London fires the imagination. With a history stretching back millennia juxtaposed with a thriving contemporary and cosmopolitan vibe it is one of the most exciting and dynamic cities in the world. There is so much to discover, from top museums and galleries, incredible architecture, historic monuments, leafy green parks, bustling markets and cultural institutions. The city is one of the world’s most diverse and it is truly a collection of different neighbourhoods, each with its own identity and unique feel. The Thames sweeps through the city from the south-west through central London and then on to the east. Take a look at flight and hotel London deals and check out our flights to London to compare holidays and start planning your capital adventure today.
Things to know before visiting London
If you’re planning a holiday to London via a flight from Birmingham to London or a flight from flight from Manchester to London then look no further. London is served by five main airports - London Heathrow, London Gatwick, London Stansted, London Luton and London City. Heathrow is to the south-west, Gatwick to the south, Stansted and Luton to the north and City, as the name suggests, closest and most accessible to the centre. Depending on where you stay the other airports may be more convenient but good train links via the Underground and Overground mean that getting around is fairly easy. Take a look at our flight and hotel deals to London for inspiration to start planning your trip.
What to do in London?
A holiday to London is filled to the brim with amazing sights and experiences. To gain an insight into the city’s charm and personality here are ten things you could try out:
Catch a show in the West End
Relax on a river cruise from Westminster to Greenwich
Discover the history of the East End with a walking tour
Walk the leafy paths of Hyde Park
Get a bird’s eye view from the London Eye
Embrace alternative culture in Camden Town
Catch the buzz around Soho
Have afternoon tea at the Shard
Watch a play at Shakespeare’s Globe
Browse the markets for vintage clothing and collectables
London’s markets are deservedly famous and there are many to choose from. Borough Market is great for food, while at Greenwich you can find clothing, jewellery, antiques and gifts. Others include Colombia Road for plants and cut flowers, Brick Lane for bric-a-brac, shoes and spices and Alfie’s Antique Market for collectables and vintage clothing. Inspired? Look at our holiday packages and all these are closer than you think.
What to see in London in 2 or 3 days?
If you are on holiday to London for only a couple of days it can be difficult to know where to start. While you won’t see the entire city in this time you can certainly visit many top attractions. Tick off these top ten, all handily based around the river in central London:
St Paul’s Cathedral
Tower of London
London Transport Museum
London's museums and galleries can easily keep you busy for your entire stay in themselves. If you have the time the Natural History Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum are also great for a wander. Chelsea Physic Garden with its well-ordered flower beds isn’t far away either, but if it’s botanical gardens you’re after you should of course head to Kew, where the extensive grounds, gorgeous glasshouses and amazing exhibits could easily keep you occupied for half a day. Check out our great flight and hotel deals and you could be there very soon.
What to eat in London?
London is one of the best places in the world to experience a diversity of incredible food. There are a heady number of Michelin starred restaurants and the city’s food scene is a dynamic and creative arena. For London institutions, head for afternoon tea at the Ritz or Browns Covent Garden. Or go for lunch or dinner at Rules, the oldest restaurant in London. Try a curry in Brick Lane, fish and chips at a local chippy, or pie, mash and jellied eels at a London pie shop. Have a Sunday roast at one of the city’s cosy pubs or check out the delicacies at quintessential English department store Fortnum and Mason. With our discount holidays, you could have a little more to indulge yourself with.
What to bring from London?
London’s markets are a great place to shop for unique souvenirs, gifts and vintage knick-knacks. Many are open seven days a week but others are only on at the weekends so be sure to check beforehand. If you’re after luxury tea, jam, hampers or other food items you could try Fortnum and Mason, Harrods or the East India Company. Head to Hamleys for several floors of toys, games and teddy bears, many with a London theme. London is filled with designer shops and other classic souvenirs might include a Paul Smith umbrella, Jo Malone fragrance, Liberty notebook or Burberry coat. Of course, you can never go wrong with a London bus or taxi key ring. Browse our range of discount holidays and holiday deals to London and you could soon be packing some of these in your suitcase.