Thank God for this web site and this forum right. I don’t even know how people travelled pre internet and TA lol.
I am planning a one week London - Paris vacation for my DH and I and I am strictly adhering to the reviews of hotels, attractions and etc on this site. I am well aware that we will not be able to see everything there is to see in London in the small time frame we have and we are somewhat on a budget, but I do not mind spending $$ if the attraction is really worth it. I also do not wish to make a very strict plan because we want to take it easy and not stress that I have to get to certain attractions.
We are flying in from Bulgaria to Stansted on July 24th late in the evening. We are staying one night at the Premier Inn at Stansted airport before we take the Stansted express the next morning to London. Here is my first question
Would you recommend we purchase Stansted express tickets in advance? I will only buy tickets in advance if there is a possibility that no available tickets will be available on the day of our travel. Could such thing happen? I mean this is a regular line where a lot of professionals take I would assume?
The train stop is at Liverpool station and our hotel is close to Euston (St Pancras/Kings Cross) station.
I tossed and turned, booked, cancelled and re-booked a few hotels while going through about at least 100 different hotels on booking.com (love the site) and finally decided in a three star Studios2Let hotel. I was surprised to find out that there is no reviews on TA about that hotel (I did find an old forum thread about it only), even though its rated “very good” on bookings.com. Most all four star hotels were booked and the ones that were left were out of our budget or had not so stellar reviews.
I was a bit apprehensive on booking a three star, because three star hotel in Europe is like one star in the US. I have never been to London though so I am not sure that same applies, but I read somewhere that the star rating of a hotel in London is based on the services provided not the overall hotel? I don’t know if I should be worried or not about that .. lol.
I was planning on us walking mostly to attractions and places of interest or taking the double decker buses if we get tired. I know that the underground is the most efficient way of transportation there but I really do not wish to be stuck underground when I can be sightseeing from the bus. I might be wrong here though(and looking for advice) since the bus routes might be longer than taking a 10 min subway ride? I am yet to research the oyster and travel card , but question
Is there a combined card we can purchase (buses and trains) to use for the 2 days we will be there ? How much are we looking at ?
As I mentioned above we want the trip to be a bit leisurely … my DH hates to be rushed and he does not like large crowds, but here is what I am thinking
1. July 25th –Stansted express to London (at around 9:00 -10:00), Buy oyster/travel cards? Transfer to the hotel (I think we have to go out of Liverpool station , walk to the pink line underground station and take to Kings cross). Check – in to the hotel. I am assuming this will take a couple of hours. Get something quick to eat and meet 1:00 pm Sandemans free tour. That takes 2.5 – 3 hrs. Then we are free to do whatever (any pub/lounge/bar suggestions? We are in our mid 30s and my DH is not very social, but I love to meet new people.
2. July 26th - Going to Tower museum and spending a lot of time there. Will try to go and see whatever we were unable to see on the tour or return to sights we saw on the tour to explore some more
3. July 27th – Breakfast, check –out , walk a little around the St Pancras station and Eurostar is at 11:45
Any suggestions or anything that you think is worth seeing (paid or free) in the time frame we have … please let me know. We are not picky eaters , but my DH loooooves fish and chips so suggestions for places where its very good are welcomed.
Also , do you think it would rain in July :) , i keep imagining a sunny sky while we are there , but I think rain shoes and some poncho might come handy? Would you suggest any shopping places there to buy good rain shoes and other rain gear :)
I am so sorry it’s so long. I appreciate you reading and the feedback.