You don’t have to worry about getting your money’s worth on our cheap flights to London. This capital city of jolly old England has everything a traveler could desire. London is the largest city in Europe, and history buffs and culture enthusiasts will never be at a loss with visits to places like St. Paul’s Cathedral or the West End theater district. Since the days of King Arthur, the British have come up with ways to share their heritage. So check out the local color as you shop for antiques on Portobello Road or wash down fish and chips with a pint at a local pub. And don’t forget to stop for a spot of tea.
When you book airline tickets to London, you'll see that royalty is on every street corner in this city, making London one of the most fascinating destinations on earth. Each year, millions of travelers book flights to London to visit landmarks like Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, the Tower of London and London Bridge.
Visitors have flocked to London in recent years, as the city has played host to major events like the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, and the 2012 Olympics.
Like most European cities, London offers a comforting mix of old and new -- take a tour the crown jewels before ducking into a local pub for old fashioned fish-and-chips, or walk the streets and take in the mixed architecture that decorates the city streets.
The city is reveling in the past and embracing the future, thanks to its thriving arts and tourism attractions including the world’s largest modern art gallery, The Tate Modern, as well as the London Eye.
With all its forward motion, London still remains a treasure of the past. Travelers booking cheap flights to London will find a world of opportunity, education and inspiration in this quaint city.
Anytime is a good time to book a flight to London. July and August are the warmest months. However, you can never be guaranteed sun. January is the coolest month with temperatures in the low 40s. Spring and fall in London can be pleasant, as the temperatures are usually higher than the rest of the country. The rain is heaviest during November when the city averages 2.5 inches.
Best Time to Fly to London
London flights are always easy to come by especially since the tourist season runs year round, with peaks from June to September and again at Christmas. Spring is the best time to see the countryside and the royal London parks and gardens at their freshest. The mid-season is from April to May and early September to October. September through October is a great time of year to get cheap plane tickets to London and it can be the best time to visit.
The British take their vacations mainly in July and August, so resorts are crowded. London in summer, however, is full of interesting things to see and do. In winter, the weather can be dismal, but all the theaters, concerts, and exhibitions are in full swing.
Getting downtown London
Heathrow Airport (LHR)
Distance: 15 miles west of London in Hounslow
Drive time: varies
You can reach the center of town by the underground (“the Tube”), which takes a little more than an hour, or by the designated Heathrow Express trains (15 minutes). The hotel shuttles, Hotel Hoppa and Hotelink, run from the airport to nearby London hotels. There are also taxis and coach services.
Gatwick Airport (LGW)
Distance: 25 miles south of London in West Sussex
Drive time: varies
Gatwick is only a 30-minute train ride to the center of London. From Gatwick, the fastest way to get to London is via the Gatwick Express trains. There are also Airbus buses from Gatwick to Victoria Coach Station operated by National Express. Taxis are available, but you must negotiate a fare with the driver before you enter the cab.
Stansted Airport (STN)
Distance: 30 miles northeast of London
Drive time: varies
It is a 45-minute train ride to London on the Stansted Express. There are also shuttle buses, which are much cheaper but take around two hours connecting Stansted to the city. Taxis are available, but be aware that they will be very expensive.
Getting around London
Don’t worry about getting around town after your cheap flight to London. There are tons of options, the best being the Tube. London’s underground system is the fastest and easiest transportation option. Like subways in many large cities, the underground is packed during rush hour, so avoid it during those times. London’s iconic double-decker red buses are slower, but they can be found everywhere and won’t be as crowded. Look into getting an Oyster card or Travelcard for traveling on London’s public transportation systems – it will save you money. You can find them at Tube stops or newsagents. Black cabs are everywhere and very comfortable, but very expensive. Minicabs are a cheaper taxi option, but you have to order them ahead of time. Watch out for illegal minicabs that troll the theaters and nightlife spots. They might seem like the only late-night option, but single women or those unfamiliar with the area should find a different, safer way to travel around. London is a big city, but many of the tourist attractions are within walking distance or along the river Thames. Take advantage of a sunny day by walking or taking a riverboat. Driving is not recommended, as parking is nearly impossible to find and a congestion charge will cost you extra when driving into the city’s center Monday through Friday between 7:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. Rent a car only if you’d like to head out into the country. You will need to be at least 25 years old and have a license and a credit card. For more information you can visit www.tfl.gov.uk
London Travel Information
- Tipping: While tips in most areas of London are discretionary, a good rule of thumb is to tip 10-15 percent of the bill in cafes and restaurants; minimally in bars and pubs; 10-15 percent at hotel restaurants, and a discretionary amount for staff; and 10-15 percent for taxi drivers.
- Relive history every day in London while watching the Changing of the Guard. The British pomp and ceremony is free and takes place outside Buckingham Palace. The guards are dressed in traditional red tunics and bearskin hats, and the ceremony is set to music. Other free London attractions include the British Museum, Sir John Soane's Museum, and the Garden Museum. The main art galleries - the National Gallery, National Portrait Gallery, Tate: British and International Modern and Contemporary Art, Wallace Collection are all free.
- For discounts on London transportation and attractions, get a Travelcard and London Pass Card. A Travelcard allows unlimited travel on the Tube, buses, and trains in the city as well as a discount on many of London's scheduled river services. The London Pass Card gives you free entry to more than 50 attractions including museums, historic ships, zoos and gardens. You can purchase both cards before you leave home or in London.
- The two Tate museums in London are world famous for many reasons. Tate Britain houses a collection of 65,000 works, including the Turner collection of 19,000 watercolors and some 300 paintings, as well as a gallery of British art from 1500 to the present. Tate Modern, on the South Bank riverfront, has galleries of modern and contemporary art, traveling shows, and ongoing activities and events.
- Go to the theater. London has the best English-language theater in the world, with offerings even greater than New York. And, you can book your tickets online from home.
- Londoners enjoy their sports: cricket, football, horse racing, tennis, and golf, as well as more unusual sports, such as “going to the dogs”—watching dog racing—which is very popular, especially in the East End. Check the schedules and spend the afternoon as a spectator.
- Before Peter Pan found Neverland he found Kensington Gardens. In the first Peter Pan storybook, author J M Barrie sends Peter Pan out of his nursery to Long Water in Kensington Gardens -- the very spot where the statue stands today.
- Have a “cuppa”—afternoon tea—with all the grace and ritual of the British Empire at one of several hotels that serve afternoon tea, the most famous of which is the Ritz. Remember to dress smartly as there is a dress code.
- Camden Market is one of the most exciting shopping experiences London has to offer. The market is definitely worth a visit with its huge variety of food, antiques, bric-a-brac, clothing, bars, nightspots and crowds of people.
- Finding an address in London is no small task. There’s no pattern to the street names, and house numbers, when they exist, run in odds and evens, clockwise and counterclockwise. You may also want to get a detailed street map with an index. Londoners carry London A to Z, the ultimate street-by-street reference guide, available at bookstores and newsstands.
- If you are planning on visiting England’s capital check out some more ideas about sites to see and things to do on a London city break. If you are in England you may want to consider making an additional trip north to what is referred to as the capital of the North on a Manchester city break.