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Why fly to London?
A city steeped in history and fog, London is a bit of an adventurer's delight. Every single inch of the tiny city vibrates with things to see and do. Several thousand people line up on most days to watch the pomp and circumstance of the changing of the guard ceremony at Buckingham Palace. Curious travellers are often compelled to test for themselves whether the guards posted throughout the grounds can be tricked into moving or giggling - for the most part that's a fail but a fun try nonetheless.
One of the truly great things about London is the publicly-funded museums and galleries. Visitors are asked to give a donation and with that have access to some of the world's most beautiful art pieces and artifacts dating back thousands of years. Visitors can easily spend a whole day at the National Gallery and still need more time to see everything it has to offer, the same goes for the British Museum.
A trip to London is not complete without a visit to an 'ol fish and chippy with a side of mushy peas as well as a pint at an English pub. What you see in the movies is true, locals do meet for a pint in the afternoons and evenings, and people do know each other by name, you are definitely welcome to throw yours into the mix too.
Beyond the pub and chippy, London is a food lovers' haven with restaurants fit for all pocketbooks. The city has an incredible multicultural vibe and this is visibly evident through the food offerings dotted all over the city, from supremely spicy curries to sushi and kebabs. The city also has a great gastronomy scene and plays host to signature restaurants opened by some of the worlds top chefs.
London is infamous for its rainy weather and the stories you've heard are all true. You will more then likely see rain on a visit to the city at any time of the year so packing rain gear is necessary. Winters in the city are cold with temperatures dropping to below 0 in the evenings with the occasional snowfall, but the summers are warm with numbers hovering in the low 20s. Spring and fall are generally mild to cool with temperatures general affixing themselves to the low teens.
When to fly to London
London is generally hopping all year long due to its central location between East and West. However flight bookings soar in the summer when schools are out and Westerners take their vacations. The December holiday season also means steep climbs in bookings and rates.
January through April are prime times to pick up flight deals and avoid massive crowds at city attractions, just remember to pack a parka for the cold weather.
Getting into London
London boasts five major airports as well as several smaller ones so flying into the city is a snap. Heathrow Airport is the largest and is connected to the London tube so getting into the center of the city at any time is quick and easy. Sanstead and Gatwick Airports also offer train service straight into town. Taxis and shuttle buses are readily available at tall airports.
Getting around London
Getting around London is made very easy due to the historic London tube. The train connects the city centre and most attractions are located just minutes from tube stations. Buses and taxis are readily available and London also has a bicycle for hire scheme which is a great option in the spring and summer for touring London parks. A bus service on the river Thames is also a great way to see the city landmarks while traveling from point A to B.
- London is a city of squares with numerous public gathering places dotted throughout the city. They provide a great opportunity for people watching and many host art and cultural events you can enjoy for free.
- For a look at the country's seat of power head to Parliament Square where the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey are located.
- Trafalgar Square is really quite beautiful with its impressive stone lions, lovely fountain, Nelson's Column and the Fourth Plinth. The square is also where the National Gallery and National Portrait Gallery are located.
- Piccadilly Square is probably the busiest of central squares and is a great spot to take a seat and watch London on the move.
- Have a jaunt through the city's neighborhoods to see how the locals live. For the aristocratic set head to Belgravia and its grand mansions. Then for a complete switch, visit hip Chelsea and get your artsy on. The Docklands are a fun visit with live and work spaces speckled among the old docks and waterways. Hyde park, Kensington Gardens, Greenwich and the East End where you will find markets and warehouses, homey bakeries and old curry house all have their own delights, perhaps a day or two of simple neighborhood exploration can be added on to your agenda to get a down home taste of London.
- To really top it all off take a ride on the London Eye, a gigantic Ferris wheel that will give you a chance to see London like the bird's do.
- Compare flights to London from Australia on AirfaresFlights.com.au.
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