We’ve got the lowdown on all you’ll need to know to start planning your London itinerary right now.
London is one of the world’s most visited cities. Home to Big Ben, Buckingham Palace and the London Eye there’s a lot to experience, so it’s easy to see why Aussies are eager to embark on the long journey to explore all this capital city has to offer!
With its many museums, diverse galleries and varied fine dining opportunities, London has something for everyone.
What to know before you go
Is London in Europe?
Yes. While not part of continental Europe, London is the capital of the United Kingdom which is still part of Europe.
Is London in England?
It certainly is. It’s situated in the south-east of England, which is one of the four countries that make up Great Britain, also known as the United Kingdom.
Is London expensive?
In comparison to the rest of Europe, London is considered to be an expensive city.
Compared with the average Aussie price of a mid-range three-course meal for two London is slightly more expensive. In Australia we’d usually pay about $80 for a three-course meal for two people, whereas in London, you’d be looking at something like $90 for the equivalent.
Draught beer is slightly more expensive too, as it would usually cost about $7 in Australia, whereas London prices are more like $7.30 (averaged out).
Coffee is more expensive as well. Aussies would usually expect to pay in the region of $4, and in London, you’d be more likely to pay around $4.30.
Generally, public transportation and taxi services are more expensive too.
There are a number of things that Aussies visiting London will notice are cheaper. For example, general groceries and imported bottled lager are all priced lower than the equivalent products back home.
Does London use Euros?
No. London, and the rest of the United Kingdom, uses pound sterling (£/GBP).
Does London get snow?
London does get snow, usually during the mid-winter months and occasionally a cold front will occur in March or even April. London rarely gets much snow however. And it’s hard to predict as it doesn’t snow every year. The past decade has seen above-average temperatures throughout the seasons, which has lessened the opportunity for the cold ground required for snow to fall and stick.
Health and safety
Is London safe?
London is relatively safe compared to its size. As you would when travelling to any city, it’s important to maintain due care and attention where your personal safety and possessions are concerned. Some additional safety points to be aware of are listed below.
- Travel. It’s best to plan your route before setting out. Only use taxis or registered minicabs. Avoid walking alone at night wherever possible, and stick to well-lit roads. Ensure that you cross roads safely, only use designated crossings, only cross when the green man is showing and take note of the signs indicating which direction to check to spot any oncoming traffic.
- Bars/restaurants. Conceal any property of value. Many venues have clips under the tables that can be used to secure your handbag or briefcase. Don’t accept drinks from strangers.
- Rare occurrences, but additional important info. Report any unattended bags or belongings you might spot in public places. Watch the National Police Chiefs' Council's (NPCC) video which advises what you should do in the rare event of a firearms or weapons attack. You can also download the free CitizenAid app on Android or Apple, which gives advice on immediate actions in case of an incident.
Getting around and things to do
Which London airport is easiest to get to?
Heathrow is the most accessible of London’s airports. A Heathrow Express train leaves from Paddington station every 15 minutes and takes approximately 15 minutes. You can also get to Heathrow terminals by taking the tube. The journey from King's Cross it takes approximately 50 minutes.
Which London airport is closest to the city?
The closest airport to London is London City Airport (LCY) as it’s only 12.5 km outside of the city itself.
Does London have a beach?
London is not a coastal city and thus there are no natural beaches there. There are, however, a number of urban, man-made beaches in London. Why not checkout Neverland London or Brixton beach?
Pining for the sea air? We recommend a trip to Camber Sands. The journey covers 124 km which equates to approximately 130 minutes of car travel time. But it’s well worth the trip. Alternatively you can catch a train which takes approximately two hours.
Which London museums are free?
There are a number of free museums throughout London. These include the British Museum, the Museum of London, the Natural History Museum and the Science Museum. It’s worth noting, that whilst it isn’t obligatory, they do ask for donations upon entry.
Are London museums open on Sundays?
Yes. The majority of London’s museums are open on Sundays. Some may have slightly different opening hours in operation on Sundays, but most are accessible seven days a week.
Does London have Uber?
Uber has recently been banned in London, prior to this uberX was available.