If you’re coming to London for the first time, I have 10 important tips you should know before you come. Save yourself a little bit of embarrassment and make your trip to London to easier. Here I have described top 10 travel element tips you should know before you come.
1. Cars drive on the left
Number one the bits drive on the left side of the road. Now if you’re not driving this may seem not like a big deal. But actually when you’re crossing the street that’s when it’s scariest.
Luckily the smartest in London put marking on the ground at every single crossing. Telling you literally if you should look left or look right. So make sure when you’re going to cross the street you look down to see which way you should look.
2. Learn how to say
There are some names and words not pronounced as they’re spelled. So these are the ones you should know. Number 1 the most popular place for tourist to visit in London is LEICE-STER SQUARE (not like lesster). There’s also gren-itch (not like grenitch) which is a popular area for people to visit. It’s called wes-min-ster-abbey, not West-minister. It looks like its buck-ing-hum but its buckingEM. And that lovely brown river that runs through the London is called “Temz” not “Thames”.
3. Order draft beers/cider by the pints
If you decided to go to the pub and order yourself a beer or a cider, which I definitely I recommend you do. You’ll need to order by the pint. This is what pint glass look is like. It’s about 20oz of drink. If you order a drink from the tap, they’re going to ask you “do you want a pint or a half pint?”
A half pint is obviously half the size of a pint. Remember that a lot of English beers and ciders are stronger than beer in America. So just be careful when you’re drinking.
4. Check the bill for a service charge
When you go to a restaurant in London when you get the bill double check to see if there was a service charge added on. Usually, this is around 12.5%. If there a service charge added don’t worry about tipping on top of that. If there’s no service charge then tip between 10 and 15 %. The service charge isn’t mandatory but you would only not pay if your service was really bad.
5. Use the city mapper app to get around
Use the city mapper to get yourself around London. This app is amazing. It’s what I think every local Londoner uses. It’s better than google maps because it gives you a million different options of which you can go, there’s even a rain safe option. So the option that means you’ll be out of the rain as much as possible.
Which is great when you’re in London because it rains all the time. So if you’re trying to get from A to point B and you’ve some Wi-Fi or 3G. Use city mapper, it will tell you all the routes to get there. It’ll even tell you how much it’s going to cost you. And it saves the direction offline. So if your phone doesn’t work once you head out. You’ll have saved it in your phone.
6. The currency used is pounds (GBP)
England uses the pound as its currency. 100 pence or 100”p” makes up 1 pound. And if you ever hear someone saying “quid” is just a slang word for pound. So if they said it’s 100 quid, it’s 100 pounds. The smallest note you can get it for 5 pounds. There is no 1 pounds note here and coins come in 2 pounds, 1pound, 5op, 20p, 10p, 5p, 2p, and 1p.
7. Get an Oyster Card
To get around London you should get an Oyster card. There are 2 kinds of Oyster cards you can get. One is called a visitor’s Oyster card. You can only get this if you order it ahead of time and get it delivered to your house or you can get a regular Oyster card which you can pick up at tons of shops around London. To use either of these Oyster cards you need to top them up which means you add credit to the card. As you start to use the underground and the bus system, your credit will decrease and you’ll have to top it up more and more.
If you’re going to be traveling a lot having an Oyster card is really good. Because rates are a lot cheaper than if you paid cash and they have a daily cap which means once you’ve reached a certain amount of money that you’ve spent, that’s it and the rest of your travel is free or the day. On the visitor Oyster card it 6.40 pounds and on regular Oyster card, it kind of varies it’s around 7 pounds. So, the only thing is if you’re going to be in London for a week, traveling a lot mind you mind find that it’s actually cheaper. To get a 7 days travel card, which you can put right onto your Oyster card.
8. Take the double-decker bus
Take the bus when you can, those classic English double-decker buses are really fun to ride around. If you can grab a seat on the top and especially in the front of the bus it’s really cool, and you’ii get to see London from a whole new angle and it only cost you 1.50 pounds.
To get on a bus all you have to do is tap your Oyster card at the front of the bus and that’s it. you don’t have to tap out. If you want to take a bus your city mapper app and see what the best route is and where the nearest bus station is.
9. Change currency at the post office
If you need to change your cash pounds, then you’ll probably get the best rate at the post office. There are plenty around just look for the little red sign. Look on google maps and you’ll be able to find plenty of them.
10. Be careful taking black taxies
Be careful taking black taxies and I say this because they can be really expensive and they get really expensive without you noticing. So if you going a long distance or its rush hour I wouldn’t take a black taxi. You’ll see the meter up and up and up and you won’t be able to do anything about it. If you absolutely can’t take public transport I use Uber all the time.
I think Uber’s amazing. If you haven’t used it before it’s an app where you can call a car right to where you are. And they usually really show up quickly especially if you’re in central London. They’re all over the place. It’s also really good if you have some cash on you some black cubs. Don’t take cash but Uber just connects right to your credit card.
So there are 10 important tips you should before you come to London for the first time.