How to plan your perfect London vacation
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London - my city.
The city where I experienced my love for traveling.
The city which I absolutely miss when I am not travelling there regularly.
The city that I never want to leave when I am there, because I just feel so comfortable there.
This summer I had the possibility to travel to London twice, which made me super happy, because my last trip to London had been about 4 years ago (so it was a way too long time of not being there). The reason for my trip actually was that I visited a family member there who did an internship in London.
Because of my two trips I wasn´t true how to structure my blogpost about my favourite sights and things I´ve done there. But I decided to tell you more about my travel planning at first. Soon there will also be a must-see places blogpost and a blogpost about my favourite restaurants/ cafés there, so stay tuned for my future blogposts.
I hope that some of my tipps can help some of you to plan your next London vacation.
Luckily we heard about the new airline "Level" before we started to search for flights and it worked out that "Level" would be the cheapest option for our flights and also offered great flight times, so we booked our flights there. We had good flights and no complaints about the airline, so therefore I would definitly choose it again. From Vienna it was the best option, but in autumn also Laudamotion will start to offer flights to London, so we´ll see which airline will be the cheapest then from Vienna.
Find the website of Level - here.
I´ve looked out for good hotel deals for a while, because good hotels in London are pretty expensive. I already told you more about my favourite hotel booking websites in my "How to book the perfect trip" blogpost. We chose the Lifestyle hotel Wembar at Earls Court, although the reviews weren´t that good,but I liked the pictures and also the location of the hotel. The hotel is still a building site at the moment, but offers light and really clean rooms with a smart TV. The rooms aren´t big, but that didn´t bother us, because the room was nice and not that noisy. I´ve already stayed in hotels in London which had been worse and I really can´t complain about anything at this hotel, especially because it has a great price-performance.
I also looked for a room at AirBnb, where also cheap and good rooms are offered, but we prefered a hotel for our trip, that´s the reason why we haven´t booked there.
We arrived at London Gatwick and decided to take the train to London Victoria. We took the Southern Railway train to London Victoria. But there is also the option to take the Gatwick express, which has a similar price if you don´t book your tickets before your journey. The Gatwick express is about 5 minutes faster than Southern railway, so there isn´t a big difference. You can save a bit if you book your tickets in advance.
Each airport in London offers a wide range of transport possibilities, so the best advice is to have a look at the website of the airport, where you can see which possibilities are offered (train, fast train, bus, or similar) and then you can decide best what option would be the perfect one for you. Buying tickets in advance is always a good idea, but I usually don´t do that for transportation tickets, because you´ll never know if there will be a flight delay and some tickets are only valid for specific trains.
Travelcard or Oyster Card
We decided to buy the Oyster Card, because it works with a pay-as-you-go system. You have to pay a special amount to the card and each time you use the public transport you pay with the card. The card offers a day limit of 6,80 pounds for Zone 1 and 2, so no matter how often you use public transport you don´t pay more than that- which is perfect when you have to use the underground or the bus regularly.
A travelcard is a paper ticket and a one day ticket for Zone 1 -4 costs about 15 €. So for us the Oyster Card was the better option as we only moved around Zone 1 and 2 in London. For some people the travelcard might be a better option, but that definitly depends on your needs.
We bought the Oyster Card directly at Gatwick airport, which worked really well. There wasn´t a huge crowd of people, so it worked fast. Important to mention is also that you have to pay 5 pounds deposit for your oyster card there, but you can get a refund when you don´t need the card anymore.
Sightseeing + Tickets
For most of the attraction we bought the tickets in advance because this is the cheaper option. When you buy the tickets at the ticket office at the sights it is mostly more expensive and you usually have to wait for a longer time until you can enter. We bought the tickets for Madame Tussauds, the London Eye, Buckingham Palace and the Tower of London before and saved a lot of money. I bought all of these tickets at the official websites and the booking process was super easy at each of them.
We also didn´t have to wait long at the most attractions. Only at London Eye we had to wait for about an hour, which wasn´t funny because it had 30 degrees outside and we had to wait in the queque in the sun. But the view was worth the waiting time.
|Buckingham Palace from the back side|
Have you ever been to London? What did you like most there? Are you planning to travel there soon?