London – Day in Day out

London AttarctionSo you’ve arrived in London, and following a good night’s sleep, what might your typical day in London entail? With so much to see and do, it’s best you ease yourself into London life. Don’t aim to try and do too much, as it can be very tiring. And you won’t get it all done in a day!

The first thing is to do is get hold of a copy of a popular attractions brochure together with a London Underground map. You can find copies at Amsterdam Hotel reception and these will serve you for the duration of your stay. Unlike package holiday destinations in the sun, the cost of attractions and tours tend to be the same whether you book through an agent, book in advance yourself, or turn up on the day (don’t “turn upon the day” for extremely popular paid-for attractions – you’ll end up queuing!)

Also, it is a good idea to purchase an Oyster travel card – you can obtain one from newsagents and local supermarkets where you see the “Oyster” sign. It offers great discounts on underground (and some overground) train services, saves queuing for ticketsbut you will needone to travel by red bus.

Oyster travel card

It’s important to plan your day’s travel. Try and avoid peak times, because of the 24million journeys (3.5million by tube, 6million of them by red bus) made across the entire Transport for London network, a great number of these are at the start and end of the business day.

Ensure you are wearing comfortable walking shoes and have a light waterproof in your bag. Keep your valuables safe and not in back pockets accessible by thieves.

In the centre of London, it’s often worth considering walking above ground rather than taking the tube. You will see so much more (and for short journeys you’ll probably walk just as far underground to reach the platform anyway!), and you can take note of shops, restaurants and attractions you might want to visit later on during your stay.

Another popular way of getting your bearings is to take an open-top red bus tour. You can hop on and off at will during the day, so if you spot something you want to see, just alight. Tickets also often include a Thames River boat trip, and there will always be either a real or virtual commentary on board the bus to point out things of interest.

If you are feeling energetic, the London Bicycle Rental Scheme runs all throughout the city. The cost is reasonable, and you’ll see rental points all over the city. You can hire, ride and return to any docking station (over 18 to hire, over 14 to ride). And it’s great fun too.