Before you go to London:
- Do I need a passport for England travel?
- Yes. Read about getting a passport.
- Do I need a tourist visa in London?
- Do I need shots before I travel to England?
- No. Read more about travel immunizations.
- Yes -- see places to stay in London below.
How should I pack for London?:
Getting to London:
Where should I stay in London? How much will it cost?:
Expect to pay $25-$35 for a London hostel bunk.
Getting around in London:
Plentiful black London cabs have fixed prices -- get a few folks to make a cab's cost equal the tube.
British money and London budget:
- London Budget
What to do in London:
Safety, crime and travel health care in London:
US travelers get free emergency room care in London; all else is pay as you go, though your US health insurance probably covers you. Food and tap water are perfectly safe in London. You don't need travel immunizations for London.
London photo galleries:
London's West End is backpacker central:
Mail, Internet and Phone Calls in LondonUK mail is quite speedy -- if you'll be there a few weeks, set up a snail mail address.
You can buy phone cards good for making calls in England for about $3-5-10 USD in UK convenience stores, major train stations like Waterloo, your hostel and airports. You can also buy a UK cell phone for $50 or less and make cheaper UK calls than with a roaming US phone -- look for phone vending machines (seriously) or try a Carphone Warehouse storefront.
The Dover Castle Hostel (south of the Thames) has free wifi, but free or even cheap wifi in London hostels is scarce. Hostel internet access (their computers) is ludicrously expensive. London does sport internet phone booths on street corners -- spendy but handy. Chain easyInternetcafe, boring but predictable, can be found in places like Burger King.
London with a Tour GroupVisiting London is so expensive that going with a tour group is a great idea -- it can be cheaper and much easier than visiting on your own. Several companies specialize in student group travel -- try EF Tours for a very decent experience: I've traveled with EF Tours, and I would again.
Getting Out of LondonIreland is home to cheap European air champ Ryanair -- departs from all three London airports and gets you around Europe and to Ireland for as little as $20. Take the under-Chunnel Eurostar to Paris, Brussels or Amsterdam to catch a European train with a Rail Europe pass. Ferries exist, too.