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London

London

London is the cultural, political and economic heart of Britain, famous for world-class museums, galleries, royal palaces, shopping destinations, West End theatre shows and award-winning restaurants.

Visiting London? Start planning your trip right here, from booking your accommodation to creating your perfect itinerary. Whether you want to stay in a 5-star luxury hotel and sip Champagne on the London Eye, or find a cheap hostel and stroll in one of London's beautiful Royal Parks, you'll find something to suit your budget and interests.

London is a world-class city and the heart of British politics, culture and commerce. Its' history stretches back thousands of years, and remnants of this fascinating past can still be found across the capital – from the Tower of London, a gruesome site of Medieval torture, to the majestic Buckingham Palace.

A captivating mix of old and new, London is also renowned for its creativity, innovation and originality in art, theatre, music, design and cuisine. It is home to countless art galleries and museums, including the Tate Modern, National Gallery and British Museum, which possesses some of the world's finest treasures. And best of all, entry to most of these museums and galleries is free!

To catch all the 'big-hitters' in one go, you can't beat a walk along the River Thames. Strolling from Tower Bridge to the Houses of Parliament you'll pass the Tower of London, Shakespeare's Globe, Tate Modern, the Southbank Centre, the National Theatre, the London Eye, the SEA LIFE London Aquarium and London Dungeon. In addition to these world famous attractions, there are many more to discover during your stay.

The West End is the place to go to see London's top theatre shows and musicals. Alongside classics including Les Misérables, Phantom of the Opera and The Woman in Black, you will find hit contemporary shows, such as Billy Elliot, The Lion King and Thriller – Live. Don't forget to explore the many off-West End venues too, such as the National Theatre, The Old Vic and (during the summer months) Regent's Park Open Air Theatre.

In the West End you will also find some of London's top shopping destinations, from Oxford Street to Seven Dials. Different neighbourhoods are known for other unique opportunities for shopping: Notting Hill is renowned for its antiques and Portobello Market, Greenwich has an excellent arts and crafts markets, while Westfield London City and Westfield Stratford are the city's most famous malls.

If you would rather save money than spend it, the eight Royal Parks are well worth a visit – and a great spot for a picnic. Visit Greenwich Park to drop in on the Royal Observatory, walk through Kensington Gardens to see Kensington Palace, take a paddle on the Hyde Park boating lake, see Buckingham Palace from scenic St James's Park, spot deer at Richmond Park and Bushy Park, and meet the animals at London Zoo, which lies within Regent's Park.

Along the way indulge your taste buds with delicious food at one of London's many restaurants, gastropubs and pop-up eateries. You can eat food prepared by a celebrity chef, discover modern British cuisine, or eat food from anywhere in the world – be it Indian, Chinese, Persian, Greek, Italian or Lebanese. Top off your perfect day with a fancy cocktail, excellent wine or locally brewed beer at a top London pub or bar – and maybe a boogie at one of the capital's buzzing nightspots and clubs.

Population: 8.3 million

London has a full calendar of events, covering many different interests. This guide highlights the must-see events that take place in London throughout the year.

London is a city of culture and any visit to the British capital would not be complete without a night at the theatre. West End musicals are the most popular form of stage performance in town, mixing enchanting stories and spectacular special effects with good old song and dance.

London is a diverse, exciting city filled with the world's best sights, attractions and activities. With such a broad range of choice, the hardest part is deciding what to do first. Here are 10 great reasons to love London.

Follow the trail of London's historical, cultural and entertainment treasures with a guided tour through some of the city's most famous landmarks. From laid-back and on foot, to full-throttle and on water, London's guided tours offer a slice of life for everyone to enjoy.

London is full of things to see and do; from famous attractions such as the London Eye, the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben, the Tower of London and the Tate Modern; to great shopping opportunities; to wide open urban green spaces and much, much more.

Read on for inspiration and handy tips on the unmissable places to visit while you're in London. Many attractions on this list are to free to enter; another great reason to fall in love with London.

Thanks to London's rich mix of cultures, the capital's restaurants serve up delicious food from all corners of the globe. Whatever cuisine you fancy, you're sure to find it in London – be it Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Caribbean, Polish, French, Italian, Afghan, Ethiopian, American, Spanish, South African, Persian… the list goes on.

There's also an exciting buzz on the British culinary scene in London, with innovative chefs rethinking traditional British classics and creating new favourites – all with an emphasis on fresh, local produce.

Plus with Michelin-starred restaurants, family-friendly eateries, cosy gastropubs, fast food joints and quirky cafes dotted all over the city, there's something for every budget too.

Delicate finger sandwiches, tempting cakes, pots of steaming tea, scones with lashings of jam and cream. With so many delicious ingredients, it's no wonder traditional afternoon tea remains as popular in London as ever. There are many top hotels, restaurants and cafes serving afternoon tea in London today, with many varieties available – from classic afternoon tea to low-calorie alternatives and even gentleman's afternoon teas.

Newly refurbished 88 Studios Kensington provides an ultra-modern, chic, comfortable, affordable and boutique accommodation in London. The Studios are ideal for a variety of clients as they find the fully equipped kitchenette extremely useful. Those travelling..
Only a 2-minute walk from Earls Court Underground Station, linking to Piccadilly Circus in the centre of the city in 10 minutes, this hotel is in a prime location. Close to an array of attractions, guests will find restaurants and bars within 5 minutes'..
Clink 78 Unrated
This hostel is ideally situated in central London very close to Kings Cross station, making it very easy to go quickly get anywhere in London. Guests will find restaurants, bars and shops within a few minutes' walk of the hotel. Piccadilly Circus, the..
Palmers Lodge Unrated
This unique new central London hostel is housed in a Victorian listed building that has received a substantial refurbishment to restore it to its original condition. It offers travellers all the facilities expected from the very best hostels in London..
Situated across from the Park Royal Underground station and close to Acton and the London Borough of Ealing, the Park Plaza London Park Royal is a great starting point for exploring West London attractions. Among its amenities the hotel features a business..
Smart Hyde Park Inn Hostel is perfectly located in the heart of Central London, created with the traveler on a budget in mind. Located just off Londons and Europes most popular shopping areas, Portobello Market, Knightsbridge and Oxford Street, we are..
Business travellers visiting the Greenwich Centre Business Park can walk there in minutes. Whatever your plans, you'll definitely want to squeeze in a walk up to the Royal Observatory for an incredible panoramic view.All rooms feature a comfy king size..
This is very simple budget accommodation, of very basic standard that would benefit from a refurbishment throughout. It is in a tourist-friendly location. Perfect for the budget-conscious traveller. Good transport links to all parts of the city make this..
This beautiful array of truly exceptional apartments is located in the heart of the London's exclusive Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. The city's Natural History and Science Museum's attractions are within walking distance. The West End shops..
Close to Finsbury Park, this budget Beaconsfield hotel in North London offer low-cost rooms and a traditional pub. It is convenient for Arsenal FC. Amenities: Bar, Internet Access
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