London is the capital and most populous city of England and the United Kingdom. Standing on the River Thames in the south east of the island of Great Britain, London has been a major settlement for two millennia. It was founded by the Romans, who named it Londinium.
London is made up of two ancient cities which are now joined together. The City of London, known simply as 'the City' is the business and financial heart of the United Kingdom. It was the original Roman settlement (ancient Londinium), making it the oldest part of London and already 1,000 years old when the Tower of London was built. The second part of London is the City of Westminster, where Parliament and most of the government offices are located as well as Buckingham Palace, the official London residence of the Queen and the Royal family.
London occupies over 630 square miles and has a population of over 8 million people. It was the first city in the world to have an underground railway, known as the 'Tube'.
London is a leading global city in the arts, commerce, education, entertainment, fashion, finance, healthcare, media, professional services, research and development, tourism and transportation. It is the world's largest financial center and has the fifth or sixth largest metropolitan area GDP in the world.
London's history stretches back over thousands of years, and the city boasts four World Heritage Sites:
Palace of Westminster and Westminster Abbey
Every year, the Abbey welcomes over one million visitors who want to explore this wonderful 700-year-old building - the coronation church of England.
Tower of London
Despite the Tower of London's grim reputation as a place of torture and death, within these walls you will also discover the history of a royal palace, an armoury and a powerful fortress. Visit Royal Beasts and learn about the wild and wonderous animals that have inhabited the Tower, making it the first London Zoo.
Discover the priceless Crown Jewels, join an iconic Beefeater on a tour and hear their bloody tales, stand where famous heads have rolled, learn the legend of the Tower's ravens, storm the battlements, get to grips with swords and armour, and much more!
Kew Gardens, London's largest UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the former summer residence of King George III. It is now home to the world's most diverse collection of living plants and a scientific research centre of international renown.
Discover beautiful glasshouses including the iconic Palm House and its exotic rainforest; the Princess of Wales Conservatory which offers 10 of the world's climatic zones; and the Waterlily House with its amazing, giant lily pads.
The Treetop Walkway soars into the tree canopy offering a bird's-eye view of the gardens. The Great Broad Walk Borders is home to more than 60,000 plants.
London has five major airports: London City, London Gatwick, London Heathrow, London Luton and London Stansted.
81 Newgate Street,
London, EC1A 7AJ
Information on the schedules and routes for buses, the Tube, and river boats can be found at
Taxis are available widely in the city and at designated taxi stands.
Visas: Visa-free travel to the UK is still in place for citizens from member states of the EU. Some people may need a visa to visit, work or study in London. Most people can only enter the country as a visitor for a limited period.
Tipping: it is typical to leave 10-15% of the bill when eating out. However, most restaurants often add a service fee automatically.
Currency: the Pound is the official currency but Euros are accepted most places.
Climate: temperatures average highs of 16 C or 60 F° and lows of 10 C or 50 F° in October
Country & Area Code: +44 20
Time Zone: UTC/GMT +1