The capital of the United Kingdom and Great Britain, London is difficult to describe because of the abundance of things on offer. The metropolis in the south of the country is Europe's third largest city after Moscow and Paris (source: statista). More than nine million people from more than 160 nations live in the London metropolitan area. More than half of the residents are younger than 40 years.

Article overview London

London - the Thames and its bridges from the bird's eye view

London - the Thames and its bridges from the bird's eye view

London – how it all began

Around the year 50 AD, the Romans conquered large parts of England. The founding of cities followed the conquests. One place in particular appealed to the Roman occupiers. Where present-day London is located, the conquerors established a beachhead on the banks of the Thames. They called him "Londinium". From the beginning of the 2nd century Londinium functioned as the capital of Britain. After the Romans left in 410 AD, the city went into decline. The predicament changed after the Norman conquest of the country in 1066. The city became the capital of the Kingdom of England and the seat of the British royal family. From the Middle Ages, London was an important European trading center. The city grew rapidly; around the year 1800 the number of inhabitants exceeded the one million mark. In the 19th century, London was the largest city in the world. It remained so until 1925.

London - House of Commons and Westminster Hall

Worth knowing about London

According to the credit card organization Mastercard, more than 19 million international visitors were counted in London in 2019. According to this survey, the city ranked third after Bangkok and Paris. In fourth place follows at a considerable distance Dubai.

The travel publisher Lonely Planet does away with this prejudice when it comes to London's reputation as "rainy and foggy": Statistically, London has 584 liters of precipitation per square meter p. a. the driest city in Britain. In an international comparison, cities such as Rome, Sydney or New York top London's rainfall. According to Lonely Planet, more than twice the amount of rain falls in New York.

Weather contrasts - London in the sunshine

Weather contrasts - London in the rain 

Thanks to the well-timed public transport system, London is one of those cities that can easily be explored on foot on your own. Land support is available from buses, London Underground trains, South Bank Light Rail and London's traditional taxis. On the water, the Thames Clippers, sponsored by Uber Boat, provide speedy service to and from London suburbs such as Greenwich.

Greenwich - Old Royal Naval College

London's economy

London has outstanding economic power. GDP per capita (€410.800 as of 2014) is more than XNUMX times that of the poorest region in the UK, Wales. The growth drivers are the financial services and tourism segments. The manufacturing industry and the port economy have lost their original status over time.

London's Canary Wharf financial district

London is the location of global corporations, credit institutes and insurance institutes. The city has several stock exchanges. Road, rail and air transport is centered in London. The city has access to six international airports in and around the center. London has 14 mainline stations and London St Pancras International is where modern Eurostar trains run to Amsterdam, Brussels, Rotterdam and Paris.

Central Station - Liverpool Street Station

London - hotbed of science and culture

Great Britain's metropolis is rich in universities, colleges, museums and theatres. In the Westend alone, those interested in culture can choose from more than a dozen theaters. Music lovers visit the Royal Opera next to Covent Garden, the Royal Albert Hall or other concert halls. The church of St Martin-in-the-Fields also serves as a concert hall. It is in Trafalgar Square. The huge entertainment complex The O2 in the borough of Greenwich offers more spectacular events in comparison.

St Martin-in-the-Fields from Trafalgar Square

The O2 in the Borough of Greenwich 

The list of museums is almost unmanageable. Seventeen museums of different genres are named, each of which attracts more than 100.000 visitors per year. One of the most famous is the National Gallery, which overlooks Trafalgar Square. It welcomed six million visitors in 2019. - No matter what London's visitors tend to do, there is never a dull moment in this city.

Trafalgar Square with the National Gallery

London for cruise passengers

The cruise ship passengers, who arrive from several ports, do not feel unwilling either. The ships usually call at the ports of Dover and Southampton. Guests on the ships travel to London by bus within two hours. You have a maximum of three to four hours of stay time. From our point of view, the benefit of such transfers is doubtful. In these destinations, other, no less attractive destinations are recommended.

Crusaders, whose ships call at the Tilbury London Cruise Terminal in the provincial town of Tilbury, are better off. An average of 60 ship calls per year are recorded there. The bus ride to central London takes an hour. It gets even better when the cruise ship docks in the London suburb of Greenwich. Guided tours from Greenwich are not very time consuming. Boat travelers who are used to doing things on their own take the fast "Thames Clippers" to the city centre. This river trip offers extraordinary impressions regardless of the weather conditions.

Greenwich - pontoon of cruise ships

WORLD VOYAGER is adjacent to HMS Belfast 

It's best for guests on small cruise ships. They dock opposite Tower Pier at the HMS Belfast museum ship. Before the berthing or casting off manoeuvre, the Tower Bridge opens to let the ship pass. The action itself is worth the trip to London.

We report in detail about our individual tours through the British metropolis under Dover -> One day in London and Greenwich -> Discover London City . Under London Attractions we present our top favorites for a short visit to London.

Excursions & Activities London - GetYourGuide