London: a multicultural, vibrant and intriguing city
London is a multicultural and diverse city, and home to world famous art galleries, theatres, museums and much more. Its nightlife is effervescent, and authentic English pubs and charming parks help to make London a top destination.
London highlights and best season
Spring and summer are especially fun in London. The London Marathon and the Oxford to London boat race kick off outdoor events. During the August Bank Holiday the city hosts one of Europe's largest street festivals, the Notting Hill Carnival. London's Chinese community brings London's Chinatown to life when it celebrates the Chinese New Year with music, dance processions, displays and stunning decorations.
Facts before arrival
London is an expensive city. Hotels, transportation and restaurants cost significantly more than in most other countries in Europe. If you plan to use car rental to travel, take into account the London Congestion Charge. Each motor vehicle is charged approximately £11 when driving through London's inner city zones at times between 7am and 6pm from Monday to Friday.
Arrival, accommodation and transport
All London airports are well connected to central London. The Piccadilly line at Heathrow is accessible from terminals 1, 2 and 3. The journey takes approximately 30 minutes and a single ticket costs around £6. The Heathrow Express, also available from all three terminals, takes about 15 minutes to reach Paddington station, a single ticket costing abound £26. Taxis take about 40 minutes to reach the city centre for approximately £25. From Gatwick, the train reaches Victoria Station within 30 minutes from the South Terminal. A single ticket costs approximately £28. Taxis from Gatwick airport amount to about £22.50 per person when shared by 4 people and take about an hour to central London. Stansted Airport to Liverpool Street station takes 45 minutes, costing around £12. Taxis from Stansted Airport to London amount to about £100 with a journey time of 60 minutes. Luton airport is served by a shuttle to Luton Airport Parkway. From here trains run to St. Pancras for ca. £15 reaching the city within 40 minutes.
In London accommodation in a hostel costs around £20 a night, while hotel rooms are about £40 upwards. Single train tickets will set you back approximately £5.70, with day Travelcards costing between about £12 and £15. Oyster cards offer visitors discounts, but you'll need to put down a refundable deposit of about £5.