Melanie Colwell
June 14, 2023

It's the city that has it all: centuries of history and culture, a thriving arts scene, raucous sporting events and world-class dining. 

If you’re after a laidback holiday destination, this is not the place for you. Actually, you’ll likely need a holiday after your holiday in London. Many Aussies do just that, using the city as a launchpad for further exploration around Great Britain and Europe.

Though there is never a bad time to visit London, summer is pretty special — the atmosphere is electric. Parks are filled with picnickers soaking in the long-anticipated sunny days. Pubs overflow with patrons, spilling out onto the pavement with pints in hand. There are street parties, neighbourhood festivals and special events galore.

No matter how many days you’ve got planned here, it won’t be enough to experience everything London has to offer — it’s best to accept that now. But you can try your best. In partnership with HSBC, we’ve put together this helpful starter guide to the city, so you can start planning your itinerary.

It's the city that has it all: centuries of history and culture, a thriving arts scene, raucous sporting events and world-class dining. 


Before you launch into weeks (or months) of responsibility-free fun in Europe, you’ll need to get some adult stuff out of the way first. Organise a pet (or plant) sitter, hand all your unfinished work over to your poor colleagues and, most importantly, sort out your payment plan. With an HSBC Everyday Global Account, you can have up to ten currencies (including GBP) preloaded so you can use your Visa Debit Card for all purchases and ATM withdrawals. The best part? You won’t be stung with international transaction fees.


The city has one of the most efficient (and recognisable) public transport systems in the world, namely the Underground (aka the ‘Tube’) and the iconic red doubledecker buses. Or, if you want to take things at a slower pace, hop aboard a river service down the Thames or hire one of the Santander Cycles (affectionately known as Boris Bikes) for a few hours. Good news: all options allow contactless card payments, so you’ll be good to go with your HSBC Visa Debit Card.


Just north of the bustling city centre is the green, slightly wild haven of Hampstead Heath. The 800-acre parkland is popular all year round for walking, cycling, celebrity spotting and kite-flying on Parliament Hill — which also boasts epic city views. In the warmer months, locals flock to the ice-cold swimming ponds for a dip. It’s so popular, in fact, that you’ll probably need to book.


Seeing a musical or play on the West End is a must for all theatre lovers. No matter when you visit, there are shows to choose between — from the world’s longest-running play, Agatha Christie’s murder mystery The Mousetrap, to the new Pulitzer Prize-winning musical A Strange Loop. Hot tip: head to the TKTS London stall in Leicester Square to snag huge discounts on last-minute tickets.

Five of the Best

Tick these must-visit haunts off your bucket list.

Cultural Sites

London is so chock-full of historical sites, it's almost impossible to name them all. But here are five you shouldn't miss.


London is home to some of the world's most important art and historical artefacts. Bonus: you can see most of them for free.


Popular with locals and tourists alike, a leisurely stroll and browse through a market is a stellar way to spend a few hours.


Think British cuisine is boring? Think again. These much-celebrated spots prove London deserves a place on the culinary stage.


Londoner's love a cheeky bev, and the city's watering holes range from superb rooftops to shabby-chic subterranean spaces.


Luxury amenities, cutting-edge design and world-class eateries — these boutique hotels offer much more than just a place to sleep.

Five of the Best

Tick these must-visit haunts off your bucket list.

Further Afield

If you've got a little extra time, here are five day trips you should plan from London.

Get Started

Ready to start planning? We've found five experiences you can book right now, fee free, using your HSBC Everyday Global Account Visa Debit Card.

Plan Your Journey Around London

Track down the must-visit spots.

Travel Guide: London

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Travel Guide: London

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    Be prepared for your European adventure by opening an HSBC Everyday Global Account. For more information, head to the website.

    Illustration: Haylee Poppi

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