I just spent a week down in London with my Mum. It was per her request as sheâ€™s never spent time there, and I was not actually looking forward to it as I never found London to be one of my favourite places. However, I am happy to report we had a good time and I was thoroughly impressed with some of the places we went, no matter how touristy. London is a sprawling and expensive place though, even for those of us earning in pounds sterling. Here are so travel tips that helped us survive and have a few spare notes left for souvenirs at the end of the day.
Serpentine Bar & Kitchen in Hyde Park
– Get an Oyster card. Without a doubt, the Underground is an essential travel tool. Zone 1 one way tickets cost Â£4. With an Oyster card (which costs Â£3), each Zone 1 one way ticket is Â£1.50. You need to use it twice and youâ€™ve recouped your investment. Makes sense to me. Just look for the blue box in any tube station or ask the attendant for assistance. You will need to pre-fill the card before using it but can put as little or as much as you want â€“ although do not put too much in case it is lost or stolen. Keep fit and shorten your travel times with this previous tube tip.
– The pub is still king. London pubs often serve up some of the best traditional food at very reasonable prices. And what better place to get a touch of old world charm, free of charge? One of the pubs I found was lovely was The Swan (66 Bayswater Road) â€“ they have a delicious carvery for only Â£8.95.
– Donâ€™t forget the markets too. Borough Market is one of my favourites for delicious grilled cheese and chips, and it is very cheap!
– The grass is green in London. Yes, thatâ€™s because it rains a lot, but it does not rain as much as you might think. If you happen to find yourself blessed with some decent weather, why not spend some time in some of Londonâ€™s popular parks. I personally love the expansive Hyde Park, where you can stroll about the gardens around Kensington Palace or reflect at the Princess Diana Memorial Fountain.
Diana Memorial Fountain, Hyde Park
We have had plenty of other London travel tips here in on Europe a la Carte, including free walking tours, the Thames River Path (one of my favourites without a doubt!), free things to see on the South Bank and hiring bikes.
Best of London Tips
Read our Best of London Travel Tips, to help you get the most from your visit to the city.