This earth, this realm, this England, and the city of London is it’s most significant metropolitan center and cultural hub as well as a globally significant transportation and economic center. This is an ancient city, with a history of human settlement that goes well back into antiquity and even predates the era of Roman conquest. Even then, when it was known as Londinium, visitors and tourists would flock to this village on the River Thames to see the unique sights, festivals, and landmarks. This is an expensive city, as the locals will be happy to tell you, but thanks to the choices available for accommodation, food, and entertainment, you can still see London on a relatively tight budget.
Tourism in London
A major player on the world stage, London hosts a number of internationally renowned events and conferences, is home to several famous landmarks, and has no less than four major international airports within the city limits. The most popular sites in London tend to be historic or cultural, and many of these are juxtaposed against a contemporary metropolitan cityscape.
- World Heritage Sites. There are four of these within the city alone. Compare that to entire countries that have only one or two. These include iconic places like the Tower of London and the site of Westminster Abbey.
- Castles. Most of the castles date from the period of Norman Conquest in 1066, such as the infamous Tower of London and the Palace of Westminster. This was one of the most significant times in the city’s history, as it became the definitive cultural and building capital of England.
- Modern Architecture. A stunning aspect of the city skyline is medieval or Victorian buildings literally right next to state-of-the-art, futuristic structures. These include St. Mary’s Axe, also known as the Gherkin, the Shard, and the London Eye.
- Famous People. A series of plaques around town, known simply as the Blue Plaques, marks the homes and haunts of many notable people that have called London home. This includes famous people from the modern era too, from Mary Shelley to Jimi Hendrix.
- Green Spaces. When you visit a major metropolitan center like this one, parks aren’t always the first thing that comes to mind. Nicknamed the “green lungs” of the city, there are both famous public places like Hyde Park and others that were part of royal estates and hunting grounds.
Hotels in London
Accommodation in the city is equally eclectic, and despite London’s reputation as an expensive city in which to live, finding a place to lay your head isn’t at all expensive.
- Hostels. Distinctly different from conventional budget hotels, these are budget accommodations in shared dorms or rooms. They are very economical, sometimes include kitchenettes or laundry rooms, and are often at least a few kilometers from the city center.
- Hotels. There is a myriad of choices for conventional hotels throughout London. You can stay in any neighborhood, opt for a place that’s simple or sophisticated, and spend a little or a lot.
- Apartments. If you and your friends and family are planning to stay for an extended period of time, there are plenty of suites, townhouses, and apartments available. They’re not much more expensive than the standard hotel.
- Bed and Breakfasts. England might be the country that invented the concept of the bed and breakfast, and London has themed historic, no-frills, and opulent choices. All of them include at least one meal a day, and some also have private kitchenettes and full meal plans available.