This was my first time to London of course I am not on tour. If you are on tour you won't need this guide as that will be planned for.
I was on a Pre-Wedding Shoot trip to London and that was only 1 day. I am staying there for about 7 days. Of which, my fiancee and myself have planned our itinerary for this trip and I am going to share with you how you can save and go easy on your pocket. Where to get the deals and how to get there.
To save on apartment, we stayed in an apartment using AirBnb. I am going to review the apartment we stayed there so to let you know what to look out for.
First thing, the picture on their listing is one of the 8 units they have. It is completely different from the one we stayed. Apartment is accessed via numeric number locks.
The Good: Our apartment is at Great Tower street which is in between Monument Station and Towerhill Station. It also has a supermarket, Tesco coming from Monument and a food joint, Weatherspoon from Towerhill. This is hosted by Q Apartment. Our apartment is very well equipment with fast WiFi, Iron, Dish washer, Washing machine, utensils, stove. Enough for you to leave for a week for us.
The Bad: There have 8 units in this building and we were assigned unit number 1, which is on level 4 and there is no lift! 3 days before the stay, I also have to constantly send them message to get the actual address (AirBnb will only give you the exact 3 days before). We didn't know you can request to change else we would have done so. Their response isn't very fast. Check the room in detail as there are hidden compartments looks not possible to open but when open, give you a wardrobe and more. There are several hidden compartments which could have provided with some labels. Instruction on equipments could be provided.
Here you see the door on the upper right is where you enter.
You will see the washroom upon entering.
Further on you will see the kitchen.
Entering from the kitchen will be the bedroom. A fan to move the wind. During day time is extremely hot.
The worse thing about this apartment is the rooftop is directly accessible by the next block and there were renovation works. Anyone could just walk over and peep into your bedroom. Yes the bedroom is facing the windows, facing the rooftop.
All windows panel in front of the bed covered with blinds where some are faulty. You can see people doing construction and can easily walk over and take a peep.
Moving around from Airport/Train/Hotel/Apartment
First thing first, cab is going to be expensive in London and there is Uber however everything will be in pounds. You can either use airport shuttle service or call this private car service which is pretty affordable Addison Lee. Just call them up in advance and go through the phone options, they also have an app to use, just provide the location and destination and they will provide you the price. No tips is needed is already part of the fare.
You can purchase a data card only with 500MB/1GB/2GB for a 4G modem or get a local Prepaid card for 20 pounds which comes with 2GB data and 500 minutes of airtime and unlimited SMS for 30 days. My advise, save your money as London has so many WiFi hotspot, you hardly need to use that prepaid card. I regretted buying it and my stay use less than 1GB. Note this, there is no reception in Metro as they are underground so you won't see people using mobile phones in train other than playing offline games. If you really need, go to any mobile shops they will sell these cards. There are a handful at Oxford Street/Piccadilly (Similar to Singapore Orchard Road) e.g. Vodafone, O2.
Metro Train Tickets
Assuming you are like me first time in London, you might want to get a train ticket with unlimited access. Most if not all the attractions are located in Zone 1 & 2, so get an Oyster card and purchase a 7 days Zone 1 & 2 access which will cost you 32 Pounds. Check out the latest rates here. Buses are free just let them scan your Oyster card and do a hope on and off for the experience.
Yes everyone loves shopping whether you are a guy or lady. In London, there is one too which is a Bichester Village. Just take the Metro to Marylebone station and switch to a Train to Bichester North station. Here you can check out the service time. You will have to get a ticket there for return ticket. Remember to arrived early else you will have to wait for the next train.
Train station at Marylebone to take to Bichester North.
Once you reached the station, you will need to get bus tickets to Bichester Village from the train station. Here you will find all the outlet store here. Wifi is free throughout the village.
You can have some good food around. However there is a food joint that has many branches everywhere call Weatherspoon. They serve affordable and good food and if you drink, it's cheap as well. They run many promotion at different time. Get a table on your own, check out the menu on your desk, bring it to the counter to order and take note of your table number. Order and pay at the cashier.