Exploring London with the Family

by Jules on April 3, 2013

London is one of those places that simply must be explored at least once in your lifetime and with plenty of attractions and activities to try, the whole family will love it! London is the city that offers fun and culture for all ages and children especially can enjoy experiences they will remember for a lifetime.

When travelling with the family, a major concern is the budget requirements. In London this is particularly relevant, since it is an expensive city, when compared to other European capitals. But there are ways to save on your sightseeing without missing out on the fun of the big city.

What to Visit

Some of London’s most famous attractions are its museums and art galleries. A trip to England would be incomplete without a visit to at least one of these iconic establishments. And the good news for families is that many of the museums and galleries are totally free! The British Museum, the National History Museum, the Tate Modern Gallery and the National Gallery are just one of many examples.

Other attractions you can visit for free are the parks. In London there are several beautifully maintained parks, where a family can spend long periods outdoors if the weather is fine. The best known sights are probably Hyde Park and St James Park, home of Buckingham Palace, which is worth a visit especially to see the historic changing of guard that happens periodically.

The list of free sites is quite extensive, so read up on all the free attractions at London’s official travel portal.

Transportation and Food

The transport in London can be really expensive, especially for a large family. Try to walk to sights as much as possible and plan visits monuments close to each other. When it’s necessary to move further afield, it is better to use public transportation. London has an excellent transport infrastructure. Its underground, the ‘Tube’, which is one of the best in the world, is also free for children under 14 years. For adults there are pass cards that you can buy for a reasonable price.

The British culture is not particularly well known for its food but, like any cosmopolitan city, London has restaurants and pubs offering every imaginable type of food and drink. Some of the high end restaurants and hotels can be quite expensive, but there are more affordable alternatives such as fast food, Chinese and Indian restaurants. There are pubs serving food at good prices, but you should ask if they are kid-friendly before entering.

Accommodation

Because London is a big city and transportation can be expensive, it is better if you choose accommodation near the centre, so you can walk to many of the sights and attractions. The cheapest options are usually the youth hostels, but they might not be the most appropriate for a family, unless you stay all together in a designated family room. For a family, probably the best alternative is to stay in a holiday apartment like the ones offered by GowithOh. Their prices per person per night are usually lower than in hotels, with the advantage that your whole family can stay like at home and cook your own food instead of going to restaurants.

A few additional tips

London is a big and bustling city, so you should be aware of where your kids are at all times. It is a quite safe capital, but children can wander off, causing unnecessary inconvenience. The weather can also be unpredictable, so regardless of the time of year, carry an umbrella and dress in layers to allow for changes in the weather.

Visiting London is an unforgettable experience and makes a great vacation experience for the whole family.

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