London is reputed as one of the world’s most exciting tourist destinations for both us Britons and people arriving from overseas – and doubtless our impressive culture and history have long contributed to the development of this status. However, where should you start when in London?
Yes, it’s a classic case of the “paradox of choice” – but, once you have got your bearings, you can enjoy an especially beneficial stay in London provided that you adhere to these tips.
Keep your wits about you when on public transport
Given the massive amount of London waiting to be explored, the capital’s extensive network of public transport options can feel like a godsend. However, as you step into a bus or train, stay vigilant to reduce the chances of getting caught up in any crimes that unfold.
Conceal and zip away your valuables. On a bus, sit near the driver to let yourself speedily escape if necessary – and, on the Tube, sit in a populated carriage rather than an empty one, BT advises.
Visit museums at the right times to beat the crowds
On the museum front, London has something close to an embarrassment of riches. Sadly, however, you could find yourself trying to squeeze through discomfortingly big crowds at many of the city’s museum heavyweights. This is why you should be careful exactly when you visit.
If you want to see the V&A, British Museum or Natural History Museum, do so on weekday mornings, The Telegraph says. Sunday visits to the Museum of London can work out well, too.
Look up recommendations for where to eat
Indecision could strike yet again when you start feeling peckish. Yes, there’s no shortage of eateries within London’s boundaries, but where should you stave off those hunger pangs?
It largely depends on what type of food you want. For example, if you favour Indian food, act on advice provided in this Lifehacker article and head to a Dishoom outlet, of which are a few are scattered around London. Ranoush Juice, meanwhile, runs various outlets offering Lebanese cuisine.
Take a dip in open air waters on Hampstead Heath
If the weather is good enough, you could try some outdoor swimming at Hampstead Heath, where you can find men’s, women’s or mixed ponds. While using these pools incurs little in expense, lockers aren’t provided, meaning that you should leave valuables at your accommodation.
If you want accommodation that is conveniently centrally-located, you could limit your search to City of London hotels, of which the 4-star Dorsett option in Aldgate can look like an especially safe bet.
Get some 2-in-1 deals courtesy of National Rail
At rail stations, National Rail offers a Days Out Guide booklet which you can collect for free. After you do, flick to the back for 2-in-1 admissions coupons redeemable at attractions like the Tower of London and Kew Gardens. Before you can use any of these coupons, you will need a ticket – not necessarily a used one – from a National Rail-affiliated railway and dated the intended day of use.