Overview

Most people have a well-defined idea of “London”—staid tradition, afternoon tea, heavy ales, and cultured accents in tweed. People with this notion of London can easily complete their vacation in 3min. by making their way to the banks of the Thames and staring pointedly at the gilded heights of Big Ben, but this would be to miss the true charm of this expansive, diverse place.

Despite its weighty history, the city today is not all ghost tours, beefeaters, and double-decker buses. Beyond Buckingham Palace and the blinding lights of Piccadilly Circus, London is a living, breathing metropolis, home to more people than any other city in the European Union. Comprised of 32 boroughs along with the City, London can seem at times more like a conglomerate of villages than a unified city, but each part’s unique heritage and character contributes to the big picture. Thanks to the feisty independence and diversity of each area, the London “buzz” is continually on the move—every few years a previously disregarded neighborhood explodes into cultural prominence. Wander between immigrant neighborhoods in East London, take part in a political rally in Trafalgar Square, and watch the Olympics return to the city for a third time. Each day in London brings something new, so finish up your pint and Let’s Go!


Best Of London

Saint Paul's Cathedral London Student Travel Blog

Saint Paul's Cathedral London Student Travel Blog

Saint Paul's Cathedral

It’s something of a challenge to enter St. Paul’s Cathedral and not take the Lord’s name in vain. The church is epically grandiose, whether it’s the huge size, ornate ceilings, or glowing stained glass that attract your eyes. This is the fourth cathedral to stand on this site, the first dating back to 604 CE. The third incarnation was destroyed, like so much of London, in the Great Fire of 1666. Architect Christopher Wren rebuilt many of London’s churches after the fire, but St. Paul’s, consecrated in 1708, is his masterpiece.

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Museum of London Student Travel Blog

Museum of London Student Travel Blog

Museum of London

The Museum of London is an exhaustive celebration of the city.

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National Gallery Student Travel Blog

National Gallery Student Travel Blog

National Gallery

The National Gallery presides over Trafalgar Sq. and is perhaps even more impressive than the square itself.

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Westminster Abbey Student Travel Blog

Westminster Abbey Student Travel Blog

Westminster Abbey

London has no shortage of lovely churches steeped in history. But Westminster Abbey stands out as the best combination of historical importance, breathtaking beauty, and a still-vibrant community of worshipers.

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Imperial War Museum Student Travel Blog

Imperial War Museum Student Travel Blog

Imperial War Museum

Housed in what was once the infamous Bedlam insane asylum, the Imperial War Museum is mad for history.

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Top Hostels

The Inner Temple, London—Student Travel Blog

The Inner Temple, London—Student Travel Blog

The City of London

The West End

Westminster

The South Bank

South Kensington and Chelsea

Hyde Park to Notting Hill

Marylebone and Bloomsbury

North London

East London

London, England—Student Travel Blog

London, England—Student Travel Blog

You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to plan a good trip. (It might help, but it’s not required.) You do, however, need to be well prepared, and that’s what we can do for you. Essentials is the chapter that gives you all the nitty-gritty you need to know for your trip: the hard information gleaned from 53 years of collective wisdom and several months of furious fact-checking. Planning your trip? Check. Where to find Wi-Fi? Check. The dirt on public transportation? Check. 

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Blogs About London

Are You American? Stop It.
By Christine Ann Hurd

Note to American tourists in London: stand on the right side of the escalator on the Tube, talk softly, and read a newspaper.

All the Globe is a Stage for Sensory Overload
By Christine Ann Hurd

When American film producer Sam Wanamaker traveled to Britain in 1949, he found that there was no Globe Theatre, merely a plaque that said “Shakespeare wuz here." 

BBC Headquarters: Touring Stealthily
By Christine Ann Hurd

On Saturday—just one day after the Queen declared it open—I toured the new BBC Broadcasting House.