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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
Amba Hotel Charing Cross
West End - Covent Garden
5 minutes ago 4 stars $196
The Cavendish London
Knightsbridge - Mayfair
21 minutes ago 4 stars $195
Thistle Kensington Gardens
Bayswater - Paddington
2 hours ago 4 stars $85
The Bloomsbury Hotel, a member of The Doyle Collection
West End - Covent Garden
3 hours ago 4 stars $182
Tune Hotel - Kings Cross, London
Kings Cross - St Pancras
4 hours ago 3 stars $85
Club Quarters St. Pauls
City of London
5 hours ago 4 stars $117
Central Park Hotel
Bayswater - Paddington
5 hours ago 3 stars $59
The Grosvenor
Victoria - Westminster
6 hours ago 4 stars $144
The Cumberland Hotel
Marylebone - Regent's Park
6 hours ago 4 stars $182
Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London
South Bank - Waterloo
6 hours ago 4 stars $154

Recently Rated London Hotels

Hotel Reviews Stars Price from
Gloucester Place
Marylebone - Regent's Park
3.2 / 5
10 reviews
3 stars $82
The Cavendish London
Knightsbridge - Mayfair
4.4 / 5
204 reviews
4 stars $195
The Marylebone Hotel, a member of The Doyle Collection
Marylebone - Regent's Park
4.4 / 5
32 reviews
4 stars $216
St James' Court, A Taj Hotel, London
Victoria - Westminster
4.3 / 5
13 reviews
4 stars $146
H10 London Waterloo
South Bank - Waterloo
4.0 / 5
20 reviews
4 stars $178
Myhotel Bloomsbury London
West End - Covent Garden
4.0 / 5
7 reviews
4 stars $158
Crown Moran Hotel
Camden - Hampstead
3.9 / 5
19 reviews
4 stars $64
Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London
South Bank - Waterloo
4.4 / 5
69 reviews
4 stars $154
Radisson Blu Edwardian, Kenilworth
West End - Covent Garden
4.0 / 5
28 reviews
4 stars $179
Sofitel London St James
West End - Covent Garden
4.7 / 5
13 reviews
5 stars $308

Featured London Hotels

From $195

1 The Cavendish London

4 stars
4.4 / 5 204 reviews

81 Jermyn Street Map

Stay 2 Nights Save 20% at Weekends

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

One Week Stay
I really enjoyed my experience at the Cavendish London and I would certainly return again.
Feb 25, 2015
From $241

2 St. Ermin's Hotel Autograph Collection

4 stars
4.5 / 5 56 reviews

2 Caxton Street Map

Rate Includes Breakfast

The four star St Ermin's is located in an unusually quiet corner of Westminster, the political and cultural heart of London. The 275 bedroom hotel boasts 19 meeting rooms with a maximum capacity of... More

Wonderful hotel for a family vacation
We loved this hotel. It was wonderfully situated next to the St. James' Underground stop and was in easy walking distance to Westminster Abbey as well as sights on the south side of the Thames. The...
Apr 27, 2014
From $182

3 The Bloomsbury Hotel, a member of The Doyle Collection

4 stars
4.6 / 5 32 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

Great location, comfortable stay
My partner and I stayed three nights at the Bloomsbury Hotel in December 2014. We were immediately greeted with an offer of mulled wine while we checked in (good start). Staff were friendly and...
Feb 4, 2015
From $154

4 Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London

4 stars
4.4 / 5 69 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

awesome
lovely trip, will def be back here, lovely customer service
Feb 24, 2015
From $196

5 Amba Hotel Charing Cross

4 stars
4.3 / 5 102 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

Great location and great staff
Definitely a fantastic property. My stay was great and the lounge was a great place to unwind.
Jan 25, 2015
From $164

6 Citadines Trafalgar Square London

4 stars
4.2 / 5 106 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

Vacation
This was a great location. Could walk everywhere or quickly get on bus or train. Clean, nice rooms. Beds were a little uncomfortable and shower was small by American standards but otherwise great...
Feb 21, 2015
From $117

7 Club Quarters St. Pauls

4 stars
4.3 / 5 80 reviews

24 Ludgate Hill Map

Save 12% on your stay

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

Business and Leisure
I have stayed at this hotel 3 times and each experience was very nice. It's a great place to stay for business because you are still very close to all of the site-seeing treasures that London has...
Feb 18, 2015
From $189

8 The Mandeville Hotel

4 stars
4.2 / 5 267 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

Perfect location
The location of this hotel is ideal. There are a number of good restaurants nearby and it is also very close to high street shops. The hotel is small and staff are friendly.
Jan 19, 2015
From $134

9 Thistle Holborn, The Kingsley

4 stars
4.3 / 5 59 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

Primary location
Fantastic staff, close proximity to tube stations, and many other amenities within the vicinity. The bar and room service menu is a nice addition.
Feb 23, 2015
From $277

10 Flemings Mayfair

4 stars
4.2 / 5 124 reviews

7 - 12 Half Moon Street Map

English Breakfast Included

Perfectly located in central London, Flemings Mayfair is renowned for its friendly, personal service. The 4-star boutique hotel offers guests a luxurious home from home and is located 300 meters... More

Wonderful hotel
Second visit to Flemings. This is a small, boutique hotel. Staff was very helpful and courteous. The hotel is located 2 blocks from Green Park underground. Wonderful restaurants close by, and...
Feb 19, 2015
From $183

11 The Tower Hotel

4 stars
4.1 / 5 72 reviews

St Katharine's Way Map

Book In Advance And Save 15%

The Tower Hotel is unique. Part of the Guoman collection of 4 and 5 star London hotels. It is located on the north bank of the River Thames and it boasts unrivalled views of Tower Bridge, Tower of... More

Weekend away
Great location, staff really friendly and accommodating. Great breakfast selection. Good value for money.
Feb 19, 2015
From $59

12 Central Park Hotel

3 stars
3.1 / 5 49 reviews

49-67 Queensborough Terrace Map

Complimentary WIfi

Superbly located and popular hotel, in the heart of London's famous Hyde Park area, 3 mins walk from both Queensway and Bayswater Tube Stations with parking nearby. The hotel is opposite Hyde Park,... More

Good holiday vacay
The rooms were certainly smaller than American hotel rooms but it was fine for 2 girls. The staff was very nice. We spent a good amount of time in the lounge using the wi-fi and nobody every...
Feb 21, 2015
From $216

13 The Marylebone Hotel, a member of The Doyle Collection

4 stars
4.4 / 5 32 reviews

47 Welbeck Street Map

Stay 5 Nights & Save 25%

The Marylebone Village home away from home A refreshingly intimate atmosphere awaits guests at The Marylebone Hotel. Relaxed and informal, the hotel is centered in the Marylebone district of... More

City Break
All perfect, very comfortable. Pricey but as to be expected given loaction and London etc
Jan 26, 2015
From $117

14 Club Quarters Trafalgar Square

4 stars
4.2 / 5 99 reviews

8 Northumberland Avenue Map

Save 12% on your stay

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

Great location
The hotel is located in Trafalgar Square with a lot of restaurants close by. It's walking distance from a lot of attractions. The room was very clean and sound proof. They let us check in early and...
Dec 29, 2014
From $293

15 The Rubens At The Palace Hotel London

4 stars
4.3 / 5 44 reviews

39 Buckingham Palace Road Map

Complimentary English Breakfast Friday to Sunday!

Regal residence in the heart of London Located directly across from Buckingham Palace, The Rubens at the Palace offers guest a regal experience in London. Guests can watch palace guardsmen from the... More

city break with my wife
The initial experience was terrible. Firstly the recerioninst carelessly failed to activate the room key and then were given a pokey room inferior to the booked specification. We felt that the...
Feb 23, 2015
From $117

16 Club Quarters Gracechurch

4 stars
4.2 / 5 55 reviews

7 Gracechurch Street Map

Save 12% on your stay

Private - full service club-like hotel with 203 rooms located within London s historic and financial district. Minutes from Leaden Hall Market shopping area and close to the Tower of London -... More

Nice location
Great hotel in perfect location. Good food in adjoining pub!
Feb 11, 2015
From $210

17 The Beaufort

4 stars
4.3 / 5 30 reviews

33 Beaufort Gardens, Map

15% Off 3 Nights Or More

Intimate luxury and indulgence in a boutique Knightsbridge hotel The Beaufort, just steps away from Harrods and Harvey Nichols, in Knightsbridge is a pristine presentation of intimacy and luxury,... More

In the middle of Old Lodon
Especially if you dly in with Cityjet, sas we did, it is not a long trip to the hotel using the subway. It was our second time and we enjoyed it as much as the first time. It is only a few meters...
Dec 23, 2014
From $144

18 The Grosvenor

4 stars
4.1 / 5 124 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 $154

19 Park Plaza County Hall London

4 stars
4.4 / 5 21 reviews

1 Addington Street Map

Save 10% on your stay

Sophistication and hospitality near the London EyeThe Park Plaza County Hall London is a contemporary and sophisticated hotel. Guests enjoy comfortable rooms and quality services. Have a meal in... More

Photoshoot that was location and time sensitive
The hotel exceeded my expectations. Start was as polite as can be. Will do this again. The same goes for Paris. Thank you.
Jan 22, 2015
From $162

20 Hilton London Tower Bridge

4 stars
4.5 / 5 16 reviews

5 More London Place, Tooley Street Map

Contemporary luxury in LondonStay at the prestigious Hilton London Tower Bridge and be prepared for top quality service and comfort. Its leather interiors and dashes of color brighten up the decor,... More

Terrific hotel in a great location
This is my second time at this hotel. Its location--a five-minute walk to London Bridge Underground, and within easy walking distance of Tower Bridge and the Tower of London--is fantastic. The...
Jul 19, 2014