Welcome to London
Some 2,000 years of dazzling living history, royal palaces, parks, and world-class galleries sit comfortably alongside cutting-edge industry clusters, sky-high hotels and Michelin-starred restaurants. No other city on the planet matches London for energy, diversity, creativity and constant reinvention. A city that offers 8,000 restaurants,173 museums and over 850 galleries, as well as a great range of accommodation, free attractions and an efficient transport network.
Travel to London
London is one of the most accessible cities in Europe, with 5 international airports offering direct flights to 348 destinations. London Heathrow is the largest, whilst London City airport puts you on the doorstep of east London and ExCeL conference centre. London Gatwick is located to the south of the city, and London Luton and Stansted offer flights by many low-cost carriers.
Express trains link Heathrow and Gatwick airports to London city centre in less than 30 minutes, with four trains running every hour. Eurostar operates 22 trains a day from Paris, bringing visitors into central London in just over two hours, while 11 trains a day link the city to Brussels in less than two hours.
Travel in London
London has one of the largest urban transport networks in the world. The quickest way to get around is on the underground system known as the Tube. With 11 colour-coded lines and 270 stations, it reaches every corner of the city, whilst the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) is the quickest way to reach ExCeL and venues in east London. Oyster smartcards, travel cards and tickets can be purchased at stations or online and are accepted on the tube network, DLR trains and buses. The tube runs until midnight on weekdays and, from 2015, all night on weekends.
More than 20,000 licenses black cabs can be hailed on the street, for metered fares, or pre-booked at fixed rates. Thames Clippers
Thames Clipper catamarans leave every 20 minutes from piers on the doorstep of the London Eye, Tower Bridge, Greenwich and the O2 arena.
The Emirates Air Line is London’s first cable car and offers a five-minute ‘flight’ over the Thames, rising to a height of 90m. It links ExCeL conference centre to one of the world’s most popular entertainment venues, the O2, by offering spectacular views over London.
For information on travel in London see visitlondon.com/travel and tfl.gov.uk
The UK's currency is the pound sterling (£ / GBP). Credit cards are widely accepted.
Spring, summer and autumn are the best times to visit London. Though it does not rain every day, it is advisable to bring an umbrella, along with comfortable shoes for walking.
The mother tongue is English, but over 230 languages are spoken in London.
The United Kingdom, like most other European countries, uses 230- Volt/50 Hz AC current. Plugs have three rectangular prongs that form a triangle. Plan to bring an adapter plug and even a transformer for your personal appliances. Many hotels have international sockets to accommodate other plugs.
For the latest information of what’s going on in London, tips on shopping, dining, theatre and more, visit the official visitor guide for London visitlondon.
Visitor Oyster cards
The cheapest way to travel around London is by purchasing a Visitor Oyster cards. These are smartcards which need to be touched in when entering the station at the start of the journey and touched out at the exit at the end of the journey.
The right fare is automatically calculated when you touch out and change according to which zone you are travelling to**. For the latest fares please visit TFL website
**Please note ExCeL London is in zone 3.
Visitor oyster cards can be bought directly at underground stations or via the Visit Britain website
The card itself costs £3 and you can choose to top up any amount you want in denomination of £5 (eg. £15, £20, £25 etc). If you run out of credit on the Oyster card, you will be able to top up using cash or credit/debit cards at any station.
Visitor oyster cards do not expire and can be used again on future visits by simply topping up credit at any station.
- Download our free London travel maps to help you navigate the city whilst you stay
- Will this be your first trip to London? Find out all you need to know about the city here
- Discover all the best things to do in London http://www.visitlondon.com/things-to-do?ref=nav
- Save with discounted theatre, attraction and sightseeing tickets http://www.visitlondon.com/tickets-and-offers?ref=nav