top of page

How to Plan Your Trip to Visit London

Updated: Aug 16, 2023

Are you thinking or have you already started planning your first trip to London? I have got you covered! I share everything you need to know before visiting London in this article. Follow all my detailed steps, and you will know how to plan your trip to London and make the most of your holiday.

London is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe. It has been attracting visitors worldwide since ancient times, so why not book a holiday and plan your next trip to London?

things to do in London

There is such an abundance of things to do in London, like visiting some of the most famous museums in the world, galleries, parks, and gardens.

It is home to some of the world's most famous landmarks, such as Big Ben, Tower Bridge, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square, St Paul's Cathedral, and Piccadilly Circus.

camden town

In my "The Most Complete Guide of London", you will find all the articles you need to plan the perfect trip to London, while in this article, there are all the tips and answers to some of the most asked questions about this famous city.

Like always, I give you everything you need to plan the best vacation without looking further!

COVENT GARDEN, london, red phone cabin


When to Visit London?

planning a trip with maps

Dreaming of your next trip?

Have questions or feel overwhelmed? You’ve come to the right place.

I offer you ideas, inspiration, and practical advice on how to turn your next potential holiday into reality. Do you want free packing checklists, travel discounts, and travel itineraries?

Click the button below!

Everything You Need to Know Before Visit London


Travel Tips: As soon as you book your next adventure, buy good travel insurance in case you need to “unfortunately” delay, extend, or cancel your trip. I recommend VisitorsCoverage for short trips and SafetyWing for trips longer than a month.

*Disclosure: This article contains a few affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you I guarantee, if you purchase through my links. See it as a way to thank me and support my travel blog for all the information I provide.

If you like this article, feel free to leave a comment below and share it with your friends. Maybe someone you know is planning to visit London.

*All links in every article open on a new page, so you won’t lose this page while looking around!

time zone london, big ben

What is the Time Zone in London?

The United Kingdom is on Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) only during winter. The GMT zone has the same hour offset (GMT+0) as the Western European Standard Time Zone.

When Daylight Saving Time starts, the whole of the UK is on British Summer Time (BST), which is GMT+1.

These changes happen on the last Saturday of March and the last Saturday of October.

sterling united kingdom

What is the Currency in London?

The official currency of London is the sterling. Almost every shop and restaurant accept card payment, also market stalls, and street artists (even street artists).

Some places only accept card payments so you won't have any problems.

Always carry with you some cash, just in case. I always recommend getting a prepaid Revolut card for travel, it is easy to use, and you can change as much money as you want in the local currency at the best rate.

can I pay with dollars in London?

Can I pay in Dollars or Euros in London?

During your holiday in London and the rest of the United Kingdom, you can only pay with sterling (also called pounds).

My advice is to always travel with an excellent prepaid card like Revolut Card to exchange your money into the local currency (through the card app) and by doing this, save money to spend to enjoy this fabulous city.

Do I Need Any Vaccinations to Visit London?

You should ask your family doctor before traveling to the United Kingdom and ensure you receive all appropriate vaccinations.

Make sure you’re up to date on recommended vaccinations for your home country, and look at The Travel Vaccines and Advice here.

plug and voltage in the united kingdom, london

Which Voltage and Adaptors Are Used in London?

For the United Kingdom, the associated plug type is G, which is the plug that has three rectangular pins in a triangular pattern.

The United Kingdom operates on a 230V supply voltage and 50Hz. I recommend you buy a universal travel adaptor. You will need a voltage converter and plug adaptor to use other appliances.

When Should I Visit London?

This is one of the first questions you need to answer yourself. Let me tell you more about all the best times to visit London:

  • The Peak Season in London is from June to the beginning of September when the weather is nice, sunny and warm (even too hot, like today, the 18 of July, while I am writing this article, there are 38 degrees, and I hate it). During summertime, the city gets full of tourists, you have to queue for too long to enter every attraction, and prices are higher than the rest of the year.

  • December is a very crowded month, when London gets fully decorated with millions of lights and decorations. It is a marvelous experience to visit London during Christmas, but it can be freezing, extraordinarily crowded, and much more expensive, so keep that in mind. Also, don't forget that everything is closed on Christmas day, and neither is public transport working (because everybody deserves to celebrate with their family). I advise visiting London in November when all the decorations are already out, and the weather is warmer than in December.

  • From January to March, it can be rainy, windy and freezing even for two weeks in a row, so I highly recommend avoiding the winter months.

  • The best months to visit London, not only in my opinion, are April, May, the second half of September, October and November.

westminster palace

Want more about London?

Check out “The Ultimate Guide to London“ here and read all the articles I wrote about it.

How to move around london? use the tube and get anywhere fast

How to Move around London?

There are many ways to visit London and explore this beautiful city, let me tell you more about them...

westminster river walk

Can I Explore London By Foot?

I think walking is always the best option for visiting the city.

I advise you to get a map and divide all the areas of the city by the number of say you have to explore it so you will discover a new area every day.

I usually take public transport to get to that area (if far from my accommodation) and then walk around wisely, seeing all the places and museums I want to see.

This way, you won't need a daily or weekly travel card. Just pay as you go and save money.

london bus

Is It Easy to Move Around London by Bus?

Buses in London are very easy to use and efficient. Most of them have an upper deck where you can sit in the front and see the streets from a higher level.

This was my mom's favourite way to see buildings and take pictures. You can get everywhere by bus, so it is an option to go from your accommodation to the area you want to visit (if that area is not too far).

london bus upper deck

​How much does it cost to move around London by bus in 2022?

The Oyster Card (London transport card) costs itself £5. The cost is £1.65 for a journey of up to 1 hour, and you can change buses during that hour. The daily cap for tram and buses is £4.95.

One day bus & tram pass is £5.20, 7 day is £23.30, monthly is £89.50. You can get your Oyster Card in every tube Station or at an Off Licence shop.

At the end of your holiday, you can get a refund at any Tube Station of up to £10 and the £5 deposit for the card.

London underground

Is It Easy to Move Around London by Metro/Tube?

Moving around London by Tube (London Underground) is the faster way.

London's underground line is very vast, and it connects every area of the city, but at the same time, you won't see what is between them. You can travel around using the same Oyster card you use for the buses.

I suggest you take the Tube only if you have to be fast and go to a different area; otherwise, the bus is the most scenic option for tourists.

Travel Tip: Keep in mind that some tube stations look very far on the map but in reality, they can be as close as 5 minutes walk from each other, so always use City Mapper app when exploring the city.

london underground station

How Expensive is the London Underground in 2022?

The London Tube peak fare is from Monday to Friday (not on a public holiday) between 06.30 and 09.30 and between 16.00 and 19.00.

Off-peak fare is at all other times and when you travel from a station outside zone 1 to a station in zone 1 between 16.00 and 19.00, Monday to Friday.

london underground ticket machine

Prices of one-way fare tickets off-peak and peak in London from March 2022:

Zone 1: £2.40

Zone 1 & 2: £3.00 weekly £38.40

Zone 1 to 3: £2.80-£3.40 weekly £45.20

Zone 1 to 4: £2.90-£4.00 weekly £55.20

Zone 1 to 5: £3.20-£4.80 weekly £65.70

Zone 1 to 6: £3.30-£5.30 weekly £70.30

Zone 2 to 6: £3.30-£5.30

You don't need to purchase a weekly pass for all London areas. All of the main attractions are in zone 1 and 2.

london underground map

Tip to save money in London: if you stay a week in London and want to save money on accommodation, you can book one in zone 3, and purchase a weekly tube ticket for only zone 1 and 2. Just catch a bus from your accommodation to reach the closest station in zone 2 and pay only the tube for zone 1-2. The bus journey for every London zone is included in the price.

London transport oyster card
Never forget to touch in and out, to avoid paying extra

London Oyster Card (to purchase at the train station office or tickets machine) can be used on underground, overground, national rail trains in London, buses in any zone, trams (south London), docklands light railway (DLR).

The London Travel Card is a good option if you come to London for only a few days and want to get discounts on attractions (2 for 1 ticket). With London Travel Card, you also have a 33% discount on the Thames Riverboats and a 25% discount on the Emirate Airline cable car.

wimbledon tennis court

The minimum area is 1-4 because Wembley Stadium and Wimbledon are in zone 4.

The cost per 1 day is £14.40 zone 1-4 and £20.30 zone 1-6, including Heathrow and London City airports and gives you a 2 for 1 discount on many London attractions.

The London Travel Card is a good option only if you want to see many attractions. Otherwise, it is too expensive. Keep in mind that most of the best museums in London are free.

baker street tube station london

I suggest you get an Oyster card at any ticket office/machine inside any tube station (£5 deposit) as soon as you get to London instead of a travel card because 1-week zone 1-2 is £38.40. I suggest you get accommodation in zone 1-2 to save time and money.

Or you can get accommodation in zone 3, get the bus to reach a zone 2 tube station and pay only areas 1-2. (when you pay for a 1-week tube zone 1-2, buses are included for every London zone).

Don't forget you can also pay for your travels with your debit and credit card on any bus and train, and the fare will be the same as you would pay with an Oyster Card.

Do you need some Travel Tips?

How do you pack for your next travel and budget for a couple's trip?

Check out my Travel Tips section, where you will find all the help, tips and tricks to plan your next adventure in the most organized way!

how to reach London from each airport

How to get to central London from any London Airport

How to reach London from Heathrow Airport?

By Train:

Heathrow Express to Paddington Station £22 in 19 minutes.

By Piccadilly tube line. It depends on where you have to go (from the airport to zone one costs £3.50-5.50 off-peak/peak time). and you reach central London in one hour.

By Elizabeth Line to reach central London in 40 minutes. The train leaves 6 times per hour, and takes you from Heathrow Airport to central London Zone 1 for only £12.80. You can pay for it by Oyster Card or debit/credit card at the Tube Gates entrance.

By Coach:

You can purchase a bus ticket, but I highly recommend you catch the Tube. It is faster and very cheap.

By Taxi:

Moving by taxi is another excellent option that I usually use. If you don't want to carry your heavy luggage between Tube lines and then walk a lot looking for your accommodation, the best way to start and finish your holiday in London is to hire a Taxi.

Please look at my favorite private transfer website Holiday Taxis and Kiwitaxi, to find the best deal for your transfer.

Travel Tip: Don't worry about getting to the tube or train station when at Heathrow Airport. It is a bustling airport so you will only have to follow the directions signs, you can't get lost.

london gatwick airport

London Gatwick Airport

By Train:

The Gatwick Express is a direct train service that connects Gatwick airport's south terminal to central London Victoria station from 5 am to 12.30 am.

It runs every 15 minutes, and the journey time is 30 minutes. The cost is £17.80. Book your one-way ticket in advance.

Southern train service is available four times an hour direction Victoria Station via East Croydon and Clapham Junction and takes you there in only 35 minutes.

Just follow the directions sign to the train station. You can pay for your journey with your credit/debit card or pay as you go Oyster Card at the gates. Just tap in and out at the yellow sign.

The cost goes between £8 and £14 depending on if it's peak or off-peak.

​By Coach:

Reaching London from Gatwick Airport by bus is the cheapest way to get to the city centre, it runs 24/7 and can cost as little as £3 if booked in advance.

Use the Widget below to find the best bus deal to reach London!

By Taxi:

Hire a taxi is another excellent option that I usually use.

If you don't want to carry your heavy luggage between Tube lines and then walk looking for your accommodation, booking a transfer is the best way to start and finish your holiday in London.

Please look at my favorite private transfer website Holiday Taxis to find the best deal for your transfer.

how to reach London from stansted airport

London Stansted Airport

By Train:

The Stansted Express connects the airport to Liverpool Street station, a one-way ticket costs £19.40, return ticket cost £30.70. You can purchase your ticket on the train platform at the airport. ​

By Coach:

You can get a very cheap coach ticket, between £3 and £10.

It depends on how in advance you book it, the day and the time of the day.

Coaches take you to different parts of London, so it depends on where your accommodation is.

By Taxi:

Hire a taxi is another excellent option that I usually use.

If you don't want to carry your heavy luggage between Tube lines and then walk looking for your accommodation, the best way to start and finish your holiday in London is to hire a Taxi.

My favorite private transfer website Holiday Taxis and Kiwitaxi, to find the best deal for your transfer.

how to reach London from Luton airport

London Luton Airport

By Train:

The faster way to get to the city center is by train. Just get out of the airport to the Shuttle Bus stop that will take you to Luton train station for only £ 2.40 one way or £3.80 for a standard open return ticket. The shuttle bus will take you to the Luton Airport Parkway station in 10 minutes.

You can get a train to London by paying by credit/debit card or buying a train ticket at the ticket machines. The costs will vary from where you have to go.​

Always use the City Mapper app to plan your journey in London (it's free).

By Coach:

You can get a cheap coach ticket, between £3 and £10. It depends on how in advance you book it, the day, and the time of the day.

Coaches will take you to different parts of London, so it depends on where your accommodation is.

By Taxi:

If you don't want to carry your heavy luggage between Tube lines and then walk looking for your accommodation, the best way to start and finish your holiday in London is to hire a Taxi.

Look at my favorite private transfer website Holiday Taxis and Kiwitaxi, and find the best deal for your transfer.

how to reach London from London city airport

London City Airport

London City Airport is well connected to the city centre by the DLR (Docklands Light Railway) which takes you to the Tube interchange in the city centre. The costs are the same as the London underground because it is part of it.

You can book a coach ticket, but I highly advise using the DLR to get to the city centre and then move by Tube.

By Taxi:

Hire a taxi is another excellent option that I usually use.

If you don't want to carry your heavy luggage between Tube lines and then walk looking for your accommodation, the best way to start and finish your holiday in London is to hire a Taxi.

Look at my favorite private transfer website Holiday Taxis and Kiwitaxi, and find the best deal for your transfer.

water fountain in London

Are tap water and food safe in London?

It’s safe to drink water in London from taps and drinking fountains that you will find, especially in squares and parks (there are unique fountains with filtered water). Check the fountains available on this map.

I always carry a reusable bottle so I can fill it up anytime I have the chance.

how is the food in London?

London has so many different cuisines to offer from all over the world, not only English food, that you can eat food from a foreign country every day.

This is honestly one of the things I love about living in London. Since I have been here, I have tried many different cuisines that are otherwise impossible to find in my hometown.

try some english food while in London

While in London, I highly recommend you try some local English food, trust me, English food is delicious and is much more than just fish and chips, as many foreigners mistakenly think.

Disclaimer: This article contains some general information about natural remedies. Before using any of the items featured here, it is strongly recommended that you consult a medical practitioner to check that it is appropriate to do so. This is particularly important if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, have an existing medical condition and/or are taking prescription drugs.

natural remedies to take with you when traveling

That's why I always carry with me some Natures Aid DigestEeze Milk Thistle, just in case I overeat because, as my mom always says, "I eat with my eyes and not with my mouth".

Unfortunately, bad luck happens everywhere, sometimes is not the food but just our stomach that needs to get used to the new cuisine (and let's be honest, we all eat and drink more than usual when on holiday) take some of these natural remedies with you in case you have stomach upset or food poisoning.

natural remedies

My favorite Natural remedies for stomach upset or food poisoning:

  • Milk Thistle: is a traditional herbal medicinal product used to relieve the symptoms associated with occasional over-indulgence in food and drink, such as indigestion and upset stomach. Milk Thistle is an excellent natural remedy always to have when traveling.

Ask your doctor if you can take them if they are unsuitable for you.

  • Charcoal capsules: recent studies prove that charcoal can be a good help if you eat something that is not good and can prevent diarrhea. I never travel without my True Veda activated charcoal food supplement to ensure I enjoy my holiday and all the food I wish to eat.

  • Probiotics: These are an excellent help while having food poisoning. Take as soon as you start to have symptoms and after, for at least a few days. My doctor advises me to start taking them some days before my travel, as a prevention, in case I visit a country where water and food can be easily contaminated.

english breakfast

How is Eating and Drinking Out in London?

In London, you will find a wide variety of food, from meat and fish to many vegan options.

You won't find only the delicious and typical fish and chips and meat pie so famous abroad (like most people think). Some pubs serve more than that and burgers.

You can find restaurants with every kind of cuisine in London.

food prices in London

Prices may vary from bar to Restaurant, but these are the approximate prices for the most common foods and drinks in London:

In Supermarket

Bottle 1.5 L water: around 0.50 - 0.70 pounds

Beer 0.33 L: around 1.80 pounds

Bottle of Wine: 5-20 pounds

At a Pub/Coffee shop:

Coffee-latte: approximately 3 pounds

A glass of 0.5 L Beer: approximately 3.50-4.00 pounds

A bottle of wine: 15-30 pound

Coke in a Can: Around 1.10-2.00 pounds

A glass of Wine: Around 3.50-6.00 pounds

Restaurant on a budget per person: Around 15 pounds

Restaurant medium-range per person: Around 30-50 pounds

Fine dining Restaurant per person: From 80 pounds

Want more?

More Destinations Travel Guides and more Travel Tips are added regularly, so hit the subscribe button to:

  • be constantly updated about new articles (only once a week, I promise)

  • receive travel discounts

  • get free itineraries

  • all the packing checklists you need

what is the tipping guide in London?

What is the Tipping Guide in London?

In the United Kingdom restaurants, a gratuity of 12.5% is often added to the bill.

So check that you're not already paying the tip before adding more to your payment. If not, a 10-15% tip is encouraged, mostly in tourist places.

The tip should reflect the customer service you received, so it is up to you to decide how much to give.

Bichester village outlet, michael kors shop London
Bichester Village Outlet, where you can find Michael Kors bags for less than 100 pounds.

Is It Expensive to Visit London?

London is a very famous city. If you want to save some money, I advise you to avoid it from June to August when it's hot and crowded, and therefore more expensive.

If you plan to shop, you will love all the outlets in the city and only one hour's drive from it.

Are flights to London expensive?

Are Flights to London expensive?

Flights to London can be very cheap from October to April. Once I went from my city Trieste to London Stansted, a return ticket cost me 60 £.

So look at my favorite flights' website, Skyscanner, a travel search engine that allows users to compare airline prices and offers, specializing in low-cost airfare.

are accommodations expensive in London?

Are Accommodations expensive in London?

In London, you can find accommodations for every budget. It depends on when and where you are planning to go.

The websites I love the most to find amazing deals are and Agoda.

I usually check all of them simultaneously to find the best deal that suits my needs.

London souvenirs

Shopping and Souvenirs in London

The options are limitless in London, from clothes, shoes, and high street brands clothes are all there waiting for you to take them home and create your following season outfits.

London offers many choices of souvenirs if you like to gift food.

From the famous English Breakfast tea, unique Gin like plum and vanilla or ginger and rhubarb, the extraordinary Whiskeys to the delicious London beers, to name some of the most appreciated drinks.

For people like me, who love to try every local food, you will find tasty cheese like cheddar or blue stilton, shortbread cookies to combine with homemade jam or lemon curd (my favorite), and other delicious sweets you can find in every supermarket.

There are also many souvenirs with the United Kingdom flag or Royal Porcelain printed on the family picture.

the roof garden
London Sky Garden

Is London safe for a solo woman traveler?

London is pretty safe during the day, with tourists and locals around the streets. The only thing you will have to worry about are pickpockets that, unfortunately, can be present in every tourist area.

So I advise having with you an antitheft purse or an antitheft backpack. Prudence is never enough when you are far from home, even in the safest place in the world.​

london thames at night. is london safe at night?

Overnight I advise a solo woman traveler to keep your eyes open wherever you are because bad things can happen anywhere, anytime, to anybody, so please safety first.

If you are staying outside the city center and must return to your accommodation late in the evening, the best thing to do is get a Cab instead of walking alone.

Travel Tip: During my solo travels, I always contacted locals through travellers' Facebook groups and I have been lucky to meet people that took me around and show me their city so I was feeling pretty safe being out late in the evening because I wasn't alone.

I travelled alone around south England for 1-month backpacking and I really loved it. I met amazing English people, that welcome me into their homes and make me feel at home.

More Destinations Travel Guides and more Travel Tips are added regularly, so hit the subscribe button at the end of this article to be always updated about new articles.

duty free allowance united kingdom

What is the Duty-Free Allowance to the United Kingdom?

If you are going to the Uk from outside the EU, you're allowed to bring a certain amount of goods, such as alcohol, tobacco, perfume, and souvenirs for your use or as gifts.

Your personal allowance includes up to 1 litre of spirits, 200 cigarettes and up to £390-worth of other goods and you are not allowed to import any kind of meat and dairy.

Want more about London?

Check out “The Ultimate Guide of London“ here and read all the articles I wrote about it.

how to rent a car to visit England?

Where to book transports to Visit the United Kingdom

When I plan a trip, I always like having a well-planned trip.

I am not talking about planning where to be at what time of the day, because when travelling, it is nice to be spontaneous but not too much if you know what I mean.

I like to book everything in advance like accommodation, flight, airport shuttle, and train tickets because I have learnt during my travels that the sooner, the better.

book all the attractions to see in London

I save a lot of money and time by booking everything in advance.

So here are some links that will help you to plan at least the essentials:

Hotels in London: The websites that I love the most to find amazing deals are and Agoda.

Flights to London: I always start my research on Skyscanner because it shows every company available, which saves me much time.

national express bus coach england london stansted airport

By Bus:

Buses are cheaper than trains for sure but not so fast. It all depends on how much time you have and your budget.

Sometimes if there is not a train, there is a bus. So if you want to buy some tickets, I advise you to do it on Omio, where you can also purchase train and flight tickets.

southeastern train from London to Canterbury
On the way to Canterbury

By Train:

The websites to buy train tickets in the Uk are Omio and Rail Europe, where you can check all the trains available and book your tickets in advance. I always use them when travelling and they are great websites.

By Taxi:

KiwiTaxi: This website lets you book a private driver from the airport to your hotel and vice versa.

Rent a Car:

If you like driving like me and want to visit the area outside London, you can always rent a car, and in this case, I always have a look at my favourite rental car websites and see where I find the best deals.

Have a look at them here:

DiscoverCars: Discover is one of the best websites for rental cars. It allows you to compare many different companies and choose from many different cars.

Rentalcars: is an international car rental booking service that is present all over the world.

where to book activities and tours in London?

Where Can I Book Tours and Activities in London?

If you want to check what attractions or museum tickets to buy to visit London, check my article "The Most Complete Guide to London" where you can find all the articles about the places you cannot miss to see with all the information you need to know about them.

book museums ticket and activities in London

The article you need to read about exploring London by booking a tour or experience is my 23 best tours to explore London; check it out!

For museums or other activities, I always check two different websites.

The first is Tiqets where you can buy every kind of ticket in advance and the second is Viator, where I usually book other activities.

leeds castle
Leeds Castle in Kent

​If you are looking for a guided tour or a day trip outside London to explore what this great area offers, check out GetYourGuide, where plenty of incredible tours are available for every budget.

Do you want to see everything London has to offer and save money at the same time?

is easy to find free wifi in London?

Is easy to find wifi in London?

You won't have any problems finding wifi there. It is available and pretty fast in all hotels and most restaurants or bars. It is also available on Trains, Coaches and at Tube Stations.

Did you enjoy my article?

I have plenty like this one about visiting London.

Feel free to leave a comment below and share this article with your friends, maybe someone you know is planning to visit London.

Also, don't forget to subscribe to my weekly newsletter to be updated with new Travel Destinations, Discounts, Giveaways and Travel Tips.