Let us put "JOY" in your travel!
London is a huge and diverse city. For tourists visiting for a short stay it can be difficult to know where to begin and what to do.
One of the best ways to get the best out of the city is to experience London like local people would. It’s only really when you become a local in a city that you get to know the short cuts and the best places to go. If you stick to the well beaten tourist trail you might just end up seeing obvious and expensive tourists attractions all the time and not get a feel for the real London.
Here are some tips for how you can experience London as if you were actually living there.
Get an Oyster Card
Don’t worry, it’s nothing to do with the type of Oyster that you eat or fish for. An Oyster card will get you around London on public transport cheaper than if you were to buy a ticket every time you travel. The savings can be quite significant.
You can buy an Oyster card at tube and train stations and even online if you are organized enough. You then top up the card with a certain amount of money, or buy a travel card for the period you are in London for. Then each time you get on a tube, bus or train you just tap your card on the gate into the station or on the machine on the bus and it will deduct the fare from your card.
It’s very easy and just about all Londoners who use public transport have an Oyster card.
Visit a London pub
Pubs are part of the culture in London and there is no better way to experience one of the ways Londoners like to unwind by visiting a pub. If you want to avoid the pub being too busy try to avoid them on a Thursday or Friday night when Londoners leave work and head to the pub for a drink or two. On the other hand the busier the pub is with locals the more you will get a feel for how the locals live.
Try the local food
Again local pubs are a great way to experience food in London. You should be able to find all the traditional favorites on the menu such as Fish and Chips, Beef and Yorkshire Pudding, Sausage Hot Pot and many more. London has a large amount of good restaurants too. Many are reasonably priced and don’t be put off by the fact that it could be foreign cuisine. London is such a cosmopolitan city that you wouldn’t be sampling the real London if you didn’t try a number of different foods from around the world.
Go to a sporting event
Soccer or football games are extremely popular in London. If you can get seats at one of the numerous London football clubs you can get a feel for how many people spend their Saturday or Sunday afternoons in London. The atmosphere of tens of thousands of people packed into a stadium ferociously supporting their team can be very exciting, especially if it’s your first time witnessing it.
Stay in an apartment
If you want to feel like a Londoner try staying in an apartment. Providers such as Clarendon offer apartments throughout central London. You get your own kitchen which can be fun if you want to go food shopping and then get back to your apartment and cook some traditional British dishes.
London is at its best when you see it through the eyes of a local. It’s also a great way to do things a little bit cheaper than you otherwise might.