London - General Information
London right now is one of the most dynamic hub on earth leading the vanguard in music, visual arts, fashion, films and, these days, even food. It is not one big city but a series of interconnected villages on a human-size scale, liberally separated with breathing spaces of greenery and the river Thames. As you will discover, London has not one heart but many.
London can be overwhelming for its size but don’t worry as many attractions are within walking distance of each other in the centre of town: Piccadilly Circus, Covent Garden and Trafalgar Square are only few minutes apart on foot. The British Museum is just north of Covent Garden. Only the South Bank is a bit in the opposite direction but it can be enjoyably reached through the Millennium Bridge (St Paul’s Cathedral to Tate Modern).
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Attractions in London
- British Museum
The world’s oldest and greatest public museum.Star exhibits include the ancient Egypt with the rosetta stone and mummies and the Greek antiques like the marbles from the Parthenon.
- Tate Modern
One of the world’s greatest modern art collections housed in a converted riverside power station. This powerhouse of modern art is inspiring even before you enter thanks to its industrial architecture.
- Walking and Shopping in Covent Garden
A traffic-free oasis in the heart of the city: with its entertaining piazza and trendy shops is one of the most enjoyable areas in London.
- St Paul’s Cathedral
Wren’s masterpiece in the centre of the City is one of London’s greatest landmarks and the definitive symbol of old London. Before leaving the church head down to the crypt which contains a café’ and interesting memorials.
- London Pubs
Have a pint in one of many old and full of character pubs and don’t miss the chance to talk about the weather with one of the fellow drinkers.
- Knightsbridge and South Ken
Here is where the real cash gets splashed. Rows of designer shops, world-famous department stores and fashionable restaurant attract global clientele. The area also boats three of London’s finest museum each within minutes of the other.
- London Eye
There is no better view than this. A flight takes half an hour allowing plenty of time to watch the Buckingham Palace gardens and the heart of London.
- London Theatre
Don’t leave London without going to a theatre, anything from West End musicals to an outdoor Shakespeare.
- Houses of Parliament
See the “mother of all parliaments” at work from the public gallery or through a summertime tour.
- Westminster Abbey
The cultural significance of the Abbey is enormous, with just 2 exceptions every coronation has taken place here since the time of William the Conqueror and it is the site of every royal burial.
- Tower of London
This is one of Britain’s finest historical attractions: a great medieval castle and testimony of the bloody royal history. Enjoy a close-up look of the crown of the Queen and armour of King Henry VIII.
- London Markets
London’s markets are more than just alternatives to high street
shopping: many of them are expressions of local communities and
delightful slices of city life. Between Portobello, Camden, Bermondsey
or Borough you will take away an experience you will never forget.
Learn more of the naval history in this charming village and climb up to the Royal Observatory to enjoy the view.
- Buckingham and Royal Mews
Being the Queen’s home the palace is usually close to visitors but you can sneak in (after purchasing the tickets) to see the interiors while the family are away for the summer holidays in Windsor.
- South Bank
Walking along the Thames from the London Eye to Gabriel’s Wharf, the South Bank is the centre of London’s arts scene. Walking along the bank you will get all the city skyline hits and the foodies’s favourite Borough market.
- Trafalgar Square
Originally the site where Edward I kept the royal hawks and the falconers now it is the charming home of the Nelson’s Column, the national Gallery and the National Portrait Gallery.
It is central London’s libertine party zone. These days it’s far more civilized than its naughty reputation but it is still a lot of fun and typical London.
Guided Tours in London
Please find below a few suggestions for tours according to the different transport preferences in London.
Tickets Sales in London
For London performances always book ahead - even obscure acts sells out here.
Tickets are available on the box office, on the venue web site or via agents. Many of West End theatres offer reduced-price tickets on the night, known as standby tickets. Few of the best agencies are:
Cinema in London
It’s when you go beyond the commercial West End cinema experience that the capital’s real cinema action begins. Below some places where to go for cinema lovers:
- BFI Southbank, Southbank, SE1 8XT, 0207 928 3535 www.bfi.org.uk
- Barbican, Silk Street, EC2Y 8DS 0207 382 7000 www.barbican.org.uk
- Curzon, several great cinemas around London www.curzoncinemas.com
- Everyman www.everymancinema.com
- Riverside Studios, Crisp Road W6 9RL 0208 237 1111 www.riversidestudios.co.uk
- Prince Charles, 7 Leicester Place WC2H 7BY, 0870 811 2559 www.princecharlescinema.com
- BFI IMAX, 1 Charlie Chaplin Walk SE1 8XR 0870 787 2525 www.bfi.org.uk/imax
Sport in London