Visa is not required to visit United Kingdom as a tourist.
For more information please contact Embassy of United Kingdom in United States.
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.
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 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.
United Kingdom uses different GSM mobile networks than United States so check if your mobile phone supports network technologies in United Kingdom .
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.
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.
For local calls within United Kingdom, start with the area code (with the initial 0). In the case above area code is 1224 .
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.
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.
In United Kingdom you drive on the left side. Most cars have manual transmission (stick).
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.
Left turn on red lights is strictly forbidden unless an additional green semaphore arrow allows it.
It is illegal to drive with blood alcohol content higher than 0.08%.
An International Driving Permit (IDP) is required alongside your original license. IDP can be issued by your local automobile association before you leave home.
In order to rent a car:
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.
Blood-alcohol limit is 0.08% (0.8g per litre of blood) while driving.
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 is legal (in a way of exchanging sex for money). Brothels are illegal.