Home to more than 8m people, including the most well-known Royal Family in the world, London is a fascinating city where wonderful history and the cutting edge collide. Indeed, it is a city where you can quite literally be looking at the world famous Houses of Parliament and Big Ben, only to turn around to see the enormous and futuristic Shard skyscraper looming over the city with viewing platforms situated on the 68-72nd floors make this a must see.
Of course, history is a big draw for almost anyone visiting London so be sure to collect a local guide book to help you find the best sights dotted around the city – although thankfully many of the main examples can be found either lining the River Thames or just beyond it. Indeed, a trip on the London Eye observation wheel is an excellent way to get a feel for the London skyline.
For lovers of fine architecture, Westminster Abbey – famously the centre of attention during the Royal Wedding – is well worth a visit, as is St. Paul’s Cathedral. Those interested in royalty would also do well to make time to visit the Tower of London to inspect the Crown Jewels – and of course no trip to London is complete without visiting Buckingham Palace.
Science and culture is also extremely well provided for in London, with many museums and galleries playing host to collections of global importance. The British Museum with its world collection is an obvious starting point, but the Victoria & Albert Museum is also an excellent choice – although setting a few hours aside for both is a must. Lovers of contemporary art will certainly enjoy the Tate Modern, an exceptional modern collection situated on the South Bank.
London is also a major shopping capital, home to celebrated department stores such as Harrods as well as a wealth of local, independent boutiques and even major outdoor markets such as the one in Camden. Foodies would do well to seek out Borough Market for its mix of street food and fresh produce.
Speaking of food, London is also renowned for the quality and diversity of its restaurants. From fine dining in exclusive areas such as Knightsbridge to finding a casual bite to eat, London is a gourmand’s dream come true. Why not try the city’s famous local delicacy – pie, mash and parsley sauce? A side of jellied eels is optional!