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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
Studios 2 Let
Kings Cross - St Pancras
24 minutes ago 4 stars $102
Citadines Apart'hotel Holborn Covent Garden London
West End - Covent Garden
35 minutes ago 4 stars $190
Go Native - Earls Court London
Earls Court
55 minutes ago 4 stars $109
Thistle Kensington Gardens
Bayswater - Paddington
57 minutes ago 4 stars $127
Grange St Paul's
City of London
1 hour ago 5 stars $148
Park International Hotel
Kensington - Chelsea
1 hour ago 4 stars $108
Melia White House
Marylebone - Regent's Park
1 hour ago 4 stars $115
The Rubens At The Palace Hotel London
Victoria - Westminster
1 hour ago 4 stars $239
The Tower Hotel
City of London
1 hour ago 4 stars $113
The Westbury Mayfair
Knightsbridge - Mayfair
2 hours ago 5 stars $156

Recently Rated London Hotels

Hotel Reviews Stars Price from
Gloucester Place
Marylebone - Regent's Park
3.2 / 5
10 reviews
3 stars $93
The Royal Horseguards
West End - Covent Garden
4.4 / 5
67 reviews
5 stars $239
The Marylebone Hotel, a member of The Doyle Collection
Marylebone - Regent's Park
4.4 / 5
29 reviews
4 stars $236
London Elizabeth Hotel
Bayswater - Paddington
3.2 / 5
17 reviews
4 stars $101
Central Park Hotel
Bayswater - Paddington
3.1 / 5
41 reviews
3 stars $70
Novotel London Excel
Canary Wharf - Docklands
4.0 / 5
5 reviews
4 stars $89
Amba Hotel Charing Cross
West End - Covent Garden
4.3 / 5
99 reviews
4 stars $233
Millennium Bailey's Hotel London Kensington
Kensington - Chelsea
4.0 / 5
84 reviews
4 stars $144
Hotel Xenia
Kensington - Chelsea
4.2 / 5
9 reviews
4 stars $136
Shaftesbury Hyde Park International Hotel
Bayswater - Paddington
3.5 / 5
21 reviews
4 stars $109

London hotel and travel tips from Orbitz

London hotels

  • London Hotels

Featured London Hotels

From $127

1 Thistle Holborn, The Kingsley

4 stars
4.3 / 5 51 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

Good stuff
Recommended. Staff were friendly and very helping.
Dec 6, 2014
From $131

2 K West Hotel London

4 stars
4.0 / 5 92 reviews

Richmond Way Map

Stay 3 Nights & Save 15%

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 value
Nice value for West London. Very large, well equipped room. Docked a star for the desk clerk (robotic and not very friendly) and construction noise/smells at hotel.
Dec 6, 2014
From $132

3 Strand Palace Hotel London

4 stars
3.8 / 5 234 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

Good place to stay in London
The location near Covent Garden is great and the service was good. Otherwise very average experience, nothing special but nothing missing either.
Dec 17, 2014
From $180

4 Citadines Trafalgar Square London

4 stars
4.2 / 5 101 reviews

18/21 Northumberland Avenue Map

Complimentary Wifi

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

Spacious
The hotel was a solid 3-3.5 star based on American standards. We rented a one bedroom suit and it was very spacious. Service was good and walking to all major attractions was easy as everything is...
Oct 26, 2014
From $119

5 Thistle Trafalgar Square, The Royal Trafalgar

4 stars
4.1 / 5 56 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

brilliant location
Smooth check in and check out, pleasant staff. Very good location, walking distance from Charing Cross station, 3 minutes from Trafalgar Square, close to many theatres. Nice clean room, ample...
Dec 9, 2014
From $102

6 Studios 2 Let

4 stars
4.1 / 5 51 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

Perfect trip.
I stayed here by myself for a week before meeting up with my friend. Not only was it great by myself, it was great sharing with another person. The rooms are smaller - but they have everything you...
Dec 4, 2014
From $130

7 Thistle Piccadilly

4 stars
3.7 / 5 31 reviews

Coventry Street Map

Book In Advance & Save 15%

This is an amazing hotel, located in the centre of London, just a few minutes walk to Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square and Theatre Land. It is walking distance to Oxford Street, Covent Garden... More

Excellent Location
The hotel is fine. It is all about the location. It is located in the heart of all the action and the theatre district. Perfect
Nov 19, 2014
From $158

8 The Cumberland Hotel

4 stars
3.8 / 5 121 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

great location!!!!
Its the second time we have stayed here and it has always been great and would look at staying again in the future.
Dec 15, 2014
From $115

9 Melia White House

4 stars
3.7 / 5 37 reviews

Albany Street, Regents Park Map

Book Now & Save

A delightful hotel experience in the heart of LondonLocated near Regent's Park, Melia White House offers deluxe London accommodations for both business and pleasure travelers. The hotel has nine... More

Nice stay
The hotel was a good hotel. The location was good. There was some nearby bars and restaurants in walking distance. Overall it was a good stay.
Oct 11, 2014
From $171

10 Thistle Marble Arch

4 stars
3.9 / 5 66 reviews

Bryanston Street, Map

Book In Advance & Save 15%

Shopper's delight Art Deco-style luxury hotel on Oxford Street Offering 4-star comfort in the heart of London's prime shopping district, the Thistle Marble Arch offers nearly 700 spacious and... More

Perfect break
The hotel is located in a perfect location. Perfect for either business or shopping. The hotel is clean, very friendly staff and generally the staff makes you feel at home.
Oct 2, 2014
From $179

11 Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London

4 stars
4.4 / 5 66 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

Very "posh" hotel
After spending a week out in the Oxford countryside, we booked a room in London for two nights at the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge. What this hotel lacks in country charm, it makes up for in...
Nov 17, 2014
From $127

12 Thistle Kensington Gardens

4 stars
4.0 / 5 47 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

Great place
I stayed there with my Mom for a night. The location is just next to Kensington Gardens. We had a great time - clean room, new furniture, quiet.
Nov 27, 2014
From $108

13 Park International Hotel

4 stars
4.0 / 5 48 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 with teenagers
This hotel was great! The staff was friendly and helpful. The location was great, just down the street from the Circle Line underground stations, about 4 or 5 blocks from the Piccadilly Line. Also...
Dec 16, 2014
From $219

14 The Grosvenor

4 stars
4.1 / 5 121 reviews

Buckingham Palace Road Map

Book In Advance And Save Up To 15%

Following a multi-million pound refurbishment, The Grosvenor Hotel has been restored to its former glory, revealing stunning original features that date back to 1862. A Listed building, it retains... More

Magical Stay!!!
Absolutely magical from the moment we walked in having booked to stay here as an 11 year anniversary celebration. Upon checking in we was upgraded from a standard double to the Grosvenor Suite on...
Dec 15, 2014
From $123

15 Apex London Wall Hotel

4 stars
4.5 / 5 16 reviews

7 - 9 Copthall Avenue Map

In the heart of the Londons old City, Apex London Wall is a 4 star boutique luxury hotel with free WiFi, local calls, 24hr room service and a gym. 3 Tube stations are within a few minutes walk. ... More

Fantastic stay
From arriving to leaving the staff where exstreamley pleasant And helpfull.the hotel very smart and rooms very spacesious for a londin hotel. Under ground close by and many resteraunts and food...
Dec 9, 2014
From $140

16 Saint Georges Hotel

4 stars
3.7 / 5 12 reviews

Langham Place Map

The Saint Georges Hotel is situated at the top end of fashionable Regent Street in one of the most exclusive areas of London, on the corner of Langham Place and Regent Street. With only 92 non... More

Good price for a good location
Close to Oxford Circus was the real selling point. Overall rather nice, but nothing stood out in particular. Some noise in the morning due to the construction they were undertaking. Free drink at...
Sep 22, 2014
From $109

17 Go Native - Earls Court London

4 stars
3.9 / 5 62 reviews

181 Warwick Road Map

Stay 3 Nights or More & Save 25%

With its spacious apartments and convenient location, Go Native Earl's Court is an ideal choice for your stay in stylish West London. This contemporary-styled serviced accommodation is set within a... More

A good deal
If you need a place to stay in Southwest London, this is a great one. Some of the rooms have air conditioning controlled from the front desk and could get stuffy, so I would check before staying in...
May 26, 2014
From $197

18 The Bloomsbury Hotel, a member of The Doyle Collection

4 stars
4.6 / 5 26 reviews

16-22 Great Russell Street Map

COMPLIMENTARY WIFI

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

Fabulous stay
Great location, lovely staff, beautiful room, Nespresso pods and nice toiletries!
Dec 1, 2014
From $180

19 K+K Hotel George

4 stars
4.4 / 5 30 reviews

1-15 Templeton Place Map

EXCLUSIVE - Stay 5 Nights or More & Save 10%

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

Fantastic trip
Staff was very helpful and friendly. We requested a taxi the night before for 6:45 AM in the morning . The staff then offered to pack up breakfast for us since we would not have time to sit down...
Nov 16, 2014
From $144

20 Thistle Euston

4 stars
4.0 / 5 39 reviews

Thistle Euston Hotel Map

Book In Advance & Save 15%

Strategic stylish base for exploring London Exploring the culture-rich and vibrant England capital can be convenient by opting to stay at the stylish accommodation units of Thistle Euston,... More

Not too bad
Super small rooms. Barely any room to move for 2 people. Good location.
Nov 23, 2014