A Visitor’s Guide to London
London is the iconic capital city of the United Kingdom. It is a vibrant and lively destination, filled with beautiful architecture, steeped in history, and has plenty to offer visitors and tourists. Originally founded by the Romans, London has grown to a sprawling metropolis that is home to a diverse population. It is famous for its culture, art, music and drama, and regularly hosts international events. It’s a fantastic place to visit, and should find its way onto the ‘must see’ list of every traveller.
All About London
London has plenty to offer visitors, and many traditions that its tourists are welcome to enjoy. Afternoon Tea at The Ritz Hotel is a long standing ritual that simply must be tried, especially for foodies who like freshly made sandwiches and fabulous cakes. Listen to the cockney accent from the back of a black hackney cab, indulge in strawberries and cream at Wimbledon and sample jellied eels down at the Wharf. The world’s oldest Hard Rock Café is located right on Hyde Park Corner, and not far away is the iconic Abbey Road, made famous by the Beatles.
London is also the birthplace of the risqué Burlesque show, and there are still a few venues that offer spectacular entertainment with this traditional dance style as the main attraction. Notting Hill is the location of that famous Julia Roberts film, and it’s also home to the biggest street carnival in Europe every August, bringing three days of fun to the streets of London.
Head to Mayfair and you’ll find yourself in some seriously trendy bars and clubs, like Babble which is decked out in up-market lounge style. There are fabulous clubs and bars in Soho, and all in one square mile of each other, so not only will you have just a short walk between drinks, but some of the nightclubs here stay open till dawn.
Sample a glass of bubbly at Europe’s longest champagne bar at St Pancreas or settle down in one of the many comedy clubs, where you can enjoy a drink and have a laugh. And if celebrity spotting sounds like your kind of night, exclusive clubs like The Groucho Club and the Kingly Club are the right place to go for some serious shoulder rubbing.
For the best shopping in London, head to Oxford Street where some of the world’s most famous shops are located. The rich spend their time, and their money, in Regent Street or Mayfair, indulging in a little retail therapy with a hefty price tag. For unique and boutique clothing stores, the best destination is undoubtedly Carnaby Street, which is the perfect location for a little thrift shopping with style. The Covent Garden area attracts vacationers to its unique covered market and this is a great place to pick up a few tourist gifts and souvenirs.
Sightseeing in London
There are simply too many fantastic places to visit in this capital city to list here, but when you’re visiting London, these are a few of the popular attractions that you really should make time to see:
- London Eye – This unique revolving fairground wheel offers unparalleled views across the city.
- Tower of London – Visit the Crown Jewels and learn about the bloody history of London.
- Tate Gallery – A world class gallery for modern art.
- Royal Albert Hall – This circular building is the venue for operas and classical orchestral concerts.
- Buckingham Palace– Visit the Royal home and see the changing of the guard.
- London Bridge – The iconic suspension bridge which was the site of beheadings in the 1800’s.
- Madame Tussauds – View the fantastic waxworks of your favorite celebrities.
- London Zoo – Spend some time at this popular location, which is great for families.
- Big Ben– Pay a visit to the famous clock tower, the third largest freestanding clock in the world.
- Trafalgar Square– Noted for its shops and nightclubs, this square is home to London’s pigeons.
- Harrods – This world famous store is a haven for celebrities, designer goods and unique gifts.
- Hyde Park – Perfect for a picnic, a visit to Diana Fountain or a walk in the gardens.
- Speakers Corner – Pay a visit to this section of Hyde Park and hear people speak about politics.
- The Houses of Parliament – The site of the country’s political decision making and debate.
The climate in London is variable, and rain can be frequent regardless of the time of year. The best time to visit is in the spring to summer months when there is less chance of rain and more likelihood of sun.
These are the months when London enjoys more daylight, which gives tourists longer to enjoy the sights and sounds of this fantastic city.