There is little mystery as to why London is one of the world’s most popular travel destinations. This monumental metropolis is not only the capital of England as well as the United Kingdom, it is also a thriving urban hub and one of the cultural capitals of the world. Within London’s borders is a massively diverse kaleidoscopic array of world-class culture, shopping and dining in addition to some of the most exciting nightlife travelers will find anywhere.

As appealing as London is as a destination, as with any city, tourists are best served to do at least some planning prior to their visit in order to get the most out of their holidays. It’s so easy to get bogged down with all the usual sights and sounds, that you may happen to miss some of the hidden gems that this great city has to offer. If that’s the case, then you won’t have really experienced everything London truly has in store for you. So take a look at these six tips for anybody planning, or considering, a trip to London in the near future.

Do Not Overstuff Your Itinerary

There are countless things to do in London, and most tourists have limited time for their holidays. Unfortunately, this combination often leads to a tendency to pack too many activities into too short a time. While this temptation is understandable, it can and often does lead to a diminished enjoyment of the city as sightseers rush from one attraction to the next, stressing about time the whole way. Instead of trying to fit in everything, choose the things that you really want to see, relax and enjoy the city.

Do Not Rely on the Tube Too Much

London’s extensive Underground is the heart of one of the best public transportation systems in the world. While the Tube is fast and convenient, a good portion of it is quite literally underground. Choosing slower, above ground modes of transportation for at least some of your travels is a good way to see and get a feel for London and its diverse neighbourhoods. After all, you’ve come all the way to London – why sit in a subway train that looks the same in Tokyo, New York, and Berlin? No, walk or take buses so you can see the sights while traveling as well.

Take Advantage of Other Transport Services

While the Tube is speedy, and the double-decker buses are iconic, there are better options for certain needs. Companies such as Marshalls Coach Hire in London provide commuter buses for quick travel throughout the area as well as a variety of coach hire options for private groups. And let’s be honest – how many of your other friends can say that they’ve ridden in a double-decker bus?

Remember London is a City

While London is very safe for a big city, it is still a big city. Always keep an eye on your possessions, and do not leave valuables such as your phone, wallet or purse unattended or on a table in a restaurant or coffee shop.

Separated by a Common Language

If you are coming from the States, or are otherwise accustomed to American English, keep in mind that British English might be more foreign to you than you expected. Just go over some common terms and expressions in London to help you in case you run into something you don’t understand.

Prepare for Anything (Weather-wise)

London does have four seasons, but regardless of the season the weather here is famously unpredictable. Always come prepared with warm clothes and an umbrella, just in case.

Tricia is a mom and a blogger from Beverly Hills. She recommends Marshalls Coach Hire in London for your London travel needs.