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Travel Guides: London City Guide

As one of the most-visited and multicultural cities in Europe, London boasts world-class hospitality, museums and arts. It is also one of the top-rated cities for shopping and gastronomy.

London boasts plenty of world-famous landmarks, bridges and buildings as well as some of Europe’s best parks. It’s easy to get around the city by the underground, bus or bike.

The city also boasts lots of green spaces and parks, most connected by walk-ways and cycle lanes making it easy to get around by foot or bike (you can rent one of the Santander Cycles at various points throughout the city from just £2).

Popular Attractions and Landmarks

The Santander Bike in London

One of the most popular attractions is the Tower of London, which is located on the north bank of the River Thames. The fortress houses the infamous Crown Jewels, and you can also meet the legendary ravens and explore the iconic castle.

The London Eye located on the South Bank of the River Thames is another top attraction. At a height of 135 meters (443 ft), it is Europe’s tallest observation wheel that attracts more than 3 million visitors each year and offers stunning views of the city.

The official royal residence; Buckingham Palace is another major attraction in the city, offering plenty of photo opportunities, stunning surrounding gardens and monuments. You can also book a guided tour and view the impressive royal arts collection in the State Rooms.

St. Pauls Cathedral is Europe’s second largest cathedral and a popular visitor destination offering stunning views of the city.

Westminster Abbey dates back to 1066 and was previously a Benedictine monastic church. This impressive Gothic structure has a fascinating history and is a another popular attraction to add on the itinerary.

Offering fantastic views, the Tower Bridge is another top attraction to visit. This impressive suspension bridge was built between 1886-1894 over the River Thames, and has since become an iconic landmark in the city. It also features an interactive display, where you can learn more about the history of this popular landmark. 

The London Eye is Europe’s tallest observation wheel

Art and Culture

The National Gallery is a popular destination with visitors. This impressive art museum houses over 2,300 paintings from the middle of the 13th century all the way to 1900, where you can find such great works by the likes of Rembrandt and Leonardo da Vinci.

You will also find one of the coveted arts scene at the Tate Modern, showcasing the best of British art with collections dating back to the 16th century. 

The British Museum in Bloomsbury is another cultural landmark, where you can discover two million years of history and its permanent collection of around eight million works makes it one of the most comprehensive collections to be found anywhere. 

The National Gallery in London

Popular Areas

Soho in central London is one of the most popular areas in the capital for visitors and locals. It is the main entertainment district in London and boasts some of the best restaurants, pubs and quirky bars. It is also the home of the city’s nightlife scene.

Located in the heart of London’s West End, Covent Garden boasts fantastic dining and shopping opportunities and is a big draw with visitors and Londoners. You will also find some great theatre shows here and plenty of bars and pubs. 

At the financial district in The City of London, you will find plenty of modern high-rise buildings, cafes, bars, restaurants and stunning views. Yopu will also find plenty of historical buildings and monuments to explore, with lots of walking tours available to book, which will guide you through the fascinating history of the area. 

Chelsea in West-London is an affluent area offering fantastic shopping opportunities with lots of artisan cafes, restaurants, tea shops and boutique stores to be found. Head to Duke of York square for a great selection of over 30 chic stores and al-fresco dining in an intimate atmosphere. Here you can also find the iconic Saatchi gallery, showcasing some of the best contemporary art since 1985.

Covent garden in London

Food & Drink

London offers a wide-array of international cuisine, 66 Michelin star restaurants and some of the best street food and markets. For delicious British pub food and great service, head to The Wilmington in Clerkenwell, a listed 19th Century public house offering brunch, lunch and dinner. For tasty and authentic Fish & Chips, head to Poppies in Old Spitalfields Market. 

For a Michelin star dining experience head to Barrafina, serving some of the best Spanish tapas. The restaurant does not take reservations so expect to queue, but its well worth it. If you want to try some great street food then check out our guide of the best London markets for street food.

Parks

London is home to many fantastic parks, with Hyde Park being the most popular and well-known in the capital. At almost 350 hectares, it is a great place for a walk, picnic, run or bike ride. The park boasts gorgeous scenery with stunning lakes and gardens for a relaxing outing.

Regent’s Park is another popular and beautiful park, boasting plenty of walking trails, an artificial lake and stunning gardens, including picturesque Japanese Garden and Rose Garden.

Other popular parks include St. James’s Park, Kensington Gardens, Holland Park, Battersea Park, Greenwich Park and Primrose Hill.

Hyde park in London

Shopping district

Boasting world-class shopping facilities, London boasts is home to some of the biggest and best global brands. As well as the luxury shopping segment, you will also find some of the best street markets and boutique stores so there is plenty of shopping options for all tastes.

For the luxury side, you can find those in Knightsbridge and Sloane Square, where you can find world-renowned shopping destinations such as Harrods. For high-street shopping of popular brands, Oxford Street and Bond Street is the place to be, where you can find most of the popular brands.

Carnaby Street in Soho district

For vintage wear, head to Camden, which boasts lots of great vintage designer stalls as well as a great selection of street food. Portobello Market in Noting Hill also has some fantastic options for vintage shopping. Brick Lane is also another popular destination for boutique shopping.

Caranaby Street is a popular pedestrianised street in London boasting lots of shopping and dining options. Made up of 14 streets, with plenty of independent fashion boutiques, shops, restaurants and pubs to choose from. 


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