I like London in the rain... This song is just timeless and a joy every time I listen to it. Just like London! No matter how many times I go, I always find a new neighbourhood, a new cafe, a new exhibition to explore. So that's why I try to visit London at least once a year, just to catch up :) Ok I admit the weather is a bit disappointing but still one of the best destinations to have a great city trip. I would describe London as the New York of Europe. Please leave your London recommendations below as a comment :) You can follow my London impressions under the hashtag #ooolondon . 🇬🇧
When to go 📅: Unfortunately rain is always possible in London so you just have to take the risk. The time before Christmas is just magical (mid Nov-Dec). If you're looking for rather milder temperatures I'd recommend going between April-September.
Accommodation 🏨: Hotels are a bit tricky in London. I'd definitely recommend staying in a central location. If you're looking for a hotel in the lower price range I'd say better prefer AirBnB. I stayed in both, hotels and Airbnb's. You can have a look at them, all were great:
London House Hotel a small but very cute and clean hotel in Notting Hill. Prices are very reasonable but Notting Hill is not too central but still a very nice location.
Apartment on Bow Street: This apartment was just perfect. Location just 2 minuted from Covent Garden. 2 rooms, suitable for 4 persons, really nice decor. Only downside was the noise at night due to the central location. The owner also has many other similar listings on AirBnb. Have a look here.
Apartment in Seven Dials: Another beautiful apartment in a stunning location. It's a one bedroom apartment but still 3-4 people can stay in it. Have a look here.
Transportation 🚋: There are different options depending on which Airport you're arriving to. In all cases I recommend public transportation unless you're a group of 3-4 people or more and can fit in one taxi.
Heathrow: Heathrow Express will take you to Paddington station in just 15 minutes. Prices range from 5.5 pound (if you book in advance online) to 20 pund (ouch). If you don't want to spend that much take the Piccadilly line (blue line) for 3.10 pound which will take you to Covent Garden in just 45 minutes.
Gatwick: Gatwick Express will take you to Victoria station in just 30 minutes. If bought online tickets cost 18 Pound for one-way and 31 Pound for a roundtrip. If you are a group of two you pay 45 Pound for a roundtrip.
Stansted: Stansted Express will take you to Liverpool station in just 45 minutes. Online oneway tickets cost 8 Pound.
Luton: You can take the train from Luton Airport Parkway station which can be reached via a shuttle bus leaving from the airport terminal. The train will take you to St Pancras International station. Journey takes around 40 minutes.
In the city you can benefit from the very extensive underground and bus network. Underground gets very crowded during rush hour, especially around 4pm so better avoid this hours if you don't want to sit on the lap of a stranger :) Uber is always a great choice although London traffic can be horrible. If you prefer taking a Black cab I recommend you download the Gett App which let's you call a cab from your smart phone. It also gives you a fixed price in advance which is always cheaper than the metered fare.
What to do 👣: London is a big city and there are infinite options to spend your time. If you want to do all from touristic spots, to museums, musicals etc you definitely spend a week there. Of course a long weekend is always a good choice. You could also add day trips to Stonehenge, Brighton or Oxford. So it's your call, but don't expect to see every part of London in 2-3 days. Below are the neighbourhoods you should definitely plan to visit. You can find my restaurant recommendations in the detailed posts.
Covent Garden, Soho, Carnaby
Mayfair, Hyde Park
Shoreditch and Camden Town
Kensington, Chelsea, Belgravia