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Traveling to London: Everything You Need to Know

Flights to London

London is home to a number of major airports including Heathrow, located 27 km to the southwest of central London, Gatwick, 47 km south, Stansted, 60 km north east, London City Airport, 10 km east and London Luton 60 km north of the city. London is a major hub with most international and budget European carriers serving the city, including British Airways, United, Emirates, Ryanair and Easyjet. Those arriving at Heathrow can travel to London centre via underground or overground on the Heathrow Express. Those arriving at Stansted or Gatwick can also choose from a range of coach and train express services to central London.

Trains to London

Travel to London via train is easy from anywhere in the UK as well as from Europe. Trains from Europe via the Eurostar arrive at London Pancras Intentional which is located in north central London. From UK locations, trains arrive at major hubs found within central London including Kings Cross to the north, Waterloo to the south, Liverpool Street to the east and Paddington to the west. Trains from most major UK train companies operate in and out of London including Great Western, Northern, Great Southern and Virgin. All major train terminals are connected to London's extensive underground tube system.

Buses to London

Bus travel to London centre is easy from anywhere in the city, the UK or even from Europe via France. Coaches operated by National Express or Eurolines arrive in London Victoria, a major terminus found to the southeast of the city. London Buses are operated by Transport for London and run 24 hours a day.

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Quick Guide: Traveling to London

Public transport: €7
Top Attraction: Big Ben
Best Season: Spring
Travel by Bus: 10:00*
Travel by Train: 2:08*
Travel by Plane: 1:30*
 

Free things to do in London

Broadway Market

Broadway Market, in London's east end, is the closest you're going to get to the traditional cockey wheeler and dealers of London! Although, hoards of hipsters have taken over and you'll find quinoa salads and chai seed puddngs along side stands that have been there every week since the 70s. It's also super close to Regents canal which is great for a stroll in the sun and people watching.


Somerset House

Built in 1775, this multi-purpose art gallery has everything from posh restaurants and out door cafes to a grand water fountain on the grounds. Aside from hosting some of the finest peices of art in the UK, the Somerset house is also the venue for numerous seasonal events all through out the year including open air cinemas in the summer and an ice rink in the winter.


London Fields

Perhaps not London's most beautiful park, the atmosphere and surrounding areas more than conpensate. London Fields is perfect for those looking for a relaxing day of drinking and having a picnic. It is also the only park in the Borough of Hackney where you're allowed to barbecue. It's also within the vicinity of some of London's greatest traditional pubs.



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Buses to London | Trains to London | Flights to London


 


About London

London is the capital of both the United Kingdom and England. It is a cosmopolitan city ranking both as one of the most popular, with the most international visitors annually in the world, as well as one of the world’s wealthiest and most expensive. The metropolitan area of London is divided into 32 boroughs, with the center being Westminster. Transport for London (TfL) operates local transit which includes the famous London Underground, the oldest and one of the deepest in the world, as well as the iconic red double decker buses. There are five major airports and over 300 rail stations - including tube stations and regional rail stations. The city recently hosted the 2012 Summer Olympics, and continues to be an epicenter of culture, art, politics, and economics.

Quick Guide to London

  • Must Know: You shouldn't underestimate the size of London. Walking is the best way to see the sites, but take advantage of the public transport to avoid exhausting yourself.
  • Must See: There are many things to see in London including the Crown Jewels at the Tower of London and Big Ben at the Houses of Parliament.
  • Must Do: London has great food, some of the best places to experience it are the many markets throughout the city..
  • Did You Know: To be a ‘black cab driver’ one has to take an exam called ‘the knowledge’ which includes knowing 25,000 roads and 50,000 points of interest.
Stations

Important Stations and Airports for this Journey

London
London-City
Amenities
Refreshments
Wifi
WC

Frequently Asked Questions

Where is the airport and what is the best way to get there?
Public transportation is available through the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) which connects the airport to the London Underground.

Walking Around in London

One of the world's largest capitals, London, can be a daunting prospect for a complete exploration on foot, even for the fittest visitor. The city is broken down into distinctive districts, which are central areas rich in sightseeing potential. An ideal starting point would be the capital's oldest quarter, the City of London, where the original  Roman and medieval lanes can still be discovered in the heart of one of the world's great financial districts. Striking examples of innovative 21st century architecture, like the Shard, dominate a skyline once ruled by the Tower of London, the capital's medieval castle still guarded by Beefeaters in their heraldic uniforms. Alternative walks include a Thames stroll, encompassing the South Bank and the contrasting theaters of Shakespeare's Globe, with its beams and thatched roof, and the National, a classic example of 1970s brutalist design. On the other side of the river, the Palace of Westminster and Whitehall offer the chance to see the buildings at the heart of the British government. The gondolas of the London Eye on the South Bank provide panoramic views over the city - the ideal vantage point for planning the location of your next London walk.  

Coffee Shops in London

London's coffee culture has long been supported by leading coffee roasters such as Square Mile and Workshop Coffee. Over time, more roasters including Dark Arts and Alchemy have emerged to help anchor this growing trend, especially with the emergence of numerous third-wave coffee shops in the city. Modern coffee shops such as the Alchemy, Store Street Espresso and Iris & June in London have fast and free WiFi that is accessible to customers. The coffee shops double up as a great place to work from for customers. The Alchemy is a favorite among Londoners for its delicious flat whites and cold brew coffee. Coffee lovers who make their way to Iris & June should try their Sandows Cold Brew and expansive lunch menu. Store Street Espresso is famed for its friendly and efficient staff, unique décor, sandwiches and toasted banana bread. With its location inside St. Mary Aldermary church, the Host coffee shop stands out from all others. It has the perfect ambiance and it's conveniently located at the heart of the city. A stop at the 130 year old Algerian Coffee Stores in Soho is a must-do for their legendary caffeine fix!

Eating in London

London's restaurant scene is diverse, with casual dining chains, curry houses, sustainable eateries where seasonality is king, farmer's markets, gastropubs, and upscale options that include 67 Michelin-starred standouts. And there should be great food at almost any price point. If visitors want a classically English meal, fish and chips is a great starting point, and there are a few pie and mash shops dotted across the capital as well. But London is a place where culinary change is constant, so the dishes on offer will always be in flux. Street food is increasingly popular, with venues like Camden Market, the South Bank, and Borough Market offering global cuisines. And London is also Happy Cow's number one vegan dining city in the world. So if visitors are keen to find vegan pizzas or meatless sushi, they are in the right place. Even so, carnivores won't feel neglected. From bulky Argentine steaks to gourmet hot dogs, London's chefs work wonders with meat. Overall, the UK capital is a meeting point for global styles, a place where visitors can find almost anything edible, cooked to a very high standard. Whether they want scorching curries or veggie feasts, travelers rarely leave disappointed with the capital's cuisine.

Public Transport in London

The world's oldest underground railway, the London Underground or popularly known as the Tube, is still the easiest way of getting around central London. There are 11 different lines on the 250 mile network, each with a name and color code. First-time visitors may be a little baffled about how to negotiate the complex network, but the classic schematic color map of the Underground is fairly simple. It offers a quick guide to routes, stations and where to change trains. The system is divided into zones, with ticket prices adjusted for distance traveled. Most central locations are within zones 1 and 2. Londoners tend to use prepaid Oyster cards, which are simply tapped to the barrier gates at stations for entry. Visitors can buy these or individual tickets, and can use contactless credit and debit cards at the same barriers. London transport is integrated, so Oyster cards can also be used on the famous red London buses. Thanks to London traffic, buses are slower than the Tube, but arrive frequently, are perfect for sightseeing, and also include night services which run after the Underground has stopped. For exhilarating, fast transport in central London, River Buses are fast ferries offering connections along the Thames between Putney and Woolwich.

Best Time to Visit London

The city of London welcomes millions of tourists each year, and the majority of people will visit in the warm summer months or in late spring. There are plenty of outdoor events taking place in London during the summer such as London Pride or the Notting Hill Carnival. Fans of the British Royal Family should time their visit to the summer for a high chance of seeing the royals at the Trooping the Colour which celebrates the Queen's birthday. The summer temperatures in London are moderate so bring a jacket for the evenings and an umbrella for the occasional rain shower. Christmas is also a good time to visit London as the whole city is filled with festive lights and Christmas markets. Fans of Harry Potter can visit Hogwarts in the snow at the Warner Brothers Studio Tour. Get into the festive spirit at the famous Hyde Park Winter Wonderland. Those wanting to avoid the crowds may want to visit between September and November. The temperatures are cooler and visitors will need to bring layers of clothing to keep warm. September is London's Fashion Week which brings top designers from around the world to the city.