London For a First Timer
Written by Cynthia
This was the arrival and departure of my first trip to Europe. Just a quick stop (on my way to Amsterdam) as the flight was cheaper, by $600, though I missed an offer for $400 round trip and seemed like a good deal since it was the Holidays and New Years.
I had a friend in London at the time so I was able to just crash for a couple days. He was able to give me ideas and he helped me with tips on how to move around London without too much expense.
This was the first time I traveled to Europe, the first time I traveled alone and the first time I actually had a budget.
Tips for London:
1. Avoid taxis or Ubers (way too expensive)
2. Museums are free (don’t buy tours)
3. Harry Potter fans plan ahead - my friend arrived on New Year’s Day and tried to get tickets to find out they sell months in advance.
4. Get the card from the tube station (not the tourist card) - this cost 5 pounds and is refundable if you return the card, also you can use it on buses and the tube (underground)
5. Get a sim card for the UK - 25 pounds gives you 12 GB and 500 messages - way better than getting something else.
Plan ahead (Google maps was my best friend) and just walk around. Enjoy the trip. Don’t be afraid of all the talk about safety issues, any country has that.
The reason I returned to London 6 months after was I fell in love with the vibe and elegance of the city. The UK has a certain charm. It’s worth going. It is expensive but you can stay at a hostel. My choice was WOMBATS city hostel, I stayed there the second time around and it was the best place to stay with excellent service. They also have a kitchen so you can cook breakfast and dinner. I went to the market called Waitrose to get my grocery shopping done.
London to me in one word is Elegant.
For more on Cynthia you can follow her on Instagram @cynthia_slzr