A travel guide to London, England

Why London?

London. Home to Big Ben and the British Museum, bobbies and Beefeaters, Hampstead Heath and Picadilly Circus, punk hairdos and a stiff upper lip, fish 'n' chips and Buckingham Palace, giant black taxicabs and double-decker buses, tea-time and time-traveling police booths, Sherlock Holmes and the Crown Jewels, Poet's Corner and the dome of St. Paul's.

London also has some of the world's foremost museums—and, amazingly, the best ones are all free—including exhaustive collections of everything from global antiquities (The British Museum), paintings (The National Gallery for Old Masters, Tate Britain for Old Brits, and Tate Modern for cuting edge contemporary), and historical artifacts (The Musuem of London) to decorative arts (The V&A), mannequin tableaus in a World War II command bunker (The Chuchill War Rooms), scientific instruments (Greenwich Observatory), and film memorabilia.

You can break out the opera glasses for an evening of West End theater, dance in cutting-edge clubs, and drink in the neighborhood pubs where Shakespeare himself once got sloshed.

You can shop the market stalls of Portobello Road, the tailors of Saville Row, and the well-stocked warrens of Harrods.

And, oh yes, there is a London Bridge, but despite reports to the contrary, it is not falling down.

London truly is one of the world's greatest cities, and you could spend a lifetime here and not exhaust its attractions. Still, you can cram quite a lot into less than a week.

Tips & Links

How long should I spend in London?

Planning your days in London: Spend at least a week in London, if you can manage it, though you can see many of the greatest hits in 3–4 days.

» London itineraries

Useful links & resources
Get the London Pass

The London Pass grants free entry to more than 60 sights across London, including such top attractions as St. Paul’s Cathedral, Westminster Abbey, the Tower of London, the Churchill War Rooms, Shakespeare's Globe Theatre Tour, Hampton Court Palace, Windsor Castle, Kew Gardens, and London Transport Museum—as well as some nifty tours by bike, canal boat, and foot.

If you upgrade to the Travelcard option (an extra £9—or $16—per day) you also get unlimited rides on all public transportation (Underground/Tube, bus, and light rail).

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London tours

Top London tour companies

Top London tours

  • Walks
  • Sights
  • History
  • Literature
  • Art & Architecture
  • Food
  • Pubs
  • Film & TV
  • Bike, etc.

Tours of London sights, museums, & monuments


Monuments & palaces




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Tours Under $995 G Adventures

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This article was by Reid Bramblett and last updated in November 2013.
All information was accurate at the time.

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Copyright © 1998–2013 by Reid Bramblett. Author: Reid Bramblett.