London

United Kingdom
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Overview

Old, supremely modern – It’s the consummate world class city

Old, supremely modern – It’s the consummate world class city

London is one of the world’s great cities. It has a large public transport system incorporating buses, over ground trains and the famous “Tube” underground service, pick up a London Travel Card for unlimited access to the subway and bus system. Heathrow is the classic gateway for North Americans arriving into London and is connected by rail by the Heathrow Express, which whips you into London’s Paddington station in about 15 minutes. Other express train connections are available for Gatwick and Stansted airports, arriving into London Victoria and London Liverpool Street stations respectively.

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A great way to get an overview of such a vast, cosmopolitan city is the Original London Sightseeing Tour. You’ll travel to more of London’s attractions at your own pace on a classic open-top double-decker bus that encourages hopping on and off whenever you like. Go where you want, when you want, without ever worrying about schedules. And your British guide will probably tell you personal stories you won’t hear anywhere else. Plus, you’ll get a free 50-minute cruise on the Thames for another point of view.

One could go to Hyde Park, Piccadilly Circus or Trafalgar Square and just people watch. This is a city with energy to spare. It’s at once frenetic and friendly. Enduring and unflappable. But there are just too many things to see and experience.

Head to the British Museum to see the Rosetta Stone. Ride the London Eye at night. See the Crown Jewels at the Tower of London. Watch the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace. Marvel at one of the best art galleries in the world, the Tate Modern, on the revitalized South Bank. Touch celebrities at Madame Tussauds. Catch a matinee in the West End. You can even sit in on a session of Parliament and wait for “order” to be restored. A London Pass can help you see many of the great sights in London.

And then there’s the food. While the city has, well, digested its share of bad press in the past, London is now known as a “foodie” capital. You can still find the requisite fish and chips with a pint at a century-old pub, but there’s so much more. Outside of India, London has the best Indian food in the world. For over 20 years, “Hot Stuff’ has wowed diners with its low cost, little dishes fragranced with tamarind. Fergus Henderson has made a name for himself with his St. John restaurant, which emphasizes consuming “the whole beast : nose-to-tail eating.” A book of the same name has been a worldwide bestseller and put Henderson on the culinary map.

With so much to do, see and eat, you’ll not want to leave. You could treat yourself to a Day Trip to Edinburgh, or go beyond. The proximity to the rest of the continent is calling. Thanks to Eurostar, you can hop on the train at St. Pancras Station and be in Paris or Brussels in just over two hours. From Paris or Brussels you can easily get to Amsterdam on the high-speed Thalys. From there, go almost anywhere. All you need to do is start right here.

London is the mecca of global gastronomy. From European, Californian to Indian, Vietnamese, Pakistanis, Thai or Chinese food, everything is there! If you are an fan of Asian cuisine head to South London to Southall, Wembley (Ealing Road) or Tooting.

London has something for every taste. For fashion shops and boutiques head to Sloane Street. Marks and Spencer is located in Oxford Street. Marble Arch is home to Virgin, HMV, H&M, Top Shop, Borders, Next, Gap and Muji. Burberry, Aquascutum,Church’s,80 Jaeger, Country Casuals, Dickins and Jones and Hamleys are all located in Regent Street. Covent Garden is the place to go to find oriental handcrafts and food.

_ VisitEngland
1 Palace Street, London, SW1E 5HE
Tel: + 44 (0) 20 7578 1400

The city’s tourist office has a helpful personnel, insider information and tips as well as handy maps and brochures. The city’s tourist office also arranges tours and excursions and is a focal point for local accommodation.

London station(s)

Trains are convenient way to reach any town and city in Europe. All main towns have a railway station, while major cities have more than two railway stations. Nearly all railway stations are located in the city centre. Check our map to locate railway station(s) in London.

London city guide