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London Travel Information

Before you set out on your journey to London you can get an overview of the city here. Find out more about the weather of London, the restaurants in town and the best way to get to London.

Getting to London

Flying to London

There are five airports in greater London: Gatwick, Heathrow, Stansted, London City and Luton, which are all connected directly with the city centre by way of public transport. Gatwick is around 40km away from London and has a train station with trains departing to Victoria Station every 15 minutes. Gatwick is considered to be a rather confusing airport so try and make sure you have plenty of time to check in.

Heathrow is the largest European airport and is located in the west of London. A number of buses run to and from Heathrow and the inner city; the Piccadilly Line also travels to Heathrow. London City airport is situated very near the city centre in the Docklands and can be reached very easily by bus, underground and train. Business travellers often prefer this airport as the amount of time it takes to check-in is often less than at other airports.

Stansted has become an important airport in the last few years. There are several bus connections from Stansted to London as well as the Stansted Express. Luton experienced a large setback when Ryanair relocated from Luton to Stansted, but has managed to recover in the mean time. Many European airline carriers offer affordable flights to London. It’s worth booking in advance in order to take advantage of discounts.

Getting to London by Train

If you getting to London from continental Europe it is also possible to travel by train. The Eurostar travels directly from Paris or Brussels through the canal to London’s inner city. That means, that those arriving from another country, have to change at least once. Many European railway companies regularly have special offers on tickets to London. If you book early enough, you can get good savings.

Transport in London

London has one of the largest urban transport networks in the world. With integrated bus, rail, river and road systems spanning the city's 32 boroughs, there is efficient and easy access to all parts of the metropolis. One of the fastest means of transport in London is the underground train system, known as the tube. Annually, the tube system safely transports over a billion passengers. The London underground network is very well constructed. You can get to almost all sightseeing attractions directly by taking the underground, e.g. by taking the Circle Line. The tube reaches all corners of central and greater London with its 11 lines stopping at 270 stations. You can get an overview of the 12 Tube lines at ticket offices in the form of a folding map. With a bit of help from the Tubeplanner you can plan your routes in advance so that you are well prepared to explore the city. Tube stations can be identified by their signs, which consist of a red circle with a horizontal blue bar through the middle. The word "Underground" or the name of the respective station is printed on the bar. The underground is not as affordable as the bus, but it is usually worth buying a day ticket or an Oyster Card. The Oyster Card is a kind of prepaid card that can be topped up at ticket machines.

You can also use Oyster Cards on the double-decker buses which have elaborate and efficient services throughout the city. It is easy to travel by bus - especially when travelling down a busy long street where you can enjoy the view and witness the ever-changing labyrinth that is London. London’s bus network is excellent. There aren’t nearly as many traditional double-decker buses as there used to be, but with a bit of luck you might still spot the odd one. Lines 11 and 15 are particularly suitable for tourists who are hoping to gather a first overall impression of the city and its attractions. Buses in London transport double the amount of people as the underground daily. It is also possible to take the bus at night on one of London’s night buses, which travel between 12 and 4:30am. These can be identified by the "N" before the route number. If you would like to take one of these buses you need to signal clearly to the driver that you would like to be picked up as night buses do not stop at every bus stop. At bus stops with the route number displayed over a yellow background, passengers need to buy their ticket before getting on the bus. There is normally a ticket machine nearby. You will find information about London’s public transportation system on the website of Transport for London.

Cars have not been a popular method of travel since the congestion charge was introduced, costing every vehicle about £10 a day. However, the city is often still crowded with cars and can be a pain to drive around in! A better option is to hop into a trendy London black cab. Despite being one of the most expensive taxi services in the world, you are sure to end up talking to a born and bred Londoner who will pass on some hilarious stories! Trains have an important role in London, above all in and around the outer boroughs. Train stations that are situated close to the city centre usually also have an underground link. If you’re planning an excursion to one of the outlying towns, you can also inform yourself about train connections and prices on the National Rail website.



London Weather

It's a well-known fact that the United Kingdom (especially its capital city) is no stranger to rain. With an average of ten to twelve rainy days per month and about 611 mm of precipitation per year, the weather in London, however, is by far not the rainiest. For example Bergen in Norway has far more rain with 20 rainy days per month and a total of 2,548 mm of rainfall per year. Even Rome got more rain with almost 900 mm per year. The bad reputation of London's Weather is caused by the persistent drizzle. Cloudy skies and damp clothes causes visitors to find the prejudice quickly confirmed. Nevertheless, there's always plenty to see and do in this metropolis, whatever the weather is up to.

London has a mild and typically British climate. When warm in the summer you can enjoy days lounging in some of the green city parks, sipping on Pimms and munching on strawberries. There are also some city baths where you can cool off with a quick swim. July (on average the warmest month in London) has to offer particularly low rainfall and a temperature of 22 degrees. Autumn is a beautiful season in London, a perfect time to enjoy the many cosy coffee shops and freshly baked cakes, stroll around a museum or gallery and take a walk through Green Park, finding acorns amongst the brown leafy carpet.

Come Winter, London gets chilly, rarely freezing but one should wrap up warm. As the Christmas lights go on the whole of London lights up in preparation. The shop windows are dresses to high heavens with enchanting and magical displays out doing themselves year upon year. Enjoy shopping till you drop in any of the famed shopping streets. In spring time London wakes up after the sales in winter and the sleepy February. From February to April you have the best chances to have dry days on vacation. Things begin to grow again and new animals are born in the city farms. Why not got to the London Zoo in Regents Park, as things are getting warmer, it’s a lovely way to spend a day!



Essen und Trinken in London


In a city with more than 8 billion inhabitants this city of diverse ethnic cultures offers ingredients and flavours from all of the worlds continents. That means that you can experience the traditional British cuisine and at the same time try recipes from around the world. Of course you should try the regional meals such as bangers and mash, fish and chips, roast beef or pie. You find these classics at The Sea Shell (49-51 Lisson Grove), at The Wolseley (160 Piccadilly), at Goodman (26 Maddox Street) or at Hawksmoor Seven Dials (11 Langley Street). The Rules (35 Maiden Lane) is London's oldest restaurant, serving traditional British specialties since 1798 and is located in the heart of Covent Garden.

Try Indian curry dishes, Japanese seafood or Spanish tapas from authentic chefs. Also the French cuisine is very popular in London. Whether Chez Manny (145-149 Battersea High Street), Clos Maggiore (33 King Street, Covent Garden) or Le Gavroche (43 Upper Brook Street), they all offer the specialties of French cuisine. Traditional curries can be found among Inamo (134-136 Wardour Street), Ma Goa (242-244 Upper Richmond Road) or The India (21 College Hill, Cannon St.). The London gastronomy industry also enjoys the fusion culture of third and fourth generation immigrants combining their heritage with modern English foods. Another wonderful way to eat in London is in some of the delicious street markets, whether it’s a bagel on Brick lane, or a hot and spicy Caribbean curry in Portobello the choices are endless. Stumble across a small cosy coffee shop or tea house with freshly baked cakes and organic appetisers to wet your whistle for dinner.



Doctors and Chemists in London

The hygiene standard in Britain is very high, so you can drink tap water without hesitation. For things can take a turn even on holiday, make sure that you take a valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) with you. With this card you can take advantage of medical treatment in an NHS hospital. NHS is the national health service in the UK and can be used free of charge only in emergencies. However, if you are hospitalized or treated as outpatients, costs can occur. So it is recommended to have travel insurance to cover any costs. The UK emergency numbers are 999 or 112.

Do you suffer from travel sickness or do you have forgotten important medication at home? You will find everything you need in the pharmacies. The pharmacist will help you within the current opening times. In addition, some pharmacies are open on weekends and at night. You can find chemists close to you on www.nhs.uk. If you travel by plain and bring your medications, be sure that they are licensed in England. In case of doubt take a doctor's letter with you, so you can authorize the medication.