Attracting 28 million visitors every year, London is the most visited city in Europe. The city was founded by the Romans and has thrived over the centuries.
The seat of the Government of the United Kingdom and the country’s financial centre, London has used its privileged location in southeastern England to its advantage, having always been a densely populated and wealthy area.
No single landmark is as representative of London as the iconic Big Ben. Despite its fame, the monument is shrouded in mystery – even its name is a source of misunderstanding!
The city of London is widely referred to simply as the City (differentiated from the phrase ”the city of London” by capitalizing City) and is also colloquially known as the Square Mile, as it is 1.12 sq. mi (2.90km²) in area.
Hyde Park is possibly the most famous park, one of the largest, and one of the Royal Parks of London. Famous for its Speaker’s Corner. Historic figures such as Karl Marx, Vladimir Lenin and George Orwell were known to often use the area to demonstrate free speech.
It is the city’s most important green lung and where many tourists and residents come to relax and enjoy a bit of fresh air. The land originally belonged to Westminster Abbey until 1536, when Henry VIII confiscated it and made it into private royal hunting grounds.
The park was open to the public during the 17th century.
London has some incredible architecture dotted all over the city. It isn’t just the main tourist landmarks that are worthy of a visit, there are beautiful streets all over the city that should feature on everyone’s London trip.
Camden Market is eclectic and diverse, featuring street food from international cuisines, and lots of stalls selling trinkets and unique artwork. Camden has a vibrant body mod community and you will find a big number of piercing and tattoo shops in this part of town.
Another interesting place is Piccadilly Circus, the nexus of London’s entertainment district, drawing in seasoned locals and fascinated tourists like moth to its bright neon flame.
While exact number aren’t available, the value of advertising on the new electronic billboards in Piccadilly Circus is worth many millions of dollars. Why? Well, 100 millions of tourists pass through it every year, which leads to billions of pictures being shared with the ads in it.
When John Lennon sang ”imagine all the people”, we doubt he was referring to the hoards that pass through Piccadilly Circus daily. In 2002 Yoko Ono, his widow, paid around £150,000 for a banner that mused: ”Imagine all the people living life in peace” covering the Nescafe neon sign for three months.
By the way, the word Circus refers to the fact that it used to be a complete roundabout, or circle.
In the heart of Westminster, you’ll find the iconic Trafalgar Square. It’s full of incredible museums, galleries, cultural spaces, and historic buildings.
London is a diverse and exciting city with some of the world’s best sights, attractions, activities and I highly recommend you to visit it more than once!