Indians Need to Know This All Before Travelling to London

VISA for London
Reaching London
Things to Do


London is one of the most visited cities on the globe for business as well as leisure reasons. Planning a trip from India to London for pleasure reasons requires a great deal of concern. Gone are the days when Indians felt unconfident and reluctant to travel to this city in the UK. With growing trade and globalisation, London welcomes Indian visitors with the same warmth as it welcomes visitors from other countries.
Whether you are an arts lover, a party lover or looking forward to explore different facets of the country that influence the ancient walls of historical monuments in India even today, the capital city has a lot stored in for you. However, the worry starts when you do not know from where to start. Here is a quick and easy guide to let you know every detail of London travel from India.
The process simply starts with the application of visa, and then moves on further:

VISA Requirements

When:  You can apply for your UK Visa 3 months prior to your travel date. It is recommended that you do not make any travel arrangements until you have received you visa.
Nationality: Indian Passport (Original Passport is required with validity of at least 6 months. Two pages should be blank for visa stamp.)

Photo: One recent PP photograph with matt or semi matt finish in white background with 35mm X 45mm.

  • 3 years Personal ITR
  • Six months salary slip
  • Personal Bank Statement that mentions the name, address and phone number of the bank clearly
  • Copy of Credit Card/ Foreign Exchange endorsement

Apply for your visa online at Complete the application form and select an appointment.
You can pay the fees for your visa in three different modes:

  • Pay at Standard Chartered Bank: A demand draft is deposited in favour of ‘British High Commission’ at selected branches of this bank. They do not charge anything for this service. Click here to view the list of branches.
  • Demand draft by foreign bank or nationalised bank: The charges of the banks vary in this regard.
  • Payment at visa application centre: You can even make your payments at visa application centre where Standard Chartered Bank provides this facility at a service charge of INR260. Go to one of the visa application centres for the same.
UK Embassy in India:

British High Commission
Shantipath, Chanakyapuri
New Delhi 110021

Air-Travel to London:
  • Peak Season: Although, the flights to London are packed all 365 days, however, the peak season to mention is summer months from June to August when the temperature is between 14 to 30 degrees and weather is pleasant.
  • Off Season: Due to cold temperatures, winter months are the off-season.
  • Shoulder Season: Spring season from March to May and Autumn from September to November is often the great time to visit as the weather is quite good and the cost of travelling is not that high, like peak season.


Flight Information:

Heathrow Airport, Stansted Airport, Gatwick Airport and London City Airport serve the city conveniently.
London Heathrow Airport: This is one of the largest airports on the globe, Heathrow is served by almost every major airlines. It connects the city with regular bus and coach services. Some of the best flights that land here are:

London Stansted Airport:  This airport lies 48 km. towards the north east of central London, so it is not a very good option to land on for the ones who wish to stay in the heart of the city. However, if you could compromise for the cost of your air tickets, it will be worth it. The flights serving this airport are:

London City Airport: This is the closest airport to Central London and this is the reason most of the business travellers prefer landing here. The flights that land on its terminals are:

London Gatwick: This is the second largest airport in London after Heathrow. It is generally preferred by the charter airlines too.  Though a little away from Central London, this airport is frequented by several visitors each day for destinations away from heart of London. You can book your flights conveniently through online services offered by several websites. Some of the popular ones are:

Accommodations for Indians in London
Indians often find flights and accommodations in London digging a hole in their pockets. If you are first time traveller, you may trust only the hotel groups you have heard of before. Book rooms at hotels from famous groups and you will be confident for a comfortable stay. Here are a few popular names in different budgets:

Luxury Hotels- 5 Star and 4 Star – If you are looking forward to an opulent stay in the capital city, you will be spoilt for choice when you browse through a huge variety of luxury hotels in London. These hotels are well equipped with contemporary and lavish amenities to cater to business as well as leisure trip to London.  Conferencing facilities are also available for business travellers planning meetings or events in London.

Budget Hotels – Although the capital is renowned as one of the most expensive cities on the globe, but that does not mean that it does not provide any solace to the budget travellers. London is home to several budget hotels too. Book rooms at any of the budget accommodations where low costs do not mean a compromise in the quality of services. It is only that they do not offer any luxury amenities like 4 star and 5 star properties in London. A comfortable and flawless stay is available at these budget hotels in London.
Bed and Breakfast Hotels – B&B hotels in London is an ideal option for frugal travellers seeking economic accommodation with all the comforts. Bed and Breakfast hotels in London have become popular in the recent years among regular travellers.
Most of these hotels are disabled friendly too. So, there is no constraint for anyone who is travelling to London.

Getting Around London

Travelling in London is never a problem for visitors with a variety of transportation options suitable for all range of pockets. At the same time, you will be delighted to see the range of ticket options too. Buy a prepaid Oyster Card or a Travel Card. The pricing of your travel depends on the category of ticket you select, which zone you are travelling in and your time of travel. Oyster prices are cheaper than Travel card.
London Tube: Also known as London Underground, this is the oldest train network on the globe. Wherever you are in London, you are never too far from a tube station in London with a network of nearly 300 tube stations linking the interiors of the city. The tube network is enhanced by Docklands Light Railway that connects City of London and Docklands in the east.
London Buses: With one of the largest bus networks in the world, London offers bus service that helps you get several sightseeing opportunities on the route. The 2 heritage routes- bus number 9 and 5 are operated by classic Routemaster double decker buses. They will take you to the famous and royal landmarks. Night buses in London are prefixed with ‘N’ and are good alternative to the Underground train.
To stop the bus, you need to raise your hand.
River Services: London River Services operate boat services along the famous River Thames. The services operate on 3 routes:

  • Hilton Docklands - Canary Wharf Shuttle
  • Putney - Chelsea Harbour - Cadogan - Embankment – Blackfriars
  • Savoy - Canary Wharf - Masthouse Terrace - Greenwich - Woolwich Arsenal


Things to Do in London

London is overloaded with things to do and see. The list starts from museums, historic landmarks, shopping, theatre shows, festivals, events and goes endless. You can start with well known London attractions if it is your first trip to the city. Here is a quick guide to assist you.
Sightseeing: Visitors to London often feel that they lack time for sightseeing as there is so much you can get lost in.
  • Westminster: The royal area of London is sure to arrest you with its splendid history oozing out from the beautiful historic structures. Buckingham Palace, Houses of Parliament, Big Ben and the must see Changing of the Guards ceremony, all lie right here. Westminster Abbey , the oldest church is the traditional coronation venue of kings and queens. National Gallery is another delight lying in this area.
  • Trafalgar Square: After you are exhausted from the royal fascinations of the city, head to Trafalgar Square for a relaxing stroll along the most distinguished landmark of London, Nelson Column.
  • Covent Garden: The area of Covent Garden is renowned for the open-air market. The liveliness of this market is sure to take your hearts away whether you are in a mood for shopping or not. The district also includes magnificent Royal Opera House, Theatre Museum, St. Pauls Church and British Museum.
  • The City: If you are visiting London for business reasons, probably The City is the place where you will spend most of your time. The financial hub of the capital, this area allures visitors for its famous attractions like Shakespeare Globe Theatre, London Eye, St. Pauls Cathedral, Tate Modern and River Thames. The most celebrated landmark of the city, Tower of London lies here too.

Landmarks in Bollywood Movies
Witness the city you admired on the silver screens through Bollywood movies. Or visit the landmarks shown in one of your favourite movies.

  • Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge: This was the first Bollywood movie that was shot in England. Who can forget Kajol racing on Kings Cross Station and Shahrukh Khan pulling her into a Eurotrain just in time? As you visit Southhall, the mini India in London, you will get familiar glimpses of many scenes in the movie.
  • Namaste London: Visit London Eye, Oxford Street and Houses of Parliament and recollect Akshay Kumar and Katrina dancing their way across these sites.
  • Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham: Hrithik Roshan moves around with his Formlua 1 jacket on the streets of Leicester Square.
  • Mujhse Dosti Karoge: Visit to Albert Memorial will bring you close to Hrithik Roshan and Rani Mukherjee song in Mujhse Dosti Karoge.
This does not end here. The list goes on and many sites and attractions will help you point your fingers on it and say “This is the place where your favourite actor danced, fought, sang” ...........and so on.


Shopping in London

Shopaholics love this city and the reason is evident by its classiest and most exclusive shopping stores on the globe. Shoppers are tickled by the range of opportunities lying here right from extravagant Harrods at Knightsbridge to cheap yet charming wares at Covent Garden.
Browse through a wide range of designer boutiques and stores at Oxford Street or head to Kensington for high street shopping. Oxford Street is home to all renowned brands namely Marks and Spencers, Debenhams, Selfridges, john Lewis and many more.
Equally amazing are the street markets spread all over the city. Camden Markets, Portobello Market, Borough Market, Broadway Market, Leadenhall Market, Petticoat Lane Market are just a few names.


Eating Out in London

Truly, the culinary capital of the globe, London is sure to titillate your taste buds with a huge variety of cuisines. London is one of the few cities that serve authentic delicacies from all over the globe. So, you do not need to worry for the typical flavours your hunger pangs are looking for. With endless choice of restaurants to select from, you will be fascinated to find a huge number of Indian restaurants in London.  At the same time if you are a little conscious for vegetarian food, the city is equally conscious too. You will be spoilt for choice when it comes to vegetarian restaurants in London.
Indian Restaurants in London

  • Moti Mahal: Moti Mahal is a renowned chain of restaurants serving Indian delights. Experience the essence of Punjab in London with its spicy curries and mouth-watering chapattis and Naan. Located on Queen Street in west central London, Moti Mahal serves authentic dishes like Parantha, Samosa, Puri, Saag Chicken, Chana Bhatoora and anything you are craving for.
  • Masala Zone: This is one of the best Indian eating out joints in London offering lip-smacking dishes in a stylish and beautiful atmosphere. It has several branches all over London and leaves no stone unturned to offer the best of authentic Indian flavours.
  • Tamarind: This Michelin starred restaurant is renowned for being instrumental when it comes to changing perception of Indian culinary. The restaurant provides sophisticated dining experience. The specialities include Tamarind Salad, Rogan Josh, Daal Makhani, Jhinga Kalimirch and Naan.
  • Chutney Mary: Situated in Kings Road in Chelsea, Chutney Mary serves interesting Indian delicacies like biryanis, delicious curries, seafood along with adventurous wine list.


Top Vegetarian Restaurants in London

  • Cinnamon Club: Cinnamon Club offers Rajasthani Indian food in London and mainly focuses on vegetarian food. Lying in the heart of Westminster, it occupies a historic Grade II listed building which was Westminster Library.
  • Rasa: With the menu featuring authentic tastes from Kerela, Rasa is a vegan-loved restaurant serving food at reasonable prices. Enjoy some unusual dishes from south India here. Some of these are moru kachiathu, rasa kayi and mix vegetable in flavoured gravy.
  • Woodlands: Ideal for easy dining, located in Theatreland, this is one of the post-theatre eating out joints. It offers delicious Tandoor menu along with Organic Wine List.
A wide range of Indian restaurants is spread all across the city and these are just a few names. If you are willing to taste different cuisines on your visit to London, try out our London Restaurants guide.
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