If you are thinking of traveling to London, UK, you are in the right place. London is the capital of England and the United Kingdom. The first settlements in London, an important world city with a deep-rooted history, date back to 2,000 years ago. It is known that the first settlers in the city were Celts; but the city got its name from the Romans. In 43 BC, the Roman Empire named the city Londonium.
The word Londonium, which means “flowing river”, has transformed into London over time, and due to its interaction with different cultures and its long history, it has met and fused with many different cultures and has become one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world.
London, which was one of the most important cities during the Roman Empire, was gradually abandoned and devastated by the influence of Viking attacks from the collapse of the empire in the 5th century until the 11th century. Westminster Abbey, the UK’s most magnificent religious building, whose construction began in 960, has played a key role in reinvigorating life in the city.
With the rapid development of trade in the city and the rapid increase in its population, it became the capital of England. Thus began the rapid development of London until today. One of the great states that shaped the world history, England’s VIII. Kings and queens such as Henry, Elizabeth I and Victoria resided in London. In the country where the monarchy still continues today, Queen II. Elizabeth resides at Buckingham Palace and certain parts of the palace are open to visitors.
When to go to London?
Let us share with you some of the things you need to know when traveling to London. It is possible to go to London, which is the second most visited capital of Europe, at any time of the year, but the city, which has Temperate Ocean climate characteristics, generally has a cloudy and rainy weather. Therefore, going in the summer months will be a factor for you to have better days. In areas outside the city center, where the airports are located, the air temperature is relatively cooler compared to the city center.
The average temperature in summer is 22 degrees in the city. In winter, temperatures between 2 and 5 degrees are warm, especially with the entertainments at Christmas time. You can go to the city before Christmas and enter your new year in this beautiful capital. However, it may snow from time to time during the winter months and this may cause delays in flights.
Even if you go to London in summer, do not forget to take a cardigan and an umbrella with you when you go to the city.
Places To Visit In London
London is a city rich in places to visit. It is a city with world-famous squares, home to many art galleries and museums, dazzling with its natural beauties and historical richness. There are so many places to visit, so many activities to do here that even if you take your days or even a month and spend every day to the fullest, you cannot get enough of the city and get bored.
Top attractions in the city are the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, Tower Bridge, London Bridge, London Eye and Greenwich Observatory.
Built for the Duke of Buckingham in 1703, Buckingham Palace became a royal palace in 1837 when Queen Victoria ascended the throne. This British Royal Palace, which has a deep-rooted history of 300 years, is one of the places you should see in London. Consisting of 775 rooms and 19 rooms, this palace is located in the Westminster area and is mostly used for official ceremonies and important events.
Official ceremonies in the city are held here, state visits are held in this palace, and assignments are decided within the walls of this palace. In addition, the palace Queen II. It is the London address of Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh. For this reason, only visitors are accepted to the palace during the summer months.
When Queen Elizabeth is in the palace, the flag consisting of yellow, red and blue colors is hoisted. Since 2016, the exhibition “Fashioning a Reign: 90 Years of Style from The Queen’s Wardrobe”, which shows the different dresses that the Queen wore during her reign, is open to visitors.
In the palace, you can visit the Queens Gallery where the royal collection is exhibited, the Royal Mews where the royal horse carriages and other vehicles are located, and the 19 rooms we mentioned before, as well as watch the changing of the guards of the palace. Changing of the guard is done every day at 11:30 in June and July, and every other day in other months.
London is one of the most visited cities in the world. Of course, there is plenty of room for entertainment in London, which has dozens of places to see in every field from culture to sports, from literature to architecture. The London Eye, a gigantic Ferris wheel; It is designed as an observation wheel and is the third largest observation wheel in the world.
While the London Eye invites you to a special experience, it offers a perfect view of London integrated with the River Thames. Although it looks like a classic Ferris wheel at first glance, the capsules that people ride on are more reminiscent of a funicular.
It takes 20 minutes for the fixed wheel to make one full revolution. Its highest point is 135 meters. If you are not afraid of heights, you should ride this incredible Ferris wheel and enjoy the extraordinary London view. The London Eye, by the River Thames, returns every day between 10:00 and 21:00 during the summer period and awaits those who want to have a unique experience.
Especially when you reach the peak, the view that unfolds before your eyes is breathtaking. The London Eye fully deserves the description of the “eye of London”.
Opened to visitors in 2000, the London Eye has 32 passenger capsules that carry passengers. The number 32 represents the 32nd boroughs of London. Each pod has a capacity of approximately 25 people and it is free to move around in the pods. In 2013, one of the capsules was named the “Coronation Capsule” in honor of the 60th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth’s reign.
Palace of Westminster
Known as The Palace of Westminster or Houses of Parliament, the palace also includes Big Ben, the city’s most famous clock tower. Located on the northern banks of the River Thames, the palace is located in the City of Westminster. The foundations of today’s palace complex were laid in 1016. After its construction, it became the residence of the British monarchs, but in a great fire in 1512, the palace was almost completely destroyed.
The palace, which was later repaired, began to serve as the parliament building. However, another big fire broke out in 1834 and the palace became unusable again. It took 30 years to completely rebuild the palace, which was started to be repaired by the architect Charles Barry in 1840. 14.-16. Charles Barry, who was inspired by the gothic architecture that dominated almost every part of Europe between the centuries, designed the palace with this understanding.
Consisting of 1100 rooms, the Palace of Westminster has managed to survive from 1870 to the present day. It is still used as the parliament building today and the entrances are in St. Stephen’s Tower in St. It is made from the Stephen Entrance.
The famous tower, known as Big Ben or the Elizabeth Tower, was designed by Augustus Pugin and is the second largest 4-sided clock in the world. 96.3 m. The tall gothic style tower is one of the most important symbols of the city and even of the United Kingdom. In addition, Big Ben is actually the name of the clock, not the tower, but since the tower named Elisabeth Tower is commonly referred to as Big Ben, it has remained as usual and Big Ben. The tower is one of the must-see places in London.
One of the must-see places in London is Tower Bridge, which was opened in 1894. This bridge, which took 8 years to build and is 283 meters long, is an important stopover point, especially for taking photos. The bridge, which is one of the important symbols of the city, has a passageway for both pedestrians and vehicles.
By the late 1800s there were bridges in London, but it was decided that another bridge was needed, and a committee was formed in 1877 to build it. More than 50 designs were submitted to the committee by many architects and engineers, but none were accepted by the committee. Presented by Sir Horace Jones in 1884, the design was immediately approved by the committee, and in 1886 eight years of construction of the bridge began.
The bridge, which consists of two large towers with a height of 65 meters, was designed to be opened with hydraulic systems in order not to hinder the traffic of the River Thames. In addition, there is an exhibition in the towers of the bridge where information about the design, operation and history of the bridge is given. Known as the Tower Bridge Exhibition, it features interesting areas such as glass-floored corridors and Victorian engine rooms.
Also, while you’re here, you can eat Fish and Chips at one of the restaurants on the way to the bridge.
Although London is a large metropolis, approximately 47% is green space. Most of these green spaces are made up of royal parks. Access to these beautiful royal parks scattered all over the city is free. Among them, the world-famous London park Hyde Park; It is a very important park in the city center.
Located in London’s Westminster borough, the park’s history actually goes back centuries. VIII. Henry took this area as land that had previously belonged to Westminster Abbey. During this period, it was not used as a park and was used as an area where the kings made hunting trips. It was opened as a public park in 1637. Hyde Park is undoubtedly one of the most well-known parks in the world, as it is the subject of movies, TV series and novels.
The green space, which has a reputation as big as New York’s Central Park, is spread over 350 acres. With sunbathers, walkers, picnickers and those who do sports, the park resembles a green paradise where everyone, young and old, prefers to come. You can also see squirrels running around during your walk. There is a monument built by Queen Victoria for her husband, Wellington Ark, Kensington Palace and a waterfall in the park.
One of London’s most magnificent buildings is Westminster Abbey. It is located to the west of the Palace of Westminster and the tombs of many British monarchs and important people such as Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin are also within the body of Westminster Abbey. Known as Westminster Abbey, the building is not actually used as a monastery.
The foundations of the building were laid in 1042 and the construction took 10 years. Built by the King of England, St. Edward the Confessor, the building is St. Peter’s Abbey and is designed in a romanesque style. The king, who was very devoted to his religion, actually built the monastery based on a belief. According to the belief, at the end of the 900s, a group of monks lived in the place where the monastery was located, and the remains of the monastery built by these monks were also found here.
Oxford Street is one of the most popular and crowded places in London. It is thought that an average of 500,000 people pass through this street every day. The length of this street, which starts from Marble Arch and extends to Park Lane, is 1.9 kilometers. The street with more than 300 shops is the shopping point of Londoners and all world famous brands have their stores on this street.
For all its popularity, Oxford Street is considered the busiest street in Europe and traffic congestion has become a major problem.
The origins of the street date back to the Roman Empire period. It has been used extensively since then. In the Middle Ages it was called Tyburn Road, and convicts taken to Newgate Prison were taken along this road. In the 18th century, the name of the road was changed to Oxford Street. Housing started to be built along the way, but it became a place not preferred by the elite until the 19th century.
In the 19th century, it underwent a rapid change with the opening of shops along the road, and since then it has been the center of especially luxury shopping. George Orwell, the famous writer about the street, which was heavily damaged in World War II, talked about the dilapidated and empty state of the street in his diary.
There are dozens of beautiful museums in London. If you have no time constraints and are interested in modern art, history, craftsmanship and other subjects in London’s museums, you should definitely visit each of them. But if you have to choose between them and you are interested in modern arts, Tate Modern may be one of the things you should prioritize.
As the name suggests, Tate Modern is an art museum. There are many works of English art from the 16th century to the 21st century. It is said that the best works of modern art in the world are in this museum in the exhibition consisting of national and international works.
What’s surprising about museums in London is the fact that even top-notch museums are free, the Tate Modern also applies. The museum, which was restored by the British as an old factory and regained its current appearance, has four floors, each with a different style.
While the Tate Modern Museum is considered a must-see for anyone interested in modern art, it’s a place that might seem a bit pointless if you don’t have a clue about modern art. But on the other hand, you may want to enjoy the magnificent panoramic view of London on the top floor of the museum, namely -Viewing Level-. You can use the elevator in the museum to go up to the terrace.
If you wish, you can double your enjoyment of the view by sipping something from the terrace bar.
Address: Bankside, London SE1 9TG, United Kingdom
Directions: If you prefer the bus, you can use buses 45, 63, 100, 344 or 381. For the subway, it is enough to get off at Southwark, Blackfriars, St Paul’s subway stops and walk a little.
Nearby Places: Shakespeare Globe Theatre, Millennium Bridge, Southwark
London Museum of Natural History
Natural History Museum, of course, is one of the free museums in London and is one of the museums that has gained its reputation around the world. It is a fact that it is one of the places to visit in London that you will regret if you return without adding this place.
It was moved to its South Kensington building in 1881 as part of the British Museum and renamed the Natural History Museum in 1992. There are many works in this museum, which tourists and locals do not leave empty every day, almost every hour. As the name suggests, animals, minerals, mines and plants are exhibited in the museum.
Some visitors find it a little strange to hear that these are on display at the Natural History Museum, and even doubt why it would be so worth seeing. However, when it comes to over 70 million plants, animals, minerals and many other structures on earth, it does not attract the attention of people.
In addition to being a museum, this place, which continues to work as institutes thanks to the scientific studies they carry out, has 27 million animals, 9 million fossils, 28 million insects, 6 million plants, over 500 thousand minerals and mines, and 3,200 meteorites.
There are five different regions as Blue Zone, Red Zone, Green Zone, Orange Zone and Dinosaurs Zone.
Orange Zone: Natural life garden with over 2000 plants and animals. In addition, certain seminars and shows are held in this region. With the explorer backpack provided from this area of the Natural History Museum, which is a wonderful place especially for children, children have the opportunity to get to know plants and animals up close.
Blue Zone: In the area where models and skeletons of many kinds of animals are exhibited, you can observe many animals that you do not think of. In addition, studies and activities on genetics are also held in this region.
Dinosaurs Section: After the skeleton of the Dppy dinosaur with its size exceeding 30 meters, which greets you as soon as you enter the museum, you see a lot of dinosaur skeletons around you. In the museum, which is especially elevated and gives the opportunity to examine the dinosaurs at eye level, the sudden roaring sound excites the visitors, especially the children, and successfully ensures that the interest is never lost. Animations about dinosaurs are one of the most entertaining and exciting parts of the museum.
Green Zone: In this zone, information is given about the Earth and the creatures living on it and the environment we interact with. You see the skeletons of many giant fossils and learn all the details of each variety in the ecology, birds and minerals section. Bird species, how minerals shine, how ecological balance is maintained…
Red Zone: It is the zone designed to explore natural phenomena and look closely at the world. Models, visuals, presentations, galleries are very entertaining and informative for both adults and children. You find meteors and planets close enough to reach out and touch.
Address: Cromwell Rd, South Kensington, London SW7 5BD, United Kingdom
Directions: They will come by metro, you have to use the Piccadilly and Circle metro lines. For the bus, you can choose buses 14, 49, 70, 74, 345, 360, 414, 430 and C1.
Nearby Places: Victoria and Albert Museum, Albert Memorial
Transportation in London
When you travel to London, you should also know how to get there. London is a city with a very developed transport network. You can travel around the city using the metro, buses, trains, bicycles or tour buses. London transport is managed by Transport for London (TfL). This company, which is a government agency, helps tourists 24 hours a day. You can buy one-time tickets for the trip from the box offices at the stations.
If you are going to stay in London for more than a few days or if you plan to come to London later, you can choose the Oyster Card offered by TfL.
You can also use the legendary London taxis, which are usually black. Taxi prices are higher than other cities, but London taxis are not like taxis in most cities with their different design. In taxis operating with the taximeter system, you can negotiate with the driver and reduce the fare a little more, but this depends on the initiative of the driver.
Transportation by Metro – The London Underground, named London TUBE, consists of an advanced transportation network that provides service from 5:30 in the morning until midnight. The city consists of 6 zones, that is, from these zones, zone 1 is the closest to the center, while zone 6 is arranged as the farthest point from the center of London.
Although there is a price difference between zones, ticket prices increase as the distance between them increases, so if you are going from zone 1 to zone 6, you will pay a higher fare.
Your trip to Londoncontinues, if you can’t decide what to eat, then it’s time to talk about what to eat in London. There are many alternatives for dining in London. Although London is a cosmopolitan city that hosts many different culinary cultures, if you want to eat traditional British food, you may find it difficult. Although there is a departure from the traditional cuisine in the city, there is a continuous expansion as the range of world cuisine. The world tastes that you will encounter in London will be Italian, Chinese, American, Mexican and Indian cuisine.
The basis of traditional English dishes is potatoes, baked meat and boiled vegetables. The “Fish and Chips” menu, a British cuisine product, where you will also see French fries alongside fish, is on the menu of almost every restaurant in the city. The plate becomes more colorful with the peas that are usually placed next to the fish and potatoes pair.
For dessert, there is a pudding called Yorkshire in English culture, but the British consume it as a part of the meal, not as a dessert. Meat and meatless pastries are indispensable for bar and restaurant menus. You can eat these pastries as a snack or as a main course.
An English breakfast usually consists of a variety of food on a large plate. These foods are offered in the form of eggs, pork, sausage, tomatoes, beans, toast and sometimes mushrooms, and traditional establishments even feature smoked herring and porridge on the breakfast menu. You can order a breakfast menu at any time of the day in the city.
Also, do not forget to have a traditional 5 o’clock tea while you are in the city. You can drink tea with milk as well as try different teas. You can also have a snack with it, if it didn’t come with your tea. You can eat marmalade or English cookies with tea. Chocolate-covered cookies are the most preferred cookies.
Tip: It has become a tradition in the city to leave a tip, but you do not have to leave a tip for a service you are not satisfied with. So the tip depends on your personal preference. The amount you will leave for the tip can be between 10% and 15% of the incoming account.
Shopping in London
Wouldn’t you like to beautify your London trip with shopping? The city is one of the best places for shopping in European cities. You can find any brand and any product you are looking for in the shops in London. London has various shopping centers such as the West End, Westfield Stratford City, lots of markets and small shops, so you can buy whatever you want here. While the most luxurious stores of the city are located in Harrdos AVM, those who enjoy outdoor shopping can go on a discovery tour of Carnaby, King’s Road, Oxford Street and Regent Street.
You can also shop at Leadenhall Market, the city’s important bazaar. There are also many open markets in the city, and Covent Garden, which is open between Tuesday and Sunday, is both a place where you can buy fresh vegetables and fruits and a big bazaar where you can buy souvenirs. At the same time, it functions as a museum where the products of the British art world are exhibited.
Greenwich Market, which is set up on Sundays, is a place where you can buy city-specific handcrafted goods, jewelry and jewellery, antiques, original watches and souvenirs. In fact, we can say that it is the most important of the markets in London.
The things you can take with you in the city on your way back to your country are; chocolate covered English biscuits, very high quality umbrellas, tea sets and traditional cheese and marmalades, especially from Borough Market. Let us also remind you that Marks and Spencer and Burberry are British brands.
London, one of the most popular and crowded cities in the world, has a very active and colorful nightlife. Famous for its multi-storey bars and nightclubs, there are so many places to spend your evening in the city that you might have a hard time choosing. Just like everything else in the city, drinks are expensive and most venues require reservations days in advance.
Nightlife in the city is especially concentrated in Holborn-Clerkenwell, Soho, Mayfair, Bloomsbury, Camden areas. Nightclubs in Mayfair are usually expensive and world-class clubs go. Nightclubs such as Vendome, China White, Whiskey Mist, and Mahiki generally accept customers according to the guest list. Located in the south of London, Corsica Studios is a fun club preferred by university students.
KOKO in Camden, Fabric in Clerkenwell, Egg in King’s Cross and XOYO in Shoreditch are some of the city’s most popular nightclubs. Studio 338 in Greenwich offers an atmosphere similar to nightclubs in Ibiza. These nightclubs have hosted many world-famous singers and DJs.
One of the most famous features of London is its pubs built in various concepts. Some bars in the city are located in buildings dating from the Middle Ages. Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese on Fleet Street has converted a very old convent building into a bar. The Princess Louise, Cittie of Yorke and the Jerusalem Tavern are also old and popular bars.
Places where you can sip your drinks such as Trafalgar Tavern, The Oyster Shed, The Mayflower are located by the River Thames and offer pleasant views. Wine-focused venues such as The Winemakers Club, Gordon’s Wine Bar, and Vinoteca are also ideal for wine lovers. The Young’s in Bedford and The Founder’s Arms on the South Bank are London’s oldest pubs.
You can find more than 200 types of whiskey at Salt Whiskey Bar and Dining and Boisdale Canary Wharf. However, these whiskey-focused venues are quite expensive. You can find many bars in almost every part of London, but especially in popular places. If the prices in the bars are expensive, you can join the “crawl” organized by 1 Big Night Out and Camden Pub Crawl in Leicester Square and Camden, as some tourists do. In this way, you can drink different drinks in different places at a slightly discounted price.
London also hosts many cabarets, musicals and concerts throughout the year. You can enjoy cabarets at Proud Cabaret City and Volupte Lounge; You can watch a pleasant musical or theater by following the programs of venues such as the Savoy Theatre, Prince Edward Theatre, and the National Theatre. When you travel to London, do not leave without tasting the nightlife!
- January – London Art Fair
- February: Carling Cup Final
- March: St. Patrick’s Day & Festival
- March – April: The Boat Race
- April: The Virgin London Marathon
- Last week of June – first week of July: Wimbledon Tennis Championships
- June-July: London City Festival
- August: Notting Hill Carnival / Pueblo Carnival / Strip Poker World Championship
- September: The Mayor’s Thames Festival / The Great River Race / The Mayor’s Thames Festival
- October: BFI London Film Festival / Lord Mayor’s Show
- December: London Gateway
London Useful Information
Country Telephone Code: +44 / London Telephone Code: 20
Emergency Service: 999 (One number for police, telephone and ambulance)
Cosmopolitan Police: 020 7230 1212
London Tourist Information: 020 7971 0027
Black Taxi: 07779 336 612
Heathrow Airport: 0844 355 1801