I was a little unsure of what to expect when I first arrived in London.

This was the first destination on my trip with  Viking Cruises. Growing up, I always heard about the royalty that inhabited London. It always sounded magical. London has been a destination I’ve dreamed of visiting since I was a young boy.

Unlike cities here in the United States, London is packed full of history dating back to when the Romans founded it in 50 AD. 

Even though England is a foreign country, it’s cool to be in a European city and still be able to communicate with the locals. This makes London a fantastic first destination for novice travelers who want to see Europe. The English here is a little different than what I’m used to, but we’ll discuss that later. 

London is such a world-renown city; you’ll find awesome things to do, no matter who you are. Let’s jump in as I teach you what I’ve learned from my experiences in London, England.

Also Read: The Wonders of Montreal, Canada

What I learned about London

London is the most popular city in England, so you’d think that it’s also the most British. Actually, London is one of the most diverse and international cities you can visit in Europe.

In the movies, it seems like it’s ALWAYS raining in London. During my stay in the city, it didn’t rain once. The sun was shining every day with partly cloudy skies. However, you may not be so lucky. Take an umbrella; it’s still known to rain unpredictably on a regular basis.

Where I’m from in Puerto Rico, it’s hot all-year-round. However, the weather in London was refreshingly cool. Even in late August, the temperature didn’t go much above 70 degrees Fahrenheit. 

If you’re looking for an affordable European city, don’t expect London to be cheap. Seriously, be warned. EVERYTHING in this city is expensive.

The public transportation in London is exceptional. You can count on it getting you anywhere. The caveat is that it’s expensive, just like everything else. 

The good news is you can purchase an  Oyster Card, which will get you cheaper fares on all public transport around the city. Don’t forget to scan your card when entering or leaving, or you’ll be charged when you’re not even traveling.

Expect to pay to gain access to some of the hottest destinations, although there are plenty of free things to do also.

London is huge. It will be challenging to see everything all in one trip, so plan your time efficiently.

London culture

You’ll be able to find all of the traditional English dishes here, like shepherd’s pie and fish and chips. But because London is so diverse, you’ll find food from all over the world.

London isn’t just British. It’s an international city, a melting pot of all cultures and nationalities from around the globe.

Londoners and British people, in general, love their pub culture and going out to grab a casual drink. If you like going out to bars with your friends, then I highly recommend going out with a pub crawl. Keep in mind though that the prices will be relatively high for a beer at these London pubs.

British people are very polite; they always say “please” and “thank you.” You might also notice that they say “sorry” too much.

London England

Quick Tips to Surviving London:

  • Don’t mess up their lines and queues. The British love their order.
  • Please, and thank you: use your good manners here.
  • Remember that the British drive on the left side of the road. Don’t forget to look twice to your right while looking both ways before crossing the street.
  • Most pubs close at 11 p.m., so get your drinking in early.
  • Don’t forget to tap out with your Oyster Card.
  • Be prepared to spend a lot of money here. Remember, it’s expensive.
  • Don’t expect to get anywhere on time on a Sunday. They seem to always have construction and maintenance delays on Sundays.
  • Bring an umbrella. You’ll need it, especially if your stay is longer.

My review of London

Cost to stay in London

Because London is such a pricey city, I would not recommend Greenwich or any of its other boroughs as a budget-friendly place to visit or live. 

Whether you’re going out for food or a drink, booking a place to stay, or visiting some of the sites, you’ll be spending considerably more money than you may have thought.


London is a very safe city, but you do have to beware of pickpockets. It’s not as bad as other big European cities, but be careful around tourist attractions.

Be careful about crossing the street. Remember that the British drive on the left side of the road. I caught myself looking for cars the wrong way a couple of times when crossing the street, so remember that cars will be coming down the left side of the street instead of the right.

Suggested Reading: Edinburgh, Scotland

Foreigner tolerance

London has people and cultures from all over the world. The city doesn’t have just one culture. 

Londoners are very used to tourists. In fact, London is perfect for new world travelers and tourists. The diversity and wide range of activities are great for everyone.

Recreational activities

There are plenty of sites to see, and the nightlife in London is excellent. Londoners love their pub culture and grabbing beers throughout the day. 

If pubs aren’t your thing, there is still a crazy amount of activities to keep you amused.

There are SO many things to see in London, but these are my top six must-see sites:

  1. Big Ben 
  2. Tower of London 
  3. Coca-Cola London Eye
  4. Tower Bridge
  5. Buckingham Palace
  6. British Museum (it’s free!)

Local language

Even though the United Kingdom is just a small island compared to the rest of the world, there is a huge variety of English accents there. However, the London accent is arguably the most iconic. London is an international city, so you will hear languages from all over the world here.

As a Puerto Rican, Spanish has always been my native tongue. I’ve learned and become fluent in English over time. Sometimes English slang words and the accents made it a little harder for my wife and me to understand. You’ll get used to it though; don’t worry.

London is the capital of England, the country the English language came from. Thus, if your English is sufficient enough to read this article, you’ll get along just fine there.

Quality of life

For those who can afford to live here, the quality of life is excellent. As any city, some places are better than others. Regardless, people of all colors, shapes, orientation, and sizes are all treated well here.

My conclusion of London

My time spent in London was fast-moving. We took a drive-by tour around the city, where we saw all of the most iconic sites except Parliament, which was swarmed with Brexit protests. During the time we went, the streets were filled with demonstrations. This didn’t stop us from seeing all of the most iconic and historical sites of London and Greenwich borough.

The bottom line is that Greenwich and London are packed with remarkably rich British history. No world traveler should miss an opportunity to visit.

If you’ve been to London before, what do you think is an attraction everyone must-see?

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Will GWillbeatty

Ok how

Nora Borosak

Hi Will,

Thank you for reading! If you need help planning a trip to London, you should read our article on financing your dream vacation which has tons of tips to help you make traveling a reality!



Thank you for sending me this and I will check it out but affaid it’s gonna be sometime before we can go about,you see I was just told few months ago that I’m stage 2 Carcinmoa Cancer. But you are very kind for sending me the info. Maybe when I get done with chemo and radiation treatments we could go to celebrate.

Diane Hanks

I pray your treaments will a success

C Henry Baxter Ministries

Thank you Meats for this brief yet informative overview of London, England. Like you I have always desires to visit this motherland of the largest Commonwealth existing in the world today. As Jamaican there are deep roots there. Your article is enticning me to move it to the top of my bucket list in this my 65 year of life!

Nora Borosak


Yes, London is truly amazing!! Take a look at our article on financing your dream vacation, I’m sure it will help you get to London even sooner! Thank you for reading!


G Lee

I had some skepticism about traveling abroad. There was talk of war, terrorism, torture, kidnapping, human trafficking, and….you could unknowingly break laws in another country….without realizing it…and you don’t know how they’ll treat you.

And you don’t know what their culture is like. You may be forced to do things you don’t feel comfortable doing.

Gustavo Rogelis

Would love to travel anecdotes meet London

Nora Borosak

Hi Gustavo,

Thank you for reading! We hope you can one day travel to London and see all the great things it has to offer! Our article on financing your dream vacation has tons of great tips that will help you get there:





I just need a easier way to make money more money ? Anyone know any idea


Nora Borosak

Hi Gineean,

We have tons of articles that can help guide you in the right direction! Be sure to check out our articles posted under the “Money” and “Personal Finance” sections. Thanks for reading!



Donna Lloyd

Yes, I would love too return too visit London England, the cathedral and the beautiful library are some of the greatest sites too visit and they are also free, I have a long time friend that is born and lives there she was an exchange student here in Dallas tx and stayed with me and my family for 2 yrs while we were in highschool I will contact her when I get ready too visit again, if you have friends that live there, that will be your free great dinning or at least reasonable priced cause you can buy from… Read more »

Laura Chance

I have a lot of family all throughout England,and yes it is beautiful

Sabrina Waller

I had the liberty of going to London a few years ago and it was a very good time

Nora Borosak

Hi Sabrina,

Glad to hear you had a good time! Thanks for reading!

Carolyn V Williams

I visited London last year had a good time. Saw Tina Turner musical. Stayed 2 days. Went on to germany. Switzerland, amsterdam. And Paris. Saw a little of Belgium at a distance on the bus. I love Europe, best food and wines.


I fron south America.Vzla.allway try to learn the British emotions and culture.thanks.for all the info.

Sean Delaney

I lived in London as nd everything you said is true. Blessings Sesn

Patricia Collier

Bet it was beautiful there


Yes go


Yes you should move

Heather Mizer

Very helpful & intriguing

Heather Mizer

I love ❤️ history


Looks super fun…now finding gobs of money for the sojourn. Wonder?

Diane Hanks

Have been to London and Paris, also France, Germany and am from Sherwood, Ar.