The Top Tips For Visiting London as a First-Time Tourist

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There is a first time for everything and everyone. While many have visited the UK capital countless times, for those taking their first steps into the ‘big smoke,’ it can be daunting. It is, after all, a truly massive city. It also has an exceptionally eclectic atmosphere that is broken up by several distinct London boroughs. In that respect, it’s a lot like New York, only significantly wider and more complex. As such, what are the top tips for visiting London?

So, here we’re focusing not on the hidden gems and the well-worn travellers, but the first-timers who might need a little helping hand to navigate the city. So, grab a tube pass, don a beefeater hat (actually, please don’t) and follow us as we take your hand on the ultimate first-timers guide to London. These are our top tips for visiting London.

Stay Central

London’s transport is split into zones, with the central areas as Zone 1. These are the most expensive areas to stay and travel. They are also the areas where you’ll find the vast majority of the things you want to do on your first visit. Stay in central London and you’ll save a small fortune in transport costs and should be able t get all of the ‘big things’ done in just a few long days.

Avoid Holidays

Visiting London during school holidays is an absolute circus. If you can, avoid the centre of the city on popular holidays. This includes Christmas and definitely bank holidays!

Book in Advance

One thing you’ll get a custom to seeing in the centre of London is queues. There’s an old stereotype that “the Brits love to queue.” While it might not technically be true, you can see why it exists. To avoid the queues, book all of the big days out in advance. In doing so, you might also be able to grab a discount. This includes Madame Tussaud’s, the London Eye and the Tower of London. 

See a Last-Minute Show

Next up on this list of top tips for visiting London is to see a show. As with New York, the TKTS booth is your best bet for scoring last-minute cheap theatre tickets. You’ll find it in Leicester Square and you will be happy with the deals you’ll get.

End in the Fringes

Lastly on this list of top tips for visiting London is to see go beyond the city limits. Whilst you should certainly spend a good three or four days in the centre taking in the major sights like The Tower of London, The West End and the major shopping districts, schedule a day or two in one of the city’s less busy boroughs to destress before heading home. Trains from London Bridge to Greenwich is surprisingly affordable and the area is full of more relaxed experiences like the Royal Observatory, the National Maritime Museum and the famous O2.

Take the Tube

Finally, if you have to travel then please do take the London Underground. It’s remarkably simple to get to grips with and as long as you have a contactless bank card. You can travel as much as you like without once having to buy a ticket!

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