All the things to know before traveling to London

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Damian Harper

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Here are some practical tips for traveling to London and getting to know the habits and customs of our English friends better!

Pièce d'identité

A valid national identity card or passport is sufficient for travel to London. The conditions are the same for minors traveling with their parent.

Minor children traveling with a person who does not exercise parental authority must be in possession - in addition to the valid passport - of a letter on which the parent authorizes the trip. This authorization, not issued by the town hall, must be written on plain paper.

Jet lag

Great Britain is on Greenwich Mean Time. Throughout the year - whether we are in summer or winter time - we are always an hour behind England. Thus, it is always necessary to subtract one hour to be on English time.


In restaurants, it is customary to leave a tip of 12,5%. Most restaurants have made a habit of systematically including service in the bill.

Pedestrian crossings

In England, crossing the road is not easy! The first reflex before engaging and looking first at your left and not your right as is the case with us.

To remind you of this rule, it is written next to all pedestrian crossings in the capital "Look Left".


If during your stay you have a minor ailment, don't go looking for a pharmacy like you can see in France. In London, pharmacies are incorporated into supermarkets such as Boots and Superdrug. Many drugs are self-service.

You can also buy paracetamol and ibuprofen in supermarkets.


In pubs, there is no table service. No need to sit and wait for someone to come to you to take your order! It's up to the customer to go to the bar, order, pay and come back to the table with their order. The same goes for the dishes, if you decide to eat in a pub; you have to order at the bar, and after that depends on the place; in some pubs you will be served your meal at the table, in others you will be given a number, and you have to stay tuned until someone calls out your number. You will pick up your dishes at the bar.

Under English law, a 16-year-old can consume beer, cider, or wine in a pub with food ordered by an adult.


In 2007, London was one of the pioneers by banning smoking in closed public places such as pubs and restaurants.

Today with 15% smokers in the London population, the government wants to adopt stricter measures to reduce smoking. Like New York, it could soon be banned in London to smoke in parks and other public spaces such as Trafalgar Square or Parliement Square.

You have to be over 18 to buy cigarettes.

Finally, be aware that by throwing a butt on the ground, you risk a fine of £ 75.

As for the electronic cigarette, it is forbidden to vape in the metro but also in all English Starbucks.

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