The word is out — London is the best city. The 20 million visitors each year and over 14 million residents have chosen wisely. The United Kingdom developed a pattern of democracy that influenced the world, and their leadership continues in many ways. According to a recent news article, LONDON IS NUMBER ONE.
Throughout the centuries, the English advanced literature and science; London is still a major culture capital with thriving museums and performing arts. As a center of diversity, it is also listed as one of the safest cities in the world in which to live. London Connection has compiled the 12 reasons London is also the best place on the planet TO VISIT.
History is here. Like other European cities, there are monuments and landmarks galore that were built centuries ago. London doesn’t stay stuck in the past, though. The architecture is wide ranging and it is the perfect blend of “old meets new” — historical and modern. What an adventure to walk down the street and sense the new buildings harmonizing so beautifully with the iconic architecture. And because of the forward thinking that includes modern buildings and mindfulness, many of the young Europeans want to go to London. It is the “happening” place!
London is the center of the English speaking world, yet it is a multicultural society. At its peak in the 19th century, the British Empire covered over one-fourth of the surface of the earth, and there are currently over 300 languages spoken in the U.K. — more than any other country. These cultures now add depth to the layers of all that is London. You see influences from around the world in the architecture, shops, food, and in the people. It is like going on a round-the-world tour each day as you walk down the street.
London has the greatest concentration of higher education in Europe. Recently ranked as top city for students, London boasts 50 universities including Royal Academy of Music, London School of Economics and Political Science, King's College, Royal College of Art, and London Business School. As well as being a culture capital, London also achieved a high rating for being a very international city, with high levels of tolerance and diversity. Overseas students can be in London and not feel isolated or excluded. As an educated society, the British are a global leader in banking and financial services. With an open and exuberant free press, the city welcomes the fresh opinions of students and seniors alike. All good reasons to study in London — whatever your age.
The British are great collectors, and they share the masterpieces and rarities with all who visit. Free museums throughout the city means art is affordable, and there are numerous genres from which to choose. Tapestries, sculptures, mosaics, music, science exhibits, literature displays, and world history are easily seen in London. Many of these artifacts might have been destroyed had they not been kept safe by the British. Even the entertainment is diverse — from Shakespeare to football to Beatles and Rolling Stones. There is always something to see and to do.
As one of the most famous and long-standing monarchies, the Royal Family provides stability. The royal influence is felt in the palaces, gardens, and parks. Victoria and Albert’s mission to bring the art to the people opened a new level of education to their citizens, and we are still enjoying the many museums and performance halls in their names. Yet, even those living outside the U.K are drawn to Royalty and their lives. People around the world set their alarms and missed sleep to watch the wedding of Prince Harry and American Meghan Markle in 2018, as well as weddings in the past. You know how much the British love their royalty when you have a conversation with a Londoner. As we stood near Buckingham Palace, one gentleman pointed out with pride, “you Americans — all this could have been yours.” Indeed.
London Fashion Week is held twice a year — in February and September with over 5000 in attendance. The fashion filters down to the designer shops on Oxford and Regent Street, and to the residents, as well. You will notice that Londoners dress up. The men and women in beautiful suits line the streets each week day as they walk to their workplace. For years, reports have shown that London has the best range of shops in Europe. Again, the many cultures and diversity found in London add to the vast variety of stores. The number of shopping areas will you keep you interested for hours each day you are there.
There are so many options to get around London; there is no reason to rent a car. Whether you take the Tube, the bus, or the train, you will be impressed with the British punctuality. As the oldest metro system in the world, they have worked out schedules and routes with precision. The maps and signs will guide you, and even as a first-time visitor it is easy to get around the city. Most impressive is how clean the stations and trains are. Everything has plenty of light, and you will feel safe. Another option is to hail one of the black taxis, or enjoy walking around the city — especially on a sunny day!
With the acceptance of people from around the world, there has also developed a love of diversity. Contemporary issues have found expression. All cultures and relationships are accepted; diversity thrives in London. Whatever your gender, religion, race, or relationship status — you will belong here.
As cultures from around the world gathered in London, they brought their delicious food with them. The result is great diversity in cuisine; you will find many food selections for vegetarians and meat-eaters in most restaurants. Many claim the best curry found on the planet is in London. You don’t need to travel to Rome for pizza and pasta — some of the finest Italian chefs are in London. The comfort food found in pubs are a perfect option for breakfast, lunch, and the best Sunday roast you will find. With over 70 Michelin star restaurants in 2019, you can have the finest dining experience of your life in London. Whatever you choose, you can try something from another culture for your next meal. Ring the dinner bell, and enjoy!
All you have to do is look at a map to see that about 40% of London is reserved for gardens and parks — talk about forward-thinking! Every neighborhood has a park or square with lawn and trees, and a short walk will take you to one of the major parks. Remember, the British are gardeners by heart. They have the climate, they have the moisture, they have the soil; they have established gardens for centuries. While you are in London, you are moments from some of the most thrilling green spaces you can find on the planet. Take this opportunity to see these gifts of nature with your own eyes, and let the rest of your senses come to life.
As you walk down the street or enter a restaurant, it is easy to strike up a conversation with a Londoner; they are open and friendly. They may not be the first to smile, but will usually smile back or give you a nod. The taxi drivers are helpful and easily answer questions and offer advice. The shopkeepers are attentive, but also allow you space to make decisions without hovering. You just get the feeling that you are welcome, and who doesn’t like that?
London Connection has been offering vacation rental apartments since 1985; we have chosen properties in the best neighborhoods. Each area has its own personality, and you can select the neighborhood that best matches your needs and suits your personal taste. You will find each of these residential areas are upscale, clean, and safe. You will be wise to stay in groups, always be aware of your surroundings, and take the precautions you do whenever you travel. Common sense and experience will guide you, and our let-in manager will answer any questions you might have about the neighborhood. You will find this same sense of peace as you visit the major attractions, museums, and parks.
Are you convinced yet that London is the best city? Well now, there is only one way to really test out what the studies show. YOU NEED TO GO AND FIND OUT FOR YOURSELF. See the parks, the museums, the stunning architecture. Meet the Londoners with their various accents and see how friendly they are. Attend the theater and try the amazing food. Once you have been to London, you will long to return.