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Helping you plan your stay in London

A thriving hub of theatre, music and fashion, London is a global capital of culture. Museums and galleries steeped in iconic, captivating artefacts, portraits and installations are always close to hand. A trip to London also means you’re only a brief meander away from a shoppers’ paradise of soap-scented covered markets, funky fashion-laden stalls or designer department stores. Post-splurge, the city’s sensory overload of global cuisines and trend-setting nightspots will be sure to hit the spot too.

Accommodation in London

London excels at the art of hospitality, with some of the world’s most famous hotels jostling politely for affection. If you want luxury hotels, you’ll find it in top end landmarks where you can expect butler-like service, triangular sandwiches and sumptuous afternoon teas. If your budget won’t stretch to those excesses, a wealth of mid-range London hotels offer a family-friendly environment, central locations and impressive mod-cons and amenities such as WiFi and satellite television, all at reasonable prices. And if you want to cut costs even further, we also offer affordable accommodation such as B&Bs and cheap hotels.

When you book a stay with Hotels.com you could also earn free nights on participating London hotels by joining our Rewards program. So when you stay 10 nights you receive 1-night free*. By signing up to our email newsletter, you will also receive the latest exclusive deals, offers and coupons for hotels in London as well as other top destinations.

Where to stay in London

Just beyond Marble Arch sit the leafy squares of Bayswater, a hugely popular area for visitors to London thanks to its central location and the attractive Victorian stucco buildings lining its streets. Another convenient tourist hotspot is the area surrounding Kensington’s museums and parks, especially the more modestly priced Earls Court, which is only a short walk away from the glamour of High Street Kensington but considerably less costly. Victoria is a similarly well-placed base, offering easy access to both the West End and Westminster, not to mention excellent transport links.

Be sure to use the Hotels.com map search facilities to find the best-priced London hotel for your stay. Our maps highlight the hotel plus all the major London landmarks, so if you're planning an evening at the theatre, a concert or a night out, you can book an overnight stay in a hotel near the venue and for the additional cost, remember that most hotels will offer a free breakfast option.

Things to see and do in London

London overflows with historical hotspots. You won’t want to miss the Tower of London, a sheer-walled medieval castle on the banks of the River Thames. This looming 11th-century stronghold today houses the glittering, gold-flecked Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom. Another royal revelation in London is Buckingham Palace, the residence of Her Majesty The Queen, which is surrounded by bright green, rose-studded gardens. Of course, no trip to the capital is complete without stopping by Big Ben, a 19th-century 96-meter-tall bronze-coloured clock tower designed in a powerful Gothic Revival style.

If shopping’s more your bag, a visit to Covent Garden is a must. Whether checking out the painted street mimes, the impromptu opera in the arcade or poring over the arts and crafts knick-knacks in the covered market, Covent Garden’s bohemian vibe is hard to better for quirky charm.

Or perhaps you’d like to spend a morning ambling along London’s Southbank, a family-friendly riverfront haven laden with fun and inspiring sights and attractions. Check out the Brutalist architecture of the National Theatre and the enormous London Eye – a giant slow-motion Ferris wheel reaching 135 meters and offering panoramic views of the city.

Culture-vultures and history-buffs should spend some time exploring the city’s top museums and galleries – from the mystical Egyptian mummies and Elgin Marbles of the British Museum to the colossal collections of European masterworks at the National Gallery. History comes to life in style in Trafalgar Square, and in the shade of the towering Nelson’s Column sits a pedestrianised square complete with fountain and café for contemplating the finer things.

Most central hotels will have sightseeing information for you and some of the bus tours will offer a hop on and off service which is a convenient way to travel. If you're travelling into London by train, some operators offer money off coupons such as 2 for 1 entry on major London attractions.

Travelling to and around London

Every major train line and motorway lead to London. Avoid driving a car in central London if you can - you'll end up paying the congestion charge, find difficulty in parking and then face high parking costs. But if you must get there by car, then park in one of the outer suburbs and commute in via train/ underground.

All mainline train stations are well connected via the underground but you might want to avoid travelling between 7-10 am and 4-7 pm, these are the rush hour times and the cheap fairs are not valid on most trains during this time. Most train fares offer a travelcard extension which can work out cheaper for day trips. Weekend travel is also cheaper than during the week. The London underground, however, has no restrictions or cheaper fares. If you're travelling a lot on the underground then look at getting an Oyster card as it may work out cheaper and like the travelcard train ticket, it's also valid on the buses.

The underground operates until just after midnight, but if you've missed the last tube then don't worry, there are plenty of night buses available where your tickets will still be valid. In central London you'll often find most locations such as Piccadilly Circus, Covent Garden, Leicester Square and Trafalgar Square typically within 5 to 10 minutes walk of each other if you want to simply take a stroll - don't worry about getting lost, there are plenty of signposts and maps located along most streets.

What are the best types of food and restaurants in London?

Thanks to its flourishing international culture, London boasts a smorgasbord of foodstuffs, from high-end French cuisine to quick-and-easy street food. If you like Chinese food, check out Chinatown in London’s Soho district, and feast on traditional Peking duck and sizzling dim sum. Fine-diners looking for haute-cuisine should stay central and head to the restaurants along Mayfair’s wide leafy streets. Meanwhile, the cool, counter-cultural neighbourhoods of Camden and Shoreditch offer a mishmash of Indian, Italian, and Vietnamese eateries, not to mention classic pub-style cooking.

When are the best times to travel to London?

London is a booming and bustling cultural hub with an abundance of year-round activities. The balmy English summer months, from June through early September, offer anything from open-air music festivals and theatre to sports tournaments and street festivals. From November through to January, the city transforms into a winter wonderland of sparkling lights, firework displays, and unbeatable shopping sales – but if you travel during the quieter spring months of March and April you’ll find a wealth of London hotel deals.

Remember, you can find more information about your destination if you consult our travel guides. You can also subscribe to our newsletter for the latest hotel offers in London or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

Destination guides for London

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