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
Bloomsbury Camden Town Canary Wharf Chelsea The City
East End Greenwich Hampstead Hoxton
Kensington Knightsbridge Mayfair Notting Hill
Shoreditch Wembley Whitechapel
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
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.
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, [email protected]. [Find It]
Quintessentially British Food
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
London Travel Resources
San Juan Capistrano Travel Guidebooks:
San Juan Capistrano History:
City of London Information Centre
St. Paul’s Churchyard
Telephone: +44 (0)20 7332 1456 Email [email protected] 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
London Euston Rail station, opposite platform 7
Euston Road (Exit 2)
Gatwick Airport Visitor Centre
C/O Jubilee House (Room 209c)
Greenwich Tourist Information Centre
2 Cutty Sark Gardens
Telephone: +44 (0)870 608 2000 Email [email protected] Public transport: DLR: Cutty Sark for Maritime Greenwich
Heathrow Airport Visitor Centre
Heathrow Terminal 1,2,3
Holborn Information Kiosk
Outside Holborn Tube Station
King’s Cross St Pancras Travel Information Centre
LUL Western Ticket Hall (through brick arches at St Pancras to LUL)
Liverpool Street Visitor Centre
Liverpool Street Underground Station
Paddington Visitor Centre
Paddington National Rail concourse, Platform 1
Piccadilly Circus Visitor Centre
Piccadilly Circus Underground Station
Victoria Visitor Centre
Victoria Rail station, opposite platform 8
Bexley Tourist Information at The Central Library
Telephone: +44 (0)20 8303 7777