It doesn’t matter if you are moving to the city or just visiting for a few days, there are unspoken rules and etiquette to follow in London. You won’t find these in any tour guides or maps but they can make all the difference to make sure that you thoroughly enjoy and make the most of your new home or little getaway. So here is a list of things you have to do and places to see to get you underway on your new adventure.
Good Accommodation is Absolute
Whether you are looking for a new flat, house or simply looking for a hotel such as the Shaftesbury Hotel Paddington, it is important to be aware of your surroundings. Is it close to a shop so you can quickly nip there for any essential bits that you may need? Is the tube station only a few minutes away so it cuts down commuting time to work or to the sights you want to see? Is it in an area of the city where you feel safe, especially at night? Can you comfortably afford it? These are small selection of the questions that need to be addressed for you to be able to pick the right accommodation for you.
Comfort, Comfort, Comfort
Naturally you want your accommodation in Paddington London to be comfortable but its all about comfort when you’re exploring the city. Don’t believe everything you see on a map because, in London, things appear a lot closer than they are in reality which either means a long walk or public transport. In light of this, if you are travelling to work, you don’t want to be walking in your heels that you will have to be in all day, so invest in a comfortable pair of trainers to commute in. This will save you and your feet from a lot of pain and discomfort, especially in rush hour when seats are non-existent.
If you are just visiting, walking shoes or a pair of very comfortable shoes are the shoes that you need especially if you have every intention on seeing most of the sights. Public transport is fast and effective but some of them, such as the black cabs, can be quite pricey but walking is definitely the best way to see everything as it can also unearth some secret spots along the way.
Public Transport: What You Need to Know
Whether you are visiting London or living there, the first thing you need to do is buy an Oyster card. These get you to your destination a lot quicker, it can be used on most forms of transport and it can even save you money. If you aren’t used to city life, using the tube and buses in London is a hectic experience because there is no such thing as personal space during rush hour and weekends so be prepared to be nose to nose for the duration of your journey. However, as uncomfortable as this situation is likely to be, you must be respectful; no huffing and tutting, no pushing or shoving and try, even though it will be difficult, to give your hugging partner a tiny amount of space. If you do this it will make your journey more bearable, however, under no circumstances must you talk to another person on the tube, especially if you don’t know them. There is an unspoken rule that the tube and buses are silent zones and anyone who breaks this rule will instantly face the wrath of Londoners, through filthy looks. The one place where you will not make friends is on public transport so there is no point in attempting it.
Shopping: Where to Go
Shopping on Oxford Street, Regent Street and in Harrods are amazing experiences as you may not have been to anything like it before, plus they are known throughout the world. Don’t limit yourself to these places as there is much more to London than those iconic streets and department store. If you are moving to the city, look for shops in your district as it is important to help local businesses plus you are more likely to become friendly with the shop owners, giving you at least one friendly face in your area. If you are here for a friendly visit, take a walk and see what little boutiques you can find; London is famous for having little surprises around ever corner and you will be amazed at what you find.
Check online for events happening in the area because every weekend there is always something new going on in the city. There will be fayres, markets, boot sales and fetes happening around London which are always exciting to experience as you are always guaranteed to find a bargain or be able to pick up a piece from a new, up and coming designer. You will be very surprised at what you can find if you simply hunt around.
If You’re Visiting, Be a Tourist
This may be blatantly obvious but you will be surprised at the amount of people who don’t visit the tourist spots in the city because they may be ‘too busy’ or they may be too expensive. London has so much to offer and there is a reason why millions of people flock to it every year, so if you don’t take a bus tour or go to Buckingham Palace and the Houses of Parliament, then you are seriously missing out. Yes, some of the main sights do cost a pretty penny but there are deals to be had, especially if you visit two or more of the sights in the city and all of the major museums are in fact completely free. Even if you are choosing to live there, being a tourist for a day is all part of the experience and allows you to reaffirm why you fell in love with the city in the first place; you may have lived in London for years but it can still surprise you.