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Welcome to London, one of Europe's most popular destinations. No matter if you're a history buff, a dedicated fashionista, or an arts enthusiast, you'll find plenty to do in London. More from this guide...
One of the largest and most popular cities in Europe, London isn't cheap. If you plan your visit carefully, however, you can score some great deals on hotel rates. Late winter and early spring tend to be the cheapest times to visit London, as the weather is typically cool and rainy.
The tourist season in London picks up in late spring and extends through summer. While the weather is mild and the days are longer during peak season, both hotel rates and airfare tend to be high. Rates typically fall with cooler temperatures during autumn, but they can be sky-high during the holiday season in December.
For the ultimate London experience, plan to visit in spring before the rates increase. If you have limited flexibility in terms of dates, prepare to pay premium prices in the summer and during the holiday season.
When it comes to deals like AAA, AARP, or military discounts, London hotels don't typically offer special rates. To get great discounts on London hotels, consider visiting during the off-season or shoulder season, stay at one of the city's cheaper hotels, or keep an eye out for a special low rate at your hotel of choice.
Some of the city's hotels strike the ideal balance between luxury and price. With a location that's mere steps from the Royal Academy of Arts, St. James Park, and Piccadilly Circus, Dukes Hotel couldn't be closer to many of the most desirable attractions in London. This boutique hotel also boasts comfortable rooms, a friendly atmosphere, and a well-equipped wellness area. All rooms include complimentary Wi-Fi and desks, so you can stay connected with family back home or catch up on work. The hotel also has a full-service spa and limo service, so you can get around in style.
Hotels near the Westminster Bridge, Big Ben, and the London Eye can be pricey, but the London Marriott Hotel County Hall offers great value. Not only is it ideally located for both business and leisure travelers, but the Marriott also has easy public transit access, helpful staff members, and a welcoming bar and lounge. You'll have no problem staying fit here, thanks to the indoor pool and health club, and you can easily relax in your spacious room, which comes equipped with a minibar, microwave, and a workspace.
Just a quarter mile from Hyde Park and Mayfair, the London Hilton on Park Lane is an ideal hotel for both business and leisure travelers. The former will appreciate the 24-hour business center and in-room workspaces, while the latter will love the hotel's nightclub, sauna, and spa. The hotel's three on-site restaurants offer great value for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, or you can enjoy a quiet evening in with 24-hour room service.
With its location near the British Library, the Dickens House, and University College London, St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel London is ideal for history buffs. Since it's just minutes from King's Cross Station and Euston Station, the hotel offers quick access to anywhere in London and beyond. The Renaissance boasts grand rooms with pillow-top beds, plush bathrobes, and LCD TVs. Make your trip the best yet with the help of the professional concierge service, or relax with a massage or body treatment at the spa. The hotel's location and free Wi-Fi make it one of the best values in London.
For the city's best shopping, you'll want to divide your time among busy Oxford Street, upscale Knightsbridge, and elegant Marylebone. Don't forget to stop at funky Camden Market and quirky Portobello Road Market for a unique London souvenir.
To immerse yourself in British history, make your first stop the British Museum, where you can easily spend an afternoon or an entire day. Stop at the Tower of London and Westminster Abbey to learn more about the city, and don't forget to visit London's outdoor highlights like Kensington Gardens.
London has no shortage of visual and performing arts, and you'll find the best examples of the former at the Tate Modern art museum or the all-encompassing National Gallery. Catch your choice of plays and musicals in London's West End Theater District, where you'll find both classic performances and cutting-edge shows.
With a coat brimming with urbane triumphs, London's achievements as a city rightly befit its royal hosts. Having been settled for more than two millennia, the city remains to be the European Union's largest urban zone, and the world's biggest financial centre. But not everyone who arrives through the continent's busiest airport, disembarks from the world's oldest underground railway, and steps foot in its majestic grounds are in London for business. The regal air and imposing stature is evident in the city's Hyde Park, Notting Hill, and the River Thames area. There are at least 4 World Heritage Sites to keep guests busy, including Westminster Abbey. You can opt to see the Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, the Houses of Parliament, or the pomp and pageantry of the Royal Horse Guards. Afternoons can be well-spent by shopping at Regent and Oxford Streets, surrendering to the temptations presented by Harrods along Knightsbridge, or navigating the high-end designer shop along Bond Street. Indulging in London's sensibilities does not necessitate a royal lineage, or bonds to dukes, counts, or Lords - perhaps, all you need is a passport, and a ticket to one of London's iconic red double-decker buses.
Talking about London and men and women of letter, nothing more can be said than the fact that London has been at the forefront of revolution in almost every walks of art “ and, by extension, life “ for over five centuries in succession now. The history of London beyond that point is for annals to take care of. But one just cannot help but compare the London of Dickens with that of Woolf, London of Kipling with that of Burgess and London of Amis to that of Rushdie.
There's much more to see in London that one can possibly have time or energy for. Despite living out a lifetime in this city of old and new, people fail to thoroughly scour the city for sights worth seeing. So, one can only imagine the plight that the tourist have when they have as much as one paltry week to encompass all that London has to offer.
But life is all about taking misfortunes into stride. Hence, moving ahead, we might as well take a look at what a trip to London might unfold for you.
This is perhaps the biggest worry that tourists have. London is one of the most expensive cities in the world to buy real estate in. So, quite naturally, hotel prices in London are always much higher than the par prices elsewhere in the world. Because of this very fact, it's quite difficult to find cheap hotels in or around London with ease.
However, if you are in luck and you are visiting the city in off season months (winters), you just might be able to secure one among few budget hotels in London.
Moving upwards in terms of nightly prices, there are numerous luxury hotels in London that regularly cater to extravagant expectations of their rich guests that include members of the royalty from around the world, movie stars, rock stars, politicians, heads of state and all other sorts of influential and important people.
If you wish to stay at one of such high end London hotels, you would need to shell out sums that can easily clock above £1,000. That's merely one thousand pounds for a night!
The Berkeley, Bulgari Hotel, the Connaught, Claridge's are some exemplary names from this glorious list of luxury establishments in London.
It's next to impossible to even try to boil down what sights London has to offer to tourists and visitors.
Buckingham Palace is the most popular tourist destination in London. Presently the residence of the Royal Family of England, some parts of the palace is made open for public regularly.
Apart from the palace, the Houses of Parliament are among other very famous tourist attractions. St. James Park and Hyde Park are two large parks in London that are definitely worth an evening visit. Other famous attractions in London include the Big Ben, London Tower, the London Eye etc.
The Natural History Museum in London is a treat for those who are interested in the history of our planet, our species and our fellow species. Borough Market and Westminster Abbey are not to be missed, either.
Music lovers can pay a visit to Royal Albert hall and Royal Opera House where concerts and shows are regularly conducted.
Sightseeing in London is an experience in itself. The city that has a documented history of over 2,000 years, dating back to the times of Roman invaders. If you are planning on going on a sightseeing trip around London, there are some things you would do well to keep in mind.
The first and the foremost thing that tourists should keep in mind “ and this applies to most tourist destinations, not just London “ is to enjoy the process, rather than merely documenting it with the help of pictures.
Another important thing is to keep by the rules. Unlike most places in the world, London rules are pretty strict regarding cameras, mobile phones, tablets and newer fads like selfie sticks.
If the sign says 'no cameras allowed', do make sure that you bring no cameras. In sensitive places like London Art Gallery, such blunders can lead you to unnecessary and easily avoidable blunders.
As is often portrayed in literature and art, London weather is very fickle. So, you should make it a point to bring an umbrella, if not a mac, with you to keep you dry during one of the unexpected bursts of sudden showers.
To really get to know whatever of London you decide to visit, you will be best advised to seek assistance from professional and experienced local guides. It doesn't matter if you are staying at one of those cheap hotels or one of those glitzy palatial buildings, a request with the hotel management to arrange for a guide will never go unattended to.
Getting around in London should never be an issue as there are, quite literally, dozens of transport options in any given situation. Being one of the most important cities in the world, London is extremely well kept with public transport that chiefly comprises of buses, trams and trains. London is perfectly connected with all parts of the country via an extensive network of roads and trains.
To get around in London, you can hire a private taxi or a private car for yourself to drive. The latter can be quite an economical choice, especially if you rent a car for over 7 days. All London hotels are known to provide additionally paid (over the top) car services to their guests.
Below are reviews of the city of London, United Kingdom from an actual visitor's perspective.
Beautiful city with so much history.
love the food.
London is the best city in my world. There is something for everyone.
I liked the theatre, went to see the Lion King. The restaurants were great. Everywhere I went I had a good meal.
Must sees in London would be the tower and the crown jewels, take a hop on hop off bus to see all the sites and monuments easily.
The museums are fantastic and the usual tourist sights are worth it. Also went to Oxford which was lovely and Brighton to get a break. Easy city to get around.
I have been to London before and returned bringing 29 friends. London feels safe and the historic place: Westminster, The Tower, The Palace, Windsor Castle, and Stonehenge were amazing!
One of the greatest cities in the World and one of the most popular with tourists with 2014 seeing 16.8 million arrive through its borders. Offering everything you could want in a city; from a myriad of restaurants and the traditional English pub, to its iconic buildings, unrivalled architecture it's a city steeped in history and continually re imagining itself. From beautiful independently owned boutique hotels to historic venues to the large chain hotels London caters for all types of guest and meetings. Large Events around the city are frequent with January/February and July/August being the best times of year to try and get a good deal when occupancy is a little less..London really is a must see city.
The Queen's Theatre is a great venue for Les Miserables.
Wonderful city, full of life and activities. I visited the National Gallery and the beauty and inspiration of the paintings are amazing. Lifts your spirits!
Had a fab meal at Smiths of Smithfield. Used Holborn Bars (De Vere Venue) for a Conference and it was an excellent choice of venue; would definitely use that restaurant and that conference venue again.