The #LondonBlogProject: Advice

It's the last post of the London Blog Project today *sniff* and today it's about advice - the insider tips that we would give to someone who was moving to London or coming here for a visit. Having now lived in London for coming up on three years, whilst I don't consider myself an expert on the city by any means, I think I've gained a decent knowledge of the city and the things I'd like to have known when I first moved here. So these are my tips for any newbie Londoners or visitors - hope they're helpful to someone!

Get an Oyster card or a travelcard.
Even if you're only here for a visit, I really can't recommend getting an Oyster card enough. They will save you so much money on your transport costs - a single Tube journey in Zone 1 costs £1.90 on an Oyster card, compared to £4 for a ticket from the machines. Plus they're capped after a certain point every day, meaning that once you've made three or four journeys within 24 hours you're effectively travelling for free after that. You can pick Oyster cards up at most major Tube stations in central London and then return them for a refund when you leave. If you're moving here permanently, you may want to pick up a travelcard, which work in a similar way but can often save you money if you're travelling more frequently or early in the morning.

The Tube is not the be-all and end-all.
When I first moved to London, I remember people asking me what Tube station I lived closest to. When I said I lived somewhere with a DLR and a train line, some of those people were absolutely horrified! But in actuality living on a train line can be just as convenient as living near a Tube station - from where I live, I can get to London Bridge on the train in less than 10 minutes and Charing Cross in less than 20. The last trains are at similar times to the last Tube and I've never felt like I couldn't do anything because I had to get a train home (and in the worst-case scenario there are always night buses and cabs).

Explore.
Similar to the previous tip, I would highly recommend that you explore London on foot as much as possible. It will help you immensely with your sense of navigation - too often the Tube can confuse you as to where things are and in the amount of time it takes you to get into a station, on and off the train and back out at your destination it may well have been easier to walk. I now try to walk or take buses to meet people or go to places in London whenever I can and it's so useful in terms of being able to link up different areas, which I'm sure will come in useful one day! Plus it also helps you with finding those little gems of secret places that otherwise you might have overlooked. Start with the area you're moving to/staying, go for a walk and see what you can find.

Try new things as much as possible and take advantage of discounts.
London has such a huge array of opportunities to try new things - there always seems to be a new exhibition or restaurant opening up somewhere. I find the best way to keep up with this is to sign up to the weekly Time Out email which comes around every Thursday and includes lots of tips for things to do in the city, whether that's clubbing, cafes or cocktails. There's also now a free Time Out magazine that's handed out at major Tube and train stations on Tuesday mornings, and Stylist magazine's daily Emerald Street email includes possible weekend activities in its Thursday email. Equally, don't forget to look out for various free and cheap activities - as I mentioned in my sights post most of the museums are free apart from special exhibitions, and you can also often pick up cheap theatre tickets via the stalls in Leicester Square or lastminute.com. Groupon is also worth a look as well as they often have deals on beauty treatments and things like afternoon tea.

What would be your tips for anyone moving to your town?

4 comments:

  1. Ahhhhh I miss picking up my Time Out from the tube station on a Tuesday :(

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    1. I have found so many things I'd never have known about if it wasn't for Time Out. It's actually got better since it went to a free publication as well I think - seems to have lost the slightly patronising tone it had a few years ago which can only be a good thing.

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  2. Hey I'm just stopping by to let you know that I nominated you for the Liebster award, I hope you can participate.
    http://kimt1989.blogspot.co.uk/2014/02/liebster-award-2_25.html

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    1. Thank you! But I've already done it: http://cherrysodablog.blogspot.co.uk/2013/12/the-liebster-award-2013.html

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