A thriving, vibrant capital city with lots to offer
The writer, Samuel Johnson, once said that when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life.
When is the best time to visit London?
There isn't really a bad time to visit London as there are countless museums, galleries and other attractions to keep anyone entertained. The Notting Hill Carnival takes place on the bank holiday of the last weekend in August, which is usually sunny. This festival comprises three days of music, dancing, street food, floats and parades through the West London borough. Another visual spectacle is the Chinese New Year celebration, moving through China Town and the West End with lions and dragons each February. April is a great month to visit and witness two special races: the London marathon and the Oxford and Cambridge boat race, covering a stretch of the Thames from Putney to Mortlake.
What you should know before you visit London
London is renowned for being one of the most expensive cities in the world to live in. Travel costs are particularly high and there is a congestion charge of approximately £11 to be able to drive a car within the inner city at certain times of the day during the week.
How to get the best out of London
It is unlikely you'll ever see a true Londoner using a paper ticket for the London underground now that the Oyster system is in place. Visitors can obtain an Oyster card for a refundable deposit of around £5 and savings on ticket prices throughout your stay will likely make up for this outlay. Buses, trains and the Tube are by far the most economical way to get around, with a travelcard costing roughly £10 using Oyster, or around £12 - £15 without.
London is extremely well connected with five international airports: Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, Luton and City. To reach the centre of town from Heathrow, take the Piccadilly Line or Heathrow Express into Paddington. For Gatwick arrivals, the Gatwick Express takes you to Victoria, whereas those arriving at Stansted can take the Stansted Express to Liverpool Street. A shuttle bus transfers Luton passengers to Luton Airport Parkway station, wth trains then heading into Kings Cross St. Pancras.
London is vast and has a huge array of accommodation options varying from hostels, which can be found for about £20 per night, B&Bs and hotels, which start at around £40.