Final thoughts. At this time of year, it makes no sense to by a museum pass. We found no lines, except for the Queen’s Gallery right after the changing of the guard. I suspect if we waited later in the day that we could have gotten in easily. I just decided that Shannon was “museumed out”. Nearly all of the museums were free. The sites that we did pay for were expensive, but again, no lines. The only thing that we found was busy were the sidewalks in Covent Garden at night and the more famous squares at night. Traffic was horrendous at certain times of the day. The underground was easy to navigate and seemed very safe at night. Many people were worried about our safety, but I am never felt safer in a large city than here. We were careful about our purses and has no issues. As in the US, there are a lot of street people and at night, they were sleeping in every alcove – some with sleeping bags and others without.
Most everyone was very nice, but we felt there were a few that told us incorrect directions for the fun of it. The food was very good as a general rule. There were tons and tons of franchises, which was a big surprise and not all of them were American. As far a shopping was concerned, it is much cheaper in America, so save your dollars. Taxis were cheap, but more expensive that the underground. I highly recommend the Oyster Card for traveling around the city. You can charge it up at any tube station and at the end of your stay, you can turn it in for whatever is left on it. The street signs were amazing. Be sure to look for them to be sure you are headed in the right direction. Be sure to know what a square you are closest to, as this is a great thing to know when you are heading home. There were very few dogs in the city and people were good about cleaning up after them. There was definitely some rain, but it is usually short-lived. Yes, there are a lot of immigrants in the city, but we saw no more of them than in any American city. I felt very safe and didn’t worry much about having a 12 year old to look after. As a rule, the city was clean – maybe because of the rain showers. We rarely smelled anything unpleasant and it seemed that garbage pickup must have been every night as trash bags were lined up outside restaurants and stores at night, but we did not see them the next morning.