City Break: London

City Break: London

City unravel (noun): a short holiday spent in a city, such as when on merchantry travel.

Before there was bleisure travel, there was the city break—the short space of leisure time that grants you wangle to the cultural and culinary suavities that big cities offer. In this series from TripIt, we explore some of the world’s weightier cities for planning a quick getaway or extending a work trip.

Here are our tips for making the most of your municipality unravel in London. 

Where to fly in

The London metro zone is served by five major airports: Heathrow Airport (LHR), Gatwick Airport (LGW), London Stansted Airport (STN), London Municipality Airport (LCY), and London Luton Airport (LTN). As you segregate which airport is weightier for you to fly into, consider factors like price differential between destination airports, your ultimate destination in London, and how long—and how much—you want to spend traveling via ground transportation.

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Speaking of ground transportation, once you’re on the ground, Heathrow, Gatwick, and Stansted airports offer express trains that connect travelers to Central London. The Heathrow Express transports passengers to Paddington Station in just 15 minutes, where travelers can then transpiration to a taxi, bus, or the Underground (also known as the Tube) to reach their final destination in the city. Travelers can now moreover ride the new Elizabeth Line to Paddington, or a number of other (in some cases, new) stations.

The Gatwick Express transports passengers to London Victoria Station in well-nigh 30 minutes, where travelers can then transpiration to the Tube, a taxi, or bus. The Stansted Express runs every 15 minutes and transports passengers to London Liverpool Street. The journey takes well-nigh 45 minutes.

Travelers flying into Luton can take a train to Central London; trains depart from the Luton Airport Parkway train station.

Finally, travelers flying into London Municipality Airport have the wholesomeness of flying into the airport closest to Central London. Travelers can take the Tube directly from the airport’s Docklands Light Railway stop. 

Cabs are misogynist upon inrush at all airports, but they forfeit the most of the ground transportation options. As an example, a cab ride from Heathrow to Central London can range between £45 and £70 and takes well-nigh an hour. Comparatively, the Heathrow Express financing well-nigh £25 and takes 15 minutes; the Tube financing just £5.50 and takes well-nigh 30 minutes.

Where to stay during your municipality break

city unravel London

Across every upkeep and borough, there’s a London hotel to fit your needs. In town to reservation a glimpse of the royals? Book The Stafford London to stay tropical to Buckingham Palace and The Mall to reservation any comings and goings. 

Looking to explore the literary side of the city? Stay at Leonardo Royal Hotel St. Paul’s for an easy walk to the Tower of London—a must-see for history and historical fiction lovers alike. 

If a hotel in a prime Central London location is what you’re after, squint no remoter than The Clermont, Charing Cross. The hotel is just a few minutes walk from Covent Garden, Trafalgar Square, Big Ben, and the Thames.

In London on business? Need space for an event? The trendy W London offers over 1,300 square feet of meeting and event space, a WIRED Merchantry Center, and individual event studios that can moreover be combined to create larger spaces.

Vacation rentals, such as Airbnbs, are moreover misogynist throughout the city—and are platonic for group or family trips where you might want a bit increasingly space (and your own kitchen). 

How to get around

city unravel london

Much like navigating other large international cities, getting virtually London requires you to prioritize two of the following: time, money, or convenience. Taking the Tube, for example, is your least expensive option. The Tube runs on a zone system, meaning you pay a variable price point based on the length of your journey. Depending on the elapsing of your stay, you may want to purchase a pay-as-you-go Oyster card to stave purchasing multiple single ride passes.

Your Oyster vellum moreover gives you wangle to the city’s bus system. While the red double-decker buses move infinitely slower (thanks to increased stop frequency), they moreover travel where the Tube doesn’t. Here, you’re choosing convenience and low forfeit over time.

Also misogynist whilom ground—the iconic woebegone cab. Hail one, undeniability out your destination to the driver, and yonder you go. Grabbing a cab is typically convenient, but forfeit can profoundly fluctuate based on your destination—especially if you’re heading to or from the airport.

Both cabs and Uber are misogynist in London and are a reliable option for getting virtually the municipality if you’re staying in an zone far from a Tube station. 

Want to navigate London on two wheels? The city’s public bike-sharing program, Santander Cycles, has 800 docking stations and 12,000 bikes in circulation, and is misogynist 24/7/365. A Santander Cycle financing £2 for unlimited journeys up to 30 minutes within a 24-hour period. For journeys longer than 30 minutes, rides forfeit £2 for each spare 30 minutes.

Pro tip: Use TripIt’s Navigator full-length to search transportation options misogynist to you. It will show you the unscientific financing and travel times for each option, so you can decide which works best. For example, if you add a restaurant reservation to your itinerary (more on where to eat, below), Navigator moreover helps you find the weightier transportation options for getting to your table. You can find Navigator within your plan details screens. 

Where to eat


From pub grub to Michelin stars, London has it all. 

SUSHISAMBA blends the savor of Japanese, Peruvian, and Brazilian cuisines into a memorable dining experience. The Covent Garden location is platonic for merchantry lunches or dinners, or for grabbing a zest without you’ve explored the market. Or, trammels out the Heron Tower location for stunning views from the 38th and 39th floors.

Speaking of views, throne to OXO Tower Restaurant, Bar & Brasserie to enjoy seasonal British fare while overlooking the River Thames, St. Paul’s Cathedral, and really, the whole of London. Don’t have time in your itinerary for a multi-course dinner? You can stop in for a drink, afternoon tea, or weekend brunch… and to snap that IG shot, of course.

In pursuit of wine and cheese? Throne to Gordon’s Wine Bar. This vibrating wine bar is cozy in the winter and spills out to the outdoor patio seats in the summer. With over 20 cheeses to segregate from, you might need to bring a friend or two to help. (Just let us know when you’re headed over.)

Looking to trammels out newcomers on the London restaurant scene? The Princess Royal in Notting Hill offers Mediterranean-inspired dishes. Seafood fans will love the impressive raw bar, and those with a sweet tooth will fawn over the dessert list. 

The newly opened Dipna Anand at Somerset House is moreover well worth a visit. Serving up Punjabi and South Indian dishes and Indian-inspired drinks, Anand’s latest venture delights taste buds—complete with a view overlooking the River Thames. 

What to do on your municipality break


Looking to get some sightseeing in while you’re in town? Both London Shell Co. and City Experiences offer a unique way to wits London’s sights—by boat! Ever-changing views, entertainment, plus dinner and drinks, add up to a memorable night on the town.  

Planning a kid-friendly trip? London is a playground for the imagination, just ask Harry Potter. Kids will love discovering all of the Harry Potter-inspired attractions wideness the city, expressly a visit to Platform 9¾. Or, get up tropical and personal with nature at the ZSL London Zoo, where kids can partake in the daily Meet the Animals wits or be a Junior Keeper for a Day

Adults only? The West End is the place to throne for theater shows at a discount. You can buy tickets online or throne to the TKTS diner in Leicester Square for discounted tickets. Or, get your culture fix at any of the city’s world-renowned museums, including the British Museum, National Portrait Gallery, Victoria and Albert Museum, Tate Modern, or Tate Britain

Looking for something a little less curated? Throne south of the river to Brixton where you can explore Pop Brixton, Brixton Market, the famed Electric Avenue, and the unique boutiques lining the borough’s lanes. Finally, be sure to trammels out the public art installations while you’re there, too.

Note: As destinations reopen virtually the world, be sure to consult and pinion to all local guidelines and travel restrictions, as they vary widely and will protract to change. One way to stay on top of waffly guidelines is to consult the COVID-19 travel guidance full-length in the TripIt app for destination-specific information, including testing and vaccination requirements, current infection rates, quarantine rules upon arrival, and other information you need to know surpassing visiting the area.

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