Things Every Tourist Should Know Before Visiting London

Londonis a fascinating city which should be at the top of everyone’s travel bucket list.  With history, culture, good nightlife, and more attractions than you can count on both hands, there is plenty to see and do here.  That said, any savvy traveller will tell you that it pays to do your research before you visit a large city andLondonis no different.  For that reason, here are six things we believe every tourist should know before they visitLondon:-

Plan Your Routes

This is helpful for a number of reasons.  Firstly, because knowing where you are staying in relation to the attractions and venues you want to visit in the city will help you to save time and potentially money as you can plot the quickest and cheapest routes using public transport.  In addition to this, you won’t need to worry about getting lost or needing to consult a map (as often) whilst you are exploring London which will prevent you from being marked as a tourist by pickpockets who do, occasionally and unfortunately, loiter around tube and train stations.

Download the City Mapper App

To help you with the above we would recommend downloading a map app to your phone such as the City Mapper app.  These apps will plot your route from A to B easily, as well as providing information about which public transport would be best whether that be tube, bus, taxi or on foot as well as providing information on cost.  If you don’t want to have any set plans but you do want to be able to plot journeys quickly and efficiently then this could be a real asset to your trip.  If you are travelling internationally then you might want to check whether the app can be used offline so as to avoid unnecessary and excess data charges, or check with your service provider to see whether they offer any data packages for using your phone whilst in theUK.

Thursdays Are the New Fridays

It has long been assumed that Friday night is the night for discoveringLondon’s vibrant nightlife scene but it is actually true that Thursdays are the best night for heading toLondon’s bars and pubs, especially if you want to mingle with the locals rather than other tourists.  Londoners work hard and they want to start unwinding as early as possible so it is now very common for most Londoners to choose to start their weekends on a Thursday rather than a Friday and you will find many bars and clubs host offers on this day to draw them in as well.  Whether you are looking for live music, comedy or just somewhere to enjoy a cocktail or two, make sure you head out on a Thursday night instead.

Scour the Forums

If you want to find out where the locals hang out, where to find the tastiest dishes in the city or discover the best hotel in London then it pays to do some research ahead of time.  Don’t just take the word of travel websites but instead head to forums where you will find all kinds of useful information as well as being given the opportunity to ask people in the know about anything you think would be helpful when planning your own trip.  Often these forums are visited by locals who will be able to offer their own personal advice which will help you no end in planning your trip to the city.  This is especially useful if you want to try and avoid the common tourist traps and instead have a more authentic experience ofLondon.

Beware of Soho Nights Out

As we mentioned briefly above, Londonhas a well known and exciting nightlife but if you aren’t familiar with the different areas in the city then it can be easy to fall into tourist traps.  Soho is often thought of as a great place for a night out and it’s certainly true that there are a number of quality bars and restaurants in this part of Londonand that it’s central location makes it easy to access from whichever of The Montcalm Hotels London you are staying in.  But it can also be pricey and busy with tourists which you may want to avoid.  If you are looking for an interesting and diverse night out then why not skipSoho and instead head to areas such as Brixton, Shoreditch, and South Bank.

Follow the Customs

Even if you are from elsewhere in theUKyou may find yourself falling foul of some of the required forms of etiquette when visitingLondon, especially when it comes to using public transport and the associated stations.  Some things to bear in mind include standing to the right when using escalators or walking on the right when using stairs to allow those who want to move quicker to pass you, having your ticket to hand when passing through the barriers so as not to cause a traffic jam of people behind you, not speaking loudly on the tube or bus; note that this will not cause offence but it will almost certainly mark you out as someone who isn’t from the UK and observing people’s personal space where possible.

Another point to note is the fact that it is not required to leave a tip when dining out, in fact many restaurants will automatically include a 12.5% service charge so before you leave any money behind check your bill.  Whilst tipping is not required, as with most places, people are usually grateful to receive one as a sign that you have appreciated their service.  A rough guide is: taxi drivers 10% or round up the fare, £1 per bag for hotel porters, £1 a day for maid service in hotel, and 10% of the bill in a restaurant, pub or bar.

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