London is the cultural, political and economic heart of Britain, famous for its world-class museums, galleries, royal palaces, shopping destinations, West End theatre shows and award-winning restaurants. Whether you want to stay in a 5-star luxury hotel and sip Champagne on the London Eye, or find a cheap hostel and stroll around one of London's beautiful Royal Parks, you're sure to find something that suits your budget and interests.

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London Mithraeum

Reopened recently at the very site of its original discovery, the ruins of this Roman Temple of Mithras are open for public visits in the basement of Bloomberg's European headquarters at number 12 Walbrook. There are also a few other exhibitions that include both historic artefacts and contemporary artwork. Entrance is free of charge.

12 Walbrook, London
Kew Gardens

London's largest UNESCO World Site, the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, is the largest conservation project of its kind in the world. Visit the Davies Alpine House and experience the high-altitude conditions that allow alpine plants to grow, take a trip the desert to the jungle at Princess of Wales Conservatory, marvel at treacherous carnivorous plants and take in sweeping views of London from atop the Great Pagoda.

Richmond TW9 3AB
Arcade Food Theatre

Arcade Food Theatre is an artistic take on the familiar food hall, where particular emphasis is placed the preformative and entertainment aspects of the dining experience. It's not just the open restaurant kitchens that put on the show: the space exhibits decommissioned installations by internationally acclaimed talent, a collection that keeps growing, plus hosts popular DJs who spin tunes until late. Guests are treated to culinary offerings from talents behind some of London's top restaurants, which currently include Pophams, Casita Do Frango, Chotto by Chotto Matte, Flat Iron Workshop, Lina Stores, Le Bab, Pastorcito and TŌU. There are three bars on site – upstairs, The Loft crafts cocktails tailored to the tastes of each individual guest.

103-105 New Oxford St, London
Bang Bang Oriental Food Hall

Quite possibly the only place of its kind in Europe, Bang Bang Oriental Food Hall is a massive food court worth making the trip to Colindale. The top floor hosts a couple dozen restaurants representing cuisines from all across the Asian continent, with a 360-seater Chinese restaurant occupying its ground level.

399 Edgware Rd, London
Oxford Street

Oxford Street is the ultimate London shopping destination, packed with high-street fashion, international brands, technology, homewear and much, much more. No wonder its streets are always crowded with bag-laden shoppers! Favourite destinations include a huge branch of Topshop, plus iconic department stores such as Selfridges, John Lewis, House of Fraser and Marks & Spencer.

Oxford Street, London

Selfridges' flagship London store is one of the world's finest department stores. It is six floors of fabulous fashion, pop-up concessions, electrical gadgets, stylish homeware and tasty food. But it's far more than just a shopping destination. It's also a social hub - with events, bars, restaurants, cafés, art exhibitions and the odd rooftop party.

400 Oxford Street, London

Passport / Visa

Citizens of the European Union member-states, Norway, Liechtenstein, Iceland, Switzerland, and Overseas Countries and Territories (OCT) only require a valid passport to enter the UK. Residents of a further 10 countries do not require entry visas for stays under 6 months: the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, South Africa, Hong Kong, and Malaysia. Nationals of some further countries do not require a visa, but need to hold an entry certificate. Use the UK Government website to check for specific requirements:

Best Time to Visit

London is graced by a mild climate and, as such, can be visited at any time of the year. However, a few things need to be considered first. Most of the royal palaces and residences, like the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace, are only open to the public during the summer months. Many of the city's most important festivals, like the British Summer Time Music Festival, also take place during this time. Late June to mid July is also when some of the best sales are on in shops around the capital. Spring is also a good season for a visit, since the weather is generally good and finding accomodation is both easier and cheaper (high season in London means a lot of tourists). And if you're not too bothered about the grey weather, then low season (January and February) can be a good option too, when there are fewer tourists and prices are lower.

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