Train travel in the UK can be expensive. If you book your train tickets 8-12 weeks in advance through The Train Line you can quite often get quite a bargain.
Travel on public transport in London is now cashless – bus drivers really will not accept coins. For travel, you have to have an oyster cards or contactless card.
If you would like to go on your own tour rather than the bus tours, then centrally, the 211 (Waterloo to Hammersmith), 24 (Pimlico to Hampstead Heath), 11 (Fulham to Liverpool Street Station) and 9 (Aldwych to Hammersmith) are the routes to explore. For a bit of British Transport history, the number 9 is regularly an old Routemaster bus. Trafalgar Square and Central London in general can be extremely busy during tourist season and when special events are on.
Staying centrally doesn’t need to be expensive. There is a wealth of options other the main hotels including AirBnB.
Once you have reached Trafalgar Square, which is where the mileage to London is calculated from, you can easily walk into Covent Garden. Covent Garden is very popular and great for a real multi-cultural experience, with street performers and small restaurants hidden along the side streets. When walking through Covent Garden you can very often be offered cards for discounts at the different restaurants – these are definitely worth taking up if you like the look of them. Quite often the discount deals don’t include drinks, so do read the small print carefully.
The O2 arena live shows are often not until the evening. Don’t wait until show time to arrive though, there is plenty to do and see at the arena and you can very easily spend a whole day there. If you arrive and would like to do something energetic, there is the Brooklyn Bowl. They have plush leather seats and offer table service. The lanes themselves are smart and generally immaculately clean – you’ll feel a bit of a rock star hanging out with a frozen margarita while your group bowls. If you visit at the weekend, during school holidays or before a big performance, it is well worth booking a lane as it gets very busy.
After bowling, take a walk through the arena and visit the regularly changing displays. At the moment, the display is the Nissan Innovation Station, where you can take a virtual test drive of a new electric car and there is a photo booth where you can take a selfie with Usain Bolt.
Looking for food before a show at the O2 arena, you are spoilt for choice. There are bars and restaurants to suit all budgets.
The O2 arena is a place you really must go to when you visit London. You could pop in for a meal or spend a full day there.