London is one of the world’s most popular cities because of stunning attractions: Incomparable theater, impressive art and architecture, trendy shops and fine dining, and woven into the fabric of everyday life are centuries of glorious history. A beautiful city that really shines at holiday time.
Flights to London
London is served by three major airports.
- Heathrow (LHR): Known as “the airport where the world changes planes”, Heathrow is located just 12 miles west of London and is the major hub of the United Kingdom’s flagship carrier British Airways and its rival Virgin Atlantic; it’s also a prime destination for American Airlines, Delta, United and numerous other carriers from around the globe.
- Gatwick (LGW): Located 28 miles south of Central London, Gatwick is the second busiest airport in the UK and another hub for British Airways, as well as Aer Lingus, EasyJet and Virgin Atlantic, plus it’s a destination for Delta, United, US Airways, and many others.
- London City (LCY): Just 7 miles east of London, this airport is also served by British Airways and numerous smaller carriers and is mostly used for short flights throughout Europe.
Attractions in London
It would be impossible to do more than scratch the surface of all this city has to offer, so here are just a few of the more popular attractions – a sampling of London’s many treasures:
Buckingham Palace: Official London residence of the British monarch; see the Changing of the Guard ceremony, and tour some of the palace’s state rooms in August and September.
British Museum: Entry is free to this priceless collection which includes exhibits from around the world dating from ancient to modern times; look for the Rosetta Stone, the Elgin Marbles, and all those Egyptian mummies.
Tower of London: Construction on this grim edifice began in 1080; later, two of Henry VIII’s wives would lose their heads here. On the brighter side, the Tower is also home to the dazzling collection known as the Crown Jewels.
London Eye: A symbol of modern London, this iconic super-sized wheel offers visitors views as far as 25 miles away (on a clear day, look for Windsor Castle in the distance).
Shopping and Restaurants
There’s more to London than Harrods and Fortnum & Mason, including the boutiques of Bond Street, the Oxford Street experience and trendy fashion districts throughout the city. As for restaurants, the days when London was best known for well-done roast beef and Yorkshire pudding are long past; London’s dining scene today is a vibrant gourmet experience featuring cuisines from around the world.
More Information on London
Learn more about attractions, shopping and dining, and hotels – on these tourism websites:
Visit London: Official city guide and hotel directory
Visit Britain: Vacation planning throughout Great Britain
Visit England: Attraction information plus ideas for short trips