London is the capital of the United Kingdom and the largest city in the country with more than 13 million inhabitants. Crossed by the River Thames, the metropolis is located south of Oxford
and north of Brighton
London is divided into 32 districts
), each with its own administration. The City
, one of the oldest districts, enjoys a special autonomy as it is governed by a special organ called Corporation of London
In London you can find many hotels of 3 or 4 central stars with special offers that will not let you spend a fortune for your stay:
- Hotel Royal National London
, 3 star hotel in the centre of London
- Hotel Strand Palace London
, 3 star midrange hotel in central London
- Hotel St Giles London
, 3 star well priced hotel in a central postion in the city
- Hotel President
, another 3 star hotel in Russell Square that, back in 1963, was home for the Beatles for some time, when they moved from Liverpool
to the British capital
- Hotel London Bridge
, 4 star high class luxury hotel with modern design features
- Hotel Russel London
, 4 star hotel located in Bloomsbury in central London offering luxury accommodation
The city's climate is influenced by the Gulf Stream, a powerful warm ocean current that helps to mitigate the seasonal temperatures, is said to be one of the rainiest cities in the world, especially in autumn when it rains almost every day.
What to see in London, Travel guide to the city
offers tourists the magnificent Cathedral of St. Paul
, an Anglican church built and designed by Christopher Wren, in English Baroque style during the the XVII century, the dome is inspired by that of St. Peter's Basilica Rome
, but it is not a one piece built like that of Michelangelo, but are three domes on top of each other, the interior of the church is richly decorated with golden stucco and frescoes, the cathedral contains the tombs of illustrious people like Winston Churchill the Duke of Wellington and Admiral Horatio Nelson.
In the City can we also find two famous skyscrapers of London
, Tower 42
and 30 St Mary Axe
, also known as the "Gherkin" full of headquarters offices, is open only by invitation of the guests. In this district there is the famous Tower Bridge
the bridge symbol of the city, built in 1886 in neogothic Victorian style (the one of the period), the bridge can be opened to allow passage of boats. Another famous bridge is the London Bridge
, the first bridge in the city, originally of wood, then stone and now renovated in concrete. A short distance from Tower Bridge is the Tower of London
a medieval fortress built by William the Conqueror, to protect new sovereigns from the inhabitants of the City of London, it was the seat of the prisons of the city that hosted eminent personalities including: Thomas More, Anne Boleyn, Elizabeth I and William Hastings, the residence is fully open to visitors and so are the two museums of the Crown Jewels.
This area encompasses three residential areas of London: Kensington
(the most exclusive) which also hosts the Science Museum Natural History Museum
and Victoria and Albert Museum
a museum that holds collections of everyday objects of the Victorian era, in Kensington there is also the famous Baker Street
with the Sherlock Holmes Museum, Chelsea
and Notting Hill
, in the latter takes place every year the Caribbean Carnival
, the largest street carnival in the world after Rio de Janeiro
's where people and thematic wagons parade.
In Notting Hill there is a famous street named Portobello Road
home to an important antiques market.
The southwest area merges with Richmond, in which there is the most beautiful park in London, Richmond Park
which hosts numerous plant species, including deer and fallow, squirrels, rabbits, beetles and rare ring-necked parakeet.
Close to Kensington we can find the famous wax museum Madame Tussauds
, where there are wax figures of famous characters from the XVIII century, if we go a little further towards Knightsbridge we will meet Harrods
a real paradise for lovers of luxury shopping, with their 5 floors and 300 units will surely satisfy all your needs!
This district is the biggest shopping area of the city and the best known, with the famous Trafalgar Square
built to celebrate the British victory on the French Navy in the Battle of Trafalgar won by Admiral Nelson, his statue is placed on a column in the center of the square; overlooking the square there is the National Gallery
, its collection of paintings ranging from the XIII to the XIX-century artists such as Antonello da Messina, Beato Angelico, Michelangelo, Correggio, Caravaggio , Botticelli, Rembrandt, Goya and Degas.
From the square runs the famous The Mall
a long avenue featuring parades of the British royal family, leading to Buckingham Palace
, along the avenue from the square there is also Oxford Street
the most important shopping street in Europe with over 300 shops and home to famous shops and department stores such as Nike, Virgin and O2 (British telephone company).
It is part of the district also the area of Soho
, the "red light district" of London, dedicated to lively nightlife, here there is Carnaby Street
the point of reference for British fashion and the place Marquee Club
in which they performed bands such as Pink Floyd, the Who, Rolling Stones and David Bowie. Do not forget that Soho has Chinatown
, the Chinese district of London, with shops, markets and events organized and run by Chinese immigrants.
If you come here you can not miss Covent Garden
home to a large market, of the London Transport Museum
and of the Royal Opera House
a prestigious London theater in which are represented operas and ballets.
is one of the shopping streets, here are the stores of Apple, Austin Reed, Café Royal, Dickins & Jones, Hamleys (famous toy store) and Liberty (furniture and gift store in Art Nouveau style).
Inside West End there is also the famous Picadilly Circus Square
meeting point for young Londoners, on the square there are many buildings including the London Pavilion and Criterion Theatre, in the center of the square stands the fountain Shaftesbury Memorial Fountain
. The district is bordered by Green Park
one of the largest green areas of London with beautiful tree-lined paths and lawns, the area is part of the Royal Parks of London.
It is the district closest to the Port of London, is completely changing its face for the 2012 Olympics Games, was notorious in the past for the adventures of Jack the Ripper; is home to an ancient market, the Petticoat Lane
and there are many stalls selling fish and chips
, a typical London takeaway dish.
It was formerly part of the city's port, have today become a residential and commercial area, there you can find studios of famous architects and international designers. You can explore it on foot or by public transport, the peninsula where they are is the called Isle of Dogs
, known as the home of the prestigious Canary Wharf, an office complex, and the skyscraper One Canada Square.
Next to London Bridge stands the Southwark Cathedral
, which is one of the oldest buildings in the British capital, built in pure Gothic style, was first site of a convent of Augustinian monks, inside is preserved a portal of the Norman period.
The district is home to prestigious museums such as Tate Gallery
, the ghoulish London Dungeon
the museum of scabrous stories of the city, the Design Museum
the museum that explains how it has developed the industrial production of mass-produced objects, the Tea and Coffee Museum
which tells the story of these drinks and shows the most peculiar and rare coffee pots and teapots and Vinopolis
, an interactive museum dedicated to wine, its history and to all stages of its production, you can also taste the wines on display in various rooms.
Another must-see is the Globe Theatre
where the dramatist Shakespeare represented his plays, it has the model structure of an English theatre in 1600, there you can see the performances equal to those that put in scene, the famous English poet.
If you travel along the Thames is possible to cross the river along the pedestrian bridge Millennium Bridge
, which was created to celebrate the advent of the new millennium in the city of London.
City of Westminster
In this area there are the royal palaces, Buckingham Palace
, an XVIII century building with 600 rooms and less than 16 acres of park, home to the Queen Gallery
a museum dedicated to the art collections of the royal family; you can visit in the palace only 19 of the 600 rooms, during the summer period, when the royal family is on holiday in Scotland, but you can see outside the famous Changing of the Guard
ceremony. Near the royal residence there is House of Parliament
or the Palace of Westminster
, with its famous tower Big Bang
both excellent examples of Victorian Gothic style the oldest part of the Parliament House dates back to 1097, the most important rooms are the House of Lords and the House of Commons, where assemblies are made constantly, at which you can assist, the palace is open only at certain times of the year (July and August) and the Tower of the Big Ben can be seen only from the outside.
To the west of the Palace of Westminster is the beautiful Westminster Abbey
the church in which they were crowned and buried all English monarchs, in fact is not a true Anglican church since it is owned by the Crown, it was built around the X century in Gothic style, inside there is the Chapel of St. George
dedicated to the fallen of the First world War and there are also the graves of famous people like Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, David Livingstone, Charles Dickens, Rudyard Kipling and Geoffrey Chaucer.
Across the Thames, stands the London Eye
the observation wheel of the city, inaugurated in 2005, leads the New Year with lights and colors for the fireworks that are shot above.