17 Things to Know Before You Arrive in London

Do I have it correct that this will be your first time visiting London? don't be frightened. This article will provide you with all of the information you want on the Things to Know Before You Arrive in London.

Will this be your first arrival in London? Do you have a vacation to London in mind? Do you need some guidance about Things to Know Before You arrive in london? Nearly nine million people call London, a significant European metropolis, home.

London has five commercial airports since it is one of the biggest cities in the world. Please be aware that although all of the airports have adequate connections to the city centre, some of them are quite a distance from London, particularly those that are served by low-cost carriers.

Because of this, if you are traveling from Europe to London, your travel time and costs may, in some situations, exceed those of the trip itself. Also regarding when you arrive to London.

covid situations may come into play as well. 

Guidance For The Obvious Things to Know Before You Arrive in London?

It is crucial to think about where in London you will be staying before booking your travel in order to visit London at the most convenient airport or train station. When you come to London, then, to prevent a possibly lengthy and/or costly travel once you are there, we advise that you plan your route from the airport or train station to your lodging in advance. As a result, we have comprehensive instructions on the Things to Know Before You Arrive in London and how to get the best experience on your arrival in London or if you are moving to London.

  1. Check the United Kingdom’s requirements before Traveling

You do not need a British visa if you are coming from the United States to the United Kingdom. You are allowed to visit the UK (and all other Schengen Area members) for up to 90 days, both for leisure and business. Whether you’re coming from another country and it’s your first time visiting London, please check to see if you need a visa to arrive in London. 

The same holds true if you want to go to another nation following your stay here, such as if you plan to go from London to other European countries. 

  1. Before Departing for London, Check your Passport
United Kingdom's requirements
United Kingdom’s requirements

Even if you are a student or moving to London, or even just traveling there, to enter the United Kingdom, you must have a passport that is both current and valid. Additionally, your passport has to be valid for three months after you return to your home country or the United States. The UK authorities will require a whole blank page in your passport to stamp.

  1. Buy a SIM card for the UK for your phone.

One of the finest pieces of advice for your first visit to London is to get a UK SIM card for your smartphone before you leave the airport or railway station. The new SIM card will help the mobile towers identify your phone as being from Europe, giving you better cell service and considerably better WiFi. Additionally, your phone number will change. Therefore, it is preferable for you to stay in touch with your loved ones using Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp. For your convenience, SIM cards are sold at various kiosks at airports and railway stations in the UK. 

  1. Cash Vs Credit Cards 
Cash Vs Credit Cards- Things to Know Before You Arrive in London
Cash Vs Credit Cards

The straightforward response is that you will need both if this is your first time visiting London. In London, credit cards are frequently accepted. However, only the British pound is usually accepted if you are paying with cash. While some merchants may take dollars from Americans, the exchange rate may not be favorable. In order to avoid paying out-of-network transaction fees as well, it is recommended to withdraw money from an ATM for a reasonable exchange rate utilizing “in-network” bank ATMs in London. Keep in mind that using an ATM has extra costs.

  1. Purchasing an Oyster Card 

A visitor oyster card functions similarly to a credit card that has money placed onto it for “pay as you go” transit inside London. It is wise to buy a Visitor Oyster Card before you leave for London since you can not do so once you are there. You may do this online or via your travel agency.

All of London’s transportation options, including the London Underground (the tube), London Overground, National Rail trains, trams, buses, and more, are covered by the London Visitor Oyster Card. Compared to paying for individual trips to any location of your choosing, using the Oyster is far less expensive.

  1. Get Loads of Discount with your Oyster Card

When you buy an oyster card there are a lot of discounts you can avail of the card. You can also receive visitor discounts and specials at participating restaurants, pubs, shops, and places of entertainment when you use your Visitor Oyster Card when you’re visiting London for the first time.

Who takes part? Leading eateries, entertainment spots, and stores in London. Therefore, remember to flash that card!

  1. Choose a Suitable Place

It might be intimidating to go to a major city for the first time. London is a huge, recognizable European metropolis. London is home to around 9 million people. You have a huge selection of neighborhoods to choose from, depending on your interests and the objectives you have for your first visit to London.

  1. There Are 23 Major Free Museums in London

If you adore museums as much as we do, what a fantastic benefit to have while visiting London for the first time (or whenever you visit London!). We’re speaking about big museums in the Smithsonian tradition. There are more museums to visit for free, so do your own study to find the ones that interest you. 

  1. London Restaurants Are Amazing

There is a large range of preferences to consider when choosing a restaurant. You won’t encounter any complications or issues trying to please everyone who is going with you or yourself when you are visiting London for the first time. You can take turns choosing places for lunch and supper since there are so many to sample. None of you will ever have a complaint about a restaurant, café, or pub you eat at or the cuisine you consume despite your diverse eating needs.

  1.  Book All the Attractions Online to Avoid Queues 

Before arriving in London for the first time, it is typically a good idea to decide which big famous sights you want to see and purchase tickets online. You’ll sometimes make substantial financial savings. Additionally, you may avoid the wait lines at some, if not most, of the attractions and enter straight away. This is a fantastic convenience, particularly if you have a busy itinerary for your first visit to London.

  1.  Purchase Snacks And Convenience Foods At Local Grocery Stores To Save Money 

It is enjoyable to eat at as many different places as you can on your first trip to London for breakfast, lunch, and supper. However, it can strain your financial situation. You may go to a variety of food shops in London.  Apples and oranges are examples of fresh fruits that may last many hours in a backpack without deteriorating. Furthermore, they are much healthier than salty and sugary foods. Another delicious food option is granola.

  1.  When you First Arrival in London Know Pickpocketing Is a Real Threat

Like any major European center, London may be a prime target for con artists when visitors are visiting for the first time. Please don’t assume that someone can violate you by taking your belongings. Keep your eyes and ears open.

  1.  Packing Advice For First-Time Visitors To London
packing for traveling
packing for traveling

It’s possible that you’re stopping in London on your way somewhere else. Or maybe it’s just a brief weekend visit. Knowing the packing suggestions will be a wonderful way to review what to bring! Whether you are flying into London or driving there, there are excellent packing suggestions. One of the most crucial things you pack for your first trip to London can be a disguised travel bag.

  1.  Learning The Language 

Try to communicate as much as you can in English. You may have some difficulty in regular conversation due to the British accent, but you simply need to get accustomed to it. You may attempt tandem language learning if English is not your first language. Tandem language learning is a strategy for learning a language that relies on partners speaking to each other in both languages. 

It is a fantastic approach to making new friends and learning the language correctly. There are several free English classes offered across London if you prefer the classic classroom setting. However, you may utilize Lingualia, Memrise, or download the free mobile software Duolingo to learn English on the move if you want to do it from the comfort of your sofa. 

  1. Lower your Bills 

Don’t pay a TV license if you don’t watch TV. You will begin getting letters requesting payment for a TV license as soon as you move into a new home, but there is a legitimate method to avoid doing so. Avoid using 0870 numbers while making phone calls since you’ll use up your call credit before you know it.

  1.  Daily Transportation
Transportation in London

You need to discover strategies to save costs on your everyday excursions since transportation might be quite pricey. Obtaining an Oyster card is the first thing you should do since single tickets are quite expensive. Never leave the home without one. 

But instead, we advise you to visit your bank and get a contactless card. You will use it similarly to an Oyster card, but it will save you a lot of time and hassle since you won’t have to top it out. Additionally, try to avoid using the tube as much as possible and instead utilize the London buses and Overground. 

If you like using a cab to go about, you should be aware that they are rather pricey in this area. Never suddenly stop a taxi on the street since they are expensive. Finally, utilizing raileasy’s train split service is a fantastic method to significantly reduce the cost of train tickets if you often travel around the UK by train. It divides your travel into manageable chunks, which may be far less expensive than purchasing a single ticket. 

  1. Transfer Money from your Native Bank Account

You’ll undoubtedly wish to transfer funds to your new account after creating a UK bank account. Transferwise and HiFX are two popular money transfer businesses. Both are ideal platforms for money exchange since they enable you to avoid paying hidden bank fees if you’re moving to London, which saves you money. Simply choose the one that best matches your needs. 

What Is Your Take On the Things to Know Before Going To London

Now that you’ve made up your mind to move to London, one of the most dynamic and fascinating cities in the world. Here are some things you should be aware of upon your arrival in London that will make your transition to the British capital easier, whether your transfer is near or just a distant thought in the back of your mind.

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