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London City Information

London, the capital of the United Kingdom, is among the oldest of the world’s great cities—its history spanning almost two millennia—and one of the most cosmopolitan. Deeply multicultural, with one in three Londoners foreign-born, London is a city of imagination and innovation—and it always has been. From its instantly recognizable landmarks (the Tower of London, Westminster Abbey, Big Ben) to stunning examples of modern architecture (the Shard, the Tate Modern extension, the Sky Garden), you can walk around inside ideas that changed the world.

For the official London visitor's guide, click here.

Religious Sites

Westminster Abbey, in the center of London, is the site of coronations and other ceremonies of national significance. Initially built by Henry III in 1245, it is one of the most important Gothic buildings in England. Equally iconic, St. Paul's Cathedral sits on Ludgate Hill at the highest point of the City of London. Visitors are invited to climb the dome to try the acoustics of the Whispering Gallery, enjoy the views of London from the Stone and Golden Galleries, or head down to the crypt where national heroes are buried.

Unique Shopping

To experience some of London's unique local flair, visitors are encouraged to explore the cafes and shops in these unique and interesting areas. Covent Gardens pedestrian piazza is home to fashion stores and handicrafts at the historic Apple Market, while Neal's Yard is a colorful courtyard of hidden shops. The Carnaby shopping area boasts more 100 international and British labels, independent boutiques, one-off concepts, beauty emporiums, grooming salons, and bespoke jewelry specialists, and plenty of restaurants, bars, and cafes. On Saturdays, Portobello Road in Notting Hill is home to the world's largest antiques market, with more than 1,000 dealers selling every kind of antique and collectible. On other days throughout the week, the stalls can be found offering everything from fruit and bread to posters, vintage clothes, ceramics, and music.

Museums

Government Landmarks

Dining and Nightlife

A trip to London wouldn't be complete without the quintessential dining experiences of afternoon tea, beer at a classic pub, and dinner at one of London's amazing Indian restaurants! For tea, reserve a table at the Savoy or the Ritz or, if you're on a more thrifty budget, try Fortnum and Mason. If the weather is in our favor, enjoying beer or fish and chips at a riverside pub is a must! Or for an indoor option, try the Lamb & Flag in Covent Garden, an establishment over 400 years old, or The Marylebone, a favorite of Program Chair Costas Markides. For a curry dinner, check out Tamarind, Veeraswamy, Cinnamon Club, or the more affordable options Masala Zone and Dishoom. Finally, for nightlife, visit the Soho area of West End, where you'll find plenty of live entertainment and chic bars.

Historic Royal Palaces

Tower of London visitors can experience 1,000 years of history at the iconic castle and World Heritage Site. At this fortress, royal palace, and infamous prison, one can be dazzled by the Crown Jewels, take a legendary Yeoman Warder tour, and meet the local ravens. Kensington Palace is the birthplace and childhood home of Queen Victoria, and it is where, for more than 300 years, many young royals have lived. Visitors can walk in the footsteps of royalty in the King’s State Apartments, the Queen's Apartments, and the Sunken Garden.

Day Trips

Just two and a half hours outside London sits one of the world’s most famous prehistoric monuments. The unique stone circle, Stonehenge, was erected in the late Neolithic period about 2,500 BC. Another hour's drive will bring you to the city of Bath, founded as “Aquae Sulis” by the Romans in the 1st century, thanks to its thermal mineral springs. The site of the Roman bathing complex is now a world-class museum giving a glimpse into life in the city 2,000 years ago.