Technology and web resources, London
While spending some time in London you might need some Internet connection (to chack some more tips on VT for example :).
The easiest to access Internet place seems to be EasyNet's huge one on Tottenham Court Road facing the Bedford Avenue.
You can buy an internet ticket for 1 pound and get acces to the net for an hour or even more if you are using it in the off-peak period!
For free and inexpensive things to do in London
Free London listings
Hidden London (someday this link is going to stop working and I will be crushed)
London Theatre, including the 1/2 price ticket booth
Official London Theatre
London Market summary
I always book through Priceline
Guide to what's close by the major attractions
Visit London Explorer
The "Visit London" London website has recently been having something of a publicity blitz in the press in the U.K.
If you go onto their website they have a range of offers on accommodation, restaurants and tourist attractions.
Many of the offers allow you to print out a voucher directly that can be used at the attraction.
They also do booking for events such as the Ideal home exhibition or Boat show - but you will need to ring up.
Some offers only apply if you buy a train ticket (also discounted) as well.
Update April 2014: tip completely rewritten with several web resources added and others checked.
Here is a list of websites I use regularly when planning days out in London, which you may find useful too.
Things to do:
http://www.timeout.com/london – the best known “what’s on” guide and still one of the most useful. Their ”Best of London” section is packed with ideas and the weekly listings (film, art, shows etc. etc.) are invaluable.
http://londonist.com/ – my own most-used site. Sign up for the Londonist’s daily or weekly email for a round-up of what’s going on ideas, check their “free or cheap” suggestions (all under £5) and follow the London news – plus good reviews of restaurants, plays, exhibitions and more
http://www.allinlondon.co.uk/ – more listings and reviews, though I tend not to use this so much myself. But it’s good for pub reviews!
http://www.visitlondon.com/things-to-do/whats-on – a comprehensive listings site with an emphasis on ideas for tourists visiting the city and links to book online (plays, exhibitions, sporting events) – do shop around as they may not always have the best deals, but check the special offers as they can be good
http://southbanklondon.com/whats-on – what’s happening on the South Bank, one of London’s liveliest areas
http://www.toptable.co.uk/london-restaurants – excellent deals on all kinds of restaurants including half-price meals, great value set menus and more. The best place to check if you fancy trying some of the city’s best eating experiences without paying a fortune. Offers vary weekly but there are always bargains to be had
http://www.tfl.gov.uk/ – Transport for London’s comprehensive website where you can find out about ticket prices, see detailed maps of tube train lines, bus routes etc., check for planned engineering works that might disrupt weekend travel, plan how long a specific journey will take and get information about accessibility – and more! The place to start when planning any journey in London
http://whatbus.com/ – a route map for every bus route in London
http://www.londontown.com/maps/ – lists loads of London attractions with links to simple maps showing transport options etc.
A number of the main shopping and restaurant streets in London have been photographed by a website called :
The Shop frontages of the street appear across the screen, then you can click on the appropriate shop, cafe, pub or restaurant and link directly to it's website.
It means you can explore streets like Carnaby street, Oxford street, Soho, Chinatown and the like before you set foot in the place.
I was impressed.
If you need anything in london, ie numbers for taxi places, where to go for dinner, cinema times, then call 118 118, or 118 500, or 118 212, they are all directory enquiry services, and used to just give you numbers and addresses but now because of the competition they offer so much more.
If you call up tell them where you are and ask for a cinema near you, they will ask if you're trying to find out times. They'll then give you times for movies in that cinema, then they'll ask if you want to be put through to book tickets... if not they'll send you a text message with the film times, name, address and telephone number of the cinema as most people don't have a pen and paper with them when calling.
This is particularly useful if you're looking for a place to eat with a specific theme in an area, they can text you lots of contacts with the details.
Someone recommended this pass over the London Pass, need to take a look and see where it is that you are going to see if either one is a good value
May be able to get cheaper if purchased in the US, the pass can be purchased in London/Britain but only by foreign visitors
Favorite thing: I came across this website called Days Out Guide where you can print discount coupons. Some of the offers are reduced price on the admission fee, some are 2 for the price of 1. The offers are good with any train ticket or travel card that's valid in London, but nobody asked me for my London Travelcard when I used a coupon at the Science Museum.
If you are traveling beyond London, you might also check out the Great British Heritage Pass which includes a lot of the castles and houses outside of London (also Wales, Ireland and Scotland)
or the English Heritage Overseas Visitors pass which just includes sites in England
Or the National Trust pass
There are few links about London :
I always search the web before going on the trip.You can find many very useful infos and you can prepare better for the trip.
The first thing I do when I get to London is to buy TIME OUT magazine. Its a weekly bible of the nightlife (and more). It costs 2.50 pounds and comes out every wednesday and you can check out every concert, in every big or tiny venue, the prices, the times etc
Of course its very useful as a theatre guide, a film guide, for art exhibitions, for museums, for restaurants and and and and.... want more? :)
For major concerts do a your search through internet because the tickets will be sold out after a while!
Check these sites:
We're all on the internet here and we all use it to do things like make bookings and do research on places we want to go. That's what VT is all about, isn't it?
An excellent website for all things London is Londontown.com You can sign up for a monthly newsletter for things and events going on in the city. I've had good luck booking accommodations on the site. One tip there, though, is to check other levels of accommodations. It might say "budget" but sometimes you can get as cheap or cheaper in the "mid range" hotel listings that sometimes have very good special offers. There are maps of the locations to various major parks and attractions, theatre tickets and a listing for unique experiences. It does not have much info on shopping or eating.
The Official London Tourist Board includes all the usual things you would expect, also has lists of accessible London for people with disabilities, Lists of hotels, restaurants and attractions that are gay friendly (even a section on planning a same sex wedding!), and everything from budget to luxury London.
Another really good site is Virtual London which has lots of information, and gathers together information on tours, accommodations, things to see and do. You can book various things right on the site. There is a wealth of all manner of information from every day tips to info on the Royal Family.
Fondest memory: Time Out London is the online version of the weekly magazine available at newstands everywhere in London. Traditionally recommended to visitors and residents alike to find out what's on this week. There are reviews for all sorts of arts and entertainment, as well as some hotel reviews and listings. They provide general prices and websites where you can go book them.
Brittania.com Has a gathering of many useful and informative links to accommodations, entertainment, sightseeing, both on their site and other websites. They have a general UK travel guide as well.
OK.. so if you live in a country as expensive as Lebanon when it comes to mobile phones tariffs and charges (esp. if your phone is 'roaming'), then you'd probably consider buying a separate phone card/line when you're visiting another country.
However, in London I thought it was really worth it..since all it took me was to walk into an O2 store and buy a sim card for 10 GBP. Then I had the option of topping up the card (with credits) for as much as 10, 15 or 20 GBP. I used the phone 10 minutes later as I walked out of the shop...simple, not too expensive, and extremely handy if you get lost and need to call another 'VTer' for directions ;)
Of course do remember to take your phone with you...and make sure that it is a Tri-band phone. You can usually check on the mobile company's website (i.e. nokia, motorola, siemens, etc..). If the salesperson tells you it doesnt work, have them try a sim card in it to check for certain. But a tri-band will surely work.
Very similar to craigslist in New York or dailyinfo.co.uk in Oxford, thegumtree.com website is a go-to information site for flat rentals (long term or short term), sales, personal ads, services, jobs and other community related information. Their flat and job listings are particularly helpful. You can search flats by location and duration and jobs by field.
thegumtree is not limited to just London, but to all of England, Scotland, Poland, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Wales, Ireland and Northern Ireland.
On Oxford you will find a large Internet cafe (part of a chain) called 'easyInternetcafe'. There are 268 PCs available at this Internet cafe, and I can't remember exactly, but I think that it is approximately GBP 1 for every half hour. I mainly remember that there were a lot of computers available to use and that it had good opening hours.
For other Internet Cafe's around London (or the UK) check out the website below.
Sun-Wed: 8:00am - 10:00pm
Thurs-Sat: 8:00am - 12am (midnight)
358 Oxford St, London, W1N 9AG
It is opposite the Bond St underground.