Along with Tokyo, Paris, and New York, London has long been regarded as one of the best cities in the world. And for good reason.
Founded by the Romans during the first century, London boasts an incredible history spanning nearly two millennia. At once cosmopolitan and edgy, the wonderful thing about London is the fact that each corner offers something unique and distinct. Therefore, one's experience of London is greatly influenced by the corner of the city they find themselves in.
For your visit to The Big Smoke, we've created a list of essentials to help map out your visit:
There's no better vantage point of London than from the world's most famous ferris-wheel, The London Eye. Only from inside one of the capsules can visitors truly get a sense of just how sprawling London is…and how geographically inaccurate the London Underground map actually is!
One Thing Visitors Must-See
London boasts more things to do than most other cities so choosing just one thing to see is near impossible. While many are drawn to Buckingham Palace, The Towers of London really is a must. A 900-year-old castle, former fortress, and home to the crown jewels, The Towers of London is rich with history including its famous prisoners and executions. A guided tour is a must.
London has an overwhelming number of museums and galleries and depends on one's own interests. That said, you can't go wrong with The National Gallery at Trafalgar Square. Home to some of the most famous artworks, the gallery's overwhelming collection is impossible to cover in one visit. Instead, map out what pieces you want to see by grabbing a map in advance.
Best Shopping District
London is a shopper's delight. From markets such as Portobello Road, Spitalfields, and the edgy Camden Markets, to the upscale streets of Kensington including Harrods department store, London has it all. However, no visit to London is complete without walking the length of Oxford Street, then Regent Street, and finally the charming Carnaby Street. Unbeatable!
While Hyde Park is the largest and most famous park in London complete with numerous lakes, we recommend the lush greens and hilltop views from Hampstead Heath in North London.
The popularity of gourmet burger restaurants grows every year. Though this is a tough choice, with multiple locations throughout London, our pick for best burger goes to Honest Burgers. Consistently brilliant.
Best Fish & Chips
Fish and chips are an English staple but deciding on the best fish and chips in town is one hell of a challenge. While in recent years, the city has seen a rise in so-called posh fish and chips, however, when it comes to traditional fish and chips, our vote goes to Golden Union in Soho or Poppies in Spitalfields, East London.
For decades, London has been a haven for vegetarians. In addition to the countless number of vegetarian-only restaurants, most pubs and restaurants also offer vegetarian options. Our pick, however, goes to the cosy Mildreds in Soho. Be prepared to wait for a table at this 30-year old London institution.
London has no shortage of incredible Indian restaurants. Named best British restaurant in 2014, Michelin-starred Gymkhana and fellow Michelin star Benares both serve up food to die for. But if only for the sheer site of it, we recommend walking down Brick Lane and selecting one of the several dozen restaurants which vary in atmosphere, décor, and quality.
Selecting the best pub in London is the hardest task of all. First, the number of pubs is simply staggering. Second, from traditional to chic, grungy to funky, there is a pub for everyone. We will follow popular consensus on this one and recommend The Mayflower in Rotherhithe. The Mayflower is a perfectly typical and traditional English pub, and the oldest pub along the Thames. A must visit!
Depending on what nightlife you seek, London is home to some of the best and most legendary jazz, indie-rock, and dance clubs. But if there's just one place you go - try the mecca that is Fabric nightclub. Voted the number one club in the world by DJ Magazine in 2007 and 2008 and the number two best club last year, if you love electronic music – be it house music, techno, or garage – Fabric can't be beaten.
Spend Like a Local
Let's be honest - even when you're visiting a city for a weekend, you never want to actually feel like a tourist do you? We all want to feel like we “fit it” with the local culture.
When you open a FerratumBank multicurrency account, you get the option to manage up to seven accounts and currencies including British Pounds. This means you pay and spend just like a local with no foreign exchange fees.
Your FerratumBank account also comes with a free MasterCard debit card which gives you four free ATM withdrawals*. Yes, that's right – you can withdraw British Pounds from any ATM in London with ease and avoid expensive exchange fees and withdrawal fees.
With FerratumBank, you're sorted mate!
(*Note: some ATM operators may charge a fee independent of FerratumBank)
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