United Kingdom Travel information

United Kingdom


United Kingdom is located in Norther Europe.

Official language is English. United Kingdom uses metric system (kilograms, centimeters, °C). Time zone is UTC+00:00 with daylight saving time.


Passport & visa

Visa not required

Visa is not required to visit United Kingdom as a tourist.

More info

For more information please contact Embassy of United Kingdom in United States.

Sockets & plugs

Adapter required, transformer optional

United Kingdom uses 230V, 50Hz with socket and plug Type G.


Type G


Money

Currency

£1.00 = $1.34, $1.00 = £0.74

United Kingdom uses the British pound (symbol: £), code GBP.

Banknotes come in denominations of 100, 50, 20, 10, 5 and 1 pounds. Pound is subdivided into 100 pennys. Coins come in denominations of 2 and 1 pounds and 50, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1 pennys.


Cost of living

15% less expensive than in United States
Meal (inexpensive restaurant)
$16.17 (£12.00)
+29%
Meal (2 people, mid-range, three-course)
$67.40 (£50.00)
+35%
Water bottle (1.5 liter bottle)
$1.26 (£0.94)
-28%
Beer (0.5 liter bottle)
$2.02 (£1.50)
-1%
One-way ticket (local transportation)
$3.23 (£2.40)
+45%
Gasoline (1 gallon)
$5.55 (£4.12)
+153%


Source: Numbeo

Credit & debit cards

Widely accepted

Credit cards are widely accepted within United Kingdom (at hotels, shops, and restaurants, travel agencies, car-rental agencies etc.). Visa, MasterCard and Maestro are the most widely accepted. American Express is less common. Diners Club is pretty rare. Discover, JCB, UnionPay and RuPay are unknown.


ATMs

Available everywhere

Automatic teller machines (local name: cash machines) are everywhere in United Kingdom. Pretty much anywhere you look there will be an ATM. United Kingdom has one of the highest ATM densities in the world.

You do not need a chip & PIN card to use an ATM — your standard magnetic or chip & signature card will work fine.


Tipping

Not expected, but can leave extra tip

Tipping is usually not expected in United Kingdom. However, if you are satisfied with the service provided you can show your appreciation by leaving a small ‘extra’ tip. Receipts might sometimes include a service charge. If there is a service charge there is no need to tip.


Communications

Internet

3% slower than in United States

Internet speed in United Kingdom is on average 13.9 Mbps which is 3% slower than in United States (14.2 Mbps).

WiFi

WiFi coverage in United Kingdom is very high. Most hotels, hostels, cafes, restaurants and bars have it.


Mobile phone

1% more expensive than in United States

You can buy a SIM card for about £12.20 ($16.44), which includes 1 GB of data plan. You can choose from 5 telecoms: Vodafone, EE (Everything Everywhere), Virgin Mobile, 3 (Three) or O2.

Mobile phones

United Kingdom uses different GSM mobile networks than United States so check if your mobile phone supports network technologies in United Kingdom .

Roaming

If you don't want to buy SIM card in United Kingdom upon arrival, make sure to check the roaming charges with your telecom provider before your departure so there are no surprises when you return home.


Dial code

+44

To call United Kingdom from United States, dial + or 011 (exit code for United States), then 44 (the country code for United Kingdom), then the area code (without the initial 0) and the local number.

Calling from United States
 +  44 1224 1234567
011 44 1224 1234567
Local call
01224 1234567

For local calls within United Kingdom, start with the area code (with the initial 0). In the case above area code is 1224 .

Health & safety

Crime

Moderate crime rate

United Kingdom has a moderate crime rate (about the same as United States). Take precautions to avoid mugging, bag snatching and pickpocketing. Be particularly vigilant at airports, railway stations and crowded public gatherings. Do not leave valuables unattended.

Pickpocketing/theft

It's recommended to follow security precautions like wearing a money belt, leaving valuables in your hotel room safe or well out of sight, securing your bag, staying vigilant in crowds and steering clear of commotions.

Vaccinations

No vaccinations are required to enter this country

No vaccinations are required to enter the country, but it is recommended to perform routine immunizations for your protection and to prevent the spread of infectious diseases.


Travel advisories

No country advisories
World-wide advisories

Advisories that are issued on a world-wide level (may not be related to United Kingdom).

Driving

Road rules

In United Kingdom you drive on the left side. Most cars have manual transmission (stick).

Speed limits

Unless otherwise posted, the speed limits for cars and motorcycles are as follows: 113 km/h (70 mph) on motorways, 113 km/h (70 mph) on expressways, 48 km/h (29 mph) in all built-up areas and 97 km/h (60 mph) on undivided highways.

Turn on red

Left turn on red lights is strictly forbidden unless an additional green semaphore arrow allows it.

Alcohol

It is illegal to drive with blood alcohol content higher than 0.08%.

Driving license

IDP is required

An International Driving Permit (IDP) is required alongside your original license. IDP can be issued by your local automobile association before you leave home.

Rent a car

In order to rent a car:

  • you must be over 25
  • must hold a full license for at least a 1 year
  • almost always have a credit card (Visa & MasterCard are the best)
Alcohol, drugs & prostitution

Alcohol

Legal

Although it is legal to purchase or drink alcohol, minimum age requirements still differ across regions. Minimum age to purchase beer and wine is 18 years old while to drink is 16-18 years old. Minimum age to purchase spirits is 18 years old, while to drink is 18 years old.

Driving

Blood-alcohol limit is 0.08% (0.8g per litre of blood) while driving.

Drugs

Cannabis is illegal & criminalized

Drugs (including cannabis/marijuana) are illegal & criminalized which means you are risking jail time with other penalties (fine, community service, rehabilitation) if you are caught.

Prostitution

Legal

Prostitution is legal (in a way of exchanging sex for money). Brothels are illegal.

Other

Emergency numbers

Police
112 or 999
Ambulance
112 or 999
Fire department
112 or 999
Non-emergency police
101
Non-emergency health issues
111

Embassy of United States in United Kingdom

Address
24 Grosvenor Square, Mayfair, London W1A 2LQ, UK