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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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Books about London


Here are some books about London:

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Rick Steves London 2016

By Rick Steves

Avalon Travel Publishing
Paperback (636 pages)

Rick Steves London 2016
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You can count on Rick Steves to tell you what you really need to know when traveling in London.

With the self-guided tours in this book, you’ll explore historic Big Ben, bustling Trafalgar Square, and the Tower of London—home of the crown jewels. Learn how to save time and money on the Tube, and how to avoid the mobs at the Changing of the Guard. Investigate London’s world-class museums, where you can trace Western civilization from the Magna Carta and Shakespeare to Van Gogh and Picasso. Venture into Soho’s theater district for a glitzy musical or a delicious Indian dinner. End a great day at a neighborhood pub, sharing a pint and a chat with a friendly local.

Rick’s candid, humorous advice will guide you to good-value hotels and restaurants in delightful London neighborhoods. You’ll learn how to get around by bus and on the Tube, and which sights are worth your time and money. More than just reviews and directions, a Rick Steves guidebook is a tour guide in your pocket.

Rick Steves' Pocket London

By Rick Steves

Liberty Mountain
Paperback (232 pages)

Rick Steves  Pocket London
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  • Rick Steves' Pocket London
  • Rick Steves' Guides
Product Description:
Rick Steves’ Pocket guidebooks truly are a “tour guide in your pocket.” Each colorful, compact book includes Rick’s advice for prioritizing your time, whether you're spending one or seven 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

Lonely Planet London (Travel Guide)

By Lonely Planet, Steve Fallon & Damian Harper

Lonely Planet
Paperback (448 pages)

Lonely Planet London (Travel Guide)
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Lonely Planet: The world's leading travel guide publisher

Lonely Planet London is your passport to the most relevant, up-to-date advice on what to see and skip, and what hidden discoveries await you. Check out cutting-edge art at the Tate Modern, wander the historic Royal Parks and explore riverside pubs and the bars of Shoreditch; all with your trusted travel companion. Get to the heart of London and begin your journey now!

Inside Lonely Planet London Travel Guide:

  • Full-colour maps and images throughout
  • Highlights and itineraries help you tailor your trip to your personal needs and interests
  • Insider tips to save time and money and get around like a local, avoiding crowds and trouble spots
  • Essential info at your fingertips - hours of operation, phone numbers, websites, transit tips, prices
  • Honest reviews for all budgets - eating, sleeping, sight-seeing, going out, shopping, hidden gems that most guidebooks miss
  • Cultural insights give you a richer, more rewarding travel experience - covering history, literary London, music, theatre, architecture, art, fashion and film
  • Free, convenient pull-out London map (included in print version), plus over 50 colour maps
  • Covers the West End, the City, the South Bank, Kensington & Hyde Park, the East End and more

The Perfect Choice: Lonely Planet London, our most comprehensive guide to London, is perfect for both exploring top sights and taking roads less travelled.

  • Looking for just the highlights of London? Check out Lonely Planet Discover London, a photo-rich guide to the city's most popular attractions, or Lonely Planet Pocket London, a handy-sized guide focused on the can't-miss sights for a quick trip.
  • Looking for more extensive coverage? Check out our Lonely Planet England guide for a comprehensive look at all the country has to offer.

Authors: Written and researched by Lonely Planet.

About Lonely Planet: Since 1973, Lonely Planet has become the world's leading travel media company with guidebooks to every destination, an award-winning website, mobile and digital travel products, and a dedicated traveller community. Lonely Planet covers must-see spots but also enables curious travellers to get off beaten paths to understand more of the culture of the places in which they find themselves.

London: A Travel Guide Through Time

By Dr Matthew Green

Penguin UK
Released: 2016-07-26
Paperback (512 pages)

London: A Travel Guide Through Time
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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.

Fodor's London 2016 (Full-color Travel Guide)

By Fodor's Travel Guides

Fodor's
Released: 2015-09-22
Paperback (464 pages)

Fodor s London 2016 (Full-color Travel Guide)
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Crowds continue to flock to England's capital as much to discover the hippest galleries, shops, and exciting nightlife scene as to enjoy world-renowned museums, the royal palace, and some of the chicest restaurants and hotels in the world. The new Fodor's London captures all of this, and more.

DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: London

By DK

DK Eyewitness Travel
Released: 2015-10-06
Paperback (440 pages)

DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: London
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DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: London is your in-depth guide to the very best of London. 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 , London truly offers a little bit of everything.

Discover DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: London:

   • 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 sight 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 .
   • Hotel and restaurant listings highlight DK Choice special recommendations.

With hundreds of full-color photographs, hand-drawn illustrations, and custom maps that illuminate every page, DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: London truly shows you this city as no one else can.

Recommend: 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.

Top 10 London (Eyewitness Top 10 Travel Guide)

By DK

DK Eyewitness Travel
Released: 2016-02-09
Paperback (192 pages)

Top 10 London (Eyewitness Top 10 Travel Guide)
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Product Description:

Newly revised, updated, and redesigned for 2016.

True to its name, DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Top 10 London covers all the city's major sights and attractions in easy-to-use "top 10" lists that help you plan the vacation that's right for you.

This newly updated pocket travel guide for London will lead you straight to the best attractions the city has to offer, whether you want to see Big Ben from the top of the London Eye, visit the National Gallery, take a stroll through one of the many beautiful parks, or have an authentic pub experience.

Expert travel writers have fully revised this edition of DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Top 10 London.

   • Brand-new itineraries help you plan your trip to London.
   • Expanded and far more comprehensive, new laminated pull-out map now includes color-coded design, public transportation maps, and street indexes to make it even easier to use.
   • Maps of walking routes show you the best ways to maximize your time.
   • New Top 10 lists feature off-the-beaten-track ideas, along with standbys like the top attractions, shopping, dining options, and more.
   • Additional maps marked with sights from the guidebook are shown on inside cover flaps, with selected street index and metro map.
   • New typography and fresh layout throughout.

You'll still find DK's famous full-color photography and museum floor plans, along with just the right amount of coverage of the city's history and culture. A free pull-out city map is marked with sights from the guidebook and includes a street index and a metro map.

The perfect pocket-size travel companion: DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Top 10 London.

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.

DK Eyewitness Travel Guides: the most maps, photographs, and illustrations of any guide.

Frommer's EasyGuide to London 2016 (Easy Guides)

By Jason Cochran

FrommerMedia
Paperback (288 pages)

Frommer s EasyGuide to London 2016 (Easy Guides)
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The winner of numerous awards from prestigious organizations of travel journalists, this is a fiercely opinionated book that tells you what to avoid and not simply what to see, in an awesome city with an overwhelming number of attractions, lodgings, restaurants, museums and shops. Using it places the reader into a special category of intelligent traveler seeking the best, most memorable experiences, ones that are both unique and affordable And it is published yearly to contain the latest up-to-date information, by an author who carefully examines every location he visits. A manageable 288 pages in size, this Easy Guide is lighter than any "tablet", easy to carry and read.

Moleskine City Notebook - London, Pocket, Black, Hard Cover (3.5 x 5.5) (City Notebooks)

By Moleskine

Moleskine
Black Hardcover (228 pages)

Moleskine City Notebook - London, Pocket, Black, Hard Cover (3.5 x 5.5) (City Notebooks)
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  • ISBN13: 9788883706172
Product Description:
Ideal for both visitors and city dwellers alike, the Moleskine City Notebook - London lets you organize things you want to keep for future reference or for your records such as the names and addresses of restaurants, shops, friends, hotels, or tourist sites. The Key Map summarizes the overall layout of the city, including large-scale maps of the city center, an alphabetical street index, and map of the metro system. Up to 76 blank pages gives you all the space you need to write, jot down useful information, and record your thoughts, stories, and memories. A personal 96-page archive keeps everything that matters most at your fingertips. 12 translucent sticky sheets, to overlay and re-position, allow you to trace your route as you go. Bon voyage with Moleskine City Notebooks, the first guidebook you write yourself.

Specifications:
- Layout: Structured
- Dimensions: 3-1/2" x 5-1/2"
- Hard Cover with elastic closure and bookmark ribbon.
- Color: Black
- Pages: 228; 32 Removable Sheets
- Expandable Inner Pocket
- Paper Weight: 70 gsm/47 lb.; FSC Certified Paper; Acid-Free (pH Neutral)


 
 
 

 
 
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