Welcome to London
Known for its rich history and architecture, London has bridged the gap to become a vibrant cultural hub with world-class museums, eateries, and performances.
Weather is unpredictable in London, but summer can bring the odd heatwave. When the weather's nice, expect crowds to spill out onto the streets outside Soho's pubs (even more so than usual) and outdoor attractions like the South Bank, Trafalgar Square, and the city's parks to be even busier than usual. This is typically the high season for tourism, so airfare and hotels tend to be pricier.
Fall is the wettest season in London, with October seeing the most rain and mist. Plan for indoor activities like the Tate Modern, or if the sun is out, check out Shakespeare’s Globe open-air theatre.
Winter starts out bustling with a festive holiday season. However, once the New Year rolls around, London sees its slowest two months. Those who brave the colder temperatures can avoid the crowds and get the best rates for London’s most popular activities.
Spring weather is sunny and rainy in equal measure, but that doesn’t stop Londoners from making the most of the long "bank holiday" weekends for Easter and at the beginning and end of May. The London Marathon also takes place in April, so avoid the streets—it may be your best time to take a Thames River boat tour.
Walking: London’s streets are long and windy, often with pedestrian alleys and paths branching off. This makes for a fun way to explore the city, with lots of hidden gems tucked away on side streets. But if you’re used to cities with grid layouts, you may want to bring a map to navigate your way around.
London Underground: Colloquially called the Tube, London’s subterranean train system is color coordinated, affordable, timely, and far-reaching. Pick up an Oyster Card, which you can load with money, and use for contactless payments in all of London’s Tube stations.
Bus: You’ve seen them in photos. London’s iconic red double-decker buses are a practical choice for getting around if you’d like to see the streets of London on your commute. Similar to the Tube, the London bus system operates on a color-coded line system and accepts Oyster Cards for quick boarding and payment. Top tip: Buses are cashless, so be sure to top up your Oyster Card or buy a ticket from a Tube or train station in advance.
Taxi: London’s black cabs can be found throughout the city and at major Tube stations and airports. These spacious cabs can fit up to five passengers in the back, as the cabs have two fold-down seats that face backwards.
London’s city limits are vast, and there is so much to see in each part. Staying in a hotel or accommodation close to central London is your best bet for easy access to all the city has to offer.
While far from India, London has a large Indian community, which means that Indian cuisine is among the best food you can get in the city. To sample the best of the best, head to Brick Lane, a street in the East End famed for its curry houses. But before you dine out, don’t forget that the United Kingdom has its own currency, the British Pound, so put away those Euros for another time.
One of those rare Londoners actually born in London, Emma is a writer who’s only two degrees of separation from both Kate Moss and the Queen.
get an Oyster card—buses are cashless and there’s no time to faff around with paper tickets at the tube station.
starts with brunch (Caravan in King’s Cross is my go-to), involves a trip to a museum (make it the V&A if there’s a special exhibition), and ends in Soho for dinner and drinks.
St. Paul’s Cathedral. It’s beautiful inside and the view from the dome is worth the 550-step climb.
go to a market. I love Broadway Market in Hackney for its Victorian history and proximity to the Regent’s Canal.
head to Primrose Hill or Greenwich Park to see the skyline, but walk along the South Bank for an up-close perspective.
is thinking Londoners are rude because we walk fast and avoid eye contact on the tube. Start a conversation outside a pub and you’ll find it’s generally not the case.
London has many unmissable sights, including UNESCO-listed attractions such as Westminster Abbey, the Tower of London, and Big Ben. Go on a Thames River boat or hop-on hop-off bus tour to glimpse the highlights, and save time to visit other icons like the British Museum, Buckingham Palace, and the London Eye....More
Arguably the most famous attraction in London is Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, which stand overlooking the Thames River. That said, the city boasts many other iconic attractions, from Buckingham Palace and the Tower of London to Westminster Abbey, the London Eye, St. Paul's Cathedral, and Tower Bridge....More
There are many ways Londoners like to let loose, from visiting in-demand restaurants in Soho to unwinding over pints in one of the city's historic pubs. Centrally located attractions like Borough Market and the Tate Modern are ever-popular, though residents also head to East London to discover the city's hippest neighborhoods....More
Many attractions are just a short distance outside of London. Discover royal landmarks such as Windsor Castle, Blenheim Palace, Hever Castle, and Leeds Castle, or plan a seaside excursion to Brighton, Whitstable, or Margate. Other highlights within day-trip distance include Stonehenge, Oxford, Cambridge, the Cotswolds, Bath, and Stratford-upon-Avon (Shakespeare's birthplace)....More
Yes, two days is enough to discover London's highlights if you sightsee efficiently: Embark on a hop-on hop-off bus tour, a Central London walking tour, or a Thames boat trip to see more of the sights in less time. However, London's wealth of tourist attractions makes planning a longer visit worthwhile....More
London offers a wealth of free attractions, including cultural destinations such as the British Museum, Tate Modern, National History Museum, and Victoria and Albert Museum. The city's Royal Parks are also free to explore, as are highlights like Trafalgar Square. Don't miss the free-to-view Changing of the Guard ceremony at Buckingham Palace....More