Travel to London. London is the capital of England and the United Kingdom , the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for twmillennia, its history going back to its founding by the Romans, who named it Londinium. London’s ancient core, the City of London, largely retains its square-mile mediaeval boundaries. Since at least the 19th century, the name London has also referred to the metropolis developed around this core. The bulk of this conurbation forms the London region and the Greater London administrative area, governed by the elected Mayor of London and the London Assembly.
London is a leading global city, with strengths in the arts, commerce, education, entertainment, fashion, finance, healthcare, media, professional services, research and development, tourism and transport all contributing to its prominence. It is the world’s leading financial centre alongside New York City and has the fifth-largest metropolitan area GDP in the world, and the largest in Europe. London has been described as a world cultural capital. It is the world’s most-visited city and has the world’s largest city airport system measured by passenger traffic. London’s 43 universities form the largest concentration of higher education in Europe. In 2012 London became the first city to host the modern Summer Olympic Games three times.
London has a diverse range of peoples and cultures, and more than 300 languages are spoken within its boundaries. In March 2011, London had an official population of 8,174,100, making it the most populous municipality in the European Union, and accounting for 12.5% of the UK population. The Greater London Urban Area is the second-largest in the EU with a population of 8,278,251, while London’s metropolitan area is the largest in the EU with an estimated total population of between 12 million and 14 million. London had the largest population of any city in the world from around 1831 to 1925.
London contains four World Heritage Sites: the Tower of London; Kew Gardens; the site comprising the Palace of Westminster, Westminster Abbey, and St Margaret’s Church; and the historic settlement of Greenwich (in which the Royal Observatory marks the Prime Meridian, 0° longitude, and GMT). Other famous landmarks include Buckingham Palace, the London Eye, Piccadilly Circus, St Paul’s Cathedral, Tower Bridge, Trafalgar Square and Wembley Stadium. London is home to numerous museums, galleries, libraries, sporting events and other cultural institutions, including the British Museum, National Gallery, Tate Modern, British Library, Wimbledon, and 40 West End theatres. The London Underground is the oldest underground railway network in the world and the second-most extensive (after the Shanghai Metro).
Top 10 London Attractions Accessibility
The world-famous British Museum exhibits the works of man from prehistoric to modern times from around the world. Highlights include the Rosetta Stone, the Parthenon sculptures, and the mummies in the Ancient Egypt collection. Entry is free but special exhibitions require tickets
Sitting grandly on the banks of the Thames is Tate Modern, Britain’s national museum of modern and contemporary art. Its unique shape is due to its previously being a power station. Inside you’ll find temporary exhibitions by top artists from Damien Hirst to Gauguin. The gallery’s restaurants offer fabulous views across the city. Entry is free
The crowning glory of Trafalgar Square, London’s National Gallery is a vast space, filled to the rafters with Western European paintings from the 13th to the 19th centuries. In this iconic art gallery you can find works by masters such as Van Gogh, da Vinci, Botticelli, Constable, Renoir, Titian and Stubbs. Entry is free.
As well as the permanent (and permanently fascinating!) dinosaur exhibition, the Natural History Museum boasts a collection of the biggest, tallest and rarest animals in the world. See a life-sized Blue Whale, a 40-million-year-old spider, and the beautiful Central Hall. Entry is free but special exhibitions require tickets.
The EDF Energy London Eye is a major feature of London’s skyline. It is the world’s highest observation wheel, with 32 capsules, each weighing 10 tones, and holding up to 25 people. Climb aboard for a breathtaking experience, with unforgettable views of more than 55 of London’s most famous landmarks – all in just 30 minutes.
From the future of space travel to asking that difficult question, “Who am I?” the Science Museum makes your brain perform Olympic-standard mental gymnastics. See, touch and experience the major scientific advances of the last 300 years; don’t forget the awesome Imax cinema. Entry is free but some exhibitions require tickets.
The Victoria and Albert Museum celebrates art and design with 3,000 years worth of amazing artifacts from around the world. A real treasure trove of goodies, you never know what you’ll discover next: furniture, paintings, sculpture, metalwork, and textiles, the list goes on and on… Entry is free but special exhibitions require tickets.
At Madame Tussauds, you’ll come face-to-face with some of the world’s most famous faces. From Shakespeare to Britney, you’ll meet influential figures from showbiz, sport, politics and even Royalty. Sing along with Kylie; strike a penalty with Rooney or receive a once-in-a-lifetime audience with Her Majesty the Queen.
Visit the world’s largest maritime museum, the historic Queen’s House, and the Royal Observatory Greenwich: all now part of the Royal Museums Greenwich. Stand astride the Prime Meridian, touch a meteorite, and see the stars in the planetarium. Some are free to enter; some charges apply.
Take a tour with one of the Yeoman Warders around the Tower of London, one of the world’s most famous buildings. Discover its 900-year history as a royal palace, prison and place of execution, arsenal, jewel house and zoo! Gaze up at the White Tower, tiptoe through a medieval king’s bedchamber and marvel at the Crown Jewels. Travel to London and enjoy a great experience.