London Tourism: Plan Your Trip to London
What to do
Explore London by interest
Holidays in London
All about the (afternoon) tea
London on a dime
If you’re feeling fancy-ish
Shop the city’s markets
For the history buff
Do it like a local
A walk in the park
The city’s a stage
A London Pub Crawl
- 286Even in Soho, which probably has more pubs per square mile than anywhere else in London, the Coach & Horses stands out. With its literary traditions and quirky features—check out the spittoon by the bar—this is a must-visit, and that’s before you consider the exceptional quality of the beer. My order: London Pride, a traditional English bitter.
- 577Few places are as enticing on a warm day as this traditional British ale house in Covent Garden—the front windows folded back and a happy atmosphere drifting out into the street. Like all good English pubs, the cask ale is excellent. Heads up: This slim space gets packed after work. Come during the day if you want to get a seat at the bar.
- 50Run by brother-and-sister team Gaurav and Meg Khanna, the Gladstone is exactly what you need after elbowing your way around nearby Borough Market. The bijoux gastropub stocks a wide-range of taps—though if wine’s your thing, there’s an interesting (and affordable) list. There’s also some decent Anglo-Indian pub grub—think chicken tikka masala pies and Indian-style roast dinners.
- 45The Irish landlord, Con, sets high standards at this unpretentious neighborhood pub in southeast London: The staff wears ties and the beer is always perfectly poured. Thursdays are my favorite for performances by local musicians, but you can’t go wrong any day of the week thanks to the friendly, welcoming vibe.
- 44Deptford—an up-and-coming area on the south bank of the Thames—used to be full of pubs, but most have shuttered over the past few decades. The Dog, though, goes from strength to strength—it even did a recent expansion. Come for the billiards table, live music, and the best Friday night atmosphere south of the Thames.
- 10There’s a huge range of drinks available in this East End stalwart, from Kentish Ale to Finnish gin, not to mention killer cheese plates. Although it’s been modernized, the King’s Arms still retains an old-school ambiance, just the thing if you need an escape from the hipster scene in the surrounding Shoreditch neighborhood.
- 45Is it possible to find a village pub in the heart of Western Europe’s biggest city? Yes, and this is it. Small but perfectly-formed, the community-owned King Charles I is just a hop and skip from St Pancras station. Don’t forget to check out the jukebox.
- 351Parts of West London seem almost too posh for pubs these days, which is what makes The Mall Tavern such a delight. Modernized but unspoiled, it offers probably the best pub atmosphere in Notting Hill. The excellent beer and food doesn’t hurt either.
- 149The beer-lovers of North-West London swear by this place, and I have to admit they’ve got a point. Excellent drinks from independent producers, high-quality pub snack food (much of it pork-based), regular jazz sessions, and a charming back garden for sunny moments. The perfect place to while away an afternoon.
- 19Run by a father-and-son team, The Sutton Arms is the epitome of a high-class street-corner pub: handsome on the outside and cozy inside. Get a pint of London Black, a delicious porter from local brewery Anspach and Hobday, and soak up the atmosphere of a classic London pub.
Travelers' pro tips for experiencing London
In the words of those who've been there before ...
What is the best way to get there?
London is served by six international airports: Heathrow Airport, Gatwick Airport, London City Airport, Luton Airport, Stansted Airport and Southend Airport. Together, they make up the busiest airspace in the world by passenger numbers.
St Pancras railway station is the main terminal for high speed Eurostar and High Speed 1 services linking London with Europe.
Do I need a visa?
If you’re visiting London from overseas, use the government’s visa survey to see if you need a visa.
When is the best time to visit?
Summer (June to August): With average temps around 70°F (21°C) there’s no shortage of entertainment in London over the summer months, when Trooping the Colour, London Pride, Notting Hill Carnival, and Wimbledon Tennis Championships draw huge crowds to the capital.
Alternatively, the holiday season brings with it a host of festivities, including Christmas markets, the famous NYE fireworks, and spectacular illuminations.
Santander Cycles is a bike-share system with hundreds of bicycle docking stations located across London.
Visitors can hire a bike using a bank card at the docking station or downloading the app.
London’s Underground rail network, or "the Tube," services Greater London between 5a.m. and midnight Monday to Saturday, with reduced operating hours on Sunday.
Five Tube lines run a 24-hour service on Fridays and Saturdays: Victoria, Central, Jubilee, Northern and Piccadilly lines.
For more information about the network and fares, see here.
London’s bus route network services the city on a 24-hour service.
For more information about the network and fares, see here.
Hailing down a taxi on the street in London can be difficult so it is best to find an official taxi stand. You can also book a taxi online or on your smartphone here.
South London operates a small tram network, Tramlink, with trams running approximately every 10 minutes in the daytime on Mondays to Saturdays.
Are there local customs I should know?
- We recommend checking out these popular tours when looking for something to do in London:
- Big Bus London Hop-On Hop-Off Tour and River Cruise
- Stonehenge, Windsor Castle, and Bath from London
- Stonehenge, Windsor Castle and Bath with Pub Lunch in Lacock
- Harry Potter Tour of Warner Bros. Studio with Luxury Transport from London
- Warner Bros. Studio Harry Potter Tour with Superior Transport from London
- If you're a more budget-conscious traveler, then you may want to consider traveling to London between June and August, when hotel prices are generally the lowest. Peak hotel prices generally start between March and May.