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First time in London. What area should we stay in?

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Apr 22nd, 2013, 09:27 AM
  #1
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First time in London. What area should we stay in?

My husband and I are traveling to Europe in September. We are arriving and departing through London. We plan on taking a train to Amsterdam for a couple of nights and then to Bruges for a few nights and back to London. So, two nights in London when we arrive and two more before we go. Any suggestions on which area of the city we should stay in? We are up for lots of walking and also heard the Hop on/Hop off bus is convenient. We'd like to see the touristy things and also hang in the pubs with the locals! Any suggestions, must-dos, must-sees? Also, if anyone has any tips on Amsterdam, train travel or suggestions for other places to visit in our 10 days in Europe, I'd love to hear them. Thank you!
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Apr 22nd, 2013, 09:37 AM
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What is your budget?

We used the hop-on, hop-off bus when we were in London, but we only had 2 1/2 days there so we did it to get an overview of places we wouldn't have time to visit in person. I don't think you need to do that. Just take the buses and the Tube to get where you want to go.

Are you interested in art, history, shopping, anything in particular? There is so much to do in London that it's hard to give you suggestions without a little more information.

www.fancyapint.com is a good site for finding pubs.

Lee Ann
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Apr 22nd, 2013, 09:38 AM
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Somewhere near South Kensington is convenient. Nowhere in London is close to everything, but in South Kensington you are central, easy to get to other places.

Train to Amsterdam? Flying is faster. Fly London Amsterdam, then train to Brugge. 2 nights in Brugge is enough (it's quite small).
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Apr 22nd, 2013, 10:00 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2003
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I wonder if you have purchased your airfare yet. If not, I would do an open jaw ticket. Fly into London and fly home from Amsterdam (or vice versa). This would be a more efficient use of time.

In London, over the course of maybe 12 or 13 trips we always stay in Mayfair. Good central location; it is served by the Green Park tube station which has three lines: Jubilee, Piccadilly, Victoria. You can visit many sites and attractions without making multiple line changes (and you are within walking distance of attractions also).

Mayfair can be pricey. Please give us your hotel budget and we can provide better suggestions. (We just got a good deal at Flemings Mayfair - 3 nights for the price of 2). Remember that VAT will be charged on the hotel stay. When you are quoted a hotel charge be careful to review whether it is inclusive of VAT....currently 20%.
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Apr 22nd, 2013, 10:33 AM
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Open jaw ticket good idea if you have not yet purchased flights.

I like train travel once in Europe - you travel city center to city center, don't have to get "out" to the airports. If you do decide to take the train to Amsterdam, I'd probably look for a hotel in the area of that departing train station - would probaly be as good as choice as any and make that an easy transit.

Amsterdam is such a fun city - many great sights but what I like most of all is just sitting by a canal, watching the boats or the local residents on their bikes. We went out to one of the train stations and rented bikes for a pleasant afternoon - it's a bit crazy for my taste right in A'dam.

We also rented bikes in Brugge - in some ways it seemed like a mini-Amsterdam to us but alot less hectic.

Sounds like a wonderful trip - enjoy!
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Apr 22nd, 2013, 10:55 AM
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My wife and I like the area around Victoria Station. Look at hotels on Belgrave Road and Warwick Way. They are reasonably priced and very convenient to everything, including Buckingham Palace. The trains from Gatwick and Heathrow all come into Victoria Station and it is a short walk to many hotels.
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Apr 22nd, 2013, 11:02 AM
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Trains from Heathrow don't go to Victoria they go to Paddington.
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Apr 22nd, 2013, 11:05 AM
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I don't think the area matters as much as being in a central location near a tube station. We've stayed in South Kensington, Sloane Square, Grosvenor Square (Bloomsbury?) and High Holborn (area?) and others, and have never been disappointed. Nothing is near everything, but everything is close if you're on a convenient tube line.
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Apr 25th, 2013, 08:35 PM
  #9
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Great tips. Thank you everyone. Basically we'd like to spend no more than $200/night for hotels in London. Like the idea of something "Londondy", like a nice boutique hotel, instead of a Marriot or Hilton where it's the same everywhere.
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Apr 26th, 2013, 12:31 AM
  #10
 
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Check out the Hoxton in Shoreditch. Not central but different.
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