Perfect expat weekend getaway! Amsterdam to London is just 1h15m away.
(soon even better for those looking to get outside Europe on holidays…, sorry couldn’t resist)
The good thing about living in Amsterdam as an expat is that it’s location/transport links make it very easy to explore the rest of Europe. This month I am going to take advantage of that and go to London 🙂
London is really ‘The bee’s knees’ - (old British for: Awesome).
The best way to travel to London was pretty much just plane or a super long drive until recently. Now via Eurostar train is also an option, the overall time, of course, is increased but it is much more relaxing and means you can bring back so much more from your visit!
If you are flying to London please check the airport you are flying to. London is not like the Netherlands, due to the sheer size of it, some of the airports that are over an hour outside of what you think of as being London, are named London. Trains do exist from all ‘London’ airports but can take up to 60 minutes and are not cheap, though booking in advance does reduce the cost a little.
Or you can go by private jet...If you are totally ‘minted’ - (London talk for: rich).
Compared to Amsterdam, the city London is way more spread than Amsterdam. Due to population, small areas never really thought of as London are now considered boroughs of London. Meaning even outside the centre, areas have their own unique styles and can differ quite a lot on what they have to offer. Depending on what you want to see (and how much you want to spend) you can decide on where to stay. I’ve booked my hotel via Booking.com, easy, quick and always clean.
From Amsterdam to London
You probably have an expat friend who can tell you way better what to do and see in London. Although, I will keep you up-to-date via Instagram on my adventures. But here some tips:
- Weather; similar to the Netherlands - slightly more rain/slightly less wind (really selling this aren’t I?!).
- Sightseeing; biking around is an option, but only if you’re confident. Cycling in London is way more exposed than that in the Netherlands. Grab an Oyster card use the tube or walk around (in the city area).
- Museums; similar to Amsterdam try to book in advance. The natural history museum is super cool, especially if like my nephew you like Dinosaurs :p
- Costs; expect everything to be slightly more expensive. Though without forgetting to Thank (upcoming) Brexit - It means now that your Euro goes a lot further than it used to with the value of the pound taking such a hit...
- Safety; city centre similar to Amsterdam (watch out for small crime like pickpockets). In the evening mind the suburbs.
- People; in general nice and kind. Some people perhaps a little less open to talking that say in smaller cities like Amsterdam, this is common in larger cities.
- Driving; the Brits drive on the left, so watch out when crossing and if you choose to rent a car!
- Public transport etiquettes; stand right side on the escalator, walk on the left. London is a busy city in the working week where millions of pounds are made and lost daily, they will quickly let you know if you’re in the way by standing on the left! At the weekends, people just rush, well, because!
- Enjoy; the sexy accents of the real Londoners!
So in the tube, always standing on the right side on the 'apple and pears') - (Old cockney *London* talk for stairs)
Bucket-list for a real London experience:
- Go for English breakfast
- Drink a pint in an olden English ‘pub’
- Apologise for everything even if its not your fault
- Try to go for High Tea
- Eat fish and chips
- Form a nice queue, even if you’re not sure what it's for
- Drink another pint
- Apologize again
- Go for a boozy brunch (very popular amongst expats)
- See the changing of the guards, don’t touch them though...