San Diego to London
San Diego to London
San Diego to London
London is one of the most multicultural cities in Europe, with a unique atmosphere that is reflected in Londoners’ clothing, music and food. In this vibrant city, culture and history mix with a modern feel and stunning green spaces.
The capital of the British monarchy and home to the country’s beloved Queen, London is also home to many famous British icons, including double-decker buses, red phone boxes and policemen in traditional uniforms. London’s long history is also represented in buildings throughout the city.
EXPERIENCE THE CHARM OF ENGLAND’S CAPITAL CITY
"When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford", said author Samuel Johnson in 1777. The same is true today. No matter what time of year you visit, there’s always something to explore, from the vibrant theatre scene to authentic food from all around the world.
So, where should a visitor start? Perhaps you should head to the hustle and bustle of Leicester Square and Piccadilly Circus and take in the ambience of the metropolis under the neon lights? How about topping it all off with a visit to the aquarium and London Zoo?
SIGHTS IN LONDON
- Walking alongside the River Thames is one of the best ways to catch a glimpse of many of London’s most famous sights. Every now and then, it is good to take a breather and stop at a traditional English pub; you can always get going again once you've caught your breath!
- Views of London – for spectacular views of the city, go to Primrose Hill, Parliament Hill, the Hilton Park Lane or the Shard. These are all located in different parts of the city, giving you the chance to see its many different sides. Sit down, have a snack and just enjoy the view.
- Buckingham Palace – the Queen’s home is almost a must-see for any visitor to London. The palace is open to the public in August and September; during the rest of the year you can visit the Queen’s Gallery, which features items from the royal collections. The changing of the guard is also not to be missed. The ceremony takes place either on even or odd days (depending on the month) and is accompanied by a guard’s band playing traditional marches or other popular music.
- London has several museums worth visiting. As well as historical museums such as the British Museum, the National History Museum and the Science Museum, there are also contemporary museums like Tate Modern and The Victoria and Albert Museum.
- West End theatres and musicals – where the most important and popular musicals are playing.
- Parks – visit a park for relaxation, exercise or fun activities; Hyde Park, Green Park, Kensington Gardens, Greenwich Park, Observatory Gardens, Regent’s Park and Kew Gardens are all great options that are always within easy reach.
- Football is a big sport in London, which is home to teams like Chelsea, Arsenal, West Ham, Crystal Palace and Tottenham. The atmosphere at a London team’s home game can be truly unforgettable.
- London nightlife – for an exclusive VIP-style night out, head to west London’s clubs, where the famous and beautiful gather. East London provides a more hip and local clubbing scene.
THINGS TO SEE AND DO NEAR LONDON
- Oxford and Cambridge – easily accessible from London by train. Traditional university cities with beautiful surroundings and gardens, and unique architecture.
- Brighton – a seaside city with hippie flair, where you can spend a day on the beach.
SHOPPING IN LONDON
London offers everything from shopping streets to malls and markets; perfect for those who feel tempted to treat themselves to something nice.
- Oxford street is one of the city’s famous shopping streets, filled with shops like Primark, Miss Selfridge, Topshop and Urban Outfitters. You can easily spend hours here browsing the huge selection that each store has to offer.
- In department stores like Selfridges, Harvey Nichols or Harrods you’ll find brand-name products on every floor. Also, the gigantic Hamley’s Toy Store on Regent’s street is a pleasure to visit both for kids and adults.
- Portobello – a famous market situated in Notting Hill with quirky clothes, antiques, jewellery, toys and flowers.
- Camden Lock Market – lots of second-hand goods and music; located in north-west London, about 10 minutes away from the city centre by metro (known locally as ‘the tube’).
BRITISH FOOD & DRINK IN LONDON
When talking about English food, many will probably think immediately of fish and chips, puddings and pies. The classic English breakfast and afternoon tea with scones are a must during a stay in London, as is a pint in a pub. Because the city is so multicultural, there is the possibility to taste authentic cuisines from all around the world.
- Fish and chips – battered cod (or haddock), served with chips and mushy peas
- English breakfast – including toast, bacon, mushrooms, eggs, sausage and baked beans
- Afternoon tea – tea with sandwiches, cakes or scones
- Sunday roast – classic oven-roasted meat with gravy, potatoes, Yorkshire pudding and roasted vegetables
- Indian curry – nowadays probably the most common meal in British homes
- Shepherd’s pie – a pie with a filling of lamb and vegetables, covered with mashed potatoes
- Trifle – a dessert made of sponge cake, fruit, jelly and custard, topped with whipped cream
- Tea – a classic hot beverage in the morning, during the day or after a nice dinner
- Beer – a great variety of beers is available in a range of traditional or modern pubs
- Cocktails – London is filled with cocktail bars serving innovative drinks
TRANSPORTATION IN LONDON
- Underground (The Tube) – the metro system serving the Greater London area and one of the first subways in the world.
- Taxi – it’s easy to hail a taxi in the street, but be prepared to pay cash. London’s black cabs are an institution – always pick an official one. If you use a smartphone, private Uber taxi drivers provide an excellent option to black cabs. There are also a large number of mini-cab (private hire) companies – ask the locals for details.
- Bus – these iconic red double-deckers will take you around the city centre and suburbs.
- From London Heathrow – the Tube (Piccadilly line) from Heathrow will take you to the city centre in about an hour. Another option is the Heathrow Express, with a journey time of about 15 minutes to Paddington Station.
PRACTICAL INFORMATION ABOUT LONDON
- Currency – British Pound (£)
- Electricity – 230 volts, bring an adapter since the sockets are different from the ones at home
- Payment – most places accept payment by card
- Tip – feel free to tip around 10% at restaurants if the service charge is not included in the bill
- Time zone – London (United Kingdom) UTC/GMT + 0 hours
- Emergencies – call 999 or 112 if you need to get in contact with the emergency services