Travel Tips

Taxi - Dolphin Inn


Black cabs are a famous symbol of London (not all Black cabs are black - many of them are covered by colourful ads). Drivers are usually very reliable and are extremely knowledgeable about London’s streets (they have to pass an exam call The Knowledge - some spent 2-3 years to know every street in London and how to get A to B). By law black cabs must be licensed and carry a meter. Fares are higher after midnigh and weekends. Add 10% for tips.

Minicabs are usually cheaper than black cabs. especially in the night or over weekends. But minicabs are unlicensed and are not allowed pick up customers in the street. Check Yellow Pages or ask hotel front desk for local minicab firms. If you going to train station or airport in odd hours (midnigh or early morning), you should book a minicab in advance. Minicabs usually charge a fixed price for most destination so ask the price when you book them.
Buy an ouster card - Dolphin Inn

Buy an ouster card

London transport is pretty expensive so unless you are going to make one single journey on public transport in London then then you should really be looking to either purchase an Oyster or Travelcard and not pay for single tickets. In this way you gonna save some money.
Do not Blitzkrieg Sights - Dolphin Inn

Do not Blitzkrieg Sights

Some people come to London and spend all of their time rushing to one site after another without actually seeing anything. Rather than rushing from Harrod's to Big Ben to Buckingham Palace to the London Eye, trying to fit every tourist sight into your stay, take the time to enjoy London's neighborhoods. Window shop in Old Bond Street, check out the crafts market in Covent Garden, walk along the South Bank. Slow down, relax and enjoy.
Understand the history - Dolphin Inn
Understand the history
London is, and always has been, a trading city and an agglomeration of nationalities and people from all walks of life, and this is what has made it what it is. Understand some of the history of the neighbourhoods and the people who built them - and you'll begin to understand why some of the districts look as they do. Take Notting Hill, for example; In Regency times (early 19th century) this area was developed in an attempt to catch the coat tails of the riches of Kensington across the park, but it never really took off. Throughout the early 20th century, the area declined and the large villas were split into many small flats. In the 50s and 60s, this was the cheapest place to live in London, and was settled by Afro-Caribbean immigrants brought over to the UK for cheap labour after WWII, and they created the Carnival, one of the biggest street parties in the world - their legacy still lives on, and many still live in the area, but these days you'd need to win a lottery to afford a house in the neighbourhood, it has shot up in popularity and gentrified and changed in just 25 years into one of the most expensive areas of town.
Walk - Dolphin Inn
Londoners moan about the Tube a lot. It is easy to forget that this is one of the most extensive, most frequent urban rail systems in the world, and easy to forget how convenient it is;

For getting from A to B across town, there is no faster way (well, maybe motorbike or cycling is quicker, but that is not reasonable for visitors or very safe!). BUT by using the Tube too much you can miss an awful lot. One of the best things about London is the different flavour of the neighbourhoods and how quickly you can move between areas of very different types - the City and Spitalfields, for example; or Bloomsbury, Mayfair and Soho. If you do all your travelling underground, you miss all that. OK, so London is a very big place, but there are a lot of major attractions you can easily walk between and it will open your eyes. Do not be tempted to get of at Covent Garden station to visit Covent Garden! Nearly all the stations within two stops from it are only a ten minute walk away. Last but not least if you go to visit Camden Town jump off at Chalk Farm, not Camden Town station, this way you avoid the sardines.
Explore London's Lungs - Dolphin Inn
Explore London's Lungs
London has more open space and green space than most major capital cities and the parks vary hugely in flavour. Many are away from the centre but are well worth the journey.

Of particular note are Hampstead Heath - a large slice of countryside in a hilly part of the city, with some stunning views, tube at Hampstead; Regent's Park - a large formal park in the Victorian tradition near to Baker Street, with an excellent open-air theatre; Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens - a huge open space right in the centre of the West End; Wimbledon Common - wild open countryside perfect for cycling, next to a picture perfect "village"; and the myriad tree-lined squares of Bloomsbury and Finsbury.