12 Travel Tips & Hacks To Help You Explore London


London is a pretty incredible city, it covers an area twice as large as the footprint of Berlin and is home to a staggering 9 million people.

It can be a busy place and can be potentially overwhelming for first time visitors. Bustling streets, busy roads and packed shops are pretty much the norm in London, but that can seem quite intense if you’re not used to it.

But don’t worry; all of your worries will dissipate if you book a room at one of the stunning The Montcalm Club hotels. They offer some of the very best spa breaks London can muster and have some of the most incredible London hotels special offers so take advantage now.

Your hotel can be an oasis of calm to return to after enjoying the buzzing city streets.

The other thing you can do to make your trip as stress free as possible is follow these tips and hacks on visiting London for the first time.

Here are a few things to keep in mind that will help you have the best holiday possible in the UK’s capital city.

Pack for All Weathers

London and its weather gets a pretty bad wrap- it’s not even the wettest city in Europe.

Having said that, it can surprise you with a nice English rain shower every now and then; so packing correctly is important.

Make sure you carry an umbrella with you at all times outside of the summer months, and maybe a packable rain coat too- just to be sure.

Grab an Oyster Card

The Oyster card will be one your most valuable possessions whilst you are in the city.

It’s a card that lets you ride public transport systems like the overground, underground, rail network and buses with nothing more than a simple tap-on and tap-off.

All you have to do is keep the card topped up and away you go- you’ll even get discounted rates on all your fares!

Ride the Tube

The London Underground is one of the most used and well known public transport systems in the world.

It has a little over 400 kilometres of track that services 272 stations, and is truly your key to the city.

You’ll be able to get anywhere in the city pretty fast, so make sure you’re familiar with the system!

Walking can be Faster

Despite the Tube being the ‘key to the city’, it’s not always the fastest way to get around.

There are some journeys that are better off being walked, as it can sometimes take forever to get underground, board a train, and then resurface.

Plenty of spots in the very centre of the city are worth walking around anyway- it’s the best way to experience a new place after all.

Cycle the City

If you’re like me and being trapped underground seems like the worst thing ever, even if it does make a lot of practical sense; then hop on a bike and get cycling.

London is the perfect city to explore on a bike thanks the many parks, cycle lanes and super accessible public areas.

Take advantage of the city’s Santander Cycles bike share scheme, or hire a bike for the day and just get exploring!

Don’t Worry About Tipping

We are not a nation of tippers.

We pay our staff well enough that it’s not part of the culture, so don’t feel obliged to tip for things.

With that being said we do like to reward good service, so if you have a particularly good waiter, or a stunningly good coffee then tips are a great way to show your appreciation.

Catch a West End Show

London’s West End district is one of the very best live performance districts in the world- in fact it would be fair to say that Broadway is the only other place that is even slightly comparable.

It’s packed with historic theatres showing the very best shows on earth, world class performances are put to the stage every day, and the very best in the business fight for a place to strut their stuff here.

You can create the perfect night out by visiting a gorgeous West End restaurant that combines dinner and a show- just check the menus for show specific offers!

Book Attractions in Advance

London is quite literally overflowing with attractions- but visiting lots of them can cost you a pretty penny.

Try and plan ahead by booking all your tickets in advance- you can even take advantage of things like multi-passes that allow you entry into two or more attractions at a reduced price.

The Freebies

There’s no two ways about it- London can be an expensive place.

If you’ve reached the Limit of your budget, or just can’t bear to spend another penny, then checking out the free activities in London is a great way to go.

London is world renowned for its awesome museums like the British Museum, the Natural History Museum, and the Imperial War Museum- amongst many others.

These are actually totally free to visit for all! Although we do encourage you to make a donation to support these outstanding institutions.

Visit Oxford Street on a Weekday

If you’re looking to get some shopping done in one of the world’s most famous shopping districts then London is a good place to be.

Oxford Street is one of the busiest streets in Europe, so try to visit on a weekday- there will still be plenty of people around, but it will be easier to actually get into the shops!

3 Pin Plugs

The UK uses the Type-G plug, or the ‘3 pin’ plug, for everything.

If you don’t have an adaptor, you won’t have access to electricity- which is kind of crucial in the modern world.

Make sure you get some adaptors before you arrive, they can be pricey in the city.

Try the Street Food

Another stereotype that is totally unfounded is that London, and the UK as a whole, has really bad food.

This is actually totally wrong.

London has an incredible 66 michelin stars- not to brag but that’s 3 times more than New York.

The street food scene is truly world class in places like Borough Market, and visiting some of the incredible restaurants located all over the city is a great way to get to know the diverse culture that thrives in London.

London’s Calling

Follow these tips and tricks for your next trip to London and make the most out of your time in the city.

You’ll be able to explore the city like a pro and not have to waste your time with boring admin.

Get out there and explore!