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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
Shaftesbury Premier London Paddington Hotel
Bayswater - Paddington
2 hours ago 4 stars $145
The Cumberland Hotel
Marylebone - Regent's Park
4 hours ago 4 stars $149
Dorsett Shepherds Bush
Hammersmith - Fulham
4 hours ago 4 stars $150
K+K Hotel George
Earls Court
4 hours ago 4 stars $222
Strand Palace Hotel London
West End - Covent Garden
5 hours ago 4 stars $167
The Westbury Mayfair
Knightsbridge - Mayfair
5 hours ago 5 stars $235
Tune Hotel - Kings Cross, London
Kings Cross - St Pancras
6 hours ago 3 stars $101
Thistle Holborn, The Kingsley
West End - Covent Garden
6 hours ago 4 stars $140
Flemings Mayfair
Knightsbridge - Mayfair
6 hours ago 4 stars $277
The Bloomsbury Hotel, a member of The Doyle Collection
West End - Covent Garden
6 hours ago 4 stars $226

Recently Rated London Hotels

Hotel Reviews Stars Price from
St James' Court, A Taj Hotel, London
Victoria - Westminster
4.2 / 5
6 reviews
4 stars $152
Staunton Hotel
West End - Covent Garden
4.1 / 5
9 reviews
4 stars $142
The Montague on the Gardens Hotel London
West End - Covent Garden
4.1 / 5
13 reviews
4 stars $290
Thistle Kensington Gardens
Bayswater - Paddington
4.0 / 5
43 reviews
4 stars $149
Amba Hotel Charing Cross
West End - Covent Garden
4.3 / 5
93 reviews
4 stars $218
Go Native - Bermondsey Street London
South Bank - Waterloo
4.1 / 5
28 reviews
4 stars $153
Avni Kensington Hotel
Kensington - Chelsea
2.9 / 5
23 reviews
3 stars $74
The Arbor Hyde Park
Bayswater - Paddington
5.0 / 5
1 reviews
3 stars $130
Flemings Mayfair
Knightsbridge - Mayfair
4.2 / 5
118 reviews
4 stars $277
Gloucester Place
Marylebone - Regent's Park
3.8 / 5
8 reviews
3 stars $130

London hotel and travel tips from Orbitz

London hotels

  • London Hotels

Featured London Hotels

From $138

1 K West Hotel London

4 stars
4.0 / 5 87 reviews

Richmond Way Map

Stay 4 Nights & Save 30%

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

Big bed, good location
Big comfortable bed and big room. Had everything you need and close to the tube on the central line. Great value for money
Oct 17, 2014
From $265

2 The Royal Horseguards

5 stars
4.4 / 5 62 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

Celebrating Anniversary in London
We were greeted with smiles during the entire stay. The entire staff was the friendliest, Concierge service was excellent, taking time to arrange day trips and give us directions for walking the...
Oct 12, 2014
From $140

3 Thistle Holborn, The Kingsley

4 stars
4.3 / 5 50 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

Week in London
Excellent services. Had sound issues and was moved to a new room with no hesitation from manager.
Oct 10, 2014
From $167

4 Strand Palace Hotel London

4 stars
3.8 / 5 232 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

Well-Located Hotel
The location of the hotel could not be better. The room was clean, small and perfectly comfortable and satisfactory. The water pressure in the bathroom was amazing. The staff were friendly and...
Oct 15, 2014
From $152

5 St James' Court, A Taj Hotel, London

4 stars
4.2 / 5 6 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

A St James Taj Experience
Our stay at this hotel was a great vacation experience throughout. Situated in a good location in the middle of everything, near Buckingham Palace, Victoria Station and Parliament, it was a perfect...
Oct 20, 2014
From $149

6 The Cumberland Hotel

4 stars
3.8 / 5 114 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

Good value for money
It is a good hotel but I guess you expect better interaction and smiles and friendliness in general from the staff
Sep 25, 2014
From $121

7 Studios 2 Let

4 stars
4.1 / 5 48 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 $204

8 Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London

4 stars
4.4 / 5 64 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

Close, but Pricey
The taxes/fees for London hotels really jack the prices up --- if I hadn't gotten a free night using some other points, I probably wouldn't have forked over the money I did for this hotel. That...
Oct 3, 2014
From $149

9 Thistle Trafalgar Square, The Royal Trafalgar

4 stars
4.1 / 5 53 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

Great except
Wonderful location, 15 minutes from many major attractions. First night no room ,sent to a different Thistle Hotel, which was a large hassle. They made up for it with free breakfasts and a room...
Oct 16, 2014
From $149

10 Thistle Kensington Gardens

4 stars
4.0 / 5 43 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

Conveneint, No frills stay
The hotel is what it advertises. It is a clean quiet place to sleep and is within walking distance of paddington station, queensway station and bayswater station. If you are looking for something...
Oct 8, 2014
From $218

11 Amba Hotel Charing Cross

4 stars
4.3 / 5 93 reviews

Charing Cross, The Strand, Map

Book In Advance and Save 15%

Timeless elegance near Trafalgar SquareAmba Hotel Charing Cross is a modern boutique offering convenient distance to The Strand and Trafalgar Square. This deluxe hotel offers elegant accommodations... More

A little disappointed this year
You still can't beat the location. Unfortunately, part of our stay involved a brand changeover, of which we were unaware. We were being painted and renovated around, etc. which was not pleasant....
Oct 18, 2014
From $363

12 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 $171

13 Melia White House

4 stars
3.7 / 5 37 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

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 $143

14 Club Quarters Trafalgar Square

4 stars
4.2 / 5 98 reviews

8 Northumberland Avenue Map

Affordable, club-like hotel in Trafalgar Square for business travelers Set in the heart of Trafalgar Square, the Club Quarters, Trafalgar Square is a full-service hotel designed for business... More

Well Kept Hotel and Great Location!
This Club Quarters location is a great base to get our and explore much of what London has to offer. I arrived a couple of hours before check-in and was given a room without waiting. Within steps...
Sep 14, 2014
From $222

15 K+K Hotel George

4 stars
4.4 / 5 29 reviews

1-15 Templeton Place Map

Free Wifi

K+K Hotel George is a contemporary boutique style first class hotel behind a historic facade in a quiet residential street. All 154 air-conditioned en suite guestrooms with bathtubs or walk in... More

Couple holiday
We spent three nights at the KK hotel George and had a great time. The staff are very friendly and helpful, nothing was to much trouble only had to ask. Room a little small but comfortable and...
Oct 2, 2014
From $160

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 $226

17 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 $324

18 ME London

5 stars
4.7 / 5 9 reviews

336-337 Strand Map

30% Off Your Stay

The hotel designed by Foster and Partners has 157 air-conditioned rooms, including 16 Suites. It is centrally located in London Strand, the artistic and cultural heart of the city. It was on... More

Incredible
This place is centrally located in London. Awesome roof too And restaurant STK. Extent luv enjoyed out stay. A+ service. We came as a couple - very hip and young.
Sep 30, 2014
From $170

19 Park International Hotel

4 stars
4.0 / 5 46 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

I"d Go Back.......
We got to this hotel in pouring rain, and were helped immediately. The lobby is very nice. The staff were friendly. The room was small, as we expected, and was in the front. But the traffic died...
Oct 6, 2014
From $235

20 The Westbury Mayfair

5 stars
4.2 / 5 13 reviews

Bond Street,Mayfair Map

Special Saving

The Westbury leads a new direction of unrivalled luxury. The excellent location in the heart of Mayfair means it is walking distance to Regent Street, Oxford Circus, Buckingham Palace & the... More

awesome place !
grat room, best location...since the moment we arrived, we were welcomed by a most fiendly staff who made everything possible to place us.
Aug 15, 2014