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Passport / Visa

Passport / Visa

Citizens of the European Union member-states, Norway, Liechtenstein, Iceland, Switzerland, and Overseas Countries and Territories (OCT) only require a valid passport to enter the UK. Residents of a further 10 countries do not require entry visas for stays under 6 months: the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, South Africa, Hong Kong, and Malaysia. Nationals of some further countries do not require a visa, but need to hold an entry certificate. Use the UK Government website to check for specific requirements: www.gov.uk/check-uk-visa
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Best Time to Visit

Best Time to Visit

London is graced by a mild climate and, as such, can be visited at any time of the year. However, a few things need to be considered first. Most of the royal palaces and residences, like the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace, are only open to the public during the summer months. Many of the city's most important festivals, like the British Summer Time Music Festival, also take place during this time. Late June to mid July is also when some of the best sales are on in shops around the capital. Spring is also a good season for a visit, since the weather is generally good and finding accomodation is both easier and cheaper (high season in London means a lot of tourists). And if you're not too bothered about the grey weather, then low season (January and February) can be a good option too, when there are fewer tourists and prices are lower.
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Airport - London Heathrow

Airport - London Heathrow

London Heathrow Airport is one of the busiest airports in the world, with five terminals. There are various ways to travel from Heathrow Airport to your destination. Hotel Hoppa and Hotel By Bus are shared ride services, transporting travellers to (and from) local and Central London hotels by coach. The quickest journey is by train on the Heathrow ExpressB, which runs every 15 minutes (from approximately 5am to 11.45pm) and gets you into Central London in 15 minutes for £20. You can also travel into Central London via Heathrow Connect (£9.50), the Piccadilly line on London Underground, a coach to Victoria Coach Station (£6), bus (£1.40 Oyster/£2.40 cash) or taxi (£50 to £80 in a metred black cab).
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Airport - London Gatwick

Airport - London Gatwick

London Gatwick Airport is the second largest airport in the UK (Heathrow Airport is the largest), with two terminals: North and South. The fastest route from the airport into Central London is via the Gatwick Express, with trains departing every 15 minutes. The non-stop journey to Victoria Station takes 30 minutes and costs £19.90. Alternative travel options include going by First Capital Connect train to London Bridge, City Thameslink, Blackfriars, Farringdon or St Pancras International (£10 to St Pancras); Southern train services (£19.90 to Victoria Station), coach (£8), easyBus (£2 – online price) or taxi.
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Airport - London Stansted

Airport - London Stansted

London Stansted Airport is the third busiest airport in the UK, and where many low-cost airlines serving Europe and the Mediterranean operate from. On the Stansted Express you can reach Liverpool Street station in 47 minutes. Trains run every 15 minutes and the journey costs £23.40. You can also travel between Stansted Airport and Central London by coach with easyBus (£2 – online price), National Express (from £5) or Terravision (from £6). Alternatively book a minicab in advance with 24x7 Stansted. Black cabs do no operate from Stansted (though you can take one to the airport).
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Airport - London Luton

Airport - London Luton

London Luton Airport is located just 56km north-west of Central London, and is a popular base for low-cost airlines. A regular shuttle bus transports passengers from the airport to the nearest station, Luton Airport Parkway, which takes about 10 minutes. From the station you can catch an East Midlands Trains or First Capital Connect service into Central London taking somewhere between 21 and 25 minutes (for £13.50). Other options include the easyBus express service (from £2 – online price), the Green Line 757 coach service to Victoria Coach Station (for £17) or Terravision coaches to Victoria Coach Station (for £15). Each transport service stops at different destinations en route. A metered taxi ride to or from Central London costs around £80.
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Airport - London City

Airport - London City

London City Airport is a single runway airport located 9.5km east of Central London, and serving mainly short-haul and business flights. The airport is on the Docklands Light Railway, which connects to London's Tube network at Canning Town, Stratford and Bank and uses the same price structure. Buses serve the airport too, with numbers 473 and 474 providing a connection to other East London destinations. You can also take a cab from the taxi rank outside the airport.
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Public Transport - Bus

Public Transport - Bus

London's bus network stretches right across the capital, and provides a frequent and accessible service. If you're using an Oyster card, a single trip costs £1.40. All you have to do is 'touch in' when you get on the bus. And remember there is a daily cap of £4.40 if you're using only bus and tram services. If you're paying by cash a single bus ticket is £2.40. Seven-day, one-month and annual bus passes are also available. To navigate your way around the network, pick up a Central London Bus Guide from travel information centres at larger Tube stations or use Transport for London's online Journey Planner. A reduced service of night buses operates throughout the night and the early hours of the morning. Most late-night routes will stop at Trafalgar Square. Various concessions are available for children, students, the elderly and disabled travellers.
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Public Transport - Tube

Public Transport - Tube

There are 12 Underground or 'Tube' lines serving Greater London, which connect at various points to the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) and local rail network. The Tube usually operates from 5am to midnight from Monday to Saturday, with a reduced service on Sunday. Plan your route by picking up a free Tube map from any Underground station, or using Transport for London's online Journey Planner. Fares vary depending on which of London's six travel 'zones' you travel through, though they are considerably cheaper with an Oyster card than buying paper tickets. Various concessions are available for children, students, the elderly and disabled travellers.
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Public Transport - Docklands Light Railway

Public Transport - Docklands Light Railway

The Docklands Light Railway (DLR) serves East London and connects with the Tube network at Bank, Tower Gateway (Tower Hill), Shadwell, Stratford, Bow, Heron Quays, Canning Town and Canary Wharf. It also connects to the Emirates Air Line cable car at Royal Victoria. Fares are the same as on the Tube, and the DLR runs from 5.30am to 12.30am Monday to Saturday and from 7am to 11.30pm on Sunday. Fares are the same as those on the Tube, and both Oyster card and Travelcard holders can use the DLR.
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Public Transport - Thames River Bus

Public Transport - Thames River Bus

Travel with ease along the Thames on board a river bus. There are six different routes that all stop at destinations along the riverbank between Putney and Woolwich Arsenal. Popular services include the Thames Clippers route between Hilton London Docklands Riverside and Canary Wharf, the Tate-to-Tate boatride between Tate Britain and Tate Modern, and the journey between London Eye and Greenwich village. Depending on the service you'll be able to buy your ticket either before boarding or on board. Discounts are available when using Travelcards and Oyster cards.
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Public Transport - Local Trains

Public Transport - Local Trains

As well as the Underground, London has its own local train network, which connects to the Tube at many points. The main train operators serving London are Silverlink, First Capital Connect, SouthEastern Railway, Southern Railway, London Overground and Greater Anglia. These local lines are, in turn, connected to the national rail network and the Eurostar. You can use your Oyster card on all trains operating within Zones 1-9, with the exception of Heathrow Express and a few other select services. Several different railcards are available too, providing discount fares to their holders.
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Public Transport - Trams

Public Transport - Trams

London's tram network, Tramlink, was introduced in the year 2000 and it runs in specific parts of South London – between Wimbledon, Croydon, Beckenham and New Addington. Trams run approximately every seven minutes to New Addington and every 10 minutes to Wimbledon, Elmers End and Beckenham Junction during the day from Monday to Saturday. Fares are the same as on buses. This means there is a flat rate of £1.40 when using an Oyster card and £2.40 when paying by cash. Travelcards and bus passes are also valid on trams.
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Public Transport - Cycle Hire Scheme

Public Transport - Cycle Hire Scheme

Hop on a 'Boris bike' and zip around London using the city's public bike-sharing scheme. Named after London's former mayor Boris Johnson, the popular red bikes can be picked up at over 550 bicycle docking stations across London – which means you're never far away from one. After you've paid your registration fee (from £2), you can hire a bike for a day, a week or even a year. The bikes are free to use for the first 30 minutes, after which the price increases by £2 every extra 30 minutes. When you've finished your journey, simply return the bike to your nearest docking station – you can find out where that is using the Santander Cycles app.
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Public Transport - Emirates Air Line

Public Transport - Emirates Air Line

Cross the Thames in style on board the Emirates Air Line, London's cable car connecting Greenwich Peninsula and the Royal Docks. As well as taking you across the river in less than 10 minutes, it provides an amazing bird's eye view of London and the Thames. The fare is £3.20 using an Oyster card, or you can buy a return journey (known as a '360° tour') for £6.40 from the terminals at either end of the line. Multi-journey boarding passes (£10 for 10 single trips) and private cabin packages are also available.
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Taxi

Taxi

Taking a ride in one of London's iconic black cabs makes for a very comfortable and spacious ride. Hail a cab in the street or pick one up at a taxi rank. Your journey is calculated using a meter, with a minimum charge of £2.40. Watch out though, because the price can go up pretty quickly and the roads in central London are often packed with cars. London also has many private vehicles for hire, as well as minicabs – these are unmetered so check the fare when booking. To find a local, reputable firm download Transport for London's free CabWise app or check the Hailo app to find a nearby black cab.
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Electricity

Electricity

Electrical appliances are connected to the UK mains supply using a three-pin plug, This plug fits into a wall socket. The sockets come with on-and-off switches, unlike in many other countries. The average voltage of a UK power socket is 230v or slightly higher, so check the voltage of your device before plugging it in. Voltage adaptors and convertors are available from London airports and high-street electrical chains such as Argos or Curry's. Power sockets are available at many coffee shops with WiFi and on some overground trains. Need to charge your mobile? Download the 'find-a-chargebox' iPhone app to find your nearest ChargeBox.
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