London is an ideal destination for a city trip: the English capital is quickly and cheaply accessible and there is plenty to see and do for a (long) weekend. London guarantees miles of shopping, free museums and beautiful parks. Moreover, thanks to the favorable exchange rate of the pound (end of 2009: € 1.10) and the cheap airline tickets, a city trip to London is no longer such an expensive holiday. London is the capital of England and with more than 7 million inhabitants, by far the largest city in the European Union. Several flights a day depart from various Dutch airports to one of the 5 London airports. For many departure dates you can find tickets around 100.00 all-in return. Below you can read some suggestions and tips for a successful city trip to London.
Transport in London
The main means of transport in London is the metro, or the Underground. Metros depart every few minutes from each stop, so you never have to wait long. At many stations you can change to another line. You can buy various tickets at the counter or at the machine (with credit card). If you make a few trips during a day, a day ticket that allows unlimited travel is often the cheapest option. The price of a day ticket depends on the journey distance (the number of zones) and the time of travel (day tickets are more expensive during rush hour). Expect to pay GBP 5.00 to 10.00 per person per day. If you only make one or two trips in a day, a single ticket is cheaper.
Sightseeing Open Double Deckers
A good start to a city trip to London is a tour on a classic open double-decker bus from Big Bus Tours . These sightseeing buses drive several rounds past all the attractions and sights of London. A ticket (calculate around GBP 25.00 per person) entitles you to 48 hours of unlimited travel on these buses. If you sit for an entire round, it will take 2 to 3.5 hours. During the ride you will receive (free) information about the sights via a headset or there will be a guide present who will provide information and anecdotes via a microphone. You can get on and off at dozens of places in central London. You can buy the tickets at the stops (sellers will automatically come to you) or in advance on the Internet (bigbustours.com). You will then save £4. In addition to the buses, the ticket also entitles you to a free boat trip on the Thames and participation in organized walks. Tip if you want to buy a ticket on the spot: negotiating the price is worth it
Shopping in London
Do you want to go shopping during your city trip in London? Then make sure you have good shoes, because the range of shops is enormous. London’s classic shopping streets are Oxford Street and Regent Street. Here you will find many flagship stores of large chains, interspersed with department stores, cafes and smaller specialty shops. Special shops include Hamley’s (Regent Street), the largest toy store in Europe, and Lillywhites (next to Piccadilly Circus tube station), a gigantic sports store.
Department stores in London
London is a city of department stores. In addition to the world-famous Harrods (metro Knightsbridge), Selfridges (metro Bond Street) and Fortnum & Mason (metro Picadilly Circus) are definitely worth a visit, if only to marvel at the beautiful interior. Harrods is so big that it is not only divided into floors, but also into rooms per floor. The maps you receive inside are there for a reason!
Food and drink in London
A well-known prejudice about London is that it is an expensive city. This is only partly true; Things like housing costs, rental prices, hotel prices, taxes and traffic surcharges are indeed very expensive by both English and Dutch standards. The costs of daily life are actually not too bad compared to the Netherlands. A cup of coffee and a pastry is no more expensive in the center than in Amsterdam. Eating out is generally significantly cheaper than in the Netherlands. In the center you will find restaurants from all over the world, but the most popular are Italian, Indian and English restaurants (the traditional pubs). In many restaurants you can eat three courses for GBP 20.00 to 25.00. Prices for soft drinks and beer are comparable to the Netherlands, but wine is also significantly more expensive in the supermarket in London.
London 2012 Olympic Games
You will experience a very special city trip to London during the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Complete your city trip to London
There are many sights to see in London for free. Some major museums, such as the Science Museum and the Museum of Natural History (both also great for children) are free to enter every day. If the weather is nice, take a walk through one of the large parks during your city trip to London. With 8 Royal Parks, London is one of the greenest cities in the world. St. James Park is highly recommended for animal lovers . Many special birds live here, including a colony of pelicans. Moreover, dozens of gray squirrels live here, which quietly walk among the people and hope for a piece of bread.