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If you’re coming to London for the first time I have ten important tips you should know before you come Save yourself a little bit of embarassment And make your trip to London easier
Number one — the Brits drive on the left side of the road Now if you’re not driving this may not seem like a big deal but actually when you’re crossing the street that’s when it’s the scariest luckily the smarties in London put markings on the ground at every single crossing telling you literally if you should look left or look right so make sure when you’re gonna cross the street you look down to see which way you should look
Number two There are some names and words not pronounced as they’re spelled so these are the ones you should know number one the most popular place for tourists to visit in London is LESSter square there’s also gren-itch which is a popular area for people to visit it’s called wes-min-ster abbey not west-minister there’s no extra “i” in there My English husband told me I should include this one Buck-ing-em palace It looks like it’s buck-ing-ham but it’s buckingEM And that lovely brown river that runs through London is called the “temz” not the “thames” I know, I got them all wrong too when I first came here but now you know! If you decide to go to the pub and order yourself a beer or a cider, which I definitely recommend you do You’ll need to order by the pint
This is what a pint glass looks like It’s about 20oz of drink if you order a drink from the tap they’re gonna ask you “Do you want a pint or a half-pint?” A half-pint is obviously half the size of a pint Remember that a lot of English beers and ciders are stronger than beer in America so just be careful when you’re drinking When you go to a restaurant in London when you get the bill double check to see if there was a service charge added on usually this is around 12.5% if there was a service charge added don’t worry about tipping on top of that if there’s no service charge then tip between 10 and 15% the service charge isn’t mandatory but you would only not pay it if your service was really bad
Use the CityMapper app to get yourself around London This app is AMAZING it’s what I think every local Londoner uses it’s better than Google maps because it gives you a million different options of which ways you can go, there’s even a rain safe option so the options that mean you’ll be out of the rain as much as possible which is GREAT when you’re in London cause it rains ALL the time 😉 So if you’re trying to get from point A to point B and you have some wifi or 3G use CityMapper, it will tell you all the routes to get there It’ll even tell you how much it’s gonna cost you and it saves the directions offline so if your phone doesn’t work once you head out you’ll have it saved in your phone
England uses the pound as it’s currency 100 pence or 100 “p” makes up one pound and if you ever hear someone saying “quid”, this is just a slang word for pound kinda like how we use “buck” in the US so if they said it’s 100 quid it’s 100 pounds the smallest note you can get it 5 pounds there’s no one pound note here and coins come in 2 pounds, 1 pound 50 p, 20 p, 10 p 5 p, 2 p and 1 p
To get around London you should get an Oyster card There are two different kinds of Oyster cards you can get one is called a Visitor’s Oyster Card you can only get this if you order it ahead of time and get it delivered to your house or you can get a regular Oyster card which Which you can pick up at tons of shops around London You can get it at the airport too To use either of these Oyster cards you need to top them up which means you add credit to the card as you start to use the Undeground and the bus system your credit will decrease and you’ll have to top it up more and more if you’re going to be traveling a lot having an Oyster card is really good because the rates are a lot cheaper than if you paid cash and they have a daily cap which means once you’ve reached a certain amount of money that you’ve spent, that’s it and the rest of your travel is free for the day On the visitor Oyster card it’s £6.40 and on a regular Oyster card it kind of varies it’s around £7 pounds so, the only thing is if you’re going to be in London for a week and traveling a lot you mind find that it’s actual cheaper to get a 7-day travel card which you can put right onto your Oyster card so I’ll leave some links down in the descriptions to help you decide which is going to be the best option for you Take the bus when you can those classic English double decker buses are really fun to ride around on if you can grab a seat on the top and especially in the front of the bus it’s really cool, and you’ll get to see London from a whole new angle and it only costs you £1.