London is the capital of Great Britain and one of the most expensive cities in Europe, but also one of the most popular tourist destinations on the continent.
With its history spanning over nearly two millennia, London is already a city of contrasts, because it blends history with both modern and medieval streets, and beautiful modern buildings. The city has a population of 13.7 million people in the metropolitan area and 8,170,000 people in other regions, and annually attracts millions of tourists from all around the world. Official statistics show that last year alone, London hosted 18.6 million foreign tourists. London is also a global city, with just about 300 languages of different nationalities spoken here, and it has the oldest metro system in the world.
There are six airports in London: London City Airport, Gatwick, Heathrow, Luton, Southend and Stansted. Luton is one of the airports favored by European tourists and is located northwest of London, about 57 km from the center. The fastest way to get to the city center from the airport is the train. Although the airport does not have a train station, it offers tourists a bus to the nearest train station with a ticket price of approximately 2 pounds. Trains to London run every 10-15 minutes and the ride takes about 30 minutes.
Best Sightseeing Transportation
Public transportation, especially red buses, is the best way to visit London. For any tourist who first arrives in London, public transport is the most convenient solution for long-term and extensive city transit. The most important tourist attractions are concentrated in areas 1 and 2. The most useful option for metro, tram and bus use in London is the London Travelcard. The cost of this ticket does not exceed £2 usually. Tickets can be purchased for a day, 7 days, a month or a year.
The London Pass is another form of transport for tourists within London as it not only provides trips, but also free entry to some tourist attractions. It can be purchased for 1, 2, 3 or 6 days and the price of about 77 pounds includes free admission to more than 50 tourist guides, including the London Bridge, the St Church, the Shakespeare Theater, the zoo and many museums worth seeing in London.
The London Underground is the oldest metro line in the world dating back to 1863. The classic Black Cab in London starts with a fee of about 3 pounds, and a 7 kilometer ride will set you back around 13-14 pounds. London has plenty of cheap 2-3 star hotels, so anyone can choose to stay here on a budget.
The city can be explored by foot in areas 1 and 2, where the most visited tourist attractions are. There are dozens of museums with daily programs and free open gates for tourists. The Museum of Natural History, one of the world’s largest natural historical museums, is housed in a magnificent Gothic building and is visited by millions of visitors a year who come here to see the dinosaurs, mammals and skeleton of the Diplodocus dinosaur in the main hall.
The Victoria and Albert Museum is also on the free entrance museum list. The museum is divided into 145 galleries and is the world’s largest art and decoration museum with a collection of more than 4 million pieces of art.
But even the largest museum in London has open gates for visitors. The British Museum is the oldest and most magnificent museum in the world, with galleries divided into cultures and civilizations with a collection of nearly 7 million pieces.
You can also visit the National Gallery in London, which hosts around 2000 pieces of art belonging to international artists such as Van Gogh, Gauguin, Cezanne, Monet, Degas or Rembrandt. In all the free entrance museums you’ll be able to find restaurants and bars at reasonable prices.
The famous Big Ben
No visit to London can be considered complete without visiting the famous Big Ben clock. Considered one of the main symbols of London, it is one of the most visited places in the city and the favorite area of tourists who love taking pictures. With a height of 93.3m, equivalent to 16 floors, the old tower is located next to Westminster Metro station. In the same area tourists can enjoy another important symbol of London: the London Eye, the longest Ferris wheel in the world with 32 passenger. Don’t miss out on the chance to get awesome pictures of the city right from above the Thames!
Shopping in London
Oxford Street and the famous Harrods shop are London’s shopping icons. Stretching over 2.5 km, with more than 500 stores, on Oxford Street you can find everything you need from clothing, footwear, accessories to even electronics. The famous Oxford Street is said to be the busiest shopping street in Europe. This street dates back to the 13th century and has since had an exclusive commercial destination. Even if only a few tourists can shop at Harrods because of its incredibly high prices, the store is surely worth a visit for the unique shape and construction of the building! The Harrods area is more than 20,000 meters long and extends over 7 floors, where you can find plenty of luxury brands.