London is an exciting city with a huge variety of attractions, restaurants, and shops that can keep you entertained for days. On the other hand, London is a city with dozens of unspoken rules which its residents follow religiously. Want to blend in with the Londoners? Familiarise yourself with the following tricks and techniques before leaving your Bayswater bed and breakfast.
Stand on the right
There is a protocol for travelling on escalators in London: always stand on the right hand side. The left side is strictly for walkers. In fact, this is an easy rule to remember as all escalators on the London Underground feature signs to remind you!
Shop beyond Oxford Street
Oxford Street is the definitive shopping destination for most first-time visitors to London. However, there are so many other retail zones to add to your list. Check out other areas close to Hyde Park Corner hotels such as Marylebone High Street and King’s Road Chelsea.
Mistake Tower Bridge and London Bridge
London Bridge is one of the most famous structures in the city, immortalised by the nursery rhyme “London Bridge is falling down.” However, many first-time tourists in London wrongly mistake London Bridge with Tower Bridge. The latter is in fact the photogenic suspension bridge with the elevated glass walkway.
Travelling at rush hour
London is a beautiful city inhabited by friendly people. However, if you make the mistake of travelling during the rush hour you might struggle to believe that! Rush hours take place Monday to Friday between 8-9.30 am and 5-6 pm. Buses and London Underground trains become exceptionally busy and chaotic. As a tourist, it isn’t necessary to travel within these times. Staying at hotels near Paddington Station means that you can walk to many attractions without even needing to take the Tube.
It’s very easy to blow your budget while in London. But you can explore much of the city for free or on a budget. Avoid touristic sightseeing buses and ride the regular bus instead. The cost is only £1.55 per journey regardless of how far you travel. Paid attractions such as the London Eye and Madame Tussauds are absolutely worth your time but you will get better rates if you book slots online in advance.
Purchasing expensive food
Food and drink is likely to be your largest expense and it is easy to be lured into pricey restaurants in the tourist areas. Avoid getting peckish by eating a large breakfast and packing some protein-rich snacks while you’re on the go. Book a Bayswater bed and breakfast and you can fuel up for the day then splash out on a dinner of your choice.
Buying single fare Tube tickets
You will save money by paying for your travel with an Oyster card or a contactless card. Pick up an Oyster card or ensure that you have a valid contactless payment card that you can use to “tap” in when you travel by London Underground, bus, or ferry. Guesthouses such as Hotel Bayswater Inn will advise you how to purchase an Oyster at the local station.