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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)
    (Advertisement)

  • 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.
    (Advertisement)

Comments about London


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