The British capital and home to over nine million people, London is one of the world's most visited cities, receiving 30 million tourists every year. Located in the South East of the country, and bisected by the River Thames, it was founded by the Romans more than 2,000 years ago and has become a city of culture, history and great diversity.
A very multicultural city, known for its diversity, it is home to over 270 nationalities, with over 300 languages spoken, making it one of the world's most cosmopolitan cities.
Each area of the city is steeped in history, with landmark buildings showcasing its past such as the Tower of London, Westminster Abbey, Big Ben and St Pauls to name a few. Alongside these there are architectural innovations such as The Shard, The Gherkin and the Tate Modern, underpinning the eclecticism of the city’s culture.
London is home to over 170 museums including The British Museum, The Tate Britain and Tate Modern, The National Gallery, the Victoria and Albert Museum and the National Portrait Gallery, which offer varied exhibitions. London is also steeped in literary culture, with many of the works of Charles Dickens set in London. Shakespeare’s Globe theatre, which opened in 1599, hosted the playwright himself for over a decade and has been fully renovated to showcase his most famous works.
Famous for its parks as well as its urban landscape from Hyde Park to Regents Park, and a little further out from Kew Gardens to Hampton Court. It also has a rich sporting history, having hosted the Olympic Games more times than any other city – in 1908, 1948 and 2012. Wimbledon is one of the world’s major tennis tournaments, first held in 1877, making it the oldest tennis tournament in the world.
Population of London
Tourists per year
Average temperature during LGCT
Royal Hospital Chelsea, Bull Ring Gate, Chelsea Embankment, London SW3 4SR
GPS Coordinates: 51°29'06.5"N 0°09'15.8"W
London Heathrow 51.4700° N, 0.4543° W
London Gatwick 51.1537° N, 0.1821° W
London Stansted 51.8860° N, 0.2389° E
Airport transfer services
Taxi- Approximately 30-40 minutes to South London depending on traffic.
Train- Heathrow Express – 15 minutes to Paddington Station
Underground - around 45 minutes via the Piccadilly line into the city centre
Train – the Gatwick Express – a non stop train service taking 30 minutes to Victoria Station. Other trains going to London Bridge, London Blackfriars, Farringdon and St Pancras International.
Taxi: Depending on your final destination in central London, taxis will take approximately 1 hour depending on traffic.
Taxi: Will take roughly 1 hour 20 minutes
Train: Stansted Express - around 47 minutes to Liverpool Street Station
Bus: National Express - around 1 hour 40 minute depending on destination
Direct train service from several European cities, notably Amsterdam (4h10m), Paris, (2h30) and Brussels (2h).
Getting around in London
There are many different ways to travel around London, including the Underground (tube), taxis, buses, and overground trains.
When using public transport, it is possible to purchase single tickets, travel cards (valid for one day), or a top-up Oyster card, available to purchase or rent.
City Mapper – with so many different methods or transport and travelling times being lengthy in London, this free app is a useful way to identify the most efficient mode of transport for your journey.
London has a rich history with many iconic monuments, museums, and sights, set alongside newly developed fashionable areas and impressive modern architecture. Here is a selection of attractions.
This impressive building offers unobstructed 360 views of the city from 244m height.
Tower of London
This historic tower, built in 1066 is synonymous with the Beefeaters, and offers tours showcasing an important part of London’s history. It is situated close to Tower Bridge, and visits to these two iconic sights can easily be combined.
St Paul’s Cathedral
St Paul’s is one of the most famous cathedrals in the world and was completed in 1708 and is a popular attraction. It is situated close to the Millenium bridge, which is an architecturally designed footbridge spanning the River Thames.
London is home to many markets, ranging from Borough Market (known for street food and a market since 1276), Columbia Road Flower Market, and Portobello Market (known for vintage clothing and antiques).
This well-known museum houses a permanent exhibitions of Picasso, Warhol and Dali works and is located on London’s South Bank, and so is ideal to combine with a walk along the river, taking in the street performers, markets, bars and restaurants along this stretch of river.
This museum is dedicated to human history, art and culture. Its permanent collection of some eight million works is among the largest and most comprehensive in existence.
National Portrait Gallery
Art gallery on Trafalgar Square housing a collection of portraits and artwork of historically important and famous people. It was the first portrait gallery in the world when it opened in 1856.
Natural History Museum
This museum exhibits a vast range of specimens from various segments of natural history. It is one of three major museums on Exhibition Road in South Kensington, the others being the Science Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum.
Changing of the Guard
This ceremony at Buckingham Palace occurs daily at 11am in June and July and every other day the rest of the year, and is a popular and traditional sight.
London boasts many large green open spaces, including Hyde Park, St James Park, Greenwich Park, Regent’s Park, Hampstead Heath, and many more.
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