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Witness the Changing of the Guard in royal London

A cosmopolitan city, London is an epicenter of global finance and politics where cultures intertwine, neighborhoods hold secrets whispered through time, and famous events like London Fashion Week take place on an annual basis. The metropolitan area draws millions of visitors each year to attractions such as the Houses of Parliament, which features the 16-story clock tower Big Ben, and Buckingham Palace. Set on the banks of the River Thames, London offers a fantastic mix of history, food, shopping and museums. The pageantry of the Changing of the Guard and Trooping the Colour create spectacles adored by all, while modern marvels include one of the world's biggest observation wheels.


Things to see and do

Cultural attractions

Exhibits at institutions such as the Royal Museum, the National Gallery, and the Imperial War Museum provide insightful perspectives of the country. From the First World War Galleries to the history of “Jack the Ripper”, and artworks dating back to medieval times, enjoy a window on the past by visiting any of these attractions.

City buildings that have stood for hundreds of years include Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, and the Royal Albert Hall where you can catch a concert in the evenings. The Tower of London is guarded by the legendary Beefeaters, while inside the diamond-studded Crown Jewels glitter for guests throughout the day.

Stroll along historic footpaths in colorful Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens, or enjoy a spectacular bird's-eye view of the city from atop the London Eye.

London' districts are attractions in their own right, and if you take a trip through the East End you will discover the setting for numerous films and television shows. View the ancient street layout and medieval churches in The City, the earliest Roman settlement, or visit Greenwich, home of the Prime Meridian. The Leicester Square neighborhood houses famous Piccadilly Circus and Trafalgar Square, and city tours are a great way to scale the geography of sprawling London.

Shopping and dining

Power shoppers will discover the haute couture boutiques and trendy designer stores of Knightsbridge, Bond Street and Covent Garden, as well as Oxford and Regent Streets. In addition to high-end clothes, you can also find vintage apparel in quirky local establishments.

Once known for its ubiquitous fish and chips, bangers and mash, and even eels, London has since emerged as a center of gastronomic delights. This melting pot of cultures creates a restaurant scene that thrives on fusion and international cuisine. Foodies can enjoy high tea and Anglo-Indian dishes like chicken tikka masala, Turkish kebabs and Mexican-style burritos.

Nightlife and entertainment

When the sun sets after a day of sightseeing, guests can visit local pubs and live music venues featuring internationally-acclaimed DJs and bands. Tracing its origins to Shakespeare, London's West End Theatre district presents musicals and plays starring famous actors from screen and stage. You can also enjoy performances in the Opera House, where the Royal Symphony, Opera and Ballet companies are showcased.

This English capital hosts a series of yearly celebrations that include Wimbledon and other major sporting events, the Notting Hill Carnival, the Lord Mayor's Show and the Totally Thames Festival.


Best time to visit

Spring is one of the best times to visit London. In addition to mild temperatures, the city's parks and gardens begin to bloom. Humidity levels tend to be higher in the summer months, but those looking to sample strawberries and cream, or Pimm’s at the tennis should book a stay in late June or early July.

Travel and hotels are more likely to be reasonably priced and readily available in the fall and winter months—although visitors should be aware that London is popular for Christmas gift shopping in December.


Where to stay

From Bayswater and Paddington to Knightsbridge, the West End and Camden, the neighborhood where you choose to vacation in London will depend very much upon what you want to do on your trip. Historic hotels like Flemings Mayfair—the second oldest in the capital—have a Georgian flair that harks back to the days when carriages rolled through the streets while contemporary accommodations include the K West and the Apex. Prices range quite dramatically, so it's best to search around online before you go.


Travel information

Visitors can reach London through one of six airports, including Gatwick (LGW), Heathrow (LHR) and Stansted (STN). Traveling between these aviation gateways and London's major attractions is easy due to the city's comprehensive public transportation network. Options include the iconic red double-decker buses, Docklands Light Railway and the Underground, as well as Thames River commuter boats and pleasure cruises. Consider using an Oyster Card, a contactless smartcard, instead of individual paper tickets, to save time and money. Another option for traveling within the English city is taking one of London's world-famous black cabs.

Recently booked London hotels

Hotel Last booked Stars Price from
Hotel Xenia
Kensington - Chelsea
1 hour ago 4 stars $180
The Cumberland Hotel
Marylebone - Regent's Park
1 hour ago 4 stars $206
Flemings Mayfair
Knightsbridge - Mayfair
2 hours ago 4 stars $278
Radisson Blu Edwardian, Grafton
Kings Cross - St Pancras
2 hours ago 4 stars $169
The Cavendish London
Knightsbridge - Mayfair
2 hours ago 4 stars $242
Apex Temple Court
City of London
4 hours ago 4 stars $247
Thistle Trafalgar Square, The Royal Trafalgar
West End - Covent Garden
4 hours ago 4 stars $192
Citadines Prestige Trafalgar Square London
West End - Covent Garden
4 hours ago 4 stars $208
Strand Palace Hotel London
West End - Covent Garden
4 hours ago 3 stars $185
Corus Hotel Hyde Park
Bayswater - Paddington
4 hours ago 4 stars $147

Recently Rated London Hotels

Hotel Reviews Stars Price from
Queens Park Hotel
Bayswater - Paddington
1.5 / 5
2 reviews
3 stars $79
The Royal Horseguards
West End - Covent Garden
4.4 / 5
58 reviews
5 stars $256
The Belgrave
Victoria - Westminster
3.8 / 5
6 reviews
4 stars $162
The Ampersand Hotel
Kensington - Chelsea
4.6 / 5
11 reviews
5 stars $235
London House Hotel
Bayswater - Paddington
3.6 / 5
17 reviews
3 stars $101
The Clarendon Hotel
West End - Covent Garden
3.8 / 5
4 reviews
4 stars $128
London Elizabeth Hotel
Bayswater - Paddington
3.2 / 5
16 reviews
4 stars $133
Citadines Prestige Holborn Covent Garden London
West End - Covent Garden
4.0 / 5
38 reviews
4 stars $211
The Cumberland Hotel
Marylebone - Regent's Park
3.8 / 5
112 reviews
4 stars $206
Charing Cross - A Guoman Hotel
West End - Covent Garden
4.3 / 5
88 reviews
4 stars $261

London hotel and travel tips from Orbitz

London hotels

Featured London Hotels

From $184

1 St James' Court, A Taj Hotel, London

4 stars
4.3 / 5 3 reviews

45 Buckingham Gate Map

Weekend Special with Breakfast

The St. James Court, formerly known as the CROWNE PLAZA ST JAMES, has opened its doors with a distinguished pedigree shaped over more than a century and a luxury service ethos refined by Taj... More

Well located London hotel
This London hotel is in a good location, only a few minutes walk to many tourist attaractions including Buckingham Palace and Westminster. The Lobby, Courtyard and Restaurants all look lovely and...
Aug 20, 2014
From $206

2 The Cumberland Hotel

4 stars
3.8 / 5 112 reviews

Great Cumberland Place Map

Book In Advance And Save

Hyde Park hotel featuring cutting edge modern designThe Cumberland Hotel entices travelers with state-of-the-art accommodations and amenities, striking decor and luxurious ambiance set near... More

nice hotel
definitely go for the executive room level in the adjoining business building. great morning breakfast in the business lounge
Sep 12, 2014
From $261

3 Charing Cross - A Guoman Hotel

4 stars
4.3 / 5 88 reviews

Charing Cross, The Strand, Map

Book In Advance and Save 15%

Timeless elegance near Trafalgar SquareCharing Cross - A Guoman Hotel is a modern boutique offering convenient distance to The Strand and Trafalgar Square. This deluxe hotel offers elegant... More

Good location - close to Trafalgar Square
This hotel is okay for the location. It is close to Trafalgar Square. However, the more happening places in London are at Picadilli Circus and the Theater district. I would recommend booking a...
Sep 9, 2014
From $185

4 Strand Palace Hotel London

3 stars
3.8 / 5 229 reviews

372, Strand Map

Free Wifi

Fine dining, modern styling, and in the heart of theaterlandThe Strand Palace Hotel London is ideally located within walking distance of many of London's major tourist attractions. Guests visiting... More

Loved it, loved it, loved it :-)
The central location is absolutely second to none! I found the staff so courteous, friendly & helpful. Nothing was too much bother. I will most definitely stay here again & I can't wait!!!! Roll on...
Sep 2, 2014
From $192

5 Thistle Trafalgar Square, The Royal Trafalgar

4 stars
4.1 / 5 50 reviews

Whitcomb Street Map

Book In Advance & Save 15%

Thistle Trafalgar Square - The Royal Trafalgar, is located on a quiet street just off the lively Leicester Square, next to the National Portrait Gallery. Situated in the middle of the West End and... More

Good hotel, ideal location!
From the hotel, we could walk to all our preferred londonian destinations, the Strand, the Mall, all main museums, all theatres, Windsor, Whitehall and Westminster, plenty of very nice restaurants,...
Sep 7, 2014
From $278

6 Flemings Mayfair

4 stars
4.2 / 5 117 reviews

7 - 12 Half Moon Street Map

Complimentary Breakfast & Wifi

Personalized service and luxury in the heart of MayfairThe second oldest hotel in London, Flemings Mayfair is a stylish boutique hotel housed in a historic Georgian building. The modern decor... More

Great Location and Amazing Service
I'm a college student from the US and I stayed at the Flemings Mayfair hotel on a vacation to London. I got off of the Green Park tube stop and it was only a two minute walk to the hotel. I checked...
Aug 15, 2014
From $230

7 The Bloomsbury Hotel, a member of The Doyle Collection

4 stars
4.6 / 5 23 reviews

16-22 Great Russell Street Map

Stay 2 Nights & Save 10%

Elegant Convent Garden hotel with dining and business facilitiesThe Bloomsbury Hotel is the perfect central location for a real London experience. This hotel was recently restored to its original... More

Great Location and Great Hotel Stay!
Our stay at the Bloomsbury Hotel was excellent. Highly recommend this hotel for its location as well as helpful staff and clean, comfortable rooms.
Sep 1, 2014
From $242

8 The Cavendish London

4 stars
4.4 / 5 196 reviews

81 Jermyn Street Map

A haven of tranquility in the heart of London's Theater DistrictPampered tranquility in the heart of the city is the essence of the Cavendish London, whose contemporary rooms offer some of London's... More

Great location
The hotel is close to Piccadilly Circus, Leicester Sq., Covent Garden, the National Gallery, and Fortnum and Mason. Despite its convenient proximity to many attractions, it is tucked away in a...
Aug 30, 2014
From $159

9 Thistle Holborn, The Kingsley

4 stars
4.3 / 5 47 reviews

Bloomsbury Way Map

Book In Advance & Save 15%

Not many London hotels can claim a place in literary history. But The Kingsley certainly can. Named after Charles Kingsley, author of the classics Westward Ho! and The Water Babies, it was once... More

Perfect in every way
Have stayed agh the Thistle Kingsley several times and will continue to do so each time we visit London. Perfect location for theatre and shops, wonderful room and the staff, each and everyone,...
Sep 1, 2014
From $208

10 Citadines Prestige Trafalgar Square London

4 stars
4.2 / 5 99 reviews

18/21 Northumberland Avenue Map

Complimentary Wifi

Fully serviced apartments for up to six people near Trafalgar Square The Citadines London Trafalgar Square "Apart'hotel" is just steps away from Nelson's Column in Trafalgar Square. It offers 187... More

Good Family Hotel
The hotel is in a great location next to Trafalger Square. Our room had a kitchenette which was handy for feeding our two year old. The hotel offers free espresso drinks which was a nice extra.
Sep 3, 2014
From $122

11 Studios 2 Let

4 stars
4.1 / 5 47 reviews

36-37 Cartwright Gardens Map

5% Off Your Stay

Set in a beautiful Georgian crescent in Bloomsbury, Cartwright Gardens is in one of the most desirable studio apartments for rent within the city. Within easy reach of both the city and the West... More

Close to Eurostar
Small room as expected. The website I booked with said they have ac but they did not. Very uncomfortable mattress. Tiny bathroom and tiny shower. It was nice to have a fridge and toaster and...
Jul 26, 2014
From $206

12 Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London

4 stars
4.4 / 5 61 reviews

200 Westminster Bridge Road Map

Save 10% on your stay

Contemporary luxury in London's South Bank, steps to Big BenContemporary luxury meets hip, high-tech in the stylish Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London hotel that's directly opposite Big Ben and... More

Superb Hotel
Great location, clean and modern hotel. Recommend. Was in London for a week doing standard tourist stuff with the wife. Loved the Park Plaza and would recommend.
Aug 27, 2014
From $256

13 The Royal Horseguards

5 stars
4.4 / 5 58 reviews

2 Whitehall Court Map

Book In Advance And Save 15%

Charm, elegance and comfort on the banks of the River ThamesThe unique blend of 21st century and Victorian decor makes The Royal Horseguards an attraction in itself. Conveniently located near to... More

Home away from home
We have now stayed at the Royal Horseguards 3 times and each time we've experienced excellent customer service, comfortable, elegant, and state of the art rooms, and a delicious, peaceful afternoon...
Sep 11, 2014
From $156

14 Thistle Kensington Gardens

4 stars
4.0 / 5 42 reviews

104 Bayswater Road Map

Book In Advance & Save 15%

Posh hotel with free Wi-Fi near the lush Kensington Gardens A contemporary hotel close to lush London parks yet within convenient distance of top local attractions, Thistle Kensington Gardens... More

Excelente hotel mera central line and all conections
Excelent hotel, excelent staff. Very well located, near queensway station (central line and all conexions). Many markets in The area and also gift shops. If i have The opportunity to come back to...
Aug 24, 2014
From $161

15 Club Quarters St. Pauls

4 stars
4.3 / 5 74 reviews

24 Ludgate Hill Map

Personalized service, chic design steps away from St. Paul’s Cathedral Located on the west side of the city, steps away from St. Paul's Cathedral, the Club Quarters, St. Paul's is a full-service... More

Perfect location
Great location, almost on the steps of St. Paul's Cathedral. Room small but has everything you want in it. Automated check-in and check-out meant no waiting for hotel staff. Only issue I would have...
Aug 12, 2014
From $150

16 K West Hotel London

4 stars
4.0 / 5 82 reviews

Richmond Way Map

Book Early & Save 10%

Contemporary hotel near Notting Hill with an award-winning spaLocated steps from Portabello Market and Kensington Palace, the K West Hotel wows with its modern looks and trendy West London address.... More

Good choice for the price
What I got worth the value i paid I would recommend it
Aug 1, 2014
From $220

17 Ten Manchester Hotel London

4 stars
4.3 / 5 18 reviews

8-12 Manchester Street Map

FREE WIFI INCLUDED

Ten Manchester Street Hotel is a elegant boutique hotel in the heart of very fashionable Marylebone. Just off Marylebone High Street, Ten Manchester Street is a 5-minute walk from Baker Street... More

Lovely hotel, close to buses and tube station
Very nice hotel, in a quiet neighborhood. Several great restaurants within a few blocks. The staff was friendly and accommodating. The room was compact, but comfortable. Would definitely try it again.
Jul 7, 2014
From $210

18 The Mandeville Hotel

4 stars
4.2 / 5 257 reviews

Mandeville Place Map

Comp upgrade, continental bfast, early check in

Personalized service, chic design in an indulgent West End oasisLuxury meets practical in this stylish West End hotel that's both affordable and full-featured. Lavishly designed rooms are equipped... More

A good solid hotel in central london
This is a good solid boutique hotel choice. Very central and easy walking distance to lots of London attractions - this is a fairly small well run hotel which is a good choice as a base for...
Aug 18, 2014
From $160

19 Park International Hotel

4 stars
4.0 / 5 44 reviews

117-129 Cromwell Road Map

Buffet Breakfast Included

Contemporary accommodations set in a central location in LondonPark International Hotel London invites discerning corporate and leisure travelers to elegant and luxurious accommodations while in... More

American Family of 4 with teens
This was our first trip to Europe with the kids. We had to get two rooms to fit all four of us; as is typical of hotels in central London. The location of this hotel was perfect. Just 1.5 blocks...
Aug 19, 2014
From $188

20 K+K Hotel George

4 stars
4.4 / 5 27 reviews

1-15 Templeton Place Map

Free Wifi

Luxury and tranquillity in the heart of London’s Kensington districtThe K+K Hotel George offers style and luxury with a touch of history. This elegant boutique-style hotel offers guests a peaceful... More

great london hotel
this is a great hotel with a great staff and tremendous breakfast buffet. location was great with a block and half away from tube. staff is very friendly and helpful
Jul 25, 2014