One of the world’s most visited cities, London has something for everyone, from history to culture, art, grand museums, dazzling architecture, royalty, diversity and irrepressible pizazz.
Time Travel London is immersed in history. Not so much that it’s precious, but there’s sufficient antiquity and historic splendour (Tower of London, Westminster Abbey, Hampton Court) to blow you away. London’s buildings are eye-catching milestones in the city’s unique and compelling biography. There’s more than enough funky innovation (the Shard, the Aquatics Centre, the Gherkin) to put a crackle in the air, but it never drowns out London’s well-preserved, centuries-old narrative. Architectural grandeur rises up all around you in the West End, ancient remains dot the City and charming pubs punctuate the Thames riverside. Take your pick.
Art & Culture A tireless innovator of art and culture, London’s a city of ideas and the imagination. British people are fiercely independent thinkers (and critics) so London’s creative milieu is naturally streaked with leftfield attitude, from theatrical innovation to contemporary art, pioneering music, writing and design. And that’s even truer in these testing recessionary times. The artistic bar has been nudged higher, the audience is more demanding and the Olympic Games are limbering up, so London is moving heaven and earth to entertain. Revel in the choice: outstanding art galleries, museums and festivals, West End theatres, fringe drama, dance and some great music.
Diversity English may be the national tongue, but over 300 languages shape London’s linguistic soundscape. These languages also represent cultures that season the culinary aromas on London’s streets, the clothing you glimpse and the music you hear. Sometimes it seems that the entire world has come to town. Museums – such as the British Museum and the Victoria & Albert Museum – have collections as diverse as they are magnificent, while flavours at markets such as Borough and Exmouth range aromatically across the culinary spectrum. London's diverse cultural dynamism makes it quite possibly the world's most international city, while being somehow intrinsically British.
A Tale of two Cities London is as much about high-density, sight-packed exploration (the West End, South Bank, the City) and urban dynamism as it is about wide-open spaces and leafy escapes. Central London is where you will find all the major museums, galleries and most iconic sights, but escape to Hampstead Heath or Greenwich Park to flee the crowds and put the city’s greener hues into gorgeous perspective. Alternatively, venture even further out to Kew Gardens, Richmond or Hampton Court Palace for effortlessly good-looking panoramas of riverside London. Even in the centre of town, you’ll find a city dappled with a well-tended array of parks and gardens, making it one of the world’s leafiest capital cities.
Ready to go?
These tours & activities make it easy:
- Board the original Hop-on Hop-off sightseeing tour
- Visit Stonehenge, Windsor and Bath on a day trip from London
- Get another view of London from the London Eye
- See the highlights of London on a 1-day tour
Last updated: Jan 17, 2013
Tips & articles
30 April 2013
On the rock ‘n’ roll tour, we’ve rolled through half of the list and we’re getting close to the end...
20 April 2013
You don’t have to worry about road trip tunes when rock ‘n’ roll is your destination. The beat comes naturally...