1) The year of the Oyster card is out.
A lot of Londoners don’t even bother using their Oyster card anymore, instead we use our contactless credit or debit cards when checking in and out of the tube, which charges us exactly the same as an Oyster card would, but saves us the time of having to queue to top it up.
The only time we use our Oyster card is when it is attached to some sort of railcard, in which case, hell yes, that is saving us money and makes having one worthwhile.
So travellers can now enjoy an easier and cheaper trip to London.
2) Download Citymapper pre-visit.
Want to know how Londoners have managed to nail their different commutes and undertake them with style and ease every day? They haven’t. Most of us have apps like Citymapper on our phone, or do a quick TFL search before we leave on the best route to take to get to the other side of the river. Get the same app before you go on your trip and you will save yourself a ton of stress.
3) Nothing good ever happens in Leicester Square.
I know you’ve heard about it ever since you can remember, and that it’s on the top of your “must-see before you return home” list, but do yourself and everyone else a favour and just skip it entirely.
4) Shopping in Oxford Street isn’t your only option.
The idea of shopping in big, bad Oxford Street brings me up in hives. Okay, it doesn’t literally, but it is something I want to avoid for the rest of my life. Yes, there are some great shops, and it is definitely worth the visit at night over the Christmas months to go and see all of the decorations, but you will find all of these shops elsewhere.
For those of you that want to own your own quirky pieces that are different to everywhere else, try heading over to Camden Market, Brick Lane, Spitalfields or even Covent Garden.
Dining doesn’t have to cost big bucks.
You can trial a ‘taste card’ if you will be eating out a lot, that will knock off 50% of your bill in tons of places, search groupon for restaurant deals, and ask locals their thoughts on where to get cheap grub. Many of us know which places offer ridiculously cheap deals and on which nights, how else do you think we can go out and afford to socialise?
5) Thursdays are the new Fridays.
After a long old week in the office and commuting during rush hour, every Londoner is ready to let off some steam by Thursday night. Fridays aren’t really much of a thing, we tend to skip those and head out on Thursdays and Saturdays instead.
Thursday is probably my favourite night of the week to make bad life choices, with bars completely rammed with locals forgetting that they have work early the next day.
6) Galleries and Museums are mostly free.
I’ve been to the Natural History Museum more times than I will ever admit, because entrance is free. Sure, you have to pay to visit special exhibits, but the rest costs absolutely nada, zilch, and you can just avoid the bits that cost money. Same goes for the V&A and Science Museum, which are conveniently all very close together.
London is so full of art and culture spread around different galleries in the City, and you get to go and see them all for free!
7) Day Trips are a must.
I know that you want to spend all of your time running around London, but the City is crowded and exhausting at times, and luckily there are loads of places that you can get to really easily for a day out from London.
My favourites are Bath, Cambridge, Oxford and Brighton.
8) Everyone is winging it.
I know we can seem kind of unapproachable and self entitled at times, but the truth is, we have all somehow ended up in the City and are winging it. You can come and ask us questions about where to eat, or where you need to go, we might look like we could bite, but we won’t!
9) Stand on the right.
You know where I said that we don’t bite? All rules go completely out of the window when you stand on the left of the escalator and block a fellow commuter’s path. Keep your suitcase on the step in front of or behind you, don’t stand next to your mate and block the way for everyone else and you’ll be just fine.