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Sunday, April 24, 2011

London Insider Travel Tips

If you're hopping over for the royal wedding or plan to visit London this summer, then these tips will put you light years ahead of most tourists.

London Subway  Never pay cash on the tube since cash fares are more than double what locals pay. Buy yourself an Oyster Card ( www.tfl.gov.uk ) . Any tube station sells these stored-valued swipe cards.  Load them up with a deposit of 3 pounds  ($4.95 US), and fares are automatically deducted every time you ride.

Best London Guides  Time Out London is the unbeatable bible of what to do in London. You can view it online at www.timeout.com/london  . On Saturdays, grab a copy of the Guardian newspaper and you'll find a terrific pocket-sized guide for free. Or check it out online at www.Guardian.Co.Uk . Hands down the savviest price minded guide to London is: Pauline Frommer's London: Spend Less, See More at $16.99.

Best Department Store  Forget Harrods since it's for tourists only. Hip Londoners go to real department stores like www.SelfRidges.Com with its delicious Food Hall and great designer brands. Another best bet is www.JohnLewis.Com whose slogan is, "Never Knowingly Undersold". Another unmissable is
www.MarksAndSpencer.Com .

Museums Almost ALL museums in London are 100% free. So make sure you see all the sights.  

Taxi Cabs - Taxi cabs are double NYC fares and drivers won't let you in the cab unless you reveal your destination. But since they have to pass a test on memorizing ever street in London, their less apt to turn down fares like NYC cabbys. Also, tipping in England is a gesture, NOT an obligation.

  Best Cheap Eats There's a www.PizzaExpress.Com on almost every corner and www.Carluccios.Com is a great place for killer pasta, cheap wine and great coffee.  In London, Indian food has displaced fish and chips  as the national dish and the best place to sample it is on Brick Lane in the East End which is lined with cheap eats. Or try the central www.IndianYMCA.Org just north of Oxford Street. They serve fabulous dirt cheap dinners for less than 5 pounds or $8.25 US..

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