London is a vibrant, diverse, exciting city with a rich historical and cultural heritage, beautiful parks and plenty to do.
Whatever your interests, it’s a great place to be.
- 240+ museums and galleries
- 180+ theatres
- 155 public parks
- 60+ Michelin starred restaurants
- Four UNESCO World Heritage sites.
Museums and galleries
London is packed with museums and galleries and most of them are free to visit. These treasure troves have everything from classical masterpieces like Turner’s landscapes and Rembrandt’s portraits at the National Gallery to contemporary works of art at the Tate Modern, a huge former power station overlooking the Thames.
Along Exhibition Road near Hyde Park you’ll find London’s best-loved museums - the Natural History Museum, the Science Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum. You’ll always find thrilling new exhibitions here on topics ranging from photography to fashion and anthropology. Not all the museums are clustered around London’s centre. Travel out and you can explore London’s maritime heritage at the Museum of London Docklands in Canary Wharf, or see the famous Cutty Sark ship moored at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich.
There’s a thriving culture of performing arts in London, from the glittering West End, where famous actors star in big budget musicals and plays to experimental Fringe theatre. You can even watch one of Shakespeare’s plays near the very same spot they were originally performed hundreds of years ago at The Globe, a reconstructed Elizabethan playhouse along the River Thames.
As well as a wealth of theatre, London attracts acclaimed international dance and opera talent. Some internationally renowned companies perform regularly at:
London is one of the leafiest capitals in the world and green spaces cover 40% of the city. As well as London’s courtyard and garden squares, you’ll find huge parks right at the heart of the city.
Head to Hyde Park, which used to be a hunting ground for the Tudor monarchs. Sit in one of the striped deck chairs in Regent’s Park, where you'll also find 720 species of animal at London Zoo, right next to LBS’s main campus. Further from the centre you can swim in the famous open air bathing ponds of Hampstead Heath or spot the roaming, wild deer in Richmond Park.
There’s far more to London’s dynamic food scene than roast beef and fish and chips. You’ll find every cuisine under the sun here, from the curry houses along Brick Lane to Chinese restaurants in Soho’s Chinatown. As well as traditional British pubs, the city has street food from all over the world, exciting pop up restaurants and bustling food markets. For the best local and seasonal food, visit Borough Market, which has been trading since the 13th century.
There’s also a cluster of Michelin star restaurants in London. Two of these, The Ledbury and Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, were voted in the top ten at The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2014 awards.
World Heritage sites
London is a unique city that blends the modern with the historic and takes pride in its rich cultural heritage. As well as recognisable sights like St Paul’s Cathedral and The Shard, the city is home to four world heritage sites:
- Kew Gardens – the world’s most famous botanic garden that pioneers the use of science-based plant conservation.
- Westminster - the UK’s political hub where you can see Big Ben, London’s most iconic clock.
- The Tower of London - a former prison where monarchs and rebels were executed that’s now home to the Royal Family’s crown jewels.
- Greenwich - the only place in the world that you can stand at longitude 0º on the Meridian Line.