Do I need a tour guide to really see London?

There are a number of companies which offer specialised tours around London and if you are new to the city then it can be tempting to hire one to make sure that you see as much of the capital city as possible. However, there are plenty of ways to explore London without having to pay out the extra cost of hiring a guide to take you around and, in fact, it can be more enjoyable to simply discover the many hidden delights of London yourself.

A quick online search will throw up the various tourist attractions you might wish to see; you will be able to filter by preferences i.e. whether you want to see some of the iconic and historical buildings in London or prefer to visit museums and so on. You should also be able to find recommendations for if you are visiting with older members of the family or young children.

Make a note of these and their relative locations to each other and you should be able to easily make your own guide around London which is specific to what you want to see. Lots of websites will tell you the nearest tube station and the Transport for London website has a handy route planner which tells you the quickest way to get from one place to another.

Alternatively, once you have arrived in London you could pick up a handy guide which can offer suggestions on routes to take around the capital. If you aren’t bothered about which attractions you visit then this may be a good possibility for you.

Another great way to explore the city is to buy tickets for the red bus tours which take visitors to all the major sights. You can hop on and off as much as you want and it is a great way of making sure that you see the main attractions on offer.

Overall, it is entirely possible to visit London without the assistance of a paid tour guide. Despite theories to the contrary, Londoners are actually very friendly people who will be only too happy to point you in the right direction if you get lost and with technology and the internet being as advanced as it is, you can plan your own way around with relative ease.

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