You don't know the British capital and have decided to discover it during an upcoming big weekend. London is a metropolis with more than 8,500,000 inhabitants. It was occupied by the Romans and was called Londinium almost 2000 years ago. By visiting this magnificent city, more than 20 centuries of history await you. On the other hand, before leaving, it is necessary to organize yourself and to properly prepare your trip . Here is everything you need to know about the organization and the sites to visit.
Since 1 st January 2021, the UK is no longer part of the EU zone. If you want to go to London, from 1 st October 2021, you must present a valid passport . Before this date, your valid identity card is sufficient until September 30. If you are not a member of the EU, you will need to apply for a visa (depending on your country of residence). In the latter case, it is strongly advised to contact the British embassy near you or the consular services.
Even if you only stay three or four days in London, be aware that the European Health Insurance Card is no longer valid in the United Kingdom since it left the EU on 1 st January 2021. If you wish to continue to benefit from medical care, you can subscribe to travel insurance valid during your stay in London . Also check the insurance services linked to your bank card. Note that additional travel insurance covers you for a medical emergency, but also for the loss or damage to your luggage, your stolen or lost items, repatriation assistance, medical expenses, hospitalization costs, consultations with specialists, etc.
To visit London, you have several options available, such as:
When the mode of transport is chosen, we advise you to book your ticket as soon as possible if you are traveling by public transport.
For long weekends, you can choose an all-inclusive package including:
Some tour operators even offer you to pay for this stay in four instalments.
If you do not opt for an all-inclusive formula, you must book your accommodation in London. The best is to go through the most famous reservation centers where you will find very interesting prices. It is advisable to book your accommodation near a metro station allowing you to reach the center as quickly as possible.
To visit London as quietly as possible and save money, you can opt for a tourist pass giving you access to very interesting packages, the reduction of which can go up up to 40% of the original price. On the other hand, there are several passes like:
Thanks to one of these cards, you will waste less time, be able to plan your visits and benefit from significant discounts.
Remember that in the United Kingdom, the currency is the pound sterling and that you need to plan to exchange euros with pounds sterling for your out-of-pocket expenses. The best is to change at your bank before your departure and according to the rate of the Euro. You can also use a multi-currency payment bank card anywhere in the world and free of charge. This card must be a MasterCard. You can still opt for the Travelex Money Card which is prepaid and is not linked to any bank account. You charge on it, the amount you choose. This map is available at:
To get around London, the most convenient way is the underground . You can invest in a rechargeable TravelCard or Oystercard for a few pounds and travel freely. These same cards also allow you to take the bus, the London Overground or the DRL. Once there, you will be able to visit magnificent monuments and typical places of the British capital.
Westminster Abbey is certainly one of the most emblematic places in the city. You will discover a Gothic architecture of more than 1000 years integrating extraordinary stained glass windows. 17 monarchs are buried there. In the Poets' Corner, you can reflect on Dickens, Kipling, Hardy and many other poets who are buried in the south transept, then you can admire the Coronation Chair dating from 1296 and still used today . It has welcomed all the monarchs of the country since 1308.
Take advantage of your skip-the-line pass to enter Saint Paul's Cathedral, the place where Prince Charles and Lady Diana were united. You can discover its crypt and the tombs of Admiral Nelson and the Duke of Wellington, magnificent paintings adorning its dome, sparkling mosaics before attacking the 257 steps leading to the Gallery of Whispers with exceptional acoustics. 119 steps higher up, you will be at the Galerie de Pierre to then reach the Galerie Dorée 152 steps even higher. From these landings, you will have a magnificent view of the city of London.
Tower Bridge is a neo-Gothic style drawbridge over the River Thames built in the 19th century to accommodate river traffic. It is known all over the world thanks to its exceptional and original architecture. You can witness its succession during boat passages and see its spectacular engine room and visit the museum inside the towers.
The Changing of the Guard ceremony at Buckingham Palace is still one of the must-see attractions when you are in London. As you exit St James’ Palace, watch the Changing of the Guard. You can film or photograph this unique scene in the world at your leisure. On the other hand, don't think of making funny faces to make the guards smile, no one has yet succeeded.
A true emblematic monument, the Tower of London is home to the crown jewels of England. This monument was once witness to bloody beheadings, but it is also steeped in history, as it was also a royal residence, a menagerie, an armory shelter, an observatory, a mint, etc. Here you can see Henry VIII's armor and of course be ecstatic over some of the finest crown jewels in the world.
Trafalgar Square is the famous square in London with four large statues of black lions. You can see street performances and eat in one of its many cafes. Take advantage of the location to discover the magnificent treasures housed in the National Gallery. Admission is free to admire the paintings of the most famous masters around the world such as:
The London Eye located on the banks of the Thames is the largest Ferris wheel in Europe allowing you to have an extraordinary panorama of London. You will climb more than 130 meters high in a capsule that can hold up to 25 people. Rest assured, it is closed and thus reduces the feeling of vertigo. The tour lasts half an hour.
Still to be seen:the City, Soho, Oxford Street, Hyde Park, Notting Hill, the Natural History Museum, Madame Tussaud, Hampstead Village and many other mythical places. Now, armed with this information, it's up to you to organize your itinerary to discover this beautiful capital for a magnificent weekend.