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London’s unique allure is impossible to define. From the dizzying wealth of Belgravia to the urban markets of Camden Town, every neighbourhood has its own unique character. Explore the world-class museums, like the National Gallery and British Museum, or the vast array of shopping options.
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Westminster, home to some of London's best-known landmarks and the seat of government. Slip through the shadows of history at The Houses of Parliament and Trafalgar Square with the bells of Big Ben marking the passage of time. Stroll past Whitehall to Downing Street (the Prime Minister's official home and office) and on to Buckingham Palace.Accommodation in Westminster Borough
Ultra-chic Kensington and Chelsea are the stomping ground of London's elite, who occupy this resplendent enclave of whitewashed villas, trendy boutiques, chic cafés and high-end restaurants. In Kensington, you’ll find some of the capital’s most famous museums, including the Natural History Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum.Accommodation in Kensington and Chelsea
Hip, punkish Camden is littered with cool bars, clubs – and one famous market. The market runs all the way down Camden High Street. Take in a concert at the Roundhouse, or visit Primrose Hill to photograph celebrities in their natural habitat. Wander to Regent’s Park or London Zoo, or to Hampstead Heath with views over central London below.Accommodation in Camden
London’s glitzy West End has many of the capital’s most famous attractions, including Leicester Square, Piccadilly Circus, West-End theatres and the shops of Oxford Street and Carnaby Street. Starting at Seven Dials, head to Covent Garden with its performance artists, markets and classic English pubs.Accommodation in West End
Kensington is a mix of residential and commercial areas that ooze class. Stretching from Old Brompton Road to Kensington High Street, you’ll find bistros, cafés and boutiques galore. Stop to admire Kensington Palace, or visit the nearby Victoria and Albert and Natural History Museums. The streets around Holland Park are perfect for walking.Accommodation in Kensington
Paddington Station is at the heart of this district, within easy reach of Hyde Park and Marble Arch. Regent's Canal passes through bohemian Little Venice with its barges, bars and cafés. Hop on a boat to Camden Lock or London Zoo, or explore the Edgware Road’s ethnic restaurants and trendy nightclubs.Accommodation in Paddington
The largest of London's eight Royal Parks, Hyde Park is 350 acres of greenery, with delightful markets and a fairground in the lead-up to Christmas. Walk along its tree-lined promenades, or rent a boat, bike or horse. Head east for the upscale hotels and posh restaurants of Park Lane, or south to Knightsbridge for Harrods and Harvey Nichols.Accommodation in Hyde Park
Affluent South Kensington has three spectacular museums, all within walking distance. Family friendly Natural History and Science Museums are ripe for exploration, and the Victoria and Albert Museum’s exhibits cover three thousand years of history. The Royal Albert Hall is a bastion of English culture, with concerts and productions year-round.Accommodation in South Kensington
The stucco-fronted terrace houses of Bayswater are a stone's throw from Portobello Market. There's a mix of swanky hotels and garden squares in this area, but the real star is further down the road – Notting Hill is full of shops and restaurants and even inspired a Hollywood film! The area around Queensway is bustling and eclectic.Accommodation in Bayswater
The brightly lit signs of Theatreland are ablaze year-round, bearing the names of celebrated actors, directors and playwrights. Take your pick from Victorian and Edwardian venues, including the Theatre Royal, the Haymarket Theatre, the Criterion, Noël Coward and the Adelphi. There are plays, musicals, operas and theatrical performances daily to suit every taste.Accommodation in Theatreland
Lined with beautiful Victorian terraces, the traditional streets of Marylebone contain acres of parks and garden. Amateur sleuths shouldn’t miss Sherlock Holmes’ legendary residence at 221b Baker Street. You’ll spot the beautiful, circular All Souls Church with its striking conical tower. From here, wander towards Bond Street’s upmarket shops.Accommodation in Marylebone
Bearing the namesake of England's famous monarch, Victoria is home to a large railway station and transport hub at Victoria Station. By day, explore the Regency style architecture and squares around Pimlico Station. At night, the Victoria Palace Theatre often features notable West-End productions.Accommodation in Victoria
The nucleus of London's intellectual life, students pass through on their way to the University of London and RADA. The British Museum’s vast collection spans continents and several millennia and has a dazzling reading room inspired by the Roman Pantheon – an absolute must-see. Explore the old bookshops and leafy streets.Accommodation in Bloomsbury
King’s Cross – busy by day, boisterous by night. Starting at the recently renovated train station, visit St Pancras Old Church (founded in AD 314) or explore the area’s industrial heritage with a free walking tour departing from the Visitor Centre on Stable Street. It's a stone's throw to Bloomsbury’s leafy squares or Camden’s massive market.Accommodation in Kings Cross St Pancras
St James's is a sophisticated neighbourhood filled with mature parks, galleries and high-end restaurants. Edged by Buckingham Palace, Green Park, Trafalgar Square and Piccadilly Circus, St James's plays host to a range of cultural and artistic events throughout the year including London Fashion Week. Head to Jermyn Street for luxury shopping.Accommodation in St James
Europe's busiest shopping street is usually packed. The 2-kilometre stretch from Marble Arch to Tottenham Court Road is an A–Z of high-street brands and department stores, including Selfridges (the UK's second-oldest department store) and John Lewis (a staple of English living). Explore the side streets towards Bond Street for sophisticated boutiques.Accommodation in Oxford Street
Earls Court is a curious collision of upmarket chic and downtown living. The neighbourhood is filled with charming Victorian architecture and residential garden squares, while the vibrant mix of restaurants represents every cuisine imaginable. Munch on crunchy Korean delicacies at Kappa, and for a bistro feast, look no further than Garnier.Accommodation in Earls Court
Beyond London’s financial “square mile” you’ll find a host of important landmarks. The Guildhall is London's historic town hall, while the nearby Leadenhall Market on Gracechurch Street is historically important. Shoreditch and Spitalfields are perfect for edgy bars, restaurants and shopping. By night, dine in elegance at the “Gherkin”.Accommodation in City of London
The glamorous residents of Mayfair have money to burn. Come and ogle at their sprawling mansions, exclusive shops, auction houses and rarefied art galleries. If a bespoke suit from Savile Row doesn't tempt you, survey the fine Victorian architecture around the garden squares or the intricate design of the Royal Arcade.Accommodation in Mayfair
The ornamental pineapples adorning the market’s lamps are a reminder of the fruit and vegetable stalls that once occupied Covent Garden, an important centre for London’s vibrant creative arts scene. See the 17th-century St Paul’s Church or explore the boutiques that line the alleys. Parisian-style cafés with terraces adorn the street corners.Accommodation in Covent Garden
A dazzling mix of bars, music venues and trendy restaurants, this entertainment district in the West End has a sparkling history and is a known for its diversity and tolerance. In nearby Chinatown, you’ll find authentic Asian cuisine, while Carnaby Street’s vintage and designer labels would make The Beatles proud.Accommodation in Soho
Knightsbridge is a honeypot for wealthy shoppers - and the postcode of choice for the even wealthier. Harrods is the centrepiece, a unique department store with five acres of shopping. The nearby Harvey Nichols food court is legendary for its gourmet delights. The park behind The Brompton Oratory provides an oasis among the stucco-fronted edifices.Accommodation in Knightsbridge
The late Victorian and Edwardian architecture lends an air of majesty to this otherwise commercial street. Admire the Shaftesbury Monument Memorial Fountain at Piccadilly Circus, the legendary junction overlooked by illuminated billboards. For shopping, head to Piccadilly Arcade and Princes Arcade – built in 1909, they’re home to bespoke tailors and jewellers.Accommodation in Piccadilly
This kilometre-long strip hotel strip has some of the best sleeping quarters in the city. You'll find chocolate-on-the-pillow hotels and a medley of steak restaurants, traditional pubs and historic buildings, including the 18th-century Twining’s Shop and Museum at number 216.Accommodation in The Strand
This is one of the world's most elegant - and wealthy - residential neighbourhoods. Belgravia’s palatial Georgian-style houses are peppered with delightful garden squares, including Belgrave Square and Eaton Square. Elizabeth Street holds a number of quirky delights, like stationers, luxury chocolatiers, bakeries and antique shops.Accommodation in Belgravia
Walk across Westminster Bridge to stand in the shadows of the Big Ben tower and the Houses of Parliament, or head east along the riverside to Tower Bridge. The Southbank Centre's popular restaurants and cafés look out onto the Thames, while the glass pods of the London Eye take you sky high for a full-scale panorama of the city.Accommodation in Waterloo
Sam is originally from West Yorkshire and has lived in London for 4 years.
The world’s oldest surviving “Grand Music Hall”, Wilton’s has been entertaining East London audiences for over 150 years. Nowadays hosting theatre, comedy and cabaret shows, guests can revel in a unique look at London’s past at one of the city’s most intriguing venues.Accommodation nearby
Ben has lived in London for 22 years and is a big fan of Italian cooking.
Start at the London Eye and follow the route along the Thames. There’s loads of street artists, the BFI Southbank film centre and the Tate Modern gallery a bit further down. There’s also a really nice food market.Accommodation nearby
Jack moved to London a year ago and loves finding its best kept secrets.
A Prohibition-themed speakeasy bar, Nightjar is a quirky venue located near Old Street. Accessed by an easy-to-miss doorway, it has décor reminscent of the era and serves unusual blends of cocktails in funky glasses. There's often live jazz music.Accommodation nearby
Sylvie just returned to London from abroad and is always discovering new things.
I love visiting Broadway Market in Hackney on a Saturday - it's full of amazing food stalls with dishes from loads of different countries. I recommend taking the Tube to Angel (Northern Line) and strolling up to Regents Canal to reach the market.Accommodation nearby
Patricia moved to London from Barcelona 5 years ago - and stayed put!
An alternative to the London Eye, this bar is on the top floor of Tower 42. It's a lesser-known venue so not as busy as other London viewing points - and you can enjoy a drink when you're there!Accommodation nearby
Louise is from Cambridge but often pops into London for work and leisure.
Dans Le Noir restaurants are good and offer a really unique experience. You are served by blind waiters in total darkness. Plus, you don’t know what you’re eating if you order a surprise menu. You end up eating things like crocodile meat, steak tartar, and fruity cocktails!Accommodation nearby
Aleks has lived in London for 6 years and loves sports, especially vollyball.
Crystal Palace Park is home to the National Sport Centre, containing many facilities but most of all – a beach volleyball court! Crystal Palace Park has also been famous for organizing a number of concerts and film sessions.Accommodation nearby
After 2.5 years in London, Susie still loves discovering quirky and cool cocktail bars and restaurants.
My favourite bar is Madison Restaurant, Tapas & Cocktail Bar which overlooks the stunning St Pauls Cathedral. It is located in the heart of the City and it is best to go to on Thursday or Friday nights which draws in the local 20/30-something professionals.Accommodation nearby
Fabio spends most of his time on the South Bank and loves walking through the city.
Visit a real British Market in Brixton Village. The people who frequent this place are trendy, open minded and young professionals, aged from middle 20s to 30s. Various options of food from pizzas, curry, Colombian to local British pub grub.Accommodation nearby
Ana has lived in London for 19 years and loves Brazilian cuisine.
I love this bright funky restuarant. It serves homemade Brazilian food with more than 30 flavours of pastel as well authentic dishes such as Feijoada and Picanha. You can also buy Brazilian groceries, meals, snacks, juices and beers.Accommodation nearby
Booking.com asked travellers...How can you enjoy the sights in London while avoiding the crowds?
Walk for ten minutes in pretty much any direction, and you'll see a stand advertising tickets for tour buses. The tickets will set you back on average £30 per person, but they're valid for 24 hours and the majority are "hop-on-hop-off- services. The routes are designed to go by every single tourist attraction (Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, Tower Bridge etc.) so you hop on the bus wherever you want, hop off it when you reach an attraction you'd like to see, and hop back on the next bus to come past (hence the "hop-on-hop-off") Some of the buses have audio guides and tell you the history of London. They're great.See all 689 answers
Booking.com asked travellers...Was it cheap, fast, well-explained? What made it so easy to get around in London?
Tube is reasonably cheap with an Oyster card. If you're going to catch it more than a couple of times it's cheaper to buy an Oyster. Buses are the cheapest though, but avoid rush hour. If going north/south within central London on the tube don't catch the circle line. You don't have to change, but it's much slower. If you want to get a seat on the tube in central London make sure you're travelling away from the big main line stations (KGX, PAD etc.) in the early evening and towards them in the early morning as most people will be going in the opposite direction.See all 143 answers
Booking.com asked travellers...What is it in London that makes history come alive?
If you've even heard of Dickens, Chaucer, Shakespeare, the royal family, Churchill, the world wars - just walking along the streets they walked on is enough to make them and their experiences jump out at you. The fact that most of the tourist attractions' tours (eg: Royal Albert Hall, Churchill War Rooms, Kensington Palace, Tower Bridge, Tower of London, London Bridge Experience, Westminster Abbey) are all accompanied by audio and include re-enactments mean that your completely drawn in to the experience.See all 243 answers
Booking.com asked travellers...Did the theatre performances in London live up to their reputation?
We visited the Globe for the second time and despite the heat and less than comfy seats, we thoroughly enjoyed the play which was magnificently acted. We noticed an actor from one of our favorite PBS shows was in the cast so it was great to see him in another role.See all 644 answers
Booking.com asked travellers...Which fine art museums should a first time visitor to London start with?
National Gallery should be your number one as the guidebook said and then start off into all the castles if you are into classical arts. The Tate Modern is one of the world's best abstract and creative art museum. They shouldn't be missed.See all 209 answers
Booking.com asked travellers...Is there more to shopping in London than main street stores?
Always! If you have the time or actually the type to look for this kind of things, you can find treasured little shops in small side streets and other kind of shopping at the local markets like Borough Market.See all 217 answers
Booking.com asked travellers...What did you discover about the museums in London that wasn't in the guidebooks?
The Royal Maritime Museum in Greenwich is part of a larger complex which is of the same standard as the better known Natural History/Science Museums but much quieter. Well worth making the trip to visit.See all 209 answers
Booking.com asked travellers...Describe what other people like you would like about shopping in London.
Whatever kind of shopping you like; London is the place for you. It has everything. From the Luxury stores like Harrods to Gothic boutiques and vintage clothing stores, to market stalls.See all 355 answers
Booking.com asked travellers...What was the most entertaining thing you saw in London?
Covent Garden had brilliant entertainers on all day. We sat in Bar 21 all afternoon watching them and had a great time.See all 210 answers
There are three ways out of Heathrow. The Heathrow Express train to Paddington costs £21.50 for a single ticket, takes 15–21 minutes and departs every 15 minutes between about 05:00 and 00:00 daily. The London Underground has three Airport stations, with trains leaving every five minutes for the 45-minute trip to the centre. Tickets cost around £6. Taxis cost from £45 to £70 for the hour-long journey. If you’re in town for a while, an Oyster Travel Card offers significant savings.
The most convenient connection to Central London is with the Gatwick Express to London Victoria – it takes 30 minutes and costs around £30 return. Faster is the train to London Bridge, with links to the Northern and Jubilee lines, which takes 30 minutes and costs £10 one way. If you're in a rush, try Gatwick Airport Travel Taxis – they take 1 hour and 20 minutes and cost around £27.75 per person. Gatwick has desks for all major car rental companies.
The London Underground is the best option for travel within London. For travel to other cities, the main stations are Paddington (which connects to the North-West and Wales), King’s Cross (to the North-East and Scotland) and Victoria (to the South). Tickets can be purchased at machines or service desks and train times are clearly displayed on overhead boards in the main terminal. All stations are well-appointed with restaurants and shops.
The “Tube” connects inner and outer London. “Underground” stops are clearly marked with a blue bar dissecting a red ring. London’s 11 tube lines operate between 05:00 and 00:30, Monday to Saturday and from 07:00–00:00 on Sundays. Buy tickets from machines inside the station or at service desks. Prices vary depending on what zone (from 1 to 5) you want to go to. Rush-hour travel can be uncomfortable and overcrowded.
London’s iconic red double-decker buses are a cheap and convenient way to see the city. Bus stop signs have a white circle on a red background and you can hail buses by waving your hand. Cash isn’t accepted onboard but you can pay for a GBP 1.50 journey with a contactless debit or credit card, or with an Oyster Travel Card. To alight, press the button. After midnight, night buses depart from Trafalgar Square – they don’t stop everywhere, so signal clearly to alight.
London's black cabs can be seen everywhere in the city. There's no need to book in advance, simply hail one from the street or stop by a taxi rank. Opt for one of the official black cabs, rather than an unmarked car. Taxis are available if the yellow sign on the front of the car is illuminated. Taxis are moderately priced, depending on how far you travel. Fares start at £2.40 which increases by 60-90p at night. Book taxis via Twitter, Email or smartphone App.
London is a busy city day and night and driving here is not for the faint of heart. There are many “congestion charge zones” that apply to drivers of most vehicles in Central London between 07:00 and 18:00 on weekdays. Charging zones are clearly marked by traffic signs and road markings, and motorcycles and electric cars are usually exempt. Please remember that you must drive on the left!
Pay-as-you-go rental bikes can be picked up at stations across the city. Pay at the docking station with credit or debit card. The first 30 minutes are free and you can rent up to four bikes at a time. There are some cycle paths and leisure routes in the city, but they are not everywhere: you must be careful in traffic. Rental costs are very reasonable – check the website for details.
Massimo is a sophisticated fish restaurant and oyster bar, boasting fresh Italian flavours and stylish décor. It's beautiful interiors include Corinthian columns and Victorian style design. Enjoy apertivo, oysters and crudo, and splash out with a glass of the best Champagne and wines from France and Italy.
Located next to Trafalgar Square and Whitehall, this family run venue offers a gastro-pub feel mixed with a traditional English bar. A great spot to grab lunch or dinner after some sightseeing, Walkers of Whitehall serves homemade British cuisine including share plates, burgers and sandwiches.
Looking over Trafalgar Square, this flagship restaurant offers healthy Thai cuisine. Boasting unique design, Thai Square features an original stone-carved façade and traditional Thai décor. Enjoy a dinner of your favourite Thai dishes, then head downstairs to dance the night away at the nightclub.
Eat Tokyo is the perfect place to get your traditional Japanese fix in bustling London. With over 40 years of experience, the chefs are experts at pumping out traditional dishes for a reasonable price. Crafted from the freshest ingredients, there's a range of delicacies including sushi, Bento boxes, teriyaki and sashimi boats.
Whether you're looking for a place to meet with friends or unwind after a day of sightseeing, All Bar One wine bar is a stylish venue with excellent meals. Located on Villier Street, you can soak in the bustling atmosphere whilst enjoying modern dishes with European flavours.
Set within the Royal Horseguards Hotel, One Twenty One Two is an award-winning restaurant with exquisite cuisine, fine wines and outstanding service. For starters, try the scallops, pork belly or Scottish salmon, and choose from a selection of main courses combining the finest British produce with European flavours.
The Northall offers an elegant dining experience, featuring a chandelier-adorned bar, leather furnishings and mirrored walls. The wide-ranging menu features seasonal produce supplied by artisanal producers, including seafood and meats from the grill. Enjoy Sunday brunch or be entertained on weekdays with live jazz from 12pm to 4pm.
Featuring dark wood-panelled interiors, the Mint Leaf Haymarket offers a sultry ambience in which you can enjoy fine Indian cuisine. This trendy, hip venue is complete with a stylish cocktail bar and lounge. The menu features all your traditional Indian favourites, a great range of vegetarian options and delicious naan breads and salads.
Set in the heart of West End's Theatreland, the Garrick Arms offers classic pub grub in a traditional setting. The open-plan venue has a relaxed atmosphere and a range of English dishes to fill your belly. Try one of the stoups - an interesting dish that's part soup, part stew.
Be greeted with open arms and a festival spirit when you head to Herman ze German. This quirky eatery is run by a German couple, a pumps out a selection of traditional delicacies including Currywurst and Bratwurst. Break up the sausage fest with classic sides including Sauerkraut, potato salad and fresh-baked Brezel bread.
As the first international branch of the Salt'n Pepper group, this restaurant certainly holds its own. Featuring a menu of Pakistani delights, the venue offers both indoor and alfresco dining on the deck. Choose beef, lamb or chicken from the BBQ grill or try one of the house specialties, like the balti or karahi.
A well-established venue, J. Sheekey is a seafood restaurant, offering the finest fish, oysters, shellfish and fruits de mer. Tucked away on St Martin's Court, the restaurant features a simple and elegant dining room complete with an oyster bar. Dublin Bay prawns and razor clams are crowd favourites.
Housed in a 1913 Edwardian style Baroque building, Villandry boasts views of Big Ben. The venue's stunning architecture is complemented by fine French-Mediterranean style menu. The emphasis is on seasonal, artisan-made produce including cheeses, wines and meats from across the continent.
A self-proclaimed 'bites and bar' venue, Assaggetti offers a regional Italian menu. Relax in the contemporary space decorated with chandeliers, oak tables and leather chairs, and share lunch with friends. Small tapas-style dishes and fine wine can all be enjoyed just moments from Piccadilly.
Shortyu Ramen is a popular, authentic ramen bar specialising in Hakata tonkotsu ramen. This signature dish is made with thick, rich pork soup and thin ramen noodles. The service here is speedy, you can dine in by sitting or standing, and there's even an express self-service bar for those in a rush.
Located on St. Martins Lane, Asia de Cuba serves up an interesting fusion of Asian and Cuban cuisine. The stylish venue features a series of columns decorated with art themes, and the menu boasts ceviche and traditional dishes. There's a rum bar, and a new experiential afternoon tea concept.
With a bistro, bar and wine room, Bedford and Strand is a locally-loved venue in the heart of the touristy Strand. This basement restaurant has a relaxed vibe, specialising in great service and honest, no-fuss food. Think charcuterie boards, artisan cheeses and continental meat share plates.
This modern, Egyptian venue is all about sourcing the best ingredients to create healthy, nutrition-focused dishes. The signature Koshari dish combines lentils, rice and pasta, topped with spicy tomato sauce, caramelised onions and boiled chickpeas - yum! There's also carb-free options, Tabouleh salads and healthy desserts.
For an intimate tapas bar dining experience, check out Condesa for a fusion of Spanish and Mexican flavours. The restaurant features trendy, moody interiors and a menu packed full of delights. Choose from the charcuteria, enjoy a range of cheeses or try the ceviche fish of the week.
As part of the Bombay Café group, Dishoom is a trendy venue serving up a quirky repertoire of creative, Indian cuisine. There's even a breakfast club, where you must try their signature bacon naan roll. Go for a meal, an afternoon Chai or a refreshing cocktail.
Polpo is a popular venue styled on a traditional bacaro - a Venetian term for a humble restaurant with simple food and local wines. This rustic restaurant exudes a vintage air and features a menu of small ciccheti dishes. Think small pizzas, meatballs, and fish and meat plates.
Follow the crowds of hipsters as they congregate at this cool little venue, serving up authentic Japanese cuisine. Set over multiple floors, Tokyo Diner is always packed with patrons eager for a bargain bite. The crowd pleasers are the Katsu curry and the donburi dish - sweet and salty braised beef and onion.
For delicious Cantonese cuisine in a simple, no-fuss venue, Young Cheng is your go-to venue. The menu offers your typical Chinese delights; think BBQ pork, crispy noodles, roast duck and steamed bok choi. You can even get a 15-course set dinner with a matching 8-course drink menu!
Leon is a popular London chain, serving up healthy fast food options. Dine in for dinner, or come any time of the day for a take away treat. The breakfast special is the poached egg pots, then there's all day dining delights with a range of lunchboxes, salads, wraps and snack pots. It's fun, fast food!
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