The City of London had over 17 million unique visitors in 2012. Although these numbers were significantly boosted by the fact that the city hosted last summer’s Olympic Games, there are several other factors which make the British capital a much beloved destination for both its residents as well as out-of-towners. The rapid cultural and demographic changes have not, however, drastically affected the uniqueness of London and the city still retains many of the classical elements which famously set it apart from just about every other city on the planet. Discover why people love London.
Transport, Business and Education Hub
London is a city of around 8 million residents that has gradually transformed itself into a global leader in the provision of diverse financial and banking services. Today, the city attracts a steady stream of business travellers who are drawn by London’s dominant position as the business hub of Europe. Hosting over 40 universities, London also boasts of having the highest concentration of institutions of higher learning on the European continent. London is a major international air transport hub which is considered to have the planet’s busiest city airspace. London’s Heathrow Airport is the world’s busiest in terms of international traffic and is the main hub of British Airways, the nation’s flag carrier.
London is today arguably just as British as it is international. Over 50 percent of the live births recorded in the city in 2010 could be attributed to a woman born overseas. London residents speak over 300 languages and roughly 40 percent were born outside Britain. A huge benefit of all this diversity of course is that there is no shortage of good things to eat. According to discerning food connoisseurs, London has some of the best Indian cuisines on the planet outside the Indian subcontinent. London’s food culture is unbelievably good and constantly improving with every passing day. There are many street stalls and restaurants to choose from.
Saville Row may be London’s most famous fashion destination but the city is also packed with many boutiques and stalls toting the latest fashion trends from the hottest contemporary designers. In London, you will also find a wide range of costume jewellery and vintage gear tailored to suit any budget. There’s an open market on Sunday’s at the former Truman Brewery located on Brick Lane which is definitely worth visiting.
While most locals may whine incessantly about its operational inefficiencies, for most London visitors, the tube remains an impressive marvel of British engineering that works just fine. The tube dates from 1863 and is the world’s oldest and second longest metro transit system. It incorporates 270 train stations as well as a first underground electric railway line in the world.
London is home to four World Heritage Sites which include the Tower of London, the Greenwich settlement and Kew Gardens. Greenwich hosts the Royal Observatory as well as the Prime Meridian that is used to calibrate the GMT time zone. Kew Gardens comprises Westminster Abbey and Palace, along with the historically-significant Saint Margaret’s Church. Other notable historical landmarks in London that are not to be missed include Buckingham Palace, Piccadilly Circus, Saint Paul’s Cathedral, Trafalgar Square, the Tower Bridge and the impressive hotel called Eccleston Square. The Gherkin, The Shard and The London Eye represent excellent examples of modern London architecture. There are also countless museums, art galleries, libraries, sports events and various other cultural institutions that call London home. These veritable purveyors of British culture include world-famous museums like the British, Tate Modern and National Gallery as well as the British Library and more than 40 West End theatres.
So, whether your interest lies in visiting ancient iconic structures like the Tower of London or on more recent cultural phenomena like Amy Winehouse or Adele, the sprawling wonder of diversity that is London today will supply you with an almost endless string of attractions. The list above may have been capped at only five reasons why people love the City of London but you should feel free to make your own additions after your next visit.
About the Author
Katie Day is a blogger who researchers and talks about the wonderful city of London. Katie also writes about hotel accommodation for the city and is a keen writer for Eccleston Square Hotel