London: capital of Great Britain, financial powerhouse and home to some of the finest art, food and culture our world has to offer. This Victorian maze plays host to over eight million people every day. It’s fast. It’s busy. It’s expensive. Sometimes the trains don’t work and occasionally it rains with no end – but beyond that, it’s a global hub with few rivals to speak of. So whether you’re in town for business or pleasure, a month or a day, strap your big town boots on. There’s so much here to do and see on any level of budget – and here are just a few of our finest suggestions.
The British Arts | A few tube or bus stops or a taxi journey from your resident hotel and you’ll find yourself in the heart of an entire country’s stage culture. The West End is the peak of British theatre, with showings fit for any taste or genre. Musicals both tragic and comic, opera much the same, alongside both resident and touring plays of endless number. New titles cycle in every year, often with one big hit rising to the top. A London visit isn’t complete without an evening here.
There’s also more impromptu acts available on your way around the city if you’re not one to sit around for hours at a time. Street performers, singers and buskers take up slots almost everywhere in the centre, with more vivid cultural experiences to be found online via bookings. Psychic readings, for example, holdovers from past centuries still going strong, might add some local flavour to your travel. They are not only alive and well as practices, but there are even physics available to contact by phone and online nowadays.
Fine Dining | Some prior research and preparation might be required for this category; many of the best restaurants in the city have long, exclusive waiting lists. If you have somewhere in mind early on be sure to make your reservation in advance. When it comes to food in London, there are so many choices. You might enjoy tea and cake at the Ritz – alternatively, many of the cities smaller, gastropub or hole-in-the-wall outlets provide a more rustic food experience. Then there’s the continental aspect: restaurants and street food from the globe over in a cultural, taste bud melting pot.
Chinese, Eastern European and Indian foods in particular can all be found boiling and broiling around town both as snacks or five course meals. Alternatively, if you’re looking to cook yourself, many raw ingredients and meats can be found in the city markets. Southbank and Brompton are good choices here.
Access Culture | Not every once in a lifetime experience in London comes with a large price tag. Some of the best are free in fact, from the British Museum to the National Gallery. Millenia of history can be found just off the street in these buildings towering halls, with iconic relics such as the Rosetta Stone or Elgin Marbles on constant display. More family friendly trips out along this line of thought include the Natural History or Science Museums, with their interactive events and shows.
Then of course there are the classic tourist destinations – the London Eye can be booked in luxury, parliament can be toured and Buckingham Palace visited. There is, without a doubt, always something going on in London; a vibrant nightlife, daytime culture, demonstrations, marches, festivals. This is a city at the centre of a globalized world, and your trip is sure to be fantastic because of it.