London has always been a leading tourism destination and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in June and 2012 Olympics in July have combined to make this a hot summer. Yet after all the hype and hubbub have subsided, London will still be there with a wealth of attractions to entice visitors. Go and you’ll be charmed by the helpful locals who speak a quaint version of the King’s English and who drive on the wrong side of the road!
In Paris France admission to the churches is free while the museums charge admission. In London it’s the opposite. It costs nothing to visit the British Museum, National Gallery, and Victoria and Albert Museum whereas St. Paul’s Cathedral and Westminster Abbey levy entry fees. Visitors to both cities can purchase tourist passes which cover admission to most of the sites with entry charges. Public transportation is included with the pass in Paris but is charged extra in London. Another good deal is the River Red Rover which allows unlimited tour boat travel on the Thames River between Westminster and Greenwich.
Finding appropriate accommodations in London involves advance planning. With tens of thousands of tourists arriving in London every day, the time when you could just ring the bell at a bed and breakfast and expect to get a room is long gone. Thankfully, the internet has come to the rescue with websites like Hostelworld.com which allow you to read reviews of hundreds of places to stay and book rooms in minutes. Hotel chains like Travelodge and Premier Inn have properties all around the United Kingdom which are available at very reasonable prices.
For an inexpensive, unpretentious meal, look no further than your neighborhood English pub. You’ll find them even in the center of London. Choose a table before heading for the bar to order your food and drink. Of the fast food chains, Subway often has excellent breakfast deals and they’re everywhere. Overseas visitors usually fly into either Heathrow or Gatwick airports. Heathrow is the easier because it’s served by the London underground or “tube”. From Gatwick, you’ll find the frequent National Express buses to the Victoria Coach Station a better deal than the train. National Express offers handsome discounts to persons under 27 or over 64 so be sure to ask. Who said London was expensive?