and money on travel fare. Make sure you know how you are going to be travelling in and around London. You can use the railway, the famous red busses or hail a black cab. But the underground railway known as the tube is probably the fastest and most convenient way to get around.
First timers in London may get confused with London streets and buildings, so we advise you to study the London map or purchase a London guide book. Its always useful to carry a pocket map of London (also known as a London A-Z) as it gives you the location of every street, road and lane in London.
Traveling within London can be expensive. Choose a hotel that fits your budget and reduces traveling costs. If you are only staying in London for a short time, it would be best to stay in central London to avoid wasting time traveling. With its array of hotels and hostels on offer, it wont be very difficult for you to find a place thats right for you.
Surely, you might want to take a ride on the London eye, visit some of London's fantastic museums, go shopping at Oxford Street, stroll along London's majestic parks, visit the famous castles and catch a glimpse of the queen... the list goes on and on. If you want to pack a lot of sights-seeing into a few days, plan an itinerary ahead of time. Use a map to locate attractions, and see those in proximity to one another instead of spending time racing all over London!
If it's your first trip to London- keep in mind that the weather can be unpredictable. It is advisable to check the London weather forecast before you leave, and take appropriate clothing with you. Casual clothes are the most common items to be worn. So don't worry, that old pair of jeans will be just fine. Pack your hats and sunglasses, but don't forget the rain coat!
Being one of the most happening cities in the world, London has a number of events taking place every month. Check out the London events calendar to see what's going on during your stay in London.
Check out opening times of London shops, Bars, attractions and Offices. You may not get the expected services during a bank holiday so check for public and bank holidays.
"Smile and the world will smile with you" is very true in this city, so be sure to greet people with a friendly smile and a "hello", "Good morning/ evening" etc. Basic politeness is expected of you in London. Always remember to say "Thank you", "Please", "Excuse me" and "Sorry" when the situation calls for it.