Although a member of the European Union, the official currency of the UK is not Euro, but GBP (Great Britain Pound), which is also one of the strongest currencies in the world. Of course, you can find some restaurants, bars and shops that accept Euro, but the change you get will probably be in pounds. However, there are banks, ATMs and exchange offices where you can exchange your money. If you don’t like carrying much cash around, most of places in London take credit cards, so you don’t have to worry much about money and currencies.
Phones and Internet
Phone boxes are easy to find all over the city, they accept coins, phone cards and even your credit cards. It is a bit expensive, so try to make the calls as short as possible, especially when it comes to international calls. If you prefer mobile phones, but don’t want to pay the roaming, you should just buy a prepaid phone number and make calls by the local rates. Internet is best to find for free, i.e. when booking a hotel room, make sure they provide free Wi-Fi, because some hotels charge it.
Business Hours and Holidays
Typical open hours for the city of London are from 9 a.m. till 6 p.m., but they vary in general from area to area. For example, banks are usually open from 9.30 a.m. till 14.30 p.m. on weekdays. On Saturday they have reduced work hours and on Sunday they are closed. Shops are open from 9 a.m. till 6 p.m., but i the different parts of the city they have particular days in the week when they are open an hour or two longer. Bars and pubs are generally open from 11 a.m. till 11 p.m. Most of the gas stations in London station are working 24/7. Public holidays in London are 1 January (New Year’s Day), Good Friday, Easter Monday, first Monday in May called May Holiday, last Monday in May called Spring Holiday, last Monday in August called Late Summer, 25 December (Christmas Day) and 26 December (Boxing Day).
Local Laws and Tips
It is forbidden to smoke in public buildings like bars, pubs and restaurants, the fines are very high and you don’t want to waste your money that way. However, you can smoke in the street. London is a huge town and very crowded during the season, so watch out for your wallets and other valuable stuff, especially in area of the London Eye, areas of East London and don’t walk alone along back alleys and subway at night.
In London and every part of the country is spoken English language, so if you don’t have a problem reading this text, you probably won’t have a problem to communicate with the locals.