Tips for the first time London travelers

Tips for the first time London travelers

Tripety Expert
17 Aug, 2020 | 03:28

I’ve been dreaming of visiting London since I was a little girl. And recently I went on a fantastic trip to this spectacular city together with my best friends. Let me share my experience and some tips and tricks with you that would make your first trip to London unforgettable!

Be well-prepared for your trip

The three of us enjoy planning every detail of the trip together. We like to discuss where to buy the tickets, which hotel to book, which places of interest to visit, what budget to set, and other stuff in a super convenient travel itinerary planner. Usually, I just add my friends to the travel planner app, and we coordinate our plans there. We also keep all essential travel-related documents, like tickets and our hotel reservations there.

As you may have already noticed, I am the kind of person that likes to keep things organized. I used to simply write down the list of necessary travel items on a piece of paper. Luckily, I don’t have to spend time for this anymore. The travel planner helps me to quickly and clearly create my own checklist and tick the necessary items. So once I packed my suitcase and hand luggage, downloaded the tickets and documents I had plenty of time to think about my travel budget.

Plan your budget carefully

You probably know that London is one of the most expensive cities in the world. That’s why, from the very beginning, I decided that I need to keep control of all my expenses during the trip. So I set a specific budget of £3000 and marked all my expenses in a handy travel budget planner every day. It really helped me to stay on track with my spending and keep my finances in order.

I bet you didn’t know that there are many different places of interest in London free of charge! What could be cheaper than “free,” right? You could save a big deal of money and still enjoy the magnificent views.
We had the chance to visit the British Museum, Tate Modern, Hyde Park, and Borough Market, but you can also take a look at:

  • Victoria and Albert Museum
  • Natural History Museum
  • National Gallery
  • Science Museum
  • Changing of the Guards
  • and many more

Reasons to choose a hotel in central London

London offers numerous variants of accommodations – some of them are in the center, some situated on the outskirts of the city. I would recommend staying in the central part of London, even though the hotels are pretty expensive there. And here is why:

  • although living away from the center is much cheaper, you still would have to spend a lot of money on public transport every day
  • all the main attractions are pretty close to you which helps to save some money
  • you will have an opportunity to see much more as different places of interest will surround you

My friends and I have booked the H10 London Waterloo and never regretted our choice. It has a great view of the city and surrounded by many different London attractions.

Choose off the beaten path

I know when you are first time in London, you want to visit some of the most famous and well-known places of interest such as Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, Trafalgar Square, Town Bridge, etc. And I totally get it; those places are really worth your time and attention. But I tell you, London has numerous cool sites hidden from the majority of tourists, and they are equally exciting as ‘main attractions.’ Here are some of my reasons to visit less popular sites:

Less touristic

London is one of the most popular cities among tourists. Each year almost 20 million travelers visit this city. No wonder that you will face big queues on your way to some major attractions. We felt it when we went to ride the London Eye and had to wait in line for almost an hour. Another downside of popular attractions is that it’s tough to take a photo without a crowd in the background. When you are in a less known and touristic place, you can really enjoy it, and feel a bit special for a moment.

Less expensive

Popular attractions most often are quite expensive. Also, besides them, there are numerous food courts, gift shops, and other shops that tempt you to spend as much money as possible.

Get a different view of the city

London’s hidden places may show you this city from the other, unexpected side. For example, did you know about Little Venice? It’s a beautiful place where the Grand Union and Regent’s Canals meet, forming charming waterways and giving you the vibes of the real Venice. You can get some food in cozy waterside cafes or enjoy the boat trip along the canal.

I can also recommend you visiting Leadenhall Market (Diagon Alley scenes from Harry Potter were shot here), The Churchill Arms pub and Tulip Stairs.

Best affordable places to eat in London

I don’t really like to spend a fortune in fancy and luxurious restaurants when there are so many alternatives, filled with the real London atmosphere. So I would like to recommend you several top-quality yet inexpensive restaurants and pubs that are worth mentioning.

The Golden Chippy

Have you always dreamed of trying famous fish-and-chips? Then you should definitely visit this place. Besides, you may try some other dishes from traditional British cuisine, like Shepherd’s Pie, Toad in the Hole, etc. for a very reasonable price.

Goddards at Greenwich

In order to taste the traditional mash and pie, you should definitely stop by the Goddards at Greenwich. Not only it offers delicious, low-cost food, but it also looks gorgeous both from the inside and outside.

Borough Market

Borough Market is one of the biggest and oldest markets in London. It offers a super cheap tasty food which will satisfy even the pickiest gourmet. Besides, you should certainly visit this market as one of London’s main attractions.

Pret A Manger

If you prefer healthy and organic food – welcome to Pret A Manger! Here you may taste great sandwiches, salads, soups and organic coffee, and many more.

Top London views

Last but not least, you should enjoy the most beautiful London views and feel the power of this vast city. These are some of the places with the coolest views I’ve ever seen, and I’m sure you’ll love them too.

Sky Garden

This is an absolute must-see in London when it comes to breathtaking views. Sky Garden is situated on the 43rd floor of the Walkie Talkie (a commercial skyscraper), and it is an ideal place for observing the whole city. Plus, you will be surrounded by the lush greenery, which gives you relaxation vibes.

Primrose Hill

It is a beautiful spot to hide away from the city noise and relax a bit. My friends and I were lucky to be there on a bright sunny day and really enjoyed the fantastic London skylines
Highly recommended!

The London Eye

This attraction is so popular that it even doesn’t need any introduction. This Ferris wheel is one of the tallest in the world – 135 meters high, and of course, it is one of the best observation points in London. Truly an astonishing view will open to you if you ride it.

St Paul’s Cathedral

Being 111,3 meters high, St Paul’s represents an enormous building with one of the most magnificent views in the whole city. I strongly recommend you climbing the dome, even though you will have to take 550 steps up (and down of course) – it’s totally worth it. From St Paul’s rooftop, you will observe London in its beauty.

I hope that these little pieces of advice were useful to you and brought some inspiration. Have a great trip!


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