Berlin on a Budget | Travel Guide


I absolutely love Berlin. The city has an infectious energetic vibe to it, full of rich history and a dark past from which the city has completely turned itself around and become, well, cool.
It's an eclectic melting pot of culture and creative talent.
The capital of Germany is a great city to explore and is very easy to do so on a budget.
Here is my travel guide with top money-saving tips to help you get the most out of Berlin without burning a hole in your pocket!


BERLIN WELCOME CARD

The Berlin Welcome Card is a great way to save money. Starting from 19.50 Euros for 48 hours, it comes with many great discounts on museums, tours, shopping and restaurants, it covers transport, includes heaps of maps, booklets and information about attractions and things to do in Berlin. For more information here is the website link.



TRANSPORT

Berlin has very good public transportation that is easy to navigate. 

From the airport:

From Schönefeld Airport follow the signs to the train station which you can catch directly to the city centre. You will need to get a full 3-zone (A, B and C) ticket which only costs 3 Euros (so make sure you already have some Euros on you).
You can purchase the ticket from an automated machine and then validate it at the small poles set up on the platform before you get onboard. 

Berlin runs on an honesty system on all of their public transport- but do make sure to always buy a ticket. It's not worth it to be caught without one- you will get a hefty fine, and they do check on occasion.

From Tegel Airport it is located closer to the centre and you can catch a TXL Express Bus or the Express Bus X9. These stop right outside of the airport terminal and cost 2.70  per ticket.

Using the train and bus system is fuss-free, easy and much cheaper than taking a taxi from the airport, which will cost around 50 Euros!

Around the city:

To get around the city you can buy day passes that covers the S-Bahn (overground subway), the U-Bahn (underground subway), the trams and buses
Berlin is a huge city (six times the size of Paris!) and so has three different tariff zones. 

Single and day tickets cover the first two A and B but if you are venturing out further than the central areas you will need to pay extra to go to C.
An unlimited day ticket for one person (Tageskarte) covering zones A and B costs 7 Euros.
A single ticket costs 2.70 € and is valid for 2 hours.

Hauptbahnhof - Central/Main Train Station

FREE MUSEUMS & GALLERIES

Just a quick note first that in the central district of Mitte is Museuminsel or 'Museum Island'. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site and the five museums here are well worth a visit if you have that in your budget.
If you have the Berlin Welcome card you can save 50% off the entry, otherwise it costs 18 Euros for a full day pass (9 for concession). It's not the cheapest but if you're interested in museums and history it will be well worth your money.
Otherwise- on to the free offers!

Some Berlin museums have free entry on certain days and times. Here is a link for more information: Free Museum Entry Info. Some permanent free entry museums include:

Holocaust Memorial

The haunting Holocaust Memorial commemorates the six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust. The memorial consists of a giant field of 2711 sarcophagus-like concrete slabs varying in height on undulating ground. Underneath it is a small museum you can visit that provides information, photos and tributes to the lives lost.


Topography of Terror

Right where the most feared government institutions of Nazi Germany 
once stood, including the Gestapo headquarters- the Topographie des Terrors (Topography of Terror) exhibit documents the chronology of Third Reich terror, while introducing all the main perpetrators. 
From Spring to Autumn read the free articles along the wall to zero in on how daily life changed for Berliners after the Nazi takeover.
For an even more in-depth experience you can take the self-guided tour around the chilling grounds, and there is also an exhibition inside filled with photos and information.




Berlin Wall Memorial

Germany’s central memorial to the victims of the Berlin Wall- the Gedenkstätte Berliner Mauer (Berlin Wall Memorial) stretches for 1.4 kilometres along Bernauer Strasse, along the actual course of the Wall. 
This is the best place to learn how all the elements of the hated barrier and the death strip fit together, how the border fortifications were enlarged and perfected over time, and what impact they had on the daily lives of people on both sides.





OTHER FREE ATTRACTIONS

Brandenburg Gate

Berlin’s most iconic landmark- Brandenburger Tor (Brandenburg Gate) was built in 1791 as the royal city gate, but spent the Cold War years as a part of the Berlin Wall- and so became a symbol of the divided nation.
Crowned by an elaborate sculpture of the winged goddess of victory piloting a chariot, it now serves as an important symbol of German reunification.



Reichstag & Dome visit

The Reichstag is home to Germany’s parliament- the Bundestag. Book in advance and you can catch a free lift ride to its roof terrace which offers spectacular views over the city and close-ups of the modern glass dome atop of the historic building. 
Pick up a free audio guide and learn about the surrounding sights, the building and the workings of the parliament while peering up the dome’s spiralling ramp. The glass aims to create a sense of political transparency. 
You can even book for a guided tour through the parliament building - be sure to book well in advance for both by visiting their website. 


Reichstag building
A post shared by Krysti Jaims (@krystijaims) on

The view from the top!

Admire the architecture


The biggest landmark in Berlin is the Fernsehturm or the 'TV Tower' in Alexanderplatz.
It is the tallest structure in Germany and you can pay an entry fee to visit the top if you like, otherwise just marvel at it from below or from many points around the city- it is highly visible and a great landmark if you happen to lose what direction you are in!


Although you have to pay entry to go inside the museums on Museum Island- you can still stroll the island to take in the magnificent architecture of the buildings!




The Berliner Dom (cathedral) is jokingly known to the locals as the 'Eyesore of Berlin', nevertheless us tourists still think it's pretty grand! Also located on Museum Island, you can browse around inside for free and even visit the crypt below it.

Berliner Dom

The French Cathedral, Berlin Opera House, Victory Column and Charlottenburg Palace are a few of many examples of the great marvels of architecture worth seeing around Berlin.

Neue Kirche (left) and Konzerthaus (right)
Charlottenburg Palace
Berlin Victory Column

East Side Gallery

A colourful memorial to freedom- the East Side Gallery sits along the River Spree and is the longest remaining section of the Berlin Wall. 
Not long after its fall in November 1989, more than 100 artists from all over the world turned it into an open-air gallery covered in declarations of peace and other often politically minded murals.
Walk along the 1.3-kilometre stretch and enjoy the 'artworks' that symbolise hope and friendship.





Free walking tour

A few companies offer free walking tours around Berlin, but one that I myself went on- Sandemans is one I can fully recommend. The tour was fantastic - you get taken to many of the main attractions and highlights, and the guides are full of interesting facts, information and stories.
It's a fantastic way to start off in a new city as you get your bearings and learn where all the main landmarks are by walking. They offer help at the end of the tour if you have any questions at all, and do just ask to give a small donation for what you think the tour was worth- as it is their main job.
They also offer many other well-priced tours such as specific history tours, beer tours, pub crawls and more.


Checkpoint Charlie

Although Checkpoint Charlie has mostly degenerated into a tourist trap, it’s still a place to visit if you want to check that off your list.
Once the principal gateway for foreigners and diplomats between the two Berlins, it was here where the world stood on the brink of WWIII when US and Soviet tanks faced off in 1961. A small, free outdoor exhibition chronicles the milestones in Cold War history.
You can even pay a small fee to have your photo taken with the guards that stand there if that tickles your fancy.


Fassbender & Rausch

A little tip for chocolate lovers: you simply must go into Fassbender & Rausch- the largest chocolate shop in the world! In between Checkpoint Charlie and the Brandenburg Gate it is one of those shops you dream about.
Just going in for a browse is a wondrous experience, there are giant chocolate sculptures galore inside- some even hanging from the ceiling! There are chocolate fountains and all of the different types of chocolates you could possibly imagine.
There is even a chocolate cafe upstairs which is heavenly. Fair warning: you may go in and end up spending all of your money like me...



Picnic in a park

In Summer Berliners flock to their favourite parks to tan, picnic and 'Grill' and knock back a few beers. The Tiergarten is a large central city park filled with plenty of open green spaces, paths, ponds and romantic corners.
For something unconventional head to Tempelhofer Park- a former airport turned public park. Grab a disposable BBQ at the supermarket and grill your bratwursts next to the former runway. 

Mauerpark in Prenzlauerberg is my favourite. Forged from the ‘death strip’ once dividing the two Berlins- it is a great hangout spot, especially on Sundays when there is a large flea market on.
It also offers plenty of great food choices and entertainment, and many people flock here to chill with friends, people-watch and enjoy their Sunday.


Mauerpark

ACCOMMODATION

For budget-friendly accommodation, hostels are a great option. Prices can range but you can get a clean bed for as little as 10 Euros a night, for example at Corner Hostel
Search for hostels that are centrally located and with a fully equipped kitchen which can be a big money saver for yourself. 
You can get a pretty decent hostel for 25 Euros a night for example at One80 Hostel. This has a great location with many facilities and social events on every night of the week.
Other popular hostels include Circus Hostel and East Seven Berlin.
I prefer using AirBnB myself, as I prefer sleeping in my own room! This is another great option for affordable accommodation and you can filter through criteria such as where you want to stay, what your budget is and what your preferences are.


FOOD & DRINK

Make use of the discount Supermarket chains Penny, Lidl, Aldi and Netto for groceries and products. Packing your own lunch and cooking occasional meals at your apartment or hostel is a great way to save money.

You can pick up some fruit, bread, cheese and salami for example for a picnic lunch and make your own sandwiches all for around 3 Euros.
Not to mention take advantage of the very cheap beer- you can pick up single 500 ml bottles for 0.70 
 each!

Don't miss out on trying the local German food though- it would truly be a crime!
Döner kebabs are very popular in Berlin and you can find them everywhere- it's a very filling meal option which you can pick up for only 4 Euros. 
The currywurst is famous in Berlin for a reason! It's a great idea for a cheap snack or get it with pommes frites (french fries) for a more filling meal.

Currywurst

Local bakeries are very inexpensive (and delicious!) and offer a wide range of freshly baked bread, pretzels, sandwiches, pastries and sweets for good prices (pick up a buttered or cheese pretzel for only 1).
Berlin has many Biergartens (beer gardens) to enjoy a drink at and most offer traditional big German meals for a reasonable price (I would recommend trying the schnitzel which usually comes with fries and an egg and trying the Schweinshaxe (pork knuckle) which usually comes with potato dumplings and sauerkraut- de-lish!).
You can also find many Beer Halls which have very cheap beer and you can even take in your own food and snacks with you to save money. You sit at picnic tables inside and they have a really fun and social atmosphere about them.


I hope you found this Berlin on a budget travel guide helpful! If you are interested in more cost of travel and budget guides to cities in Europe then stay tuned for plenty more coming in the near future.
Feel free to comment if you have any questions or more tips of your own, I'd love to read them.
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P A R I S | Top Things To Do!



Bonjour!

If you are planning on heading to Paris anytime soon, or if you just want to read about me gushing about the beautiful city - read on!
What excites me most about Paris is the beauty of it, the history, the magnificent architecture, the gorgeous bridges across the river Seine, the food, and the fashion and shopping are incredible, world-class.

This is my first post on Paris which are guides, particularly for first-time visitors. For my top travel tips check out my second post: P A R I S | Top Travel Tips!

No matter what day of the week Paris is always bustling with activity. With countless museums, concerts, theatre and shows, there is always something on and plenty to do.
As there are so many great things I unfortunately haven't done everything (yet), so here are some of my top favourite things to do I have done myself - that I can fully recommend.


One of the most iconic structures in the world - the Eiffel Tower is of course number one!
I have always been mesmerised by the Eiffel Tower and I positively squealed when I finally laid my own eyes upon it for the first time.
Going up it is an experience not to be missed. I even did it a second time when I visited again, even though it had been less than a year since I had last gone up. It's so enjoyable - I'll probably do it every time!

Tip: take the stairs and walk up - it's cheaper than getting the lift (only 5 Euros) and it's not as hard as it looks. Think of all the impending bread, cheese and wine you are burning off! You can take the lift down for free so you only have to take the stairs one way if you wish to.


Quite a recent feature on the first floor: if you're brave enough - stand on the transparent floor made of glass and see the hundreds of tiny people standing below you. I'm not afraid of heights, but it's still pretty nerve-racking!
The views over Paris are breathtaking from every direction, more so the higher up you go.
After sunset, the tower lights up and sparkles for a full minute every hour on the hour until 1 am (2 am in summer).



Louvre

Being the biggest museum in the world and a historic monument in Paris - the Louvre is one not to be missed! Even if you have no interest in art or history, it is absolutely one of those astounding places that is honestly worth visiting.

Tip: there is more than one entrance, take the second, lesser-known one to beat the queues! Here's a link to an in-depth description of where to find it: Secret Louvre Entrance.


It has countless (okay I looked it up - over 35,000) objects, sculptures and paintings on display ranging from Ancient Egyptian, Greek, Roman to Medieval, Renaissance, World Wars, French Revolution etc.
It is a completely overwhelming (because there's so much to see!) but totally captivating experience.
Hire a headset and there's no need to take a tour - it will guide you through each room.
You can go up to anything on display you wish to know more about, input the number of it and it will tell you all about it.


As most people are - I was pretty disappointed by the Mona Lisa. It's so small and well, boring compared to all of the other grand and magnificent works of art surrounding it.
Not to mention so crowded in that room. So please don't be one of those people that only go to the Louvre for a photo with the Mona Lisa and then leave - it's the most underwhelming painting in there!

Cupid's Kiss
My favourite things to see were: Michelangelo's Dying Slave (1513), the Victory of Samothrace (190 BC), Psyche Revived by Cupid's Kiss (1787), Four Seasons (1600), the Great Spinx of Tanis (2600 BC), the Napoleon the Third Apartments (fully decorated rooms), the Borghese Gladiator (100 BC) and many others.
Make sure to take a break to let your brain properly digest all of the overloading information!
The cafes are a bit pricey so if you're watching your budget you can bring in your own lunch and drinks. The Louvre is open every day of the week except Tuesdays.


Catacombs

Not for everyone - especially the claustrophobic, but I particularly liked visiting the Catacombs because I like skulls! Yes, it's a bit creepy that they are real skulls and bones, but it's still a pretty cool experience.
It's a large underground tunnel that holds the remains of six million people... also known as 'The World's Largest Grave.'


The basic story is in the 1700's they ran out of room in the cemeteries - they were overflowing, so the underground burial site began. The skulls and bones were removed from the skeletons and arranged carefully and some even in an artistic way, which created the walls that we see today.
There is plenty of information as you walk along so it's an interesting history lesson as well.


Notre Dame

Complete in 1345, the world famous medieval cathedral is stunning on both the inside and out. It is considered to be the finest example of French Gothic architecture. I particularly love the gargoyle sculptures running along the outside of the upper building.
Pay extra to climb to the top (there is usually a very long queue for this) or for free you can enjoy the inside and admire the many statues, such as Joan of Arc, see the magnificent stained glass windows and visit the large crypt if that tickles your fancy.



Arc de Triomphe

Another stunning monument of Paris, the Arc de Triomphe is a must-see and surprisingly big! It's so large that in 1919 during the victory parade ending World War 1, Charles Godefroy famously flew his biplane through the arch which was captured on newsreel.
It stands in the centre of the Place Charles de Gaulle, at the western end of Champs-Elysees.
Because of the heavy traffic surrounding the roundabout, take the underground passage to access it from below.
You can pay to get the lift to the top for magnificent views of Paris - especially the Eiffel Tower standing directly before it! There is even a small museum located at the top.

(I'm one of those tiny people at the bottom of the picture!)

Sacre Coeur

The Basilica of the Sacred of Heart of Paris is another popular landmark to see. Located at the summit of Montmartre, it is the highest point in the city. The top of the dome is open to tourists and gives excellent panoramic views over Paris, the interior is stunning and there is a garden and fountain for meditation.
While you're in Montmartre the area offers many great dining options as well as being home to the famous cabaret shows.


Cabaret show

Well-known for the famous Can-Can dance, a cabaret show might seem like a tourist trap, but it's an incredible spectacle and well worth the money in my opinion.
There are many different shows to choose from - I just took the photo of the Moulin Rouge, but actually went to a cabaret show just down the road from it which was half the price - and it was still amazing! The shows are high-energy, entertaining and features wonderfully talented dancers.
Even I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it. Most places you can choose to have dinner and wine packages and all you have to do is sit back, relax and be very entertained.



There we have my top recommended things to do in Paris. Unfortunately, I haven't yet been to the Palace of Versailles, and I would say that is definitely another top thing to do, I just haven't had the chance to visit yet. I also wouldn't say no to Disneyland Paris!
Definitely next time - as mentioned, there is so much to do, so I have no doubt that you will have a great time, whatever you choose to do yourself.

Don't forget to check out my other Paris guide - P A R I S | Top Travel Tips!.


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L O N D O N | Top 10 Travel Tips


Aah, London. I had always wanted to go to London, more than anywhere else in the world - it was a big dream of mine since I was a child.
It was the first place I visited on my first big trip to Europe in October 2014, and since then I've been lucky enough to visit three times. Being all in the last two years, the memories and feelings of excitement arriving for the first time are still very fresh.

To me - London was everything I had imagined and more.
The history of the city, the enormity of it. I still struggle to fathom it! There are more than twice as many people living in London than there are in my whole country - it really did blow my mind. It is full of so many hidden treasures, beauty and wonder.

I wouldn't say I am a London expert at all, but it was a city I quickly fell in love with, and as a recent London first-timer myself, I thought I could share some of my top travel tips in case you might be going there for the first time too.
This is the first part of my London guide series. For specific recommended places to visit, check out part two: L O N D O N | 25 Top Spots to Visit!



              Top 10



Tips!


1. Plan well

I had a lot much fun planning my first trip to London because there were just so many things I wanted to do, and as I was going for nearly two weeks I thought there was plenty of time. Sadly, I was wrong and missed out on quite a few things on my to-do list (not surprising as it was very long!).
However I did prioritise and booked certain things in advance, and my top things I most wanted to do I did first, so I was more than happy with that - I just knew I needed to go back!


London is a massive city. If you plan too many things you want to do in one day (like I did), you might be disappointed. There are more often than not long lines, tube delays and probably a whole lot of getting lost, so try to pick just two major things you want to do per day and stick to those and group the activities together that are in nearby areas.

If you happen to have time for more then great, but also don't exhaust yourself, you want to enjoy your time there and not run yourself down!
If you are going to popular tourist attractions try to go as early as you can.
For example, if you're going to The Tower of London, aim to arrive slightly before the opening time, as the lines get very long after that.

I was lucky enough to visit the Tower of London during the 100 year anniversary of Remembrance Day

2. History, museum & art heaven

If you are interested in history, science and art you will be very happy, as London is home to so many world-class museums and art galleries - and most are 100% free! Many also have complimentary wifi.
Absolute must-sees are the Natural History Museum (dinosaurs!) and the British Museum. If you love art then be sure to visit the National Gallery (full of historical art) and the Tate Modern (modern art).
Other popular museums and galleries include: Imperial War Museum, Museum of London, National Portrait Gallery, Royal Air Force Museum, Science Museum, Victoria and Albert Museum and many more, there's really something for everyone.

The Natural History Museum

3. London theatre

Spoiled for choice, London has some of the world's best theatre with musical shows, world class plays and West End performances. The talent is amazing and most shows play at least twice a day, so there is always something on.
My favourite was The Lion King musical which was astounding. It really brought the movie to life and the Disney child in me was very happy! I also saw The Book of Mormon which was very funny (written by the creators of South Park), and Wicked.
I absolutely would love to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - I need to go back to London stat!



4. Budget advice

I'm sure you've heard that London is an expensive city - and in some cases it can be, but overall I don't think it's that bad. Don't let those rumours put you off! I went to London expecting it to be very pricey, but was quite surprised to discover that my own city (Wellington, New Zealand) was more expensive. Then again, I know New Zealand is also (clearly) pretty expensive.
I found spending in London as a whole, to even itself out. As in - one day you could spend hardly anything (going to the free museums and art galleries, walking around), which would make up for the other days where you would spend more on the likes of theatre tickets or perhaps a Harry Potter studio tour.


I think the most you will spend your money on in London is definitely accommodation which yes is expensive, that's a given.
But the shopping is really good. You can buy quality branded clothing, shoes, makeup, all sorts of products for half the price that I was paying for at home.
Food and drink are also very reasonable, with large pub meals often going for 10 pounds, and a pint going for 5.
So overall considering it's London- I was not offended by the cost of things.
When saving for a trip I like to roughly budget $100 a day (50 pounds) including activities, food and drink. Some days I'd spend more, some days less, but as mentioned it evened out pretty well. 
Set yourself a budget depending on what you can manage and research prices to get a good idea of how much you'll need.


5. Book online

Many big tourist attractions and tours are available to book in advance online.
This is both a convenient money saver as well as a time saver. You can choose a time slot for yourself and beat those alarmingly long queues. I'm not joking - lines for The London Eye for example, are often at three hours waiting time. If you book online you can skip this and save yourself 20% as well. Win win.
The London Pass and Madame Tussauds as well as many more are other examples you can book online for to save time and money.

The London Eye at South Bank in the evening

6. Getting around

I highly recommend purchasing an Oyster card as soon as you arrive and using the tube (London Underground) as your main method of transportation (even directly from the airport). The Oyster card gives you discounted fares on the tube and you can also use it on buses. When you leave you can hand in the card and get your money back for it.


Walk where you can if the weather's nice - it's a fascinating place to walk around.
The streets of central London are filled with beautiful historical buildings and amazing shops. The South Bank walk is one of my favourites. Start from the London Eye and if you're up for it walk all the way down to Tower Bridge. It's a bustling walk full of people, buskers, eateries and fantastic views of London's landmark buildings across the river Thames. See Big Ben, Old St Paul's, the 'Cucumber', the Shard, the Tower Bridge.


Catch a big red double decker bus at least once, it's definitely a novelty! Try to get a spot at the top and do a loop around the main city area. It's a lot cheaper than getting a bus tour of London and you get to see the same things (minus the commentary). But if you want to do the Hop on Hop off tour by all means go for it, it's a great way to see more of London and you learn a lot about the history as well (it's just rather pricey).
There is also the famous black London taxi cabs if you need to get somewhere fast, and you can even get around by boat on the river Thames which is really pleasant if the weather is nice.


7. Download the tube app

This one needs a whole point to itself because it is actually a lifesaver! If you are using the tube for the first time and are not used to massive transportation systems and underground maps - you need this in your life!
It's free to download and you don't need wifi to use it. It is very simple to use and makes navigating around London a breeze. Simply input where you are, and then where you want to go and it will come up with a list of easy steps to get there (often you have to change lines and directions). It is colour coordinated, as are the different lines in the underground which make it easy to follow and it also gives you an estimate of how long it will take to get there, so you know in advance what time you will need to leave by if you are heading somewhere further away. Highly recommended app!



The many lines of the Underground!

8. Free attractions

As mentioned, most of the museums and art galleries are free and there are many other attractions around London that don't have to cost a penny either.
A great one I would recommend starting with if you are new to London is doing a free walking tour. These are run by volunteers and the tour usually goes for about three hours walking around the highlights of London. It's a great way to be introduced to the city, get your bearings and learn a lot of interesting facts and about the history as well.

It is of course free to see the many famous landmarks (from the outside) such as Big Ben and Buckingham Palace, you can go for a walk across Tower Bridge. hang out and people watch in Trafalgar Square, browse the giant M&M World, visit the Greenwich Meridian Timeline, explore the many excellent markets, watch the Changing of the Guard - there's no shortage of fun free things to do!



London is also home to many fantastic royal parks, including Hyde park, Kensington Palace gardens, Greenwich park, St James's park. A walk through any of these is wonderful, and not just because they're full of squirrels!


9. Dress for the weather

Known to be a tad damp at times, bring a waterproof light rain jacket with you and wear waterproof and comfortable shoes, as you will be walking around a lot.
Packing a small umbrella that fits easily in your bag might be a good idea too if it looks a bit gloomy. London does have some very nice days as well, but in case it's not, don't let the weather spoil your time. Perhaps just expect it to be drizzly so you're not disappointed, and if it's not - hooray!



10. Enjoy the food & drink

London is full of delicious and enticing food and drink. Home to the Full English breakfasts, scones with jam and cream and Sunday pub roasts, you will find them no better anywhere else!


Being such a culturally diverse city, London offers a vast range of cuisines.
If you love Asian food there are fantastic Indian and Japanese restaurants, and China Town is a must see and place to eat. Spanish, Italian, Greek - they have it all.
A traditional Cornish pasty is sublime, really filling and a perfect lunch option. Similar to a New Zealand and Australian pie - it's a delicious pastry filled with savoury meat and veg on the inside.
There's also the classic Fish and Chips with mushy peas to try (yum!), Bangers and Mash, Beef Wellington, Eton Mess if you like your sweet things, and if you have the budget for it, having a 'High Tea' is a delightful treat in the afternoon.
(Can you tell I love food? Don't even get me started on their Sunday roasts with Yorkshire puddings soaked in gravy!)
A traditional English pub is perfect for a pint of your favourite ale and they offer great ciders as well. There are plenty of riverside pubs and rooftop bars to enjoy a drink at.

The Sherlock Holmes Pub near Trafalgar Square

Bonus number 11 tip!

Of course, there is so much more to London than just it's bustling city centre, but for first timers it's a good idea to stick to it if you aren't there for that long, as there is more than enough to do.
If you do happen to have the time however, then I would highly recommend exploring wider and taking a day trip. There are so many surrounding places that are wonderful to visit.
I took a day trip to Stonehenge and Bath and absolutely loved it! There is also Cambridge and Oxford nearby if those places tickle your fancy too.
My first time in London I stayed in Trafalgar Square which was perfect, but the second and third times I stayed in Tooting which is in South London, and I really enjoyed that too (apart from the exorbitant tube fares!).
I got to experience a different side of London, with its classic British rows of matching brick houses, the cultural diversity and the best part about it were the foxes that ran around the streets at night - so cute!

The classic British street I stayed down in Tooting

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I hope you enjoyed my travel tips and found it helpful. It's hard to really explain my love for London, but I hope it shows in my writing how much of a huge spot it has in my heart.
I've been lucky enough to travel to over 20 countries recently, including many many cities, probably well over 50, and still London - my first love, is undoubtedly my favourite city in the world.

Happy Travels,

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