My husband and I have a 4 day layover in London. Neither of us have ever stayed there. Not sure which neighborhood to stay in. What to do, etc... Should we rent a car go to nearby cities etc. budget of $100 a day looking at Airbnb but lost. we like being with local culture not so into touristy attractions but want to know what we should not miss. Any info is helpful. Thanks
London is big so there are many neighbourhoods and no single one will show you all the sights. You will need the tube or buses. London is also pricey. If you want inexpensive, consider the East End of London. If you stay close to a tube station or bus stop, you can see London without paying as much for accommodation.
Hi there, I had a 3-4 day stopover on the way home to Australia and stayed in the Southwark area. I loved it. Great small pubs, cafe's restaurants and the weekend local market. I'm not a big tourist person and would prefer to experience places like a local. This was just perfect.
I would find an Airbnb in Clapham, close by northcote road, a great street with a daily market as well as many restaurants, two parks (Clapham and Wandsworth commons), ClaphamJunction has frequent ( it's not the busiest junction in the world for nothing!) trains into central London less than ten minutes away. Don't rent a car, driving on the wrong side of the road is difficult to adjust too and the roads are much smaller and congested.
I have lived in London for over70 years, so I know it fairly well. A hotel close to Victoria station is a good idea. All parts of London are easily accessible from here, either by train or bus. An Oyster travel card is essential. One can be purchased before you arrive. [google "Oyster card"]. Do not consider hiring a car. It will be expensive, traffic congestion is bad, there will be nowhere to park, and if you drive in London you will have to pay a daily congestion charge! In four days you will see only a small part of London. The on-off bus tours cover most of London but again traffic congestion can be a problem.
Eating out can be expensive. Using small local cafés and pub chains eg Wetherspoons can keep costs down.
Security is not a problem. Men - do not carry wallets etc in back pockets. Ladies - carry handbag with strap across body with zips or flaps facing body. This gives out the message of being security aware. If approached by anyone on the street do not stop just carry on walking.
Get a London tourist map before you arrive and try to decide what you want to see.
London is a great city and I guarantee you will have a terrific time.
I would say Hampstead Village or Battersea Park area if you like good restaurants, cafes and beautiful open spaces (but still close to the centre of town) but they may be a little more than $100/night. If you prefer a bit more urban, then I would say Islington (amazing selection of restaurants and bars), Brixton (great street art and fantastic vibe), or Shoreditch and Hoxton if you like the hipster experience (also fantastic bars, clubs, galleries) should be more affordable - Brixton in particular.
Regarding hiring a car and travelling around, actually the train is not bad at all and I would suggest you do day trips from London rather than staying in the other cities. The cities I would recommend within say 2hrs on the train are Bath, Oxford, Cambridge (England).
I hope that gives you a bit of a flavour!
Mentioned in this answer:
The short answer is.... It depends on you. Your personal style and interests . And your budget. To catch the sites, stay near Victoria or in Kensington. You can walk to the palace, museums, great super expensive shops, and even along them Thames (walk on the South Bank, the London Eye side) . For a more quaint London Notting Hill (great B&B The Main House) . Or if you prefer real London, The East End of London is cool yet grungy.
Mentioned in this answer: