London is one of the most tourist European cities in the world, mainly because of the variety of options for the tourist it offers. Today, with the amount of low cost airlines and the wide spread of the English language, most tourists choose to prepare the trip on their own.
Below you have an index with all the points that we are going to deal with in this article.
London is the most expensive capital in Europe, so we recommend calculating the budget very well before leaving. Prices in London are 50% higher than in Spain, for example.
In restaurants and hotels the value for money is usually not fair; on the other hand, all museums are free, except those run by the crown. In the article Budget to travel to London, you can get more information.
You should also be aware of the time difference. Between Spain and London, for example, there is one hour of difference. As for the United States, the difference is six hours, as is the case with Canada.
With respect to Brazil, Chile, Argentina and Uruguay, London has three more hours, and with Venezuela, the difference is four and a half hours more in London.
Be careful with the dates you travel, because it can fall into public holiday and, therefore, that the shops and the main museums are closed. Therefore, here are the days that are considered holidays in London:
- New Year 1st of January.
- Good Friday: variable date every year.
- Easter Monday: variable date every year.
- Saint George (St george): April 23rd. Saint George is the Patron Saint of England.
- Labor Day: May 1.
- Spring party: last Monday of May.
- Christmas Day: December 25.
- Boxing day or St Stephen’s Day: December 26. This day marks the beginning of the most important sales season of the year in stores.
What to wear
These are our recommendations for every tourist who will visit London soon:
- Documentation: ID, passport, visa, medical insurance, European Health Card, boarding pass of the plane … It is very important to make sure that we prepare the necessary documentation taking into account our nationality. For more information, we recommend you read the article Visa and documentation to travel to London.
- Pounds sterling: Although the United Kingdom is a country that is part of the European Union (EU), it has not adopted the euro as its official currency and maintains the pound sterling (GBP). Therefore, before leaving for London we must exchange euros for pounds. It is recommended to take not only bills, but also some coins.
- Addresses and telephone numbers of interest: It is also highly recommended to have the telephone numbers and addresses of the most important institutions, such as hospitals, tourist information centers, pharmacies, etc. in the article Useful addresses and telephone numbers in London You can check all this data.
- Plug adapter: English plugs are different from those in the rest of Europe, so it is essential to carry at least one adapter to connect our electronic devices.
- Map and planned routes: Although this depends mainly on how long your stay will last, it is highly advisable to get a map to avoid getting lost, since London is a great city. We recommend that from your country you organize the routes that you will carry out during your stay and get a previous idea of how you are going to move around the city.
- International Prepaid Card: Calling your country of origin from London can be much more expensive, since it is an international call. Therefore, we advise you to get a prepaid card that allows international calls (roaming). There are also rates that include data rates so you can access the Internet from your mobile phone.
Finally, there are some cards specifically for young people and make their trip cheaper, such as the International Student Card (ESIC), the International Alberguista Card, the International Youth Travel Card (GO'25 or IYTC) and the Card Young European Youth Card.
Clothes and accessories
There are a number of basic items regardless of the season of the year we go, mainly because the weather in London is very changing.
Below we list what can not be missing in your suitcase:
- Comfortable and breathable footwear
- K-way or raincoat
- Waterproof clothing
- Warm clothes (jackets, coats, sweaters, hats, scarf …)
Although the clothing will depend on the time of the year in which we travel, in general, the United Kingdom is a country where it rains very frequently.
When to go
The British capital is reputed to have a temporary very unstable due to its oceanic-temperate climate. Many tourists claim to have experienced all four seasons of the year on the same day.
Therefore, although a series of peculiarities are distinguished in each season, it is true that rainfall and climatic instability are common characteristics at any time of the year.
- Summer: temperatures are between 18 and 20 ° C, and rarely exceed 30 ° C. The summer months are June, July and August. As we have said before, even if it is summer, it would not be unusual to find a cold and rainy day.
- Autumn: temperatures at this time of year range between 11 and 15 ° C. This season covers from September to November and is considered as a mild and sunny season. Many consider it the ideal season to enjoy the warm colors offered by parks and gardens.
- Winter: temperatures are on average between 4 and 6 ° C, so, although winters in London are not considered to be hard, warm clothes will be necessary. Officially, the winter season covers the months of December, January and February.
- Spring: temperatures are on average the same as in autumn (11-15 ° C). It is considered the best time to visit London, as the gardens are filled with flowers. Spring in the United Kingdom starts in March and lasts until the month of May.
However, it is possible to choose from the wide range of tourist attractions that the city has, since most are adapted for your enjoyment both on sunny days and on rainy days.
Sending luggage by mail
More and more tourists choose to send their luggage by mail instead of checking in with their airline, as they find many more facilities and advantages, including saving money and the absence of weight limit in your luggage.
In addition, there is a higher percentage of lost luggage by airlines than by transport companies, which also allow you to secure your bags.
If you opt for this option, you must keep in mind that you will have to make the shipment before the departure of your flight to arrive at the same time. Therefore, this is one more step you must take in the preparations for your stay in London.
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