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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
Central Park Hotel
Bayswater - Paddington
1 minute ago 3 stars $85
K West Hotel London
Kensington - Chelsea
5 minutes ago 4 stars $150
Thistle Holborn, The Kingsley
West End - Covent Garden
10 minutes ago 4 stars $155
The Cumberland Hotel
Marylebone - Regent's Park
17 minutes ago 4 stars $183
Thistle Piccadilly
West End - Covent Garden
21 minutes ago 4 stars $196
Citadines Prestige Trafalgar Square London
West End - Covent Garden
33 minutes ago 4 stars $181
Corus Hotel Hyde Park
Bayswater - Paddington
33 minutes ago 4 stars $146
The Bloomsbury Hotel, a member of The Doyle Collection
West End - Covent Garden
34 minutes ago 4 stars $214
The Grosvenor
Victoria - Westminster
35 minutes ago 4 stars $211
Thistle Marble Arch
Marylebone - Regent's Park
54 minutes ago 4 stars $209

Recently Rated London Hotels

Hotel Reviews Stars Price from
The Cumberland Hotel
Marylebone - Regent's Park
3.8 / 5
113 reviews
4 stars $183
Strand Palace Hotel London
West End - Covent Garden
3.8 / 5
229 reviews
3 stars $218
Gloucester Place
Marylebone - Regent's Park
3.7 / 5
7 reviews
3 stars $128
Dorsett Shepherds Bush
Hammersmith - Fulham
3.0 / 5
2 reviews
4 stars $158
Apex Temple Court
City of London
4.2 / 5
5 reviews
4 stars $247
Royal National
Kings Cross - St Pancras
3.1 / 5
16 reviews
3 stars $147
Ascot Hyde Park Hotel
Bayswater - Paddington
2.1 / 5
30 reviews
3 stars $76
Church Street Hotel
South Bank - Waterloo
4.3 / 5
12 reviews
4 stars $109
Travelodge London Covent Garden
West End - Covent Garden
3.5 / 5
22 reviews
2 stars $128
Premier West Hotel
Hammersmith - Fulham
2.3 / 5
7 reviews
2 stars $82

London hotel and travel tips from Orbitz

London hotels

  • London Hotels

Featured London Hotels

From $194

1 St James' Court, A Taj Hotel, London

4 stars
4.3 / 5 3 reviews

45 Buckingham Gate Map

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 $307

2 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 $143

3 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 $214

4 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 $183

5 The Cumberland Hotel

4 stars
3.8 / 5 113 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 $279

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 $218

7 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

Conveniently Small
Spent 6 days, Sept 2014 for business trip. Very good central location to Trafalgar Square, Theatre District. Close to shopping, plenty of restaurants. Staff very helpful with directions,...
Sep 18, 2014
From $155

8 Thistle Holborn, The Kingsley

4 stars
4.3 / 5 48 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

Great hotel for city trip
Nice and comfortable hotel. Rooms are clean and comfy, location is great, centrally and very close to tube station. Staff is friendly, breakfast buffet is reasonably priced and offers a nice...
Sep 14, 2014
From $172

9 Melia White House

4 stars
3.7 / 5 36 reviews

Albany Street, Regents Park Map

Bed & Breakfast Rates

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

Only overnighted but could have stayed longer
We loved the location of this hotel... 1/2 block from the Regent Park tube station; easy 1/2 hour walk to Picadilly Circus and Trafalgar Square and 15 minute tube ride to London Eye Square. The...
Jun 17, 2014
From $150

10 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

Excellent hotel on outskirts of London
This was a very nice hotel in an excellent location. Less than 5 minute walk to underground and you could get to downtown london in 20 minutes. Walking distance to kensington gardens and hyde park....
Sep 15, 2014
From $128

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

Studios 2 Let
Just stayed at the Studio Let 1 night on the front end and 2 nights at end of vacation. Perfect location walk to food, pubs, train station. Very small but efficient studio. Great value for the...
Sep 16, 2014
From $242

12 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 $249

13 The Royal Horseguards

5 stars
4.4 / 5 59 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 $164

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 $292

15 Taj 51 Buckingham Gate London

5 stars
4.9 / 5 14 reviews

Buckingham Gate Map

Early Bird - Save 10% on your stay

A royal residence in central London For visitors looking for a "royal" London experience, 51 Buckingham Gate, Taj Suites and Residences is the place to stay. The hotel is located in a quiet, narrow... More

Luxurious Memorable Trip
This is an exquisite hotel. The in-room amenities were amazing: the most comfy, plush, and cozy bed, beautiful kitchen with complimentary coffee/tea and creamer, and dimmer lighting. That's just to...
Sep 15, 2014
From $193

16 The Grand at Trafalgar Square

4 stars
4.1 / 5 54 reviews

8 Northumberland Ave Map

Boutique hotel within a restored, historic landmark at Trafalgar SquareSteps away from Nelson's Column, the National Gallery and Big Ben and located with a historic landmark, the Grand at Trafalgar... More

Overnight London experience
London prices are ALL too high. This was a reasonable one in a great location close to Trafalgar Square but not as opulant as the web pictures would suggest and a little tired. Liked the ice...
Jun 17, 2014
From $247

17 Apex Temple Court

4 stars
4.2 / 5 5 reviews

1 -2 Serjeants Inn Map

Just off bustling Fleet Street, this luxury hotel is located in Londons historic Temple legal district. It boasts chic, stylish rooms with 40 inch TVs and Bose Mp3 docks, an elegant restaurant, and... More

Quiet and convienent
Pleasant, very friendly staff and economical for a central London hotel
Aug 8, 2014
From $181

18 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 $194

19 Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London

4 stars
4.4 / 5 62 reviews

200 Westminster Bridge Road Map

Save 10% on your stay

- Modern hotel on the vibrant South Bank, directly opposite Big Ben, London Eye and Houses of Parliament - Conveniently located near to Waterloo and Westminster stations - The Mandara Spa offering... More

Not for those hoping to avoid tourists
While the hotel was comfortable and clean, traversing the Westminster Bridge multiple times was quite painful with significant traffic.
Sep 14, 2014
From $159

20 Hotel Xenia

4 stars
4.3 / 5 4 reviews

160 Cromwell Road Map

COMPLIMENTARY WIFI

A short walk from Xenia will lead you into Londons iconic green spaces such as Kensington gardens, present you with the finest shopping, eating and drinking options and take you to the world famous... More

Fantastic London Getaway
Excellent service and staff. Only disappointment was no gym. Easy access to the tube. Short ride (15 minutes or less) to all of London's best sightseeing.
Sep 7, 2014