A medley of sites that captivate the senses, the brilliance of all that London has to offer lies within the city’s entirety as a cultural melting pot of all that life can afford. Home to some of the most recognisable sights in the world, the Big Ben, Buckingham Palace and the London Eye to name a few, London can be characterised as being a high-density metropolis with a generosity of green spaces. With each avenue offering its own aura and adventures, London effortlessly combines the conventional and contemporary. Rooted in Westminster and Victoria with outposts in Greenwich and Kensington, the traditional architectural culture is evocative of Royal London and the magic of the world’s most eminent monarchy. London’s indelible history is foregrounded by the modernity of its work hard, play hard attitude which is embodied and replicated in classic pubs, casual bars and chic clubs making it a night owl's paradise.
For the cultured, the breadth of opportunities is vast - a collection of attractions include some of the world’s leading museums like the British Museum and Tate Modern, vibrant festivals such as the Notting Hill Carnival and scintillating theatrical performances in the city’s West End. The capital also attracts some of the world’s major sporting events each year being home to renowned tennis championship, Wimbledon and a great swathe of other sports held at iconic stadia including the Oval and Wembley Stadium.
A city that has commerce coursing through its veins, shopping in London is a holistic experience that caters to all tastes, preferences and budgets with a large selection of flagship stores on Oxford Street, endless choice at Europe’s largest shopping mall, Westfield Stratford, and the opportunity to get lost in the lap of luxury at Harrods in Knightsbridge. Those who visit would agree that no account can do justice to the splendour of London, which manages to forge a unique connection with everyone who traverses its expanse through its ability to offer an idiosyncratic experience to all. One needn't be a Londoner to experience the city’s wonders as its fingerprints seldom fade from the lives it touches.
What To Do in London
There is no dearth of activity in London - popular landmarks and locations become perpetual tourist attractions and endless events of various forms take place through the year. London’s events calendar is always full so it’s always advised to plan well in advance to ensure you don’t miss out on the excitement. Visit https://www.timeout.com/london/things-to-do/london-events-calendar for a month-by-month guide to the best events and cultural happenings in London over the year. For a more general overview of the various tourist options, look at the Official London City Guide on http://www.visitlondon.com/#O2WIijMHcCjxPlqj.97.
Total Area - 1572 km2
Population - 8,630,000
Daylight Saving Time Begins (last Sunday of March) - 23th March 2017
Daylight Saving Time Ends (last Sunday of October) - 29th October 2017
System of Measurement - Metric
Electricity Voltage - 240V
Electricity Hertz - 50 Hz
Plugs - Generally 3-pinned. Visitors may require special adaptors.
London’s climate is amongst the mildest in England with damp and chilly winters and moderately pleasant summers. Typical of the U.K., London’s weather is nothing if not fickle - be prepared for overcast skies and rain through the year.
Temperatures in July through to August hover around 18°C (64°F) but have the potential to rise as high as the mid-thirties (90°F approx.). In the autumn and spring, averages lie between 11°C and 15°C (51-59°F) and hover just below 6°C (42°F) in the winter. Although it rarely snows, the wind and damp weather can often make it feel twice or thrice as cold.
When to Go
London is a year-round tourist centre with very few of its attractions closing or amending hours seasonally. The best chance of experiencing good weather and long days is, of course, at the height of summer in July and August. As mentioned, there’s certainly no guarantee of sun even in these months and furthermore, being at the very peak of tourist season, it’s at this time that prices are at their highest and crowds are at their largest.
Getting to London
The city of London is opened up to the United Kingdom and the rest of the world by air through 5 major airports - London Heathrow, London Gatwick, London City, London Luton and London Stanstead. Home to the world famous Eurostar and the Europe longest champagne bar, London St. Pancras International Train Station services a variety of European destinations like Paris. A large number of railway stations stand, dispersed around the city, to connect Britain’s National Rail Network with each centre of the capital. For budget travellers, coaches ply between London and various destinations in the U.K and Europe alike.
Getting Around London
London has one of the largest urban transport networks in the world, with carefully mapped and expertly interlinked bus, river and road systems spanning the city’s 32 boroughs. It is absolutely effortless to determine a route using a select mode or combination of transport options using the TFL ‘Plan a Journey’ tool at https://tfl.gov.uk/plan-a-journey/. For further information on tickets & passes, fare pricing, key routes, night travel, tips and etiquette visit http://www.lonelyplanet.com/england/london/transport/getting-around/local-transport.
Although they are priced at significantly higher rates than public transport options, taxis can be incredibly useful to get around town at one’s own pace in addition to permitting greater locational specificity. Black cabs can be hailed on the street and are available for hire when the yellow sign above the windscreen is lit. Such cabs, however, are often more expensive than minicabs and Uber taxis which must both be pre-booked. Visit https://tfl.gov.uk/modes/taxis-and-minicabs/book-a-taxi for more information.
Driving in and around Central London is an art that has been mastered by Londoners and can be challenging for those who are unfamiliar with the city’s routes and manners. For those who would rather hire their own vehicle for the duration of their stay, there are multiple car hire companies to choose from with a range of vehicles to suit diverse requirements. More information is available on http://www.visitlondon.com/traveller-information/travel-to-london/car-rental/london-car-rental#I32ijWmSqCe2lWiT.97.
Visa-free travel is still in place for EU passport holders travelling to and from the UK. Citizens of the USA, Canada Australia, New Zealand and South Africa don’t usually need a visa to stay in the UK for a period of up to 6 months, but are prohibited from undertaking employment. Information on visa requirements and how to apply can be found on the UK Border Agency website https://www.gov.uk/browse/visas-immigration. Do note that visas for visitors are rarely issued arbitrarily and are often dependent on travel plans and bookings.