The city of subtle humor of Charlie Chaplin and hoaxes of Alfred Hitchcock. The city where the subtle style of Anna Wintour and the acting talent of Elizabeth Taylor originated. All this is London in the UK. The capital that keeps the centuries-old history of the Kingdom and inspires its future creators. Each year, more than 19 million people visit the city of fogs, and everyone finds something special for himself. Just imagine how many colors and secrets the capital keeps in itself to fascinate so many people.
History of London
The history of London has more than 2 thousand years. Until the time of the Roman conquests, it was a small settlement. In the 60s of our era, it begins to expand, and after the uprising of local tribes it burns to the ground. The Romans completely rebuild the city and turn it into the northernmost capital of the empire. She remains her until the 5th century, right up to the start of Anglo-Saxon rule.
And with the advent of King Edward the Confessor, a palace is being built here, which marked the new capital of the country. The Vikings are beginning to fight for a place well located above the Thames, which is why the city periodically suffers destruction.
In the XI century, it begins to grow with the architectural landmarks known today. The Normans, who take over the capital, led by William the Conqueror, are building the Tower and Westminster Hall. Over time, numerous churches and palaces appear in the capital and beyond its borders, from Hampton to Greenwich.
The Tudor era began in the 15th century, and the Stuart dynasty replaced it. Then the city is experiencing one of the greatest disasters – the Great Fire, which completely destroyed the wooden buildings and houses. However, he turned out to be a phoenix capable of rising from the ashes. The industrial revolution, which began in the 18th century, contributed to the development of the British Empire, and its capital, which a century later became the largest city in the world. The political, cultural and economic center of the Kingdom was concentrated here. Since then, there have been many difficult periods in the history of London: two world wars and the Great Depression – but it retained its status as one of the most developed cities in the world.
Life in London and its features
In such a big city as the capital of Great Britain, just getting lost is enough. Therefore, we decided to share with you a few secrets and features of transport, shopping, rental housing and other issues that interest guests of the capital.
Areas of London
The capital of foggy Albion is divided into 32 boroughs and London City. All the most famous sights are located in it: St. Paul’s Cathedral, the Great Fire Monument, Guild Hall and the Mansion House. Often visited by tourists is also the Borough of Westminster, where the House of Parliament, Big Ben and Buckingham Palace are located. The districts located in Soho, Covent Garden, Fitzrovia and Belgravia, which are popular for their entertainment, cafes and restaurants, were also located here. But the greenest areas in the city with many parks and gardens are considered areas of London Hekney and Haringey.
Housing and rental in London
Each district of the city has its own characteristics and zest. If you want to be close to cultural attractions: theaters, art galleries and museums, then apartments and hotels in Soho, Covent Garden or Mayfair are suitable for you. Accommodation here is quite expensive, for a room in a hotel for two you have to pay close to 120 pounds or more.
For a quiet holiday, it is better to choose housing in Fitzrovia or Bloomsbury, among bookstores and quiet streets. The average price for a room here is 85-90 pounds.
Kensington has a convenient connection to both the center and Heathrow Airport. Anyway, transport in London allows you to conveniently move around the city. Prices for a double room in the hotel range from 90 to 200 pounds, which allows you to choose a place for every taste and budget.
Climate and weather in London
As you know, the weather in London is rainy, the peak is in December, so it is better to plan your visit for any other month. Snow is not common here, and the temperature in winter rarely drops below zero degrees. If you like to travel in the warm season, then come in July or August. The maximum temperature this season does not exceed 25 degrees Celsius, which makes a summer vacation in London so successful.
The transport system in London is very developed – there is everything for convenient movement: metro, buses, trams, city trains and bike rental. The London Underground includes underground and elevated lines, as well as trains. It is divided into 9 zones and 11 branches, the central part of the city is included in the first zone. The metro is open from 05:00 to 24:00. Ticket price depends on the range and method of payment. The cheapest contactless payment.
Famous double-decker buses travel around the clock. Please note that cash is not accepted. A one-time trip costs 1.50 pounds. For an hour you can use the free ride on other buses.
Trams are a relatively new form of transport in the capital. They run only in the southern part of the city: Wimbledon, Croydon and Beckenham. By the way, since July 2018, London trams completely switch to a contactless payment system, only subscription cards and tourist cards will be valid.
This is the most common payment system in the city. The so-called Visitor Oyster Card can be purchased online, at London Underground stations or in specialty stores. It differs from the usual one in that not only residents of the Kingdom can buy it.
Most types of transport are equipped for the convenient movement of people with disabilities. View all travel options by downloading the guides on the Transport for London website. Here you can also find out in which transport the passage for people with disabilities is free, where it is allowed to travel with guide animals and how to get to the right place.
Shopping in London
You will see all the possible shopping options in London: expensive boutiques, huge malls and markets for hidden treasures. If you want to get into the focus of luxury and wealth, then welcome to Mayfair. Shopping-luxury from “Burberry”, “Louis Vuitton” and “Tiffany” – this is about him.
At Covent Garden you will find your exclusive gift. In shops on the streets, in the markets you can buy handmade jewelry, special sweets and exquisite clothes.
Everyone who likes to look for pearls in a noisy sea is advised to go to Camden. On its street markets, you can walk for hours searching for antiques, fashionable novelties and small things that will catch your eye while shopping in London.
Sights of London
When you get to the capital, be sure to take the time to visit the most famous British museums, such as the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Sherlock Museum, as well as historical places. The most popular among them are the Palace of Westminster, Trafalgar Square and Tower Bridge. Here is the top of the most popular London attractions.
The Queen’s residence is a very famous place, so it is better to plan your visit prematurely. Large halls with paintings by Rembrandt and Rubens, as well as a huge royal collection, are open for visitors. Every day in the palace there is a grandiose ceremony of changing the guard, crowds of tourists gather to see it.
The London Eye
From the Ferris wheel you can see the whole city at a glance. The trip lasts 30 minutes. During this time, you rise to a height of 135 meters and can contemplate the beauty of the historical part of the capital. In the evening, the view from the wheel is simply stunning – the dark sky above the city is drowning in the multi-colored lights of the metropolis.
Madame Tussauds Wax Museum
14 interactive zones and more than 300 figures that embody chic, glamor and incredible stories. You have the opportunity to take a walk along the red carpet with Benedict Cumberbatch and Johnny Depp, be in the same gym with David Beckham and Usain Bolt and take a picture with the royal family. And all this in the most famous British museum, Madame Tussauds.
Tower of London
One of the oldest and most famous prisons in the world where the heirs of the royal dynasty passed their last days. This place is so picturesque, how mystical. If you have come here, visit the first London Zoo and the Royal Jewelery Show, and take a walk around the Tower Bridge nearby.
The magnificent palace in the neo-classicism style has become the center of the cultural life of the capital. It hosts open-air concerts, film screenings, and contemporary art exhibitions. In summer, 55 beautiful fountains work here, and in winter a spacious ice rink opens.
Where to stay in London
London in the UK is ready to receive every guest, regardless of their financial status and preferences in vacation. The number of hotels, apartments and hostels allows you to choose the option with the ideal ratio of price and quality.
A double room in a three-star hotel in central London will cost between £ 80 and £ 100, depending on conditions. However, if you look for accommodation outside the center, you can find room options for a night with breakfast for two and for 60-70 pounds. Most London hotels have a restaurant or cafe where you can order lunch or dinner. Note that finding a place in a city with open WiFi access is quite difficult: you will require a British registration number. Therefore, you can use the Internet at the hotel. Here visitors are given a password to enter.
Apartments can be an ideal option for families or couples, because here you can either cook on your own or order food, while you will also be provided with hotel service. The cheapest options cost around £ 80 per night. Depending on the proximity to central London, the price will be higher. Apartments will cost about 160-170 pounds per day.
Hostels in London
Would you like to meet new people and remember your student years? The hostel is an ideal option for this, all the more so you can save money. The cost of one place per night is 50-60 pounds, however, you can find an overnight stay for 35-40 pounds. It will depend on your preferences: with how many neighbors you are ready to share the room, which location you choose and so on.
London has a large number of restaurants: traditional, economical, with special offers.
One of the famous restaurants is River Cafe, which is located in the Hammersmith and Fulham area. Established in 1987, Italian cuisine. The average price for lunch per person is 60 euros.
A classic French restaurant, The Square, located in the Malfair area, awarded two Michelin stars, is suitable for business negotiations. The average price for a dinner per person is 80 euros.
The traditional British restaurant “Sway” is located in the City – West End area, is an economical restaurant, the cost of a dinner for one person will cost 25 euros.
The restaurant of African and Middle Eastern cuisine “Maramia Cafe” in the Notting Hill area is decorated in an exotic style, dinner costs 25 euros per person.
The North American restaurant Chelsea is also a type of economical restaurant where you can dine together for 50 euros.
It is worth noting the restaurant European cuisine “Dance le Noir?”, Which is unique in that the dinner here takes place in complete darkness.
There is a restaurant in the City area. Cost – 40 – 50 euros per person. Archipelago, a romantic oriental-style restaurant located in the West End, will provide international cuisine, lunch or dinner will cost 35 euros per person.
It should also be noted that in London there are a large number of historical beer pubs, for example: Ancor, Black Friar, George Inn, Lamb & Flag.
How to get to London
The capital of Great Britain is, without exaggeration, the country’s air gate. There are as many as 5 airports here: London City, Gatwick, Heathrow, Luton and Stansted. Heathrow is the busiest of them, it is he who receives the largest number of international flights. How to get from here to the center as soon as possible? You can take the train. Heathrow Express arrives at Paddington Station in 20-25 minutes. The metro ride will be cheaper, but will take approximately 50 minutes to Piccadilly Circus Station. Every 20 minutes, the N9 bus leaves from the airport to Trafalgar Square.
The city is much closer to central London than other airports. You can get to it by metro or bus. Luton and Stansted are known among low cost travelers. From Laton you can reach the station in 10 minutes by bus, and from there by train to the center in another 20 minutes.
And from Stansted, the express runs to Liverpool Street and Tottenham Hale.
Gatwick Airport offers express trains and buses. The first ones go every half hour, and the trip takes 20 minutes. But bus travel will take a little more than an hour.
In Camden, Saint Pancras Railway Station is located, which receives international trains from France, Belgium and the Netherlands. Not sure how to get to places of interest in London like Buckingham Palace or Westminster Palace? Take the subway. From the station it can be reached in any direction of the city.