London is probably the most cosmopolitan, multi-cultural, multi-racial, multi-religious city in Europe. This is the feature that impressed me very much.
In other European cities there is sometimes the stereotype about color immigrants living on the margin of society, poorly paid or with unskilled jobs .
London looks an American metropolis rather than a European capital city, where it is not difficult to find a citizen of Indo-European origin selling tickets at Waterloo station, or an Indian wearing a turban driving safely a city bus or a subway train.
London, on the basis of the data available, is the European city with more tourists, with over 15 million visitors a year. And there is a reason. It’s the charm of a city with no cultural boundaries, rich in art but above all with a story and a national pride that, sometimes, it may seem unhistorical, as the recent experience about “Brexit” seems to show. The left-hand drive car, the traditional taxi-cab, the red buses, the famous telephone are elements in the collective imagination of everyone, maybe just because we have seen them in an English book at school.
London is also a city full of young people from around the world, that experience multiculturalism, studying English and sometimes even working as a waiter in some pubs, not to burden the family budget.
London has it all, a concentrate of modernity but at the same time traditions in a globalized context where traditions as an annoying burden to be ashamed of.
Visiting London takes time: despite the 11 lines and the nearly 500 km of metro, the city is still very large and has many monuments to visit, shops to explore, places to live.
In the central area, not far from Trafalgar Square, we find the Big Ben, The Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey. It requires a travel with metro the visit of the Tower Bridge and the nearby Tower of London, a fortified castle inhabited by a population of captive raised crows, which according to tradition (indeed!), are placed in protection of the British Crown .
Well worth a visit the beautiful city parks (Hyde Park, St James’s Park, Kessington Garden, ….), the nearby town of Windsor, summer home of the Royal family, the British Museum, which holds the “Rosetta Stone”, the famous archaeological find which enabled Champollion to decipher for the first time, in 1822, the Egyptian hieroglyphics.
A city that will not leave indifferent the visitor, including a visit to the National Gallery and the Hard Rock Cafe dinner (the real and original, where they keep the guitars of Jimi Hendrix, the jacket of Elvis Presley or John Lennon’s glasses ), will go to London unforgettable days.
ARRIVAL (at the airport)
London has four main airports: Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted and Luton. Arrangements for access to central London are obviously different depending on the arrival airport. However, whatever means you choose, you must put a heavy hand in your wallet. The London transport is indeed extremely expensive (a single ticket in metro costs 2.20 pounds, about 2.60 euro).
For a useful summary about links to and from the airport, click here.
NOT TO BE MISSED
The House of Parliament
The Westminster Abbey
The Tower of London
WITH A LITTLE MORE TIME
London Eye (the big wheel)
Windsor Castle (out of town)
The National Gallery
The British Museum
The Covent Garden
At least one of the city parks (Hyde Park, St James Park, Kensington Garden) …..
….. And the list could go on a lot!