Where To Go In London: Commonly Asked Questions About The City
By Anton Constantinou
Millions of visitors are drawn to London each year by its theatres, museums, shopping, culture, history and architecture. However, knowing where to find everything is another matter altogether.
Seeing how London is our most booked city, we asked our Client Reservations team: what questions are you commonly asked by first-time visitors? This is what they told us:
Where can I find a good theatre show?
The simple answer is the West End. Otherwise known as London’s theatre district, it’s jam-packed with world famous shows, musicals and stage productions including Phantom of The Opera, Mamma Mia!, and The Book of Mormon. The West End is an area in central/west London, which broadly covers both the Westminster and Camden boroughs. Piccadilly Circus can be found there, as can Leicester Square and Chinatown. For details of all West End Theatre bookings, CLICK HERE.
Where are London’s best museums?
London has more than 250 museums across the city, but if you’re tight on time and want to visit a few then could head to South Kensington, home of the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Science Museum and the Natural History Museum. All three have family-friendly exhibitions running throughout the year, and can be easily reached on foot from the following tube stations: South Kensington, Gloucester Road, Sloane Square.
Which markets should I visit?
Portobello Market and Camden Market are two of the most famous and, between them, sell everything from vintage clothes to antiques. Portobello Market is located in Notting Hill, with colourful houses running either side of its stalls, while Camden Market occupies a vibrant spot on London’s Regent Canal, close to lots of boutique shops. If it’s street food you’re after, Borough Market in South London is arguably one of the best. Here you’ll find delicious cheese, baked goods and charcuterie.
Where can I catch a street performance?
London’s street performers come in all shapes and sizes, from buskers to magicians. Even to this day, Covent Garden remains the go-to area for street entertainment, with a history dating back to the 1660s. Many travel and far and wide to meet Spikey the Juggler, or Diego Andres Spano, the clown and mime. If you’re lucky, you may even catch street escapologist, Tony Roberts.
Where can I experience London like a member of the Royal Family?
We answered this very same question in our December blog post Luxury London: The Royal Lifestyle. Buckingham Place in Westminster is an obvious starting point. Be sure to bring your selfie stick along for a snap of the palace grounds and its iconic guards. Kensington Palace is another top royal attraction, boasting original dresses from Princess Diana.
Which airport should I fly into?
Those visiting London have a choice of five different airports to land at:
- Heathrow Airport
- Gatwick Airport
- Stansted Airport
- Luton Airport
- London City Airport
Some are better connected than others: Heathrow Airport is London’s main hub, as is closest to the city centre, while Gatwick can be reached by three different train services. Stanstead and Luton are both popular for budget flights, even if they are a bit further out. City Airport is popular with business travellers, as it’s located in the Docklands, and you can be at Canary Wharf in minutes.
Where can I find the best views of the city?
For great panoramic views, you’ll either need to head for the hills or ascend one of London’s tallest buildings. Primrose Hill is free to visit, great for picnics and overlooks the city from a grassy vantage point near London Zoo. Parliament Hill on Hampstead Heath is equally breathtaking. Rising 98 metres above the city, it offers a fantastic platform for observing landmarks like the Gherkin and St Paul’s Cathedral. London’s highest and best vista, however, can be found at the top of The Shard: a 95-storey skyscraper with two viewing platforms. Book a table at one of the bars or restaurants on the upper floors for stunning food and cocktails to match the views.