London is the capital of the United Kingdom and England. Majestically situated on the banks of the Thames, it is one of the most important cities in the world and a center of culture, science and business. London offers something for every traveler and guarantees a memorable visit, given enough time. You should plan a few days if you don't just want to take a quick look at the main attractions from the outside and at least a week if you also want to visit one or the other museum. The administrative structure "Greater London" consists of 32 districts (the so-called "Boroughs"), which extend over 1,584km². The population is officially 9.0 million (2020), including a large number of unreported illegal immigrants.

Where the City of London is now, there was a settlement before Roman times, as evidenced by finds from the Bronze Age and related to Celtic culture. The Roman city of Londinium, founded in AD 43 shortly after the Romans conquered Britain, represented the core of modern settlement. A few scattered remains can still be found in the city today. After a brief decline following the end of Roman rule around AD 410, London experienced a boom as a trading city under the Angles and Saxons, and later the Vikings. The dominant position of London was consolidated by the Normans, who also built the Tower of London after the 1066 conquest.

London grew stronger and more powerful. With the rise of England from naval power to European and eventually world power in the 18th and 19th centuries, the city became the center of government, administration, industry and culture of the British Empire and — for a long time — the largest city in the world. Despite the inevitable decline and severe damage inflicted by the German Luftwaffe during World War II, London remains a world-renowned city and a global financial, economic and cultural center. London is by far the country's largest city, eight times the size of England's 'second city' Birmingham, and as such naturally dominates economic, political and social life in the UK.

London's long theatrical tradition can be traced back to the English Renaissance. Of particular interest to visitors is Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, which was rebuilt in the immediate vicinity of the Tate Modern based on the historical model and now serves as a museum and also hosts theater performances in the summer. The remains of the Rose Theater were also discovered nearby.

The Museum of London in the north of the city is the ideal starting point for all travelers interested in the history of the city. Admission is free.

The city is full of excellent bars, theatres, museums, art galleries and parks. It is also the most culturally and ethnically diverse part of the country and therefore also offers culinary delights from all parts of the world. Whether you're interested in ancient history or modern art, opera underground raves, London has it all.

England's royal family has contributed a lot to the tourist attractions over the centuries: the Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, Kensington Palace, the Albert Memorial, the Royal Albert Hall and of course the famous Westminster Abbey.

Londoners are a pretty mixed bunch. They tend to be more private and fairly quiet but with a rather black and twisted sense of humour. If you try to get on a crowded bus, you will often hear harsh curses.



The Oxford English that is always propagated in school, professionals speak of the received pronunciation (RP), is rarely heard on the street. London is a multicultural city with a very high percentage of immigrants, migrant workers and foreigners. Accordingly, there are many dialects and accents on the streets and in the shops. So even travelers with experience in this language need to concentrate while listening. A friendly "pardon me" or "say again, please" usually leads to the other person slowly repeating everything.


Price level

London is a world metropolis. And like all modern megacities, prices here are at an exorbitant level. The English capital is not only the most expensive city in the kingdom, but also one of the most expensive in Europe. And even in a world comparison, London's prices achieve top values. You can easily add 30% on everything compared to the rest of the country, even though the prices in Great Britain are already higher than in Central Europe. The current weakness of the euro even reinforces this effect for visitors from the "euro zone" - for a normal visit to a restaurant you have to reckon with about double the price compared to Germany, but soft drinks are only slightly more expensive. However, the price differences do not apply to everything and so you can certainly get one or the other bargain, especially with clothing or over-the-counter medicines. Usually every supermarket or drugstore has offers like "Buy one - get one free" or "Buy one - get one half price" (buy one - get a second for half price) for identical or similar products. Here you can save money, provided you need three shampoo bottles or 20 batteries.


Getting here

By plane

There are six airports in Greater London, all of which can be reached from German-speaking countries except Southend. They are each in different directions and thus serve the entire Greater London area. The most famous and largest airport in London is Heathrow in the west of the city, followed by Gatwick in the south. The small City Airport is located in the Docklands and is very close to the city. Budget airlines mostly use Stansted (in the north-east), Luton (in the north), and Southend (in the east) airports, all of which are well outside of the city. In general, all airports are very well connected to the road network and are also very well connected by train or bus. Heathrow and Gatwick in particular have a large number of bus connections to all parts of England, and Heathrow also has an underground connection.

London Heathrow Airport (IATA: LHR) - London's (and Europe's) largest airport in the west of the city consists of four terminals, with Terminal 2 (Lufthansa Group) and Terminal 5 (British Airways) being important for travelers from German-speaking countries. Both are modern and spacious, but the walking distances should not be underestimated. A little tip: If you are sitting on the right side of the plane, in most cases you have an excellent view of central London with the Tower and Parliament, as the approach leads directly over the city.

As of 2022, there are connections to Heathrow from the following German-speaking airports:
British Airways. Basel, Berlin, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt am Main, Geneva, Hamburg, Hanover, Innsbruck (winter season), Munich, Nuremberg, Stuttgart, Vienna and Zurich.
Lufthansa. Frankfurt am Main and Munich.
Austrian Airlines. Vienna.
Eurowings. Cologne/Bonn, Düsseldorf, Hamburg and Stuttgart.
SWISS. Geneva and Zurich.

Arrival/departure: The new Elizabeth Line regional train connection has been in full operation since mid-2022, which is slower than the Heathrow Express but faster and more comfortable than the underground at normal local transport rates to Paddington station and beyond across London, including with Stops in the city center (Tottenham Court Road, Bond Street) as well as Canary Wharf runs. Heathrow is also directly connected to the London underground network as before, but the airport is in the outermost zone, so that a corresponding ticket is required (you can also contact the underground and the Elizabeth Line directly with a credit card at the accesses) - furthermore, the long journey time should be calculated, especially on the return flight (e.g. directly with the Picadilly line from Green Park in about 50 minutes), but the journey is unrivaled cheap at three to five pounds, depending on the situation peak or off-peak time. Very comfortable and fast (but also very expensive) is the Heathrow Express, an express train that runs non-stop to Paddington. Journey time 15 minutes for £25 each way (return £37, tickets are valid for one month). You can buy tickets directly after leaving customs control from mobile salespeople in blue uniforms or later from vending machines. More information about arrival and the airport itself can be found here.

London Gatwick internet wikipediacommons Airport (IATA: LGW) is located south of London, making it a great choice if you live or are staying in this corner of the city. It serves as the second intercontinental hub for the British capital, but despite numerous modernization efforts in recent years, it does not compare to the impression of Heathrow. In addition to a smaller British Airways base, there are numerous European holiday and city connections here.

As of 2022, the following airlines are flying to Gatwick from German-speaking countries:
easyJet. Basel, Berlin, Friedrichshafen (winter season), Hamburg, Innsbruck, Munich, Salzburg (winter season) and Zurich.
TUI Airways. Innsbruck and Salzburg (both winter season).

Getting to and from Stansted is relatively lengthy, but not significantly slower than, for example, from Gatwick or the underground from Heathrow. With the Stansted Express, the journey time to Liverpool Street station is approximately 45 minutes. In addition, there are scheduled coaches operated by National Express, for example, which can sometimes be booked for as little as 2-3 pounds.

More information about arrival and the airport itself can be found here.

London Luton Airport (IATA: LTN) is also a major destination for low cost airlines with good connections to other European countries. The airport is approximately 32 miles (approximately 50 km) north of central London and is easily accessible by train. Due to its location, it is relatively close to Cambridge and Oxford.

As of 2023, the only airline with direct flights to German-speaking countries is easyJet, which has discontinued several connections, including those to Dortmund and Munich.

easyJet. Berlin, Geneva, Innsbruck (winter season), Salzburg (winter season) and Zurich.

The arrival and departure is quite easy and possible, for example, by train directly to the city center. The airport is on the north-south regional bypass through London called the Thameslink, and the nearest railway station is Luton Airport Parkway. Since March 2023, the new Luton DART railway has been running directly to the terminal in about 5 minutes - walking is not possible, the shuttle bus mentioned in many travel guides has been replaced by DART. The railroad costs expensive 4.90 for a single journey, ticket machines can be found at both stations - the airport can also be booked directly as the destination of a train ticket via National Rail, the journey is then included in the total price. As with other London airports, there are coach services to and from Luton, such as National Express and easyBus (easyJet's sister company).

London City Airport internet wikipediacommons (IATA: LCY) - Centrally located in the Docklands directly to the east of the city center - a real alternative, especially since the airport is pleasantly manageable and the distances are short - however, it can also get very crowded during rush hour and offers comparatively little amenities. However, this airport is only served by "traditional" airlines, not used by low-cost airlines. Also due to the limited capacity, many business travelers and the central location, flight connections to LCY are comparatively expensive. There is often a spectacular landing approach close to the skyscrapers of Canary Wharf, only to brake sharply on the short runway built in the middle of an old ship dock - an experience for aviation enthusiasts.

As of 2022, there are the following connections from German-speaking countries to London City:
Lufthansa. Frankfurt am Main.
British Airways. Berlin, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt am Main, Geneva, Salzburg (winter season) and Zurich.
Swiss. Geneva and Zurich

Getting to the airport is very easy as it is connected to the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) providing services every 5 to 10 minutes to Tower Gateway Docklands Light Railway and Bank Docklands Light Railway which connects to however, the extensive public transport network is already practically in the city center - the journey only takes about 15 minutes.

London-Southend internet Airport (IATA: SEN) - Near Southend in Essex, approximately 60km east of London. London's main airport until the 1960s, then largely idle until expansion in the 2010s. A few years ago there was strong growth with low-cost airlines, but by 2022 they had all said goodbye except for a handful of seasonal holiday flights. The airport is therefore not relevant for tourists from German-speaking countries. Rail links a few minutes walk with numerous train services to Liverpool Street Station.


By train

London is connected to the European rail network via St Pancras station, renovated in 2007, and accessible from the continent via the Channel Tunnel from Paris (2h15), Brussels (1h53) and Amsterdam (4h10) by Eurostar . It is advisable to book well in advance. The train station is located in the heart of the city and is a central hub for the bus and underground lines.

London is also easily accessible by rail from other parts of the UK. There are twelve major railway stations arranged in a ring around Central London, each serving a different part of the country. With the exception of Fenchurch Street station, which can only be reached by bus or taxi (Tower Hill tube station is about a 5-minute walk away), all are directly connected to the tube network.

A detailed profile of each station can be found here: Network Rail Stations website.

The main train stations are (clockwise):
Paddington , serves the area west of London including Reading, Oxford, Bath, Bristol, Cardiff, Swansea, Exeter and Plymouth. Paddington also has express trains to and from Heathrow Airport.
Marylebone, serves the area north west of London, particularly Birmingham.
Euston , serves central and north-west England and western Scotland, including Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, Carlisle and Glasgow, as well as being the terminus and terminus of the Caledonian Sleeper.
St Pancras, serves the East Midlands including Leicester, Nottingham, Derby and Sheffield.
King's Cross, serves the North East of England and East Scotland including Cambridge, Peterborough, Doncaster, Leeds, Hull, York, Newcastle upon Tyne, Edinburgh and Aberdeen.
Liverpool Street, serves East of England, including Cambridge, Ipswich and Norwich. The Stanstead Express, which connects Stanstead Airport to London, stops here. Connections to Harwich Ferry Port.
Fenchurch Street, serves the outskirts north of the Thames and the Southend.
London Bridge, Cannon Street and Charing Cross all serve the area south and south east of London including Brighton, Eastbourne, Hastings, Dover and Ramsgate.
Waterloo, serving the area south west of London including Portsmouth, Winchester, Southampton, Bournemouth, Weymouth, Salisbury and Exeter.
Victoria, serves the area south and south east of London including Brighton, Eastbourne, Hastings, Dover and Ramsgate. Gatwick Airport Express service is available from Victoria to Gatwick Airport.
Check the National Rail Planner for departure times or call +44 845-748-4950.


By bus

Most international and domestic coach services stop near Victoria Station. All National Express or Eurolines lines stop at Victoria Coach Station, which even has different arrival and departure terminals. Other operators' lines use either these stops or the Green Line Coach Station opposite Buckingham Palace Road. The main bus companies:
National Express. By far the largest line. However, booking in advance is essential.
Euroline. A sister company of National Express. It operates services to various cities in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland as well as on the continent.
Flixbus. Flixbus and FlixMobility GmbH also operate long-distance buses to London.
Organized package tours to London are offered by many bus companies in Germany.


In the street

Visiting London by car is only partially a good idea. Aside from left-hand traffic, lack of downtown parking and exorbitant fees for illegal parking, there has been a £TEN congestion charge (identified by a large white "C" in a red circle) in the city center for a number of years. . However, some modern cars with hybrid or electric drives may continue to drive in the inner city area free of charge. Extra charges apply for trucks. London traffic may seem chaotic, but after a short period of familiarization it is not a problem for experienced drivers. Although the streets are overcrowded with cars and buses, there are a lot of traffic lights and the flow of traffic is correspondingly slow. However, public transport is probably the better choice, at least in the inner city area.

Should the inclined visitor nevertheless want to plunge into London traffic, he can reach the city via a very well developed network of freeways, the so-called motorways. From all parts of Great Britain, they converge near London and form a dense connection between the countryside and the city. However, they are extremely crowded, especially at peak times. Speedometers are located on many approach roads in and around London. You are flashed from behind and have to drive past the yellow star box. Many horizontal lines on the road also indicate a speed camera, so you can usually see them well in advance.


By bicycle

Thanks to the cycle routes of the National Cycle Network, it is also possible for cyclists to cycle all the way to central London on signposted routes. Two Long Distance Routes and some shorter National Routes connect London to the wider area and the whole of the UK for cyclists:

The National Route (NCN) 1 (North Sea Coast Cycle Route) runs from Dover via Canterbury through Greenwich into the London metropolitan area and, as the longest National Cycle Route, continues along the entire English coast to Berwick upon Tweed and along the Scottish coast to Thurso.
National Route 4 is one of the main east-west links for touring cyclists in the British Isles, running from London to Fishguard via Reading, Bath, Bristol, Newport and Swansea. In the London urban area between Greenwich and Putney Bridge, the signposting is not yet complete, here you can use the corresponding GPS track in the bike travel wiki.
The National Route 20 leads from the seaside resort of Brighton on the south coast directly to London, where the route ends in the district of Wandsworth on the banks of the Thames. 


Local transport

London has one of the densest public transport networks. The red double-decker buses and the underground are world-famous. There are also the typical black taxis, which sometimes come across as quite colourful. And although Londoners are always nagging about constant delays and cancellations, this network is by far the best way for tourists and locals to get around the city, and is a lot more reliable than some people think.

The most important means of transportation in the city center is the Tube London Underground. With its twelve lines, it runs through the city from west to east and north to south. The trains run every few minutes and are still packed during rush hours. However, a subway ride is usually worthwhile to commute from one attraction to the next, as these are sometimes relatively far apart on foot. Another means of transport are buses London Buses. The red double-decker and low-floor buses connect all points of the city on an infinite number of routes. Visitors and locals usually use the so-called Travelcards instead of normal single journeys. These are day passes that allow you to use the subway, buses and other public transport in the city. London is divided into several zones. Zones 1 and 2 are in the city center and are mostly sufficient for tourists, the higher numbers are further out. For tourists, the so-called off-peak travel cards are recommended, which are only valid after 9.30 a.m., but are also cheaper. When entering and exiting subway and train stations, the card is inserted into a barrier in order to be able to pass. With Travelcards you get a discount on boat trips. Oyster cards are also popular. They work in a similar way, but are chip cards loaded with money that automatically determine the cheapest fare for all journeys on a day. It is now also possible to pay with a contactless credit card in the same way as the Oyster card - you scan the card when boarding and alighting, at the end of the day the cheapest fare is automatically determined. Certainly the most convenient option for tourists, as no preparation is required, although bank charges may apply.




London offers a wide range of cultural events. London's West End is home to more than a dozen theaters. Everything from classical to modern is played. Andrew Lloyd Webber's musicals Cats and The Phantom of the Opera premiered there, among others.

The National Theater Company's Royal National Theater on the South Bank and the Royal Shakespeare Company's Barbican Center are among the many centers of professional theater acting. The Royal Court Theatre, one of the most traditional theaters in London, reopened in February 2000 after four years of renovation.

The Royal Opera House in Covent Garden is the most important British opera house. It is home to the Royal Opera and the Royal Ballet. The first theater building on this site, then known as the Theater Royal (see Patent Theatre), was designed by Edward Shepherd. It opened on December 7, 1732 with a performance of William Congreve's The Way of the World. Although operas, for example by Handel, were performed as early as 1735, the house remained mainly a theater.

The Theater Royal Drury Lane is a theater in London's West End. Since the mid-1980s it has been home to major musical productions such as 42nd Street, Miss Saigon and My Fair Lady. The London Palladium is probably the most famous London theater. In the 1950s, popular in Britain, variety show Sunday Night at the London Palladium was broadcast live on television.

The Theater Royal Haymarket (Haymarket Theatre) is a theater in London's Haymarket. It was founded in 1720 by John Potter as the Little Theater - a reference to the larger King's Theater (now Her Majesty's Theatre) which was also on Haymarket. Her Majesty's Theater is mainly used for musical performances. The Phantom of the Opera has been performed daily since October 9, 1986.

St. Martin's Theater in the West End has hosted Agatha Christie's play The Mousetrap since 1974. The play previously performed at the Ambassador Theater for over twenty-one years before seamlessly moving to its current venue. Running continuously since 1952, The Mousetrap is the longest running play in the world.

The Globe Theater on the South Bank of the Thames is a reconstruction of the outdoor playhouse designed in 1599. It was for this theater that William Shakespeare wrote many of his greatest plays. The season runs from May to September with productions by Shakespeare, his contemporaries and modern authors. Another well-known theater is the London Coliseum, which houses the English National Opera Company.

The London Dungeon is not a theater in the traditional sense. The cabinet of horrors has been on Westminster Bridge Road since March 2013 and presents its visitors with well-known events in the city's history from the past 2000 years. Actors lead through the subterranean vaults and bring to life the Great Plague of London, the Great Fire of London, Jack the Ripper and Sweeney Todd, among others.



London is home to five professional symphony orchestras. These are the London Symphony Orchestra, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Philharmonia Orchestra and the BBC Symphony Orchestra. The highlight of each year is the "Last Night of the Proms" from the Royal Albert Hall, which is broadcast worldwide by the BBC.

Concert halls are the Barbican Hall, the Royal Festival Hall and Saint John's Church in Westminster. One of the most popular concert halls is Wigmore Hall behind Oxford Street. In June 2002, parts of the Roman amphitheater discovered in 1988 in today's financial district were opened to the public after extensive renovation work.

St Martin-in-the-Fields is a church in Trafalgar Square. It was built between 1721 and 1726 to plans by the architect James Gibbs. Concerts are often held in the church; Orchestras performing there include the Academy of St Martin in the Fields and the New Trinity Baroque ensemble from the USA. A café has been set up in the crypt, where jazz groups sometimes perform. The parish is also home to one of the most famous church choirs in the world.

Abbey Road Studios are located in the City of Westminster. The building on the street of the same name was bought by EMI in 1929, and the studios opened on November 12, 1931. In the opening ceremony, Sir Edward Elgar conducted the London Symphony Orchestra in Studio 1 and the historic recording of Land of Hope and Glory was made. The Beatles dedicated the album Abbey Road (1969) to the music recording studio.

Pink Floyd, who recorded their albums in the studios in the 1970s, were soon considered the studio's "house band". Among other things, “The Dark Side of the Moon” was created here. Studio 1 has also been used as a recording studio for orchestral film music since the 1980s. The first film to have its musical accompaniment here was Raiders of the Lost Ark with music by John Williams. The music for The Lord of the Rings and the Harry Potter films was also recorded here.

The O₂ is an entertainment complex formerly known as the Millennium Dome. Numerous well-known international artists have performed in the O2 Arena, the actual concert hall, such as Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake and the Spice Girls.



The British Museum in Bloomsbury is one of the largest and most well-known museums in the world. It contains over six million exhibits. Also famous is the Reading Room, a circular reading room where Karl Marx and Mahatma Gandhi studied. The Queen Elizabeth II Great Court (architect: Norman Foster) was completed in time for the millennium. It is the largest covered courtyard in Europe.

The Victoria and Albert Museum in South Kensington has a collection of art treasures from around the world, including sculpture, clothing and costumes, precious china and glass vessels, furniture and musical instruments. Not far away are the Science Museum and the Natural History Museum.

In the Science Museum, exhibitions from the fields of astronomy, meteorology, biochemistry, electronics, navigation, aviation and photography are shown in galleries arranged on five levels. Among the classics among the exhibits are telescopes by Galileo Galilei and a microscope by George Adams, the first steam locomotive Puffing Billy, the first telephone by Alexander Graham Bell, a Rolls-Royce from 1909, a flying machine by Otto Lilienthal and the command module of the Apollo 10 spacecraft.

The Natural History Museum contains around 40 million different objects from flora and fauna, including numerous dinosaur skeletons, fossils (including an Archeopteryx), a 30-meter-long skeleton of a blue whale or the model of the dodo bird, which became extinct around 1690.

The National Gallery in Trafalgar Square has a rich collection of paintings ranging from its early beginnings in Italy to works by Cézanne and Seurat. Next door is the National Portrait Gallery, which has over 9,000 portraits on display. In 1897 the Tate Gallery opened on the quay between Chelsea and Westminster. It contains the largest collection of British paintings from the 16th century to the present day. The Tate Modern, an offshoot of the Tate Gallery, opened opposite St Paul's Cathedral in June 2000 and was built by the two Basel architects Herzog & de Meuron. The Saatchi Gallery near Sloane Square shows modern art. It was opened in 1985 by Charles Saatchi.

The Imperial War Museum is one of the most important war museums in the world. It primarily shows exhibits from the two world wars, such as cannons and vehicles. One of four floors is dedicated in detail to the Third Reich. Smaller sections apply to some other wars of the 20th century such as the Vietnam War and the Falklands War. There are also temporary exhibitions.

Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum is one of the capital's top attractions. Lifelike wax figures of historical figures and people from current history, such as athletes, film stars, fashion designers and models, are on display. To be given a place in the Madame Tussauds exhibition is one of the greatest honors that can be bestowed on a person. The museum, which opened in 1835, was founded by Marie Tussaud (1761–1850).

Right in the City is the Museum of London, whose exhibitions show the development of London from its beginnings to the present day. Other well-known museums and exhibitions include the Cabinet War Rooms, the London Transport Museum, Somerset House and the Sherlock Holmes Museum at 221B Baker Street.

Entry to all state museums and galleries has been free since 2001. This does not apply to Madame Tussauds as it is a private exhibition. Admission is also charged in the Cabinet War Rooms. The Churchill Museum is affiliated with the CWR and there is no separate admission charge to visit.



Streets and squares

Trafalgar Square is a large square in the center of the British capital, which many consider it to be the very heart of the city. It is the largest square in London and has been a central meeting point since the Middle Ages. In 2003 it was reopened after major renovations. In the center of the square is a monument erected by Londoners in gratitude for Admiral Nelson's victory of the British over the French at the Battle of Trafalgar. The Nelson Column, built in 1842 with the admiral on top, is 55 meters as high as Nelson's flagship HMS Victory from keel to masthead.

About two-thirds of the way from Trafalgar Square to Parliament Square is called Whitehall, the remaining third is called Parliament Street. The Cenotaph, the most important war memorial in Britain, is located in the middle of the street and is the site of the annual Remembrance Day commemorations. The central part of the street is dominated by military buildings, including the British Ministry of Defense and the former headquarters of the British Army (now Horse Guards) and the Royal Navy (Admiralty).

Downing Street is the famous city center street that has been the official offices and residences of two of Britain's most important members of government - the Prime Minister and the Chancellor of the Exchequer - for more than two hundred years. The most famous house number on Downing Street is No. 10. This is the official residence of the First Lord of the Treasury and therefore the Prime Minister, as both offices are held by the same person. Downing Street is a side street off Whitehall in central London, a few steps from the Houses of Parliament and running towards Buckingham Palace.

The street Piccadilly is located in the city center and is one of the most famous streets in the city. It stretches from Piccadilly Circus in the north-east to Hyde Park Corner in the south-west. Sights include the 1707 Fortnum & Mason grocery store, the 1906 Neoclassical Ritz Hotel and the 1868 Royal Academy of Arts at Burlington House. Piccadilly Circus is best known for its Eros fountain and giant neon billboard on a twisting corner house. The square was built in 1819 to connect Regent Street with the shopping street of Piccadilly. It is a very busy meeting place due to its central location in the heart of the West End, its proximity to major shopping and entertainment venues and the major arterial roads that intersect here.


Secular buildings

Tower of London

On the north bank of the River Thames is the Tower of London, a medieval complex of fortified buildings along the river that served as a fortress, stronghouse, royal palace and prison, particularly for upper-class prisoners. The mint, the state archives, an arsenal of weapons and an observatory were also housed there.

All English kings and queens lived there at times up to James I. It was customary for the monarch to stay overnight in the Tower before the day of his coronation and then ride in a ceremonial procession through the city to Westminster. Today the British Crown Jewels are kept in the Tower, as well as a rich collection of weapons.

In 1078, William the Conqueror ordered the White Tower to be built here. He should protect the Normans from the people of the City of London, but also from London in general. In the following centuries, the fortress was constantly expanded.

It is surrounded by a wide moat. An outer wall protects the inner buildings. The mighty “White Tower” stands in the middle of the site. From a distance it looks square, but three of the corners are not right angles and all four sides are different lengths.

UNESCO declared the building a World Heritage Site in 1988.


Tower Bridge

Tower Bridge is a road bridge over the River Thames. It connects the City of London on the north side with the district of Southwark in the borough of the same name (London Borough of Southwark) on the south side. It is a neo-Gothic bascule bridge and the easternmost Thames bridge; the main road A100 leads above it. On the north bank are the Tower of London (after which the bridge is named) and St Katharine Docks, and on the south bank is City Hall. The bridge is owned and maintained by Bridge House Estates, a charity of the City of London Corporation. Tower Bridge is sometimes mistakenly called London Bridge, but this is the next bridge upstream.

Tower Bridge is 244 meters long, the height of the two bridge towers is 65 meters. The roadway between the towers, which are 61 meters apart, is nine meters above the river, the pedestrian bridge is 43 meters. The two receivers can be folded up to an angle of 83 degrees to allow passage of larger ships. Tower Bridge was completed in 1894.


Palace of Westminster

The most famous tower in London is the 98 meter high Elizabeth Tower, which houses Big Ben, which at 13 tons is the heaviest of the five bells that play the well-known Westminster chime. The clock tower is part of the Palace of Westminster, a monumental neo-Gothic building that houses the British Parliament, which consists of the House of Commons and the House of Lords. The Palace is located in the City of Westminster on Parliament Square, in close proximity to Whitehall. It was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1987.

The oldest surviving part of the palace is Westminster Hall, dating from 1097. It was originally the residence of the English kings, but no monarch has lived here since 1529. Little remains of the original building, as it was almost completely destroyed in a devastating fire in 1834. The architect responsible for the reconstruction was Charles Barry.

The main rooms of the palace are the Council Chambers of the House of Commons and the House of Lords. There are also around 1,100 other rooms, including meeting rooms, libraries, lobbies, dining rooms, bars and sports halls. In British usage, the term Westminster is often synonymous with the operation of parliament, i.e. it is a metonym for parliament.


Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace in the City of Westminster is the official residence of the British monarch in London. In addition to its function as the residence of King Charles III. it also serves as a venue for official state events. Foreign heads of state are received in it when they visit Great Britain. It is also an important attraction for tourists. The original Georgian interiors, suggested by Sir Charles Long, included liberal use of brightly colored marble painting ('scagliola') and blue and pink lapis lazuli.

Under King Edward VII, a large-scale renovation in the style of the Belle Époque took place. A color scheme of a combination of cream tones and gold was used. Many of the smaller reception rooms are in Chinese Regency architectural style. They were furnished with furniture and decorations brought from the Royal Pavilion in Brighton and Carlton House after the death of King George IV.


St James's Palace

St James's Palace is located in the City of Westminster. The building was the official London residence of the British monarch until 1837. Today it is still the official administrative seat of the royal court. Here the ambassadors of Great Britain are accredited. The proclamation of a new monarch also takes place here. The building was erected by Henry VIII between 1532 and 1540.

Today the palace is occupied by the Prince of Wales and other relatives of the Queen. The former home of Britain's Queen Mother, Clarence House is within the palace walls. The property is only separated from Buckingham Palace by St. James's Park. An interesting spectacle is the changing of the guard at the palace. In the summer months April to July this takes place daily, otherwise every two days.


Hampton Court Palace

Hampton Court Palace is a palace in the borough of Richmond upon Thames, adjacent to Bushy Park. Buildings and parks have been modified and expanded by the different residents, so that architectural elements of the Tudor style and the English Baroque are preserved today. The castle has been the home of numerous British kings and queens.

Since the reign of George III. British monarchs inhabit other London palaces and Queen Victoria opened the palace to the public in 1838. Sections of the palace were rented out to deserving veterans. In 1986, a fire broke out in such an apartment, partially destroying the palace. The reconstruction measures lasted until 1995.


Kensington Palace

Kensington Palace is located in the borough of Kensington and Chelsea. Redesigned by Sir Christopher Wren, the castle was formerly a private estate and was taken over by Mary II and William III in 1689. expanded to avoid having to endure the dampness of Whitehall in winter. Over the next 70 years, the palace became increasingly important to the country's social and political life.

During the lifetimes of George I and George II the estate was lavishly furnished with state apartments and received an outstanding collection of furniture and paintings. The elaborate ceiling decorations by William Kent are particularly well known. After George II died suddenly in 1760, the building lost more and more of its importance. To this day, a reigning monarch has never lived here again. However, parts of the palace are inhabited by members of the royal family.



Since the turn of the millennium, London has been experiencing a construction boom in the area of skyscrapers, which is reflected in the 310-meter-high The Shard, the 288-meter-high Pinnacle and around thirty other skyscrapers with a height of more than 150 meters. The Shard was the tallest building in Europe from July to October 2012.

East of the city center are the Docklands on both sides of the Thames, which also includes Canary Wharf with One Canada Square. At 236 meters tall and 50 storeys high, it is the second tallest habitable building in Britain after The Shard. (The Emley Moor TV tower, Britain's tallest free-standing structure near Huddersfield, is 330 meters high.) The building is flanked by two other skyscrapers, built ten years later, both 200 meters high: HSBC Tower (8 Canada Square) and Citigroup Center (25 Canada Square). Other skyscrapers are located in central London, including Tower 42 and 30 St Mary Axe.


London Eye

On the south bank of the Thames near Westminster Bridge is the London Eye Ferris wheel. The system, which was the tallest Ferris wheel in the world at a height of 135.36 meters until the beginning of 2006, should have been completed by the turn of the year 2000. Due to safety deficiencies, however, the construction was not put into operation until a few weeks later.

The London Eye has 32 capsules made almost entirely of glass, each accommodating up to 25 people. The wheel rotates at a speed of 0.26 m/s and takes 30 minutes to complete one revolution. If the visibility is optimal, you can see up to 40 kilometers from the Ferris wheel, including Windsor Castle just outside the city. The ferris wheel's axis of rotation and supports were supplied by the Czech mechanical engineering company Škoda, and the hub (spherical roller bearing) by FAG Kugelfischer from Schweinfurt.


Battersea Power Station

Battersea Power Station is a former coal-fired power station in Wandsworth that operated from 1933 to 1983. The distinctive four-chimney building is on the south bank of the River Thames near Grosvenor Bridge.

Battersea Power Station has featured on the music albums of numerous British pop and rock bands. The best known is the illustration on the cover of Pink Floyd's 1977 album Animals, which shows the power plant with a large plastic pig hovering between the chimneys. Other examples include The Who's Quadrophenia album (1973), The Orb's Adventures Beyond The Ultraworld, Les Claypool's Frog Brigade's Live Frogs: Set 2 (a cover of Animals), and London Electricity's Power Ballads.


Thames Barrier

The Thames Barrier on the River Thames in the Borough of Woolwich is the world's largest movable flood barrier. Planning for the structure began after a severe storm surge in 1953 that killed 307 people. Construction began in 1974. The inauguration took place on May 8, 1984 by Queen Elizabeth II.

The barrier consists of ten pivoting gates. In order not to impede shipping traffic, they are lowered to the bottom of the Thames when open. Ships with a draft of up to 16 meters can then easily pass through the barrage. The four central gates, through which shipping traffic passes, are each 60 meters wide, 10.5 meters high and weigh 1500 tons each. The entire structure is 523 meters long. If a storm surge threatens, the gates can be closed within 15 minutes.


Millennium Bridge

The Millennium Bridge has provided a direct link between St Paul's Cathedral and the Tate Gallery of Modern Art since June 10, 2000.


Sacred buildings

St Paul's Cathedral

In the City of London, about 300 meters north of the Thames, is St Paul's Cathedral, designed by Christopher Wren, the main church of the Anglican Church in London. The carvings of the choir stalls are by Grinling Gibbons, the wrought iron choir screens by Jean Tijou. It was not until 1890 that William Richmond completed the glass mosaics on the ceiling above the choir. The high altar, built to Wren's design, is the work of Dykes Bower and Godfrey Allan, who completed it in 1958.

The cathedral has a cruciform base oriented in an east-west direction. In the center of this cross is a dome on which is a 750-ton lantern that ends at 111 meters. To dissipate this tremendous load, between the outer and inner domes is a conical stone structure that rests on the massive crossing piers.

At the base of the dome, about 30 meters high, there is a ring-shaped gallery with a diameter of 34 meters, the so-called Whispering Gallery. Here, the sound is repeatedly reflected back into the interior of the ring by the curved walls, so that a whispered word can be carried to the other side of the dome. It is 365 feet tall, one foot for each day of the year.

Climbing to the top leads to the Golden Gallery, with the possibility of a view over London. Below the church is an extensive crypt where many of the major figures in British history are buried.


St Margaret's Church

St Margaret's Church is an Anglican church. It is located in the City of Westminster on Parliament Square, next to Westminster Abbey and opposite the Palace of Westminster. It is the parish church of the British Parliament.

Note the east window with Flemish stained glass from 1509, made to commemorate the betrothal of Arthur Tudor, Henry VIII's elder brother, to Catherine of Aragon. Other stained glass windows commemorate William Caxton, the first English printer, Sir Walter Raleigh, who was buried here in 1618, and the poet John Milton, a member of the parish.

The Czech copper engraver Wenceslaus Hollar is one of the people who found their final resting place in the church. Many celebrities have been married at St Margaret's including Samuel Pepys and his wife, Winston Churchill and Clementine Hozier. The church was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1987.


Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey is a church in the City of Westminster. Traditionally, the kings of England are crowned and buried here. The Collegiate Church of the Collegiate Church of St. Peter, Westminster belongs to the Church of England, but due to its function it is not a part of any diocese, but rather a separate church (royal peculia) of the British monarchy.

The main entrance is on the west side. The portal is framed by depictions of the four Christian virtues of truth, justice, mercy and peace, as well as martyrs of the 20th century. In the central nave lies the tomb of the Unknown Soldier. In earth from the Belgian battlefields, an unknown soldier of the First World War rests "in the midst of kings, because he served his God and country well", as an inscription on black marble proclaims. The fallen of both world wars are also commemorated in St. George's Chapel.

Numerous famous British statesmen are buried in the left (north) transept, including William Pitt, Palmerston, Benjamin Disraeli and William Gladstone. From the northern part of the transept you enter the "Chapel of Edward the Confessor" behind the high altar. In the center is the coffin of the king who died in 1066. Behind is the Coronation Chair, which housed the Stone of Scone until 1996.
For centuries the Scottish kings were crowned on this stone until Edward I took it from the Scots in 1297. The stone was stolen at Christmas 1950 and only found again after a long search. It was officially returned to Scotland in 1996 and has been housed in Edinburgh Castle ever since. The stone is considered a symbol of the unity of the kingdoms of England and Scotland.
This chapel also contains the coffins of Henry III, Edward I, Edward III, Richard II and Henry V. UNESCO declared the church a World Heritage Site in 1987.


Westminster Cathedral

Westminster Cathedral is the main Catholic church in Wales and England. It is located in the City of Westminster. Archbishop Nicholas Wiseman (1802–1865) began fundraising for the new cathedral. He was the first Roman Catholic cardinal and archbishop in England after the Reformation. However, it was not until 1895 that construction could begin. The cathedral was opened in 1903.

The Byzantine style was chosen for construction. From the outside, the building impresses with its elaborately designed brick facade, the high dome and, last but not least, with the free-standing bell tower, which is completely untypical for this latitude. Inside, it surprises by the spatial effect and above all by the mosaics on the ceilings and walls, which are constantly being completed. More than 100 different types of marble were used in the Holy Souls Chapel in the aisle.


Neasden Temple

The Neasden Temple (Shri Swaminarayan Mandir) in Brent Borough is the largest Hindu temple outside of India after the temple in Tividale (West Midlands). It was built in the 1990s by a Hindu sect, the Swaminarayan Mission from Ahmedabad (India). The domes and turrets are made of Carrara marble and Bulgarian limestone; Inside, the altars are decorated with floral decorations of Hindu gods (Murtis). Each of the 26,300 worked stones has a different motif.

The building was assembled within three years and opened on August 20, 1995. No iron girders were used in the construction, since according to the Hindu understanding, steel emits magnetic waves that disturb the tranquility of meditation. The temple houses the permanent exhibition "Understanding Hinduism" and a cultural center.


Aziziye Mosque

The Aziziye Mosque in the Stoke Newington district is primarily occupied by the Turkish community.



London has a large number of luxurious green spaces. The Royal Parks were once reserved for the English and British monarchs and were converted into public parks at the beginning of the 19th century. Over 200 parks spread over around 220 square kilometers.

Greenwich Park is one of those royal parks in London. It is in the borough of Greenwich in south-east London. In 1997, Greenwich Park and its buildings were declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. At the northern edge of the 73-acre site are the National Maritime Museum and the Queen's House, a former royal palace. On a hill in the middle of the park is the Royal Greenwich Observatory. The small square in front of the observatory is adorned with a statue of General James Wolfe.

Hyde Park, with Marble Arch and Speakers' Corner adjoining Kensington Gardens, has long been called the "lungs of London". Surrounded by elegant residences designed for the Prince Regent, Regent's Park is in the north of the West End. This park also includes the Zoological Gardens (London Zoo). In the heart of the city center are Green Park and St. James's Park.

The Royal Botanic Gardens (Kew Gardens) are an extensive park area with important greenhouses. Located between Richmond upon Thames and Kew in South West London, they are among the oldest botanical gardens in the world. Plants and plants can be seen there that cannot be found anywhere else in Europe or even in the northern hemisphere. In addition to the world-famous Victorian greenhouses, there are also extensive parks with very old rhododendron plants in Kew Gardens. On July 3, 2003, the Royal Botanic Gardens were inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Richmond Park is the largest of the royal parks, covering an area of ten square kilometers. It is located in the boroughs of Richmond upon Thames and Kingston upon Thames in south-west London. Originally the deer hunting grounds of King Edward I, Richmond Park is now Europe's largest walled park in an urban area. Main attractions are a herd of 650 elk and fallow deer that roam freely, as well as the Isabella Plantation, an area with numerous rare plant species.

In January 2001 the Thames Barrier Park was completed; the system was built at the Thames Barrier on old docks. In the outer boroughs of London there are some other extensive green spaces, such as Bushy Park and Hampstead Heath.



London football clubs have won the national championship 21 times and the FA Cup, the national cup competition, a total of 41 times; Both times, Arsenal FC is the most successful London club with 13 national championship titles and 14 cup victories. There are currently (as of 2022/23) at least 17 professional football clubs in London; most are named after the borough where they play their home games. In addition to Arsenal, Brentford FC, Chelsea FC, Crystal Palace, Fulham, Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United are all represented in the Premier League in the 2022/23 season. Millwall and Queens Park Rangers play in the Football League Championship, the second division. There are also Football League clubs Charlton Athletic, AFC Wimbledon, Leyton Orient and Sutton United and in the fifth tier National League there are Barnet FC, Bromley FC, Dagenham & Redbridge and Wealdstone FC.

There are six professional rugby union clubs in London, five of which play in the top division, the English Premiership: Wasps, Saracens, Harlequins, London Irish and the London Welsh, who were promoted in 2014. Twickenham Stadium, the largest pure rugby stadium in the world, is located in London. This is where the English national rugby union team traditionally plays their home games, such as the annual Six Nations. The stadium was also the venue for the World Cup final between Australia and New Zealand, which the All Blacks won 34-17. The London Scottish play in the second division, the RFU Championship. Rugby league club London Broncos play in the Super League.

The iconic Wembley Stadium was located in Wembley, part of the Borough of Brent. The finals of the 1966 World Cup, the 1996 European Football Championship and the 2021 European Football Championship took place there. It was replaced by a new building when it officially opened in 2007. The stadium is the annual venue for the FA Cup final, the largest round-based cup competition in English football. Rugby League has hosted its Challenge Cup Final at the stadium since 1929. As well as special occasions, Wembley has also hosted regular events such as greyhound racing and motorcycle racing. The wrestling league WWF (now WWE) also hosted the Summerslam event at Wembley Stadium in 1992.

One attraction is the Boat Race between the two most prestigious English universities, Oxford and Cambridge. The famous rowing race of their two eights takes place annually in March or April on the Thames.

Cricket is very popular in London. Middlesex County Cricket Club plays at Lord's, the most famous cricket ground in the world, owned by Marylebone Cricket Club. Surrey County Cricket Club at The Oval Stadium. Lord's has hosted five Cricket World Cup finals (1975, 1979, 1983, 1999 and 2019), more than any other cricket ground. On 14 July 2019, England won the Cricket World Cup by number of boundaries for the first time, after the actual match and required Super Over ended in a draw against New Zealand.

The most important of the Grand Slam tennis tournaments takes place in Wimbledon in June. The London Marathon, one of the most popular marathons in the world, takes place in April.

The 2007 Tour de France started in London in July.

With the 2012 Olympic Games being awarded to the British capital, London was the first city to host the games for the third time – after 1908 and 1948.


Regular events

On January 1st, the New Year's Parade takes place from Parliament Square to Berkeley Square. The Chinese New Year celebrations in Chinatown in the Soho district take place on the second new moon after the winter solstice, i.e. between January 21st and February 21st. Because the Chinese calendar is astronomically defined, unlike the Gregorian calendar, Chinese New Year falls on a different day each year.

The execution of King Charles I on January 30, 1649 is commemorated at the end of January with a wreath-laying ceremony in front of the Banqueting House and a procession from St James's Palace (Commemoration of King Charles I).

The Changing of the Guard of the Queen's Guard at Buckingham Palace is one of the oldest and most famous ceremonies and takes place almost every day of the year. The relief is accompanied by military bands playing traditional marches, tunes from popular West End theater shows and well-known pop songs.

The main gates of the Tower of London are locked each evening by the Tower's Chief Yeoman Warder, escorted by Guardsmen, during the supposedly 700-year-old Ceremony of the Keys.

Gun salutes are fired on 6 February (Accession Day), 21 April (Queen's Birthday), 2 June (Coronation Day) and 10 June (Duke of Edinburgh's Birthday). If the dates fall on a Sunday, the gun salute will be fired the following day. At 12pm 41 shots are fired by the King's Troop of the Royal Horse Artillery in Hyde Park and at 1pm the Honorable Artillery Company fires 62 shots at the Tower of London. Gun salutes are also fired at the parade of flags and the opening of Parliament.

Shakespeare's Birthday Celebrations are held at Shakespeare's Globe Theater each year on the Saturday closest to April 23 to commemorate Shakespeare's birthday. A classical music festival is the Hampton Court Palace Music Festival in early to mid-June at Hampton Court Palace. The City of London Festival brings music, theater and dance to a variety of venues from late June to mid-July. Promenade Concerts (The BBC Proms) are held at the Royal Albert Hall from July to September.

Notting Hill Carnival, Europe's largest street carnival with a Caribbean flair, takes place in Notting Hill at the end of August. In September, the Thames Festival brings arts, sports and a variety of events to life on the river between Waterloo and Blackfriars Bridges. Annually on the first Sunday in October, the Pearly Harvest Festival Service is held at St Martin-in-the-Fields Church for the London Market Traders (Cockney Pearly Kings and Queens).

The Trafalgar Day Parade, celebrating Admiral Horatio Nelson's victory at the Battle of Trafalgar, can be seen in Trafalgar Square on October 21st. Bonfire Night is a firework display to commemorate the uncovering of the Gunpowder Plot against the English Parliament and the arrest of its leader Guy Fawkes on 5th November 1605. It takes place across most of London on Saturday night around 5th November.


What to do

Musicals, concerts and theater - London is world famous for its musicals, but also for its theatre. Most are in the West End, often only a stone's throw away from each other. Some have been running for many years with great success, some are new. The Agatha Christie play The Mousetrap has been running since 1952. The free, fortnightly published The Official London Theater Guide offers a good overview of all plays, and an overview of the current day can be found in the numerous free newspapers. Most musicals and theaters do not require booking weeks in advance. The numerous "half-price" box offices between Leicester Square and Piccadilly Circus are worthwhile to get discounted tickets. A look at is worthwhile.
Open top bus tours offer a good, albeit pricey, introduction to London's attractions. There are two major companies that dominate the market here: The Original Tour and The Big Bus Company. Both work according to the hop-on/ hop-off system, i. H. the bus runs to the attractions and you can hop on and off as often as you like. Both include audio commentary, live from the driver in English and taped over headphones in other languages (including German). It is advisable to bring your own headphones, as the free headphones provided on the buses can become quite uncomfortable after a while. Buses run daily from 8:30am to 6:00pm (except December 25th!). Adults pay 20 to 22 pounds, children 10 to 12 pounds. The tickets are valid for 24 hours. From time to time there are discounts for online bookings. The price also includes river cruises on the Thames with City Cruises from Westminster Pier to Tower Pier or Greenwich Pier.
If you don't feel like such a commercial bus tour, you can of course also take a very individual city tour by buying a Travelcard and being driven around on the upper deck of the double-decker buses for a while. Of course, there are no audio comments, but the prospects are quite comparable. Line 24 from Hampstead Heath to Pimlico passes almost every major attraction. Similar services include line 73 from Victoria to Stoke Newington Common and line 159 from Marble Arch to Streatham.
The London Walking Tour is also highly recommended — probably the best way to get to know individual parts of the city more intimately. The walks are reasonably priced (£8 per adult (December 2012)). In addition to normal city tours, thematic explorations are also offered: London's history, famous sights, ghost walks, Jack the Ripper walks. All tours last two to three hours; they each begin and end near a subway or bus station.
A very nice alternative for individualists could be an audio walk in German with your own iPod or mp3 player.
The green lungs of London, the Royal Parks, are definitely worth a visit. In the center are Hyde Park (the largest) and Kensington Gardens, Green Park, St. James's Park (next to Buckingham Palace), Regent's Park; further outside Richmond Park, Bushy Park, Greenwich Park and Brompton Cemetery. Hampstead Heath, a hilltop park in north London with great views over the city and two swimming ponds, is also great for relaxation.
You can visit many of London's most interesting buildings at the London Open House Weekend (usually in autumn, in 2008 September 20th and 21st). During this weekend, many buildings that are otherwise not accessible to the public open — comparable to the open museum day in Germany.
London offers many colorful flea markets where shopping can be an experience.
Thorpe Park. Amusement park in the southwest of the city.
London Discovery Maps offer an alternative way to discover London in all its diversity. In addition to the Discovery Maps, a free online London travel guide provides information about the city.



If you like visiting traditional markets, you might want to visit one of the numerous farmers' markets in London. London Farmers' Markets provides an overview of the approximately 20 markets in the different parts of the city. In addition, there are the numerous mishmash markets, some of which attract real crowds of visitors, and they usually have little to do with the flea markets that are common in Germany. The focus is different, in addition to junk and kitsch there are often artists and small fashion designers who offer their goods for sale there, but of course also second hand clothes and "junk" - next to that there is often a street food market in one part. A number of these markets take place on Sundays, but there are also some permanent markets with different themes from day to day. You can easily spend the whole day on some of them. Tip for a rainy Sunday: Stroll through the various Spitalfields covered markets (Spitalfields and Oldspitalfieldsmarket) (Liverpool Street London Underground) and then into the immediately adjacent markets on Brick Lane in the Old Truman Brewery area, the latter only on Sundays. Alfies Antique Market is also worth mentioning, as it is the hotspot for shopping in London for fans of vintage fashion.



Finding the right place to eat is a tall order for the London traveler. Less because there is nothing decent, but rather because you can (or have to) choose from an almost immeasurable range. London probably has the highest density of fast food outlets in all of Europe (24 x McDonalds, at least 53 x Burger King). Sandwich shops are the most popular places to buy lunch. You can choose between ready-made sandwiches or those specially prepared to order. Some Italian shops have a particularly good reputation and are easy to spot by the long lines that form there at lunchtime. Street food markets have been very popular in recent years, especially at lunchtime. They are always available as a small cluster of 4-5 stalls where there are many offices, but also integrated into many Sunday markets - the look is often fantastic and the taste is hardly inferior, usually costs around 5 pounds.



London has an unbelievable amount of different restaurants and until a few years ago the reputation was miserable. However, this is history, today the city is covered with countless high-quality system gastronomic chains with a stylish ambience and good service, and always in a casual style - anyone who knows Vapiano in Germany can guess where things are headed. Anyone who hasn't been to London for two years will be amazed at the new concepts that are back and have quickly spread to 10-30 restaurants in London. There are many concepts with Italian cuisine (e.g. Rossopomodoro, Jamie'S Italy, Zizzi), but also Asian (e.g. wagamama) or Mexican cuisine (e.g. wahaca) and high-quality burger chains (e.g. Byron, Five Guys) and much more - Most of the time they are service restaurants.

In some parts of the city there are also good to very good individual restaurants. Chinatown (tube station: Charing Cross) has an excellent reputation even among the Chinese living in London and of course offers the food to match. The quality of the meals can vary greatly and also depends on personal preferences. If you eat fast food often and like it, there is pretty much everything you are used to from home. However, if you are used to good food, possibly accompanied by a good wine, you can expect to pay about three times the price for half the quality.

It is customary to wait at the entrance to be seated, even in system catering. Reservations are advisable on Friday/Saturday - or you can come outside of the main meal times (and not exactly in the Westend).

Not all restaurants include service in the meal price; there may be an additional 10% for service, some restaurants also add a flat rate to the price on the menu.


Restaurant Prices

London is an expensive city in an expensive country! Expect to pay roughly the following: £2.00 to £3.49 per person for a sandwich, snack and drink in supermarkets and drugstores (e.g. Boots Meal Deal), £5 per person in the sandwich shop, subway, McDonald's or Burger King (if you're not very hungry), £10-20 pp in the pub, £15-30 pp in the restaurant from lower to medium range, £50-100 pp in the very nice restaurant with at least white tablecloths , £100 or more at the Savoy or Ritz

Prices increase in direct proportion to the proximity of tourist attractions; One should be careful, especially in the vicinity of the British Museum and Westminster Palace. However, many restaurants have special offers at lunchtime to make better use of the capacity, and in the evening it becomes significantly more expensive.

London-Eating has a good restaurant guide. Please note that Londoners are writing here, who are used to this price level.

Many outdoor food stalls try to sell leftovers just before they close — Camden Town's evening markets, for example, often offer drastically discounted food (a pound or two).

Some colorful neighborhoods with just such a kitchen:
Brick Lane: predominantly Indian cuisine, but also lots of Italian and Eastern European
Soho: This is where cuisine from all over the world is at home.
Chinatown: well, guess what?



There are countless pubs, bars and nightclubs in London. And please keep in mind that London is an expensive city. Accordingly, a pint of beer will set you back around £2.5 in an average pub. Proper bars and nightclubs are much more expensive. But there are also chains that specialize in students, such as Wetherspoons, which have more bearable prices.

For those who like spooky and magical things, make a beeline for the marlborough head pub (24 North Audley Street Mayfair, London, Greater London W1K 6WD). Here you can get cocktails from test tubes, if you flush the toilet, you can hear a woman screaming loudly and if you are looking for these places, you will not find them immediately.



If you book hotels from Germany, you should consider a few things. On the one hand, London is an enormous city and even hotels in city locations can be very far away. You can protect yourself against such surprises with an electronic city map. The hotel should be within the area encompassed by the Circle Line as a guide. Furthermore, one should note that the general level of the hotels and accommodations does not correspond to the German standard. You can (and should) always subtract a star when booking. However, this does not apply to business hotels. Here the British stars are comparable to the German stars. In principle, there are several hundred places to stay in London, from four-star hotels to apartments and historical 'Bed & Breakfast' hostels. You may well be paying anywhere from £20 to £200 a night. Last but not least, the price depends on which part of the city you are staying in. However, it is highly recommended to make sure that there is a subway station nearby.

Some nice recommended areas are:
Bloomsbury: comparatively quiet location with a wide range of accommodation options. Cheaper ones can be found on Argyle St.; Unfortunately, the area around King's Cross tube station is a bit run down. Cartwright Gardens has a number of small 'Bed & Breakfast' hotels in small historic houses.
Kensington: There is a range of budget accommodation in the Earl's Court area.



Piccadilly Backpackers Hotel, 12 Sherwood Street Piccadilly, London W1F 7BR. Phone: +44 (0) 20 7434 9009, Fax: +44 (0) 20 7434 9010.
Palmers Lodge, 40 College Crescent, Swiss Cottage, London NW3 5LB. Phone: +44 (0) 207 483 8470, Fax: +44 (0) 207 483 8471.
Club Quarters St Paul's, 24 Ludgate Hill, London EC4M 7DR. Tel: +44 (0)20 7651 2200, Fax: +44 (0)20 7651 7300.
Club Quarters Gracechurch, 7 Gracechurch Street, London EC3V 0DR. Tel: +44 (0)20 7666 1616, Fax: +44 (0)20 7666 1717. Note: The Club Quarters is a club hotel, so it is not open to the public all year round. On weekends and during vacation periods (e.g. at the end of the year), however, the rooms are rented very cheaply in order to avoid vacancies. The rooms are simple but warm and clean, breakfast is included. The location right next to St. Paul's Cathedral (St.Paul's) or near the Tower (Gracechurch) is excellent.
YHA London Central Youth Hostel, 104 Bolsover Street, London W1W 5NU. Tel: +44 (0) 845 371 9154 Email:
YHA London Earls Court Youth Hostel, 38 Bolton Gardens, Earl's Court, London SW5 0AQ. Tel: +44 845 371 9114 Email: Nice, relatively newly renovated youth hostel in the heart of Kensington, in one of the typical houses in the area. From a single bed to a family room, but all without their own shower/toilet - the sanitary facilities are in really sufficient numbers and very clean and well-kept, always next to the individual bedrooms. Unfortunately, the bedrooms are not soundproof, in some rooms there is a big gap under the door - if you have fellow travelers in the hallway who get up at 5 a.m. to catch their plane, you have to sleep very soundly not to notice this. Earplugs therefore increase the quality of sleep in this otherwise very nice hostel. You can skip the bookable breakfast in the hostel, either prepare it yourself in the beautiful self-catering kitchen in the basement or have breakfast in the cafe at the front on Earl's Court Road. Laundry, free WiFi in public areas, two indoor lounges, a beautiful courtyard. Charging stations (plugs and two USB charging points) on each bed, and there are also enough charging options in the lounges. Locker for luggage but no safe in reception. Hardly any possibilities to stow luggage in the rooms (don't forget the padlock for the small locker in the room!). Open: All year round and 24 hours a day. Check-in: from 2 p.m. Check out: 10 a.m.
Ibis Budget London Whitechapel, 100 Whitechapel Road, London E1 1JG. Tel: +44 (0) 207 655 4620. This new hotel (opening July 2012) is in the Borough of Tower Hamlets.
Meininger Hotel London Hyde Park. is centrally located and has even had a visit from the Queen.



The Henry VIII Hotel, 19 Leinster Gardens. Located in Bayswater in a nice area with a swimming pool, nice crew, small rooms and a miserable breakfast.
Holiday Inn Express London Royal Docks-Docklands, Silvertown Way. Budget hotel refurbished in 2004 in Docklands with easy access to public transport and close to London City Airport.



Hilton London Paddington, 146 Praed St. Upscale traditional hotel, right next to Paddington station with direct access from the station concourse, very good and courteous service by British standards. Feature: ★★★★.
Thistle Bloomsbury, Bloomsbury Way. Don't judge a book by its cover applies to this hotel in particular. For those who want to do a lot in London, this hotel is in a great central location, right between the big musicals and the most famous shopping streets. You should definitely check whether you can get to your destination much faster with the direct bus lines, which often run over long distances, in front of the hotel door than with the tube. Feature: ★★★★.



England has a low unemployment rate and there is a constant need for skilled workers. The working world is very relaxed compared to Germany, the fear of losing one's job is rather low; if you lose it, chances of finding a new job are pretty good. In London you will find Germans in many sectors and in some sectors they can be quite numerous e.g. with physicians, biologists and bankers. The area between London, Cambridge and Oxford is also known as the "Golden Triangle" and with good reason.

Application A two-page application should suffice; anything longer is seen here rather reluctantly. Application folders are unusual in many industries and an application by e-mail is OK. An application photo is more likely to trigger a fit of laughter in England and is not common here (unless you want to apply as a model).
Salary When it comes to earnings, you should be careful to take into account the high cost of living in London. The rent in London and the subway ticket in particular have an impact here (approx. 3000 to 4400 pounds per year). Salary negotiations in state institutions and universities are more flexible than in Germany, and you can still benefit from this if you have the appropriate qualifications. However, here, too, the eastward enlargement of the EU and the influx of cheap labor have had an impact, and salaries are gradually beginning to fall.



Like many other major cities, London has some social problems, which manifest themselves in beggars, drug addicts and theft (especially of mobile phones). The London police, however, have it under control so well that they do not (yet) equip their police officers with firearms. In general, London is a fairly safe place for tourists.

Nevertheless: The emergency number is "999".

Never use the illegal minicabs.

Normally England is quite safe, but bars and pubs can get pretty rough at times and there can even be fisticuffs (What do you want from my girl?). At 11pm (although the curfew has since been lifted) most places still close and suddenly all the drunks are out on the streets. At this point, perhaps, you shouldn't be on the road anymore.



Geographical location

The geographical coordinates of the city center near Trafalgar Square are 51° 30′ north latitude and 0° 8′ west longitude. The location near the prime meridian is no coincidence, as this was laid by the royal observatory, the Royal Greenwich Observatory in Greenwich; it is the starting point of the degrees of longitude and thus of the time zones.

London stretches approximately 44.3 kilometers along the navigable River Thames and has an average elevation of 15 meters above sea level. London grew out of a settlement on the north bank, today's City of London. London Bridge was the only bridge across the river until 1739.

Because of this, the larger part of the city is north of the river. As more bridges were built in the 18th century and railroads were built in the 19th century, the city began to expand in all directions. The landscape is flat to slightly undulating, which favored unhindered growth.

In earlier times, the Thames was much wider and shallower than it is today. Today it is almost entirely limited by dams and most of the approximately 15 tributaries flow underground. The tides of the North Sea are still clearly noticeable in London, which means that the city is at risk from flooding and storm surges. The Thames Barrier was built near Woolwich - east of Greenwich - in the 1970s to curb this danger.



Southeast England with the capital London, the climatically most favored part of Great Britain, differs from the other parts of the island in many respects. The geological structure is determined by the Mesozoic sediments, which gave rise to a generously structured layered landscape. Their heights are nowhere high, allowing the entire space to enjoy the climatic benefits of the Southeast. Historically, London benefited from its location in the middle of an arable region. The south-east, close to the continent, has always been considered the heavyweight of the island kingdom. Here the conquerors coming from the mainland - Romans, Saxons, Normans - first set foot. Even when, with the discovery of America and the development of overseas shipping, the outer sides of the island became more lively due to their more favorable location, the old cultural center was able to hold its own. London remained the gateway to the island.



London is located in the temperate climate zone. Summers are warm but rarely hot; although winters are cool, the temperature rarely drops below freezing. The warmest month is July with an average of 16.3 degrees Celsius, the coldest January with an average of 3.9 degrees Celsius. However, the highest temperature ever recorded in London was 40.3 degrees Celsius, measured in 2022. The large built-up area retains heat and thus creates a microclimate. Sometimes it is up to five degrees warmer in the city than in the surrounding countryside.

The average annual temperature is 9.7 degrees Celsius and the average annual rainfall is 611 millimeters. The months of October, November and December have the most rainfall with an average of 57 millimeters and the least in February with an average of 36 millimeters. Snow rarely falls, at most a few centimeters a year. Events like the snow disaster of 1978 are a rarity. At the beginning of February 2009 there was the worst snow chaos in 18 years when more than 15 centimeters of fresh snow fell. On the other hand, inversion weather conditions are not uncommon. One of these led to a major smog disaster in 1952.

Model calculations from 2019 on the consequences of man-made climate change show that London would be relocated to a different climate zone even if the RCP4.5 scenario, which was rated as optimistic, occurred; according to this, the climate in London in 2050 would already be more similar to the previous climate in Barcelona, which is much more southerly, than to the previous climate in London.




The existence of a pre-Roman settlement of the Celts in the area of the City of London could not be proven. Probably in the year 47 AD the Romans founded the city of Londinium. In AD 60 or 61, the Iceni, led by Queen Boudicca, destroyed the settlement. Londinium was rebuilt and replaced Camulodunum (Colchester) as the capital of Britain by the early 2nd century. From AD 197 Londinium was the capital of the province of Britannia superior, from about AD 300 of the province of Maxima Caesariensis. Ramparts were erected around the city.

In 410 AD the Romans withdrew their legions and the population was increasingly vulnerable to the raids of Germanic tribes. Following the conquest of England by the Angles and Saxons, Londinium fell into an uninhabited collection of ruins by the late 5th century.


Middle Ages

The Anglo-Saxons initially avoided the immediate vicinity of the destroyed city. In the later 7th century they founded the settlement of Lundenwic to the west, which first belonged to the Kingdom of Mercia and later to the Kingdom of Essex. Led by Alfred the Great, King of Wessex, the Anglo-Saxons recaptured the Thames Estuary area from the Danes in 878. In the years that followed, the area within the Roman city walls was resettled. The newly formed town was called Lundenburgh.

In 1066 the Normans conquered England and London replaced Winchester as the capital. The new ruler Wilhelm I confirmed the special rights of London. Richard the Lionheart appointed the first Lord Mayor (Mayor) in 1189, who was then elected by the increasingly powerful merchant guilds from 1215 onwards. 1209 saw the completion of the first stone bridge, London Bridge, which was the only bridge in what is now the city center until 1750. On a number of occasions London has endured sacking by rebellious peasant armies, such as in 1381 during the Peasants' Revolt of 1381 and 1450 during the Jack Cade Rebellion.

The city sided with the Yorks in the War of the Roses, which ended in 1485 with the coronation of Henry Tudor as Henry VII. The Reformation broke the power of the church, which until then had owned about half of the land; the redistribution of ecclesiastical goods from 1535 ushered in an era of economic growth and London rose to become a leading trading city.


Early modern age

London had to accept a number of setbacks in its checkered history. After the founding of the first large trading companies and the Royal Exchange in the 16th century had driven the economic rise, the city was hit by the "Great Plague" in 1664 and 1665, which claimed over 70,000 lives. In September 1666, the "Great Fire of London" devastated large parts of the city. About 13,000 houses and 89 churches fell victim to the flames.

The city was rebuilt after the devastating fire. However, plans for a fundamental redesign failed due to the high costs, which is why the new houses were mainly built along the old winding streets. Architect Christopher Wren was responsible for the reconstruction. As a result, almost all of the aristocratic residents finally left the old inner city and had new representative residential buildings built in the up-and-coming West End. The poorest sections of the population, who had to make ends meet in the expanding port, were pushed into the East End. At the end of the 17th century, London rose to become the most important financial center in the world.

During the 18th century, London grew beyond its historical limits. New bridges across the Thames allowed the city to expand southward. In June 1780, London was the scene of the Gordon Riots, when fanatical Protestants opposed equal rights for Catholics.



During the 19th century, the population multiplied, and the construction of numerous suburban railways and subways enabled rapid expansion of the built-up area. London rose to prominence as the capital of the British Empire during the Victorian era. According to the 1851 census, London was the largest city in Europe and the center of the industrialized world with a population of 2,651,939. The first world exhibition, the “Great Exhibition”, took place here in the same year.

The sprawling metropolitan area was fragmented into numerous parishes and judicial districts. The Metropolitan Police was founded in 1829 as the first special-purpose association, which subsequently took over crime-fighting throughout the metropolis, which had previously been operated on a private basis. 1855 followed with the Metropolitan Board of Works a standardization in the field of construction. The London sewage system, built under the direction of Joseph Bazalgette, is considered the largest construction project of the entire 19th century. In 1889, the County of London was the first ever uniform administrative region to be created for the entire metropolitan area.

The first half of the 20th century was characterized by the expansion of the built-up area on an unprecedented scale. The new suburbs were almost entirely outside the County of London: throughout Middlesex, west Essex, north Surrey, north-west Kent and south Hertfordshire.

During the Second World War, especially in 1940/41, London suffered severe destruction, especially in the eastern industrial areas, from attacks by the German Luftwaffe. These bombings went down in the history of the city with the name "The Blitz". A second wave of attacks followed in 1944/45 as part of Operation Steinbock and with the V1 and V2 rockets. Almost 30,000 residents died and hundreds of thousands were left homeless.

After the end of the war, the population fell considerably as many Londoners settled in new satellite towns. In 1965 the administrative region of Greater London was created, which also includes the suburbs that emerged in the 20th century. Meanwhile, London lost its role as a major port, and the facilities in the Docklands fell apart.

In 1981 a major urban development program began, tens of thousands of service industry jobs were relocated or created from the City of London to the Isle of Dogs. A sprawling high-rise complex was built in Canary Wharf. The number of inhabitants has increased since the low point in the 1980s. In the years that followed, London consolidated its position as one of the most important cities in the world for the global financial industry.

Several dozen people were killed in Islamist terrorist attacks on July 7, 2005. As a result, city security has been stepped up. In 2011, the population rose to over 8 million, reaching a new high. In 2012 the Olympic Games were held in London.

In 2020, London was the city with the third most surveillance cameras per capita in the world.




The 2011 census showed the following distribution of religions:
48.4 percent Christian
12.4 percent Muslims
5 percent Hindus
1.8 percent Jews
1.5 percent Sikhs
1 percent Buddhist
0.6 percent other
20.7 percent of Londoners do not belong to any religion. 8.6 percent of the population did not provide any information.

The majority of Christians belong to the Anglican Church of England. The main church and seat of the Bishop of the Diocese of London is St Paul's Cathedral. Church of the royal family is Westminster Abbey. Westminster Cathedral is the main Catholic church in Wales and England and the seat of the Archbishop of Westminster. Another metropolitan Catholic church is the Cathedral of the Archdiocese of Southwark, St George's Cathedral on the south side of the Thames. There have been no Catholic places of worship in London for several centuries since the English royal family adopted the Protestant (Anglican) faith. Catholic communities were not established again until the 19th century. Other Christian denominations are the United Reformed Church, the Salvation Army, the Quakers and the Orthodox Church. The headquarters of the Medical Mission Sisters (MMS) is in London.

The city is the center of Islam in Britain. About 38 percent of Britain's 2.7 million Muslims lived in London, according to the 2011 census. Settlement centers are predominantly the boroughs of Tower Hamlets, Newham and Redbridge. The Bait ul-Futuh is the largest mosque in the capital. The East London Mosque was built in 1985. The city's alleged longstanding political toleration of fundamentalist currents and Islamist terror plans has temporarily earned it the reputation of a "Londonistan".

About half of the 817,000 British Hindus lived in London in 2011. Settlement centers are mainly the districts of Brent and Harrow. Neasden Temple was the largest Hindu temple outside of India until the opening of Shri Venkateswara (Balaji) Temple in Tividale (West Midlands) in August 2006.

A larger number of Sikhs live in the borough of Southall, located in the western borough of Ealing, and in the borough of Hounslow.

About 56 percent of the 267,000 British Jews lived in the capital in 2001. Settlement centers are Stamford Hill in the Borough of Hackney and Golders Green in the Borough of Barnet.


Population development

As early as 140 AD 30,000 people lived in London, by 1300 there were already 100,000 and in 1801 the population of the city exceeded the one million mark. London was the most populous city in the world from 1825 to 1925, when it was overtaken by New York. In the 2001 census, 7,172,091 inhabitants were counted, in 2011 8,173,900. The city is forecast to have 9,134,000 residents by 2020 and 10,487,000 by 2040 due to continued growth.

London has traditionally been a magnet for different nationalities, cultures and religions. While at the beginning of the 20th century it was mainly Irish, Poles, Italians and Eastern European Jews who came to London, since the middle of the 20th century it has mainly been people from former British colonies such as India, Pakistan, Bangladesh or Nigeria who have immigrated.

In the 2011 census, 6.6 percent of the population was from the Indian subcontinent, 4.9 percent from other parts of Asia. 7 percent came from Africa and 4.2 percent from the Caribbean. Overall, 37 percent were born outside the UK. The number of people in London who identified themselves as "white British" fell from 58% in 2001 to 45% in 2011. The overall white population in London in 2011 was 60%. Approximately 20% were of Asian descent and 13% were black. 5% had a mixed ethnic background, the remaining 2% had another.

The London agglomeration extends beyond the actual metropolitan area of Greater London and has a population of 8,278,251 (2001), in 2010 the population of the Greater London Urban Area was estimated at 8,979,158. This is more than Scotland and Wales combined. This makes London one of the largest agglomerations in Europe.

The following overview shows the population according to the respective territorial status. Up to 1750 these are estimates, from 1801 to 2001 census results and 2006 and 2019 are calculations.


Development of the housing situation

The residential and commercial areas from the 19th century have a relatively high residential density and a disproportionate share of immigrants and people with low incomes. Low-density forms of housing, especially single and semi-detached houses inhabited by owners, are the dominant settlement pattern here.

The previous disparity in housing and living conditions for the high-income British nationals in the West End and the low-income immigrants in the East End is being overlaid by opposing trends in development. House prices in the UK roughly doubled from 2000 to 2011, but London has decoupled to the upside. The average price of London houses is twice the UK average. In central but quiet residential streets, particularly to the west, in Kensington and Chelsea, prices averaged almost €6m in 2011, thirty times the UK average. In the premium sector, 55 percent of the houses are bought by foreigners. A further increase of 20 percent was forecast by 2016.

A new development is hidden behind the term “poor doors” (roughly: “doors for the poor”): Since new luxury buildings always have to have social housing at the same time, architects are planning a separate entrance and a separate staircase for the socially disadvantaged tenants.

At the end of 2015, for the first time in the city's modern history, the number of rented apartments exceeded that of owner-occupied property. The development continues to accelerate, for 2025 more than 60% tenants are expected. The reasons for this are seen in the constantly growing real estate market and in the enormously increasing number of inhabitants in recent years and decades.



City government

In 1965 the administrative region of Greater London was created, an amalgamation of the old counties of London with Middlesex and parts of the counties of Essex, Hertfordshire, Kent and Surrey. Greater London is divided into 32 London Boroughs and the City of London. The boroughs are responsible for local self-government and the operation of most of the public institutions in their area. The City of London is historically administered by the City of London Corporation.

The Greater London Authority (GLA) coordinates cooperation between the individual boroughs, is responsible for strategic planning and runs public bodies that operate across the city; these include the London Fire Brigade, Police and Public Transport. The GLA consists of the Mayor of London (Lord Mayor) and the London Assembly (25 seat City Parliament), both of which are based at Crystal Bulding. The current Mayor of London is Sadiq Khan (Labour Party). His predecessor was Boris Johnson, his predecessor Ken Livingstone. The latter ran against the official Labor candidate in 2000, was expelled from the party after a nomination debacle, reinstated under criticism in 2004 and re-elected overwhelmingly for a second term before ultimately losing to Johnson in the 2008 election. The Lord Mayor of London, the Mayor of the City of London, exercises only ceremonial functions. On 5 May 2016, Sadiq Khan (Labour) was elected the new Mayor of London. This is the first time that a Muslim is the supreme representative of the British capital.

Previous governing bodies were the Metropolitan Board of Works (MBW) from 1855 to 1889, the London County Council (LCC) from 1889 to 1965 and the Greater London Council (GLC) from 1965 to 1986. The GLC was founded by Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher after political disputes resolved between the Government and GLC Chairman Ken Livingstone. For 14 years London had no overarching administration; most tasks were delegated to the boroughs, some directly to the central government. This measure led to major coordination problems. Even after the establishment of the GLA in 2000, the boroughs still have greater autonomy than they did at the time of the GLC.

The police force for the 32 London Boroughs is the Metropolitan Police Service, better known as the Metropolitan Police, or 'the Met' for short. The City of London has its own police force, the City of London Police.