London for beginners

London is the capital of England and at the same time the financial center of Europe. Think of the Big Ben, the Tower Bridge, the English royal family and of course the unmistakable red double-deckers. Walk between beautiful old buildings, impressive museums and beautiful parks. For a successful city trip, there are some unmissable sights in a row.

London


To travel

To and from London

There are many possibilities to travel to and from London. The choice of which means of transport is highly dependent on each person and per budget. Traveling by plane is the fastest way and perhaps the easiest way to get to London. London has four airports, with London City and Heathrow being the closest airports to the center. Other airports (Gatwick and Luton) are a little further from the center. Then take into account an extra travel time of about 30 to 45 minutes compared to London City and Heathrow.

Airports in and around London

Legend
a. Heathrow
B. Luton airport
C.. London city airport
D. Gatwick airport

Another option to travel to London is by boat. The Stenaline (ferry) will take you to central London for as little as 45 euros per person. For about the same amount, a train goes from the Netherlands or Belgium to London. From every station in the Netherlands you must first travel to the Brussels South station. Once arrived, the Eurostar awaits, connecting the Brussels South Station with the center of London.

In London itself

The Oystercard is by far the easiest and cheapest way to travel around London by public transport for a few days. This card can be collected from any station after paying a £ 5 deposit. This amount is refundable when, for example, the card is returned on departure. Please note that there is less than 5 pounds on the card, because then everything can be recovered directly in contacts. A standard amount is collected from the Oyster card per trip, but with a maximum amount per day - the so-called pricecap. Prices vary per year and sometimes per month.
The second option is a travel card, this is a paper card that allows unlimited travel throughout London throughout the day. The price is exactly the same as the pricecap of an Oystercard. The disadvantage of the travel card is that the entire amount must be paid in one go, even if it is only used once or twice.
Individual tickets are of course also for sale, but this is many times more expensive than an oyster card or a travel card. This is therefore not recommended.

Hotels

In London there are enough hotels and hostels in every price category. Look especially at comparison sites such as Booking.com or Expedia.nl to find a good deal. The further outside the center, the cheaper the hotel. However, the travel time to the center - on average about 30 to 40 minutes - does increase. So keep this in mind. In neighborhoods such as Marylebone and Bayswater there are reasonably affordable hotels not far from the center.

Sights

There are a lot must sees in London. Below the most important ones that should certainly not be missed in a row.
Tower bridge.
It was originally a palace, but is known for its prison. Among other things, the crown jewels can be admired here.
London Eye. The famous Ferris wheel for a beautiful view of the city. Be sure to check out, however, tickets are quite pricey and the queues are long. For a better (and free!) View, take the metro to Primrose Hill. This eighty meter high hill is just north of Regent's Park and can be easily reached by metro (Camden Town stop).
Westminster Abbey and Big Ben.
The most famous church tower of London.
Buckingham Palace.
The Royal Palace where the flag hangs when the Queen is home.
Harrods / Selfridges.
The nicest department stores in London to marvel at the nicest things.

Take a walk along the Thames

Enjoy the water in combination with all the beautiful views that London has to offer.
Hyde Park.
To escape from busy London and relax in the sun with a snack and a drink.
Furthermore, don't forget to take a bus once in a while or walk through the city instead of taking the metro. Tip: bus line 24 goes through the center and in no time runs past sights such as Trafalgar Square and Big Ben. Cheaper than such a hop-on-hop-off bus.

Food and drink

Great restaurants and bars can be found in every price category in London. Here are some tips:
  • Princi, 135 Wardour St. Italian restaurant, run by Italians. For a delicious tiramisu and a lasangne ​​this is the right place. It is often busy and reservations are not an option, so be on time. If this doesn't work, don't worry: stepping in at night for a delicious cake and cappuccino is also recommended.
  • Wahaca, 80 Wardour St. A Mexican restaurant diagonally opposite Princi. Here too it is sometimes a case of waiting, but downstairs there is a bar where you can wait until a place is available. Recommended: the tapas.
  • Sophie's steakhouse, 29-31 Wellington St, Covent Garden. Divine steaks that are not too expensive.
  • Pizza express. A chain, although the pizzas are excellent.
  • Comptoir Libanais 65 Wigmore St, London. A Lebanese lunchroom right next to Oxford Street. Now also to be found at Gatwick airport. Recommended: the chicken wraps with salad.
  • Dirty Martini, Covent Garden. A chain in which they serve delicious cocktails.

Anyway, Soho (area between Shaftesbury avenue, Regent street, Oxford street and Charing cross road) is very nice to eat / drink.

Markets

London has a lot of interesting and crowded markets. The most famous and perhaps the most striking Camden. This market is held from Thursday to Sunday. Unfortunately it has become very touristy and therefore busy. Here are three alternatives:

Spitalfields / Brick Lane

Only open on Sundays. There are many, many vintage stores with clothing and accessories. This is also the right place to eat. Towards Brick Lane there is a huge covered hall with street food where food is prepared immediately. Chinese, Italian, Moroccan and you name it. For the best curry this is also the place to be. Every Sunday morning the market is open from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Metro: Aldgate East, Liverpool Street or Shoreditch.

Portobello Road Market

This market is located in the middle of fashionable Notting Hill. Vintage clothing, organic food, antiques and accessories are mainly found here. There is also a fruit and vegetable market. This market is open on Friday and Sunday. Metro: Ladbroke Grove.

Covent garden market

It used to be a fruit and vegetable market, but now there are mainly jewelry and antiques. The market is open every day. Metro: Covent Garden. There is often a huge queue for the elevator. Take a few minutes to do this and save yourself the 193-step steps.

Video: The Beginners Guide To London TRAVEL (February 2020).

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