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Learn About London

Capital of England, London is also the largest city in Western Europe. Situated on the River Thames in South-East England, London has a special energy and is at the center of English culture, finance and trade, with huge international influence.
Visiting London...
London map
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A good place to start your visit to London is at the London Eye, a 135 meter high Ferris wheel on the South Bank of the River Thames and a major feature of London's skyline. It rotates 32 capsules, each weighing 10 tons, with up to 25 people in each. The view provides a great perspective on London and where to go next. It's worth getting tickets in advance for this and all the major attractions in London, as just joining a queue may take you hours. You can usually book online or at tourist offices.

London Eye

Crossing the Westminster Bridge over to the west bank of the Thames, you'll see the Houses of Parliament with its accompanying Big Ben clock tower, and the nearby Westminster Abbey - this wonderful 700-year-old building is where coronations of the King or Queen of England take place, and later their burials, as well as Royal marriages. It is also one of Britain's most significant honors to be buried or commemorated in the abbey. Here is Queen Elizabeth II in her carriage, proceeding from the Abbey...

London Eye

Walking north from Parliament you pass by Whitehall, including the Prime Minister's residence at No. 10 Downing Street. Reaching Trafalgar Square, you'll see Nelson's Column and on the opposite side, the National Gallery and the National Portrait Gallery, plus there are the Tate Galleries nearby in Millbank. The crowning glory of Trafalgar Square, London's National Gallery is free to enter and hosts a huge collection of paintings by Western European masters such as Titian, Van Gogh, Leonardo da Vinci, Botticelli, Constable, Renoir and Stubbs.

Trafalgar Square

Through the Admiralty Arch at the west of Trafalgar Square, you can pass along The Mall, walk through the beautiful St James Park and on to Buckingham Palace.

Buckingham Palace
London map
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The easiest way to get around London is by the Underground...

London Underground
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Or just nip on a bus! Best to get a combined Travelpass from the tube station that takes you on any number of Underground or bus rides during the day. Or even better get an all-in combined package like this...

The ever-popular Madame Tussauds is rather over-priced but always fascinating as you come face-to-face with the world's most famous people, including of course the British royalty...

Madame Tussauds

The West End area of London includes the entertainment district around Leicester Square (for cinema), Covent Garden (for markets and street performances), Soho (nightclubs) and Shaftesbury Avenue (theatre). Alongside Broadway in New York, West End theatre presents the highest quality shows in the world, usually musicals, comedies and classic plays.

Shaftesbury Theatre

Then there are the shops along Oxford Street, Regent Street and Bond Street - including big-name flagship stores such as Liberties, TopShop, Ralph Lauren, Selfridges, Hamleys, and the Apple Store. The biggest of all and the classiest shop in the world is Harrods, which is found in a different area, Kensington, west of Buckingham Palace toward Hyde Park...


St Paul's Cathedral was built by Sir Christopher Wren in 1697, with an incredible dome construction. Up by the dome is the Golden Gallery that has panoramic views all across London. And then down in the crypt, you'll find tombs for some of the big names of British history such as Admiral Lord Nelson and the Duke of Wellington. And check out the Whispering Gallery, which has amazing acoustics. There's an entry fee to experience St. Paul's, an unfortunate trend with British cathedrals these days.

St Paul's Cathedral

South of St. Paul's you arrive back at the Thames. It's a great idea to have a journey on one of the tourist boats along the Thames, which go up and down between the Tower of London and Westminster Bridge, or if you like, explore further up and down the Thames. This is a view looking up the Thames with the Tower of London on the right, the City (the financial center of London that is like an independent city of its own) behind, and the new 244m skyscraper, The Shard (that offers spectacular views over London for up to 40 miles), on the left...

Thames view

The Tower of London is one of the world's most famous buildings. It's wise to take a tour and discover its 900-year history as both a royal palace (see the Crown Jewels!) and gruesome military institution (see the Dungeons!) Nearby is Tower Bridge, a product of Victorian engineering, which contains huge engines that raise the two drawbridges when a masted ship approaches.

Tower Bridge

There are many world-class museums in London, the majority of which are free to enter, including the Science Museum, the Natural History Museum, the British Museum (exhibits from prehistoric to modern times), and the Victoria and Albert Museum (which celebrates over 3,000 years of art and design).

British Museum

Because of demand, London housing has become exorbitantly expensive and for this reason, many employees have chosen to live in suburban towns or even further out, such as in Brighton. Brighton is served by an excellent direct train route taking 1 hour; it therefore also makes a great alternative place to stay, to enjoy both Brighton's seaside facilities and take in the London sites.

London provides a unique taste of British life, all the cultural icons like red double-decker buses, black taxis, pubs with real beer, and fish-and-chip shops... mixed with history, art, fashion, parks, and all the attributes of a multi-cultural society teeming with foreign tourists. It makes for an unforgettable holiday.

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