Guides London 10 Things To Know BEFORE Your First Time In London

10 Things To Know BEFORE Your First Time In London

City Guide September 19, 2023


You finally did it! You booked your plane tickets to see one of the most beautiful cities in the world, London, England. Now, it's time to start planning. This guide will discuss things to know before your first time in London.

From how to save money to where to stay in London, we hope these travel tips aid you while visiting London. Prepare for a fantastic experience filled with history, culture, and vibrant energy. Let's dive in and make your trip to London an extraordinary one!

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You only have to download the app; everything can be done with your mobile device. Now, onto some tips for your first time visiting London!


1. Driving on the Left

When you're in London, remember that they drive on the left side of the road. This one might not be that much of a shocker, but if you're from a country that drives on the rights and prides itself on being a leader of the automobile industry, you might find this fact bizarre: London first-timers!

So, if you plan to rent a car or cross the street, look to your right first for oncoming traffic.


2. London Pass

The London Pass is like a ticket that gives you access to many popular attractions in London. It's perfect if you've ever been to London. With this Pass, you can save money and time by not having to buy separate tickets for each attraction. It's a great way to see many places in one go.

The iconic landmarks you can visit with the London Pass include the majestic Tower of London, the historic Buckingham Palace, the fascinating British Museum, and the magnificent St. Paul's Cathedral.

You can purchase one-day to 10-day passes, which decrease per day as the total number of days increases. It is recommended to get the 3-day Pass because you'll be able to experience most sights with the most value.

Price: For 3-day pass; Adults- £129, Child- £64


3. Oyster Card

Here are some of the things you have to know about London. The Oyster Card is a special card that you can use for public transportation, like buses and trains, in London. It's easy to use – touch it on the card reader, and you're good to go.

It saves you money compared to buying individual tickets. You could tap your credit card, however…

The Oyster Card offers daily fare capping, which means you want to pay a certain amount daily, making it a cost-effective option for exploring the city's extensive public transport network. Take advantage of the efficient Tube system to zip around the city or hop on a classic double-decker bus to see sights like the Big Ben from a different perspective.

Good to Know: Mind the Gap! When using the London Underground or the Tube, you'll hear "Mind the Gap." “his warning is for the space between the train and the platform. Please pay attention to it to avoid any incidents.



4. Hop on, Hop off

The Hop-on Hop-off buses are tourist buses that take you around the city to see all the famous sights. You can get on and off as many times as you want, making exploring different places convenient without worries. There are several options in London, and many tours come with free unique add-ons like a guided tour or boat ride on the Thames.

The routes differ depending on the bus tour selected, but they have stops in central London, such as Trafalgar Square, Westminster Abbey, Leicester Square, and Covent Garden.

If buses aren't your thing, try the newer Hop on Hop off Uber boat on the River Thames!

For more information and to see the tour options, click here.


5. Credit Cards

Credit cards and Apple Pay are widely accepted in London, so you don't need to carry cash. Just inform your bank about your travel plans so they don't lock your card for suspicious activity.

When picking your credit card, stick to MasterCard and Visa. Discover and American Express are frequently accepted around the UK.



6. Tipping in the UK

Tipping is only sometimes expected in the UK, but it's a nice gesture if you receive good service. Typically, people leave a small tip, like rounding up the bill or leaving 10% of the total. Feel free to show appreciation to friendly waitstaff or cab drivers who go the extra mile to make your visit memorable.


7. Adapters

The power outlets in the UK are different from those in other countries. For the United Kingdom, the associated plug type is G, a plug with three rectangular pins in a triangular pattern. The United Kingdom operates on a 230V supply voltage and 50Hz. So, if you carry electronics, like phone chargers, you'll need a plug adapter to fit the UK sockets.


8. Carry an Umbrella

London weather can be hard to predict, and rain should be expected. It's a good idea to carry a small umbrella or a waterproof jacket.



9. Purchase Tickets in Advance

It's wise to buy tickets in advance for popular attractions or events. This way, you can avoid long queues and get all the desired experience. If you plan to attend a West End shoyou'reit the London Eye for breathtaking city views or a spot at an esteemed afternoon tea, securing your tickets guarantees a smooth and enjoyable visit for your days in London.



10. Venture Outside of Central London

Traveling to London doesn’t mean staying in Central London. It has a few famous landmarks, so don't forget to explore the areas outside the city center. You'll discover charming neighborhoods, your markets, and a taste of authentic London life.

Head to other areas like Shoreditch or Camden for a diverse mix of street art, eclectic markets, and trendy cafes. Visit the picturesque Greenwich, home to the Prime Meridian, while learning about maritime cooking. If you want to go nuts, visit Richmond and live out your Premier League dreams.

And if you want to go extra nuts, take a day trip to one city around London and learn more about the UK outside of London.

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