London is one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations and as of 2016, it was the world’s second most visited tourist destination. By 2020 the city is expecting to attract 31.5 million visitors annually and the summer months are the best time to explore the city.
An established hotspot for tourists, the number of visitors quickly rose especially after the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games were held in London. The multicultural hub has something to offer everyone and if a fabulous summer holiday is what you have in mind, read on for tips on how to spend your summer holiday in this thriving city.
Museums & Galleries
London has an extensive range of museums and galleries to offer, and most of them are free to enter. If it’s natural artefacts that you’re interested in, head to the Natural History Museum, home to a replica of a large Diplodocus dinosaur skeleton and an earthquake simulator!
Art aficionados can feast their eyes over 2000 paintings currently on display at the National Gallery while modern art lovers will enjoy a trip to the Saatchi Gallery of Modern Art. The Tate modern is a sprawling establishment, home to works of art from all over the world including Salvador Dali, Andy Warhol, Picasso, Cezanne and more. The museum is built in a former power station and sits on the edge of the Thames river. If you especially enjoy portraits then head to the National Portrait Gallery to peruse the world’s largest collection of portraits.
Those travelling with children must visit the Science museum which offers a dazzling array of interactive displays to challenge your child’s mind. ‘Sensational Butterflies’ is a summertime exhibition that sits next door, featuring live species from Africa, Asia and Central America, which the youngest members of your family will especially enjoy.
Fascinated by British homes? Geffrye museum specializes in this area and each room reflects the aesthetic of a different time period, allowing you to see how British homes have evolved over the past 400 years. If you want something completely different, head to southeast-London to God’s Own Junkyard, where the largest collection of vintage neon signs in Europe is ready to dazzle your eyes.
Several museums are housed in magnificent buildings which makes that alone a reason to visit. A few such museums include the British Library, home to original works by Leonardo Da Vinci and Shakespeare), the Imperial War Museum, the Guildhall art gallery which features an actual Roman Amphitheatre and the National Maritime museum.
London’s west end is home to world-famous theatre productions and also some of the longest running theatre performances such as Lion King, Les Miserables and the unmissable, Phantom Of The Opera.
A melting pot of cultures, London’s diverse mix of people make it what it is. Here you can sample food from all around the world simply by going to different parts of the city. Edgware road in central London will cater to your Middle eastern food cravings, East London’s Brick Lane is famous for its South-Asian cuisine, Portobello road offers delicious Caribbean fare (and in August, London’s largest street carnival takes place here) and Chinatown in the west end is a must visit.
If you enjoy the outdoors then choose from some of the most serene parks that the city has to offer. Apart from the pristine Regent’s park, Kensington Gardens and Hyde park, visit the hidden conservatory at the Barbican. The Kew gardens in the summer months are a must visit as well.