BRING THE WORLD HOME

A step-by-step guide

London

in your pocket!

About this Guide

Welcome to our London guide, where we have carefully selected the must-see places and added personal suggestions. It’s a quick and simple guide that you can consult at any time during your trip.

We have focused on providing useful and practical recommendations that will enhance your trip, including off-the-beaten-track locations. We consider this guide a compilation of our favorite spots in the city.

We have also included gastronomic suggestions that will delight your palate and immerse you in London’s delicious culinary culture.

We hope you enjoy our guide and it inspires you to explore all the treasures that this wonderful city has to offer!

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London

a little bit of history!

The history of London dates back to Roman times, when the city was known as Londinium. Founded around 43 AD, the city became an important center of trade and government in Great Britain. During the Middle Ages, London became the capital of the country and the center of political and economic power.

Throughout the Middle Ages, London grew in size and influence. The city was ruled by the royal family and local rulers, and it became a major trading center. It witnessed numerous political and religious struggles and saw the construction of some of its most iconic buildings, such as the Tower of London.

During the 15th and 16th centuries, London became one of the most important cultural centers in Europe. The city was home to some of the most famous writers of the time, such as William Shakespeare, and it also housed a large number of artists and scientists.

In the 17th century, London became the center of the Industrial Revolution. The city was home to some of the country’s most important factories and became a major financial and trading center. During this time, London was also the birthplace of some of the greatest inventions of the era, such as the steam engine.

Throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, London continued to grow in size and power. The city became home to some of its most famous buildings, such as Buckingham Palace and the Parliament. During this time, London also became one of the world’s most important centers for culture and science.

In the 20th century, London underwent a series of significant changes. During World War I, the city was subjected to air bombings and suffered heavy human losses. During the Second World War, a series of massive air attacks destroyed the majority of the city.

After the war, London quickly recovered and became one of the world’s most important financial centers. The city also became a major hub for popular culture and was home to some of the most significant musical movements of the 20th century, such as punk and rock.

In recent years, London has undergone a series of significant changes. The city has experienced a large population increase and has become one of the world’s most important centers for technology and innovation. It has also hosted some of the world’s largest sporting events, including the 2012 Olympic Games.

In summary, the history of London is long and rich with many important events. From its Roman foundations to its current role as a hub of technology and culture, London has played a significant role in the history of England, the United Kingdom and the world.

Public transport in London is one of the most extensive and efficient in the world. The system comprises a vast network of buses, underground trains, trams, suburban trains, taxis, and ferry services.

The primary mode of transport is the famous London Underground, commonly known as the “Tube,” which boasts 11 lines covering a significant portion of the city and its outskirts. Additionally, there is an extensive bus network with over 700 routes that reach nearly all areas of the city, as well as trams operating in the southern part of town.

There is also a network of suburban trains connecting the city center to the surrounding areas, along with a ferry service linking the north and south of London via the River Thames.

The transport system utilizes the “Oyster” card, enabling passengers to pay quickly and easily without the need to purchase individual tickets. Furthermore, black taxis are an iconic feature of London’s transport and can be found throughout the city.

Big Ben and the Palace of Westminster

Two of the most recognizable icons in London. Big Ben refers to the famous clock on the tower of the Palace of Westminster, which has been an emblematic symbol of the city for over 150 years. The Palace of Westminster is where the Parliament of the United Kingdom meets and houses the House of Commons and the House of Lords. This imposing Gothic structure bears witness to British history and politics and is located on the banks of the River Thames.

The Tower of London

This tower has been used throughout the centuries for various purposes; such as a fortress, a royal palace, a prison, and a treasury. Nowadays, it is a popular tourist destination that houses the Crown Jewels and offers guided tours showcasing its fascinating history and the stories of its famous prisoners, including Anne Boleyn.

The London Eye

One of the tallest ferris wheels in the world. Situated on the banks of the River Thames, it offers visitors spectacular panoramic views of the city of London. The ferris wheel has glass capsules that provide a unique experience to admire the London skyline, including Big Ben, the Palace of Westminster, and other famous landmarks.

The British Museum

A world-renowned cultural institution that houses an impressive collection of artifacts from around the world and different periods of history. It was founded in 1753 and boasts over eight million objects in its collection. Among the treasures it houses are the Rosetta Stone, the Parthenon friezes, and Cleopatra’s mummy.

Buckingham Palace

An architectural gem and the official residence of Queen Elizabeth II. Located in the heart of London, it is one of the city’s most iconic and visited destinations. In addition to being the Queen’s residence, Buckingham Palace is the setting for important events of the British royal family, such as the Changing of the Guard ceremony and official receptions.

St. Paul's Cathedral

Designed by Sir Christopher Wren, this majestic cathedral is a masterpiece of English Baroque style. Visitors can admire the impressive dome of the cathedral, climb to the Whispering Gallery for panoramic views of the city, and explore the chapels and crypts.

Tower Bridge

Constructed in the 19th century, this drawbridge spans the River Thames, connecting the north and south banks of the city. Aside from being a vital transportation route, Tower Bridge is a tourist attraction in its own right.

Camden Market

Renowned for its lively and vibrant atmosphere, as well as its wide range of products and experiences. The market offers a unique blend of international food stalls, vintage and alternative clothing shops, art galleries, crafts, live music, and a variety of international flavors, from Asian street food to Caribbean cuisine. The bohemian ambiance and infectious energy make Camden Market a one-of-a-kind place.

Hyde Park

One of the largest and most famous parks in London, located in the heart of the city. Spanning 142 hectares, it provides a green oasis amidst the urban hustle and bustle. The park is known for its expansive green spaces, Serpentine Lake, and rich history.

The Natural History Museum

Home to an impressive collection of specimens and artifacts from around the world, ranging from dinosaur fossils to precious gems and minerals. Visitors can explore its galleries and marvel at the diversity of life on Earth, uncover the evolution of species, and learn about the planet’s geological history.

The Notting Hill District: Renowned for its bohemian charm and colorful Victorian houses. Notting Hill is also recognized for its carnival, which celebrates Caribbean culture and attracts visitors from all over the world.

St. Pancras Old Church: Known for its historic architecture and picturesque charm. The church has witnessed several significant events over the years and is a popular venue for weddings and concerts.

Greenwich Park: A large and beautiful park that offers stunning views of the city and features various points of interest, such as the Greenwich Observatory or the Greenwich Market (crafts and food).

Westminster Abbey: An impressive Gothic church that has been the site of numerous historic events, including the coronations of British monarchs.

Science Museum London: An interactive museum that explores science and technology across a wide range of areas, from medicine to aviation.

London Bridge: Another iconic bridge crossing the River Thames, London Bridge is known for its two towers and historical design.

Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre: A replica of the theatre where William Shakespeare presented many of his most famous plays.

Borough Market: A food market that offers a wide variety of fresh and artisanal products, from cheeses to breads and wines.

Victoria and Albert Museum: One of the world’s largest museums of art and design, the V&A houses a vast collection of artifacts and artworks from the Middle Ages to the present day.

The Financial District: An area in central London that is home to many banks, corporations, and impressive skyscrapers.

Imperial War Museum: A museum dedicated to British military history and its conflicts from World War I to the present day. Churchill War Rooms are located here.

Leadenhall Market: A covered market offering a wide variety of fresh and artisanal products, from meats and fish to flowers and spices.

Westminster Bridge: Another iconic bridge that provides breathtaking views of the River Thames and Big Ben.

Soho District: A vibrant and diverse neighborhood with a plethora of restaurants, bars, and nightclubs.

Tate Britain Museum: Another major art museum in London, showcasing British art from the 16th century to the present day.

Kew Botanical Gardens: A botanical garden famous for its Victorian greenhouse, housing a vast collection of exotic plants.

Spitalfields Market: A covered market offering a wide variety of fashion and art products, as well as food and drink.

Brick Lane District: A multicultural neighborhood with a wealth of shops, restaurants, and cafes.

Charles Dickens Museum: The house where the famous Victorian author lived and wrote, now converted into a museum showcasing his life and works.

London Zoo: It is one of the oldest zoos in the world, featuring a wide variety of animals and attractions.

Greenwich District: A neighborhood with a rich maritime history, famous for its observatory and the prime meridian.

Columbia Road Market: An open-air market held on Sundays, offering a wide variety of flowers and plants.

London Contemporary Art Museum (Serpentine Gallery): A modern and contemporary art gallery in the heart of Hyde Park.

Kensington Palace: The former home of Princess Diana, now transformed into a museum showcasing her life and work.

The Millennium Bridge: A pedestrian and cyclist bridge spanning the River Thames, offering panoramic views of the city.

The National Theatre: A prestigious theatre showcasing high-quality productions across three different stages.

The Freud Museum: The former residence of the father of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud, now transformed into a museum showcasing his life and work.

The National Portrait Gallery: A museum exhibiting a vast collection of portraits of famous figures from British history.

The Natural History Museum: A museum housing a vast collection of animal specimens, plants, and fossils.

Covent Garden: A lively neighborhood brimming with a wide variety of shops, restaurants, and street performances.

The Barbican Centre: An arts and culture center offering a diverse range of performances and exhibitions.

The British Museum: One of the world’s largest and most significant museums, encompassing collections from prehistory to the present day.

Trafalgar Square: An iconic public space to visit in London.

St. James’s Park: It is one of London’s oldest and most iconic royal parks, located in the city center near Buckingham Palace.

The Shard: An iconic skyscraper that has become a modern landmark of London. Standing at approximately 310 meters tall, it is the tallest building in the United Kingdom, providing breathtaking panoramic views of the city.

Regent’s Park: One of London’s largest royal parks, situated in the northwest of the city. It is renowned for its beautiful landscapes, expansive open spaces, ornamental gardens, and the famous London Zoo.

Tate Modern Gallery: One of London’s and the world’s most important art galleries.

Kensington Gardens: A beautiful royal park located in West London, adjacent to Kensington Palace.

Leicester Square: A bustling square located in the heart of London’s West End. It is known for its vibrant atmosphere, numerous theaters, cinemas, restaurants, and shops.

Piccadilly Circus: A famous intersection and square in London’s West End. It is renowned for its large advertising screens and lively atmosphere. Surrounded by theaters, shops, and restaurants, the square is a significant landmark and a hub of entertainment in London.

Battersea Park: A spacious park situated on the south bank of the River Thames. It is known for its picturesque landscape, well-maintained gardens, and central lake, offering activities such as rowing and boating.

London is all of this and more! We understand that the best way to get to know a city is by walking the streets and discovering every secret they hold. We can’t think of a better way to show you the city than for you to visit with us on a Free Walking Tour:

Fish and Chips

A classic British dish consisting of fried fish and chips. It can be found in many restaurants and fish and chip shops throughout the city.

Afternoon Tea

This is a British ritual consisting of tea with scones, jam, cream, small finger sandwiches and cakes. It can be found in many hotels and cafes in the city.

Sunday Roast

A typical Sunday dish composed of roast meat, roast potatoes, vegetables, and gravy. It’s a dish that can be found in many pubs and restaurants throughout the city.

Curry

London has large Indian and Pakistani communities, so there are many restaurants that serve delicious curries. Some of the most popular dishes include chicken tikka masala, lamb curry, and biryani.

Street Food

London is famous for its street food stalls, where you can find a wide variety of delicious and affordable dishes such as falafel, kebab, and wood-fired pizza.

Pie and Mash

Another traditional British dish that consists of minced meat pie with mashed potatoes. It is often served with peas and gravy.

Shepherd's Pie

Another traditional British dish consisting of minced lamb or beef covered with mashed potatoes.

Sticky Toffee Pudding

A moist and spongy cake made with dates, served with a delicious sticky toffee sauce and custard or cream / ice cream.

Apple Crumble (and its variations)

A mix of soft and sweet apples topped with a crispy layer of flour and butter crumbs.

Banoffee Pie

A pie with a biscuit base, toffee (caramel) layer, and a filling of fresh bananas and whipped cream.

Eton Mess

A combination of crispy meringue, fresh strawberries, and whipped cream, usually served in a messy bowl.

Bread and Butter Pudding

A dessert made with slices of bread soaked in a mixture of eggs, milk, and spices, then baked until golden and tender.

Victoria Sponge Cake

A fluffy sponge cake filled with fruit jam and whipped cream, dusted with powdered sugar.

Treacle Tart

A crumbly tart made with golden syrup, lemon juice, and breadcrumbs, served hot with cream or ice cream.

Bakewell Tart

A shortcrust pastry tart filled with a layer of fruit jam and a mixture of almonds and egg, baked until golden.

Tea

Tea is an incredibly popular beverage in London and an integral part of British culture. You can find tea in many places, from cafes and tea houses to pubs and restaurants.

Beer

Beer is a highly popular beverage in London, with a wide variety of local and international beers available. Some typical types of beer in London include ale and stout.

Gin

Gin has been closely associated with London for centuries. It is the base of the famous Gin & Tonic cocktail and can be enjoyed in many bars and pubs throughout the city.

Cocktails

London is renowned for its cocktails, and there are many bars and restaurants that offer a great variety of options. Some popular cocktails in London include the Espresso Martini, the Negroni, and the Pimm’s Cup.

Cider

Cider is a traditional English beverage and can be found in many pubs and bars in London. Apple cider is the most common, but other varieties like pear cider can also be found.

Whisky

While whisky is not originally from London, it is a beverage that can be found in many bars and pubs across the city. Scottish whiskies are particularly popular, but whiskies from around the world can also be found.

Oxford Street

One of the most famous shopping streets in London, boasting over 300 stores.

Covent Garden

Renowned for its lively atmosphere and rich history, it is both a commercial and entertainment destination. The streets of Covent Garden are filled with fashion stores, independent boutiques, and major international brands, making it a shopaholic’s paradise.

Harrods

One of the world’s most famous department stores, offering a wide selection of luxury products, ranging from fashion to food.

Westfield London

A large shopping center in West London, housing over 300 stores, restaurants, and a cinema.

Portobello Road Market

A street market in Notting Hill, known for its antiques, vintage clothing, and street food.

Knightsbridge

A luxury neighborhood with stores like Harvey Nichols and the aforementioned Harrods.

Mayfair

An exclusive upscale neighborhood with luxury shops and art galleries.

Curiosities of London

  • Big Ben is actually the name of the largest bell in the clock, not the clock itself.
  • The River Thames is the longest river in England and the second longest river in the country after the River Severn.
  • The first electric traffic light was installed in London in 1868.
  • The Tower of London was once a royal zoo and now houses the Crown Jewels.
  • Tower Bridge is the oldest bridge in London, and you can still see the arrow mark on the wall that killed the last man who attempted to cross it illegally.
  • The London Underground is the oldest underground transportation system in the world, opened in 1863.
  • Buckingham Palace has its own post office and receives over 35,000 letters addressed to the Queen every year.
  • Camden district is famous for its markets, alternative fashion shops, pubs, and nightclubs.
  • The narrowest street in London is Oriel Street in the Hampstead neighborhood, measuring only 0.90 meters wide at its narrowest point.
  • The Palace of Westminster, which is the seat of the UK Parliament, has over 1000 rooms.
  • London is home to over 170 museums, including the British Museum, which is one of the largest museums in the world.
  • The famous Big Ben clock is shut down every year for a few weeks for maintenance work.
  • In London, you can find the Monument to the Great Fire of London, which occurred in 1666 and destroyed a large part of the city.
  • Richmond Park is the largest park in London, covering an area of over 10 km².
  • The famous black taxi in London is known as the “Hackney Carriage.”
  • Covent Garden Market often showcases street performers and their shows.
  • The famous Platform 9 3/4 from the Harry Potter series can be found at King’s Cross train station.
  • London Bridge is a famous bridge known for its history and beauty and should not be confused with the nearby Tower Bridge, which is a drawbridge.
  • Buckingham Palace has its own royal guard, the Beefeaters, who wear traditional uniforms and tall hats.
  • St. Paul’s Cathedral is the second largest church in the world, after St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican.
  • Oxford Street is the longest street in London, measuring over 2 km, and is famous for its shops and shopping centers.
  • The statue of Eros in Piccadilly Circus is actually a statue of Anteros, the twin brother of Eros.
  • Portobello Road Market offers art objects, antiques, and second-hand clothing.
  • The River Thames has been the setting for many famous movies, including “James Bond: The World Is Not Enough” and “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.”
  • London is home to more than 8 million trees and 30,000 hectares of green space.
  • The London School of Economics, founded in 1895, has produced 18 Nobel Prize winners.
  • Camden neighborhood is famous for its music and has been home to many famous bands and artists, including Amy Winehouse.
  • Churchill War Rooms: An important historical site located beneath the streets of Westminster, in central London. During World War II, these rooms served as the underground operations center for the British government. Today, they can be visited as a museum and offer a fascinating look into the life and work of Winston Churchill and the war leaders during that crucial period of history.
  • In London, you can find the headquarters of the famous bookstore chain, Foyles, which has over 200 years of history.
  • Westminster Abbey is the place where British monarchs have been crowned since William the Conqueror in 1066.
  • The oldest street in London is Thames Street, located near the Tower of London, and it has been in use since Roman times.
  • The British Museum houses the Rosetta Stone, which allowed for the deciphering of Egyptian hieroglyphs.
  • Greenwich Park is home to the Greenwich Meridian, which divides the world into two hemispheres.
  • The renowned department store Harrods has over 330 departments and employs more than 5,000 people.
  • The neighborhood of Shoreditch is known for its graffiti and street murals, which attracts many tourists.
  • The Tower of London has served as a prison, armory, treasury, and even a zoo, among other things.
  • In London, you will find Carnaby Street, which was a significant fashion hub in the 1960s and still has many alternative fashion stores.
  • St. James’s Park is home to numerous peacocks that often roam freely in the park grounds.
  • At Paddington Station, there is a bronze statue of a bear named Paddington, paying homage to the famous children’s book character.
  • Those with nerves of steel can venture to walk on the glass floor of the Tower Bridge’s upper walkway to enjoy a unique perspective of London.
  • Beneath the streets of London lie a series of secret tunnels that were used as air-raid shelters during the Second World War. Some of them have been converted into abandoned metro stations, while others remain undisclosed.
  • In front of the palace, the famous Changing of the Guard takes place, a unique ceremony where the guards responsible for royal security are relieved and march to military tunes without their black furry hats falling off. It is held every day from 11:00am during the summer (in other times of the year, it takes place every two or more days).
  • The “London Stone” is an ancient stone of unknown origin found on Cannon Street. According to legend, the stone is related to the foundation of London and is believed to possess mystical powers. Currently, it is safeguarded behind a glass display case.
  • According to tradition, if the ravens leave the Tower of London, it will fall, along with the monarchy and the prestige of London. The British take this very seriously, to the extent that they created the position of Ravenmaster to take care of them.
  • Underneath the streets of London, there is also a secret railway system known as the “Mail Rail.” This system was used to transport mail underground between different post offices in the city. Today, it has become a tourist attraction that allows visitors to explore the tunnels in small trains.
  • In London, there’s a little corner known as “Little France” in the Westminster neighborhood. This place was built in the 19th century and showcases French-inspired architecture, featuring narrow streets and French-style houses.
  • Within the St. Pancras Old Church cemetery, you’ll find a peculiar tree known as “The Hardy Tree.” This tree has numerous old tombstones embedded in its trunk. It is said that the writer Thomas Hardy, before becoming famous, was tasked with relocating the tombstones to make way for the expansion of the cemetery.
  • The Monument to the Great Fire of London was erected to commemorate the devastating fire that swept through London in 1666. However, it also holds an intriguing secret: at its base, there is a trapdoor leading to a hidden chamber that used to house a library.
  • The Temple Church is a historic site with an intriguing connection to the Knights Templar. It is believed that the Templars established their main headquarters in this area, and the church houses a crypt that is rumored to be the resting place of some members of the order.
  • Kensington Roof Gardens is a secret garden located on the rooftop of a building on Kensington High Street. Created in the 1930s, it features beautiful gardens, ponds, and even pink flamingos. While access to the general public is usually restricted, special events and guided tours are sometimes organized.
  • During the Cold War, the headquarters of MI6, the British intelligence service, was located in the Kensington neighborhood. The exact location of the “Spy House” remained a secret for a long time, but nowadays, it is a residential building known as Vauxhall Cross.
  • There exists a Dalmatian Museum, which is home to a vast collection of objects related to Dalmatians and their history in the London fire services.

Keychains and Miniatures

Transport yourself to the heart of London with miniature replicas of its iconic landmarks. These charming keychains and miniatures offer a tangible connection with major locations like the Big Ben, the majesty of Tower Bridge or the captivating allure of the London Eye. Each piece carries the city’s magic in a pocket-sized treasure.

Union Jack-Themed Items

Immerse yourself in the vibrant colors of the United Kingdom with Union Jack-themed items. From clothing and accessories to flags that proudly flutter in the breeze, these souvenirs allow you to carry a piece of British famous symbolism wherever you go.

Postcards

Share the breathtaking beauty of the city with intricately designed postcards and greeting cards. These works of art allow you to send warm wishes or keep them as cherished keepsakes.

Locally Branded Tea and Tea Sets

Elevate your teatime experience with world-renowned British tea and elegant tea sets. Indulge in the essence of British culture and add a touch of refinement to your daily routine.

British Chocolates and Sweets

Treat yourself to the delicious flavors of the British chocolates, transporting you to the heart of Britain’s confectionery legacy. Every bite is a journey through time, evoking the sweetness of tradition.

Replica Models of Famous Landmarks

Bring any of the most renowned landmarks into your home with intricately crafted replicas.

British Biscuits and Shortbread Cookies

Indulge in the buttery goodness of traditional British biscuits and shortbread cookies. Each bite carries the essence of British heritage, inviting you to savor the flavors that have delighted generations.

Royal Family Memorabilia

Celebrate the rich history and cultural significance of the British monarchy with memorabilia that honors the Royal Family. These pieces serve as tokens of the enduring connection between the city and its royal heritage.

Mugs

Begin your day with a touch of London charm as you sip your favorite beverage from mugs adorned with iconic scenes.

If you want to discover the complete and up-to-date list of the best souvenirs from London check out our blog:

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General recommendations

Dress appropriately: The weather in London can be unpredictable, so make sure to wear suitable clothing for different weather conditions. Carrying an umbrella and a light coat is always a good idea.

London is a sprawling city with countless options, so make sure to plan your trip in advance. Research the places you’d like to visit, their opening hours, and ticket prices.

Get a transportation pass: Public transportation in London is quite efficient, so we recommend getting a transport pass, such as the Oyster card, which will allow you to use the underground, buses, and trains whenever needed.

Most museums in London are free and house some of the world’s best collections of art and historical objects. The British Museum, the Natural History Museum, and the National Gallery are among the most popular ones.

London has many beautiful parks and gardens that are perfect for relaxation and enjoying the outdoors. Hyde Park, Regent’s Park, and Greenwich Park are some of the most famous.

London has a vibrant bar and pub scene, which is an integral part of the cultural experience, whether for eating or having a drink. Some popular areas include Soho, Shoreditch, Camden, and Notting Hill.

Some tourist attractions like the London Eye, the Tower of London, and the British Museum have extended evening hours and offer special guided tours.

British food can be quite heavy, but there are some dishes you must try during your visit, such as fish and chips, roast beef, and beef wellington.

Visit a night market: There are several night markets in London that offer food, drinks, and live entertainment. Some of the most popular markets are Camden Market, Borough Market, and Greenwich Market.

The River Thames is beautiful at night, especially when the city buildings are illuminated. You can take a boat ride or simply walk along the river and enjoy the views.

Explore the neighborhoods: London is a very diverse city, and each neighborhood has its own personality and appeal. From Camden Town to Notting Hill, make sure to explore the different neighborhoods to discover what makes them special.

If you liked this guide and want to support us, visit our website and discover our exciting range of unique and personally designed souvenirs for London!

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