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.
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 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.
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.
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 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
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.
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
In the Museum of Natural
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.
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).
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.
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 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 – 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.
Another iconic place – the drawbridge on the Thames.
A wealthy district of London, where you can see luxury cars as well as tourists taking pictures of tenement houses painted in pastel colors.
A Chinese neighborhood located in the very center of Soho – the West End. The main artery here is Gerrard Street.
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.
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.
Equivalent to New York Times Square. One whole corner of the square is covered with multimedia billboards of various companies.
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
- Plane tickets – 618.4zł
- Accommodation 110 GBP
- Transport from Luton Airport to
citycenter 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
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