Friday, 17 May 2013

What Makes London Great?

I've lived in London with my partner for the past 10 years, having moved to this great city from Johannesburg in South Africa. We chose London because of its history, diversity, culture and entertainment venues. Over the past few years we've witnessed London transform with the regeneration of poorer areas, the construction and development of new buildings and the growth of the population from 7.3 million to the current estimate of around 8.1 million.

London is the ninth largest city in the world and the largest metropolitan city in the European Union. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its founding by the Romans, who named it Londinium. London is a leading global city, with strengths in the arts, commerce, education, entertainment, fashion, finance, healthcare, media, professional services, research and development, tourism and transport.

Aerial view of Londinium by Pat Nicolle

London has some of the greatest attractions for tourists and visitors to the city, many of which are pricey, even for the locals. If you're visiting on a tight budget, don't despair as a few of the most popular attractions are free. You can visit most museums without spending a penny, and of course you have free and unrestricted access to green spaces like Hyde Park, Green Park, Greenwich Park, St. James's Park, Regent's Park, Burgess Park and Richmond Park.

The EDF Energy London Eye

Squirrels can be found in many of London's green spaces

The British Museum offers free admission

London is a great city for foodies and has some of the world's finest restaurants, cafes and gastropubs for casual and smart dining. The city is home to a number of Michelin Star establishments. Book at toptable, the UK's number one restaurant booking website.

Many pubs serve hot and cold foods at affordable prices 

There are hundreds of popular attractions, too many to list in this blog post. The attractions listed below are some of the well-known and most popular.

Popular Attractions:


  1. Makes me want to visit London even more than I had wanted to before! Want to see the sights!

  2. We just returned from our first visit to London and my mind is awhirl with the sights, sounds and tastes of this great city!!! A few highlights: The Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace, The Tower of London, Westminster Abbey...oh, there were so many!!! This city should be on everyone's "bucket list"!!!

  3. That is one extensive list of attractions to visit! I think I would probably get caught up in the museums and parks that I wouldn't have time to pay for all of the other attractions. One of the things that I like to do when I am visiting a new city, is to just walk around and see the locals, hear the music, and watch how the flow and ebb of the city goes.

    I think being able to be out and about within the city, not spending much, but being able to learn a lot from the local residents, and enjoy the knowledge obtained from just wandering around is a lot better than spending hard earned money on expensive attractions that only give brief memories.

    This definitely makes me want to travel to London though! I have always wanted to go there, and now knowing that there are a lot of free attractions, it just makes it all the more appealing.

  4. London has always been a favorite city for me to visit, and I have been to almost all the big cities in the northern hemisphere. However, your post reveals a whole lot more of and about London than I have ever seen or imagined.

    I guess all the regeneration you talked about might have had something to do with the recent Olympics. Either way it is all a very good thing for London and of course for those of us that likes to visit.