London is definitely one of the great cities of the world. It is an amazing concentration of everything this planet has to offer. There is such an energy and excitement everywhere you go.
The biggest attraction for us has to be the theater district. New York is great, but there is something special about London. Walking through historical buildings on narrow roads through crowded public squares intensifies the excitement of going to see a musical.
London is expensive so it might not be the best city to live long term, however short visits are always fantastic. Since London is the major airline hub of Europe, it is a great stopover before going to a primary destination.
The train system is very easy to navigate and reasonably priced, especially if you buy the day tickets. There are readily available subway maps everywhere and the color coded subway lines are very intuitive.
Besides the cost of living, the only negative thing I can say about London is that food quality is not particularly good unless you pay a fortune. My wife and I haven’t had much luck finding decent restaurants, with the exception of Jamie Oliver’s new Jamie’s Italian. Service, atmosphere and food were all perfect. It is difficult to find restaurants that have mastered all the ingredients to create an exceptional experience.
We are looking forward to visiting London again later in the year. It would be great to catch some live music if anyone has some advice on good venues?
London Travel Advice
Buy daily train passes. They are good after 9:30 AM and are cheaper than one return fare.
Getting to and from Heathrow Airport is easy and cheap. If you are going to use the discount airlines like EasyJet, it is probably better if you stick to Heathrow because bus fares to Gatwick and Stansted are more expensive.
Fly through London, not directly to London. Plan your trip to another European city and then you do a free stopover in London. That way you can avoid some transportation costs getting around Europe and not have to pay the extra luggage charges for the discount airlines.
The discount airlines seem to be much cheaper than trains. In my view, it doesn’t make sense to travel by train across Europe anymore.
It is possible and likely even cheaper to ship your own car from overseas to Europe to drive around. We saw Canadian and US license plates in Europe. We almost brought our car but changed our minds at the last minute. It would be a different experience driving across Europe.