London is an exciting city with an endless supply of things to see and do. But a first visit may feel overwhelming – especially as this is a large city with a reputation for being expensive. Follow these tips from Central Park London to help you explore London like a local and save money.
Pay for travel with Oyster or contactless
Using an Oyster card is the cheapest way to travel in London. These rechargeable cards apply daily and weekly caps to ensure that once you reach a certain amount you are no longer charged. This also works when you pay with a contactless credit or debit card. It’s important to always use the same card when “tapping out.”
Ride the bus
The bus is cheaper than the London Underground. It also means you can eye up the scenery – such as festive lights and remarkable Vicrtorian-era architecture as exemplified by Central Park London. Buses and roads are busier at peak morning and evening times and it’s best to avoid travel then.
Check out free things to do in London
London is an expensive city but there are scores of free sights and activities in the West End. Parks are free to visit as are most of the museums and art galleries. One of the coolest things to do for free in London is to take the Tube to a neighbourhood such as Little Venice or Notting Hill and wander at leisure.
Walk as much as possible
While public transport is useful for longer journeys, London is extremely walkable on the whole. Google Maps will help you calculate distances.
Choose a central hotel
Accommodation beyond zones 1 and 2 of London tends to be cheaper but you will end up spending more money and losing time in travel to and from the main sites. Central Park London aims to keep costs low for travellers with comfortable modern rooms at a budget-friendly rate. We even see you off with a full English breakfast.
Do not fear the food
British food has a mixed reputation but there are lots of tasty dishes to enjoy. Winter dining revolves around hearty stews, stuffed pies, and warming soups – not forgetting the yuletide treats at Christmas markets in London. Summer sees an eruption of open-air food markets where you can sample global eats. Afternoon tea and a traditional Sunday roast in a British pub are year-round occasions.
Join a walking tour
Walking tours are an engaging means of getting to know London. As the city has such a storied past, they’re often themed. For example, you can book Royal Family, Harry Potter, and Paddington Bear-themed walking tours. There are also classic tours centred around Westminster. They’re inexpensive and informative; ask the team at Central Park London for recommendations.
Tipping is not mandatory in London but you can tip as and when you feel it’s due. It is polite to leave the change or give a 10% gratuity if the service was exemplary or if your taxi driver helped you with lots of luggage. Large groups should leave a tip to serving staff.
Call Central Park Collection on +44 (0)20 7229 2424