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London: History, Culture, and Modernity

Updated: Jun 4


London Bridge



London is a diverse city that leads in fashion, music, and design. The city is home to different cultures, religions, and tribes. All coexist well with differences.


Founded by the Romans in the 1st century AD, London is a city with a rich and fascinating history. Anglo-Saxons, the Normans, and the British ruled the city.

 

London is also a vibrant cultural center with museums, art galleries, theaters, and cinemas. Do not miss the nightlife, with bars, clubs, and restaurants.



What to do: Main tourist attractions in London- The History


The city is brimming with historic landmarks. Visit Buckingham Palace, the Tower of London, Big Ben and Westminster Abbey. These landmarks offer insight into the city's history and role.


Buckingham Palace, the Royalty Official Residence. Visitors can watch the changing of the guard, a ceremony that takes place daily at 11:30 am. 


Open during August and September. There are 19 staterooms, a ballroom, and gardens. There is a registration fee, and tickets are limited. Must book in advance!.


The Tower of London is an ancient fortress that served as a prison, arsenal, and royal residence. The tower houses several crown jewels and other historical relics. Built over the River Thames, it is one of the most famous bridges in the world.


Big Ben, the bell of the Westminster Palace, is one of the most emblematic symbols of London. The t most famous clock in the world surrounds the bell!


Westminster Abbey: a Gothic church, the coronation site of many British monarchs. In the heart of London, this building receives more than 1 million visitors every year. Audio guides are available in multiple languages.The abbey is also the burial place of many famous artists, writers, and politicians.


Palace of Westminster - (Houses of Parliament): purchase tickets online or at the ticket office next to the Jewel Tower. Try a guided and audio tour in multiple languages.


Check the House of Commons, House of Lords, and Historic Westminster Hall. Fantastic to learn a little more about British politics and how it works.


St Paul's Cathedral – Seat of the Bishops of London, located on Ludgate Hill.


London and Culture: Museums


London is home to many well-known museums. Some of them include:

  1. British Museum

  2. Natural History Museum

  3. Science Museum.

These institutions house artifacts and exhibits covering from natural history to popular culture.


The ones we like most:


Victoria and Albert Museum. World's largest art and design museum. Has fashion, jewelry, photography, paintings, prints, and sculptures exhibits.


Tate Modern Museum, on the banks of the Thames in a former power station. It was designed by Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron. 


They created a contemporary public space without diminishing the building's historic presence. It has a permanent collection of artists such as Rothko, Pollock, Warhol, Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, Joan Miro, and Marc Chagall.


Bank England Museum: This museum tells the story of the Bank of England. From its founding in 1694 to the present day as the central bank of the United Kingdom.


Household Cavalry Museum (Royal Cavalry Museum): Offers an enriching experience. Celebrates the history of the senior regiment of the British Army since its origins in 1661.


Modern London


London is a global and modern city. It mixes ancient and contemporary architecture.

The city is a major financial center, hosting global companies and institutions.


London's most iconic modern landmarks include the London Eye, the Shard, and the Millennium Bridge. These landmarks represent the city's evolution and position as a global leader.


London Eye- Ferris Wheel (Millennium Wheel) with stunning views of the entire city. The queue is long but moves quickly. Purchase tickets online or at the nearby ticket offices.


The Shard is a 95-storey skyscraper located on the South Bank. It is the tallest building in the United Kingdom and the 89th tallest building in the world. 


The Shard houses offices, apartments, and restaurants. The observatory offers 360-degree views. Admire Buckingham Palace, the Tower of London, and Big Ben.


The Millennium Bridge is a pedestrian suspension bridge. It connects the South Bank to the Tate Modern. 


The bridge opened in 2000 to celebrate the new millennium. It is made of steel and glass and is 286 meters long. The Millennium Bridge is a popular spot for pedestrians, cyclists and tourists.


Emirates Air Line: Cable car to cross the Thames and admire the beautiful view of the city.

London's parks


London is also a green city with many parks and gardens. Some of London's most popular parks include:


Hyde Park: 350 hectares of gardens, lawns, ponds and woods. One of London's most beautiful landscapes. Home to famous landmarks such as Speakers Corner and Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain


Kensington Park. Kensington Palace Gardens, with magnificent trees and ornamental flower beds, Italian gardens. Check the Albert Memorial, the Peter Pan Statue, and the Serpentine Gallery.



St James Park: The oldest royal park in the city, it is close to Buckingham Palace. Visit the Pelicans.


Regents Park, close to Baker Street station. It has more than 9 palaces, a lake to walk around, and chairs to rest and enjoy nature. Known for its zoo.


Green Park: Tree-lined with no lakes or monuments between Hyde Park and St. James Park. It is a place to relax, popular for sunbathing and picnics.


London: Fashion trends


London is a trendsetter, a fashion capital that stands shoulder to shoulder with the world's most iconic style hubs.


The city is home to some of the world's top fashion brands, such as Burberry and Alexander McQueen.


The fashion scene is a kaleidoscope of style and design, a melting pot of trends shaping global fashion for countless decades.


From quirky boutiques and bustling markets to high-end shops, London's streets are a fashion lover's dream, offering a mix of coveted collections and unique, one-of-a-kind designs.


London is a hub of avant-garde and experimental fashion. A range of shops and boutiques sell clothes from emerging designers. Think deconstructed garments, unconventional materials, and conceptual silhouettes that redefine notions of wearability.


Stroll along London's famous Bond Street, renowned for its exclusive brands, designer fashion, fine jewels, art, and antiques.


Department stores like Harrods and Selfridges provide one-stop shops for established luxury brands. Liberty offers a curated selection of contemporary labels alongside its iconic floral prints. 


Discover unique pieces and support local talent at:

  • Brick Lane Market: Unearth vintage treasures and handmade creations amidst the vibrant market atmosphere.

  • Independent Boutiques: Districts like Shoreditch and Covent Garden are havens for independent boutiques, each offering a unique curation of local designers.


Do not miss the London Fashion Week: A showcase of creativity, innovation and talent taking place twice a year 


Travel tips


  • As in almost every big city, there are Hop-on-Hop-off buses. The three routes (red, yellow, and blue) provide comfortable tourism. The tour offers audio in multiple languages and allows passengers to get off and return. It is hassle-free way to see all London sites.


Vouchers are valid for 24 hours from first use. Points of sale are:

  • Picadilly Circus

  • Trafalgar Square

  • Russell Square 

  • Woburn Place

  • Victoria

  • Grosvenor Gardens

  • Marble Arch.


  • London is expensive, but there are some ways to save money. If you stay in the city for a few days, purchase the London Pass, a tourist card for more than 80 attractions. Check the list at www.londonpass.com.

  • The London Oyster Travelcard gives unlimited access to the transportation network. Buy the pass on GoCity.

  • Do not miss shows or sporting events! Buy your ticket in advance at TicketMaster here.



When to visit:


You can visit London all year round. But the best time to visit is spring (March to May) or autumn (September to November). The weather is milder during these periods, and there are fewer tourists.


If it's autumn, and you have more time, take the underwater Eurostar high-speed train. A 2:15h train to Paris, in itself is an attraction. And, Paris in autumn is stunning!


Some unmissable tours:


  • Be sure to visit the city of Windsor, home of British royalty. Short train distance.

  • If you have more time, spend two days in Edinburgh. One of the coolest cities I've ever visited. Take a train and visit the charming streets of Edinburgh.

  • Another excellent option is the Scottish Highlands on a memorable 7-day road trip.

Where to stay in London: hotels


We recommend staying close to Covent Garden, metro stations, and attractions.


We stayed at the Hotel Chateau Denmark, 50 meters from Tottenham Court tube station. Close to Soho, bars, restaurants, and shopping, the location is exceptional.


The room is a spectacle. A private bar filled with any and all drinks, a mini wine cellar, right in the middle of the room. 


But be careful, due to the number of bottles in the room, they charge a high-security deposit!


Returned at check-out after checking consumption in the room. If this is not a problem, I recommend it!


Or, book you hotel on Hotels.com!



Book and buy your Airline Ticket by searching for the best flight on Expedia:



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