London is a bustling metropolis that attracts millions of visitors every year. With its rich history, cultural diversity, and endless array of things to see and do, it’s no wonder that London is one of the world’s top tourist destinations.
With the coronation of King Charles III in May this year, it’s an extra-special time to visit as it may be a moment most of us might witness only once in our life.
How to travel to London with points?
London has many airports, even if London-Heathrow is considered as the main one. Therefore, when you are seeking flights, search for all London airports by imputing LON as the destination code.
For example, Air Transat offers competitive cash fares to London-Gatwick; if you’ve been only looking for itineraries to Heathrow, they will not show on the result page.
Depending on the cash price of the flight to London, travel rewards might be the way to go if you cannot achieve a reasonable valuation with an award flight.
Airfare to London greatly varies, but it is not uncommon to find affordable flights to the United Kingdom from Canada. Indeed, it often comes out as the inexpensive gateway into Europe when you use the Explore feature on Google Flights.
To cover your expenses with Travel Rewards, you can purchase the cheapest flight you can find with a card such as the CIBC Aventura® Visa Infinite* Card, and redeem the points for a statement credit. The CIBC Aventura® Visa Infinite* Card‘s welcome bonus is incredibly simple to unlock, and the points are also straightforward to use for a cheap trip.
The standard cost for a flight from Montreal to London with Aeroplan is 35,000 points for a one-way. That price is fixed if all segments are operated by a partner airline, such as in the following example:
While Swiss, Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines, etc. are also partner airlines, a flight with them might cost more than that because the total distance flown will be more than 4,000 miles since you must have to connect flights mostly East of London before backtracking. Therefore, it will be at 40,000 points.
Travelling through EWR with United Airlines but using Air Canada on the first segment will bring the cost lower than 35,000 points!
Finally, even if Air Canada flights are priced dynamically, they are not always unreasonable; I searched for some last-minute round-trip flights for the coronation, and this came up:
To earn enough Aeroplan points for your trip to London, you can subscribe for one of these cards with generous bonuses:
Avios is a no-brainer currency to employ to travel to London as the country’s flagship airline uses it. British Airways also operates flights to all three major hubs in Canada.
However, the best prices are found on their Off-Peak dates, and that inventory is limited. If you can locate those award seats, you can get away with a round-trip to London for 50,000 Avios and $200 in taxes.
American Express Membership Rewards, HSBC Rewards and RBC Avion Rewards are transfer partners making it very easy to earn Avios in Canada in addition to the RBC British Airways Visa Infinite, where you can accumulate Avios directly. Furthermore, there are recurrent transfer bonuses to look out for.
Flying Blue is another good option to travel to London on points since the base fare from Montreal is 15,000 Miles. Each month, the program has a different Promo Rewards campaign, and you can sometime score a 50% rebate on award flights bringing the cost down to a mere 7,500 Miles.
For AvGeeks, you can also use Flying Blue Miles to journey to London aboard Virgin Atlantic from New York in business class which is a great product! Since you will have to go through a connecting flight in Paris or Amsterdam anyway with that program, why not consider the Big Apple as well?
Where to stay in London with points?
Marriott Bonvoy & Hilton Honors
There are plenty of Marriott Bonvoy and Hilton Honors properties in London. However, they are pretty pricey.
While it is possible to use a free night’s certificate from the Marriott Bonvoy® American Express®* Card or the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card, the choice might be limited for your dates.
Nonetheless, those free night awards can have tremendous value when we look at the cash price.
Airbnb & Independent Hotels
The most economical accommodation options in London will be with Airbnb and Independent hotels. Therefore, the best strategy will be to earn Travel Rewards such as Aventura points that you can apply to those expenses for a credit statement. Indeed, Airbnb has many affordable rooms, and the welcome bonus from the CIBC Aventura® Visa Infinite* Card can cover a couple of nights in London!
Things to do in London
London - The British Museum
The British Museum is a must-see for anyone interested in history. With its vast collection of over eight million objects, the museum tells the story of human civilization from its earliest days to the present. The museum’s most famous artifacts include the Rosetta Stone, the Elgin Marbles, and the Sutton Hoo treasure. Entry is free, and you can take guided tours or attend talks and special exhibitions.
London - Tower of London and Tower Bridge
The Tower of London and Tower Bridge are two distinct landmarks in London, England.
The Tower of London is a historic castle on the north bank of the River Thames that was built in the 11th century. Throughout history, it has served as a royal palace, a prison, a treasury, and a menagerie, among other things. Today, the Tower of London is a popular tourist attraction that houses the United Kingdom’s Crown Jewels.
Tower Bridge, on the other hand, is a well-known bridge that spans the River Thames and is located near the Tower of London. It was constructed in the late 1800s and is a popular symbol of London. Tower Bridge is frequently confused with London Bridge, which is located upstream.
London - The London Eye
The London Eye is one of the city’s most iconic attractions. This giant Ferris wheel stands 135 metres tall and offers breathtaking views of London’s skyline. You can choose from a standard ticket or a VIP experience that includes fast-track entry, a glass of champagne, and a souvenir guidebook. The London Eye is especially magical at night when the city is illuminated.
London - Buckingham Palace
No trip to London would be complete without a visit to Buckingham Palace, the official residence of the British monarch. You can tour the state rooms and see the Changing of the Guard ceremony, a colourful spectacle that takes place outside the palace every day during the summer months. It also has a fascinating history, and you can learn about its royal occupants over the centuries.
London - Westminster Abbey
Westminster Abbey is a historic Gothic church in London, England, where many royal coronations, weddings, and burials have taken place. Many famous figures from British history, including Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, and Geoffrey Chaucer, are buried there. The intricate architecture and beautiful stained-glass windows of the church make it a popular tourist attraction, and guided tours are available to learn more about its fascinating history and significance to British culture.
London - West End
The West End is London’s entertainment district and is home to some of the world’s best theatres, cinemas, and live music venues. From blockbuster musicals to cutting-edge plays like the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child show, there’s always something exciting happening in the West End. You can also explore the area’s trendy shops, bars, and restaurants, which are popular with locals and tourists alike.
Piccadilly Circus is a well-known public space and road junction in London‘s West End. It is famous for its large video display and neon signs mounted on the corner building, making it a popular tourist attraction and meeting spot. The Circus is surrounded by shops, theatres, restaurants, and nightclubs, making it a hive of commercial and entertainment activity. With several major roads converging at the junction and the Piccadilly Circus tube station nearby, it is also a busy transportation hub.
London - Camden Market
Camden Market is another famous destination for visitors to London. This vibrant shopping district offers a diverse range of independent stores and street food stalls. The market is known for its alternative and bohemian vibe, and you can find everything from vintage clothing to handmade jewelry and artisanal food. Camden Market is especially lively on the weekends, when street performers and musicians add to the festive atmosphere.
London - St Paul's Cathedral
St. Paul’s Cathedral is one of London‘s most recognizable landmarks. Sir Christopher Wren designed the cathedral in the late 17th century, and its dome is the second largest in the world after St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. Visitors can explore the cathedral’s interior, climb to the top of the dome for breathtaking views of the city, and learn about its rich history and cultural significance.
London - Hyde Park
Hyde Park is one of the largest parks in London and is a favourite spot for locals and visitors alike. It covers 350 acres of green space in the city’s heart and offers a range of activities, from cycling and boating to picnicking and sunbathing. You can also explore some of the park’s famous landmarks, such as the Serpentine Lake and the Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain.
London - Tate Modern
The Tate Modern is one of the world’s leading contemporary art museums and is a must-see for art lovers. The collection includes works by some of the most influential artists of the 20th and 21st centuries, such as Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, and Andy Warhol. Admission is free, and you can attend special exhibitions, talks, and events.
London - The British Library
The British Library is the largest in the world, with over 170 million items in its collection. It is also home to some of the most famous and important documents in history, including the Magna Carta, Shakespeare’s First Folio, and the original manuscripts of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and Handel’s Messiah. One of the highlights of the British Library is the Treasures Gallery, which showcases some of the library’s most prized possessions, like the handwritten lyrics to “Imagine” by John Lennon.
In addition to its exhibits, the British Library has several events and talks throughout the year, including exhibitions, workshops, and lectures. It is a must-visit destination for book lovers and culture enthusiasts.
London - Shakespeare's Globe
Shakespeare’s Globe is a recreation of William Shakespeare’s original Globe Theatre, where his plays were performed in the 16th and 17th centuries. The open-air theatre in London was designed to replicate the original Globe, including its circular shape and thatched roof.
During the summer, you can see productions of Shakespeare’s plays and other works and take guided tours of the theatre to learn more about its history and architecture. The Globe also houses a Shakespeare museum, library, and archive with an extensive collection of Shakespeare-related materials.
London - The National Gallery
The National Gallery is a London art museum that houses over 2,300 Western European paintings dating from the 13th to the 19th centuries. The museum collection includes works by some of history’s most famous artists, including Leonardo da Vinci, Vincent van Gogh, and Rembrandt.
The museum is free to enter, and you can explore the galleries on your own or take a guided tour. Throughout the year, the National Gallery hosts a variety of exhibitions, lectures, and other events, making it an excellent stop for art lovers visiting London.
London - Organised excursions
If you are not keen on visiting London by yourself, you can book one of the many activities offered by Viator. Since you will be charged in a foreign currency, remember to use a no-foreign exchange fee credit card to save!
Whether you’re looking to fly to London with points or stay in accommodation with rewards, there are many ways to save money and get the most out of your trip. From world-class museums to vibrant markets, the city offers plenty of attractions that will keep you busy for days; London is an unforgettable place that should be on everyone’s bucket list.