London is the capital of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the largest, probably, the most multinational and versatile city in Europe. Since it holds absolutely everything, the city has a very special atmosphere. On the one hand, this is the historical center, on the other, financial, on the third, cultural. Everyone will find something for themselves in London.
“If you are tired of London, you are tired of life,” wrote Samuel Johnson as early as the 18th century. Indeed, it is absolutely impossible to get tired of London, as the city is so multifaceted that, even when coming there for the tenth or fifteenth time, tourists discover something new and unknown.
London is the smell of fresh coffee and freshly printed newspapers, cool humid air, endless green parks, crazy traffic, huge double-decker buses and taxis. As well, don’t forget about the castles and museums, the always dark Thames, infinitely long streets full of people under bright umbrellas, and City skyscrapers.London is so big and interesting that you can’t see everything in one trip.
THINGS TO SEE AND DO IN LONDON
Big Ben and Parliament. Together they make up a single architectural ensemble and are located in the very center of London, on the Thames Embankment.
Trafalgar Square. From Big Ben you can walk to the legendary square. There you can also look for free in the National Gallery.
Buckingham Palace. London residence of Queen Elizabeth II. When the royal family is away, the palace is open to tourists (of course, only the main ceremonial rooms).
Tower. The famous medieval castle where King Henry VIII lived, and where he executed his wives. Nearby is the famous Tower Bridge.
Hyde Park. The largest park in London. It seems to me that it is still smaller than Central Park in New York, but it also makes an impression!
Visit free-of-charge museums:
The British Museum is a historical and archaeological museum with unique collections from Ancient Egypt, Rome, Greece and the East. Even if you think that everyone saw in the relevant halls of the Pushkin Museum to them. A. S. Pushkin and the Hermitage, it is not. Although I am not very interested in the ancient civilizations, it was interesting to see, and if it is the sphere of your interests, you will spend at least 4 hours there.
Victoria and Albert Museum. It contains a huge collection of decorative art and design from different times. The museum building is huge, it was built on the instructions of Queen Victoria and named after her husband Albert (like Albert Hall, for example, about which you can read our material here). And in the museum cafe you can stay for a traditional English lunch or 5 o’clock tea.
The National Gallery is an art gallery in Trafalgar Square. It is small in comparison with, for example, the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow. It can spend a maximum of 1.5-2 hours. The gallery presents works by Van Gogh, Bosch, Botticelli, Rembrandt.
Museum of London. Want to learn more about the history of London in the time of the Romans, the Middle Ages and our time? You exactly here! 🙂 The museum is interesting to talk about the metropolis and its inhabitants in various eras.
The British Tate Gallery is an art museum where you can see the most complete collection of British art objects from the 1500s.
The Tate Modern Gallery is one of the most famous and visited modern art museums in the world. Even if you are not a big fan of it, you can enter several halls, the museum is located on the Thames Embankment opposite St. Paul’s Cathedral.
TYPICAL COSTS WHEN TRAVELLING
Accommodation – London is a very touristy city, so you will find a hotel for every taste and budget.The most important thing to consider when choosing a district is that transportation is very expensive (and the cost increases in accordance with the distance from the city center), so it is better to pay a little more for the hotel, but live closer to the center. Otherwise, you will not only spend the difference in the price of transport, but the road will take you more time.Next, let’s highlight top areas of London, where you can stay:
Russel Square and King’s Cross: in terms of price – quality, I like the areas of Russel Square and King’s Cross, they are a bit away from the sights, but still in the 1-2 subway area, so the road should not take a lot of time and cost much.
Notting hill: for creative people, there is no better place than Notting Hill. In the mornings, there opens a market where you can buy unusual clothes, antiques and all sorts of interesting things.
Just remember about the bright houses from the movie “Notting Hill”, when the hero Hugh Grant was walking there with the heroine Julia Roberts.
Covent garden: one of the most atmospheric areas of London with the famous old market building and performances of street musicians.
Kensington:Typical area of the English aristocracy. More quiet and calm than the Covent Garden, there is an atmosphere of real England.If earlier in Kensington, ladies and gentlemen were walking, now financiers from City, and business women drop in at designer boutiques on the way home.
Knightsbridge: this is also a great area, close to Hyde Park, the largest park in London.
Previously, it was also a district of the rich, there is something to see: wide streets, reserved houses and their inhabitants.
What are the prices for the rest?
Even at the travel planning stage, be prepared that London is one of the most expensive cities, it easily competes with New York and Sydney.
The cost of visiting museums varies from 12 USD (10 GBP) to 24 USD (20 GBP), on average. But do not worry, there are free among them. For example, such well-known as: the National Gallery, the British Museum and the Museum of Victoria and Albert.
Also note that entrance to famous churches (eg, Westminster Abbey) and Kew Gardens is chargeable.
Food: It all depends on your preferences and budget. A cup of coffee in a network cafe will cost you, for example, 3-4 USD (2.5-3.5 GBP).
Enough economical option for lunch and dinner – pubs (and for breakfast, too, that cunning). The food there is quite heavy, but tasty, and this meal will be enough even for the longest walk.
Suggested Daily Budget: If we are not talking about the most economical recreation, but without expensive restaurants and shopping, but rather just about spending on museums, transport and food, then I would be guided by the consumption of 90-120 USD (75-100 GBP) per day.
MONEY SAVING TIPS/h3>
1. Oyster Card. If you come at least a few days, it is more profitable to buy an Oyster card. That is, you buy a card at the box office (if at the end of the trip you return it, you will be given the full cost), put money into the account and when traveling in the subway or on the bus, a certain amount will be deducted from it. For example, for 1-2 zones, it is 3 USD (2.4 GBP) at non-peak hours (during the day and late evening) and 3.5 USD (2.9 GBP) at peak hours (in the morning and evening).
2. Single Day Travel Card – Also in the subway you can buy a Single day travel card – this is a travel card with an unlimited number of trips. Its cost also depends on the zone.
3. Shopping – There are no outlets near London, but in all the stores listed above there are big sales. Winter begins right after Christmas, and summer begins in mid-July.
If you are only interested in budget shopping, it doesn’t matter either. British brand Primark opens stores across the country. The choice of clothes for men, women and children is very, very large.
4. Cheap Meal – In London, you can find absolutely any restaurant, even for the most refined taste or for an almost empty wallet. You can visit anywhere, starting from spicy India, ending with Russia, if you have missed home. You might visit such budget places as Pret a Manger; Regency Cafe; Marks and Spencer Simply Food; Beck’s Cafe.
ON THE SCENE
London nightlife is called one of the most dynamic and diverse in the world. This applies to absolutely everything: clubs and live music, trendy bars and traditional pubs.
The main club locations in London – Soho and Leicester Square – are waiting for visitors throughout the week, but if you want to try something really cool and very fashionable, go away from the center, for example in Hoxton and Shoreditch in East London or Brixton and Clapham south of the city.
Here you will finally understand what a fantastic club life in London, its unusual pubs and bars, world-famous clubs and stunning night views.
An indispensable attribute of the nightlife in London – themed evenings, which are almost not reported in the press. Advertising is carried out through flyers, special cards, which indicate the name, date, and place. Flyers can be found in trendy record stores in Soho and Portobello, in The Garage club and shops on King’s Road, in branded grocery stores, in Camden Cafe (The Camden Rock Cafe. 7-8, Chalk Farm Rd , NW1 8AA. Camden Town metro. (Tel: 7284-0219), etc. Flyers not only contain the necessary information, but also give you the right to purchase an entrance ticket with a 30-50% discount. They are also distributed at the exit of the music clubs after 21.00 on the day of the performance.