London Travel Guide & Information

London, the capital of England and the United Kingdom, has been a major settlement for almost two millenniums. The history of London dates back to its founding by the Romans, when it was named Londinium. Situated on the River Thames, London is one of the great "world cities" and remains a global capital of culture, fashion, finance, politics and trade.

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From top family restaurants, to the best attractions for kids and children, museums, galleries, parks and city farms, flights to London are the key to exploring this timeless, historical city. London is an incredible destination, steeped in culture, history, entertainment and shopping. It’s one of those cities that ought to be visited at least once in a lifetime, if not more.

London added one more feather to its cap when it was announced that it would be hosting the 2012 Summer Olympics. The city has successfully hosted the event twice earlier. From vintage architecture like Big Ben, to 21st-century attractions like the London Eye, London has become one of the most visited cities in the world.

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Things to do in London

Museums:

London hosts an outstanding collection of world-class museums. No trip to London is complete without visiting one of these fabulous museums.

British Museum: The British Museum is a museum of human history and culture. The museum houses collections and are amongst the largest and most comprehensive in the world, originating from all continents, illustrating and documenting the story of human culture from inception to present day.

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National Portrait Gallery: The National Portrait Gallery is an art gallery housing a collection of portraits of historically important and famous British people. It was the first portrait gallery in the world when it opened in 1856.The gallery moved in 1896 to its current site, at St Martin's Place, off Trafalgar Square and has expanded twice since relocating.

Must See:

Besides the museums there are host of other attractions well worth the visit.

London Eye: The London Eye, also known as the Millennium Wheel, at a height of 135 meters, is the largest Ferris wheel in Europe and has become the most popular paid tourist attraction in the United Kingdom, visited by over three million people annually. Situated on the South Bank of the River Thames, the London Eye offers magnificent views of the city.

Trafalgar Square: In the heart of London, it is a tourist attraction and one of the most famous squares in the United Kingdom, and in the world. Statues and sculptures are on display in the square, including a fourth plinth displaying changing pieces of contemporary art.

Buckingham Palace: Buckingham Palace is the official London residence of the British monarch. Every year some 50,000 invited guests are entertained at garden parties, receptions and banquets. The Forecourt of Buckingham Palace is where visitors can witness the famous Changing of the Guard, a major ceremony and tourist attraction.

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Where to Stay in London:

Being a major tourist city, London offers a host of cheap hotels, 4-Star Hotels Under $99, hostels, quaint Bed and Breakfast Inns and luxury hotels.

Mayfair & Marylebone: The area is one of the most expensive areas in London. You’ll find attractions like, Marble Arch and Baker Street, as well as the exclusive Piccadilly Circus and Park Lane, as well as some of London's most famous parks, Regent's, Hyde Park and Green Park. Travelers looking for 4-star or 5-star hotels will find them here.

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Earls Court & Hammersmith Located in West London, the area hosts numerous budget hotels and Bed and Breakfast Inns, restaurants and books stores. South Kensington is one of the more desirable London neighborhoods, replete with embassies and consulates. The area boasts premium shopping in Knightsbridge and museums and monuments.

Bloomsbury & Covent Garden This area is ideal for leisure and business travelers, as it's close to Holborn and central London. Hotels are located near lots of theaters, shopping, pubs and fine restaurants. The British Museum is also located in Covent Garden. Travelers can find some good hotels in the area; it’s also close to many attractions.

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Passport & Visa Requirements

For US Citizens:

* Citizens of the US need a passport that is still valid for at least 6 months but do not need a visa to be allowed entry for 6 months as a tourist.

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* The UK Border Agency (UKBA) is now in the process of fully implementing a five-tier regulation system that affects Americans coming to the United Kingdom. Information on the new points-based system can be found on the UKBA web site.

For Canadian Citizens:

* A valid Canadian passport is required for Canadians intending to visit the United Kingdom. The passport should be valid for at least the expected duration of their stay.

* Canadians may also be asked to show proof of sufficient funds and accommodation for the duration of their stay.

* A five-tier visa regulation system has been implemented by the UK Border Agency (UKBA).

This requirement applies to all travelers, regardless of age, including children.

We strongly recommend that you check the latest travel alerts, various airlines baggage policies and travel safety tips, before planning your travel.

* Kindly note that we take the utmost care in providing you with correct information at all times. However, the passport and visa regulations are subject to change and we strongly urge you to check the requirements directly with the US passport office and, or the Canadian Passport Office before traveling.

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When to visit London

Being the global capital for business and tourism, London is a year round destination. Most overseas travelers favor the summer months due to warmer weather.

Winter is the least popular time because of the extremely cold temperatures and heavy rain. However, tourism increases during December because of the holidays and New Year’s.

Planning your Visit

High season: (December, May to mid-September)

Low season: (January to February)

London Weather

The climate in London experiences all four seasons, summer, fall, winter and spring.

* Winters in London are chilly, but rarely below freezing, with daytime highs around 8 °C, while spring has mild days and cool evenings.

* Rainfall is fairly regular, but most often London experiences drizzles as opposed to heavy rain showers during certain months. Sometimes it snows, but rarely as much as it does outside of London.

Currency and Language:

Currency:

Great British Pounds or GBP(£) is the prime currency

ATMs are available in many parts of London – Be sure to inform your bank before travelling abroad, and another thing to note is that you’ll likely be charged for cash withdrawals.

Languages:

* Over 250 languages are spoken in London, making this capital the most linguistically diverse city in the world.