Home TRAVEL #TCIFAVORITES: LONDON TRAVEL TIPS

#TCIFAVORITES: LONDON TRAVEL TIPS

by TheChicItalian

I hope you guys aren’t sick of these post yet! Here is yet another post on my trip to London but this time with some tips I gathered during my time there. Hopefully this will help you with your trip to the city.

I personally love to read other peoples experiences {which I also did before my London trip} because you get tips that you might not have thought about or a cool place to shop or eat at that you would not have found on your own. It’s like those travel guides you used to get at book stores but are now freely available on the internet written by people you trust. And that’s what I want to provide for you with this post! Here are my London travel tips with things to do in London.

#TCIFAVORITES: LONDON TRAVEL TIPS | TheChicItalian | Things to do in London with tips on what to eat, what to see, where to shop & other tips I gatheredGETTING AROUND
For me it was the first time in London so I had a lot of things I wanted to see and do. Because of that we decided to buy a visitor Oyster card {we bought ours via this website but you can also buy it here}. This is the cheapest option if you’re going to be there for a longer time period. It gives you 50% off and works in all public transportation. We had a card with 30 pound for 45,50 euro which was enough for four days. You can only buy the visitor Oyster card before you visit London. Visiting London again? You can just use it again!

Another tip would be to book an EasyBus from the airport into the city and the other way around. You can also take the train from most airports which is faster than the bus but also more expensive. If you want to keep these types of costs low I can highly recommend this option. You can easily book tickets via their website.

#FOODIE
There are lots of places to go eat, grab a quick bite or to sit down for dinner in London. I looked up fun and good restaurants for our trip which was a big mistake because everything what I found were hip and happening places that were fully booked. The first morning we wanted to eat at The Breakfast Club in Soho because after we were going to explore the surrounding neighborhood. When we arrived there was a line of people waiting outside. To me this is really crazy, I’ve never seen anything like that. Obviously we didn’t stay because there are lots of other places around that you can go to without having to wait. So my tip would be to just look around and explore your options. Don’t waste time waiting to be seated on your trip.

Same happend with dinner. We wanted to go to Barrio East for a quick bite because it was close to our hotel. Unfortunately they were also fully booked. The guy at the front was really helpful and nice about it. We ended up just drinking a cocktail. Because we were genuinely curious about the food we decided to call the next day to make reservations only to find out that they don’t take reservations for two people and we should just come by because it would not be busy around the time we wanted to eat. When we arrived not only were there no tables, there were also tables reserved for groups of two. Looking back at it it’s something we can laugh about but the moral of the story is make reservations & if you can’t than just pop by {although they’ll probably sent you inside to awkwardly wander around #truestory} or find another spot to go to. It’s a big city, there are plenty of spots to go to.

#TCIFAVORITES: LONDON TRAVEL TIPS | TheChicItalian | Things to do in London with tips on what to eat, what to see, where to shop & other tips I gathered

A couple of good places to eat:

  • The Breakfast Club: Yes we did not wait the first time around but on our last day we thought “why the hell not check the one by our hotel” and we got lucky. If we walked in just a minute later the place would be full and we would not have known what the hype is all about because it is really good! I got the pancakes & berries and I think the banana bircher. Kim also got the pancakes plus avocado and poached egg. I did finish the pancakes but after I was too full for the banana bircher even though it tasted really good. So definitely recommend it!
  • Pret A Manger: This place is perfect for a quick bite in-between, grab a coffee to-go or to sit down and have lunch. You can find them all over the city.
  • TGI Fridays: We ate here twice because it’s just too damn delicious. I recommend the chicken wings, BBQ humus & double glazed Jack Daniel’s ribs. If you love a drink with that go for the purple rain or Absolute cosmo!

BEING A TOURIST
If this is your first time in London you probably want to see some of the touristy places like the Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, the London Bridge, things like that. In the four days we were there we saw a lot {not everything}. I would recommend going on the London Eye because you get a good view of the city. We went at night which I think might be the best time to go. Very impressive view and you get to see a couple of the touristy sightseeing from above! I would not recommend it if you’re afraid of heights but on the other hand you should face your fears {like I did!}. It’s worth it!

#TCIFAVORITES: LONDON TRAVEL TIPS | TheChicItalian | Things to do in London with tips on what to eat, what to see, where to shop & other tips I gathered

Another place to see London from above is to go on the Heron Tower {the elevator is made of glass, so beware!}. We ended up there because we wanted to get breakfast at Duck & Waffles but it was already fully booked and they directed us to the cafe on the 40th floor. You can grab a coffee and enjoy the morning view.

If you didn’t know this, I’m a big Harry Potter fan! I was one of the people who would get the book at midnight, saw all the movies in theaters and was most excited to go to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter during my road trip. I was slightly disappointed that we didn’t get to go to the studio tours in London but there are plenty of other cool Harry Potter locations in London. The most important one being platform 9 3/4. If you want to avoid a cue go after the store closes!

TCI-022216-LONDONTRAVELTIPS04SHOP TIL YOU DROP
London is a shopping walhalla. You have all the bigger and smaller designer brands, exclusive brands, high street brands, small boutiques, really anything. Some of the shopping streets {click to see which brands and stores you can find}: Oxford street, Regent street, Bond street, Carnaby street, Spitalfields market & Covent Garden. Here you can find the full list of shopping areas.

Because we didn’t shop that much, I can’t give you a full review on which stores you should visit but I highly recommend visiting Harrods and Selfridges. Especially Harrods because of its rich history. The building alone is worth the visit.

OTHER TIPS
Plan things beforehand if this is the first time visiting the city. This way you can avoid feeling like you didn’t see everything {though a good excuse to go back!}. Going to be visiting big tourist attractions? Buy your tickets in advance! We did for the London Eye and could walk into the attraction straightaway.

I know with all the technology in the palm of our hands we should be able to get around easily but it never hurts to take an actual map with you. We had this crumpled map of London which is not only very detailed it’s also easy to carry around. Also, get yourself a map of the metro system at one of your stops for an up-to-date map.

For some reason free WIFI isn’t present everywhere which came a bit as a shock but maybe we’re just spoiled over here. There are websites where you can look up where there is free WIFI {which you should do in advance}. Another option is to check what data plans your phone provider offers.

And that was it! Any tips I missed? Let me know below what you think. If you’re going to London & used my tips, let me know if they helped you!

Also, check out my photo diary of London, what to pack for your London Winter getaway and my first & second outfit that I took in London. For more travel tips, click this link!

xo FG