London Travel Guides

Super useful & totally free travel guides, written by locals who love London

Architecture of buildings in London under the clear blue sky
The quaint architecture of buildings in London is unmatched

Why We Love London: London is an iconic city. From the likes of Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, and Tower Bridge, to events, restaurants, and shops, London is a city steeped in history and culture. Each neighborhood and borough has something unique to offer, and London is a city that truly has something for everyone. The wealth of things to do, paired with greater access to the rest of Europe, truly makes London a special city to visit or live in. 

Best of London

Things to Do

A corgi made of flower petals in Chelsea Flower Show
A replica of a corgi crafted out of petals at the Chelsea Flower Show

The London landmarks are world-renowned, but there are several other exciting activities that make London amazing. Here are a few of my top picks:

  • The Tate – A collection of art galleries, The Tate will give you a taste of modern art and culture
  • The Chelsea Flower Show – An annual event at the end of May, this is truly an impressive and exciting event for flower lovers
  • London Eye – A scenic ride offering one of the best views of London from above
  • The Shard – A 72-story skyscraper featuring classy bars, restaurants, and great views 
  • Landmarks Walking Tour – View the likes of Westminster, Big Ben, and St Paul’s all in an afternoon

👉 See the full list of best things to do in London.

🗺️ Where to Stay

There are plenty of lovely areas to stay in London, with each borough offering its own charm, character, and wealth of activities.

  • Soho – This central location is within walking distance of several landmarks and attractions
  • Kensington & Chelsea – This beautiful West area is exactly what you would picture London to look like
  • Shoreditch – Edgy and cool, Shoreditch is a great spot for nightlife and trendy restaurants

👉 Read the complete guide to where to stay in London.

View of colorful houses in Camden
Pastel-colored flats in Camden

🛎️ Best Hotels

View from the entrance of The Dorchester
The stunning entrance of The Dorchester

London offers a large range of hotels across all budget options and several neighborhoods.

  • The Dorchester – Posh and polished, The Dorchester is the luxury hotel of your dreams
  • The Standard – This hotel provides one of the best city views in London and is centrally located
  • The Ampersand Hotel – Located in South Kensington, this charming hotel is great for families 

🍽️ Restaurants

London has some of the best restaurants in the world, offering cuisines from many different countries with a modern twist.

  • Manteca – For some of the most flavorful pasta dishes you’ll ever taste, head to this cozy spot
  • Blacklock – A meat lover’s paradise, Blacklock offers quality cuts of meat paired with decadent sides
  • Shack Fuyu – An incredible modern Japanese spot in Soho with a tasting menu to die for
  • Milk Cafe – For an insta-worthy brunch where the taste matches the look of the food
  • Pachamama – Peruvian sharing plates and chic decor are what makes this restaurant special

👉 See the full guide to the best restaurants in London.

Different kinds of mini cakes in a pastry shop in London
The most perfect mini cakes

🚗 Day Trips

View of the Cambridge University campus and its wide field
Cambridge University campus looking effortlessly classy
  • Cambridge – This historic city has much to offer, whether it’s a tour around the gorgeous campus or a punt along the water
  • Windsor – An icon in British history and home to the royals, check out this world-renowned castle
  • Oxford – Boasting medieval architecture and a prestigious university, Oxford is a great city to explore
  • Bournemouth – Offering sandy beaches just a short a 2-hour train away, this is a great family day trip
  • Brighton – Known for its iconic pier and bustling LGBTQ+ nightlife, Brighton is a top spot to visit

👉 See the full guide to the best day trips from London.

🏘️ Neighborhoods

A beautiful architecture in Marylebone
The timeless architecture of Marylebone
  • Soho – A popping central area filled with nightlife, great restaurants, and proximity to landmarks
  • Kensington & Chelsea – A gorgeous neighborhood filled with picturesque architecture and pretty parks
  • Shoreditch – One of the best places to vintage shop in London, this area will provide you with a bit of edge
  • Marylebone – Quaint and classy, Marylebone has a village chic feel characterized by Victorian architecture
  • Covent Garden – The shopping and dining opportunities are endless in this central spot

🍸 Bars

View from the beer garden at Pergola Paddington
The gorgeous covered beer garden at Pergola Paddington
  • Freedom Bar – This two-floor stylish LGBTQ+ nightclub will have you dusting off your dancing shoes
  • Opium – A non-descript 3-floor late-night cocktail and dim sum bar in Chinatown, what more could you want?
  • Night Tales – Located in Shoreditch, this cool venue offers a lush hangout-style bar with a club at the back
  • Pergola Paddington – A massive beer garden with both open and covered patios that are blooming with vegetation
  • The Ship – A great spot on a sunny day, this lively outdoor beer garden on the water is always packed

🍸 Read the full list of best bars in London.

🏺 Museums / Galleries

View from the outside of Victoria and Albert Museum
The Victoria and Albert museum making a statement in red
  • Victoria and Albert Museum – A London icon, this museum will take you through the history of the biggest names in fashion
  • Natural History Museum – This very visual museum is one for the science buffs
  • The Tate Modern – An institution in art, this gallery offers an array of modern and contemporary art
  • The Wallace Collection – A tasteful collection of paintings, sculptures, armor, and furniture, formerly home to the Seymour family 
  • The National Gallery – Located in central London, this gallery is home to over 2,300 paintings 

🌳 Parks

Relaxing view from Battersea Park
The lush greenery at Battersea Park will take your breath away
  • Battersea Park – This West London park has an adorable cafe along the water serving food and libations
  • Hyde Park – The most well-known park in London, this huge green space lives up to the hype 
  • Regent’s Park – A sporty park filled with flowers, water, and fields, this is a great place to get active 
  • Victoria Park – This East London gem hosts a food market on Sundays that you can peruse while enjoying the outdoors
  • Richmond Park – The largest of London’s royal parks, this one is definitely worth a visit to see the deer

🍏 Markets

View of people from the Camden Market
Unique stalls fill the crafty Camden Market
  • Camden Market – Located within the vibrant Camden Town, this market offers everything from food to handmade goods
  • Portobello Road Market – Situated in the heart of lovely Notting Hill, you can scoop up one-of-a-kind luxury vintage goods
  • Spitalfields Market – With food being the pinnacle, this market also offers clothing, jewelry, art, and home decor
  • Covent Garden Market – A staple shopping district in London, you’ll find unique goods from independent sellers amongst big-name retailers
  • Brick Lane Vintage Market – Stop and have a bite at a food truck while browsing second-hand hidden gems

🍏 Read the full list of best markets in London.

London Travel Advice

🗓️ Best Time to Visit

Offering something special during each season, Summer is the best time to visit London due to the vast array of outdoor events and activities.

  • 🌞 Summer – London has the best energy in the summertime, with nicer weather and lots to see and do 
  • 🌼 Spring – Spring is a great time to visit to see the cherry blossoms, plus cheaper flights 
  • 🍂 Fall – For nice weather without the summer crowds, fall is a great time of year to see London
  • ❄️ Winter – Visit this time to get into the holiday spirit between the lights around the city and the grand Kew Gardens display

🗓️ See our full guide to the best time to visit London.

🚌 Getting Around

London has one of the best public transit systems in the world, which can be both a fun and cost-effective way to see the city!

  • 🚶‍♀️ Walking – With an amazing WalkScore of 87 / 100, London is a super walkable city
  • 🚗 Driving – Being a high-traffic city, driving is not a recommended mode of transport
  • 🚇 Public Transit – This is a top recommendation for seeing London based on price and efficiency
  • 📲 Ride Share – This can be expensive in London and take longer than public transit, so would not be the top recommendation
  • 🚴‍♀️ Biking – If you’re a confident biker, this is a great way to get around
  • 🛴 Scooters – This can be a great way to see London, although would recommend a lower-traffic area

👉 Tips & Things to Know

  • 📍 Download Citymapper – This will be your right hand when it comes to navigating the London transit system.
  • 🌧️  Be weather prepared – As commonly known, the weather can be spotty in London, so make sure you check before starting your day.
  • 🍗 Try the local delicacies – When it comes to food and drink, try something locally made with fresh British ingredients.
  • ℹ️ Venture outside of tourist traps – Leceister Square is extremely busy and expensive, try out one of many other amazing areas instead.
  • 🐚 Take a day trip – There are plenty of lovely neighboring towns in the UK only a short car or train journey away. Go explore!

🧳 What to Pack

  • ☂️ Umbrella – It never hurts to have an umbrella on hand in case of a sudden sprinkle while you’re out exploring.
  • 👚 Clothing Options – Depending on what vibe you’re going for, packing a mix of outfits will suit different activities.
  • 👟 Comfy Shoes – As London is a very walkable city, you’ll want to ensure that you have comfy shoes for all the steps you’ll be getting.
  • 💊 Allergy Meds – With all of the beautiful foliage comes hayfever season, so you may want to pack these in case they’re needed.
  • 🎒 Backpack / Travel Bag – Especially if you plan to be out all day, bringing a travel bag will help ensure you have what you need.

🧳 Read my full London packing list.

🤓 Facts & Info

  • Census Population (2020) – 9 million (city)
  • Time Zone – Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), British Summer Time (GMT+1)
  • Area Codes – +44
  • Airports – London Heathrow Airport (LHR), London Gatwick Airport (LGW), London City Airport (LCY), London Stansted Airport (STN), London Luton Airport (LTN)
  • Nickname – The Big Smoke
  • Demonym – Londoner
  • Country – England, United Kingdom

💵 Costs & Budgeting

  • 3 Star Hotel Room – $275-375/night
  • 1 Bedroom Apartment Rental – $90-160/night
  • Rental Car – $65-125/day
  • Public Transit Ticket – ~$3.25 (tube), $2.25 (bus), $20 (train to airport from center)
  • Ride Share from Downtown to Airport – $50-125
  • Take Out Meal for Two – $30-50
  • Sit Down Dinner for Two – $75-250
  • Draft Beer – $5-10

💵 Read our full guide to doing London on a budget.

FAQs About Visiting London

Is London safe for tourists?

London is a safe city for tourists and one of the most visited cities in the world. There are certain areas within the city where there is a higher incidence of crime, so it is best to steer clear of these and make sure you are aware of your surroundings at all times.

How many days are sufficient for a trip to London?

If you’re looking to squeeze in a quick trip coming from somewhere else in Europe, 3-4 days is enough time to experience a whistle-stop tour of the city. If you have more time I would recommend at least 7 days.

What is the best month to visit London?

Either June or September would be the top-recommended months to visit London, as they still have nice weather but are a bit more cost-effective in terms of flights and accommodations because you’d be avoiding peak tourist season.

Is it expensive to visit London?

Being the popular city it is (and for good reason), London tends to be on the pricier side. That being said, there are definitely ways to do London on a budget as long as you’re planning your trip far enough in advance.

Does London have good nightlife?

London is an incredibly vibrant city and offers some of the most fun nightlife in the world. Whether it’s a club, pub, cocktail bar, or brewery you’re after, there is a wealth of offerings in each of these categories. Great areas for nightlife include Soho, Shoreditch, Fulham, Clapham, and Camden.

What is the best way to get around London?

The transit system in the city is world-class and one of the most affordable ways to get around. Taking the bus or the tube will get you where you need to go in a timely manner and is super user-friendly, especially if you navigate on Citymapper.

Meet Our London Travel Experts

Brooke Horrobin

Brooke Horrobin is a London, UK-based freelance travel writer who originates from Ontario, Canada. She has a passion for travel, so much so that she decided to move her life to the UK in 2020 to take on new adventures. She loves giving recommendations, and her time in London so far has inspired her to share her favorite activities, places, and culture with others.

👉 Read Brooke’s Articles

📰 London Travel Guides

London is an incredible city that offers something for everyone to enjoy, no matter what your age is or whether you’re visiting solo or with loved ones. Check out our other travel guides to gain insight into how to plan for your adventure in the Big Smoke!

🗺️ London Map