WHAT TO EXPECT
Climate: We definitely recommend Summertime as that is our favorite. Do keep in mind that weather in the UK is quite unpredictable. Some days it can be warm and some days it can be chilly. And always carry an umbrella with you because you never know when it will drizzle. We also like to travel just before Christmas as it looks magical during that time of the year. If so, please make sure to take thermal wear and waterproof coats and jackets with you.
Credit: Almost every retailer accepts Mastercard and Visa while ATMs are a common site everywhere you go. Also, you can easily find money exchange outlets (Bureau de Change) everywhere in the city, town centers or certain retail outlets such as M&S.
1. Getting around
- The Tube: The London Underground is the best way to get around. It is easy to understand, convenient and relatively quick (except during rush hours). You could even use the Tube to get to and from the Airport (Piccadilly Line). Download the London underground Map onto your phone and you can easily navigate yourself around the city. Be sure to buy an Oyster Card that you can reload and use on both the Tube and the city buses. If not purchase day tickets (Zone wise) which allows unlimited travel throughout the particular day.
- Bus: Easiest way to do all your sight-seeing in London. Make sure to grab that Oyster card.
- The London Black Cabs: The most expensive mode of transportation in London. Great in case of an emergency or just to get that whole ‘Black Cab’ experience.
- Uber: The most convenient mode of transport. Not as expensive and can easily get from one place to another (avoid office traffic hours).
2. Where to stay
There is no universal “best neighborhood” in London as all its best attractions are spread out through the city. Some neighborhoods are more central and convenient than the other and this depends on your interests and budget.
The best thing to do is map out all the attractions/ places you want to visit during your stay and identify a neighborhood that is closer to a majority of the areas you want to visit. This way you can reduce your transportation costs.
Hotels in London are quite pricey and not as spacious you’d want them to be. Therefore, we particularly suggest you book through Airbnb as it is convenient and has something for everyone. We also recommend the following areas: Knightsbridge, Belgrave, Chelsea, and Kensington. These neighborhoods won’t disappoint you.
*Do check when you’re booking which floor the apartment or room is located. We absolutely loved our Airbnb apartment. Except we had to carry all our luggage up three flights of stairs which was bit of a hassle at the time.
3. Where to eat
Are you a fan of everything Pink? Then this is the place for you my friend! They have seven stores spread out in London so make sure to visit one that is closest to you. These guys dish up breakfasts, brunches, lunches, cake and coffee in nothing but a pink-hued paradise.
The Ivy Chelsea Garden
If you are a fan of pretty all-day Brasseries serving modern British menus, then this is the place for you. Our favorite thing about this place is that they have a massive killer floral display right at the entrance which changes every season. Ans we love the lively atmosphere.
Oblix @ the Shard
Located on the 32nd floor of the Shard, Oblix is a sophisticated and contemporary restaurant, split across two different spaces (West and the East) offering panoramic views of London. The food and service here was excellent. We loved everything about this place.
Dalloway Terrace is an elegant, poetic and quintessentially English space. Fully heated throughout the year, the restaurant offers the peace and charm of a secluded secret garden in the Winter and a light, elegant and beautiful al fresco space in the spring and summer months with jaw dropping backdrops.
Sky Pod Bar @ Sky Garden
Have you visited Europe’s highest public garden? Sky Pod Bar is an all-day drinking rooftop bar located inside Sky Garden, 37 floors up providing you with dramatic views of London during dusk. There are long queues to get to the top so make sure to put a reservation and be there at least 15 minutes before your allocated time slot.
Peggy Porschen Cakes
A chic bakery in Belgravia serving creative cupcakes, fancy cakes, pink lemonade, other sweet treats and champagne. One of our favorite cafés to visit during summertime.
The Ritz London
And for that ultimate Michelin-starred dining experience, The Ritz Restaurant is the place to be! Ritz restaurant is widely considered to be one of the most beautiful dining rooms in the world. The restaurant offers a world class fine dining experience which is one of a kind and something you shouldn’t miss if your budget permits.
Shangri-la @ the Shard (TING Restaurant)
Ting can be found on the 35th floor of The Shard, located just outside London Bridge station. This restaurant offers a British Menu with an Asian Twist and is open for Breakfast, Lunch, Afternoon Tea and Dinner. The views from up here are breathtakingly beautiful.
Duck and Rice
It is worth a visit to this stylish and sophisticated restaurant in Soho serving elevated Chinese dishes. The Duck and Rice serves game changing Dim Sum and an eponymous dish that attracts connoisseurs from around the world. Downstairs in the pub, traditional British ales sit alongside brewery-fresh Czech Pilsner and delicious cocktails. Upstairs, the dining room is luxurious and cosy, intimate but elegant, perfect for friends, families, lovers or colleagues.
Duck and Waffle
Have you dined at the highest 24-hour restaurant in London yet? 40 floors up, the Duck and Waffle offers unsurpassed and iconic views of the city of London. It is open for Breakfast, Brunch, Lunch and Dinner.
4. What to do
Here’s the most touristy places you need to visit in London if you’re a first timer.
- Buckingham Palace
- Westminster Abbey
- Big Ben
- Tower Bridge
- London Eye
- Prime Meridian, Royal Observatory Greenwich
- Tower of London
- Baker Street