When in London

When in London

London! What a fabulous city! When you plan a trip to the United Kingdom, make sure you allot enough time in its capital, because there is so much to see and do.

The city is the cultural and economic, as well as the political, hub of Great Britain. Its port is one of the busiest in the world, as is its major airport, Heathrow. British Airways is the main carrier, and it offers nonstop flights from a number of US cities. There is an underground rail service, as well as bus lines, from the airport to the city center, along with the Heathrow airport parking options. And of course, using public transportation isn’t as difficult as in other parts of Europe, since all the signs are in English.

In addition to being the seat of Parliament and government, London is the base for the royal family, and thus home, of course, to Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, and the changing of the Guards. In addition to these sites, London boasts numerous museums, theater- and concert-going experiences, and fabulous shopping. The city is divided by the winding River Thames, with most of the tourist sights found along the northern bank.

Those who enjoy music might want to visit sometime from July to September, when the “Proms,” or promenade concerts, take place in the Royal Albert Hall. World-class musicals can be enjoyed in London’s famous West End theaters. Less famous, but also enjoyable, is the live music found in numerous music bars and concert halls.

The West End is also the place for shoppers to start. They can begin with the upscale elegance offered along New Bond Street, where retailers from Cartier to Chanel to Versace to Tiffany can be found. Nearby Savile Row is celebrated for its bespoke men’s suits. If the money begins to run out, shoppers can head to Oxford Street, where a broader range of shopping experiences await.

Museum goers can appreciate the renowned works in the British Museum and the National Gallery. Along “Museum Mile” in South Kensington, one can enjoy the extensive collections of the Science Museum, the Natural History Museum, and the Victoria & Albert Museum.

If, somehow, this isn’t enough to fulfill one’s wanderlust, travel from London to other areas is easy, with a number of options. Rail connections can be made to the European mainland from Victoria or Liverpool Street Stations. Fast trips can be made by taking a bus or taxi from the city center, or choose to park your vehicle at the Heathrow airport parking garages and head right to the terminals for quick hops to points around the continent.

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