Insider tips: Planning a trip to London
Laurence is a full time travel blogger and photographer, who shares his tips on travel and improving your photography on his website Finding the Universe. He used to live in London, and you can see his tips for spending two days in London here.
What should I do on my first trip to London?
The best way to get acquainted with the city is to take a stroll from the Tower of London, across Tower Bridge, and along the south bank of the Thames before finishing at the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey. This will take no more than 2 hours, but will acquaint you with many of London's most popular sights. You could easily visit two of London's most popular attractions at the start and end of your journey, the Tower of London and Westminster Abbey as well.
What are some hidden gems to see in London?
London has some really interesting and quirky museums which are well worth visiting. The Museum of Brands is a great option, as is the Cartoon Museum. The Postal Museum is also worth a visit!
How much time should I spend in London?
The main highlights of central London can be experienced across two days. If you want to explore areas outside the central area, perhaps visiting attractions like Windsor Castle, an extra day would be advisable.
What food is London known for?
No trip to London would be complete without trying out some local pub food. Highlights of a pub menu would include fish and chips or a traditional steak and ale pie. Don't forget to leave room for dessert, with sticky toffee pudding being a popular option!
What are the best months to visit London?
Avoiding the summer crowds in London is advisable, so visiting between April and June or in September should give you the best combination of better weather and less people. December is also a good time to visit as the city is decorated with lights and Christmas decorations.
What is neighborhood The East End of London known for?
The East End of London, which stretches from around the Tower of London out towards the London City Airport, is famous for its markets, street food, and incredible curry houses.
What are the best neighborhoods for food?
If you love curry, one of the most popular dishes in the UK, then you'll want to head out to East London where you'll find an incredible array of authentic Indian restaurants. Another good option is to dine around the West End theatres, there are many good restaurants in this area which often have pre-theatre dining deals.
What are the best neighborhoods for shopping?
The most well known shopping street is the mile long Oxford Street which runs from Marble Arch to Tottenham Court Road. This has all the major high street brands. For high end shopping, you'll want to head to the area of Mayfair, whilst those of you shopping for a suit will want to head to the world famous Savile Road.
What neighborhood should I stay in when I visit London?
Central London, and specifically the borough of Westminster, is probably the best place to base yourself in the city. Here you'll find everything from budget hostels through to world famous five star hotel brands. Basing yourself here might cost a bit more than being a bit further out, but it is definitely worth it for the proximity to sightseeing.