London: Introduction

A world in one city

London Introduction London Introduction London Introduction London Introduction

Britain's largest city and its capital, London is truly a world city. It's a city with a rich and heady mixture of different cultures and influences that combine to form a dazzling collage of sights, sounds and smells that is often spell-binding and sometimes bemusing.

You will hear over 300 different languages spoken on London's streets, you can eat food from all of the world's great cuisines, or visit some of Britain's most ancient historical buildings. London has all of this and more. While London is one of the world's most expensive cities, you can still have a wonderful time on a limited budget.

There is so much to do in London and many activities and events are free, or cost very little. Whatever your budget, it is worth taking the time to do some research and planning beforehand. The sheer number of opportunities that London provides means that it is easy to miss out otherwise. You will find getting around London easy, especially if you are prepared to use public transport. You may want to choose one of the many guided tours of London, or explore for yourself.

Either way, you will never be short of things to see and do. The choice when it comes to eating out is immense, from Michelin star restaurants serving up gourmet dishes to traditional Cockney pubs serving up pie and mash, to the many different ethnic restaurants, to bistros where you can eat and sip your favourite tipple as Londoners wend their way home from work on the busy streets. Oxford Street is London's main shopping street and you will find some great places to shop there and in the surrounding area, including Libertys and Selfridges and tax free shops for foreign visitors.

Perhaps a visit to Harrods is more your style? Well that is just a short bus or taxi ride away in Knightsbrige. Then there are the thousands of places where you can pick up bargains, so London's many street markets are not to be missed. London loves to spoil its visitors with endless choice, so when evening comes deciding on what to do isn’t easy. You may want to take in a show, or see a film, well London's West End provides the very best that the world has to offer in theatre and cinema entertainment.

If you fancy a bite to eat before the meal, you can choose from one of the many restaurants in the area too. If music is your thing, then London has it all too, from classical to jazz, rock, pop and every type of world music. If all of this is not enough for you, you can always take the Eurostar to Paris, which is only just over 2 hours away by train.