Often referred to as the capital of the world, London is a city that attracts tourists from all over the globe. 2014 was a record breaking year when London was visited by 17.4 million travellers. With a population of nearly 9 million, London is the second biggest European capital, surpassed only by Moscow. Famous for its red busses and phone boxes, the Queen and endless rain, London is in fact so much more. With countless cheap flights landing at Heathrow, Gatwick, Luton and Stansted every day, there’s no excuse for not visiting this astonishing metropolis.
You can travel to London on a direct flight from… 243 cities in the world. Even outside of Europe, most major airports operate direct flights to London and the airfare deals are increasingly affordable.
Flight tickets to London from within the European Union are also very cheap and many airlines seasonally offer discount airfare starting at… 20EUR one way. Advance online booking is recommended but even booking flights just a day earlier it’s usually possible to find cheap fares.
Backpackers travelling on a shoestring might be tempted to travel even cheaper by an overnight bus but the journey is very tiring. The buses are often stopped at borders for passport control and arrivals are usually delayed.
A great way of getting to London from mainland Europe is by train from Paris. The journey takes less than 3 hours and is very comfortable but the tickets remain quite pricey.
Booking airline tickets online in advance is a guarantee of a cheap and usually enjoyable journey.
Traces of the first Roman settlement on the site of contemporary London date back to the 1st century but it’s almost certain that before the arrival of Romans the area was already used by native tribes as a stronghold and a market place.
In Roman times the city grew to a population of 30 thousand inhabitants but it was swept away by chaos that ensued after the Romans left. Tribal wars ended when in the 7th century London became the capital of the Kingdom of Essex. Viking assaults damaged much of the city at least three times but by the 11th century London became the de facto capital of England.
In 1666 the Great Fire of London destroyed most of the by then overcrowded city. The event was seen as a great opportunity to rebuild London as a metropolis fit for the Age of Reason. Many of London’s great sites date back to that period.
During World War II German air raids damaged a small part of the city but by XX century London’s position as a leading global city was long established.
Modern London is not only a centre for arts and culture and a major tourist destination but, first and foremost, it's one of the world’s most important financial centres and the most important in Europe.
London is also a popular transit city and, for many tourists from other continents, a gateway to Europe. Being a major transport hub, London is served by nearly every airline in the world. That includes a wealth of low cost airlines offering cheap flight tickets to one of the six London airports every day.
There’s so much to do in London that describing all of the best attractions would require writing a whole guidebook! Have a look at our recommendations but do make sure to follow your gut instinct and leave the beaten path at least once during your stay in London. It’s the best way of really getting to know the city!
(The below described walk is really quite long at 5.3 miles, so you might want to consider renting out one of the red, public bikes. Cycling in London may be a little dangerous but it’s an authentic city experience!)
Start at the Buckingham Palace. If you’re lucky, you might even see the Queen. The Changing of the Guards ceremony is a spectacular sight but it draws such crowds that it’s recommended to show up early (in season it kicks off everyday at 11.30am).
Take a stroll down the Mall all the way to the magnificent Trafalgar Square and the National Gallery. From there you’re just at a stone’s throw from the West End (all the musical theatres are here) and Soho (all the pubs, restaurants and famous gay clubs are here).
From Leicester square walk to Westminster Abbey. The 12th century building was designed to resemble the Notre Dame.
From there cross the River Thames via Westminster Bridge and walk along its banks all the way to Tower Bridge. You will have a chance to admire the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben on the way, but you might not make it for a ride on the gigantic ferris wheel known as the London Eye as very often it takes a couple of hours to queue.
In Southwark don’t miss the opportunity to visit the Borough Market and sample fresh oysters with champagne. One of the world’s very best contemporary art museums, Tate Modern, is also located on your way.
Cross the iconic Tower Bridge and find yourself at the Tower of London, the 11th century castle that in its day was occupied by many of Great Britain’s finest rulers.
For many it’s not the rich history and countless tourist attractions that call them to London. With one of the most exciting music scenes in the world, parties that last until dawn and food that attracts gourmands from every corner of the globe (from street stalls and pop ups to Michelin starred restaurants), London is the place to be.
Direct low cost flights from nearly every city in Europe are an affordable and fast way of getting to London even if for just one evening or a weekend. Booking tickets to London in advance, even students can now afford a short city break to attend one of the most exciting music festivals or see a show in West End.
The classic places to party are Soho and Camden Town. Brick Lane is slightly newer but already has a touristy feel. Real Londonites head straight to Brixton or Hackney for the real deal.
Visiting such iconic clubs like the Fabric, Ministry of Sound or KOKO is mandatory but it’s all about the latest, most underground spots that can only be found by hanging out with the cool kids.
With cheap flights to London departing from every airport in Europe nearly every hour, it’s never been a better time to just hang out there. Airline deals make it possible to be a real Londonite without even living in London!
Cheap flights to London start from and it takes only to get there.
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