The following post will provide tips on the best time to go to London.
We’ll focus on the most affordable time of year, the best weather, and other factors to consider before making a decision.
Let's dive in!
The Quick Answer
If you’re looking for a fast and easy answer, it’ll be important to consider first what you want to see and do while you’re in London.
Best Time to Save Money
Air travel is usually much more inexpensive, and you might be able to save a little extra money on tourist passes or other services.
Best Time for Weather
The summer will typically provide the best weather, and this is when most people visit London.
However, since everyone visits during the summer, it’s also the busiest and most expensive time of the year.
Best Time to See Everything
If you want to see attractions like Buckingham Palace, the only time this location offers visiting hours is during the summer.
Thankfully, the Changing of the Guard takes place year-round, and there are plenty of things to see and do around Buckingham Palace which are open or available during other times of the year.
The summer is the busiest season for travel in London, but if you really want to see it all, it might also be the best time to visit the city. Even so, it’s worth noting that you can see most major sites all year round.
Cheapest Times to Visit
Travelers looking for the best deal on airfare will likely find good prices during off-peak times. What this means is that you’ll almost never get a good discount during the busiest time of the year.
This rules out a summer visit to London, but both the spring and the fall are excellent alternatives that won’t cost as much.
How Much Can You Save in the Winter?
Hotels in London are almost always busy, so there usually isn’t a season in which you can expect much better prices on your hotel room.
Visitors coming in January or February can expect lower airfare prices and potentially even discounts on tourist passes and fun activities.
How Much Can You Save in the Spring?
In the spring, you’ll usually enjoy at least a few nice days, although there can also be a lot of rain during that time of year as well.
Cheapest Hotel Prices in London
There are a few things to keep in mind when trying to get the best prices on hotels in London. The most important step is to book your room at least 90 days in advance.
Another key to consider is that prices tend to be lower from January - March than at any other time of the year.
Even so, the normal price is almost $200 per night at its lowest and close to $300 per night at its highest. This is an expense you will have to be prepared to incur no matter when you choose to visit.
The last thing to consider is coming on a weekend because hotels tend to offer lower prices from Thursday - Sunday.
Cheapest Flights to London
Airfare to London is almost always around $500 for a round-trip ticket between the months of January - May. Prices also dip to around this level from August - November.
If you want to get the lowest possible price, consider visiting during these months and plan on booking your flight at least 3 weeks in advance.
These are the best ways to save money on airfare.
What Are the Cheapest Times With Good Weather?
The only problem with visiting in the late winter, early spring, and early fall are that you can usually expect at least a little bad weather.
Things to Know About Visiting During Off-Peak Seasons
One of the nice things about visiting during the off-peak seasons is that there are usually fewer people at the popular attractions.
That said, some attractions are only open during the summer, so you won’t see everything if you come during the winter, spring or fall.
Even so, if you’re trying to avoid the crowds, it helps that the best time of year for this is also the most affordable time to visit London.
The summer offers the best chance at excellent weather, but it’s also the busiest time of year for tourism in London.
The spring and early fall will most likely be better for visitors trying to avoid the crowds.
One of the best things about visiting London in the summer is that all the best attractions are usually open during this time of year, including locations with limited access such as Buckingham Palace.
Best Time of Year
It’s impossible to know what time of year is best to visit London without understanding the type of experience you want to have while you’re there.
This question is subjective, so consider the following factors before making any decisions.
Do You Want to Avoid Crowds?
If you don’t like being surrounded by a bunch of other people when you visit an attraction, the best time to visit will be during the off-peak seasons.
Despite the bad weather, the late winter is usually an excellent time to avoid the crowds and enjoy easy, affordable access to notable sites and activities.
You may also want to consider the early spring and early fall months.
Do You Want to See Sites Like Buckingham Palace?
Locations like Buckingham Palace are only open during the summer, which limits the time frame in which you can visit if you want to see these attractions.
If you want to experience everything, consider coming in the summer. Just keep in mind it won’t be cheap and it will be crowded!
Do You Want to Avoid Bad Weather?
If the weather is a big concern and you really don’t like rainy days, it’s hard to beat the summer.
That said, if you’re also trying to save money, you might want to consider either the spring or fall.
Although there is often some rain in the spring and fall, it’s not as bad or as cold outside as it is during the winter.
Are You Trying to Save Money?
As we explained in the section on cheapest times to visit London, if you’re looking for great deals on airfare and other things, the late winter months of January and February will be your best bet.
Of course, in addition to excellent prices, you can also expect cold weather, a lot of rain or snow, and some attractions will be closed.
Considering All Factors
If you’re trying to save money, you want to enjoy some good weather, and avoiding crowds is important, the best time of year to visit London is probably March or April.
You might not get to visit Buckingham Palace at this time, but most other attractions will be open.
During this time of year, you can also expect that the weather will likely be nice for at least part of your visit, airfare prices will usually be cheap, and there won’t be as many tourists crowding popular sites.
Early spring is definitely the compromise between London’s busy peak season for tourism and the colder, less desirable months to visit.