Destination Guide - London

Destination Guide - London

Contrary to what the tabloids would have you believe, there’s much more to this city than a royal family. London has made its mark as a destination boasting classic manners and rebellious fashion, high tea and an even higher cost of living. It’s home to more icons than places to put them: Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey and the Tower of London, to name a few. Seeing a show on London’s West End, a stroll in Hyde Park, shopping at Harrods’ and enjoying a night out in Soho are just some of the ways to live like a Londoner.

The Basics

Currency: Pound (£)
Population: 8.600 000
Language: English
Time zone: 0 Greenwich Mean Time
Daylight savings: End of March to end of October
Country code: +44
Area code: 020
Electricity voltage: 240V
Electricity hz: 50Hz
Electrical plugs: British-style plug with two flat blades and one flat grounding blade
Mobile network: GSM

Highlights

  • Buckingham Palace
  • Hyde Park
  • Oxford Street
  • Tower of London
  • Big Ben

Events

Weather

Known for its grey, rainy climate, London’s summer (June to August) does see some sun, with the average temperature hovering around 23°C. In winter (December to mid March) the average is 2°C.


Getting there and around

London’s underground public transport network, The Tube, is efficient and economical. The taxis are reliable, however they can be expensive, especially during peak hour. There are tolls for entering the city in a car and it’s extremely difficult to find parking but a car can be a good way to see the greater area. The iconic double-decker buses are a nice way to see the city and the bus network (including night buses) is extensive.

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Travel Insider London suggestions

See & Do

The London Beat
The London beat

The UK capital is one of the world’s premier cities for live music – from rock to classical, world music to cabaret – in clubs, concert halls and stadiums.

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Royal Exchange, London
The London Walk: In ancient steps

The London Walk, devised by author and historian Leo Hollis, takes place in the pivotal locations of 17th century London. Do it when the city is thick with workers to imagine the bustle of the streets in Wren's day.

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Insider City Guide

Piccadilly Circus, London
London: Westward ho

A-listers and locals alike are rediscovering the sophisticated attractions of London’s West End.

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Shopping

Victoria & Albert Museum, London
London: Culture shops

Treat yourself to a souvenir of history or a taste of modern art. Either way, London’s museums and galleries can send you on your way with a culturally cool purchase.

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Kilgour, London
London bespoke: Suits you

Gentlemen: the best in British bespoke from Savile Row, the epicentre of London’s sartorial splendour.

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London: Hooked on classics
London: Hooked on classics

For all matters fashion, lovers of heirloom clothing will find no greater treasure trove than London. Here, some of the very best vintage sellers in the metropolis.

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Food & Drink

London gourmet
London gourmet: Fun of the fare

Join acclaimed food writer Jill Dupleix on a gourmet odyssey through London’s best providores, stopping for markets and food halls, foodie gifts, casual lunches and delectable picnic hampers.

Bar Shu, London.
Neil Perry: London hit list

From award-winning offal to a famous Fat Duck and fabulous game, Neil Perry discovers that London has considerable gastronomic attraction on all levels of dining.

Accommodation

London calling: Serviced accommodation in the English capital.
London calling

A serviced apartment in the English capital will add a new dimension to your stay – and save you money.

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Further reading

Here are some suggestions for other destinations around the UK.

Comments

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  • Comments
    Showing 6 of 6 comments
  • Any more recent updates on good places to stay (central, boutique)?
    Reply to SteveS
    • London is so accessible by public transport you dont need to be right in the very centre-anywhere out to zone 4 is fine. Buy offpeak day tickets (most economical way) for trains and you can get a choice of heaps of 2for1 entries to many major attractions.
  • For business travellers to London the cheapest west end hotel would be Copthorne Tara Hotel, Knightsbridge. Or try the Millenium Hotel in Mayfair. High standards at both for reasonable rates.
    Reply to McGeachy
    • Any advice for a family of 4 with 2 kids under 12?
  • For great tours take a London Walk - 2 hours of easy walking, lead by some great characters who really know their subject, for under £10.
  • My tips are: 1. The Little French Restaurant at Earls Court - lovely little restaurant and fantastic value. We got 3 courses for 10 pounds each. 2. The Norfolk pub near Russell Square has a really good menu. 3. Do the tour of the Globe Theatre and attend a Shakespearean play there for a unique experience. 4. Go to the Cabinet War Rooms at Westminster. A must for history buffs.
  • Really liked the advice about cabin crew accommodation around the major cities. Where do Qantas cabin crew choose to stay in London when not working?
  • Didn't organize any part of our 2mth stay in UK-just hired a car and drove...and drove!! Surprised at how easy it was and had no trouble with accommodation.Thanks Qantas for a wonderful 22 hrs there &back. Loved the plane(A380)-loved the staff-loved the food-loved that the hubby is happy to do it all again!!

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