Despite its impression of extravagance, affluence, and royalty, huge waves of travellers still consider London as a great potential destination for a vacation. As a matter of fact, based on actual figures by the UK’s Office for National Statistics, the city welcomed a record-shattering 31.5 million international tourists in 2015. With the availability of cheaper flights and reasonably priced accommodation, this amount is likely to increase. Add that to the statement that the capital constantly climbs up the ladder of the most tourist-friendly cities on earth, and you’ve got the perfect setting for a supreme vacation.
Now what exactly makes London a magnet for all sorts of tourists? Is it the off-beaten path ideal for solo backpackers? The family-oriented places worthy of a handful of Instagram posts? Or the cold yet charming ambiance for couples? To answer your doubts: yes, yes, and yes; however, behind all of these, London has quite the unfamiliar features that travellers absolutely love.
Walkable City Streets
It’s no secret that London is cold, frigid even, but by looking on the brighter side of things, it presents tourists – especially those from tropical countries – an out-of-the-ordinary climate where walking for miles doesn’t entail sweating buckets. On one hand, you can follow Visit London’s suggestion on the best walking tours, which include the Sherlock Holmes Tour and the Haunted London Pub Tour among others. On the other, you can go on your own and immerse yourself in London’s urban culture. This helps you get better acquainted with the locals, as well as discover hidden gems in those little nooks and crannies on the streets. Most important of all, walking – or exploring the city on foot – is absolutely free and good for the heart.
Fantastic Public Transportation Systems
For travellers who aren’t fond of walking or those who would rather find an alternative method to get around the city, London has a bunch of equally viable choices. Say you’re arriving from Heathrow Airport. From there you already have two options depending on your budget and your preference. If you require a less expensive ride to the central part of the city, then the Piccadilly Line of the Tube is right for you. Conversely, if time is of the essence and money isn’t too much of a thing, then the Heathrow Express is perfect, as it can take from the airport to central London for as fast as 15 minutes. Aside from the famous – not to mention, punctual – railways, you’ll have those iconic double-decker buses, black taxis, and river bus services at your disposal. Word of advice, though: be sure to get a visitor Oyster Card for maximum savings and convenience all throughout.
With the constant influx of tourists in London, its thoroughfares, lodgings, and parking areas continue to improve its respective services – accommodating just about every type of traveller. From its walkable streets and major highways, to affordable hostels and five-star hotels, to departure lounges and even airport parking, it’s now easy to find a place to stay within the city. Sometimes you can even hit the proverbial two birds with one stone. At the aforementioned Heathrow Airport for instance, Parking4Less presents you a hotel with parking feature, an extra useful option especially when travelling on an early or late night flight. From here, you can select from various On-Airport and Off-Airport hotels, and find one that suits your prerequisites. On the contrary, London also offers plenty of hotel districts that meet the needs of different tourists and demographics. When all else fails, you’ll always have Airbnb and/or Couch-surfing as practical fallback.