London Hotels Articles

July 3, 2010

A visitors guide to London, UK

London is a fascinating city, offering something for everyone. Here are a few tips to get you started on your travels:

Transport – start with a tour bus, or the excellent Thames river cruises, for an all-rounder view of the city (or, for something a bit different, hop on the London Eye for a panoramic view of the city, from residential tower blocks to the ‘gherkin’). Once you get your bearings a bit, the tube and bus network will take you to most places – try to avoid travelling at rush hour for an easier ride, and if you can, check your route in advance on the Transport for London site. Check price plans to see what will work out cheapest, as there are some travelcards on offer, as well as the prepay Oyster card.

Accommodation – the city is host to all manner of hotels, guest houses and chains, but wherever you choose to stay, check the distance to the city centre as this could make a difference of up to an hour’s travel time each day. Areas like Russell Square have a range of large and boutique hotels, while central but more residential areas like Notting Hill offer short rental apartments that are ideal for a less touristy feel.

Discounts – look out for vouchers that allow reduced entry to several destinations of one group, though only if you want to visit enough to make it worthwhile. Many tour tickets will allow reduced entry to some attractions, as will online booking in advance.

Money Matters – the British Pound () is currency, though a few select stores will accept euros. London prices are famously expensive, but ’shopping smart’ is often helpful, for instance a branded coffee at 2 versus an independent coffee shop cup at 1.50. Tipping is 10% as standard for taxis, waiters and hair dressers. Look to see if service is included or not when you receive a bill, as some restaurants incorporate it into the total.

Eating Out – London restaurants of a higher ranking are awarded AA rosettes and the Michelin star as accreditation, but have prices to match. Other eateries are not usually ranked. The capital has many pubs, usually serving traditional dishes like pies, sausage and mash and fish and chips, along with more contemporary favourites; and you will always be able to find a chain restaurant like Ask or Pizza Express for Italian food and Wagamama for noodles. Along with these popular favourites, London has a wealth of independent eateries with food from across the globe, so you should never be short of choices. The

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