Travelstay Tel: 0844 472 1800. Lines open 24x7
TravelStay logo
Make a Booking
Modify Booking
Group Bookings
Site Map
About Us
Contact Us

London Guide – London Essentials

Print this page

Where should I stay in London? How much will things cost in the capital? How do I get there?

Before you pack your bags and come to London, there are a few London essentials you should know.

When to visit London

The important things to know about when to visit London is that the summer months when the schools have broken up and around Christmas are when the city gets expensive.

One option is to visit during off-peak times such as January.

Otherwise, set your sights on a festival or event happening in the capital and come then, such as the Notting Hill Carnival in August, the BFI London Film Festival in October or the Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race in March.

London Guide – London Essentials London Guide – London Essentials London Guide – London Essentials London Guide – London Essentials

Travel to London

UK visitors can travel to London by train, which is one of the easiest and fastest ways of getting to the city.

It might be a good idea to buy a 16-25 railcard if you are aged under 26. They cost £26 a year, but travellers get one-third off the price of any national rail journey, which can lead to some significant savings.

For the truly shoe-string passenger, you can travel to London for £1 with National Express and some other providers.

Those that are flying into London will arrive in one of five airports: City airport, Stansted, Luton, Gatwick and Heathrow.

Meanwhile, French and Belgian visitors can hop on the Eurostar for as little as £69 return.

Arriving in London

National trains will always come directly into the capital, but arriving in London from the airports involves a little more work.

Heathrow passengers can hop onto the Underground straight away. In around one hour you can be right in the centre of London and on your way. What's more, a single ticket is less than £5.

Otherwise, the Heathrow Express will take you into Paddington Station.

Meanwhile, the Stansted Express arrives into Liverpool Street, while the Gatwick Express comes into Victoria Station.

Tickets on Express trains start at £15.20.

Luton airport operates a shuttle bus that takes travellers to the city's station where trains comes into St Pancras, Farringdon and Blackfriars.

City Airport is virtually in the capital itself and is right next to the Docklands Light Railway, which connects to the London Underground at Bank.

Coaches also operate from each airport for about £9 each way and come into Victoria Coach Station.

London Guide – London Essentials London Guide – London Essentials London Guide – London Essentials London Guide – London Essentials

London Airport Transfers

If you are coming in by train, the Underground will take you to one of the stations where an express train will travel on to the connecting airport.

However, National Express or easyBus operates coach services that make London airport transfers much simpler.

People connecting between Heathrow and Gatwick can catch one of around 100 coach services a day that travel direct between the two airports for about £20, while buses are also hourly between Heathrow and Stansted at a similar price.

Direct coaches between Stansted and Gatwick are more expensive at about £30 and take three hours as it travels via Heathrow.

Taking a bus is also the only way to get between Heathrow and Luton, but trains are available between Luton and Stansted.

Any London airport transfer to City airport requires a trip into the capital.

London transport

London transport is quick and easy once you know how.

A London transport map is the best way to equip yourself with the knowledge of getting around.

London Underground fares are £5.60 for an off-peak day travelcard, although if you are staying for more than a few days it is advisable to get an Oyster card and top it up with cash.

London bus routes are more complicated to decipher, so logging onto the Transport for London's Journey Planner or downloading an app to your iPhone would make it easier.

A single fare for the bus is £2 or £1.20 with an Oyster card.

There are plenty of river services, providing a unique way of getting around the capital and many of the services can be used with an Oyster card.

Where to stay in London

Popular budget travel accommodation spots are Camden, Shepherds Bush and Bayswater, but there are some great value hotels in Peckham, which is good if you're heading to a gig at the O2.

Where to stay in London for sightseeing can be more costly, but there will always be something of value, even around upmarket Kensington.

If you look out, you can grab hostel accommodation from as little as £7 a night.

London Guide – London Essentials London Guide – London Essentials London Guide – London Essentials London Guide – London Essentials

Things to do in London

There are so many things to do in London for free that you might not even have time to cover the stuff that involves money.

Most of the city's museums and galleries are open to the public and have no entry fee, while there are also fun activities such as walking along the Thames that require only a pair of feet.

Study in London

London has 40 universities and higher education colleges, so there is a huge student population in the capital. And to cater for people who study in London, there are thousands of free things to do.

Visit London's galleries and museums to expand your mind and see the paintings and artefacts printed in the textbooks. Or for a bit of downtime, head to free comedy and music gigs held across the capital every night of the week.

Work in London

There are some very important bits of paperwork to sort out before you decide to work in London, from getting a Visa and work permit to sorting out your UK income tax and national insurance, even if you just want to work in London for summer.

Employees, no matter where they are from, by law will be paid at least £5.80 an hour if they are over 22.

Moving to London

Moving to London alone can be particularly worrisome, but remember that there are thousands of other people doing exactly the same thing.

They could be the best people to talk to about getting a job in London if you want to work in a bar or pub, while more official requirements such as having travel insurance and a work permit can be discovered through official websites.

London prices

London is known for being one of the most expensive places in the world.

However, budget-savvy travellers can find cheap accommodation from as little as £6.99 at the Hyde Park Hostel in Bayswater.

There are plenty of cheap eats for less than £10 per head, while a beer will set you back around £3.50.

Expect to pay about £8 for the cinema and £5 entrance fee for a club during the week.

London Guide – London Essentials London Guide – London Essentials London Guide – London Essentials London Guide – London Essentials

London contacts

It is always worth finding the number for a doctor and local police station close to where you are staying, but the most important number to remember is 999, which will get you through to the emergency services.

For most contacts, a directory enquiry service such as 118 500 will put you through to any UK business.

Forward to a friend
Bookmark this page
Bookmark and Share
London Bed and Breakfast
Budget London Hotels
Cheap Hotels in London
Discount London Hotels
Inexpensive London Hotels
Cheap Hotels in London
Hotels in London
London Hotel Deals
London Hostels
Hotels in Heathrow
Hotels in Kings Cross
Hotels in Paddington
Hotels in Bayswater
Hotels in Earls Court
Hotels in Victoria
TravelStay Price Promise:
Find the same room for less and we will refund you the difference.
(Terms & Conditions apply)
Hoteliers: Click here for a free listing on TravelStay
  London Guide – London Essentials | English, DeutschEspañolFrançaisItalianoPolski
© London Guide – London Essentials -