London - Metropolis with Royal Charm
London is a city which quickly wins the hearts of all travellers with its diversity and its royal charm. Everyone who has ever been here comes back again because the great variety of culture, shopping, cuisine, nightlife and unique attractions makes every trip to the metropolis an eventful and exciting experience.
Geography - The city at the Thames
London, the capital of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, lies in the south-east of England. The city has about 8.4 million inhabitants and an area of 1,572 km². Its metropolitan region even has a population of 14 million people and an area of 8,382 km². London is divided into 32 boroughs in addition to the City of London in the heart of the city. Besides these boroughs, London can be divided into Inner London and Greater London. One of London's landmarks is the River Thames, which separates the city into two parts. About 16 million tourists come to the metropolis every year. London is the most frequently visited city in Europe next to Paris. It lies in the temperate climate zone and usually has warm summers and mild winters. The warmest month is July and the coldest one is January.
Culture - Following the traces of monarchy
Wherever you look in London, there is something to see. The city is filled with sights and attractions. The best-known ones are without doubt Big Ben with the adjacent Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey, the Tower Bridge, St Paul's Cathedral and Buckingham Palace. The latter is the official residence of the royal family and is mainly used for state occasions. Between April and the end of July, Buckingham Palace attracts many visitors with the Changing of the Guards on the courtyard, which takes place daily at 11.30 a.m. During the rest of the year, this only happens every second day. The Tower of London has served as a place of residence for the monarchs as well as an armoury, prison and archive. Today, it is a museum which contains the crown jewels. Directly at Hyde Park, you find Kensington Palace, which is often used by members of the royal family. A special highlight is the London Eye, a big wheel which is 135 metres high, from which you can enjoy a breathtaking view of the city on a 30 minute ride. There is a great number of museums all over London. Worthwhile examples are the Natural History Museum, the Tate Gallery of Modern Art, the National Gallery, the Royal Greenwich Observatory, the National Maritime Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum, the world's greatest and most significant museum for design and art. Other crowd pullers are the wax museum of Madame Tussauds and the chamber of horrors of the London Dungeon.
Experience - Oxford Street, Harrods and Piccadilly Circus
London is a culinary challenge - not because there is little to chose from but because travellers are spoilt for choice. It is a good idea to take part in a Food Tour through London. You also find countless shopping facilities. Oxford Street, which is two kilometres long, accommodates all renowned British fashion shops, Kensington High Street contains numerous expensive designer shops, while Camden Town and Soho offer alternative fashion. Other popular locations are the Covent Garden Market and the Borough Market. The latter is one of the city's oldest food markets. A world-famous building is the large department store Harrods. Travellers who want to take a break from the vibrant city life find tranquillity in Hyde Park, Regent Park, St. James's Park or London Zoo. As soon as the sun goes down, the British capital transforms into a sea of lights, which you can marvel at from the distance or at close range. The streets do not get empty. Onn the contrary, places like Piccadilly Circus and Trafalgar Square are popular meeting points to set out into London's exciting nightlife. You can visit the many pubs, which you saw on a pub tour in the afternoon but there is also a variety of bars and night clubs. Furthermore, the city offers a wide range of entertainment facilities with various musicals, concerts and theatre performances, for example in the Royal Albert Hall or Shakespeare's Globe Theatre.
Activities - Sightseeing on foot or by tube
London is full of attractions and locations which are worth seeing. Many film-makers have discovered the city's potential. Numerous films and series were filmed here, whose traces you can follow on a wide range of tours. Examples are Harry Potter, James Bond, Jack the Ripper and Sherlock Holmes. In addition, travellers can visit the shooting locations of films like Bridget Jones and Paddington Bear or series such as Doctor Who and Downton Abbey. Other popular attractions are the Beatles Walking Tour, the London Ghost Tour or the Crime and Mystery Walking Tour. If you want to explore the city under your own steam rather than on a tour, you can do this by bike, tube, on foot or with one of the typical red hop-on/hop-off buses or the black cabs. Holidaymakers can discover several treasures on a stroll along the Thames. The Thames itself also offers a wonderful view of the city. A boat trip, during which you shoot under the gigantic Tower Bridge, is definitely worth your while. Adrenaline junkies have the opportunity to cross the river in a high-speed boat. Outside of London, travellers find attractions like Stonehenge, Windsor Castle, Hampton Court Palace, Warwick Castle or the universities of Oxford and Cambridge, which you can visit on a day trip.
What would a visit to London be like without a ride on the London Underground? The tube, as it is commonly called, is the world's oldest underground railway and has the greatest railway network in the whole of Europe. It is an excellent way of getting from one place to another within the city. The bus network is well-developed too. You reach London's six airports (Heathrow, Gatwick, Luton and Stansted, London-City and London-Southend) by train, bus or taxi.
London is one of the most popular city trip destinations on earth. It does not matter which continent travellers come from, the metropolis at the Thames fascinates culture enthusiasts, connoisseurs, party goers and shopaholics.