If there’s one city in the world that everybody wants to go to at some point in their lives, it’s London. Full of historical and intimate beauty, it has been the epicentre of European power and dominance for centuries.
But what do beginners need to know before they pack their bags for London for the first time? Well, there’s 10 points here that can really offer some guidance on the very first trip. But one tip that needs to be made straight away is to do with accommodation. Don’t go with the usual hotel or hostel; they don’t have all your needs. Go with serviced apartments in London from thesqua.re. All the top neighbourhoods are covered in their huge portfolio and each apartment has the luxuries of home and much more. With London being their main base, the perfect stay is guaranteed.
And now, here are 10 things that you need to know before you visit London
- It’s expensive!
Yep, when people say that London is expensive, they’re not exaggerating. It really is an expensive city to live in. From the costs of rent to food and even a cinema or theatre ticket, you have to be good at saving to stay in the city. Well, you should be but even big spenders get by.
- The Underground is CROWDED
Ever wondered how a sardine feels? Well, now’s your chance. The “tube”, as it’s called by most, is London preeminent transport system – other than the red buses and black cabs – that shuttles London’s residents to work and museums every day.
Despite having multiple lines, it still gets crowded every morning, evening…every time basically. Squidge up against strangers and get ready to have very little space!
- Oyster Cards are your friends
Forget your bog standard travel cards, you need an Oyster! Tapping in and tapping out has never been easier and topping up is simple. Plus, you can save so much money with an Oyster. Travel passes are cheaper, and having this in your wallet will make you a true Londoner. Don’t travel around without one.
- Not every Brit drinks tea
You probably think that all Brits carry tea around with them and make it their drink to go in the morning, but you couldn’t be more wrong! If anything, you will see most Londoners buying coffee, smoothies and other beverages. But still, you should really drink some tea to blend in a bit. You will be offered tea by British friends that meet over here so be sure to get prepared for a cuppa.
- Landlords are a mixed bag
You may have already heard horror stories of landlords that never appear when needed or charge extortionate amounts for a cupboard-sized room. While these may all, sadly, be true, the fact is that they aren’t all that bad. Yes, you have a few rotten apples in the bag, but can you seriously say that all landlords have either been angels OR demons? No, of course not. Whichever you get is pot luck. One way to really find out which one your landlord is would be to meet them in person before you move in or try talking with potential housemates beforehand.
- People are always talking politics
Have an opinion about Brexit? Of who should run the country? Well, if you do or don’t it doesn’t really matter because you’ll be roped into a conversation regardless or certainly overhear one taking place. Londoners love their politics and march most weekends, but they’re not as bad as the Parisians.
- Whoever you are, you’re accepted
London is one of the most diverse and tolerant cities in the world. No matter where you’re from or who you may be, you’ll be more than welcome and will be able to make friends easily.
- Business and leisure go hand in hand
If you’re here on a work trip then get prepared for the pub at the end of the day. Londoners work hard and play hard, so get your nice shoes on and have a few after work. Quite a few companies in the city allow workers to work from home on Friday so be prepared for a Thursday boozing session.
- The attractions are bigger and better than you think
From Buckingham Palace to the British Museum and the National Gallery, London’s attractions are so much more than the pictures make out. Seeing Van Gogh’s paintings or the remains of dinosaurs are some of the most breath-taking experiences you can have in London, and that’s before getting on the London Eye.
- Serviced apartment are the top choice for accommodation
Forget hotels and hostels, you should choose serviced apartments. They come with all the homely amenities that any traveller requires for a short or extended stay in the city. From free Wi-Fi to cosy living spaces, a fully equipped kitchen, potential gym access and a flat screen TV, chilling in London has never been easier.