London is widely regarded as the most vibrant city in Europe. While holding on to its traditions, it manages to blaze progressive paths in the arts, design and architecture. Because London is the world’s largest melting pot, the city enjoys a range of excellent global cuisine, from Pakistani to Ethiopian eateries to an infinite number of delicious curry houses.
London's famous museums, such as the National Portrait Gallery and The British Museum hold some of the world’s most precious artefacts, like the Parthenon freize. And, of course, the top-notch theatres in the West End entertain droves every evening.
You can’t see London in a day: the city is immense and difficult to navigate with relative ease. But don’t be disheartened. Take your time discovering the city from all directions. See a film on the city’s South Bank; reserve tickets to a show at Camden’s Roundhouse; get a taste for the cultural divide between bohemian East London in neighbourhoods like Dalston and Shoreditch before sipping tea at The Athenaeum and shopping in luxury boutiques in West London’s prim Kensington.
Of the dozens of restaurants and bars, you won't regret a visit to The Riding House Café, where fair prices, award-winning design mix with toothsome tapas-style dishes inspired by English and Mediterranean cuisine. It’s the perfect spot to drop in for lunch after a shopping spree on nearby Oxford Street.
With so many hotels in London it’s hard to decide on the best place to stay that is centrally located and modestly priced. The Zetter Townhouse Hotel is praised for its lovely, boutique size, its spot off Clerkenwell Road, and destination bar - an award-winning cocktail lounge replete with oddities.
Idle afternoons strolling along London’s network of canals is an excellent pastime. Explore the canals in East London and stop in at a café for a salad and coffee. The Towpath Cafe serves up a small but delicious selection of Italian specialities.
Don't miss a visit to Greenwich. Once a London suburb, Greenwich has now been consumed by London’s sprawl, and yet few tourists make it to this verdant posh neighbourhood. It’s easy to access by boat, DLR or train, and a visit should definitely involve checking out the crafts and artwork at the Greenwich Market. Don’t miss a pint of Meantime ale at the microbrewery’s home in the Old Royal Naval College, either.
London has dozens of cinema theatres, especially around Leicester Square where movie premieres are central London’s weekly pageantry. If you’re looking for screen classic and independent films, or want to be at the heart of the city’s film festivals, the best place to go is the British Film Institute, located along London’s South Bank.