London is one of the most famous cities in the world and a major haven for tourists.

London received over 19 million international visitors in 2016, making it the second most visited city in the world according to the 2016 Mastercard Destination Cities index. London offers unique attractions and is one of the most accessible cities in Europe which makes it a destination of choice for people from all over the world. We will outline information that will assist you in planning your London trip and highlight some of the most popular things to do to make the most of your visit to The Big Smoke.

Planning the trip

Before hopping on the plane and jetting off to London, there are some things that you should do to ensure that your trip is seamless and stress-free. Find out whether you will need a visa or if your passport will suffice to get you into the country. If you are a US citizen, all you need is your passport. Also, if you are from any member state of the European Union, or Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland, as well as Canada and most of South America, your passport will get you into England. Please also ensure that your passport is up to date and will not expire until at least six months after the conclusion of your trip.

We recommend that you purchase pound sterling, which is the currency in Great Britain. Credit cards are of course widely accepted, note however that most terminals now only accept cards with chip. It’s a good idea to also notify your bank about your trip to avoid having your transactions declined.

Getting there – How to fly from the US to London for cheap

As a savvy traveller, you would want to get the best value for all aspects of your trip including flights. Most airlines offer exceptional deals from time to time, so to get the best value it’s smart to use a website such as or which will give you a comparison of the best available flight deals from different airlines. These and similar services, like Google Flights or Momondo, often give you the option of saving your search to get notified when the price drops. This will save you time and reduce some of the stress around planning a trip.

You should also be mindful that flights to England are most expensive during the peak season (March – September and December). We recommend that you book at least two months in advance to secure the best flight deals if you are planning to travel during the high season. If you’re comfortable planning far ahead, grab that incredible flight deal six months in advance, it is unlikely that the price will get any cheaper during high season.

Where to Stay in London

London is a cosmopolitan city that provides variety regarding accommodation. There are low-cost hotels and more luxurious options available. If you are seeking a budget hotel for less than 150 pounds per night, some that you can consider includes:

If you are interested in hotels that are a little more higher end, you can surely find options in London, some that we recommend include:

Airbnb is a great resource to assist you in finding lodging at an economical cost, you will find several accommodation options and you can choose the best fit for you. With Airbnb, you can rent anything from a room in someone’s house, to a whole apartment or house. It’s possible to stay with a local family which generally means a more authentic cultural experience than a traditional hotel would give you. If you are interested in learning the British culture on a local level, Airbnb would be the perfect place to find and book your accommodation.

Transportation around London

Getting around London is largely a seamless experience, due to the highly developed and efficient transportation system present in the great city. There are taxis in abundance, buses, underground tubes and trains. The city is filled with the famous London Black cabs which will take you to any part of the city that you desire, the drivers are very warm and friendly and will gladly share details about their city that might help you to have a better experience. London has a network of buses covering the whole city with service 24/7. Travelling by bus is an affordable way of getting around the city; payment, however, is not accepted by cash and you are required to purchase a visitor’s Oyster card, which can be done at the airport when you arrive in London.

London also offers a world-class underground train service or tube service, covering the entirety of the city; there are eleven lines across the city for you to choose from. Fares for using the tube service are very affordable, and if you have an Oyster card, you pay even less. There is also an above ground train service available in London; these trains cover wider networks extending outside of the city and are also connected to the underground tube network. For details on routes and fares, please see link

Best time of year to visit London

London is busiest during the months of March to mid-September when the weather is warmer. December is also a peak travel period due to the holiday season. We recommend travelling in the summer months to get the best London experience since many exciting experiences such as music and food festivals and the iconic changing of the guard event are only done in the summer. However, if you are more interested in winter activities, you surely will have a great time in London at Yule tide, there are skating rinks and many captivating and exciting Christmas Markets in the city. If you are just seeking the least expensive time to travel to London and don’t mind the weather, then October to early December, and early in the new year would be the time to take your trip!

Exploring London – main attractions

London has so many attractions that it would be impossible to experience them all in a single trip. There are, however, some trip defining experiences that should not be missed, some of these include:

  • Buckingham Palace
  • Big Ben
  • The Parliament Building
  • Trafalgar Square
  • The London Eye
  • The Tower Bridge
  • The Shard
  • The Towers of London

Your time in London would not be complete without a visit to a few of these iconic and uniquely British locations!

Another feature of London is the number of museums in the city. They provide a treasure trove of information about different aspects of British culture and history, and you would gain a greater appreciation for British culture by visiting:

  • The Natural History Museum,
  • The Tate Modern,
  • Museum of London,
  • Imperial War Museum,
  • The National Maritime Museum and
  • The National Army Museum.

Shopping in London

Also, London is one of the best places to shop and as such several exciting shopping areas are available in the city. We recommend the following:

  • Oxford Street
  • Regent and Jermyn Street
  • Bond Street and Mayfair
  • Westfield and Carnaby Street

Oxford street includes more than 300 shops including well-known department stores such as Debenhams and John Lewis and chain stores such as Primark. By and large the Oxford Road shopping experience is one of the best in the city due to the variety that is available there.

Regent street and Jermyn street include some of London’s best mid-range fashion stores, Jermyn Street is the place to go for men’s wear. In Regent and Jermyn streets you’ll find some of London’s most famous and oldest shopping centers.

Bond Street and Mayfair offer some of the best luxury shopping in the city and this is the perfect place to shop if you are looking for high-end fashion. Stores such as Tiffany and Co, Louis Vuitton and Burberry are all present on this street.

Carnaby Street is another area that caters to the fashion savvy person, it is regarded as the birthplace of the fashion revolution of the 1960s and includes several fashion stores.

Unusual Attractions in London

If you have seen all the traditional attractions of the city and is searching for something different and unique, here are some other things that might appeal to you:

  • Clowns Gallery Museum
  • Gir Lion Lodge at London Zoo
  • Deptford Creek Low Tide Walk
  • Moo Canoes

The Clowns Gallery Museum is opened on the first Friday of each month and displays images of some of the most famous clowns in Britain, this museum is particularly appealing to families with young children but is available to everyone.

Gir Lion Lodge at the London Zoo tries to create a Jungle experience for the adventurous person by providing individuals with the opportunity to literally sleep next to lions. This experience is very popular with millennials.

Deptford Creek Low Tide Walk is a great option for nature lovers in the bustling city, it is the last remaining natural creek in London and includes over 120 species of wildflowers and several species of birds and butterflies.

Moo Canoes is a kayak experience down the River Thames in small canoes decorated in black and white cow prints. This activity is very popular in the summer months and provides you with an opportunity to see the London from the vantage point of the Thames River.

London should be on everybody’s bucket list, it’s such a diverse city appealing to all kind of travelers, with activities to suit any visitor.