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Essential information

At a glance

Best time to go
Current Time
GMT +1
area code

Money and costs

Daily Costs
Budget (up to)
  • Dorm bed: £12–30
  • Market-stall lunch or supermarket sandwich: £3.50–5
  • Many museums: free
  • Standby theatre tickets: £5–25
  • Santander Cycles daily rental fee: £2
  • Double room: £100–200
  • Two-course dinner with glass of wine: £35
  • Temporary exhibitions: £12–18
  • Theatre tickets: £15–60
Top end (more than)
  • Four-star or boutique hotel room: more than £200
  • Three-course dinner in top restaurant with wine: £60–90
  • Black cab trip: £30
  • Top theatre tickets: £65


Not required for Australian, Canadian, New Zealand and US visitors, as well as several other nations, for stays of up to six months.

When to go and weather


Getting to London

Most people arrive in London by air, but an increasing number of visitors coming from Europe let the train take the strain, while buses from across the Continent are a further option.

The city has five main airports: Heathrow, which is the largest, to the west; Gatwick to the south; Stansted to the northeast; Luton to the northwest; and London City in Docklands.

Most trans-Atlantic flights land at Heathrow (average flight time from the US East Coast is between 6½ and 7½ hours, 10 to 11 hours from the West Coast; slightly more on the return).

Visitors from Europe are more likely to arrive at Gatwick, Stansted or Luton (the last two are used exclusively by low-cost airlines such as easyJet and Ryanair). Most flights to Continental Europe last from one to three hours.

An increasingly popular form of transport is the Eurostar – the Channel Tunnel train – between London and Paris or Brussels. The journey takes 2¼ hours to Paris and less than two hours to Brussels. Travellers depart from and arrive in the centre of each city.

Flights, cars and tours can be booked online at www.lonelyplanet.com/bookings.

Flights to London

The best price found from United States to London is on September 16th, 2019, travelling with Spirit Airlines. See more options, compare prices and book: search flights.

Detroit Wayne County
from $223.00
London Gatwick

Getting around London

The cheapest way to get around London is with an Oyster Card or a UK contactless card (foreign cardholders should check for contactless charges first).

  • Tube (London Underground) The fastest and most efficient way of getting around town. First/last trains operate from around 5.30am to 12.30am and 24 hours on Friday and Saturday on five lines.
  • Train The DLR and Overground network are ideal for zooming across more distant parts of the city. Trains run from a number of stations to more distant destinations in and around London.
  • Bus The London bus network is very extensive and efficient; while bus lanes free up traffic, buses can still be slow going.
  • Taxis Black cabs are ubiquitous, but not cheap. Available around the clock.
  • Bicycle Santander Cycles are great for shorter journeys around central London.

Health and safety

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Advice for travellers

Travelling with children

London is a fantastic place for children. The city’s museums will fascinate all ages, and you’ll find theatre, dance and music performances ideal for older kids. Playgrounds and parks, city farms and nature reserves are perfect for either toddler energy-busting...

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Women travellers

Female visitors to London are unlikely to have many problems, provided they take the usual big-city precautions. Don’t get into an Underground carriage with no one else in it or with just one or two men. And if you feel...

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