London is one of the most diverse and exciting cities in the world, with a rich history, outstanding culture and vibrancy that’s hard to match. The city attracts 27 million visitors each year, and is Europe’s most visited city. The city was founded by the Romans and has thrived over the centuries, today offering a smorgasbord of activity, and a little something for everyone. With some of the world’s best art, entertainment, shopping, dining, and history, a visit to London is truly unforgettable.
The City of London is actually the ancient center of London and the smallest city in England; the London we’re familiar with covers the metropolitan area and is home to a whopping 9 million people. Divided into distinct quadrants, including the commercial and tourist hub of Central London, every region has its own identity. A look at some key areas to visit can help structure an otherwise overwhelming task of deciding where to go, what to see and what to do.
Arguably the city’s most notable landmark, Big Ben can be found in Westminster, also home to the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey. A surprise to many, Big Ben is the name of the bell within the clock tower and not the clock tower itself. A trip to London isn’t complete without a visit to the iconic London Eye. Originally constructed to celebrate the Millennium, the Eye is an enormous Ferris wheel offering gorgeous views of the city. After visiting the Eye, it’s worth a trip next door to the London Aquarium, home to aquatic creatures from around the world.
London boasts many lush green spaces, including Hyde Park and Hampstead Heath. In Hyde Park, you’ll find the famous Speaker’s Corner which still hosts debates, protests and performance artists every week. Located in the city’s North, the Heath offers spectacular views of the city atop Parliament Hill and covers almost 800 acres. A stone’s throw from Hampstead Heath is Camden, a well-known eclectic hotspot. Famous for its alternative culture, Camden has a vibrant community featuring international street food, market stalls with trinkets and unique art, and famed vintage clothing and record stores. After browsing the market, walk down to Camden Lock to relax by Regent’s Canal or head for King’s Cross Station where Harry Potter fans will find platform 9 ¾.
One of the cultural staples of London is Baker Street, best known as the street that Arthur Conan Doyle’s infamous detective Sherlock Holmes lived on. Madame Tussauds, the famed wax museum, is just around the corner and provides visitors a perfect photo op next to their favorite celebrity. Afterwards, escape the crowds in nearby Regent’s Park, or climb Primrose Hill for the most breathtaking view of the city.
Visit the bright lights of Piccadilly Circus, a bustling London hotspot since the 17th century. Today, it’s the heart of the West End, home to London’s biggest theatres and nightclubs, including the Criterion Theatre. The Statue of Eros in the center of the circus is itself a popular meeting point and tourist destination. Fashionistas will revel in London’s Oxford Circus, the heart of the city’s shopping district. For luxury fashion and upscale boutiques, head to Bond St. or visit Harrods, arguably the most prestigious and storied department store in the world.
London is an art and history lover’s dream, full of galleries boasting some of the world’s best classic and contemporary art. Many of the city’s galleries are free to visitors, including the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square. The National Gallery houses classics by da Vinci, Turner, van Gogh and Rembrandt, while the National Portrait Gallery next door features paintings of the world’s most famous faces. For prolific modern art and momentous exhibitions, visit the Tate Modern on the Southbank. The building itself is a must-see, towering over the waterfront. Inside, find pieces by Picasso, Klee and Delauney. On Exhibition Road in South Kensington, you can find many museums nearby. Start with the Natural History Museum and explore the ancient fossils, then venture next door to the Science Museum for hands-on activities. A short stroll to the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) will shift focus to cultural history. The V&A Museum has artwork on display alongside fashion, tools and textiles from around the world. Finally, pay a visit to the British Museum where you can see the Rosetta Stone, mummified remains and other impressive archaeological treasures.
A trip to London is incomplete without a walk through Green Park to catch a glimpse of Buckingham Palace. The palace has been home to the British Royal Family since 1837 and some of the palace is open to visitors eager for a glimpse of royal life. From outside, watch the world-famous Changing of the Guard, a tradition that takes place a few times a day and a great opportunity to witness the regimented Royal Guard.
Take in all that London has to offer from your perfectly situated Destination M residence. Located in Westminster, your residence is walking distance from shopping, nightlife, Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, theatres, museums, art galleries and other key attractions. The best in British history, culture, sophistication and entertainment is minutes from your doorstep.