London Travel Guide

London Capital of England

London, the capital of England and the United Kingdom, is a 21st-century city with history stretching back to Roman times. At its centre stand the imposing Houses of Parliament, the iconic ‘Big Ben’ clock tower and Westminster Abbey, site of British monarch coronations. Across the Thames River, the London Eye observation wheel provides panoramic views of the South Bank cultural complex, and the entire city.Sir Christopher Wren’s 17th-century St. Paul’s Cathedral towers above ‘The City’, where London’s global Stock Exchange conducts its business. Royal sites include Buckingham Palace, housing the monarch’s main residence and offices, and the Tower of London, a former prison that’s home to the Crown Jewels. The British Museum, National Gallery, Tate Britain and Tate Modern explore local and international history and art. West End theatres present classic and cutting-edge drama. Covent Garden, Soho and Spitalfields Market are popular dining and shopping areas. Major public spaces include Trafalgar Square, Hyde Park and Hampstead Heath.

Big Ben

London’s iconic national timepiece

16-storey Gothic clocktower and national symbol at the Eastern end of the Houses of Parliament.

Buckingham Palace

Home of the British Queen & State Rooms

Visitors can tour the palace’s opulent private and state rooms or watch the changing of the guard.

Coca-Cola London Eye

Iconic riverside observation wheel

Huge observation wheel giving passengers a privileged bird’s-eye view of the city’s landmarks.

Tower of London

Medieval castle housing the Crown Jewels

Centuries of bloody history around a medieval castle, home to Crown Jewels and iconic Beefeaters.

Tower Bridge

Iconic Victorian turreted bridge

Panoramic views from high level walkways and behind-the-scenes access to original lifting machinery.

The British Museum

A historian’s treasure trove

Huge showcase for global antiquities, including Egyptian mummies and ancient Greek sculptures.

Hyde Park

Acres of greenery in Central London

Huge green space, home to Diana Memorial Fountain, with boating and swimming in the Serpentine lake.

Westminster Abbey

Gothic church & site for coronations

Protestant abbey hosting daily services and every English and British coronation since 1066.

St. Paul’s Cathedral

Iconic cathedral’s churchyard & garden

Churchyard and gardens outside Saint Paul’s cathedral, with a floor-plan of the original building.

Palace of Westminster

Iconic home of UK parliament

Neo-Gothic masterpiece and seat of the UK government. Guided tours on Saturdays and in summer.

Trafalgar Square

Nelson’s Column, fountains & lions

Nelson’s Column rises above this iconic square’s LED-lit fountains, artworks and lion statues.

River Thames

Rivers, estuaries, clock towers, and canals

The River Thames, known alternatively in parts as the Isis, is a river that flows through southern England including London. At 215 miles, it is the longest river entirely in England and the

Covent Garden

Shopping hub & Royal Opera House

Covent Garden is in the West End, London’s main theatre and entertainment area. Tourists fill its elegant, car-free Piazza, home to fashion stores, crafts at the Apple Market and the Royal Opera

Natural History Museum

Natural phenomena & hands-on activities

Landmark museum of animals and natural phenomena, with hands-on exhibits and animatronic dinosaurs.

The National Gallery

Major art from 13th to 19th centuries

Trafalgar Square art museum whose masterworks trace the development of Western European painting.

The Shard

306m-high glass & steel tower with views

87-floor glass skyscraper with a jagged peak, with restaurants, offices, hotel and viewing platform.

Piccadilly Circus

Bustling Theatreland traffic junction

Buzzing Theatre-district square with giant neon signs & the 19th-c. Shaftesbury Memorial Fountain.

Tate Modern

Contemporary art & cafe with river views

Modern-art gallery with international works on display, plus a cafe with panoramic river views.

Madame Tussauds London

Wax museum featuring notable celebrities

Museum chain for life-size wax replicas of famous celebrities & historic icons in themed galleries.

Oxford Street

Shopping and fashion

Oxford Street is a major road in the City of Westminster in the West End of London, running from Tottenham Court Road to Marble Arch via Oxford Circus. It is Europe’s busiest shopping street,

London Bridge

1970s bridge spanning the River Thames

Concrete pedestrian and traffic bridge that gave a major railway station its name.

Kensington Palace

Royal museum in state residence

Royal palace and gardens, with exhibits on former residents like Queen Victoria and Princess Diana.

Victoria and Albert Museum

World-class decorative art & design

Blockbuster exhibitions and permanent decorative arts collection, with design shop and ornate cafe.

The Regent’s Park

Cafe & sport centre with changing rooms

Modern, glass-clad cafe and sports administrative centre, with pitches and changing rooms.

Borough Market

Fresh produce & groceries

Huge market under the railway lines, for British-reared meat and artisanal baked and dairy goods.

Camden Town

Camden Market shops & live music

Camden Town is famed for its market, a warren of fashion and curiosities by the Regent’s Canal. A haven of counter culture, the area is popular with tourists, teenagers and punks. The thriving

South Bank

Southbank arts complex & London Eye

Right beside the River Thames, the South Bank is a dynamic area at the heart of London’s cultural scene. The Southbank Centre, National Theatre and BFI film theatre are all world-class arts venues

Notting Hill

Portobello Road market & annual Carnival

Notting Hill is a vibrant, trendy area. Casual cafes line bohemian Portobello Road, famed for its busy market selling antiques and vintage fashion. Filmgoers relax in posh armchairs at the Electric

St James’s Park

Royal park hosting Trooping the Colour

Green space with a lake with daily pelican feeding, a grass-roofed cafe and ceremonial displays.

Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

Plants from the Arctic to the Tropics

Trees and flowers from around the globe in vast gardens with huge greenhouses and Treetop Walkway.

Hampton Court Palace

Henry VIII’s royal palace & grounds

Famous seat of Henry VIII and his many wives, this palace received elegant Stuart-era modernisation.

Soho

Buzzy area for West End theatre & dining

The energetic streets of Soho, in the West End, feature an eclectic mix of dining, nightlife and shopping options. Dean, Frith, Beak and Old Compton streets are the epicentre of activity day

Royal Observatory Greenwich

Astronomy centre on the Prime Meridian

Wren’s 18th-century astronomical observatory on the Prime Meridian, now a museum with a planetarium.

ZSL London Zoo

Gorillas, giraffes, penguins & tigers

Major city zoo and research centre helping to conserve numerous species in naturalistic habitats.

Camden Market

Stalls & shops with an alternative bias

Eclectic market with youthful vibe and stalls/shops selling fashion and accessories, music and more.

Millennium Bridge

Steel suspension bridge for pedestrians

Elegant steel suspension footbridge crossing the Thames from the Tate Modern to St Paul’s Cathedral.

Kensington Gardens

Green expanse west of Hyde Park

Expansive park containing Kensington Palace and the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Playground.

The London Dungeon

Hi-tech haunted house attraction

Costumed actors and themed fairground rides depicting macabre stories from London’s past.

Leicester Square

William Shakespeare and theatre

Leicester Square is a pedestrianised square in the West End of London, England. It was laid out in 1670 and is named after the contemporary Leicester House, itself named after Robert Sidney,

Shakespeare’s Globe

Replica of circular Elizabethan theatre

Oak-and-thatch replica of original Elizabethan theatre, showing Shakespeare plays in the open air.

SEA LIFE London Aquarium

Aquarium, jellyfish, penguin, and seahorse

The Sea Life London Aquarium is located on the ground floor of County Hall on the South Bank of the River Thames in central London, near the London Eye. It opened in March 1997 as the London

Churchill War Rooms

Churchill’s WWII underground offices

Secret underground headquarters where Prime Minister Winston Churchill lived and worked during WWII.

Monument to the Great Fire of London

311-step, Great Fire of London memorial

Sir Christopher Wren-designed column commemorating London’s Great Fire, with a viewing platform.

Portobello Road

Market and shopping

Portobello Road is a street in the Notting Hill district of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in west London. It runs almost the length of Notting Hill from south to north, roughly

Museum of London

London stories from prehistory to today

Artifacts and interactives chronicle London’s turbulent history from pre-Roman to modern times.

Science Museum

Hands-on exhibits in dozens of galleries

A vast treasury of science and invention, famous for its state-of-the-art interactive exhibits.

Richmond Park

Huge royal park & nature reserve

Expansive walled park, originally a 17th-century hunting ground and still home to hundreds of deer.

Hampstead Heath

Hilltop park with woodland & city views

Green oasis for recreation, with swimming ponds, woodland and city views from Parliament Hill.

Central London

Shopping

Central London is the innermost part of London, in the United Kingdom, spanning several boroughs. Over time, a number of definitions have been used to define the scope of central London for statistics

National Maritime Museum

The history of Britain at sea

Exploring British naval history, with a ship simulator, nautical oddities and interactive games.