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London Vacations

London

London

Your London vacation

From Royal Families to Roman history, and charming accents to the River Thames, Old Blighty draws globetrotters year-round. Wake up to Big Ben and a swirl of double-decker busses, black cabs and Brits. Wander up the Mall to Buckingham Palace, and channel your Beatlemania across the infamous zebra crossing at Abbey Road. Spend a day in the British Museum and a night at an Olde English pub.

Whatever you fancy on a London vacation, let Orbitz give you the A to Zed, starting with the best time to go, top 10 highlights and insider tips.

Best time to take a vacation to London

  • If chats about the weather were an Olympic sport, Londoners would win the gold. So pack everything -- Queen Mum's climate is moody: The day can go from blazing sunshine to raining buckets all before afternoon tea. Winter brings cold, damp and Burberry peacoats, plus Christmas crowds and queues.

    2012 Olympics (July 27 to August 12) are the talk of the town, so prepare for heavy tourism, and higher rates. Wimbledon -- the oldest tennis tournament in the world -- draws crowds annually from late June to early July.

    Though London is busy year-round, high season peaks from June to August and again at Christmas, while January and February are a little slower. The crown jewel: bank holidays. They vary throughout the year, and the city is eerily quiet. Translation: cheap hotel rates, few(er) crowds.

Insider tips for London travel

  • St. John's Wood

    Walk the world-famous Lord's Cricket Ground and Hampstead Heath. Be on the lookout for celebs and tucked-away pubs nearby.

  • The Gilbert Scott

    Located in the Renaissance St. Pancras London Hotel -- a Victorian masterpiece -- this is your stop for proper authentic Olde English grub. (Think: Quail, Yorkshire puddings, orange marmalade).

  • Fitness Gallery at the Savoy

    Curb your jetlag at famed Savoy hotel's Fitness Gallery. Scrub, polish and dip your way into the Greenwich time zone with a massage and mani/pedi, or swim in the rooftop pool.

  • Oscar Bar

    After a few hours' at the British Museum, scope out the ultra-cool Oscar Bar nearby. The scene: the unpretentious yet oh-so-stylish types, plus the sommeliers and generous portions.

  • Medieval London

    Winding cobbled streets, mews and Tudor style. Visit Saint Bartholomew the Great, then take a candlelit tour of Sir John Sloane's Museum.

More on London from the Orbitz Blog

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London Vacation Packages

Hotel only $143

1 Sloane Square Hotel

3 stars
4.0 / 5 2 reviews

7-12 Sloane Square Map

Sloane Square Hotel is right on Sloane Square - the ideal location for Chelsea and Knightsbridge. Half of our beautifully designed air-conditioned bedrooms overlook the square- while half have views of Holy Trinity Church. We pride ourselves on our personal and attentive... More

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2 Thistle Holborn, The Kingsley

4 stars
4.3 / 5 53 reviews

Bloomsbury Way Map

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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 home to EM Forster, one of the famous 'Bloomsbury Group', who worked on A Room... More

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3 Generator Hostel London

4 stars
2.8 / 5 17 reviews

37 Tavistock Place, Rusell Square Map

30% off a 4 night stay

The Generator hostel offers a unique experience, and has established itself as the place to stay in London for young visitors. There are four public areas: Fuel stop (Self service breakfast and dinner), Chill out lounge (with sofas, movies and inter-net terminals),... More

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4 Sheriff Hotel

3 stars
4.0 / 5 1 reviews

115 - 117 Warwick Way Map

We are a family owned and run "beyond" bed and breakfast hotel located in the heart of London within walking distance of major sightseeing attractions including Buckingham Palace, the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, the London Eye, Tate... More

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5 The Bridge Hotel

3 stars
5.0 / 5 3 reviews

30 Borough Road Map

The Bridge Hotel is located in the heart of London, near world-famous sights, offering comfortable accommodations at affordable prices. This family-run business aims to provide a very warm and friendly atmosphere for guests who are strangers on arrival, friends on... More

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6 Strand Palace Hotel London

4 stars
3.8 / 5 247 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 the city on business can make use of the hotel's nine conference rooms.... More

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7 The Grand at Trafalgar Square

4 stars
4.1 / 5 55 reviews

8 Northumberland Ave Map

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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 Square is a boutique hotel where opulence and functionality co-exist.... More

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8 Holiday Inn LONDON - OXFORD CIRCUS

4 stars
3.8 / 5 9 reviews

57-59 Welbeck Street Map

Enjoy a quiet location right in the heart of cosmopolitan London at the Holiday Inn London-Oxford Circus hotel. Marble columns frame the entrance to our London hotel, an elegant Edwardian building on a peaceful street in the smart Marylebone area . Choose an Executive... More

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9 Club Quarters Trafalgar Square

4 stars
4.2 / 5 99 reviews

8 Northumberland Avenue Map

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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 travelers with options for day, overnight or extended stays. Free Internet,... More

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10 St Georges Pimlico

3 stars
1.0 / 5 1 reviews

107 St. George's Drive Map

Set in beautiful 19th-century Georgian buildings, The St. Georges Pimlico Hotell in London is perfectly placed for both business and pleasure, offering comfortable, stylishly furnished accommodation at a remarkably affordable price. All of our rooms have en-suite... More

London highlights

  • Buckingham Palace

    Catch the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace, and relive the Royal Wedding at Westminster Abbey. View masterpieces at the nearby Tate Britain or Saatchi Gallery. Stroll by Houses of Parliament and Big Ben.

  • Mayfair-Knightsbridge

    Posh spiced with London's swankiest, find Harvey Nichols, Harrods and its famed Food Halls here. Stroll Oxford Street, take in a show at Royal Albert Hall, shop on Saville Row or dally 'round Piccadilly Circus.

  • The West End

    This drama hub offers easy access to Soho, Covent Garden and Leicester Square. While theater takes center stage, enjoy great shopping, dining and museums, including the National Portrait Gallery and famed St Martin-in-the-Fields church.

  • City of London

    One-square-mile marks London's Roman days and now it's the city's financial hub (London Stock Exchange, Bank of England). Bordered by the River Thames, the City features the iconic "Gherkin."

  • Bayswater-Paddington

    This glamorous haven near Hyde Park attracts paparazzi, fashionistas and foodies. But if you're keen on natural beauty, you can bike, walk or rollerblade along Serpentine Road, or visit Kensington Gardens.

  • London Bridge

    Often mistaken for neighbor Tower Bridge, London Bridge is the ancient elder. Shop and be awestruck in Old Spitalfields, a nearly 400-year-old covered market. Meet the macabre on a dungeon tour.

  • Kensington

    Home of Kensington Palace (Princess Diana's home), this area is chock-a-bloc with smart shops along Kensington High Street. Museum goers, this is your stop for the Natural History Museum, the V&A, and the Science Museum.

  • St. Paul's Cathedral

    Towering high over the City of London, this belled beauty is Sir Christopher Wren's masterpiece. Psst! No secrets in the Whispering Gallery -- they're audible across the dome.

  • London Eye Experience

    Queue up for an eye-conic view of the city from the luxury of your own glass capsule. (Champagne optional.) Photo ops: River Thames, Tower Bridge, Houses of Parliament and Big Ben.

  • Portobello Market

    Sorry, Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant, Notting Hill's real claim to fame is the Portobello Market. Prepare to drop some British pounds at the bohemian shops and mega-watt jewelers.