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Visit London: Free Travel Guide to the Largest City in Western Europe Discover the Capital of England, Home of High Tea and Royalty

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Everything you need to know to plan a visit to London, England. Start with these Quicklinks to zero in on a neighborhood or popular attraction. Learn more from our introductory article and links to the local history timeline. Explore recommendations for sights, activities, food, lodging, entertainment, and festivals and events. No time to do all this online? Download a London Travel Guide or have Amazon deliver one to you door.

London Quick Links

Neighborhoods

Bloomsbury  Camden Town  Canary Wharf  Chelsea  The City

East End  Greenwich  Hampstead  Hoxton

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Kensington  Knightsbridge  Mayfair  Notting Hill

Shoreditch  Wembley  Whitechapel

Attractions

British Museum  Buckingham Palace  Houses of Parliament

Hyde Park  Imperial War Museum  London Aquarium

London Eye  London Dungeon  Madame Tussaud’s

National Gallery  National Portrait Gallery  Natural History Museum

St. Paul’s Cathedral  Science Museum  The Shard  Somerset House

Southbank Centre  Tate Britain  Tate Modern  Tower of London

Trafalgar Square  Victoria & Albert Museum  Westminster Abbey

Discover London

London is the largest city in western Europe, the capital of the United Kingdom, and the most popular international destination in Europe. It is a world capital of culture, home to outstanding museums, historical landmarks and the West End theatre district.

There are scores of ethnic neighborhoods to explore, including Chinatown, The Brixton African-Caribbean community, and “Little Korea” in NewMalden. Visit a kosher cafe in Golders Green, the heart of the London Jewish community.

London is home to four UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The Tower of London is a landmark castle established at the time of the Norman conquest in 1066. Kew Gardens is home to thousands of botanical specimens and famous landmarks such as the Palm House Victorian glasshouse, Queen Charlotte’s 18th century cottage, and the Great Pagoda. The Palace of Westminster, Westminster Abbey and Saint Margaret’s Church iconic ensemble is recognizable around the world. Maritime Greenwich recalls the height of 18th century English scientific endeavor.

For aerial views of the city, grab a ride on the London Eye, Europe’s largest ferris wheel, or enjoy the panoramic 72nd floor outdoor gallery at the View from the Shard.

These are our top recommendations for visitors to London. Why the Faber dozen?

Explore the British Museum, truly one of the worlds great historical collections of human art and culture. Highlights include the controversial Elgin Marbles from the Parthenon of Athens and the hugely significant Rosetta Stone used to unlock the meaning of Egyptian hieroglyphics. Admission is FREE.

Take a ride on the London Eye, Europe’s largest ferris wheel and the most popular paid attraction in all of England, welcoming over 3.75 million guests each year.

Tower of London. You may have to wait in line and pay what seems to some a king’s ransom for the pleasure, but no one should miss  this incredible collection of over 23,000 gems set in crowns, scepters, orbs and other precious regalia.

Stroll around among the thousands of plant species collected in Kew Gardens. Be sure to climb the famous Great Pagoda.

Straddle the Prime Meridian at the Royal Observatory Greenwich. While there, be sure to visit the Royal Museums, including the Old Observatory building and the Queen’s House.

See a West End stage performance. Enjoy one of the dozens of theatre productions on offer.

Visit the National Gallery, one of the world’s great visual art collections, displaying over 2300 pictures dating from 1300 to 1900.

Feed the birds in Trafalgar Square, one of the most famous and picturesque open spaces in London.

Explore Westminster Abbey, the coronation church of every English monarch since 1066. The current building, begun in 1245, is one of the most important gothic structures in the UK.

Take in a world class art exhibition at the Royal Academy, Britain’s oldest society committed to the creation, promotion, and appreciation of art.

Enjoy a picnic in Hyde Park, the largest of the four Royal Parks, and a popular public space for over 400 years. Be sure to stop at Speaker’s Corner to hear well crafted arguments about contemporary issues. If you’re lucky you might catch the occasional popular music concert performing in the park.

Join the throngs outside Buckingham Palace for the Changing of the Guard. A popular outdoor public event. Visit the Queen’s Gallery to view works from the Royal Collection.

Spend a day in Covent Garden, the former fruit and vegetable market now home to a shopping mall, street performers and other tourist attractions including the Royal Transport Museum and the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane.

Visit St. Paul’s Cathedral, the seat of the London Diocese of the Church of England. The 17th century Christopher Wren design is an iconic fixture in the London skyline.

Get a bird’s eye view of the city and environs from the 72nd floor View from the Shard, the highest observation deck in the UK.

Hungry? Check out these great London dining recommendations. Choose from traditional English food, international and other ethnic cuisines, or our atmosphere recommendations to find that perfect place for your next meal. If all you want is a place for drinks, check out our recommended watering holes.

Local Landmarks

Bibendum

Fisher

The Ivy

The Ledbury

Moro

Nobu

Quaglino’s Iconic St. James brasserie delighting customers since 1929. Smart-casual dress code. 16 Bury Street, London SW1Y 6AJ, +44 (0) 20 7930 6767, quaglinos@danddlondon.com. [Find It]

Restaurant Gordon Ramsey

The River Cafe

The Wolseley Grand European restaurant-cafe. Try the famous breakfast or drop in for their exceptional afternoon tea. 160 Piccadilly, London, W1J 9EB, +44 (0)20 7499 6996, reservations@thewolseley.com. [Find It]

Black

Quo Vadis

Quintessentially British Food

 

Watering Holes

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Bath

 

Blenheim Palace

 

Brighton

 

Canterbury

 

Cambridge

 

Oxford

 

Salisbury

 

Stonehenge

 

Stratford-upon-Avon

 

Winchester

 

Windsor Castle

Practical Matters

London transport information is available 24/7 at the Transport for London website or by phone on 0343-222-1234.

London Public Transit Zones

The London public transportation network is divided into 9 travel zones radiating outward from the center of the city. Zone 1 is central London. Some of the more popular London neighborhoods are listed by Zone below:

Zone 1 Central London Charing Cross  Earl’s Court  King’s Cross  Liverpool Street  London Bridge  St. Pancras  Waterloo.

Zone 2 Canary Wharf  Clapham Junction  Earl’s Court  Shepherd’s Bush

Zone 3 London City Airport  Turnham Green  Wimbledon

Zone 4 Barking  Richmond

Zone 5 Cockfosters  Edgeware Road  High Barnet

Zone 6 Epping  Uxbridge  West Ruislip

Zone 7 Watford

Zone 8 Bushey

Zone 9 Amersham  Chesham

Oyster Card: Prepaid Convenience for London Transport

The Oyster Card is a prepaid, refillable travel smart card accepted for payment of single journeys on most London public transport, including buses, trams, the Tube, Docklands Light Railway, London Overground, and most National Rail services in London.

London Underground (The Tube) www.tfl.gov.uk Most routes on the London Tube run Monday to Saturday 05:00-00:30 and Sunday 07:30-23:30. The Night Tube service runs Friday and Saturday on the Central, Jubilee, Northern, Piccadilly and Victoria lines.

London Buses

Important! London buses do not accept cash payments, so be sure you have a valid Oyster Card, Visitor Oyster Card, Travelcard or UK issued contactless payment card.

Bus routes run generally from 05:00-00:30 daily with night buses running on main routes from 00:00-04:30. Check for details at www..tfl.gov.uk/buses.

London Overground

The London overground offers train services Monday-Saturday 05:00-00:00 and Sundays 07:00-23:30 on most routes. Check the details at www.tfl.gov.uk.

Docklands Light Railway

Trains run every 3 1/2 to 10 minutes, Monday-Saturday 05:30-00:30 and Sundays 07:00-23:00. For information call 0345-222-1234.

Trains

London has a well developed train network. Trains from Paddington station serve the west country, Wales and the South Midlands. East Anglia and Essex are served from Liverpool Street and Fenchurch Street. Trains to north and central Britain and southeast England leave from Euston, King’s Cross St. Pancras, Marylebone and St Pancras International, Southern England is served from Charing Crass Station, London Bridge, Victoria and Waterloo. All of these stations have Tube stations as well.

Eurostar uses St.Pancras International.

For times and information, visit www.nationalrail.co.uk or call 0344-822-4777.

Taxis, Private Car Hire and Minicabs

The famous London black cabs can be hailed on the street or picked up at a cab stand around the city. Fares increase after 20:00. Private cars and minicabs must be booked in advance.

Car Rental / Car Hire

London is served by all of the major international car rental companies.

Be sure to check that your driver’s license is valid in the UK.

There is also a congestion charge for driving in Central London. Pay in advance, on the day or after (fee higher after). For information, visit www.cclondon.com or call 0343-222-2222.

River Services: MBNA Thames Clippers River Bus

The MBNA Thames Clippers River Bus (www.mbnathamesclippers.com) serves 22 piers, with departures every 20 minutes. Single, family and daily tickets are available. Children under five travel free. Discounts are available with a TfL Travelcard, Oyster Card, via the app and online. For information, visit www.tfl.gov.uk/river.

Emirates Air Line Cable Car

The Emirates Airline cable car runs across the Thames River between Greenwich Peninsula and the Royal Docks. It the only cable car in London.

Combination Tickets are available with the MBNA Thames Clippers River Bus and the London Transport Museum.

For more information, visit www.tfl.gov.uk/emiratesairline

Santander Cycles

Bike rentals are available from 750 docking stations around central London. No reservations necessary. Pay by credit or debit card. For more information, visit www.tfl.gov.uk/santandercycles or call 0343-222-6666.

Coaches

Inexpensive travel via modern coach buses is available from Victoria Coach Station to destinations around the UK and Europe. For information, visit www.tfl.gov.uk/coaches or call 0343-222-1234.

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London Travel Resources

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San Juan Capistrano Travel Guidebooks:

 

San Juan Capistrano History:

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City of London Information Centre
Address
St. Paul’s Churchyard
London
EC4M 8BX
Telephone: +44 (0)20 7332 1456 Email visit@cityoflondon.gov.uk Website http://www.visitthecity.co.uk Public transport: Tube: St Paul’s and Mansion House Train: Blackfriars and City Thameslink We are located on the south side of St Paul’s Cathedral, close to Millennium Bridge.

Euston Visitor Centre
Address
London Euston Rail station, opposite platform 7
Euston Road (Exit 2)
London
NW1 2HS

Gatwick Airport Visitor Centre
Address
C/O Jubilee House (Room 209c)
Furlong Way
West Sussex
RH6 0JW

Greenwich Tourist Information Centre
Address
2 Cutty Sark Gardens
London
SE10 9LW
Telephone: +44 (0)870 608 2000 Email tic@visitgreenwich.org.uk Public transport: DLR: Cutty Sark for Maritime Greenwich

Heathrow Airport Visitor Centre
Address
Heathrow Terminal 1,2,3
Wellington Road
Middlesex
TW6 1JH

Holborn Information Kiosk
Address
Outside Holborn Tube Station
88-94 Kingsway
London
WC2B 6AA

King’s Cross St Pancras Travel Information Centre
Address
LUL Western Ticket Hall (through brick arches at St Pancras to LUL)
Euston Road
London
N1C 4TB

Liverpool Street Visitor Centre
Address
Liverpool Street Underground Station
London
EC2M 7PP

Paddington Visitor Centre
Address
Paddington National Rail concourse, Platform 1
London
W2 1RH

Piccadilly Circus Visitor Centre
Address
Piccadilly Circus Underground Station
London
W1J 9HS

Victoria Visitor Centre
Address
Victoria Rail station, opposite platform 8
London
SW1V 1JU

Bexley Tourist Information at The Central Library
Address
Central Library
Townley Road
Kent
DA6 7HJ
Telephone: +44 (0)20 8303 7777

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