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Travel Guide 2   >   Europe   >   UK   >   Towns and Cities   >   London

   
 

London


London is the capital city, and by a quite considerable margin, the largest city of both England and the UK as a whole. The term "City of London" (as well as "The Square Mile" or just "The City") is used mainly to refer to a very small (1 square mile - 2.6 km2) area that formed the ancient core of the conurbation, and which is today the most important center of the financial industry. The conurbation as a whole is referred to "Greater London" or simply "London", and even this is largely surrounded by further built-up and urban areas. Approximately 8.5 million people live in Greater London, with perhaps 14 million in the metropolitan area.

London

As the former capital of a globe-spanning empire, London is home to people of many races, cultures and languages. Many of these people have their roots in former British colonies, but there European, South American, Turkish, Greek, Kurdish, Iranian, Arab and other communities too. While it would be incorrect to say that there have never been tensions, the communities get along remarkably well, and it is not at all unusual to go to school, live and work with people from diverse backgrounds. This cultural diversity has contributed not only greatly to the character of the city, but to arts, festivals, music and cuisine.

There are many tourist attractions in London, too many too mention in a brief article, but some must-see sights include Buckingham Palace, the Houses of Parliament (including Big Ben), the Tower of London, the London Eye, Royal Observatory Greenwich, and Madame Tussauds wax museum. Visitors to the city will also want to catch a theater production in the West End, see the London's many excellent museums and art galleries, check out the city's nightlife, and sample the variety of British, Anglo-Indian and international restaurants available.

Getting around London is easy for visitors. While it is possible to drive (but be aware that a daily congestion charge applies if you enter certain areas of central London during a weekday), most visitors find other options preferable:
  • Buses (including the famous red doubledecker buses) are frequent in Central London.

  • You can also catch a black taxi cab, by waving one down (or if you are a hotel asking the concierge or reception to call one for you).

  • Licensed "mini-cabs" (which look like ordinary cars) are also available. You must book one by calling their office, and can not hire one in the street.

  • There are overground commuter railways, and, of course, the famous London Underground system (not all of which is actually underground). Londoners refer to the London Underground as "The Tube".

London


Key Facts About London


Trafalgar Square:
Here are some key facts about London:
  1. London is the capital and largest city of the United Kingdom.

  2. London is an important economic center. It is especially noted for its financial services and media industries.

  3. London is also an important center of the arts, including numerous art galleries and a thriving theatre district.

  4. There are also many tourist attractions and places of interest in London. These include both historic and modern locations, as well as iconic buildings such as Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, Buckingham Palace, the Tower of London and Tower Bridge.

  5. Some other instantly recognizable and iconic aspects of London include:

    • The London Underground system - the oldest underground railway system in the world (although obviously much improved since it was first built in the 19th century).

    • Red doubledecker buses

    • Black taxi cabs

  6. Major airports serving London include:

    • London Heathrow - to the West of Central London

    • London Gatwick - to the South of Central London

    • London Stanstead - to the North of Central London

    • London City Airport - in Central/East London (mainly European flights)

    • Luton - to the North of London (mainly European flights)


Attractions and Places of Interest in London


Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament:
Big Ben



Buckingham Palace:



Tower Bridge:



Tower of London:
Tower of London
There are numerous attractions and places of interest in London and the surrounding area. Some of these include:

Weather in London


For current weather information, we recommend:

Related Links


Related Links:
  • How to Survive and Thrive in London
    A guide to help travellers move to and live In London. Full of advice, tips, and interviews with key players in the relocation field. This guide aims to be a one-stop shop for anybody moving to London. (Review Here)
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  • The London Pass
    The London Pass is a sightseeing card which gives holders FREE ENTRY to over 55 sights and tourist attractions in London. Customers simply pay the one off price for the London Pass of their choice (there are 4 durations to choose from) and then can enter as many of the tourist attractions included on the pass that they wish to, without paying. Some of the most popular attractions which can be visited free with the London Pass are the Tower of London, Kensington Palace, St Paul's Cathedral, Windsor Castle, London Zoo, the London Aquarium and Shakespeare's Globe – to name but a few.
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Books about London


Here are some books about London:

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DK Eyewitness Travel Guide London: 2018

By DK Travel

DK Eyewitness Travel
Released: 2017-11-21
Paperback (440 pages)

DK Eyewitness Travel Guide London: 2018
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From taking in the magnificent sight of Big Ben and Parliament Square from the great heights of the London Eye to walking across Tower Bridge after visiting the historic Tower of London to treating yourself to a night at the theatre on the city's West End, London truly offers a little bit of everything.

Included with the book is a download of the free DK Audio Walks container app, available from the Apple Store and Google Play. Use it to scan the book's barcode and then download your five free audio walking tours for London.

Discover DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: London.

   • Hotel and restaurant listings and recommendations.
   • Detailed itineraries and "don't-miss" destination highlights at a glance.
   • Illustrated cutaway 3-D drawings of important sights.
   • Floor plans and guided visitor information for major museums.
   • Free, color pull-out map (print edition) marked with sights, a selected site and street index, public transit map, practical information on getting around, and a distance chart for measuring walking distances.
   • Guided walking tours, local drink and dining specialties to try, things to do, and places to eat, drink, and shop by area.
   • Area maps marked with sights and restaurants.
   • Detailed city maps include street finder index for easy navigation.
   • Insights into history and culture to help you understand the stories behind the sights.
   • Suggested day-trips and itineraries to explore beyond the city.

With hundreds of full-color photographs, hand-drawn illustrations, and custom maps that illuminate every page, DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: London truly shows you what others only tell you.

Recommended: For a pocket guidebook to London, check out DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Top 10 London, which is packed with dozens of top 10 lists, ensuring you make the most of your time and experience the best of everything.

Series Overview: For more than two decades, DK Eyewitness Travel Guides have helped travelers experience the world through the history, art, architecture, and culture of their destinations. Expert travel writers and researchers provide independent editorial advice, recommendations, and reviews. With guidebooks to hundreds of places around the globe available in print and digital formats, DK Eyewitness Travel Guides show travelers how they can discover more.

Rick Steves London 2018

By Rick Steves

Rick Steves
Released: 2017-12-19
Paperback (614 pages)

Rick Steves London 2018
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Explore London from the sacred stones of Westminster Abbey to the top of the London Eye: with Rick Steves on your side, London can be yours!

Inside Rick Steves London 2018 you'll find:

  • Comprehensive coverage for spending a week or more exploring London
  • Rick's strategic advice on how to get the most out of your time and money, with rankings of his must-see favorites
  • Top sights and hidden gems, from Trafalgar Square and the Victoria & Albert to where to find the best tikka masala or fish and chips
  • How to connect with local culture: Catch a show in Soho, meet the ravens at the Tower of London, and end your day at the pub sharing a pint and chat with a friendly Londoner
  • Beat the crowds, skip the lines, and avoid tourist traps with Rick's candid, humorous insight
  • The best places to eat, sleep, and relax over a cup of tea
  • Self-guided walking tours of lively neighborhoods and incredible museums
  • Detailed neighborhood maps and a fold-out city map for exploring on the go
  • Useful resources including a packing list, popular British slang, a historical overview, and recommended reading
  • Over 500 bible-thin pages include everything worth seeing without weighing you down
  • Annually updated information on the whole city, plus day trips to Windsor, Cambridge, and Stonehenge
Make the most of every day and every dollar with Rick Steves London 2018.

Spending just a few days in the city? Try Rick Steves Pocket London.

Rick Steves Pocket London

By Rick Steves

RICK STEVES
Released: 2017-05-30
Paperback (242 pages)

Rick Steves Pocket London
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  • RICK STEVES
Product Description:
Rick Steves Pocket guidebooks truly are a “tour guide in your pocket.” This colorful, compact 220-page book includes Rick's advice for prioritizing your time, whether you're spending 1 or 7 days in a city. Everything a busy traveler needs is easy to access: a neighborhood overview, city walks and tours, sights, handy food and accommodations charts, an appendix packed with information on trip planning and practicalities, and a fold-out city map.

Included in Rick Steves Pocket London:

Sights: the National Portrait Gallery, Courtauld Gallery, Tate Britain, Tate Modern, Victoria and Albert Museum, and the Bankside Walk

Walks and Tours: the Westminster Walk, Westminster Abbey Tour, National Gallery Tour, West End Walk, British Museum Tour, British Library Tour, The City Walk, St. Paul's Cathedral Tour, and Tower of London Tour

Fodor's London 2018 (Full-color Travel Guide)

By Fodor's Travel Guides

Fodor's Travel
Paperback (416 pages)

Fodor s London 2018 (Full-color Travel Guide)
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Written by locals, Fodor’s London 2018 is the perfect guidebook for those looking for insider tips to make the most out their visit. Complete with detailed maps and concise descriptions, this London travel guide will help you plan your trip with ease. Join Fodor’s in exploring one of the most exciting cities in England and Europe.

Crowds continue to flock to England's capital as much as ever to discover the hippest galleries, shops, and nightspots as well as to enjoy the world-renowned museums, the royal history, and some of the chicest restaurants and hotels in the world. Fodor’s London 2018 captures all of this, and more.

Fodor’s London 2018 includes:

    •UP-TO-DATE COVERAGE: With its state-of-the-art hotels, happening new restaurants, and multimillion-dollar museum make-overs, London continues to be one of Europe's most exciting destinations. This guide covers the latest hotel openings, new nightlife spots, and an expanded list of restaurants for all budgets. Fodor's London is fully updated every year.
    •ULTIMATE EXPERIENCES GUIDE: A visually stunning color photo guide covers the essential sights and unmissable attractions throughout London.
    •PULLOUT MAP AND USEFUL MAPS: A handy PULLOUT map will help you navigate on the go. Full-color and full-size street maps throughout will help you plan efficiently and get around confidently.
    •GORGEOUS PHOTOS AND ILLUSTRATED FEATURES: Rich, full-color features invite you to experience the best of London. Overviews of the British Museum and the Tower of London give a closer look into two of London’s most enduring sights.
    •ITINERARIES AND TOP RECOMMENDATIONS: Multiple sample itineraries to help you plan and make the most of your time. Includes carefully chosen tips on what to see, where to eat, stay, and shop as well as information about nightlife, sports and the outdoors. “Fodor’s Choice” designates our best picks in every category.
    •INDISPENSIBLE TRIP PLANNING TOOLS: Convenient overviews of each neighborhood's highlights make planning simple, as do features on the city's top attractions, free things to do, and family favorites.
    •COVERS: Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, the Tower of London, St. Paul’s Cathedral, the British Museum, the Tate Modern, Shakespeare’s Globe, Hyde Park, Houses of Parliament, and much more.

ABOUT FODOR'S AUTHORS: Each Fodor's Travel Guide is researched and written by local experts. Fodor’s has been offering expert advice for all tastes and budgets for over 80 years.

Planning on visiting the rest of Britain? Check out Fodor’s England, Fodor's Scotland, and Fodor’s Great Britain.

Crowds continue to flock to England's capital as much as ever to discover the hippest galleries, shops, and nightlife spots as well as to enjoy the world-renowned museums, the royal history, and some of the chicest restaurants and hotels in the world. This edition of Fodor's London captures all of this, and more.

Rick Steves London 2019

By Rick Steves

Rick Steves
Released: 2018-09-04
Paperback (614 pages)

Rick Steves London 2019
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Product Description:
Explore the city from the sacred stones of Westminster Abbey to the top of the London Eye. With Rick Steves on your side, London can be yours! Inside Rick Steves London 2019 you'll find:
  • Comprehensive coverage for spending a week or more exploring London
  • Rick's strategic advice on how to get the most out of your time and money, with rankings of his must-see favorites
  • Top sights and hidden gems, from Trafalgar Square and the Tower of London to where to find the best tikka masala or fish and chips
  • Connect with local culture: Catch a show in Soho, take afternoon tea, and have a pint of English ale with Londoners in a pub
  • Beat the crowds, skip the lines, and avoid tourist traps with Rick's candid, humorous insight
  • The best places to eat, sleep, and relax with a Pimm's Cup
  • Self-guided walking tours of lively neighborhoods and world-class museums like the British Museum and the Victoria & Albert
  • Day trips to Windsor, Cambridge, and Stonehenge
  • Detailed neighborhood maps and a fold-out city map for exploring on the go
  • Useful resources including a packing list, popular British slang, a historical overview, and recommended reading
  • Over 600 bible-thin pages include everything worth seeing without weighing you down
  • Annually updated information on Central London, Westminster, Belgravia, Pimlico, South Kensington, Victoria, Knightsbridge, Mayfair, Notting Hill, Bayswater, Bloomsbury, Soho, West End, Hyde Park, Regents Park, South Bank, East End, North London, and Chelsea
Make the most of every day and every dollar with Rick Steves London 2019.

Spending just a few days in the city? Try Rick Steves Pocket London.

London: A Travel Guide Through Time

By Dr Matthew Green

imusti
Released: 2016-07-26
Paperback (512 pages)

London: A Travel Guide Through Time
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Product Description:
Let time traveler Dr. Matthew Green be your guide to six extraordinary periods in London's history—the ages of Shakespeare, medieval city life, plague, coffee houses, the reign of Victoria and the Blitz. We'll turn back the clock to the time of Shakespeare and visit a savage bull and bear baiting arena on the Bankside. In medieval London, we'll circle the walls as the city lies barricaded under curfew, while spinning further forward in time we'll inhale the 'holy herb' in an early tobacco house, before peering into an open plague pit. In the 18th century, we'll navigate the streets in style with a ride on a sedan chair, and when we land in Victorian London, we'll take a tour of freak-show booths and meet the Elephant Man. You'll meet pornographers and traitors, actors and apothecaries, the mad, bad and dangerous to know, all desperate to show you the thrilling and vibrant history of the world's liveliest city.

StreetSmart London Map by VanDam - City Street Map of London, England - Laminated folding pocket size city travel and Tube map with all museums, attractions, hotels and sights; 2018 Edition

By Stephan Van Dam;Illustrator;Editor

VanDam, Inc
Map (2 pages)

StreetSmart London Map by VanDam - City Street Map of London, England - Laminated folding pocket size city travel and Tube map with all museums, attractions, hotels and sights; 2018 Edition
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  • easy to read, laminated, pocket size, smart, legible
Product Description:
VanDam's newly revised 2018 STREETSMART® LONDON ­Edition maps all top attractions including museums, monuments, architecture, hotels, shops and theaters plus the Tube at an immensely legible scale of 1:20,000 complete with 3-D building illustrations. Clear information design allows you to read the map from three feet away and has earned VanDam maps a place in the MoMA Collection. The map is film-laminated, accordion folded and pocket size.

Coverage: London City Street Map 1:20,000; The West End & Theatreland Detail Map: 1:14,000; Hampstead Heath Detail map: 1:29,000; Inner London Overview Map: 1:95,000; London Tube Map Dimensions: 4 x 9 folded, 9 x 32 unfolded, fits into shirt pocket or purse.

STREETSMART® LONDON is so legible you will instantly understand how The City connects with Covent Garden, Hampstead Heath with Hoxton, Kensington with Knightsbridge and Tate Modern with the Tower of London. From God's perspective to the most minute alleys our map will be a treasured companion during your stay. Despite a 2,000 year history the City never had an urban masterplan. Londontown is an agglomeration of medieval villages which form the heart of the metropolis we all love. Turn a corner and new worlds unfold.

London is unique in many ways. It is the only city to boast an entire street designated for men's fashion needs: Jermyn Street in St James's. Discerning gents buy their fragrances at Geo F Trumper, dine at Wilton's, get their bespoke shirts at Turnbull & Asser, shoes at John Lobb and accessories at Dunhill. After window shopping, cut through Piccadilly Arcade for High Tea and cuke sandwiches at Fortnum & Mason's 4th floor Diamond Jubilee Salon. One of the great pleasures of being here is hearing the English language flexed. In theatres and on the street where locals take the time to chat about any subject. British cheer remains the lingua franca despite Brexit.

Among our favorite walks: from The Mile Square City, now the Financial Centre, to St Paul's crossing Millennium Bridge to Tate Modern with grand views back over the Thames. Knightsbridge and Belgraiva are among the toniest neighborhoods. Start at Harrods, the mother of all department stores, to see the latest fashions and taste from the mind-boggling selections of hams on the ground floor, then walk off the calories in Hyde Park with a visit to Serpentine Gallery for cutting edge art and design. Or start the day sipping cappuccino at the London Review of Books store on Bury Pl, then take the 55 bus from Bloomsbury to the Sunday Flower Market on Columbia Rd in East London with lunch at Rochelle Canteen on Arnold Circus. Stroll down Brick Lane to check out the latest East End fashions. Whatever excursions you plan our laminated pocket sized map will make you travel with confidence and help create lasting memories.

STREETSMART® LONDON includes a Central London Map plus a stunning dimensional detail of The West End so you can do historic walks with the maze of Theatreland clearly mapped. The map scale of 1:14,000 makes you feel you are there with 3D buildings illustrations as your compass. All Tube stops are marked by their respective line in context right on the main map and on a separate Tube overview so you know both the local details and understand the larger system.

STREETSMART® LONDON maps are updated twice a year and most current. Its film lamination is extra durable and will last for your next trip. Simplicity reigns to make complex cities clear and understandable. Our typography creates character and reveals the true bones of the city. Each map opens to 32" x 9" and then folds down to 4"x 9". Gain instant London STREETSMARTS.!!

Kids' Travel Guide - London: The fun way to discover London-especially for kids (Kids' Travel Guide series)

By Sarah-Jane Williams

FlyingKids
Perfect Paperback (46 pages)

Kids  Travel Guide - London: The fun way to discover London-especially for kids (Kids  Travel Guide series)
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London travel guide and activity book in one! Enjoy a new family adventure in London!

With “Kids’ Travel Guide – London” Your kids will become the family tour guide! They enjoy fun facts, challenging tasks, useful tips, coloring pages and exciting quizzes. There will be no boring moments in your vacation in London…

Watch as your kids become little experts about London: the relevant history, what the city looks like, the transportation system, and many fun and fascinating facts about the city.

Your little tour guide will take you through London attractions … Be sure to visit the best sites for kids: The amazing Buckingham Palace, the famous Tower of London, London’s excellent zoo, and many magnificent parks and streets —plus all the fun things to do in London!

From planning and packing to returning home. The London guide and diary will become a souvenir of your travel that the whole family can treasure for a lifetime. 

You, the parents… All you need to do is to find an available bench and relax. And, of course, enjoy your London vacation while you enjoy your active children.

For more travel guides and lots of fun and enrichment:

“Kids' Travel Guide – United Kingdom”—all about Italy, no matter which area or city you visit.

“Kids' Travel Guide – United Kingdom & London”—everything about Italy and things to do in London combined in one book. 

Even more adventures with Kids’ Travel Guides to Spain, Germany, Australia, Thailand, France, Paris, USA, New York City, San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington, DC, Italy, Rome, and many more destinations…

Go to theFlyingKids website and get more free activities, gifts and special offers.

Grab a copy of the most fun, educational, and interesting travel guide for kids and enjoy a new family adventure!

FlyingKids makes your family travel more fun, enriching, and unforgettable.

DK Eyewitness Travel Guide London: 2019

By DK Travel

DK Eyewitness Travel
Released: 2018-10-02
Paperback (352 pages)

DK Eyewitness Travel Guide London: 2019
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DK Eyewitness travel guides: award-winning guidebooks

Find your corner of London with this essential travel guide to this great city, designed to help you create your own unique trip and to transport you there  before you’ve even packed your case – step back in time at the Tower of London and the British Museum, get a bird’s eye view of London from the Shard, or relax in Hyde Park.  The DK Eyewitness Guide to London covers the must-see sights and the hidden corners, so you won’t miss a thing.

• Gorgeous, all-new color photography so you can imagine yourself there
• Reasons to love London: world-class museums, lively local markets, pomp and pageantry – what will yours be?
• See London from a different angle - 24 pages of fresh ideas for exploring the city
• A year-long calendar of events in London gives a selection of local events and festivals for all seasons
• Sturdy, laminated pull-out city map gives transport information and Tube map
• Expert advice covers the practical stuff: get ready, get around and stay safe
• Over 20 detailed, color maps help you navigate the city with ease
• Expert tips to make memories that last – where to snap and share the perfect photo, take in stunning views and escape the crowds
• The most authentic places to stay, eat, drink and shop
• Easy-to-follow walks and itineraries take you on a tour of each area, with plenty of eat and drink stops en route.
• Hand-drawn illustrations show the inside of the must-see attractions, including Westminster Abbey, St Paul’s Cathedral, the Tower of London and the Houses of Parliament
• Covers Westminster and Whitehall; Mayfair and St James’s; Soho and Trafalgar Square; Covent Garden and the Strand; Holborn and the Inns of Court; Bloomsbury and Fitzrovia; King’s Cross, Camden and Islington; the City; Shoreditch and Spitalfields; Southwark and Bankside; South Bank; Chelsea and Battersea; South Kensington and Knightsbridge; Kensington, Holland Park and Notting Hill; Regent’s Park and Marylebone; Hampstead and Highgate; Greenwich and Canary Wharf; plus sights beyond the city.

DK Eyewitness Travel Guide London is a detailed, easy-to-use guide designed to help you create your own unique trip.

DK Eyewitness: winner of the Top Guidebook Series in the Wanderlust Reader Travel Awards 2017.

Staying for longer? Try our DK Eyewitness guide to Great Britain.

About DK Eyewitness Travel: For 25 years, DK’s beautifully practical Eyewitness guides have been combining inspiring ideas and expert advice with easy-to-read maps and vivid photography to inform and enrich your holiday. This year they have been given a stunning new look that you will love even more.  DK is the world’s leading illustrated reference publisher, producing beautifully designed books for adults and children in over 120 countries.



 
 
 

 
 
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