London – A Great Tourist Destination
It’s incredibly hard to sum up London for a tourist. It is not only the capital city of the UK but it is one of the greatest cities in the world.
London is a fabulously hospitable city. It is easily reached by flying in to one of five airports, one right in the heart of the city, the others on the outskirts all served by major and immensely accessible transport links. Once there, getting out and about is no issue; the underground is still one of the world’s premier transport systems and there’s a mass of overland trains too. London buses run regular routes and there’s even an extensive service of night buses that run right through until dawn. Add in Docklands light railway and the famous black cabs and tourist travel is as easy matter. Of course, you could always take advantage of a tour on an open top bus which will introduce you to the major sights.
London’s landmarks are iconic. Instantly recognisable destinations on the tourist trail include the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben, St. Paul’s Cathedral, the Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey and Downing Street. More recent additions include Canary Wharf and the Gherkin and when the Shard Tower is completed in time for the 2012 Olympics it will be the tallest building in the European Union. When the London Eye open to celebrate the Millennium in 2000 it has provided one of the best birds eye viewing facilities any city can boast of. No tourist should pass up the chance to take a 25 minute ride in an eye capsule as it’s the opportunity to see a huge amount of the city.
London is tightly packed but there are a surprising amount of green spaces. The Royal parks (which include St. James’s, Green Park, Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens) are joined by community spaces like Hampstead Heath, Wimbledon Common, Dulwich Common and Clapham Common. Greenwich Park in the south of the city is also one of the prettiest areas as well as being home to the Greenwich Observatory and the Naval College.
London has everything a capital city should have: The restaurant scene is world class and alongside restaurants owned by celebrity chefs and Michelin star winners, every major and minor world cuisine is more than merely represented; the nightlife is equally fantastic with every genre accounted for; theatreland is unsurpassed by any other location – only New York’s Broadway comes close; and the museums, galleries and cultural themed attractions and exhibitions are fabulous in variety and awe inspiring.
London is also accessible in price. It might be home to fabulous 5 star hotels and names such as the Ritz, the Savoy and the Dorchester but there is plenty of budget friendly accommodation. For example, budget hotels run by chains such as Travel Lodge and Holiday Inn Express in the “city”, the square mile of central London, that cater to the business market in the week have really great offers for weekend stays. If you don’t mind basic, London has a mass of tourist hostels.
Whatever you can afford, or whatever you are looking for in a city break – London has it.