London - Destination Overview

About London

Noisy, vibrant and truly multicultural, London is a megalopolis of people, ideas and over pouring energy. London is a melting pot of cultures, royalty, history and grandeur with a cosmopolitan edge. A timeless beauty with spectacular sights like Big Ben, the Buckingham Palace, the Tower of London, St. Paul's Cathedral, the Westminster Abbey and the London Eye, London city is exhilarating and intimidating. London possesses a global essence as well as an age old charm. Its unique beauty lies in its cobbled streets and old buildings and the medley of people, cuisines and lifestyle, which also makes it one of the most modern cities in the world.

A city of many faces, at London, you will never get bored. A city with such schizophrenic traits can be nothing short of the extraordinary to explore.

Places to See in London

There are so many things to 'see' and 'do' in London that when people spend their time only visiting Madam Tussaud's museum and getting photographed at Piccadilly Circus (thank you, Bollywood), it seems to be a real shame. So do get a picture clicked with Angelina Jolie's, or Johnny Depp's wax statue we say, but do not return from London without having tried these activities we have enlisted to discover, really discover, this beautiful city. Get extra batteries for your camera, your sturdiest umbrella, your most comfortable boots, a tube map, and get going.

There is a lot to do in London, the city of many faces. Art galleries like Tate Modern, Tate Britain, the Royal Academy, and the National Gallery are some of the best in the world, and give a true glimpse at London's history and world art. Other than the Big Ben, the Buckingham Palace, the Tower of London, St Paul's Cathedral, and the Westminster Abbey, the Houses of Parliament, there is also the London Eye. This hi-tech marvel is a 135 metres high observation wheel that takes you for a 30 minute round allowing you to see over 55 landmarks. This experience combined with the Thames cruise, gives you a rewarding experience of London's spectacular sights.

The city also has more parkland than most capitals of the world, and they are a splendid way to while away a lazy afternoon enjoying the local culture. You should also try to attend one of Shakespeare's plays at the Globe Theatre, or just see it and recreate the details with the excellent tour service available. Also try to visit the Windows on the World on the top floor of the Hilton, where you can get an unparalleled view of London's skyline.

Places to Eat in London

London has some of the best restaurants in the world, with varied cuisines, from Ethiopian to Japanese available. Fusion is always an alternative. Some relatively authentic Indian food can be found quite easily. If you have heard about it, and want to indulge in a hearty English breakfast, try it at The Wolseley.

The nightlife of London is everything you want it to be: from wild to sedate to soothing. Whether it's dancing, drinking, listening or watching that really gets you going, London provides it all, with some of the best bars, pubs, operas, concerts, and stadiums in the world.

Fast Facts of London

Main Language: English. You will find varying degrees of accent spoken here.

When to Go: The English weather is very dull. It remains cloudy throughout the year and rains almost everyday. Though the Londoners will call their weather pleasant, for those going from the tropical countries, it is cold there. The best time to visit London is between April and September to enjoy the lovely English sun.

Local Transport: Living in London is an expensive affair, so if you are accustomed to cars and cabs, tread cautiously, lest it burns a hole in your pocket! However, the most efficient and convenient method of getting around is the Underground or the tube, as it is popularly called. Tube stations are nicely spread out and there is a tube to every point in the city every 3 minutes! Besides the tube, the DLR, buses and trams are also available. Refer to Transport For London for the latest information and routes, as well as help in planning your journey or buying tickets, etc. If you feel lost you can call TFL 24 hours at 020 7222 1234, and tell them where you are. The lady on the other side will tell you exactly where to go and what to do to reach your destination.

Tickets are available at the stations at ticket machines as well as manned booths and they accept cards as well as cash. But if you want to avoid standing in the queue, look out for neighborhood provision stores that sell tube tickets too. Keep in mind that London is divided into six zones - six concentric circles that cover the city. It's a good bargain to buy an all day pass for zones you are going to be covering. For instance, a day pass for zones 1 and 2 will cost you £4.30 and will give you unlimited access to tube, train, DLR, bus and tram rides in zones 1 and 2 for the entire day, until 4:30 am of the following day. If you are going to be in London for more than 5 days, getting an Oyster card made is a good bargain.

Phone code: +4420

Currency: Pound Sterling (GBP), 1 GBP is approximately 80 Indian Rupees (INR)

Voltage: 220 V / 240 V

Time Zone: GMT 0:0 hours and IST-5:30 hours. Summer (Daylight Savings): GMT+1 hour