London holidays

Essential Information

Currency
Pound sterling
1.00 USD = 0.80 GBP
CURRENT WEATHER
Rain
+11°C

Why London

A holiday in London allows you to get up close and personal with some of the most famous landmarks and historical attractions in the world. London, the political and economic capital of the United Kingdom, is one of the most visited cities on the planet due to its uniquely British, yet cosmopolitan style. This is a city that unites the peoples of the world under the Union Jack making it perhaps the most culturally diverse city in all of Europe. Impossible to describe fully in in text, to know London it is necessary to visit and experience it for yourself, letting the city and its people wash over you through its immensity.

London has something that will win over and delight anyone. London is fun, culture, lights and color. A city that can surprise both those who visit it for the first time and those who are in love with it and visit it frequently.

In London you can feel small next to the impressive Big Ben, gaze at the world at the foot of the London Eye or watch the famous Changing of the Guard in front of Buckingham Palace.

Climate

London possesses a temperate oceanic climate that is similar to much of southern Britain. Despite its reputation as a rainy city, London receives less precipitation (with 601 millimeters per year) than Rome (834 millimeters), Bordeaux (923 mm), Toulouse (668 mm) and Naples (1006 mm). Winters are cold, with frost occurring in the suburbs, on average, twice a week from November through March. Snow usually occurs about four or five times a year, especially between December and February. Snowfall in the months of March and April are rare but happen every two or three years. Winter temperatures rarely fall below -4 degrees Celsius or above 14 degrees Celsius.

London summers are hot, and sometimes heat is driven by the urban heat island effect, which makes the center of the city stay up to 5 degrees Celsius higher than in the suburbs and suburbs. The average summer temperature in London is 24 degrees Celsius. On average, there are seven days a year with temperatures above 30 degrees Celsius and two days a year above 32 degrees Celsius. Temperatures of 26 degrees Celsius occur weekly between mid-June and the end of August.

How to Spend Your London Holidays

If you are visiting London for the first time, the first place to visit is the center to get an initial idea of the city. For your London weekend breaks we suggest the following tour:

- Start in Westminster where you will be able to take photos of Big Ben and Westminster Abbey. Westminster Abbey is worth a visit but be aware that they have to stand in line and have to pay to get inside. The visit in total lasts about 2 hours, but well worth it. Then follow the White Hall (name of the road linking Parliament Square and Trafalgar Square). Stay on the left side of the road, and when you see two guards on horseback (they are always there) in front of a black gate, enter through the gate (it will be open). Head to St James Park and cross it. This park is breathtaking, and at the bottom of it, you will find Buckingham Palace. That can only be visited on the inside at summer time. You can also see the Guard change that occurs every other day at 11.00am. Then continue along the "The Mall" (the name of the street with the red road surface) until you reach Trafalgar Square. After you are done taking photos, go to the National Gallery (if you have time, it is well worth visiting) on ​​the right and take the first left to go to Leicester Square where you can buy the theater and musical tickets for half the price for same day tickets. Leicester Square is also famous for the premieres of films that always happen there. Crossing through Leicester Square and turning the top left corner will take you in the direction of Picadilly Circus with its famous building with giant neon advertisements from Coca-Cola, Samsung, and other brands. Continue straight on Regent Street, with its imperial buildings and well-presented shops. At the bottom of Regent Street you reach Oxford Circus, and from there you will find Oxford Street, London's most famous shopping street. Going on the right side you will find the cheaper but also a less quality shopping area of ​​Oxford Street, but if you go to the left you will pass by the famous department stores and in the background, you will find Hyde Park.

And with this you will have seen all the main places of central London that are essential for those who are on London holidays for the first time. Making this exploration on foot will probably take you all day if you walk around calmly but without going to the museums (they are a visit all of their own).

- St Paul's Cathedral. This cathedral is located in the City and, coming from Charing Cross, is at the bottom of Fleet Street (famed because it used to be home to several national newspapers and is still the headquarters of some nowadays). If you can climb to the top of the cathedral where you have a great view over the city. From St Paul's, cross the Millennium Bridge and go to the Tate Modern (a museum of excellent modern art) which always has free and very exciting exhibitions. Then walk along the river (this area is called Southbank) and walk to Tower Bridge. If you continue past Tower Bridge, there is the new "Butlers Wharf" area on the south side of the river which has great restaurants overlooking the river and has small canals between buildings. Also on the opposite side of the river, there is also this housing area by the name "St Catherine's Docks" where they will be able to find a small marina for luxury boats. It is interesting to visit and stroll there on London weekend breaks.

- On the opposite side of Tower Bridge is the Tower of London which is always worth visiting. With the entrance ticket, you are entitled to a guided tour which brings all the relevant information about the Tower of London where the prisoners were detained and tortured, and where they can also learn a little about the history of the English monarchy.

- Convent Garden of course, it is full of tourists, and it is always a mess, but if you go on a weekday, you will find this area quieter and will have more time to browse the Convent Garden Market or take in the performances of street artists. Also visit Neal's Street (for those who leave the subway station on the left) which is a paradise for people who want to buy sports clothes, but also with a different amount of other types of shops including vintage shops and the famous American chain Urban Outfitters.

Where to Stay

Choosing a hotel or other accommodation in London is the most important part of preparing for your London holidays. And the whole process of finding and selecting the best options for hotels, bed & breakfasts, hostels, apartments and sofas in the British capital.

To choose a hotel in London, you need to first think about the location. Because the city is so big, you would waste too much time moving to the central areas if you stayed in more distant areas.

So, do not miss, choose accommodation in zone 1 or 2 of the city. If you're not already familiar with the zones, then pay attention to a map of the London subway. The city is divided into concentric zones, starting from the most central (1, 2) to the more peripheral ones. Check out some of our picks of where to stay on London weekend breaks.

When to Go

Many ask when the best time to travel to London is. The answer varies according to the goals and characteristics of the traveler. Each month and season provide different attractions for tourists in the British capital. In the equation, the two most important factors are the climate and the cultural program of the city.

Thinking only of climate, temperatures, and the sun, you should consider making your trip for holiday to London in the months of May, June, July, August or September.

At that time, you will not have to worry about heavy jackets, you can enjoy a reasonable amount of hours of sunshine to visit places open and walk around the city, and the rain will not always torment you. In the summer, even if you detect a rainstorm, you do not have to despair: it stops quickly. If a storm interrupts your walk, enter a pub to immerse yourself in classic English pub culture or a museum such as the British Museum and dozens of free options in the city.

How to Get to London

British Airways promotes nonstop flights from many parts of the world to the English capital. For those already in mainland Europe, the tip is to take advantage of low cost airlines such as Easyjet, Ryanair, among others. In addition to Heathrow, London offers four more airport options: London Gatwick, Luton, Stansted and London City.

For those already in Europe, traveling by train to London may be a great option. The beautiful and central St Pancras station receives direct high-speed trains from Paris and Brussels, as well as connecting to cities in the north of England. The trip from the French capital to London lasts 2 hours and 15 minutes, while the Brussels-London route takes 1 hour and 50 minutes.

The King's Cross station receives trains from Edinburgh, Scotland, as well as other places on the east coast. Victoria trains depart from Dover, a city in the United Kingdom that receives ferries from the continent itself.

Planning Your Holiday in London

London is a city that offers a multitude of walks and attractions, much of it reserved for daytime hours. Organizing the itinerary by region is a good option, so you can save time and enjoy every second of the English capital.

Having a city map, free of charge in most hotels, or available at the London Information Center is also important. If you have a smartphone and get a sim card in the city, you will be able to use the technology in your favor by downloading maps and descriptions.

On the first day, for example, visitors can focus on central London, where Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, and the British Parliament are within walking distance. Also nearby are the beautiful St James Park and the famous Trafalgar Square.

Stay tuned for the closing times of some of these attractions so as not to miss visiting. Guided tours are also available, and a good option is a free tour offered by Sandemans New Europe, whose guides work with a tip system at the end of the route.

Some of the city's highlights, such as the bustling Convent Garden District, are packed with shops, restaurants, pubs and markets. The Candem Town neighborhood also offers a unique environment, and you certainly will not regret spending a morning or afternoon of your London holidays in this place that brings together people from all cultures – where attractive markets are located and who sell everything you could possibly imagine – in addition to many stalls with food from various parts of the world.

The charm of Notting Hill makes it an obligatory stop, and Saturday is a good day for a stroll through the streets and the local fair. When passing by a churros bar, be sure to try them.

Conclusion

Vibrant, modern, elegant, bustling, rich in culture and entertainment options. Features like these, among many others, make it clear why London is one of the most sought-after destinations in the world. The capital of England and the United Kingdom is also home to the British monarchy, home to Big Ben and many other famous postcards, such as the Tower of London Bridge, which sits on the banks of the River Thames; Buckingham Palace; Westminster Abbey, as well as several interesting museums.

Get ready for very intense days on a holiday in London; it is necessary to be quite focused if your intention is to get know the English capital well. For this reason, a stay of at least four days is recommended. Much of London's main attractions are concentrated in zones 1 and 2 (taking into account the public transport map) and it is possible, and quite pleasant, to walk from one tourist point to another. But most likely the visitor will make a lot of use of the efficient local public transport (the subway (tube) for example, is considered one of the best in the world). Booked.net offers many options to stay on London weekend breaks.