Currency in London
London is not only one of the most expensive cities in the world, but it also has one of the most unique currencies. The United Kingdom uses the pound, the only country in the world that does so. Unfortunately for us Americans, the exchange rate from U.S. dollars to British pounds is very expensive. Approximately one pound equals = $1.60. Keeping this in mind while you are in London is very important. While some items may seem cheap, when multiplied by $1.60, the true value will most definitely be way more than expected. It is good to keep this in mind throughout your stay, as regular visits to the ATM will certainly make a larger dent into your bank account.
The British pound comes in £1 and £2 coins, and £10, £20, and £50 bills. It is always best to have some cash in your wallet or purse, as most venues do not take credit or debit cards unless a certain amount is paid (usually over £15 or £20).
Due to the fact that London is the only country that uses the British pound, do not expect nearby countries to accept it as payment. Most countries in Europe use the Euro, and I would recommend simply using an ATM upon arrival at your foreign destinations.
Despite London being one of the most expensive cities in the world, you will find that the proximity in price due to the exchange rate differences are relatively similar to that of what you would pay in any major U.S. city.- Brendan Meyer