Thinking of visiting London? With so much to see and so much happening, London can be a confusing city to visit but, with a small amount of planning and some inside information, your trip to London can easily become a richly rewarding and relaxing experience.
So, to this end, we asked some of London’s top tourism experts what single piece of advice they would give to anybody planning to come to London?
Some came straight to the point, like Adam Groffman from Travels Of Adam, whilst others, like Louisa Jackley of London and Partners, gave us chapter and verse of how to travel and where to go! They all gave us something to think about.
So these are just some of the highlights of what they came up with – I hope their ideas will be of use to you.
In just one sentence, what is your best advice to visitors coming to London?
We found advice broke down into 3 catagories: research and getting advice, getting about once you arrive and, finally, places to see. But there was one top tip that everyone seemed to mention: I will leave you to read on and discover what it is,
Research and Getting Advice
- Do lot’s of research into where you want to go so that you are not looking around for places when you get there. There is so much to see in London so you do not want to waste any time!
Daniel Heaney -Marketing Assistant at Clink Hostel
- For first time visitors going to London, in addition to doing research in advance as to the activities and sights they might like to do, I highly recommend taking a bus tour at the beginning of the trip. It gives you a great idea of the places you want to go back to and also how far and close they are to each other so that you can plan your visits better.
Simone Ruf – VP of Product & Processes at Rail Europe, Inc.
- Pre-plan your visit by using a professional travel agent for advice: London is brilliant for all ages
Stephen Fuery – Operations Manager at PAB Travel & Tours
- Let a professional London Blue a Badge Tourist Guide plan a personalised tour and get the most out of your day.
Pamela McHutchon – London Blue Badge Tourist Guide
Celia Baca – Owner, Celia’s Getaways
- The best advise I can give to visitors coming to London is to get hold of a Visitor Oyster card before they arrive in the UK capital, so as to ensure they can save time at the gates, save money on London’s public transport and benefit from extra exclusive discounts now available on restaurants, shops and entertainment venues!
Lara Callegari – VisitBritain shop
- Do not underestimate the size of London, it can take up to 90 mins to travel from one side to the other, stealing three hours from your day
Rufus Stone – Creative Director, Swee
- Check distances on Google Maps or something similar before you take a cab or use public transport. Most of Central London is easily walkable and you’ll see some hidden gems
Fiona Maclean – London Unattached – Writer and Marketing Consultant
- Walk more! and try and go to as many London Markets as you can
Des Alexandrou – Conference Sales Manager at EC&O Venues
- I love the walking tours and always tell ‘readers’ that they have to go on the Sherlock Holmes tour
Bruce Oliver – Luxury Cruise Expert
- I would recommend all visitors to take a boat trip down the Thames, not only is it a very relaxing way to travel, but you get to take in some of London’s most iconic views. Jump off at Westminster pier and head up to world famous Covent Garden Market for busking, shopping, eating, drinking and generally relaxing –
Lynn Jansen – Publisher and Editor of In and Around Covent Garden magazine.
- Beware of London at night within the West End, illegal touts and rickshaws
Michael Leo – Corporate Black Cabs
Sights to See
Of course London would not be London without the multitude of fascinating attractions: its historic buildings, its world famous museums, its cultural events! Of course there are too many to mention in one article, but our experts give it a good go!
The National Gallery – where entry is free
- I’ve just come back from visiting both the National Gallery and the British Museum and I am reminded that everyone should take advantage of all of the world-class museums and galleries that you can visit FOR FREE, including the Science Museum, the Natural History Museum, the V& A, the Museum of London, the National Maratime, the Tate Modern, Sir John Soanes, Tate Britain and the Wallace Collection… I could go on!
Simon Harding – Partner at Good To See
- My best advice would be to get a visitor oyster card and explore as much of this fantastic city as possible by public transport and walking, and if tight for time, the sightseeing bus tours are a must.
Greenwich Royal Observatory
Not forgetting the river, with either a sightseeing cruise to Greenwich or a fantastic dinner cruise with Tower Bridge opening above you. Of course there’s the key main highlights which are must see’s for any visitor to London, but don’t forget about the amazing quirky lesser known sites, including Little Venice, Brick Lane, Columbia Road Flower Market, Camden Passage in Islington, riding a bike through the deer at Richmond Park, Primrose Hill to see the amazing view, a drink at Gabriel’s Wharf, Kyoto Garden in Holland Park and Portobello Road Market to name a few
One final piece of advice is go to a proper London pub! There are loads of great pubs in London and if you want to do as the local’s do, go to the pub!
And of course London’s amazing theatre shows, whether you like opera, musicals, ballet or plays, London has it all!
Sorry that was more than 1 sentence, but that’s impossible!
Louisa Jackley -Senior Marketing Manager at London & Partners (previously Visit London)
- Have lunch at the Chelsea Market – it’s one of my favorite places to eat in London!
Shelley Knoedler – President/Travel Concierge for My Trip Coach
- Try to experience the hidden gems as well as the well known tourist attractions. Don’t do too much in one go, come back again and again. London is too amazing for just one visit
Alvin Leeward – Client Services Manager at London & Partners
And that nugget from Adam Groffman of travelsofadam.com?
- It’s cheaper than you think
So thanks to all of our experts. I hope they have given you some ideas about how to spend you time in London next time you visit. Do also feel free to contact any of them for further help: as you can see, their knowledge and enthusiasm for the great city of London is boundless and they are nice people too!