london on budget

Like with any new city, understanding the intricacies of the laws and habits of the cities inhabitants can be quite daunting. After all, every culture, every group and even every human has their own way of doing things, their own way of seeing the world and rather than hurtling boldly through a new culture with your habits, it’s often a wise idea to get to know the one you are visiting. Going on holiday is a chance to deep dive into a new culture, and with the ever-shifting sands of the UK, it can often be difficult to know where to start with the famous city.

With tens of millions of tourists visiting and making the most out of 4-star hotels in Paddington, you’d be forgiven for staying on the safe and certain tourist track. If you’re looking to fully integrate into London and learn a little more about the culture, then the below hints could help you learn your left from your right escalator side and really learn the “gift of the gab”.

Keep left!

One of the main parts of British culture which can cause annoyance and sometimes accidents, is that cars drive on the left-hand side of the road. This means that when crossing roads, it is always a good idea to look right and not left. If you are planning on driving in London, then keep a note of this point. What’s more, knowing your left form your right can come in useful when using escalators, especially in the London Underground. Most people walk down or up the left hand side of the escalators whilst the right hand side is reserved for those who want to ride it without walking.

Londoners really know how to queue

It’s true, when in London, you’ll see a culture of ordered chaos. Whilst the streets and tubes can get very overcrowded indeed, there is a dignity in the way the British queue. Whether it’s for a rush hour Victoria line train or waiting in line for breakfast at the Park Hotel Hyde Park, learn to be patient like the rest of the city.

Order beer and cider by the pint

No bottles or glasses in London, you order your beer and cider by the pint. This is a famous aspect of the UK, where the glass sizes provide just the right amount of beer to hit the spot. Once you go for a pint, you’ll never be satisfied with anything less!

Pounds not Euros

Remember when coming to the UK not to change your money for Euros, but for the Great British Pound instead. The UK is one of the only countries in Europe not to don the Euro as their currency of choice, and if you forget, that’s just one more trip to the bank or post office.

Watch out for peak times

Peak times in London can get well and truly hellish. If you’re looking for a relaxing journey on public transport, then it’s a good idea to avoid if you can, trains between 6.30 and 10am, and 4pm and 7pm, especially because the prices are hiked up as well.