fbpx

London – Capital of England and Great Britain. In the past, at a time when Britain was a colonial power, it was also the capital of the world. There is probably no other such a multicultural city in Europe. If you’re planning a trip to London for the weekend then you’ve come to the right place. Along with my girlfriend, we made a 3-day city-break in this city. On its basis, I will present you in a nutshell. What? Where? and How? in London.

Polarsteps relation

The route we have traveled, step by step, you can see in the Polarsteps app:

Airports and access to central London.

London has 5 airports in your area where you can fly:

  • Heathrow – The largest and main airport in Great Britain. Mostly, traditional airlines are flying there. It is connected to Central London by underground (Piccadilly line).
  • London City – An airport located in the business district (City and Canary Wharf), making it the airport closest to the city center. It is connected to the city using the DLR trains. Through their location and short runway, only smaller planes can land on it. Business connections are mainly offered here.
  • Gatwick – The second busiest airport to London after Heathrow. You can get here from Poland with the EasyJet line. London can be reached by train in 30min (lines: Gatwick Express, Thameslink) or National Express buses or easyBus even for just a few pounds
  • Stansted – Located about 50km north-east of the center, Ryanair’s main base. You can get to London by Stansted Express in 50 minutes (GBP 16.60) or by buses (easyBus, National Express) in about an hour and a half.
  • Luton – located 45km north of central London. It is the main easyJet and WizzAir base. You can reach the city center from here with National Express buses in about an hour. I came to England myself via this airport.

Public transport

Public transport in London is very extensive. The London underground is colloquially called The Tube. London itself is divided into 9 tariff zones, where the further zone the ticket is more expensive.

Underground Tube

Tickets and Oyster Card

London has its city card, which is called the Oyster Card. It works just like a regular Prepaid card, which is topped up earlier, and later the travel fees are charged in the “Pay as you go” system. A deposit of GBP 5 is required for the card to be issued. You can get it in vending machines at train stations and metro stations. After the journey, you can return such a card and recover the deposit and remaining funds.

The “Pay as you go” system consists in the fact that a card is applied to the gate at the entrance to the metro station and at the exit. Then, depending on the number of zones covered, an appropriate ticket fee will be charged.

Limits

There are daily and weekly limits – you will not pay more than the specified amount for given zones. For example, a single pass for zones 1-3 costs 2.80GBP, and the daily limit for these zones is 8GBP. So after the third trip, by the end of the day, you’ll be driving in these zones for free.

Contactless

Contactless payments – This option allows the use of a standard Debit card as a ticket. It’s not possible to make using communication easier. You do not need to make an Oyster card or use machines. It’s just enough at the gate to apply the payment card, and the amount for the trip will be deducted from it. Of course, Limits a day are also working here.

What to see in London?

Baker Street 221b

This address does not need to be presented to any Sherlock Holms fan. We took the opportunity that the bus from the airport was passing by. We decided that we do not have to go straight to the center, we will just start from here. You will not find here the scenery from the series, but only a museum dedicated to the most famous detective. The BBC series was filmed in another part of the city at 187 North Gower Street.

Sherlock Holmes Museum

King’s Cross, 9 ¾ platform

Did you not dream of getting a letter from the school of magic and wizardry as a child? If so, you must visit the station from which the Hogwarts Express leaves. At King’s Cross, there is a special stand imitating the entrance to platform 9 ¾ known from the world of Harry Potter.

Natural History Museum

London museums have very rich collections (Great Britain was once an empire and rare exhibits from around the world have been taken here, eg Greek statues). Admission to the museums is free, so you should go to one of them during your stay.

In the Museum of Natural History you can see whole skeletons of dinosaurs, or how the earth was formed over the millennia.

Natural History Museum

Science Museum

The Science Museum is located next to the Museum of Natural History and in its collections has, among others antique cars and planes. In this museum, some exhibitions are interactive and children can carry out small natural experiments there.

Science Museum

Hyde Park

One of the royal parks in London. It is quite large because it covers an area of 159 ha. There is Speaker’s Corner – a place where everyone can speak regardless of their beliefs (at least until recently).

Hyde Park

Greenwich

In Greenwich there is an astronomical observatory through which runs the meridian of the same name. The new zero meridian, determined in 1984, runs only 102m east of the observatory, through the park next to it.

Greenwich

Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace is the seat of the British queen. Every day at 11:30 you can watch the guards change here. You can not go to her for tea. If you want to visit her apartments, go to London between August and September, when the Queen goes on holiday.

Parlament / Big Ben

The symbol of London. Located on the Thames, where you can see the London Eye on the other side. Unfortunately, Parliament and its clock tower – Big Ben are under renovation until 2021.

Tate Modern

Tate Modern is a museum of modern art with works by, among others Pablo Picasso or Andi Warhol. It is located on the site of an old power plant. On the 10th floor there is an observation deck from which you can admire the panorama of London.

Borough Market

Borough Market – is a grocery market where you can try a variety of dishes from around the world. Among others Burger with kangaroo meat.

St. Dunstan in the east

The ruins of the church near Tower Bridge, transformed into a public park. A great place for a romantic stop or photo session.

St. Dunstan in the east

Tower Bridge

Another iconic place – the drawbridge on the Thames.

Notting Hill

A wealthy district of London, where you can see luxury cars as well as tourists taking pictures of tenement houses painted in pastel colors.

China Town

A Chinese neighborhood located in the very center of Soho – the West End. The main artery here is Gerrard Street.

Chinatown

Lego World

Leicester Square has the largest store dedicated only to Lego bricks in the world. You can see here Big Ben or a subway car built of blocks.

M&M’s World

Opposite Lego, there is a brand store of popular chocolates. 3 floors of sweet debauchery and everything that can be associated with m & m’s.

Piccadilly Circus

Equivalent to New York Times Square. One whole corner of the square is covered with multimedia billboards of various companies.

Piccadilly Circus

Where to sleep?

When looking for accommodation in London, you need to consider in which tariff zone it will be located. Sometimes it is not profitable to choose an apartment very far from the center without good access. Personally, I chose a double room in an apartment in the Walthamstow district, so in the 3rd zone. We had a very good connection to the center from here thanks to the Walthamstow Central station, which is served by the Victoria metro line, and the suburban railway. For 2 nights I paid 110 GBP

Costs

  • Plane tickets – 618.4zł
  • Accommodation 110 GBP
  • Transport from Luton Airport to city center and return (National Express Bus) 37 GBP
  • Costs incurred on the spot (Transport/Food) 170,31 GBP
  • In total for a 3-day weekend for 2 people in London we paid: 450GBP

Other Travels

Are you looking for inspiration for a city-break in another country? See my list of weekend trips.

See also my other posts from further and closer travels. Link

Author

Cześć, nazywam się Łukasz i tworzę ten Blog Podróżniczy. Jest mi niezwykle miło Cię gościć. Jestem Cyfrowym Nomadem (Digital Nomad) czyli programistą i podróżnikiem w jednym. Mój zawód pozwala mi pojechać na drugi koniec świata i na co dzień tworzyć soft jako Full stack .NET Developer, a w weekend odwiedzać nowe miejsca i kraje. Mam nadzieję, że spodoba Ci się to co tutaj robię i będzie to przydatne. Po więcej informacji zapraszam do zakładki "O mnie".