Where should a tourist stay in London

23 Travel Tips for London: Planning your London trip has never been easier!

The best tips & tricks for a relaxing short trip to London

London is one of the top destinations for city trips in Europe. We have summarized the most famous sights of London (with attractions) here. The British capital is beautiful, colorful and often weird. With London attracting more than 30 million visitors annually, there are a few things to keep in mind. Because queuing for hours or not getting a ticket for an attraction at all is not an option.

We love the English capital on the Thames very much. That's why we've written down everything you need to know before you travel:

  • getting there
  • Climate and weather: ideal travel time
  • Everything about money and currency
  • Book a hotel in which district?
  • How do I get from the airport to the city?
  • How do you get from A to B?
  • Is the Oyster Card worth it for tourists?
  • Tips for saving money in London
  • to eat and drink
  • facts and figures
  • and much more

Our last trip was in April 2019. This time we lived in Shoreditch for five days. Three days are ideal, preferably five to seven days. Since one visits London again and again, it is no break if you can not visit all of our tips.

First-time visitors to London don't know where to go first. We have collected these travel tips for London so that you don't drive randomly from A to B. This is the best way to see what you can see in one day and which highlights are close together. London is big, you can reach many sights by bike, underground, overground, bus, boat or on foot.

For an overview you can find at the end a card pictured in the all TOP sights and our visited places With Restaurant tips can see at a glance.

Have fun reading our London tips!

1. London facts and figures

Before we get started, we've put together a few interesting facts about London for you.

  • The national language is English and 13% of all UK residents live in London.
  • The official currency is the British pound (£). £ 1 is about € 1.18.
  • The capital of London has a population of 8.6 million. Thus, London is the 2nd largest city in Europe (after Paris).
  • They say about London "Sometimes it rains and sometimes it always rains". The fact is: it rains more often in Rome than in London (just not in summer).
  • At 156 years of age, the U-Bahn (underground) is the oldest in the world.
  • The longest underground line is the Central Line with 74 km.
  • The official currency in England is the pound (£ - Pound Sterling). One pound is about 1.15 euros. However, you can pay with credit card almost anywhere and you don't need a lot of cash.

2. London and Brexit

At the moment, your identity card is still sufficient for entry. We always use the passport as we can then go through the electronic terminal. Goes faster and faster.

The international terminals are used when entering and leaving London. At least in Frankfurt am Main and London.

Inquire with your cell phone provider whether roaming is still included in the contract. I can tell you that after Brexit, Vodafone will definitely stick to free roaming.

3. Save money and buy tickets in advance

Make a sightseeing plan

Before you travel, think about which ones London Attractions you definitely want to visit. Buy the tickets in advance on the Internet. Then they are cheaper. Alternatively, you should check whether one of the London passports (Links for a detailed comparison, brief information see point 4.) is worthwhile.

You can visit a city like London without a precise plan. You shouldn't be doing it in London. If this is your first time visiting London and you want to see a lot of attractions, it can be not only expensive but also time consuming. Queues at the main attractions are long.

Waiting times take valuable time to see more of the city.

For most tours and attractions in London you can get the tickets cheaper if you buy them online in advance before you travel. Or you can get one of the London Passes.

All attractions are included in these passes. You can really save a lot of money and time with it.

!! We have a discount deal for the London Pass: When booking, use this link in the discount codemuch on the go2021 one andsave 10% when buying a 3, 6 or 10 day pass.

Tickets for musicals and Premier League football

Tickets for musicals, Premier League football games from Arsenal London or Chelsea FC, popular attractions and tours should be yours Pre-order at least three months before your trip or buy.

For popular restaurants, you also need to reserve a table three months before your trip. Even with “normal” restaurants, we have had the experience that eating out without having reserved a table, as is hardly possible in many other cities in Europe. You can find tips on how to do this below in the article.

Warner Bros. Making of Harry Potter Studio Tour impromptu? Nothing.

You absolutely have to go to Harry Potter Studios Book tickets in advance. The studios are very popular and tickets are often booked out weeks in advance. You have to plan 3-4 hours for the studio tour.

You can read more about our visit to Harry Potter Studios in London here.

4. Save money with a London Pass

There are currently three good ones for tourists London passportswith which you can visit sights and attractions. In addition, you get many discounts and skip-the-line access to some attractions. Buying one of these passes in advance can be really worthwhile.

A City Card is not always worthwhile. That's why I'm giving you tips on how to check whether a pass is worthwhile for you or not.

4.1 Think in advance which sights you want to see

Before you travel, think about the sights you want to visit during your visit to London.

4.2 Make a list of admissions and compare

Roughly list what it would cost to enter these attractions. Compare the prices with the London passports.

👉🏼 My experience and comparison of the passes: Best London City Pass comparison (German)

Which pass is useful depends on the length of stay and the choice of sights. With us, the London Pass and the London City Pass (Turbopass) were most likely to be worthwhile (both tested).

With the London Pass you get free entry to over 80 attractions. In addition, you receive many discounts (Harry Potter tour in the Warner Bros. film studios with transfer or on a helicopter flight). thanks London City Pass can you do that London Eye visit for free.

!! We have a discount deal for the London Pass: When booking, use this link in the discount codemuch on the go2021 one andsave 10% when buying a 3, 6 or 10 day pass.

4.3 Buy the chosen pass before traveling and save money

The passes are always cheaper on the Internet. There are almost always discount promotions with the London Pass. You pay more on site.

Now read article on the honest & best London Pass comparison

5. Inexpensive sightseeing with the one red bus

The RV1 bus runs between Covent Garden and Tower Gateway. This ride takes you over Tower Bridge. Then you will pass all the sights along the South Bank: London Eye Ferris Wheel, Tate Gallery, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace and Borough Market.

Line 3 runs along Oxford Circus, Regent Street, Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square and Whitehall to the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben.

6. Book a hotel in a good location

Above all, you save time if you book accommodation in an ideal location (e.g. Soho) in central London. These are often incredibly expensive. Alternatively, if you live in one of the popular districts for going out (East End for example Spitalfields or Shoreditch), in the evening you have the opportunity to eat out like locals and visit great bars and cafes.

If you are traveling not only in a group, but in a group, an apartment is worthwhile Airbnb to rent. There were 5 of us and had rented an ideally located apartment.

You have to expect the following costs for hotels:

  • Low Budget: Dorm: £ 10-32
  • Medium Standard: Double: £ 90-160
  • 4-5 star hotel / boutique hotel: Double room: £ 200

Soon you will find our tips for cheap and / or good accommodation in London.

7. Order a Visitor Oyster Card for public transport

Nothing is more convenient than contactless payment. The cheapest tube, bus, overground and train trips in London are if you get one before you travel Visitor Oyster Card buy.

Why did we write here: That's why the Visitor Oyster Card in London is worth it!

Another tip to save money in London:

In 2021, the best credit cards are the VISA card the DKB bank(as an active customer) and the GenialCard the Hanseatic Bank. With these cards you can withdraw money from ATMs for free and pay on site without paying foreign fees abroad in foreign currencies!

My tip for one sustainable account is the Tomorrow Bank. I like to use this credit card in Germany and Europe (Apple Pay also works with it).

8. Best time to travel to London

The weather and therefore the best time to travel are the summer months: May - September / October. We like to travel to the months that are less frequented by tourists. So our choice was noticed early April.

The temperatures are then 0-18 degrees. It can always rain, hail or snow. We had it all in one day.

Should it rain, there are plenty of things to do in London that you can still do: Tate Modern Gallery, Musicals (Hamilton!), Natural History Museum, Jack the Ripper Museum, to name just a few options.

9. Our hotel tips

Hotels in London are generally a lot more expensive than a private apartment over Airbnb to rent.

In general, at the beginning you always ask yourself the following question: In which part of London should we live?

  • Shoreditch: Hipster district with lots of bars, pubs and restaurants
  • West End (Soho): Centrally located for your first visit to London

Since we were 5th in London on our last visit, we have an apartment in Shoreditch searched. The location was perfect, but unfortunately the heating was broken every 5 days in winter.

Philip lived not far from our apartment in the chic Citizen M Hotel in Shoreditch last time we visited.

Also in Shoreditch is the Qbic Hotel London City. Located right on Brick Lane, the accommodation is just as ideal as the Citizen M.

10. Best guide to London

We have several recommendations for London. Both in German and in English, because unfortunately not all guides are in German yet.

500 Hidden Secrets London. A brilliant travel guide for people looking for special tips. From the top markets to the best stalls in markets, the most beautiful views, bars and also insider tips.

DuMont direct travel guide London.We buy the DuMont directly for each city. Thanks to this guide you will know in a nutshell where the places are that you should visit on a short trip to London. Buying tip! View here.

We also bought 2 illustrated books with tips: Merian London and Dumont Bildatlas London. As a perfect complement to the first two travel guides mentioned.

11. Cost of a city trip to London

Low budget traveling in London is all about. There are enough low-cost airlines flying to London. There are also hostels or cheap accommodation outside the center.

There were 5 of us here, came from Stuttgart, Cologne and Berlin. Flights therefore cost totally differently depending on the airline.

Flight to London:

  • Düsseldorf - London -Düsseldorf (Eurowings): 207 euros
  • Stuttgart - London - Stuttgart (Eurowings): 227 euros
  • Berlin - London - Berlin (British Airways): 213 euros

(Note: We all traveled with normal luggage - not just hand luggage - as we had all cameras with us)

Accommodation in London:

Airbnb in Shoreditch with three bedrooms: 1279 euros for 5 nights (approx. 51 € per person / night)

Note: Since the heating did not work for five days, we asked for and received 400 euros back.

Costs for admissions and sights:

  • Hamilton Musical: € 170 per person
  • London Eye Fast Track: £ 10 surcharge with London City Pass, £ 40 on site (cheaper in advance)
  • 3-day London Pass: £ 125
  • London City Pass 3 days: £ 132.90 including Oyster Card (£ 20 credit)
  • Street Art Tour: £ 20
  • Free Tours by Foot (Jack the Ripper and Rock'n'Roll): you pay as much as you think
  • Harry Potter Studio Tour: £ 43
  • Transfer Train Station - Warner Bros. Studio Harry Potter Tour: £ 2.50 (return)

12. How much time do you plan for London?

Most tourists travel to London for a weekend. Often means Friday after work and back on Sunday evening. We like to travel longer and make one out of it Short trip of 5 days Has lasted.

That is why we also advise you at least 4-5 days in London to spend. We were in London from late Tuesday afternoon to Sunday noon. Despite the high workload, we were far from able to see everything that we had planned. Thanks to the short distance, we already know: we'll be back.

13. Arrival

Whoever travels to London not only has the opportunity to land at one of the five airports that you can fly to from Germany: London Heathrow, Stansted, Gatwick, Luton and London City.

Flights are really cheap, a journey is better for climate protection by train. From Cologne you can go via Brussels by Eurostar directly to London St. Pancras travel. The Train ride takes exactly 5.15 hours and costs from 120 €. Great for everyone who lives in this region. I think traveling by train is really less stressful than flying.

From southern Germany I would be on the road for almost a day, which is not worthwhile on a short trip.

14. Money and credit card

14.1 Withdraw money in London or change money at home?

Preparing for your London trip also includes clarifying questions such as:

  • Where do I change my money?
  • How much cash do I take with me?
  • How can I pay in London?
  • Can I withdraw money with the EC card or should I use a credit card?

Change money in Germany? I never do.

I get off the plane, get my luggage and then go straight to the ATM. thanks to the Visa card from the DKB Bank I can withdraw pounds without paying any fees. Nowhere in the world. Is not that great?

I recommend you look at the offer. You can save a lot of money with it and then spend it shopping in London.

14.2 Check your credit card / EC card limit abroad

Many banks have now introduced restrictions to protect against abuse abroad. Check how much money you have set as a limit per day / week / month.

Some cards have to be activated / activated before they can be used abroad. Friends have had this experience especially with traditional banks (savings banks and Raiffeisen banks). It is best to call your bank before the trip and inform your contact person about the trip.

My tip: Use a credit card with which you can pay for free abroad and withdraw money from the machine. Shortcoming: This is only possible at the DKB Bank or with the Hanseatic Bank credit card.

You can read all further information here in the article for the best travel credit card.

14.3 How much cash do I take with me?

There are many ATMs in London. You hardly need any cash. On the first trip I had withdrawn around £ 150 in cash. That was enough for a few days. You can really go anywhere Credit card pay.

Only for tips I will withdraw a small amount of around £ 50-100 directly at London Airport on arrival.

When changing at the bank before the trip, you have to pay fees. In addition, you often get a worse exchange rate. If you have a good travel credit card, you can withdraw money from ATMs without paying any fees.

Does that sound great to you? Then you might be interested in this article:

My best free travel credit cards

15. Transfer from the airport to the city

Since every airport has different connections, we will write a separate article about this. Because sometimes the train and sometimes the bus is faster.

who in Heathrow lands is with the London Heathrow Express Tog at ​​Paddington Station in 15 minutes. You will need a lot longer with the subway. The return ticket costs £ 42. If you have a London Pass, you will receive it when booking (only after Buy the London Pass possible via the app or via a link at the London Concierge) 20% discount on the tickets.

You can reserve your London Heathrow Express here before you travel

Upon arrival in Stansted or Luton you should get the Easybus book.This bus is the fastest and most comfortable way to get to your accommodation. The bus even stopped much closer to our apartment, so those arriving from these airports had the most convenient and cheapest way to get there. If you book in time, you can sometimes even get tickets for £ 2.

Buy a Standsted Express ticket here

16. First impression and orientation

A hop on hop off bus tour is the ideal start to your visit

To get a first impression of London, we advise you to start with the Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour. So you can see all famous London landmarks in a short time.

in the London Pass and London City Pass Big Bus tours are included. This provider also has most of the routes (4 pieces plus 1 night trip and Thames boat trip). Thanks to the audio guide (also in German) or live audio guide, you will learn a lot of historical and other useful background information on buildings or famous people.

Alternatively, we recommend one FreeTours by Foot Tour (Different themed tours are offered here. Payment is at your own discretion) or one Bike tour. At a Thames shipping you will also pass many of the sights. This is in London Pass and London City Pass contain.

Click here for the London Pass comparison

17. Out and about in London

There is a very well-functioning public transport system in London. Consisting of train, underground (U-Bahn), overground (quasi S-Bahn), the red double-decker buses and the famous black taxis "Black Cabs". Of course there is also UBER in London, we prefer the Black Cabs).

The city center and main attractions are located in such a way that you can explore everything on foot. Some distances are a little further so that a ticket for public transport is definitely worth it.

Our tip: order the Visitor Oyster Card before you travel. Here you can read all the tips about the Visitor Oyster Card.

Travel by public transport

Getting around in London is very easy. You just have to hold your Oyster Card on the yellow areas at the entrances of the buses, overground or underground when getting on and off. So you are in or hatched out. When traveling by bus, you can even check in, as the rides cost a flat £ 1.50. Ingeniously simple, right?

Especially in the evening we loved taking the bus. Even if the modern red double-decker buses no longer look as cool as the old ones. After all, they are hybrid buses.

We also liked to take trains. One came even 1 minute early. Is there anything like that in Germany? This also applies here Oyster card. We find this system very practical and simple.

Children under the age of 11 travel for free

Do you travel with children under the age of 11? Great, because these travel for free when accompanied by an adult who has the Oyster Card. Up to 4 children under the age of 11 can travel for free per adult. From the age of 11, however, children must buy a regular Oyster card.

18. Internet and telephone

Before you travel, check whether your provider is still roaming after Brexit England. Otherwise it will be expensive. If you have a German mobile phone contract with Vodafone, you can still make calls and surf the Internet. I cannot provide any information for other providers.

19. Which sights to see?

We are fans of the top sights in London. But also love extraordinary tours like the Jack the Ripper Tour. We like to discover street art and especially Katrin likes the musical Hamilton, which is performed in London.

What to do when it rains

It is well known that it can rain more often in London. With us it also hailed and snowed. Nevertheless, we were on a street art tour in Shoreditch and on a rock'n'roll tour.

Our tips for London in the rain? Go to museums or visit the Warner Bros. Making of Harry Potter Studios.

These museums are excellent:

  • Tate Modern Museum London
  • Natural History Museum London

That too Royal Observatory in Greenwich is in the dry or the Churchill War Rooms. A friend raved about them Churchill bunkerss. Unfortunately we didn't manage either.

20. Tip

When it comes to tips, it's the same as in Germany.10 – 15 % are considered appropriate with good service. Tips on drinks are not common in pubs. In our experience, the service staff is all the more pleased when you round something up.

Be careful, some restaurants do this automatically15% service charge put on the bill. Take a close look at your receipts to see if the tip has already been calculated

21. Tours and walking tours in London

For special tours we are looking more and more often at Airbnb Experiences on their website. Because here you will find really great experiences that you can book.

Otherwise, we take a look at Get Your Guide to reserve tickets for popular sights in advance and print them out or download them to our smartphone. So we don't have to worry about queuing during the trip.

For London we knew from the start that we would buy a sightseeing pass. From the counterpart to the London Pass we are always enthusiastic in New York (New York Pass) and for Rome the counterpart to London City Pass (Rome City Pass). We would buy these passes again and again.

Tours that we can recommend to you

  1. Jack the Ripper Tour (Sinead was so brilliant at narrating that afterwards we just researched further and wanted to know more). Booked at Freetoursonfoot.com
  2. Rock'n'Roll Tour. Beatles, Rolling Stones, Queen, ... the list of well-known bands and musicians in London is endless. That's why we took this tour. Also booked here directly at Freefootsbytour.com.
  3. Shoreditch Street Art Tour. Great tour that also takes a close look at small and barely visible street art. Of course there are a few original Banksys on display. You will also pass ROA and other well-known artists. Great tour that we booked direct with www.shoreditchstreetarttours.co.uk.

Since these tours were pretty darn good, we published this article: We can highly recommend these 7 city tours and tours!

22. Best photo locations in London

The impressive old buildings in London are particularly photogenic:

  • Big Ben (if the scaffolding is removed again sometime in 2021)
  • Westminster Palace
  • St. Paul's Cathedral
  • Buckingham Palace
  • Tower bridge

The London Eye, the new town hall and views of “The Shard”, Duck & Waffles and of course the London Eye are particularly beautiful on the banks of the Themsen.

You can take great photos of Tower Bridge from the walls of the Tower of London. We were lucky and the bridge opened right on our visit.

23. Eating and drinking in London

Food and England, can that be a good thing? Yes, now it can. I can still remember my first visit to London in 1996: the breakfast was bad underground, there was only fish & chips and the best and cheapest fast food.

Of course, that has now come to an end: in London you can have excellent food in every part of the city. The only problem with this is that you often have to reserve tables if you want to dine in the restaurant of your choice.

Here are our tips for London (full article follows):

  • Pub: The Ten Bells, The John Snow Pub (Soho)
  • Snacks: Bagel Bake (Roast Beef)
  • Fast food: Shake Shack Covent Garden or Five Guys (both popular burger chains from the USA)
  • Eat: There are a lot of different dishes in Boxpark Shoreditch,
  • Breakfast: The Breakfast Club, Duck & Waffle (with a view, but make a reservation)
  • Fish & Chips: Poppies Shoreditch
  • Bars: Lounge Bohemia (by appointment only, an absolute happening and very special and damn good)

Here is our in-depth guide for real insiders: Eating and drinking in London

Checklist city trip to London

At least 2-3 months before:

  • travel Guide buy inTravel blogs research andTrip Advisor AppDownload to your smartphone for London.
  • Be sure to book a flight or train ticket early!Tips on how to book cheap flights.
  • accommodation book. Especially in the summer months, London is a popular destination for city trips.
  • Tables in popular Reserve restaurants.
  • Tickets for musicals (especially Hamilton) or Premier League football games book.

One month before:

One week before (or on site):

  • Book tours over the Internet. I often look for special tours from private guides. Preferably withRent-a-Guide orGet your guide.
  • Pack: In any case, a rain jacket should be in your luggage. The weather in London can be very varied and windy. You should also pack comfortable shoes and leave everything else at home. In London we walked around 12-20 km every day.
  • Ticket for the airport transfer book.

More information on London on the Internet:

  • VisitLondon website with lots of useful information and tips.
  • TimeOut LondonGreat London magazine with guides for every district and current events.
  • JoolzGuide on YouTube. We found this channel during the preparation. On the next trip, we are guaranteed to book a tour at Joolz. Very entertaining and great tips.

London map with all attractions

Click on the button below to load the content from www.google.de.

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Conclusion

London is always worth a trip. We are big fans - still! On the next trip we decided not to live in the East End but somewhere in the West End to see more of Soho, Notting Hill and Greenwich.

The close proximity to Liverpool Street Station and Shoreditch High Street was perfect for this trip.

Have you been to london too?

What was your highlight? If you have any further tips, I look forward to your comment at the end of this article. If you are currently planning your trip and have any questions, please feel free to leave them here as a comment!

All tips and tricks for London at a glance that you should see:

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Transparency and Trust: There are recommendation links in this post. For you that means: No additional costs. But: If you buy something via a link, I receive a small commission. You will not incur any additional costs, but help me to run this site and to support the blog and my work! Thank you so much!

Transparency and Trust: There are recommendation links in this post. For you that means: No additional costs. But: If you buy something via a link, we receive a small commission. You will not incur any additional costs, but help us to run this site and to support the blog and our work! Thank you so much!

We paid for and planned this trip entirely ourselves.

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I'm Katrin and I travel a lot!

The world is my home! Whether individual road trips, adventures in nature or city trips.

I take you on my trips and give you an insight into my travel diaries and photos that are created. Are you coming with me?