London

London Travel Guide

Credit :

Andreas Bleckmann

You can't blame other cities if they cast a covetous eye upon London and grumble, “It isn't fair.” How can a 2,000-year-old settlement with such a deeply entrenched history—and such familiar-to-the-point-of-predictable iconography—stand at the leading edge of design, architecture, fashion, cuisine, fine art, and pop culture? By embracing international styles and influences (and people) as much as its own. The city's millennial resurgence resulted from a blend of clear-eyed preservation, savvy reinvention, and bold innovation. Only here could a brash new landmark like the Tate Modern so swiftly find its place in the old cityscape; only here could the cutting-edge gastro pub (an alien term less than 20 years ago) so readily slip into local parlance and routine. Perhaps that's because behind all this novelty, the London that always endures, unperturbed by these curious new arrivals or just slightly bemused. Each year, millions of tourists travel to London to experience its modern-day renaissance. Let Travel + Leisure’s London travel guide point you to its best and brightest spots.

Things Not to Miss in London

• Experiencing Parliament’s House of Lords and House of Commons in rowdy action from the public galleries.
 • Meandering the South Bank river walk and absorbing the glorious vistas—a promenade best strolled at sunset for optimal romantic appeal.
 • Seeing at least one West End or National Theatre play or musical; Shakespeare would’ve insisted on it.
 • Taking a turn on the London Eye for a bird’s eye view of its historic city center.

When to Go to London

No matter the time of year, London travel brings with it a taste of bustling city life. England’s temperate climate means rain showers throughout much of the year, although temperatures remain mostly comfortable. Tourist numbers hit a high between April and September, and again around Christmas time, when the nights are long, but holiday decorations provide extra sparkle. Opt for travel dates in the spring and fall for brisk days and nights, plus a little more breathing room.

DON'T MISS

  • Experiencing Parliament’s House of Lords and House of Commons in rowdy action from the public galleries.

  • Meandering the South Bank river walk and absorbing the glorious vistas—a promenade best taken at sunset for optimal romantic appeal.

  • Seeing at least one West End or National Theatre play or musical; Shakespeare would’ve insisted on it.

RECOMMENDED LINKS

Articles about London

The queues snaking down the street from BAO, a new Taiwanese restaurant in London’s Soho, are testament to the treats that lie within. The menu is small—just five signature baos, or buns (around $5 each), and a handful of larger dishes (think hand...
Londoners using Big Ben as a trusty timekeeper over the past couple of weeks might have been ever so slightly late to their appointments. The BBC reports the iconic clock tower has been running up to six seconds late, according to clock smith I...
A four-course meal is a treat; a 200-course meal is borderline abuse to the senses. Bompass and Parr—creators of spectacularly over-the-top culinary experiences—have done it again with their new mission to host a 200-course meal. The duo teamed up...
The capital city of the United Kingdom is famous for a lot of things—an unforgettable skyline, a world-renowned arts scene, funky shopping and entertainment districts. But the home seat of Parliament and the Royal Family isn’t exactly synonymous w...
If you need one more reason to visit London: Covent Garden is about to be filled with 100,000 white balloons. It’s not an invasion by some adorably round aliens, but an art installation that is part of Covent Garden’s annual cultural program. ...
It’s been some time since Dalston was first declared the new hub of London’s party scene, but the wealth of nightlife venues concentrated in this East London district still draws crowds every weekend. The main action takes place on Kingsland High ...
Café Royal has history abound. Born of a bankruptcy scandal, the property took shape in the 1860s after a Parisian wine merchant, Daniel Nicholas Thévenon, and his wife fled to London from Paris to escape debt collectors. They re-established their...
Café Royal has history abound. Born of a bankruptcy scandal, the property took shape in the 1860s after a Parisian wine merchant, Daniel Nicholas Thévenon, and his wife fled to London from Paris to escape debt collectors. They re-established their...
What to Know The origins of London’s Royal Academy of Arts practically start with “once upon a time.” Founded in 1768 by Sir William Chambers, who sought to “establish a society promoting art and design,” he approached King George III with a pe...
One of central London’s most long-awaited hotels finally opens its doors this week on Friday, after a painstaking three-year renovation of an elegant Georgian building in one of the city’s most salubrious postcodes. The Zetter Townhouse Marylebone...