London is the capital and most populous city of England and the United Kingdom. Standing on the River Thames in the south east of the island of Great Britain, London has been a major settlement for two millennia.
London is a leading global city in the arts, commerce, education, entertainment, fashion, finance, healthcare, media, professional services, research and development, tourism, and transportation. It is crowned as the world's largest financial center and a world cultural capital–with a diverse range of people and cultures, and more than 300 languages are spoken in the region.
One of the world's most visited cities, London has something for everyone: from history and culture to fine food and good times.
The city is easily reached within a few hours by plane from most major cities in Europe and is a hub of Europe’s highway network. High-speed train connections to Paris and Milan as well as fast trains to Spain, Italy and west Germany provide additional access.
The climate of London is temperate, with modest daily high temperatures during summer and winter lows that seldom fall below freezing. Rainfall is regular, occurring throughout the year. Snow occurs sometimes in winter but rarely settles more than a few millimeters deep.
February is a very cold time to visit London. The city has an average temperature of around 5-6°C. Daily highs start off at around 7°C on February 1st and rise until they reach 10°C by February 28th.
The established Christian church in England is the Church of England whose Supreme Governor is the Monarch of England.
Other Christian traditions include Roman Catholicism, Methodism, and the Baptists. After Christianity, the religions with the most adherents in London are Islam, Hinduism, Neopaganism, Sikhism, Judaism and Buddhism.
The official language of the United Kingdom is English–which is spoken by approximately 59.8 million residents, or 98% of the population. An estimated 700,000 people speak Welsh in the United Kingdom which is the official language in Wales. In addition, many people in the UK speak Scots and Irish.
London local time is GMT/UTC + 1hour.
The working week in London can differ from business to business. It is generally Monday to Friday. However, retail and some other businesses open six days a week, closing on Sundays. Usual business hours are from 08:00 to 17:00.
The pound sterling, or just pound, is the basic unit of currency in England. Pennies are referred to by the plural term of pence, as 100 pence makes one pound.
The currency rate of 1 British Pound is equivalent to 1.35 USD.
Credit and debit cards are widely accepted for mostcredit card types such as American Express, MasterCard, Visa, JCB, Discover, Diners Club, BC Card and China UnionPay.
ATMs are widely available throughout the city, dispensing notes in pounds.
In the United Kingdom, the power sockets are of type G. The standard voltage is 230 V and the standard frequency is 50 Hz.
Tipping varies from profession to profession and is also largely down to personal preference. While it is customary to tip in most cases, it isn’t compulsory. Majority of the restaurants will note at the bottom of the menu that taxes and service charge have already been included in the bill, it is still common among most diners to tip the service staff. A figure between 10 and 15 per cent is customary, but this is dependent on the quality of service. While tipping is always appreciated, it is rarely expected.
For visitors from the UE, with an EHIC card:
The cost is the same as for British residents. Hospital and emergency treatment under the NHS (National Health Service) is in most cases free of charge. Visiting the doctor in a NHS surgery is free. Specialist treatment under the NHS is free if it is the result of a condition that develops while the visitor is in the UK. Treatment for medical problems that were known before the visitor arrived is liable to be charged for, unless the patient has suffered from an unexpected turn for the worse.
For visitors from North America and other non-EU countries:
Tourists who do not come from EU countries should take out private health insurance cover in order to benefit from NHS services and or private medical treatment, as they are liable to be charged for all treatment.
Appearance should always be clean and neat. For business meetings, men should wear suits and ties; women should wear suits or dresses. Overly casual or sloppy attire is not appreciated.
London is a cultural center featuring world class entertainment, top rated restaurants and unlimited opportunities for recreation.
A trip to the capital wouldn't be complete without seeing the top 10 attractions in London. Make sure to tick these top things to see in London off your list:
- Buckingham Palace
- London Eye
- Tower of London
- Tower Bridge
- Palace of Westminster
- Westminster Abbey
- Hyde Park
- River Thames
- Madame Tussauds London
- Victoria and Albert Museum
Get a London Pass + Oyster Travelcard for the cheapest way to travel around the city. The Oyster Travelcard covers journeys on London’s public transport network including underground, buses, overground trains and the DLR.
Booking an Uber is also safe and a great transport alternative in London. If you do not have an Uber App, download it for free via the App Store on iOs & Android.
For more information on visa issues, please click here.
Passengers are only permitted to bring certain items, such as liquids, gels, pastes, lotions, creams and drinks past the security checkpoint if they are in containers with a capacity of 100ml or less. All the containers must be carried in a transparent, re-sealable plastic bag. Exemptions are made for medications, baby food and special dietary requirements. Other items considered dangerous, such as aerosols, potential weapons and flammable materials, are also not permitted past this point. You should check the customs regulations of your destination country before departure too.
There are multiple channels of communication between the public and police whose personnel work round the clock to protect the residents and their belongings and detect crimes before they happen.
When calling the emergency number, please remember to state your name, the nature of the accident, address of the emergency and how serious the situation is.
If you are involved in a traffic accident, it’s important to contact the police immediately. You cannot file an insurance claim without a police report.
The British National Emergency telephone number is 999. You will be asked if you want Fire, Police or Ambulance. Do not call these numbers unless you are in a real emergency (accident or serious medical condition).