Quick Guide to London
London is the capital of the United Kingdom and it has been a major city for over 2,000 years! Today it's known for its economic power but also as a big hitter when it comes to fashion, entertainment and culture. There's so much to do and see in this teeming metropolis that you'll probably need to book a second holiday there, just to catch up on all the things you didn't get to do the first time around!
You can expect to find an intoxicating mix of the ancient, medieval and the modern all thrown together, jostling for your attention amongst a whole world of cultures, emerging fashions and diverse neighbourhoods. Once you stray from central London you will find numerous areas with a smaller town-like feel, proving that you needn't stay in a central hotel to feel a part of this fascinating city.
No matter what time of year you visit London, you'll find an event or festival to tickle your fancy. From food festivals to outdoor sculpture exhibitions and the biggest bands in the world appearing on stages across the city, you'll be covered whatever your interests are. Throw in world-class restaurants, some of the most important museums on earth and thousands of years of history, and you'll find few holiday destinations as eternally fascinating as London.
Fab holidays for:
History buffs, City breaks, Famous landmarks
London Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, City, Luton and Southend
Did you know?
Over 300 languages are spoken in London!
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What to do in London
Why not start your city break with a stroll along the South Bank for amazing views, world famous sights and some of the capital's best cafe culture. There are plenty of parks, such as Hyde and Regent's park to stroll around, or head to Hampstead Heath and Primrose Hill, which both offer fantastic free views of the city. In fact there's just so much to do in London, we've made a top 10.
- Buckingham Palace
- The official residence of the Queen and one of London's main tourist attractions. Make sure you catch the changing of the guards.
- The Shard
- One of London's most recently constructed tourist attractions, The Shard is home to top-class restaurants and a luxury hotel. You can buy a ticket to go the 68th, 69th and 72nd floor, where you'll experience fantastic views of London.
- St. Paul's Cathedral
- Part of London's beauty is its ability to combine old with new. This historic cathedral is a prime example, with the iconic dome reflected by nearby city buildings. Despite being a popular tourist attraction, St. Paul's still functions as a working church with hourly prayers and daily services.
- Tower of London
- Located on the north bank of the River Thames, the Tower of London has commanded the city skyline for more than 1000 years, and is home to the Crown Jewels.
- Borough Market
- Probably London's most popular food market - have a wander round and buy some of the best produce the UK has to offer, whilst meeting some lively characters.
- Big Ben
- The iconic clock face on the Houses of Parliament is one of the first attractions that comes to mind when thinking of London. However, you need permission to see Big Ben, the bell behind it.
- Oxford Street
- Oxford Street and its surrounding areas will be your first destination if you want to do some top shopping. There are many high street shops to visit, plus high-fashion brands around the Bond Street precinct.
- London Eye
- Europe's tallest ferris wheel is on the South Bank of the River Thames. From the top of the 443-foot-tall wheel you can see across London, with particularly good views of Westminster Palace, Big Ben and down the Thames to East London.
- Tate Modern
- The Tate Modern is set inside the iconic former Bankside Power Station, and draws huge crowds with its blockbuster modern art collections and exhibitions. Large scale installations in the turbine hall are particularly impressive.
- Royal Albert Hall
- The Royal Albert Hall in Kensington has seen some of the world's most famous artists pass through and perform. It has also been holding the annual summer Proms since 1941.
Choosing a London hotel
You should use our simple search to choose from a wide range of London hotel deals, offering a choice of hotels across this huge metropolis. That's the easy part sorted out. The tough part is deciding where you want to stay out of all the London hotels - it's all about location, location, location! Take some time to research the hotel's location and look for things like tube stops and bus stops so you know it will be easy to get around. Hotels in tube map zones 1 and 2 are the most likely to be expensive, but you'll get the added benefit of the attractions being closer to you - sometimes within walking distance!
There are so many areas to choose from, so we've put together a handy London area guide to give you a feel for where you might like to stay:
The City - staying here won't be cheap but at the weekends it's really quite quiet! Great transport links and you'll be able to wander the modern skyscrapers and historical buildings from your London hotel door.
The West End - the heart of the action, this area is sought-after day in, day out! Book early to get the best deal, safe in the knowledge you will have plenty to do right there.
King's Cross - a transport hub and central London hotel haven, there are plenty of cheap chain hotels here, although not that much in the way of attractions. It's easy to get everywhere from here though!
Victoria - similar to King's Cross, but in the south of the city, although there are more attractions here with the big name being Buckingham Palace!
Waterloo - right by the London Eye and with quick access to the river and Westminster this is an often-overlooked area with some great cheap hotels in London.
London Bridge - home to The Shard, the tallest building in the European Union, this area is close to the City and with good links to the West End too, but it won't be the cheapest!
Paddington - the transport hub for the west of the city, there are plenty of cheap hotels here, although not much to do in the area, especially at night.
Chelsea and Knightsbridge - with star attractions like the Science Museum on your doorstep, this affluent area is great for families, and certainly makes for a photogenic stay in London, although your wallet will pay the price!
Islington - has a nice town-like feel with lots of Georgian terraces. It's not cheap, but it will get you out of the hustle and bustle without being far from the action when you want to dive back in.
Shoreditch and Dalston - these areas are rife with cooler-than-cool people and places to be seen, so make sure you read some fashion magazines before you get to your hotel in London if you're staying here! Cheaper than many areas, although transport links are slightly fewer.
Docklands - offers a different feel altogether, and Thamesside hotels for less. A bit out of the way unless you're off to an event here, expect a longer travelling time into the central regions. Great for cheap weekend deals though, when the Canary Wharf financial district is quiet.
When to visit London
The high season is the summer when demand for cheap hotels and cheap flights to London is at its peak. The weather is worst over winter but this means it may be the best time have a London break and find great hotel deals - and London's many pubs are great for warming up! Perhaps the best time to visit is in spring or autumn when the weather can be pleasant and the streets and attractions aren't yet crowded with the summer rush.
London for Families
London has come a long way since Charles Dickens' Oliver Twist! Rather than put kids to work, nowadays the big smoke embraces them - and caters to families in a number of ways!
You don't have to look far to find a kid who loves Harry Potter - and London is where you'll find Harry Potter-themed attractions aplenty. Spend a day at the Harry Potter Warner Brothers Studio Tour - your family will be immersed in the real sets from the Harry Potter films, get to see the costumes up close, and learn how the special effects came to be! Get a snap at King's Cross station, pushing your trolley into the wall at Platform 9 3/4, and finish off a magical day with a viewing of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at the Palace Theatre.
For a more educational experience, head to one of London's famous museums. The best ones for kids include the Natural History Museum, the Science Museum and the family zone at the Tate Modern.
Kids will also love meeting marine creatures at the Sea Life Aquarium, posing for pics with their idols at Madame Tussauds, pretending to be grown-ups at KidZania, kayaking at the Lee Valley White Water Centre and visiting London's famous zoo. Phew!
London for Couples
Paris is romantic, sure, and Venice is fine. But London has been home to its fair share of loved-up couples: think Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, Bridget Jones and Mr Darcy... Posh and Becks. Up the romance on your visit with a trip to Sky Garden - a glassed-in garden sitting 160 metres above the ground, where you can admire the views while sipping on prosecco. Or, if you'd prefer a different view, the London Eye is always worth a peep, as is the dome of St Paul's Cathedral and the top of the Shard.
Once you start getting altitude sickness, head back to street level for a romantic stroll - spot deer in Richmond Park, meander amongst the tree canopy at Kew Gardens, and see outdated statues depicting dinosaurs at Crystal Palace Park.
Few things besides diamonds really evoke love as much as flowers - so why not head to Columbia Road Flower Market to pick up your other half some fresh blooms? In fact, London is packed with markets - sample cheese at Borough Market, wander along the canals with goodies picked up at Camden Market, and escape the frequent London drizzle at the covered Spitalfields Markets.
Why Book a Holiday to London with dealchecker
Here at dealchecker, we like to think of ourselves as travel experts - and as we're based in London, we're experts on London, too! We've got thousands of great London holiday deals, and they're right at your fingertips, thanks to our handy search tools. Compare a huge variety of holidays, and you'll be flying over Buckingham Palace in no time!