London Tourism Guide
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£100–200 per night (3* hotel)
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London is one of the world’s greatest cities; oozing with history, culture and wonder. During your trip you’ll experience majestic palaces, famous shopping destinations, world-class food, enigmatic entertainment and way more.
To help get you started and guide you towards some of the best things to do in London, we’ve rounded up some of our favourite places. We’ve also got a few expert tips from the travel bloggers who have experienced the astounding streets of London. London is a great place for families, couples and even solo travellers; with countless numbers of pubs, dining experiences and events, you’re sure to make some friends along the way. Read on to find out more and start planning your London itinerary today.
Head for London’s Vertigo 42 Champagne Bar just before night falls. The bar is well worth the visit for the views alone and it also enjoys a relaxed atmosphere where you can treat yourself to a glass of bubbles. You’ll also be spoiled with a close-up view of The Gherkin as well as an amazing panorama of the River Thames, St. Paul’s Cathedral and the rest of the city.
By Paul, from A Luxury Travel Blog
London has an inexhaustible list of activities to suit everyone, but the first port of call on your visit should be simply to see the iconic sites of this famous city. Around every corner are postcard perfect views. So whether you take a bus, go on feet or hail a London cab, make sure you take time to explore. From the legality of Buckingham Palace, to awe-inspiring St Paul’s Cathedral, London’s architecture needs to be seen to be believed.
London has arguably the best selection of museums in the world. It’s unlikely you’ll get time to visit them all during your stay, but visitors should make sure they tick off the British Museum, The Natural History Museum and The Science Museum, all of which offer world-renowned exhibitions. The best bit? Entrance in completely free!
Perhaps one of the most iconic images of London (and there’s quite a few!) is the majestic Tower Bridge that has stood defiantly over the Thames since 1894! Whilst you’re there you can take a short walk to the Tower of London (officially Her Majesty’s Royal Palace and Fortress of the Tower of London). This fortress was once a prison where Napoleon was held, it’s now a World Heritage Site, museum and home to the crown jewels!
Things to do in London
Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area
The Queen’s main London home and the administrative headquarters of the reigning monarch is Buckingham Palace. The grand building was originally built in 1703 and since then it was been modified and extended so it now has 775 rooms and looks as it does. The front of the palace will be quite familiar to most people as the British Royal Family have been seen on the balcony on many special occasions (such as the Royal Wedding). Buckingham Palace is located at the end of the red road, known as The Mall and if you walk down this road, the first thing you will see is the regal Victoria Memorial, which is an incredible sight to see in itself. The other end of this long road is Trafalgar Square and Nelson’s Column, The National Gallery and more.
A famous ceremony, called the Changing of the Guards, takes place at the palace every day. It is free to watch and they occur at different times throughout the day, but usually at 11.15 and lasting around 45minutes. If you would like to venture inside the palace, you can buy tickets to look around the State Rooms and Gardens. There are a number of ticket options available, to find the experience that is right for you, visit the website to find out more.
Address: Buckingham Palace, London, SW1A 1AA, Nearest Underground Station: Victoria, St. James’ Park or Green Park
A popular place to visit is Trafalgar Square; once the home of hundreds of pigeons, this area has been cleared so visitors can see Nelson’s Column standing tall and proud in the middle. The statue was built to commemorate and celebrate Admiral Horatio Nelson who gallantly battled and died at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. There are a number of other statues and sculptures there, including the famous gold lions and the notorious fourth plinth; the fourth plinth is the empty plinth in the corner of the square, which is now filled with different sculptures every year.
Address: Westminster, London, WC2N 5DN, Nearest Underground Station: Charing Cross
Tower of London
Built in 1078 by William the Conqueror, the Tower of London is one of the most significant and historically relevant buildings in London. It has served many purposes since William the Conqueror’s reign, including being a prison, a fortress and a royal residence. It has been the place where many gruesome tortures or executions have occurred in the name of both great and despotic rulers. Its main purpose today is to house the Crown Jewels, including the famous Imperial State Crown. This is the ideal place to visit in London if you’re looking to find out more about British history, especially if you’re travelling as a family, there’s no chance the kids will be starved of entertainment. With so many myths, mysteries and secrets, you’ll leave wanting to find out more and more.
Price: Tickets cost £25 for adults and £12 for children aged 5-15; you may find discounted prices if you book on the Tower of London website.
Opening times: : Open all year round, apart from the 24th -26th December and the 1st January, from Tuesday to Saturday the tower opens at 09.00 and at 10.00 from Sunday to Monday. Closing times vary depending on season; in winter it closes at 16.30 every day and the rest of the year it closes at 17.30.
Address: Tower of London, London, EC3N 4AB,Nearest Underground Station: Tower Hill
St. Paul’s Cathedral
This famous, white-domed cathedral sits atop Ludgate Hill in London, making it one of the easiest to spot sights in all of London. St. Paul’s Cathedral we see today was designed by Sir Christopher Wren, as the original was all but destroyed in the Great Fire of London. This beautiful cathedral is a spectacular sight inside and out and has been the scene of many famous weddings, including Princess Diana’s wedding to Prince Charles. You can go inside the cathedral to look around and climb the hundreds of stairs up to the interior of the dome.
Price: Adult tickets are £18 and £8 for children (7-17 years), but discounts for groups of 10 or above and if you purchase tickets online.
Opening times: Doors open at 08.30 for sightseeing, the galleries open at 09.30 and the last tickets are issued at 16.00 (cathedral closes at 16.30).
Address:St Paul’s Cathedral, St Paul’s Churchyard, London, EC4M 8AD,Nearest Tube Station: St. Pauls, Mansion House, Blackfriars or Bank
Madame Tussauds is famous all over the world, and will get to rub shoulders with your favourite celebrity’s waxwork, including Star Wars and Marvel characters. The Chamber of Horrors might leave the kids a little frightened but the exhibit is very interesting and showcases some of the most gruesome and fearsome people from history.
Price: If tickets are bought online in combination with other attractions, you are able to save over £60, visit the Madame Tussauds’ website to find out more. Tickets bought on the door start from £58.95 for adults.
Opening times: Wednesday – Friday the attraction is open from 09.30-17.30. From Saturday – Tuesday this London attraction is open from 08.30-18.00.
Address:Marylebone Rd, London NW1 5LR, Nearest Tube Station: Baker Street
Natural History Museum
The Natural History Museum is an epic monument of exploration and learning, perfect for a family day out. You will learn about the history of the earth from its physical formations to the animals that have inhabited our planet over time. You’ll see fossils, dinosaurs and many extinct animals, as well as learn about how our history will shape our future. There are hands on experiences for the kids to enjoy, as well as a number of exhibits that pop up throughout the year, including the famous Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition. Furthermore, if you’re travelling to London at Christmas, you’ll be able to experience the magical of a London Christmas on the open air ice rink at the museum.
Price: : All public London museums and galleries are free to visit; however, they run off donations so these are very welcome
Opening times: Open daily from 10.00-17.50, last entry is at 17.30 (closed from 24th-25th December).
Address: Cromwell Rd, London SW7 5BD, Nearest Tube Station: South Kensington
The British Museum is split into several galleries representing different countries or continents over the ages. From the Minoans of Crete to the clocks and watches of Europe, there are few things not explored at this modern, exquisite museum. There are also a number of temporary exhibits that appear throughout the year; visit the website for more details of what is on while you are in London
Opening times: Open daily from 10.00-17.30, apart from the 24th-25th of December and the 1st of January. Closing starts at 17.20, apart from Fridays where it closes later at 20.30.
Address: Great Russell St, London WC1B 3DG, closest tube Tottenham Court Road or Holborn (Russell Square and Goodge are also close by)
Image source: dilettantiquity
The Science Museum is perfect for anyone interested in the science of anything; from space to the data / internet we’re all so reliant on these days, there is something about everything. More excitingly is that the Science Museum holds Science Nights; these are for 7-11 year olds where you will have an exciting evening of hands on activities, a sleep over at the museum, breakfast and an experience in the IMAX theatre.
Price: :Free, except for exhibits or experiences.
Opening times: 10.00-18.00 daily, last entry at 17.15. Opening times vary during school holidays.
Address: Exhibition Road, London, SW7 2DD, closest tube South Kensington
Image source: Matt Brown
The “world’s leading museum of art and design” is the best way to describe the V&A (short for Victoria & Albert Museum). It houses over 2 million objects from over 5,000 years of inspiring and creative human design and thinking. They hold regularly exhibitions to do with fashion and design, such as the history of wedding dresses, underwear, shoes and more. The museum was originally built in 1852 as a follow on to the hugely successful Great Exhibition of the Victorian Era. It has since then supported and focused on championing man-made beauty from all over the world.
Price: :Free. Exhibitions may charge a fee
Opening times: Daily from 10.00-17.45, except for Fridays when it is open until 22.00. The V&A is closed from the 24th-26th December and the 1st of January.
Address: Cromwell Road, London SW7 5BD, closest tube South Kensington
National Portrait Gallery & National Gallery
Both of these galleries are located in the same building in Leicester Square (just with different entrances). The National Gallery is home to some of the most iconic pieces of artwork in the world, including Holbein’s The Ambassadors and Paul Delaroche’s The Execution of Lady Jane Grey. Not to mention incredible British landscapes by William Turner and John Constable, as well as some international artists including Canaletto, Monet, Van Gogh and Manet. The list goes on and on and you will never fail to be mesmerised by the talent and beauty of these thought-provoking pieces of art.
The National Portrait Gallery was founded in 1856 and homes some of the most beautiful portraits from hundreds of years ago up to modern day portraits. There is a primary collection, but they regularly hold events focusing on specific eras, events, anniversaries, artists, photographers and more. See what is on when you visit by visiting their website.
Price: :Free, except for specific exhibitions, donations are welcome
Opening times: Open daily from 10.00-18.00 except for Thursdays and Fridays when it closes at 21.00
Address: Trafalgar Square, London, WC2N 5DN, closest tube Charing Cross or Leicester Square
The Tate Modern is home to London’s main selection of modern art. It also houses art from the 1500s all the way up to modern day, within its 1,500 piece collection. If you’re interested in photography, paintings, sculptures and more then we recommend visiting the Tate for an experience you will not forget.
Price: :Admission is free, but there is a charge for specific exhibitions
Opening times: Sunday to Thursday it is open from 10.00-18.00 and from Friday to Saturday it is open from 10.00-22.00
Address: Bankside, SE1 9TG, nearest tube Southwark, Blackfriars or St. Paul’s
Tower Bridge is one of the most iconic symbols of London; completed in 1894 and there is plenty of opportunity to get to know this history of the icon. Visitors can take in this architectural wonder from the outside or climb up the stairs in the bridge to explore the Tower Bridge Exhibition inside. Make sure to take in the view from the top while you are there.
Price: :Viewing the exterior is free. Tickets for the experience cost £9.00 for adults and £3.90 for children aged 5-15. Buy tickets online for a discount.
Address: Tower Bridge Rd, London SE1 2UP, nearest tube Tower Bridge
Watch a Play in the West End
Image source: Andy Bird
The West End is London’s answer to New York’s Broadway; it is where you will be able to watch some of the most famous, cutting edge and classical theatre performances. We recommend buying tickets for Lion King, Les Miserables or Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, especially if you are travelling as a family. There are many more on show, including the hilarious Book of Mormon (not suitable for children) or Billy Elliot. The list really does go on and you can find tickets for these shows on the internet. Alternatively, if you get to Leicester Square before 19.00 then you will be able to buy tickets from numerous stands in the area.
Image source: Dimitrios Bourmpos
This modern slice of architecture pierces the sky with its pointed tips that reach up to 310m in the air, making it the tallest building in the UK and the 4th tallest in all of Europe. The Shard is home to a number of restaurants, but the best experience is riding the elevators up to the viewing platforms on floors 68, 69 and 72. From here you will have views of London that you will not get to experience anywhere else (even on the London Eye). You can buy tickets for this experience on their website and even be greeted with a Champagne Reception, but make sure you check the weather before you go, as you do not want your view to be blocked by clouds.
Price: :On the day price: £30.94. Advance price: £25.95. Additional costs for enhanced ticket types / experiences, visit the website to find out more.
Address: 32 London Bridge St, London SE1 9SG, nearest tube is London Bridge
Opening times: Open daily from 10.00-22.00, but last entry is at 21.00
The London Eye
This is iconic, modern symbol of London and is perfect for families, couples, retirees and anyone who wants to enjoy views of London in a unique way. The giant Ferris wheel takes you on a rotational journey allowing you to see the spectacles of London’s from a bird’s eye view. At New Year, there is a huge fireworks display that takes places around the London Eye.
Price: :On the day price: £30.94. Advance price: £25.95. Additional costs for enhanced ticket types / experiences, visit the website to find out more.
Address: London Eye. SE1 7PB, nearest tube Waterloo, Embankment, Charing Cross and Westminster
Opening times: The ticket office opens at 09.30 daily, but closing times vary throughout the year. Visit the websiteto find out more.
The London Dungeons
Image source: Oscar del Rio
The London Dungeons are a frightful, enigmatic and educational experience great for all (small children and those easily scared, should probably avoid). You are taken through an immersive theatre experience where you will learn about all of the horrors of the history of London. As you walk through the Dark Side, you’ll encounter great fires, plagues and infamous, unknown serial killers such as Jack the Ripper. You’ll learn about their stories and how these less pleasurable parts of London’s history have helped shape today.
Price: :Walk-up price is £28.95 for adults (16+) and £24.45 for children (4-15 years). Discounts can be found when booking online
Address: Riverside Building, County Hall, Westminster Bridge Rd, London SE1 7PB
Opening times: Standard opening times from Monday to Wednesday and Friday are 10.00-17.00 (last entry). Thursdays it opens from 11.00-17.00 and at the weekend it is open from 10.00-18.00
Shopping in London
London is a shopping capital of the world. From the high-end boutiques to historic department stores famous around the world, there’s nothing you won’t find. The following are some of the top places to visit around London for a variety of shopping experiences:
Oxford Street & Regent Street
Image source Dimitrios Bourmpos
These iconic roads have been the epicentre of high street shopping in London for decades. The abundance of store fronts and big brand name here means that no matter what you are looking for, you are guaranteed to bag it right here, whether you’re after designer boutique finds or famous high-street names, such as Topshop.
Nearest Underground Station: Oxford Circus and/or Piccadilly Circus (respectively)
Price: Varies depending on store
Opening times: Varies depending on store
Selfridges & Co.
Image source Extempore
This is the second largest department store in the UK and was opened by Harry Selfridge in 1909. His concept and attitude towards his department store was so unique that they have since made a TV series about it. It is the second largest department store in the UK (after Harrods) and you will find items from the latest designers, high street clothing, gadgets, cosmetics, jewellery, books and more.
Address: 400 Oxford Street, London W1A 1AB, nearest tube stop is bond street or Oxford Circus
Price: Mid to High-end
Opening times: Monday – Saturday: 9.30am – 10pm, Sunday: 11.30am – 6pm
Image source ahmed al bather
Founded in 1835 by Charles Henry Harrod, this exquisite department store is known for its luxurious products and amazing shopping experience. Its seven floors are filled with an incredibly large choice of items, from clothing and accessories to food, wine and home ware. If you’re in London over Christmas, we implore you to go and marvel at the enchanting window displays and sample the festive flavours in the food hall.
Address: 87-135 Brompton Road, London, SW1X 7XL, nearest tube is Knightsbridge or South Kensington
Price: Mid to High-end
Opening times: Monday – Saturday: 10am – 9pm, Sunday: 11.30am – 6pm
Another grand department store, Harvey Nichols is more of a modern affair. It is located in the prestigious Knightsbridge area, where it has been thrilling shoppers from across the globe for generations. You will be able to find all you need here, from food to fashion. For a break during you trip, visit the Fifth Floor Café and try some of their classic British meals, with a fine dining twist.
Address: 109-125 Knightsbridge, Knightsbridge, London, SW1X 7RJ, nearest tube is Knightsbridge or Hyde Park Corner
Price: Mid to High-end
Opening times: Monday – Saturday: Monday – Saturday: 10am – 8pm, Sunday: 11.30am – 6pm
Camden Lock Market
Image source @apairofditrypigs
This massive market is renowned as the creative heart of the capital. As one of the world’s most iconic shopping destinations, it draws crowds from across the globe to shop fashion, food and accessories. Here you’ll be able to find the most unique fashion pieces, from vintage designs to curious stores, such as the famous techno clothing provider, Cyber Dog. It’s also a really great place to get a bite to eat from all of the aromatic food stalls located in the market.
Address: Unit 215 – 216 Chalk Farm Rd, London NW1, nearest tube is Camden Town or Chalk Farm
Opening times: Varies depending on store
Image source Herry Lawford
This market boasts a rich history, dating back over 350 years. It was originally founded as a fruit and vegetable market but today you can find all manner of items here, from clothes, art, books, jewellery and more. This area is also surrounded by a number of boutiques and delicious dining options, so you can spend an entire day shopping until you drop.
Address: Horner Square, Spitalfields, London E1 6EW, nearest tube is Liverpool Street or Shoreditch High Street
Opening times: Monday – Saturday: 10am – 5pm, Sunday: 11am – 5pm
Portobello Road Market
Image source Martin Pettitt
Open late on Fridays and Saturdays, this market is a must-visit location for anyone travelling to London. It is still the favourite of Londoners, especially when it comes to hunting for antique furniture and valuable trinkets. If you’re looking to decorate your home or just want to find that perfect souvenir, this is the ideal place to be.
Address: Portobello Road, Notting Hill, London W11 1LJ, nearest tube stop is Notting Hill Gate
Price: Mid-range to budget
Opening times: Monday – Wednesday: 9am – 6pm, Thursday: 9am – 1pm, Friday – Saturday: 9am – 7pm
Piccadilly and free events almost every day in the Southbank Centre. And to relive sporting glory, you can take a tour around the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
- The Tower of London has six resident Ravens and legend has it if any single one of these Ravens were to leave the Tower, it would fall. There is also s a chilling story that the once King Richard III of England, had his two nephew Princes, who were ahead of him in the line to the throne, killed at this tower. This is considered to be one of the most mysterious unsolved disappearances in UK history.
- It is actually against the law to die in the Houses of Parliament (Westminster Palace), because if you did die in there you would be entitled to a State Funeral.
- The Christmas tree that is erected in Trafalgar Square every year is actually donated by the people of Oslo, Norway, to say thank you for the help they received from Britain during World War 2.
Where to Eat in London
It’s not all fish and chips and fried chicken in London, the city is now one of the most astounding places to eat, owing to its variety of foods from around the world. Home to a number of world famous chefs our list of recommended restaurants includes a number of international destinations:
Image source: Scott Dexter
If you want to experience delectable local classics, The Wolseley is the place to be. Set in art deco splendour, this European café is one of the top destinations for a truly British brunch or afternoon tea, including the famous cucumber sandwiches. The sandwiches may not be the only famous thing you encounter here, as this is a favourite destination for media types that reside in the city.
Address: 160 Piccadilly, London, W1J 9EB, nearest tube is Green Park or Piccadilly Circus
Price: £27.50 per head for full afternoon tea
Opening times: Monday – Friday: 7am – 12am, Saturday: 8am – 12am, Sunday: 8am – 11pm
You’ll discover a truly captivating and original dining experience at Amaya. The open kitchen lets you watch the expert chefs while they work and the delightful tapas-style Indian dishes will thrill your taste buds. Although this may be a little pricier than some other options on this list, the price tag is justified by the exceptional quality. Be sure to try the chargrilled jumbo Madagascan Prawn dish.
Address: Halkin Arcade, Motcomb Street, London SW1X 8JT, nearest tube is Knightsbridge or Hyde Park Corner
Price: Around £60 – £70 per head
Opening times: Monday – Saturday: 12.30pm – 2.15pm & 6.30pm – 11.30pm, Sunday: 12.45pm – 2.45pm & 6.30pm – 11.30pm
Sketch London is brimming with attitude, alongside a sensational atmosphere and décor. This charming 18th century townhouse is home to a fantastic restaurant and swanky cocktail lounge, combining delicious food and drink with the artistic talent of Turner Prize winners, including Martin Creed and David Shringley.
Address: 9 Conduit St, London, W1S 2XG , nearest tube is Oxford Circus or Bond Street
Price: £45 per person for afternoon tea
Opening times: Monday – Friday: 8am – 2am, Saturday: 10am – 2am, Sunday: 10am – 12am
Duck & Waffle
With spectacular views from the 40th floor of Heron Tower, the Duck & Waffle offers some of the best European cuisine the city has to offer. Their extravagant breakfast menu includes their famous namesake: a fried duck egg served with a waffle and an exquisite mustard maple syrup. That dish may get its name above the door but there’s plenty here that’s just as delicious from throughout the continent, with an all-day menu and a late night menu for you to choose from.
Address: Heron Tower, 110 Bishopsgate, London EC2N 4AY, nearest tube is Liverpool Street
Price: £26.65 per head for three courses
Opening times: Open 24 hours
Burger & Lobster
There’s no prizes for guessing what’s on the menu at this Soho eatery. Many great chefs say you know a restaurant is going to be bad when the menu is too big. In that spirit, Burger and Lobster stick to their specialities and have truly mastered them, with a few extra options for sides and an excellent wine and drinks selection. It’s simple and divine.
Address: 36-38 Dean Street, Soho, London, W1D 4PS, nearest tube is Leicester Square or Tottenham Court
Price: £20 (approximately)
Opening times: Monday – Saturday: 12pm – 11pm, Sunday: 12pm – 10.30pm
St John’s Restaurant
Opened in October 1994 by legendary chef Fergus Henderson, St John’s Restaurant is a gem of English cuisine. Founded in an old smoke-house, it keeps that back to basics approach in its cooking: bringing back many classic recipes forgotten by the gastronomic community and reminding everyone why they were loved in the first place.
Address: 26 St John St, London EC1M 4AY, nearest tube is Barbican or Farringdon
Price: Budget to high-end
Opening times: Monday – Friday: 11am – 11pm, Saturday: 6 – 11pm, Sunday: 12 – 5 pm
Image source: @apairofdirtypigs
One of many great Vietnamese restaurants in this area of London, the food at Mien Tay is excellent, dishing up authentic eastern cuisine with excellent portions for great value prices. This is a small place with a big following, so make sure you book a reservation to avoid being disappointed. Don’t let the modest, minimalist décor fool you. This is one of the most exciting restaurants in the city some even hail it as the best Vietnamese food in London.
Address: 122 Kingsland Rd, London E2 8DP, nearest tube is Old Street or Liverpool Street
Price: Around £8 – £15 per main
Opening times: Monday – Sunday: 12pm – 11pm
Image source: @apairofdirtypigs
A truly magical culinary experience, Borough Market is like taking a trip across the globe with your taste buds. The sights and smells make this a true treat for the senses. This is no ordinary market, with gourmet food stalls offering world class culinary experiences for a fraction of the price you’d find at high-end restaurants.
Address: 8 Southwark Street, London, SE1 1TL, nearest tube is London Bridge or Borough
Price: Budget to mid-range
Opening times: Budget to mid-range
Gordon’s Wine Bar
Image source: @apairofdirtypigs
The oldest wine bar in London very well might still be the best. Gordon’s Wine Bar opened in 1890 and has been providing its clientele with the absolute best wines from Europe and beyond. If you’re a wine lover, you’ll be like a kid in a sweet shop with the sheer depth and quality of wines on selection here. Gordon’s has been around for so long with good reason: no one does it better. There’s also an excellent selection of food and cheeses to compliment your glass.
Address: 47 Villiers St, London WC2N 6NE, nearest tube is Charing Cross or Embankment
Price: Around £25+ for a bottle of red wine
Opening times: Monday – Saturday: 11am – 11 pm, Sunday: 12 pm – 10pm
Black Friar Pub
Image source: Love Art Nouveau
This historic pub offers an authentic British pub experience, with an incredible selection of real ales and traditional pub food. There’s a warmth to the Black Friar Pub that comes from an establishment with a deep interesting history: built in 1905, the building was a labour of love for both artist Henry Pool and architect H. Fuller Clark. The result of their hard work can be seen in the Jolly Friars that can be found through the pub in mosaics, sculptures and more. This is a great place to get a bite to eat and a quick drink as you marvel at a piece of London history.
Address: 174 Queen Victoria St, London EC4V 4EG, nearest tube is Blackfriars Underground
Price: Around £20-£25 for a starter and main
Opening times: Monday – Saturday: 9am – 11pm, Sunday: 12 pm – 10:30 pm
Indian Food in London
London is a world-class city for vegetarian fine dining. My favourite restaurant is The Gate, which serves beautiful, creative Mediterranean and Middle Eastern inspired dishes. To challenge your taste buds, head to innovative Vanilla Black for unusual flavour combinations such as a dessert featuring white chocolate, mushrooms, and tarragon.
By Erin, Never Ending Voyage
Brick Lane Food Market
Image source: James Cridland
Brick Lane is famous for its curry houses but there’s even more to this destination of tasty delights if you find the time to pop down here on a weekend. At Brick Lane Food Market, you’ll find an ever-changing cast of traders, filled with great international options meeting traditional English fare for a thrilling fusion of food options. Take a short walk down the street and you’re bound to find excellent Indian cuisine.
Address: Brick Ln, London E1 6QR, nearest tube is Aldgate East or Aldgate East
Price: Budget to mid-range
Opening Hours: Saturday: 11am – 6pm, Sunday: 10am – 5pm
Set in warm and elegant interiors, Chutney Mary is an Indian restaurant with a contemporary focus. Loved by critics, the menu gives modern twists on classic favourites, alongside an extensive wine and cocktail list. This restaurant certainly has a lot to brag about. We recommend giving the Tandoori chicken a try!
Address: 73 St James’s St, St. James’s, London SW1A 1PH, nearest tube is Green Park
Price: Around £75 – £80 per head for a 3 course meal with wine
Opening Hours: Monday – Friday: 12pm – 2.15pm & 6pm – 10.30pm, Saturday: 12.30pm – 2.45pm & 6pm – 10.30pm, Sunday: Closed
The Bombay style décor wonderfully complements the delectable Indian street food that is splashed across Dishoom’s menu. This beloved chain of Indian restaurants is so popular; you’ll always find a queue outside the door. To avoid long waiting times, we recommend you make a reservation for an early or late dinner.
Address: 7 Boundary Street, London, E2 7JE, nearest tube is Old Street or Liverpool Street
Price: Around £20 for a main meal and drink
Opening times: Monday – Wednesday: 8am – 11pm, Thursday – Friday: 8am – 12am, Saturday: 9am – 12am, Sunday: 9am – 11pm
Nightlife in London
Queen of Hoxton
This versatile bar and club features three floors for all tastes in music, including world renowned DJs playing the hottest beats late into the night. It’s no surprise that the Queen of Hoxton has become one of the coolest spots in London. With its youthful, energetic vibe, reasonably priced drinks and friendly staff, this club offers good times all round. The rooftop is a fascinating hangout spot, with themes changing every year and a cool, bohemian ambience. There’s no better place to watch the sun go down on London.
Address: 1 Curtain Rd, London EC2A 3JX, nearest tube is Old Street or Moorgate
Price: Around £8 for a cocktail
Opening times: Monday – Tuesday: 4pm – 12am, Wednesday – Friday: 4pm – 2 am, Saturday: 4pm – 12 am
The Steam and Rye
Styled with prohibition era décor, the Steam and Rye is as American as apple pie. Set in the heart of London, it feels like you’re being transported to another world, thanks to the efforts of Jonathan Lee, a Hollywood set designer who put his vision into this spectacular looking club. Aside from offering great music, the Steam and Rye also boasts a terrific selection of food and cocktail options. Life is a cabaret at this unique London nightspot.
Address: 147 Leadenhall St, London EC3V 4QT
Nearest Underground Station: Liverpool Street or Monument
Price: Around £12 for a cocktail
Opening times: Tuesday – Wednesday: 12pm – 1am, Thursday – Friday: 12pm – 3am, Saturday: 5pm – 3am, Sunday – Monday: Closed.
Image Source: David Jones
Billed as the ultimate party destination, Mahiki offers a unique taste of Polynesian culture. Its décor and atmosphere is like nothing else found in this great city and its cocktails are equally unique, coming flamboyantly decorated with treasure chests, Caribbean whirlpools, pineapples, tiki masks and even monkey heads. Mahiki is a night out as colourful as its drinks, with great music and good times to be had for all.
Address: 1 Dover St, London W1S 4LD,
Nearest Underground Station: Green Park or Piccadilly Circus
Price: Around £15+ for a cocktail
Opening times: Monday – Saturday: 6pm – 3 am, Sunday: Closed
Kensington Rooftop Gardens
There’s nothing quite like the spectacular views of London from the rooftops to take your dining experiences sky high. Kensington Rooftop Gardens is a club and restaurant that offers five-star food with a world-class view. They also host cream tea afternoons for a truly magical London experience. From quiet days supping tea to partying the night away at one of the coolest clubs in the whole city, Kensington Rooftop Gardens excels at everything it does.
Address: 99 Kensington High St, London W8 5SA
Nearest Underground Station: Gloucester Road or Earls Court
Price: Around £12 for a cocktail, £52.50 per head for three course weekend dinner menu
Opening times: Monday – Saturday: 6pm – 3am, Sunday: Closed
The Lamb Tavern
This magnificent 250-year-old pub provides on of the most authentic traditional British pub experiences you can find, not just in London but the entire country. The Lamb Tavern is like a majestic piece of furniture in London’s glorious tapestry of beloved historical establishments, wonderfully located in the iconic Victorian Leadenhall Market. The food here is classic pub grub made with the kind of precision only centuries of experience can buy you, and the beer selection is just as good.
Address: 10-12 Leadenhall Market, London, EC3V 1LR
Nearest Underground Station: Monument or Bank
Price: Around £20-£25 for a main and drink
Opening times: Monday – Friday: 11am – 11 pm, Saturday – Sunday: Closed
Mr Fogg’s Tavern
This spectacular gin parlour is themed around the great explorer Phileas Fogg. Far from being a mere gimmick, this concept really infuses the décor with a wonderfully distinct 19th century inspired personality. Among their many ingenious concepts is the Gin Safari, which sees each guest receiving one and a half hours of expert tuition on the Brits’ favourite drink. You will get to taste six different gins and have two of your very own gin & tonics for only £40 per person, which is a true London City bargain! Mr Fogg’s Tavern also serves quirky cocktails with fabulously dramatic names.
Address: 58 St. Martin’s Lane, London, WC2N 4EA
Nearest Underground Station: Green Park or Bond Street
Price: £10-£15 for a roast lunch, £16 for a cocktail
Opening Times: Monday – Thursday: 12 – 11pm, Friday – Saturday: 11am – 11:30pm, Sunday: 12 – 10.30 pm
Top Tips for Your Trip to London
- Find out when Boris Bikes are doing their free days, it happens a few times throughout the year and make the best of cycling around the beautiful city.
- London is full of surprises and St Katherine’s Docks is one of the best; it’s a mini South of France in London! We recommend getting yourself a nice cool drink at the Dickens’ Pub and spend your time gazing at the super yachts.
- If you’re looking to save some money while staying in London, food is one of the best places to start. Hyde Park is an incredible place to take a picnic, in any season (as long as it isn’t raining) and you can also have some fun with the family by hiring some roller skates from the hut in the centre of the park.
- Another money saving tip is to take in the sights on foot. London is architecturally one of the most astounding and wondrous places in the world, so it would be a shame to miss any of these sights by spending all of your time underground or on the bus. There is a lovely walk that takes you from Borough to Buckingham Palace. Starting at Borough Market you will walk along the Thames, past sites such as the Globe, St. Paul’s Cathedral, the London Eye, Westminster Abbey and ending at Buckingham Palace and St. James’ Park. It’s a very long walk, but an incredible experience.
Hotels in London
Luxury Hotels in London
The Ritz has been wining and dining visitors to London since 1906; its French chateau style and world-class hosting abilities mean this is an incredibly popular place to say if you’re looking for something divine. Its patrons have included King Edward VIII and royalty and aristocracy have frequently stayed under the shining chandeliers of this historical London hotel. The hotel is located in the West End, nearby to sights such as Buckingham Palace and is closeby to popular areas such as Knightsbridge (including Harrods) and Kensington. Inside the hotel is the famous Ritz Restaurant, which has recently won a Michelin Star for their delicious dishes, so make sure to book a table if you’re staying at the hotel.
The Langham is a London hotel with a world-class reputation and seen famous figures from the past and present stay there, including Arthur Conan Doyle, Oscar Wilde and Lady Gaga. The rooms are incredibly grand and comfortable and each have a modern influence flowing through them. The hotel is located nearby to the famous Oxford Street and many great restaurants and London sights and attractions. There is also a pool, spa and sauna that all guests have complimentary access to, ideal for unwinding after a long day of exploring London.
The Corinthia Hotel in London is the epitome of modern elegance; with rich, bold, soothing colours, each and every room and area of this hotel is welcoming and highly luxurious. It is located in the heart of the city, nearby to famous sights such as the London Eye, London Dungeons, Trafalgar Square and more. The hotel has three restaurants, a full-service spa, an indoor pool and a number of bars and lounges, where you can soak up the luxury London atmosphere and meet fellow travellers.
If you want a truly memorable stay, consider the accommodation provided by the Shangri La Hotel located in The Shard. The hotel is on the 34th-52nd floor of this epic building and provides sensational views of the city from every angle. There is an infinity pool on the 52nd level where you can soothe yourself with warm waters and beautiful views during the day and night. The Shangri-La Restaurant provides top quality Asian cuisine, but if you feel like trying something different Borough Market is just a short walk away from The Shard’s entrance.
Mid-Range Hotels in London
If you’re looking to retain a little luxury but spend approximately less than 10,000 rupees per night’s stay, then we can recommend some great mid-range hotels that more than provide for your needs. The Westbourne Hyde Park is less than 15minutes away from the famous Hyde Park, so you’re conveniently located in the city centre with a bit of fresh greenery located nearby. Each of the 96 rooms are self-catering and all include kitchenettes; so if you’re looking to save a bit of money, we recommend staying here so you don’t have to eat out for every meal.
If you’d like to be waited on during your stay in London and want to avoid self-service, Park Plaza Westminster Bridge is an elegant, modern option for anyone. It has been well-reviewed and rated by previous Expedia guests and has its own Mandara Spa, where guests can choose from a number of treatments and have free access to the swimming pool, steam room and sauna facilities. Furthermore, it has five dining experiences and offers incredible views of the Southbank area where it is located. Nearby attractions include the Aquarium, the London Eye, Palace of Westminster and more.
The best part of the CitizenM hotel in London, is being constantly entertained by the designs, styles, artwork and more around you. This hotel champions British modernity from its artists to musicians and more. Its patriotic décor and boutique atmosphere mean that you’ll have a unique and memorable experience while staying here. It’s conveniently located nearby to the London Bridge area, including St Paul’s Cathedral and Tate Modern, but if you feel like staying in for an evening the on-site restaurant and bar are excellent options.
Budget Hotels in London
If you want to spend less than 5,000 rupees per night’s stay (on average), then we recommend looking at some of the more budget hotels in London. While the city is not known to be cheap, there are great budget options that will see you more than comfortable and satisfied. The Qbic Hotel in London City is located only a 15-minute walk away from sights such as The Tower of London. It’s an intriguing hotel with an edgy, modern design and an on-site restaurant, bar and café.
The Alhambra Hotel is a budget hotel with a homey, comfortable atmosphere, where you will feel at ease during your stay owing to the helpful, multilingual and kind staff. Less than a mile’s walk from the British Museum this hotel also provides a full free breakfast and a lot of help with any tours or other tickets you may wish to purchase.
You may or may not already be familiar with Tune Hotels across the world, but you’ll be pleased to find out there is one located in London. It is located nearby to the famous Kings Cross St Pancras Station, which positions it quite centrally in London and makes getting to most sights by foot or underground very easy. The hotels are simple, but provide all you will need and more including the very friendly staff.
We have an extensive number of hotels in London available for you to book based on your specific dates, location, price and more.
Despite its huge size and infamous tube network, London’s deep-rooted history and endless stories contained within its multi-layers of sites, architecture and modern development, are best explored by foot. Even as a local, I love nothing more than to wander in my own city, but more so at the hands of an expert who can drill down into a particular area or theme. ‘London Walks’ are my top choice for finding out what lurks beneath the surface of this magnificent city. You can choose everything from nightly Jack the Ripper and Ghost Walks by gaslight, the classic London of Shakespeare, Dickens and Oscar Wilde to the spies, hidden secrets to swanky neighbourhoods or the modern inspiration behind the Beatles and Harry Potter. There is always something new to learn about London beyond the top picks you read about in guides, and the true beauty of this city is in always learning something new. One reason why I can never become bored with a city I feel I ‘know’, but which still holds so much more than I can ever imagine (or even learn within my lifetime) within its old walls.
Becki Enright, Borders of Adventure
Getting Around London
Transport in London is very simple and the easiest way to get around is via the underground train system, simply known as the Tube. Alternatively, there is a comprehensive network of buses that can get you from one spot to the next. If possible, we recommend downloading the CityMapper app or the London Underground app, as it will give you the quickest way to your destination. However, if you’re unable to do this, tube maps are available at most stations and there are staff on hand who are highly knowledgeable about the area and will be able to help.
There are tube maps at all of the stations, but remember these are not geographically accurate, there are a number of stations that are actually far closer together than they may appear on this map. To save you a journey on the underground, take a look at this accurate version of the map.
Alternative methods of transport include taxis, either black cabs or Ubers, however, black cab drivers are the most well equipped to take you on the quickest route to your destination. London traffic can be quite something to behold and these drivers know all of the shortcuts and places to avoid.
If you’re visiting London in the warmer months and would rather avoid the public transport, you can always jump on a Boris Bike or Santander Cycles as they are also known. These bikes are located at a large number of stations around London and you just need your bank card to able to access them. You can pick up a bike at one station and cycle around London to your heart’s content. Hyde Park is the largest of London’s Royal Parks and is the ideal place to spend the day cycling around, without having to worry about the busy traffic of the city.
Do try out the Thames River Cruise. The guides are the best examples of the dry British humor. Take it one way only, the return leg is just the repeat of the same thing. And before you go on your cruise, explore the beautiful and majestic Central London on foot.
By Mridula, Travel Tales From India
Oyster cards are necessary for riding London buses and are the best method of payment for riding the Underground. You can buy individual tickets; however, this works out at a much higher price than an Oyster. You can buy a Visitor Oyster Card either from a tube station, or pre-purchase this online at home and have it delivered and ready to use when you get to London, which can be useful for getting you from the airport to your hotel. You can load your card with various amounts of money and it can also be used on the beautiful Thames Clipper Boats if you’re looking for a different experience for travelling around London. Visit the Transport for London website to find out more information.
Best Time to Visit London
The best time to visit London is usually in the spring and summer, however any season each presents unique and equally as mesmerising experiences. Peak tourist times are during school holidays, especially from June to early September and over Christmas. The weather can get very cold during the winter months, so that is why most people prefer to visit during the summer months.
Londoners do believe that the city was made for summer, strolling around the city and sightseeing is not affected by snaps of cold air that you will experience in winter. However, there are benefits to avoiding London in the summer, including the high quantity of tourists you will encounter and the hot, sticky heat that tends to come with the hot weather. However, London does not always experience hot weather during summer, so it can be a lucky gamble to visit then. Spring and summer mean you will always see the locals out for lunch and in the beautiful pub gardens in the evenings. Temperatures usually average between 16-23°C, but can soar up to and beyond 28°C, they really are highly unpredictable.
Winter casts its spell over London from around November to March, where temperatures can get quite frost and even often be around the 0°C mark. However, around Christmas and New Year London comes to life with the festive spirit. There is a large fireworks display over the Thames and London Eye on New Year’s Eve, which you can either watch from the river’s edge or from a number of surrounding buildings (or on television if you’re at a pub or cozied up in your hotel room).
Flights to London
Image Source: Wo st 01/Wikipedia
All that is needed to get you to London is a flight to one of the many airports nearby. Flights to London go to Heathrow, Gatwick, London City and more, from cities and airports all over India. Airlines flying to London include British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, Qatar Airways, Emirates and more. There are direct and non-direct flight options, but the average time taken to get to London is approximately 10 hours. The airports are all suited to the long haul passenger, so there are plenty of lounges, duty free shopping opportunities and tasty meals to be tried at the restaurants and cafés. Or if you need to do some last minute shopping on your way back to get a few souvenirs and gifts for the family, this is the perfect opportunity. Explore the Expedia website to find out more and book your trip.