Published 11th January 2020

London Town, The City, The Big Smoke – whatever name you call her there’s no doubt that London is one of the most interesting cities in the world. With over 20 million visitors every year for the last few years, it seems that most people are aware of London’s many attractions. But it’s not only tourists who are flocking to London: London is home to approximately 270 nationalities and 300 languages, which means it’s not only a great place to visit but also to live. So, what is London known for and what is it that makes London one of the world’s top destinations?

Let’s have a look.

Famous buildings

There is no shortage of famous landmarks in London. It’s difficult to say which is the most famous but Big Ben is possibly the most recognizable to tourists. Though many mistakenly believe Big Ben refers to the iconic clock tower, it is actually the name of the bell. 

The Shard is a relatively new addition to the architectural layout of London but it most certainly holds its own. Built in 2012, the Shard is over 1 000 feet high and the highest building in the UK and EU. 

And we can’t forget about Buckingham Palace. The official residence of Her Majesty the Queen, Buckingham Palace is impressive from the outside but can be appreciated even more during the summer, when you can explore the inside too

Another beautifully historic building is Westminster Abbey. Take a walk around, admire the architectural beauty and wonder at the historical atmosphere of this building which has played such a big part in British history.

Tourist attractions

London caters for every sort of tourist. If you’re a culture vulture, a historian, a shopaholic, a fashionista or a foodie, there are tourist attractions for you. 

The British Museum is the biggest and oldest museum in Britain and sees almost 3 million visitors a year. 

The London Eye is a ferris wheel which visitors use to get the most amazing bird’s-eye view of the city. It is one of the most popular tourist attractions of the city, visited by thousands of tourists every day (!).

If you’re a celeb watcher you should definitely make a stop at Madame Tussaud’s. Some of the world’s most influential personalities – from Prince Harry and Usain Bolt to Lady Gaga and the Queen – can be viewed up close and personal.

Green spaces

For such a big, built-up city, London has its fair share of public, green spaces. Hyde Park, Hampstead Heath and St James’s Park are just a few of the beautiful open areas you are welcome to wander about at your leisure, and then there are the countless Commons as well. Needless to say, there is nothing a Londoner likes more on a sunny day than to hang out in a park, reading, throwing a Frisbee or just chilling with some friends. 

Red buses, black cabs and the Underground 

Considering the size of London and the fact that it’s not the cheapest city in the world, it’s interesting to know that there are various transport options to get around and they’re all relatively affordable. 

Black cabs, or hackney carriages, are the iconic taxis seen on London streets. Black cab drivers famously have to pass a test known as The Knowledge to prove their, well, knowledge of London streets, historical places and so on, basically to prove that they are better than GPS – which they are. 

The red bus is another familiar sight on London streets. You can hop on and hop off for a picturesque and easy way to see the city, or you can join a themed bus trip for something a little different. Some argue that the best way to see London is from the top of a double-decker London bus, and we’re inclined to agree – unless it’s raining. 

The London Underground, usually called the Tube, is what is called a subway or metro in other countries.  With eleven lines, 270 stations and 402 kilometres in length, there are not many places in central London that you can’t get to on the Tube. The map and logo of the London Underground are quite distinctive and have become symbolic of the London transport services and can be found on many designs.

Pubs

And, of course, no discussion of London would be complete without a look at all of its pubs. Pubs are an institution in London – indeed in the UK – and they can be found on most corners or streets. They range from fancy gastropubs to traditional holes-in-the-wall but rest assured there will always be someone propping up the bar. 

These are just a few of the many things that London is known for. It truly is an international city with a lot on offer. For your next holiday, why don’t you consider London and who knows, you might just end up coming back to stay.

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