Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Visiting London, part one

I've spent the last three months studying in London as part of a program through my university. It's been an amazing experience and I'm so grateful for it. As a sort of natural result I've picked up a few tips for visiting London.

*Use Pret a Manger and E.A.T. These are both chains all around London which sell fresh, pre-made sandwiches. I'm not sure of exact prices at E.A.T., but at Pret you can easily get a fairly filling sandwich for under three pounds. The cheapest is the egg mayo sandwich at a pound fifty. They also have coffee, soup, and a few pastries. TIP: Try to ask for take-away. Restaurants are legally required to charge a special tax if you eat in.

*Go to the museums. London has some fabulous museums, especially the National Gallery, the National Portrait Gallery, and Tate Britian. On the history side, there's the V&A (Victoria and Albert) and the British Museum. There are smaller museums and galleries that you can look up if you're interested. TIP: Go early. British school children are required to visit the major museums so with them and tourists, it can get quite noisy later on. Most galleries open at ten so you won't have to get up at the crack of dawn.

*If there is a musical performance you want to attend and you don't have tickets, go to the box office about 9:00 the day of the performance. Most of the major companies have tickets that are only available on the day. I'm not sure if this is true for plays or not, but the TKTS booths operate under a similar idea. TIP: Wear comfortable shoes.

*If you're in London for any amount of time, you'll probably hit rush hour on the Tube. Be prepared to be squashed up against the person next to you. There's really nothing any of you can do about it. TIP: If there are no handholds available, lean against the wall of the car and plant your feet.

*People in London walk fast. Now, so do I. If you walk more slowly or if you stop in their path, they will just push past you. TIP: If you feel like you simply have to have a photo of X or if you're lost, try to stop at the edge of the sidewalk or Tube platform. Walking fast is an added bonus.


Melanie April 22, 2009 at 8:41 AM  

Oh, you're making me jealous!! I wanna go to London!! :-D I have a cousin in London who I plan to visit it eventually... Thanks for the tips for if I ever do. :-D It sounds exciting!
Have fun! :-D

Emily April 23, 2009 at 12:53 PM  

Great to get your perspective, Maureen!

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