London, the capital of the United Kingdom (and of England), is a modern city, but with history stretching back to 1st century. Reminders of rich history are the Houses of Parliament, the iconic ‘Big Ben’ clock tower and Westminster Abbey, while across the Thames River, modern, London Eye observation wheel sits as a contrast and a reminder that city embraced new era and technology in everyday life.
Quick facts about London
- Name: London
- Founded: Early 1st century (47 CE)
- Population: 8.8 million
- Area: 1,572 km2 (607 sq mi)
- Known as: Capital of England and the United Kingdom
One of main European (and world’s) financial, fashion and shopping capital, London offers many possibilities not only for tourism, but for nice life and a career.
The British Museum, National Gallery, Tate Britain are magnificent places to visit for local and international history and art.
Covent Garden, Soho and Spitalfields Market are ever popular dining and shopping districts. Major public spaces include Trafalgar Square, Hyde Park and Hampstead.
Main attractions in London
There are many attractions in London as city is packed with landmarks that are world famous. We are listing here only 20-25 top attractions.
Big Ben. London’s, iconic, 16 storey clock tower and globally recognizable national symbol. A must for London selfies! Buckingham Palace. Official residence of the British Queen and State Rooms with guided tours. Impressive guard change ritual in front of the palace is watched by hundreds daily. London Eye. Massive observation wheel to watch over London panoramic view and take some great photos. It can be costly but worth the price.
Tower of London. Medieval castle hosting the Crown Jewels and home to famous Beefeaters. Notorious for bloody history connected to this castle. Tower Bridge. Iconic Victorian era turreted bridge with panoramic views and guided tour to see original bridge lifting machinery. Another must for a London selfie! British Museum. Packed with historical artifacts and antiques, this museum is a must during a London visit. Features Egyptian mummies and ancient Greek sculptures and pottery.
Hyde Park. Massive park area in Central London with lake, sculptures, and fountains. Great for walks and relaxation between sightseeing trips. Westminster Abbey. London’s famous protestant abbey with daily services and hosting every English and British coronation since the 11th century. Palace of Westminster. Iconic Neo-Gothic masterpiece palace, hosting UK parliament. Guided tours are offered on Saturdays and in summer.
St Paul’s Cathedral. London Iconic cathedral with churchyard and garden. Located in the highest point of the City of London. Trafalgar Square. Famous London landmark, this public square is featuring Nelson’s Column, fountains, and lion statues. River Thames. The UK’s largest and longest river, flowing through southern England and London. Plenty of boat rides and promenades alongside its path.
Covent Garden. London’s West End shopping and entertainment hub. Features Royal Opera House and street entertainers, together with the fine dining experience. Popular tourist area in London. Natural History Museum. Natural phenomena, animals, and interactive and hands-on activities. Great for visiting with kids, hosting animatronic dinosaurs. National Gallery. Major art collection from 13th to 19th centuries, mostly Western European. Located at Trafalgar Square in London.
The Shard. A 306-meter high glass and steel tower with panoramic views of London. Features restaurants, a hotel, and viewing platforms. Piccadilly Circus. Iconic busy traffic junction in London. Famous for theatres and entertainment places since the early 19th century. Tate Modern. London’s contemporary art gallery with international works on display and a popular cafe with panoramic river views.
Oxford Street. Located in London’s West End, this is a major street in Westminster and the busiest shopping and fashion area. London Bridge. Concrete pedestrian and traffic bridge from the 70s, spanning the River Thames in London. Madame Tussauds London. Wax museum chain featuring many famous celebrities and historic figures presented in life-sized replicas.
From other attractions in London, we recommend Kensington Palace, Victoria and Albert Museum, The Regent’s Park, Borough Market, Camden Town, South Bank, Royal Botanic Gardens, St James’s Park, Notting Hill, and Soho.
Top things to do in London
London is a large city, and to fully experience all the attractions and landmarks, you will need to stay there for a long time or go visit several times (both options are great!). Once you’ve visited all recommended attractions you can try the following: Cream Tea at Harrods, Harry Potter walking tour, or any of the day trips outside of London and enjoy some countryside, such as Bath, Avebury and Lacock Village.
Festivals and events in London
London has very lively festival and events scene year around. Here are some recommendations.
London Marathon (April), The Boat Race (April), Chelsea Flower Show (May), The Proms (August), Notting Hill Carnival (August), Underbelly Festival in South Bank (September), London Restaurant Festival (October) and several events during Christmas and New Year’s.
Interesting facts about London
Here are some interesting facts about this wonderful city:
- The famous Big Ben is actually the name of the bell inside the clock tower and not the tower itself. The actual tower name is “The Elizabeth Tower.”
- There are over 23,500 royal jewels in Martin Tower, currently net worth of over 20 Billion Pounds.
- Based on an old superstition that the kingdom will fall if all the ravens leave the Tower, at least six ravens are kept in the Tower of London at all times.
Best time for flights to London
The peak season for flights to London is January, July and December. The low season for purchasing tickets is February, April and May.
London is served by these airports: London Gatwick Airport (LGW), London City Airport (LCY), London Heathrow Airport (LHR), London Luton Airport (LTN), Stansted Airport (STN) and London Southend Airport (SEN). Direct flights to London are offered by 105 airlines.
Top hotel offers in London
These are current top hotel offers in London. The list is updated automatically when page is refreshed.