What do I need to travel to London? This question has become a classic since the United Kingdom left the European Union on January 2021, XNUMX. Because, until then, it was enough for you to carry your identity card to enter the country, but this has changed, as we will see.
On the other hand, London continues to be one of the favorite destinations for travelers from all over the world. Tourists yearn to see the Westminster Palace and Abbey, Her Majesty's Royal Palace and Fortress (the Tower of London) and its famous bridge, the imposing San Pablo's cathedral or British museum. But they also want to stroll through Piccadilly Circus or Trafalgar Square. Consequently, we are going to answer for you the question what do i need to travel to london.
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Documentation you need to travel to London
As we told you, from January 2021, XNUMX you cannot travel to London only with your national identity document. The United Kingdom no longer belongs to the so-called Schengen area. This is made up of a total of twenty-six nations that have abolished their borders. The British, by leaving the European Union, have also abandoned this agreement.
Therefore, to travel to London you will need to have your passport in order. Also, keep in mind that, if you are traveling with your children and they are small, you will also need to make this document for them, since they will ask for it upon arrival.
On the other hand, if you are Spanish, you will not need a visa whenever your trip is for a short time. This means that, if you go for tourism or to visit a relative and your stay is going to be less than 180 days, you will not need it. But, for trips motivated by other causes or of longer duration, you may need it.
On the other hand, if you are not Spanish, you may need this document. For example, if you are a national of a Hispanic-American country, you are excluded from the so-called Europe Agreement for Brexit and, surely, you will have to obtain this additional document. On the other hand, due to its historical link with the United Kingdom, citizens of the United Kingdom do not need a visa to enter the country. Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, Canada and the United States.
In any case, as a summary, we will tell you that, if you are Spanish, you need your passport to travel to London. On the other hand, if you have another nationality or your stay is going to be prolonged, you may also need a temporary visa or other documents. For this reason, we always recommend that check with the british embassy the necessary documentation to enter the country.
It is the safest way to travel to London with all the legal guarantees. But, if you want to visit the British city, you should also take into account other important documents for your trip.
So far we have talked about the documents you need to enter the United Kingdom. But, if you want to have a quiet and pleasant stay in that country, we also recommend that you take into account other aspects before starting your trip to London.
It is very important to tell you that the European sanitary card it remains valid in the UK despite its departure from the Union bloc. Therefore, this document will allow you to receive medical attention in case you get sick or have an accident.
However, we want to advise you, in line with what the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Spain, make yourself a private medical insurance before travelling. There are certain treatments that are not included in the British public health system. Therefore, if you needed them, you would be obliged to pay for them out of pocket.
On the other hand, if you travel with good private health insurance, you will have economic coverage in your policy to face these payments. In this way, you will not have to worry about money, just to recover from your illness.
Less important than the previous documents is the one related to driving vehicles. Because London has a excellent public transport network and you will not need to rent a car. In addition, we do not recommend it for several reasons.
First of all, remember that in the UK you drive on the left and that British vehicles are right-hand drive. Therefore, if you are not used to it, it will be difficult for you to drive a car on its roads and streets. Also, traffic in London, like in any other big city, is abundant and complicated, especially if you don't know its streets well.
It is true that you can travel to the British capital with your own car. So, you will avoid the steering wheel problem, but not the others that we have just pointed out to you. In any case, you can drive anywhere in the UK with a foreign license during the first year of your stay in the country. You must carry it whenever you take the vehicle and also, if it is your own car, your international insurance card so that it can assist you in a hypothetical accident. Likewise, all other documentation of the car must be in order.
Other aspects to take into account when traveling to London
As with the previous documents, it is also necessary that, before traveling, you organize certain aspects that have to do with mobile devices, currency and how to move around the city or visit its monuments. We are going to talk to you about all this.
Telephony and data usage
During your stay in the UK you will use your mobile phone and other electronic devices. But, if you do not want to pay a high sum of money for it, it is important that inform you of the use of data that your technology company allows you. he is the acquaintance roaming .
Many telecommunications companies already offer roaming Free throughout the European Union. However, you must remember that the United Kingdom no longer belongs to it. Therefore, you may have to pay separately for your data. The best thing is that you inform yourself at your supplier so as not to get unpleasant surprises on the bill.
On the other hand, it is essential that you take into account the issue of currency. Since the British country no longer belongs to the European Union, the euro is no longer a legal currency. It is true that the big tourist attractions and the main hotels continue to accept it. But imagine you want to buy a shirt or have a beer. These small establishments are not obliged to accept the community currency and may ask you to pay them in pounds sterling.
It is also true that you can exchange euros for British currency at any bank or exchange house in London. However, we advise you to do it before you travel. The reason is that commissions for currency exchange in the United Kingdom they can be considerably higher than in Spain.
Another option is to pay with credit card. But your bank will also charge you for it. It depends on each bank, but it is usually a percentage of the money you have paid and is around one percent.
Transfers in London
We have already discouraged you from using the car in the British city. We have also mentioned that it has an excellent public transport network. But, in addition, as happens with other tourist cities, it offers you the possibility of buying different card modalities to use buses, metro and rail.
We want to highlight in this regard the Travel Card. Basically, it allows you to use any public transport for a certain time. You can buy it for one day or for seven. In addition, the first offers you to choose between its use at rush hour (before half past nine in the morning) or outside of it.
You will find it at any tourist information point, in the metro or railway stations and even in many newsagents. In addition, it allows up to four children under the age of ten to travel with you for free.
Its prices are based on the urban areas through which it allows you to travel. But the most basic for one day are around fifteen euros, while, for seven, they are around forty. However, there is a reduced one for boys between eleven and fifteen years old that costs about twenty euros for seven days.
Another option is the oyster card, which allows you to scroll unlimitedly. But it has the inconvenience that you have to recharge it every so often.
Finally, we will tell you about another card that will be very useful in London. It's about the London Pass, with which you can access many places of interest, as well as other interesting discounts. You can buy it from one day of validity to six and its prices range from 75 to 160 euros.
Between the london landmarks that you can visit with it are places as important as the westminster abbey, Globe Theater of Shakespeare or the kensington palace. It also includes a boat ride on the Thames. However, the profitability of this card depends on the number of interesting places you want to visit.
In conclusion, we hope to have answered the question what do i need to travel to london. It only remains for us to tell you that you also take into account the climatology when you pack your suitcase. Although the city has a reputation for rainy, it is not so much. And the temperatures are mild all year round. In summer they rarely exceed thirty degrees, while in winter it is difficult for them to drop below zero. Now you just need to organize your trip to London. You will not regret.