London is the type of city you visit more than once in a lifetime. Whether visiting top attractions like Big Ben and Westminster Abbey or browsing the Portobello Road Market, you’ll discover something new each time you travel to London.
London may have 2,000 years of history behind it, but it’s a cosmopolitan and buzzing city, home to modern art galleries, edgy fashion houses and more. Take it all in from the London Eye observation wheel, which offers city and South Bank panoramas. Neighbourhoods such as Notting Hill, Soho and Camden Town are a must to visit – and indeed just the tip of the iceberg. Other reasons to book a London holiday package include world-class shopping, dining, entertainment and history. It’s also the perfect base from which to explore the treasures that Britain has to offer. Plus, it’s a short hop to Europe, with all of its exciting destinations.
Why visit London
- London is iconic, familiar to us through books, movies and TV.
- The city boasts over 60 famous attractions, including Buckingham Palace and Picadilly Circus.
- The West End is home to world-class theatre productions and shows.
- Many of the museums and sights in London are free.
- Several major sporting events are held in London, including Wimbledon, football at Wembley Stadium, and cricket at Lord’s Cricket Ground.
- The shopping is superb in stores and in the markets like Portobello Road market in Notting Hill.
- You can enjoy refreshments in one of its many local pubs.
- Nightlife in London is unmatched.
London may be your base from which to explore the British Isles, or you may choose it as a stopover while travelling over the English Channel to Europe, just a short hop away. Whatever your reason for visiting this exciting city, make sure to take full advantage of its legendary attractions, excellent food, various leafy parks and superb shopping opportunities. If you’re travelling to London from South Africa, Thompsons Holidays can put together an unforgettable London holiday package for you, so give us a call right away.
Whenever you visit London from South Africa, you’ll find something new. The city is ever-changing, and with its cosmopolitan feel and vibrant atmosphere, you’re sure to have an unforgettable holiday.
Put on your walking shoes, keep your phone handy to check the map, and explore the many London attractions, places to visit and things to do. Covent Garden, Hyde Park, Borough Market, the Crown Jewels, Carnaby Street, the West End… the list is as endless as the possibilities. Here are a few ideas to get you started…
Things to do in London
- Enjoy high tea at Fortnum & Mason, The Savoy, or The Chesterfield Mayfair Hotel.
- Visit the Tower of London to see the Crown Jewels.
- Watch a traditional Changing of the Guard ceremony outside Buckingham Palace.
- Take a walking tour to visit the famous Harry Potter film locations.
- Discover London from the vantage point of the water on a Thames River cruise.
- See lifelike images of celebrities at Madame Tussauds.
- Enjoy a 360-degree panoramic view of the city from the London Eye.
- Visit the Princess Diana Memorial in Hyde Park.
- Enjoy the vibrant nightlife in buzzing Soho or trendy Shoreditch.
- Go shopping on Oxford Street.
- Relax at Hampstead Heath with superb city views from Parliament Hill.
- Visit the Sherlock Holmes Museum in Baker Street.
There is always something new and exciting to see and do in London. The city offers some of the world’s best art, entertainment, dining, shopping and history, so pick a date, contact Thompsons Holidays and book your London holiday package today.
When is the best time to visit?
- The best time to visit London is between March and May, in spring.
- High season is in the summer months of June to August. Autumn: September & October, Winter: November to March.
- Winter can be a magical time to visit London, especially during the Christmas holidays.
Getting there & getting around
- There are daily direct flights from South Africa to London.
- Flight duration from Johannesburg to London: 11 hours, 25 minutes.
- London has an excellent transport system including the Underground (subway), taxis, buses and trains.
Do I need a visa?
- South African passport holders require a Schengen visa to enter England.
- Passports should be valid for at least 6 months after travel and have blank pages.
What time is it?
- England is on Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). During the winter months London is 2 hours behind South Africa and in the summer (last Sunday in March to the Last Saturday in October) it is 1 hour behind South Africa.
- The official currency is the British Pound Sterling (£).
- Credit & debit cards are widely accepted and ATMs are very prevalent.
- Tipping is an accepted custom. Tip waiters, taxi drivers, porters, bellmen and tour guides at your discretion.
Language & phrases
- English is the official language.
Culture & religion
- Christianity is the main religion, practiced by the Church of England (Anglican).
- It is safe to drink tap water in England. Bottled water is also readily available.
- Vaccinations are not currently required, but do check with your travel clinic before you go.
- London enjoys mild summers. Even so, it’s always best to pack a lightweight rain jacket.
- The winters can be very cold – and wet! Be sure to bring along some rain gear if you're travelling during the winter.
- Comfortable walking shoes.
- Sunscreen, lip balm, hat and sunglasses for summer holidays.
- Camera (or just use your phone).
- Travel adaptor. For the UK, the plug type has three rectangular pins in a triangular pattern. The United Kingdom operates on a 230V supply voltage and 50Hz.
- Support the local economy.
- Be mindful of your impact on the environment.
- Respect each other's cultures and customs.
- Always have a map (or app) on hand, especially when travelling at night.
- Be safety conscious: don’t display cash or valuables. Leave jewellery and expensive watches at home.
- Keep your belongings safe – use the hotel safe for passports and valuables and watch out for pickpockets and bag snatchers when out and about.
- If passports or valuables are stolen, report the theft to the hotel/police immediately.
- Contact the Thompsons Holidays 24-hour care line to assist.