Tips for your first visit to London
London is a great city as everyone knows. That it can be overwhelming too. In this post we want to remind you of the five tips to make your visit and stay more comfortable and less unexpected.
Find out what documentation you need to visit Great Britain
Firstly, whenever you travel it is advisable to have the papers proving your accommodation bookings, your return ticket (or a ride to your next destination) and proof that you have sufficient funds to make your journey.
If you are an EU citizen, you will be able to enter Britain with your passport or identity card from your country. The Brexit may mean changes to these rules, so keep an eye on the news to find out the requirements.
If you are visiting Britain from a different country, it is advisable to contact your country’s embassy for advice. You may need to apply for a visa before you travel, so be sure to check the official Visit London website, if you don’t, you won’t be able to catch your flight!
Remember, if you are visiting to study English at Time4London, we can help you with your visa! As a certified school, we can issue a Student visa letter for your application. This document is a confirmation of the reason for your visit to Great Britain and will speed up your process as a student.
How to get from the airport to the city:
London has 6 airports and moving from them to your accommodation without having looked at it first can be chaotic, especially if you arrive with jet lag! Before you travel, check which airport you are arriving at and how to get from there to your destination. Almost all of them have trains that connect them to the center, although in some cases you will prefer to travel by metro. Check it out beforehand and make a note of it, so that you have it handy in case anything unexpected happens.
Another option is to download the CityMapper application to your mobile. This application, specialized in public transport, has an advantage over others: it can be used without an Internet connection!
Get your Oyster card:
When you move around London, the Oyster card will become your best friend. The Oyster is the rechargeable transport car which can be used for both the underground and buses.
The Oyster card is about 50% cheaper than buying a paper card or paying for individual tickets in cash. Also, the Oyster card has a spending limit, and once you reach it, you won’t pay for it anymore!
You can get an Oyster card on a weekly or monthly basis, bearing in mind that you are getting more and more discounts. Depending on the different areas you travel through, you can also take the Oyster by zones.
If you are going to study with us during your stay in London, we will make you a Student Oyster Card with which you will benefit from a 30% discount!
Change your money into pounds!
Even though London is only a few hours away from other European cities, once you cross the border you will not be able to use your euros! Remember to change your money into pounds, either in your home country or when you arrive in Britain.
How to do it? You can withdraw money from an ATM, bearing in mind that your bank may charge you for the exchange. If you want to save on fees, the alternative is online banking, such as Revolut. You can set up a secure, mobile-based current account free of charge, which allows you to hold, exchange and transfer 29 currencies without fees. If you need it, you can also get a debit card from this bank by paying 6 euros in shipping costs.
Another option is to go with cash to exchange houses (you will find them all over the city) and exchange your currency for pounds. At Time4London we can also change your currency into pounds with a cheaper exchange rate.
We recommend that you don’t do this at the airport, the fees are higher and you are more than likely to lose money on the exchange!
Get an electrical adapter:
Another difference between the United Kingdom and the rest of Europe is the plugs. Here, the electrical current is 230 V and the plugs are three-pin.
Get an adapter if you plan to carry any electrical appliances that need charging. If you carry it in your suitcase or rucksack, you won’t have to worry about this!
Any questions? People who organize their stay and classes in London with Time4London will be able to consult us and receive personalized advice to solve all their questions. It couldn’t be easier!