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Visit London, England - Travel Tips and Tourism Guide

By Alexis Sezar on May 10, 2015

London

London is the political, economic and cultural capital of Britain. You can visit the Queen's official residence at Buckingham Palace and tour the Houses of Parliament, historic home of the UK government.

Connectivity
London is incredibly well-connected, with five international airports and the high-speed Eurostar rail link. More than 50 countries are within a three-hour flight time and upwards of 300 international destinations have direct links to London.

Diversity
London is a city at the centre of the world – and a world in one city. Around 230 languages are spoken here and you'll find a wealth of different cultures and communities throughout the capital.

History
London's history stretches back over thousands of years, and the city boasts four World Heritage Sites: the Palace of Westminster and Westminster Abbey, the Tower of London, Maritime Greenwich and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

Attractions
London's world-class tourist attractions are renowned across the globe. Many of the most famous attractions are free to visit, for example Tate Modern, the National Gallery and the Victoria and Albert Museum.

River Thames
The river Thames runs through the heart of London, from Richmond in the west, through the central London borough of Westminster, to Greenwich in the east. London river cruises and river buses are a great way to see the city.

Outdoor Spaces
About one third of London is devoted to parks and open spaces, so there are plenty of places to relax on fine days. Make sure you visit The Royal Parks as well as Hampstead Heath in North London, which offers amazing views over the city.

Restaurants
There are more than 6,000 restaurants in London so you'll never be short of new places to eat. London boasts 65 Michelin-starred restaurants and many celebrity chefs are based here, and there are plenty of good, cheaper options too.

Shopping
According to the Globe Shopper City Index, London is Europe's best shopping destination. Whether you head to the West End, Westfield Stratford City or a quirky London market, there's a huge range of places to buy gifts, fashion and food.

Family Holidays
Want to bring your kids to London? They'll have a great time. London is full of child-friendly attractions, and many – including the Science Museum and Natural History Museum – are free to visit. See our Family Activities section for more ideas.

Hotels
Whether you want to stay in a well-known 5-star hotel, a cosy bed and breakfast or a cheap backpackers' hostel, London offers a wide range of quality accommodation. You can browse and book accommodation in our Where to Stay section.

Transport
London's fantastic transport system, with its Tube, red buses and black taxis, will enable you to get around the city quickly and easily. Why not buy an Oyster Card in advance and download a free Tube map to help you plan your days out?

Accessibility
London's facilities for disabled visitors are constantly improving, with more accessible attractions, restaurants, tours and transport. For more details visit our Accessible London pages or the DisabledGo website.

Top 10 London Attractions

 

British Museum
Founded in 1753, the British Museum’s remarkable collection spans over two million years of human history. Enjoy a unique comparison of the treasures of world cultures under one roof, centered around the magnificent Great Court. World-famous objects such as the Rosetta Stone, Parthenon sculptures, and Egyptian mummies are visited by up to six million visitors per year. In addition to the vast permanent collection, the museum’s special exhibitions, displays and events are all designed to advance understanding of the collection and cultures they represent.

National Gallery
The National Gallery displays over 2,000 Western European paintings from the middle ages to the 20th century. Discover inspiring art by Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, Rembrandt, Gainsborough, Turner, Renoir and Van Gogh. The pictures in the collection belong to the public and admission to see them is free. There are special exhibitions, lectures, video and audio-visual programs, guided tours and holiday events for children and adults.

Natural History Museum
Hundreds of exciting, interactive exhibits in one of London’s most beautiful landmark buildings. Highlights include the popular Dinosaurs gallery, Mammals display with the unforgettable model blue whale and the spectacular Central Hall, home to the Museum’s iconic Diplodocus skeleton. Don’t miss the state-of-the-art Darwin Centre Cocoon where, on a self-guided tour, you can see hundreds of fascinating specimens and look into laboratories where scientists are at work. The Museum offers a wide-ranging program of temporary exhibitions and events, including chances to join experts in the Darwin Centre’s high-tech Attenborough Studio in topical discussions about science and nature.

Tate Modern
A visit to London isn't complete without a trip to Tate Modern. Britain's national museum of modern and contemporary art from around the world is housed in the former Bankside Power Station on the banks of the Thames. The awe-inspiring Turbine Hall runs the length of the entire building and you can see amazing work for free by artists such as Cézanne, Bonnard, Matisse, Picasso, Rothko, Dalí, Pollock, Warhol and Bourgeois.

Coca-Cola London Eye
The Coca-Cola London Eye is centrally located in the heart of the capital, gracefully rotating over the River Thames opposite the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben. At 135 meters, the Coca-Cola London Eye is the world's tallest cantilevered observation wheel; a feat of design and engineering, it has become the modern symbol representing the capital and a global icon. The experience showcases breathtaking 360-degree views of the capital and its famous landmarks and has been the number one visitor experience in the city for the past decade. The gradual rotation in one of the 32 high-tech glass capsules takes approximately 30 minutes and gives you an ever-changing perspective of London. Within each capsule, interactive guides allow you to explore the capital's iconic landmarks in several languages. An experience on the Coca-Cola London Eye will lift you high enough to see up to 40 kilometers on a clear day and keep you close enough to see the spectacular details of the city unfolding beneath you. Make the most of your time with us by visiting our London Eye 4D Experience, free with every ticket. See London come to life through unique perspectives and multi-sensory special effects, including wind, bubbles and scent. The four-minute show is perfect to watch at the start of your visit.

Science Museum
The Science Museum is the most visited science and technology museum in Europe. There are over 15,000 objects on display, including world-famous objects such as the Apollo 10 command capsule and Stephenson’s Rocket. Their interactive galleries bring to life first scientific principles and contemporary science debates. Plus, you can experience what it’s like to fly with the Red Arrows or blast off into space on an Apollo space mission in their stunning 3D and 4D simulators or watch a film on a screen taller than four double-decker buses in the IMAX 3D Cinema.

Victoria and Albert Museum
The Victoria and Albert Museum is the world's greatest museum of art and design, representing more than 3,000 years of human creativity, with collections unrivaled in their scope and diversity. In recent years, the V&A has undergone a dramatic program of renewal and restoration. Highlights include the Medieval Renaissance galleries containing some of the greatest surviving treasures from the period, the breathtaking Jewelry gallery and the stunning British Galleries, illustrating the history of Britain through the nation’s art and design. In addition to its outstanding free permanent collection, the V&A offers a program of temporary exhibitions and an extensive events program.

Tower of London
Despite the Tower of London's grim reputation as a place of torture and death, within these walls you will also discover the history of a royal palace, an armoury and a powerful fortress. Don’t miss Royal Beasts and learn about the wild and wonderous animals that have inhabited the Tower, making it the first London Zoo. Discover the priceless Crown Jewels newly displayed in 2012, join an iconic Beefeater on a tour and hear their bloody tales, stand where famous heads have rolled, learn the legend of the Tower's ravens, storm the battlements and get to grips with swords and armour and much more!

Royal Museums Greenwich
In 2012, the National Maritime Museum, the Queen's House, the Royal Observatory (incorporating the Peter Harrison Planetarium) and the Cutty Sark joined together under a new name: Royal Museums Greenwich. Located in the beautiful World Heritage Site of Greenwich, these four top attractions welcome thousands of visitors each year. Take a day to enjoy all that Royal Museums Greenwich have to offer: you can stand in two hemispheres astride the Prime Meridian, touch a 4.5 billion-year-old meteorite, see Harrison's timekeepers and Nelson's uniform, before travelling to the stars in London's only planetarium. With so many treasures on display, and a changing series of special exhibitions, there's always something new to amaze and entertain you at Royal Museums Greenwich.

Madame Tussauds London
With 14 interactive areas, Madame Tussauds London combines glitz, glamour and incredible history with more than 300 stunning wax figures. Walk down the red carpet with Benedict Cumberbatch and Johnny Depp, before exploring their sports zone alongside Usain Bolt and David Beckham. Enjoy with an audience with Her Majesty The Queen and Will and Kate before stepping on stage with music icons including Miley Cyrus. Then, after a behind-the-scenes look at how their sculptors work, ride in a taxi and relive the rich history of London. Step up to your favorite Marvel Super Heroes and immerse yourself in the Marvel Super Heroes 4D movie, before meeting heroes and villains from Star Wars

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