A complete city guide to Central London

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There are so many different things to do in London, which is both a blessing and a curse because sometimes, it can be a bit confusing.

When you’re planning your itinerary, everyone has advice for things that you should or shouldn’t do, plus you don’t want to accidentally miss anything. However, it can be a bad idea to try to cram too much in because you’ll just tire yourself out and you won’t appreciate the things that you have seen quite as much.

It’s good to keep yourself busy, and blend in with the pace of the city, but don’t forget that even people who live in London relax sometimes, so make sure that you have some relaxing activities planned too.

So that you don’t get too het up with your plans and all the different things that you can do and see in the big city, we’ve outlined just a few in different sections.

This is a bit of a sampling of the things that London is known for, and some that are a little more underground, so you can pick and choose a few that are to your liking. We’ve also got some travel tips for you too, so you don’t have to worry about getting lost.

Even if you do lose your way a little bit, you can ask someone for directions. Contrary to popular opinion, Londoners are actually very receptive to giving people advice and helping them out, they love knowing their city so they’ll be glad to give you a hand, if you need it.

Nearest Airport

There are a number of airports that serve London, but the closest to the city centre is probably London Heathrow.

Although it can be a bit more expensive to fly into Heathrow, it’ll cost the same overall when you add in the travel fare from the other airports into the city. For example, London Gatwick and London Stansted are nowhere near as close to the centre of the capital, so it can actually be best for you to travel into Heathrow, even though it can seem cheaper in the first instance to arrive at an airport that’s further away.

The quickest way to get from the airport and into the city is getting all aboard the Heathrow Express. It’s a non-stop service that takes just 15 minutes to reach its destination, they also run every quarter of an hour and the timetable starts early in the morning and runs until late at night.

Not only this, but the train is spacious and very comfortable, much more so than getting the Tube from Gatwick into the city. If you’re going to be travelling to the city for work, you’ll be pleased to know that there’s power stations at each seat and free Wi-Fi.

You can even upgrade to First Class if you want a little more luxury right from the beginning of your trip. Extra amenities in this area include personal tables and complimentary newspapers and magazines.

Taxi route

Of course, if you want some privacy then you can always take a taxi from any of the airports into the city – but it will cost you a little extra.

There are taxis lining up in the bays outside of the airports, or you can arrange for a private hire to pick you up and take you straight to your hotel. This is the main benefit of taking a taxi, as the train and the Tube can’t take you to the door.

Top attractions

As London is steeped in history and culture, these are the themes that run through some of the city’s best and most iconic attractions.

One that you have to see, even if you don’t go into it, is the British Museum – it’s world famous and it exhibits work from prehistoric times right up to modern day. It looks stunning from the outside and the architecture is seriously impressive. This is a free attraction, but some of the exhibitions will require tickets, but the website will give you this information.

If you’re very into your portraiture then you should head along to the crowning glory of Trafalgar Square, London’s National Gallery. It’s filled with amazing paintings from western Europe that range from the 13th to the 19th centuries. You can expect to see work from those who were the true masters, Vincent Van Gogh, Leonardo da Vinci, Botticelli and Renoir. Again, it’s free to enter the gallery, but some of the exhibitions will be ticketed so you should refer to the attraction’s website for the details.

The Natural History Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum in South Kensington are an absolute must visit for anyone who comes to the city. As with all top attractions, it’s free to enter both of these and they’re right next to Knightsbridge, which means that they’re mere steps away from the luxury of Harrod’s.

Shopping

Speaking of shopping, we all know that London is one of the fashion capitals of the world, so you might want to have a meander around some of its stores.

Get lost in the department stores of Harvey Nichols and Harrods, and take a look at the huge high street chains that make up Oxford Circus.

Carnaby Street is a favourite among Londoners, as you can expect to find lots of different vintage stores and record shops. They often have great deals and you can expect to find some real unique pieces that you won’t find anywhere else – it can be a refreshing look at shopping after enjoying the high street and designer stores of the city.

There are so many markets that are run by local people and others from different countries, so you can pick up original clothing that’s a real bargain from any of the vendors.

Camden Market is an institution in the city, and you’ll see why for yourself when you go to the village and have a good old browse.

Nothing is to be outdone in this city when it comes to shopping and there’s room for every kind of style and fashion sense, it’s just waiting for you to discover it.

Places to eat

Thanks to all of the cultures that make the population of London what it is, there’s an uncountable amount of different restaurants in the city for you to whet your appetite.

If you’re looking for something quick and easy, then you should partake in one of the city’s burger bars, including Meat Liquor – you’ll need to queue if you go late, or Burger and Lobster, which is more high end than your average diner.

The city is also home to some of the world’s best Michelin-starred chefs, so why not try Gordon Ramsay’s Maze, or perhaps Le Gavroche, the culinary art house of Michel Roux Junior.

Brixton Market can be one of the best places to try all manner of cuisine from around the world. Walk around and see which appetising smell makes your mouth water the most, maybe it’s Thai, or instead Mexican? There’s tapas and Indian cuisine on offer too, take a trip around the globe without having to leave London.

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