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London hotels

City breaks in London

This sprawling metropolis is a treasure trove of culinary delights, cultural landmarks and historical sites - it’s hardly surprising that London is one of the most popular destinations in Europe. From the majesty of Buckingham Palace to the vibrant atmosphere of Notting Hill, there’s so much to explore here, whether you’re enjoying a well-earned holiday or just passing through.

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Top sights in London

London is bursting with postcard-worthy landmarks which are must-sees if it’s your first trip to the city, such as:

  • The London Eye
  • Buckingham Palace
  • The Tower of London
  • Big Ben

The city’s numerous museums and galleries are also well-worth a visit and the majority are free to enter! Make sure that you check online beforehand because for some museums and galleries you need to reserve your free tickets in advance. Some of London’s most popular museums and galleries include:

  • The British Museum
  • The Natural History Museum
  • The National Gallery
  • The Tate Modern
Tower Bridge London
Big Ben London
The London Eye

Filming locations you can visit in London

London serves as the backdrop for numerous films and TV shows so it’s the perfect opportunity to walk in the footsteps of your favourite characters and explore the city at the same time!

There are Harry Potter filming locations dotted all around London, such as platform 9 ¾ in King’s Cross station. The station actually makes an announcement for the Hogwarts Express and puts the Hogsmeade-bound train on the departure boards once a year on 1st September. One of the other locations seen in a particularly dramatic scene is the Millennium Bridge which is in the City of London. In the films, the bridge is destroyed by Death Eaters. In real life, the bridge offers stunning views of Tower Bridge, the Thames and the Tate Modern. It’s also a great spot to take a picture of St. Paul’s Cathedral. Take the chance to immerse yourself in the wizarding world on your trip to London at the Warner Bros. Studio Tour - The Making of Harry Potter™.

Greenwich Naval College is a short trip down the Thames from the City of London and has been used in both Thor: the Dark World and Les Miserables (2012). The journey to Greenwich couldn’t be easier on a river bus. RB2 (river bus 2) runs from Battersea Power Station through the centre of London past Westminster, London Bridge and the Tower of London to Greenwich. These boats are a fantastic way to see London from the river and you can use an oyster card or any other contactless card to board so there’s no need to buy a special ticket.

Westminster Abbey London
Tower of London

Shopping in London

London is rife with opportunities to engage in some retail therapy. Head to Oxford Street, Piccadilly Circus and the surrounding streets to find the most popular brands interspersed with chic, designer boutiques. Located just off Regent Street, Liberty’s is an intriguing spot to do some window shopping. This luxury department store is housed in a dramatic, Tudor revival building which was constructed in the 1920s and is famous for its stunning, vibrant fabrics.

Naturally, you can’t mention department stores in London without talking about Harrods in Kensington. This world-famous store welcomes countless visitors to its hallowed halls every year and is well worth a visit.

For everyone looking for pre-loved fashion, Brick Lane is well-known for its selection of vintage shops and it’s perfect for picking up some stylish, retro pieces. Why not grab a traditional bagel from down the street or bite from one of the food stalls whilst you’re there!

What to eat and drink in London
Eating & Drinking in London

London is living, breathing proof that there’s more to British food and than fish and chips. The city is a hotspot of diverse, international cuisine and one of the best ways to get a sense of this is at one of London’s many food markets.

Borough Market is south of the Thames, next to London Bridge. The market offers everything from fresh fish and oysters to cured meats from Italy. The best days to visit the market are Wednesday- Saturday as that’s when the most stalls are open. It gets particularly busy around lunchtime as the stalls serving hot food are especially popular.

Slightly further afield, Camden Market is another favourite for food in London. So grab a box of falafel, a fresh arepa or a bowl of steaming hot pho before perusing the market and the vibrant streets of Camden Town which is well-known for its alternative shops and bustling music scene.

Transport in London
Getting around London

The London public transport network makes it easy to navigate the city, whether it’s by bus, tube, or cable car. The London underground (tube) network covers the majority of the city and you can get to both London Heathrow airport and London City airport on the tube.

The majority of public transport in London is accessible with an Oyster card or a contactless payment card/device which you can tap on terminals on buses and before entering tubes. You can purchase Oyster cards in most underground stations.

One highlight of the London transport system is the IFS Cloud Cable Car which runs over the Thames between Greenwich Peninsula and Royal Docks. The cable car ride takes about 20 minutes for a round trip and offers magnificent views of the London skyline. It’s a great way to see some of the sights such as the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, The Gherkin and St. Paul’s Cathedral.

FAQs for city breaks in London

What are some must-sees for visiting London?

The following are some of the most popular sights which are synonymous with London:
  • Big Ben
  • The London Eye
  • Piccadilly Circus
  • Westminster Abbey
  • Buckingham Palace

What are some of the most interesting activities to do on a city break in London?

There’s so much to do and see in London it can be difficult to narrow down the options but you can never go wrong with a trip to see a musical or a play on the West End. The city also boasts a multitude of museums such as the British Museum and the Natural History Museum. There are countless historical sites you can visit, such as the Tower of London, and tours you can do, including gruesome Jack the Ripper tours. You can also visit Warner Bros. Studios where the Harry Potter films were produced.

When is the best time of year to visit London?

British weather is the butt of many jokes and, unfortunately, it is incredibly changeable. You are more likely to enjoy more pleasant weather and warmer temperatures if you travel between May and September but you should bring a coat and an umbrella no matter what time of year you visit.

How can I find a good hotel in London?

Travelcircus offers deals on a range of 4- & 5-star hotels in and around London so you can find the hotel which best suits you and your plans for while you’re in London.

What’s the best way to travel in London?

The London transport network is easy to use and can get you to all of the most popular sights and attractions in London so it's the best way to navigate the city day-to-day. The city also has stations where you can hire bikes for a short trip and then return them to a station at your destination. Parking and driving in London can be difficult as the traffic in the city is heavy and parking is limited and can be expensive. Please note that if you intend to drive in London, you may need to pay the Congestion Charge which is a fee applied to vehicles which drive within a certain zone in the city. The Congestion Charge zone covers most of central London and charges apply until 18:00 every day. You can pay the charges and check the exact details of the zone and times of day when charges apply online.