London

Capital city and home to the royal family, London is renowned worldwide for its historic buildings, museums and galleries, shopping, theatre and nightlife. Enjoy new attractions such as the BA London Eye; old ones that have been given a new lease of life, like beautiful Somerset House; and the hugely acclaimed Tate Modern.

Top 10 things to see/do:
1. Ride on the world's largest and most stylish observation wheel, the British Airways London Eye, and enjoy incomparable views of London.
2. See Tate Modern's controversial exhibits, minimalist architecture and fabulous river views - art was never given so much room to express itself!


BA London Eye

3. Get familiar with the city's famous landmarks, like Tower Bridge and the Houses of Parliament, on a river cruise or an open-top bus tour.
4
. Shop big, shop small, shop labels, shop quirky and then have a rummage through the markets, in the shopping capital of the world.
5. From Arabian falafel to Zairian stew: the cuisine of 60 different countries is represented in London, so let your taste buds loose!
6. See a medieval palace, the crown jewels, infamous prison cells and 900 years of history at the Tower of London.
7. Take in some culture with your cappuccino - in the magnificent glass-domed Great Court at the British Museum.
8. Experience the magic of the theatre: whether a Shakespeare play at the Globe, a West End musical, a fringe production or a summertime performance in the park.
9. Discover a different side to London's history, perhaps learning about the ghosts that haunt it or the famous authors who wrote here, by taking a guided walking tour.
10. Explore one of London's villages: try Greenwich via the River [link to River Cruise] with its maritime links, Hampstead's fine bookshops and fashion boutiques or the riverside pubs and restaurants of Richmond.

Royal London


Changing of the Guard

Visit Buckingham Palace, the grandest of all the Queen's homes, and remember to look out for the Royal Standard; if it is flying, she's at home. Your chance to see inside the palace is during August and September, when the Queen holidays in Scotland and the richly decorated state rooms and beautiful gardens are opened to the public. Guarding the palace, in their distinctive red uniforms and tall black hats, are the Foot Guards of the Household Division, who delight the crowds with the Changing of the Guard ceremony at 11.30am, most days in summer and alternate days in winter.


Kensington Palace has seen a succession of royal owners since 1689, including Princess Diana the Queen's sister, Princess Margaret. The palace is open every day, so take the opportunity to see the great works of art hanging in the state apartments and the fine clothes of the Court Dress Collection.
Royal weddings have taken place in both St Paul's Cathedral and in 900 year old Westminster Abbey, the site also of royal funerals and coronations.


Shopping
Look for labels in Bond Street, high fashion on the King's Road, and retro clothing in Carnaby Street. London shopping is all about knowing where to go: Covent Garden has fashion boutiques and quirky, unusual shops; Notting Hill has antiques and Charing Cross Road is lined with bookshops.
For department stores you can't beat Harrods or Selfridges: Harrods has 300 different departments and world-renowned food halls, whilst the newly refurbished Selfridges now offers no less than 7 zones of cutting-edge fashion for women.


Covent Garden

Spend Saturday browsing among antiques at Portobello Road or Camden Passage and save Sunday for the East End! Start with Columbia Road Flower Market -a riot of colour - then stroll down to Brick Lane to rummage through anything from broken sinks to art deco furniture! Camden Town, in north London is still tops for retro clothing, latest fashions, craft stalls and people watching!

Fine dining to fun dancing…
Glitzy restaurants, buzzing theatres, smart hotels and live music venues jostle for space in London's West End. The city has a truly fabulous variety of restaurants serving food of all nationalities and in all price ranges, so take the opportunity to sample a totally new cuisine like Korean or Afghan; go sophisticated with a trendy modern European restaurant or maybe experience authentic Chinese from one of the many restaurants in London's Chinatown. Make time also to have a traditional British roast lunch at a cosy pub.
Enjoy the thrill of world-class theatre, whether a big time musical, a modern drama or a classic Shakespearean production. Be mesmerised by superb opera and ballet or make your sides ache with laughter with a night at a comedy club.
Join the throng of Londoners and enjoy the lively ambience of the city's pubs and bars: trendy, boisterous, relaxed and sophisticated, the city has it all. If your energy level is still high, why not try a nightclub? Clubbing is a popular pastime and London boasts a sensational selection of venues, from the huge 'superclubs' to small intimate ones.

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INSIDER TIPS

• Buy a London Visitor Travelcard in advance of your arrival for the duration of your visit. Visitor Travelcards cannot be purchased in London and offer a fantastic value for money. Available for purchase here on-line, every Visitor Travelcard is sent out in a pack containing a book of discount vouchers and a FREE bus and underground map of London !
• Buy a one, two, three or 6 day day London Pass here on-line and gain free entry to over 60 of London's top attractions.
• City bus tours available all year in London. Tickets which can be purchased here on-line are valid all day allowing customers to hop on and off at places of interest en route.
• For regular visitors to London, why not explore a different side of London with a River Cruise? The services are frequent and each also offers live commentary in English. The one day ticket can be purchased here on-line.

For more information on Britain's cities please go to www.visitbritain.com/city