Flights to London (LHR)

Flights to London take culture-hungry globalistas to one of the world's most sought-after destinations.
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London, United Kingdom

What to do in London

Look inside Buckingham Palace

It’s not every day you get to visit a Queen’s house, so a trip to Buckingham Palace is a must. The 300-year-old palace opens its doors every summer, when the public has access to the State Rooms, Queen’s Gallery, and gardens. The highlight is the Royal Mews, where the Queen keeps her coaches, horses, and limousines.

The Mall
+20 7766 7300

Explore Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

Even if you didn’t make it to the London 2012 Olympics, you can experience the spirit of the Games with a walking tour of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Go it alone, or be guided through acres of parkland for a close-up look at the London Aquatics Centre, Lee Valley VeloPark, Copper Box Arena, and the Olympic Stadium.

Westfield Avenue
E20 2ST
+44 800 072 2110

Take a graffiti tour

East London is full of color, as you’ll discover on this alternative street art tour and workshop. Not only will you see work by infamous aerosol shakers such as Banksy, Invader, and ROA, but you might catch some taggers in the act. There’s also a workshop where you can hone your own street art skills.

Alternative London
1-3 Rivington Street
+44 7551 911 822

Eat on the street

Dining out in London isn’t just about the restaurants. The London street food scene has pop-up restaurants, cool food trucks dispensing everything from tacos to tapas, and some great markets. Try Borough Market, where you can dig into everything from British oysters to Ethiopian stew.

8 Southwark Street
+44 20 7407 1002

Enjoy a night at the museums

London has some of the best museums in the world, and a lot of them stay open late for special events. The Victoria and Albert Museum has DJs and film nights and the Science Museum hosts silent discos, but best of all is Dino Snores for Grown-ups, an adults-only sleepover at the Natural History Museum.

Natural History Museum
Cromwell Road
+44 20 7942 5000

See London from the top of a bus

London wouldn’t be London without its buses. The open-top sightseeing tours, such as the Big Bus and the Original London Tour, are good, but for authenticity catch an old red Routemaster; the iconic red buses still run on Heritage route number 15 between Trafalgar Square and Tower Hill.

Trafalgar Square (starting point)
+44 20 7983 4750

Where to eat in London

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Chiltern Firehouse (Modern European)

Fancy rubbing shoulders with the stars? Kate Moss, David Beckham, and Lindsay Lohan have all been spotted dining at this converted fire station in Marylebone. But even if you don’t spot any celebrities, this place, headed by Portuguese Head Chef Nuno Mendes, is worth the visit, especially for the crab doughnuts. You must make a reservation.

1 Chiltern Street
+44 20 7073 7676

St. John (British)

Housed in an old smokehouse in Smithfield, St. John might just be one of the most casual Michelin-starred restaurants you’ll ever visit. But while the vibe is laid-back, the cooking is meticulous—Chef Fergus Henderson knows how to turn earthy British offal and fish dishes into works of art.

26 St John Street
+44 20 7251 0848

Hedone (Scandinavian/Modern European)

This Michelin-starred restaurant is named after the Greek goddess of pleasure, and it lives up to its name. Started by Swedish food blogger Mikael Jonsson, this stylish spot has taken London by storm with its emphasis on local ingredients, creative cooking, and unfussy dishes.

301-303 Chiswick High Road
W4 4HH
+44 20 8747 0377

Dinner by Heston Blumenthal (British)

At his Michelin two-star restaurant Dinner, kitchen magician Heston Blumenthal goes back in time to reinvent old British recipes and give them a modern twist. The menu has long-forgotten dishes like marrowbone (a hit in 1720) and Marmalade Pudding (which dates back to 1750).

Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park
66 Knightsbridge
+44 20 7201 3833

Ottolenghi (Mediterranean/Middle Eastern/International)

You may already own one or two of Yotam Ottolenghi’s fantastic cookbooks, but to experience the real thing, head to his flagship deli-bakery-restaurant in fashionable Islington. The menu is all about quality ingredients and big flavors, whether you’re digging into Mediterranean seafood or a Middle Eastern salad.

287 Upper Street
N1 2TZ
+44 20 7288 1454

Ember Yard (Italian, Spanish)

Just like its sister restaurants Opera Tavern, Dehesa, and Salt Yard, this Soho spot specializes in small plates. At Ember Yard, the emphasis is on charcoal-grilled tapas from Tuscany and the Basque country. Pull up a stool at the dark-wood counter and enjoy the spiced and grilled free-range chicken wings with Romesco.

60 Berwick Street
+44 20 7439 8057

Places to stay in London

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Brown’s Hotel

If you like your luxury hotels with a touch of history, then Brown’s Hotel is the place to go. Founded in Mayfair in 1837, it has hosted Theodore Roosevelt, Oscar Wilde, Rudyard Kipling, and Agatha Christie over the years. The Victorian decor has been brought up to date with Olga Polizzi–designed rooms and artwork by Tracey Emin.

33 Albemarle Street
+44 20 7493 6020

The Zetter

In search of a hip hotel in London? The Zetter may be just what you’re looking for, with its 1950s furniture, cool rooftop suites, and in-house restaurant Bistrot Bruno Loubet. It gets even funkier across the square at the Zetter's sister hotel, the Zetter Townhouse, which is a treasure trove of knick-knacks.

St John’s Square
86-88 Clerkenwell Road
+44 20 7324 4444

Soho Hotel

This luxury hotel is the perfect place to recuperate for a few days. It strikes just the right balance between homey comfort and high design. Quirky features like the huge Fernando Botero cat statue and the children’s film club add a sense of fun.

4 Richmond Mews
+44 20 7559 3000

Town Hall Hotel

This Edwardian building in the heart of the East End is an ideal base from which to explore the less mainstream side of the city. It used to be the local town hall, which explains the elegant marble lobby and grand staircase, but there are plenty of modern features, too, including a swimming pool and the excellent Typing Room restaurant.

Patriot Square
Bethnal Green
E2 9NF
+44 20 7871 0460

QBIC London City

For a budget hotel in London that doesn’t sacrifice on style, head to QBIC. Located in trendy Shoreditch, QBIC's rooms are clean, compact, and soundproof, while the communal spaces are bright and cheery.

42 Adler Street
E1 1EE
+44 20 3021 3300

Cowshed Shoreditch House

A former biscuit factory, Cowshed Shoreditch House is now a private members' club for the young, cool, and creative media types of East London. It has cozy rooms, plus there’s a Cowshed Spa, sauna, gym, games room, indoor bowling alley, and rooftop swimming pool to keep you occupied.

1 Ebor Street
E1 6AW
+44 020 7739 5040

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Fly to London Heathrow from 88 destinations