New to London? Visiting for the first time? We've put together this guide for newbies to the city — everything from what to do and where to eat, to how to get around.
How to act like a Londoner
- Follow these 10 simple tips to blend in with Londoners around you
- Rain is not uncommon in London so we'd recommend taking a look at our guide to umbrella etiquette.
How to do the attractions
- If you're keen to visit London's most famous attractions, start with the ones that don't suck.
- If the gallery or museum you want to see is likely to be busy, find an alternative one which offers similar exhibits.
- Avoid the queues — find out when the quiet times to visit London's attractions are.
- If you're keen to see more of London than the average visitor, take a behind the scenes tour of one of the big museums or theatres, or even look round a football stadium or sports venue.
How to do London with children
- It can be tricky to see everything you want to see and stick to a budget, especially if the whole family is visiting. Check out these budget-friendly alternatives to the main attractions.
- Plenty of London restaurants are child-friendly too.
- Take a look at our Family section to find child-friendly events, shows and exhibitions which are currently on in London.
Other things to do
Feeling sporty? Pick from the following activities, to find out where and how to do it in London:
- The best climbing centres in London
- White water rafting on the Olympic course
- The best spots for outdoor swimming in London
- Where to do extreme sports in London
- Where to play bubble football in London
- Where to watch some football on the cheap
Want to go shopping? London's got several famous markets. Find them (or the lesser-known ones) on this map of London markets.
Where to eat and drink
If you're looking for somewhere decent to eat or drink, take a look at our best food and drink in London page for suggestions on whatever you fancy.
If it's a traditional British pub you're after, our pub guide lets you search by area, or by facility (such as beer garden pool table, dog friendly, real ale). We've tried them all ourselves, so we know they're worth a visit.
How to get around
So many options for getting around London: tubes, buses, trains, taxis, the London Overground, the DLR (where you can sit in the driver's seat... sort of). Even the cable car isn't that bad. Whichever method you choose, there are things you should know.
London buses no longer take cash payment, so make you sure you have an Oyster card or contactless card handy when boarding a bus.
The tube is usually the quickest way to get across London. It can get busy, but there are ways to guarantee yourself a seat on the tube (and if you're wondering about tube arm rest etiquette, we've got that covered too). Just make sure you stand clear of the doors.
Before you visit
- Swot up on Trafalgar Square or Monument before you visit them.
- Take a look at our YouTube channel for plenty of fun short videos about London, from local myths to a guide to all of the tube lines.
- Finally, make sure you sign up to our free daily email newsletter to stay up to date with what's going on in London.