Visiting London, England
London is the capital of both the U.K. and England; it’s also the largest metropolitan area in the EU with 7.5 million people in Greater London and 12-14 million in the London metropolitan area. Its history goes back to the city’s founding by the Romans.
For a bird’s-eye view of and introduction to the city, book a “flight” on the London Eye, the world’s largest (135 m) cantilevered observation wheel. A newcomer to the London skyline (it opened in 2000) compared to Tower Bridge, Big Ben, and the Tower of London, it has nonetheless become an integral part of the city.
London is a city of buildings of wide varying architecture (including castles of course) and many parks and gardens. The West End (within the City of Westminster) is the city’s theatre district and also features many cinemas, bars, clubs, and restaurants. Many music venues merit a visit including the Royal Festival Hall, the Royal Opera House, Sadler’s Wells Theatre, and the Royal Albert Hall. Shopping is a favorite pasttime; visit Harrod’s, Selfridges, Oxford Street, and Jermyn Street. The area around the Covent Garden tube station is one of many pleasant streets with a wide variety of shops; for something off the beaten path, visit Neal’s Yard as well, including Neal’s Yard Dairy
Hamleys on Regent Street promises “the finest Toys in the world” and has seven floors of toys to keep you occupied.
Eating in London has never been better. British food has finally shed its once-deserved (poor) reputation and the city’s cuisine is now representative of its ethnically diverse population.
A recent discovery is The Little French Restaurant.
–Jonathan B. Spira is the Editor of Executive Road Warrior and Chief Analyst at Basex, a knowledge economy research firm.