One of the most fascinating, most dynamic and ever evolving cities in the world, London’s always been a magnet for visitors throughout its history. But never more so than now. Indeed, it might be said that, since the turn of the century, it’s actually enjoyed something of a millennial resurgence that’s seen it skyrocket to the top places of the list of ‘world cities’. So, if you’re thinking of visiting the UK capital (and why on earth wouldn’t you be?), check out our travel guide to one of the world’s most desirous destinations…
When should you visit?
Quite frankly, whenever you like! Despite its notoriety for temperamental weather (remember to pack an umbrella), London’s spring and summer days are truly glorious when blessed by sun. Moreover, winters are becoming increasingly mild in the UK, which has ensured that visiting the capital in November and December for its traditional Christmas markets – and much more – is very popular.
Before you arrive
Planning (and booking) ahead is advised – any London visitor guide will tell you that. That means making the most of good deals for the finest theatres, restaurants, concerts, days out and hotels – especially if you’re looking to stay in one of the best hotels in West End London. Useful additional note: the type-G power plug (three-prong plug) and its corresponding outlet are used in the UK.
What’s the weather like?
As noted above, Britain has a mild but somewhat rainy climate, ensuring showers and downpours are usual, yet it’s a comfortable climate when it comes to temperatures. For instance, the coldest month is January (average 7°C) and the hottest July (average 19°C), although it can get colder and hotter than that in winter and summer, respectively.
How do you get about?
Millions of locals and visitors use the London Underground train network (otherwise known as the Tube) for travel – it’s quick and easy, although you’re advised to avoid it during the morning and early evening rush hours. In terms of payment, a day pass on the Tube’ll cost you – and your best bet’s to get a ‘top up’ Oyster card. Being the thriving metropolis it is, London’s also well served by buses, taxis, river taxis and an Overground train network.
What must you see?
The UK capital boasts a myriad of attractions. There’s everything from globally recognised art galleries (the National Gallery, the National Portrait Gallery and the Saatchi Gallery) and world-class museums (the British Museum, the Science Museum and the V&A) to the West End’s ‘Theatreland’ and a welter of restaurants, bars, pubs, nightclubs and casinos, as well as the glorious green expanses of the Royal parks and the iconic buildings of yesteryear (Buckingham Palace, the Tower of London and Tower Bridge). And all that’s just in the centre of the city where it’s more than likely you’ll be based. Head east, west or south and you’ll find even more eclectic, eccentric and unique delights to savour.