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    London – a brief overview

    London has never been an English city. It is, and always has been, an international hub trading not only in goods but in ideas and culture too. The result in an urban environment of extraordinary richness and diversity, where over 300 languages are spoken and the aroma of global cuisines fill the city’s dense alleys.

    Spiralling out organically from its tight-knit Roman core, this immense metropolitan heavyweight is immersed in history and tradition and yet still there is enough innovation and evolution, from the emerging Olympic Park to countless new glittering skyscrapers, to put a crackle in the air.

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    24 hours in London

    ListMap
    London, 24 Stunden, Lufthansa, Travel Guide, Travelguide

    09:00 a.m. – Original English Breakfast

    Carlos Place
    W1K 2AL
    London
    Tel. +44-20/74 99 70 70
    Show on map

    We spend the night at the Connaught. It shed its dusty image and got a complete makeover a couple of years back and is now one of the most appealing five-star hostelries in town. After indulging in a hearty, original English breakfast – what else? – we walk the few steps across to Burlington House, the home of the Royal Academy of Arts near Piccadilly Circus.

    10:00 a.m. – Arts most royal

    Burlington House
    Piccadilly
    W1J 0BD
    London
    Tel. +44-20/73 00 80 00
    Show on map

    The Royal Academy of Arts (RA) contains some of the best galleries in London. The most important works in its permanent collection of British art can be found in the refurbished John Madejski Fine Rooms – open for viewing all year round and free of charge.  This is also where you will find the only Michelangelo sculpture to be seen anywhere in Great Britain: Tadao Tondo. the forecourt in front of the academy is well worth a visit in its own right, to say nothing of the changing exhibitions, even though admission is charged to those.

    01:00 p.m. – Lunch at The Wolseley

    160 Piccadilly
    W1J 9EB
    London
    Tel. +44-20/74 99 69 96
    Show on map

    Art certainly whets the appetite. Luckily, the Wolseley is just around the corner and serves a wide range of dishes from breakfast to dinner. Lunch and dinner there are in the tradition of European coffee houses; in fact, this upmarket brasserie serves probably the best wiener schnitzel in the city.

    03:00 p.m. – Browsing and Bemused

    86 Golborne Road
    W10 5PS
    London
    Tel. +44-20/89 60 37 36
    Show on map

    London has an almost bewildering array of unusual shops. There’s always something new opening somewhere, then disappearing again – or popping up in another place with a different concept. The Kokon To Zai – a fearfully good clothes, furniture and gift store – displays avant-garde fashions alongside pieces straight out of a Victorian chamber of horrors.

    04:00 p.m. – A Stroll Through Portobello Market

    288 Portobello Road
    W10 5TA
    London
    Tel. +44-20/77 27 76 84
    Show on map

    As we’re already in a browsing mood, we take in neighboring Portobello Market, too. Visitors to London’s most atmospheric market can look forward to happening upon anything from books to antiques, food, streetwear fashions and typically British bric-à-brac.

    07:00 p.m. – Savoring Gordon Ramsey’s hospitality …

    127-129 Parkway
    NW1 7PS
    London
    Tel. +44-20/73 88 33 44
    Show on map

    For dinner, we drive to the York & Albany, chef Gordon Ramsey’s elegant gastro pub between Regent’s Park and Camden Town, to claim our reserved table. The open show kitchen dishes up such delicacies as roast English veal with mangold, artichokes, lemon and capers, as well as fried cod, crustacean cassoulet and cherry tomato sauce.

    07:00 p.m – … or to a night café

    18 Shacklewell Lane
    E8 2EZ
    London
    Tel. +44-20/31 74 07 27
    Show on map

    Time is no object for those without a table reservation at the York & Albany, so this is a good opportunity to pay a visit to the Late Night Chameleon Café in Dalston. The name is deceptive: book ahead and you are welcome to browse for hours at the mini department store, which sells clothes, music, books and design.

    10:00 p.m. – Another bite to eat

    159 Brick Lane
    E1 6SB
    London
    Tel. +44-20/77 29 06 16
    Show on map

    After that, it’s time for a small bite to eat at the Brick Lane Beigel Bake. The main attractions at this 24/7 bakery with its trademark rough Cockney charm are the salt beef and the entertaining mix of patrons.

    11:00 p.m. – Nightcap at Scott’s

    20 Mount Street
    W1K 2HE
    London
    Tel. +44-20/74 95 73 09
    Show on map

    Time for a nightcap at Scott’s before heading back to the hotel? This high society restaurant and oyster bar is done out in grandiose Art Deco and serves reasonably priced cocktails and fantastic fish and chips.

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    Top 10 sights in London

    ListMap
    Millennium Bridge, St. Paul's Cathedral, London, Lufthansa, Travelguide, Travel Guide

    British Museum

    Great Russell Street
    WC1B 3DG London
    UK
    Tel: (020) 7323 8299
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Daily 1000-1730

    Five million visitors pass through the doors of the British Museum each year to goggle its vast collection of antiquities, art and sculpture.

    Tower of London

    Tower Hill
    EC3N 4AB London
    UK
    Tel: 0844 482 7777
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Tue-Sat 0900-1730
    Sun-Mon 1000-1730

    London’s most famous landmark is imbued with legend and superstition. Yeoman Warders offer free tours of its masterful architectural design, glittering royal jewel collection and spooky dungeons.

    The South Bank

    South Bank
    SE1 London
    UK
    Show on map

    A roll call of riverside attractions line the south bank of the river Thames, starting with the London Eye, then snaking past the cultural complex of the Southbank Centre and the British Film Institute, before ending at the Tate Modern at the foot of the Millennium Bridge.

    National Portrait Gallery

    St Martin’s Place
    WC2H 0HE London
    UK
    Tel: (020) 7306 0055
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Sat-Wed 1000-1800
    Thu-Fri 1000-2100

    Come face to face with London’s princes, politicians, scientists and celebrities at this wonderfully intimate gallery.

    British Library

    96 Euston Road
    NW1 2DB London
    UK
    Tel: 0843 208 1144
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Mon-Fri 0930-1800
    Sat 0930-1700
    Sun 1100-1700

    London’s historic library hosts excellent exhibitions and events and is the repository of rare and wonderful manuscripts including a 15th-century Gutenberg Bible, Shakespeare’s First Folio and the Beatles’ earliest handwritten lyrics.

    Royal Observatory

    Blackheath Avenue
    SE10 8XJ London
    UK
    Tel: (020) 8858 4422
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Daily 1000-1700

    Part of the National Maritime Museum, the Royal Observatory overlooks Greenwich Park. Down its centre, the Prime Meridian cleaves the world in two while the state-of-the-art Peter Harrison Planetarium projects far-off galaxies onto its rounded roof.

    Hyde Park

    Hyde Park
    W2 2UH London
    UK
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Daily 0530-0000

    Henry VIII confiscated Hyde Park from the Church in 1536 to use as his personal hunting ground. Since then it’s served Londoners well for duels, executions, horse races and picnics. It’s separated from Kensington Gardens by the Serpentine, which you can paddle along.

    Tate Modern

    Bankside
    SE1 9TG London
    UK
    Tel: (020) 7887 8888
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Sun-Thurs 1000-1800
    Fri-Sat 1000-2200

    Housed in the belly of an old power station is London’s most sexy (and popular) contemporary art gallery with a collection of some 60,000 works of art on constant rotation.

    St Paul’s Cathedral

    St Paul’s Churchyard
    EC4M 8AD London
    UK
    Tel: (020) 7246 8350
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Mon-Sat 0830-1630

    Christopher Wren’s mighty white dome still defines the London skyline. Climb its 528 steps for one of the best 360-degree views of the city.

    Kew Gardens

    Kew Gardens
    TW9 3AB London
    UK
    Tel: (020) 8332 5655
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Daily 0930-1800

    Escape to London’s tropical hothouse, the 700-glass-panel Palm House in Kew Gardens. Aside from an aerial walkway there’s a palace and 121 hectares (300 acres) of garden to explore.

    Good to know

    Country information

    Country overview

    Few places cram in as much scenery, history and culture as the United Kingdom. England’s southwest is dominated by a rugged shoreline and swathes of open national parkland, while its sprawling and vibrant capital London dominates the southeast. Hillwalkers can take some serious hikes in the Scottish Highlands or England’s Lake District. True British wilderness remains – stark, sometimes stunning and often inaccessible, particularly in the far north of Scotland.

    Historic Edinburgh is a fascinating city to explore, while Glasgow explodes with nightlife options. Visitors to Wales can meander from the urban highlights of Cardiff to Snowdon’s jagged peaks in the north. Across the water, Belfast is reviving as a tourist destination, and Northern Ireland’s countryside is green and rolling.

    Geography

    The British landscape can be divided roughly into two kinds of terrain – highland and lowland. The highland area comprises the mountainous regions of Scotland, Northern Ireland, northern England and North Wales.

    The English Lake District in the northwest contains lakes and fells. The lowland area is broken up by sandstone and limestone hills, long valleys and basins such as the Wash on the east coast. In the southeast, the North and South Downs culminate in the White Cliffs of Dover.

    The coastline includes fjord-like inlets in the northwest of Scotland, spectacular cliffs and wild sandy beaches on the east coast and, further south, beaches of rock, shale and sand sometimes backed by dunes, and large areas of fenland in East Anglia.

    Note: The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland consists of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

    Although they form one administrative unit (with regional exceptions), they have had separate cultures, languages and political histories.

    The United Kingdom section consists of a general introduction (covering the aspects that the four countries have in common) and sections devoted to the four constituent countries. The Channel Islands (Alderney, Guernsey, Jersey, Sark and Herm) and the Isle of Man are dependencies of the British Crown. These are included here for convenience of reference.

    More detailed geographical descriptions of the various countries may be found under the respective travel guides.

    General knowledge

    Key facts

    Population: 63395574

    Population Density (per sq km): 261

    Capital: London.

    Language

    English. Welsh is spoken in parts of Wales, and Gaelic in parts of Scotland. The many ethnic minorities within the UK also speak their own languages (eg Cantonese, Greek, Hindi, Mandarin, Turkish, Urdu, etc).

    Currency

    See the individual Money sections within the Jersey, Guernsey, Isle of Man and Northern Ireland sections for information on currency specific to these regions.

    Pound (GBP; symbol £) = 100 pence. Notes are in denominations of £50, 20, 10 and 5. Additional bank notes issued by Scottish banks (including £1 notes) are accepted in all parts of the UK, although some smaller shops outside Scotland may prefer English banknotes. Coins are in denominations of £2 and 1, and 50, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1 pence.

    Electricity

    230 volts AC, 50Hz. Square three-pin plugs are standard.

    General business opening hours

    Mon-Fri 0900-1700/1800. However, business hours in London can be much longer.

    Public holidays

    Below are Public Holidays for the January 2014-December 2015 period.
    Note: Holidays falling on the weekend are observed the following Monday.

    2014

    New Year’s Day: 01. January 2014
    Good Friday: 18. April 2014
    Easter Monday (except Scotland): 21. April 2014
    Early May Bank Holiday: 05. May 2014
    Spring Bank Holiday: 26. May 2014
    Summer Bank Holiday (except Scotland): 25. August 2014
    Christmas Day: 25. December 2014
    Boxing Day: 26. December 2014

    2015

    New Year’s Day: 01. January 2015
    Good Friday: 03. April 2015
    Easter Monday (except Scotland): 06. April 2015
    Early May Bank Holiday: 04. May 2015
    Spring Bank Holiday: 25. May 2015
    Summer Bank Holiday (except Scotland): 31. August 2015
    Christmas Day: 25. December 2015
    Boxing Day: 26. December 2015

    Good to know

    Getting around

    Public Transport

    London has an excellent, if expensive, public transport system managed by Transport for London (tel: 0343 222 1234; www.tfl.gov.uk). The integrated ticketing system operates via a prepaid smart card (the Oyster Card) and covers the tube, overground trains and buses. Oyster cards are available to purchase at any Underground station and can be prepaid for pay-as-you-go travel, daily or weekly passes. Paper tickets still exist but fares are more expensive.

    Taxis

    Black cabs (www.londonblackcabs.co.uk) are available to hire when their yellow sign is lit; just hold out your arm to hail one. You can tip drivers up to 10%. Use the Hailo app (www.hailo.com/london) to pre-order a cab or call Addison Lee (tel: 0844 556 0707).

    Enjoy

    Nightlife in London

    ListMap

    From West End blockbusters to fringe theatre, avant-garde gigs, opera, comedy and live music, London offers a fabulous after-dark schedule.

    While a night out at the theatre is one of the capital’s highlights, there are plenty of exciting alternatives that are equally compelling and easier on the wallet.

    The National Theatre

    Upper Ground, South Bank
    London SE1 9PX
    United Kingdom
    Show on map

    Thoughtful and innovative theatre is performed in this iconic complex on the South Bank.

    Royal Albert Hall

    Kensington Gore
    SW7 2AP London
    UK
    Show on map

    Home of the Proms and London’s most famous classical music venue.

    KOKO

    1a Camden High Street
    NW1 7JE London
    UK
    Show on map

    Everyone from the Sex Pistols to Madonna has played at this legendary live music venue.

    Opera Holland Park

    Stable Yard, Holland Park
    W8 6LU London
    UK
    Show on map

    Enjoy opera and picnic in the park at this quintessential English event.

    Roundhouse

    Chalk Farm Road
    NW1 8EH London
    UK
    Show on map

    Great gigs and brilliant performances of anything from comedy to circus acts.

    Enjoy

    Restaurants in London

    ListMap

    From Afghan and Indian to French, Korean and Ethiopian, the world is quite literally your oyster when dining out in London’s cosmopolitan array of restaurants.

    Les Trois Garçons

    1 Club Row
    E1 6JX London
    UK
    Show on map

    Price: Expensive

    Extravagant décor and fabulous French food inside a converted Victorian pub.

    HIX

    66-70 Brewer Street
    W1F 9UP London
    UK
    Show on map

    Price: Moderate

    London’s finest fish and chips are served up by celebrity chef Mark Hix’s whose eponymous restaurant is kitted out with contemporary British artworks.

    St John

    26 St John Street
    EC1M 4AY London
    UK
    Show on map

    Price: Moderate

    Discover London’s culinary heritage with St John’s signature bone-marrow salad.

    M Manze

    87 Tower Bridge Road
    SE1 4TW London
    UK
    Show on map

    Price: Cheap

    See how Londoners ate before the city gentrified at this classic Pie & Mash palace.

    Tayyabs

    83-89 Fieldgate Street
    E1 1JU London
    UK
    Show on map

    Price: Cheap

    Join the queue at this Punjabi restaurant to sample London’s finest masala and kebabs.

    Discover

    Calendar of events

    Promenade Concerts (The Proms)

    18 July – 13 September 2014
    Website

    Venue: Royal Albert Hall.

    The annual BBC Proms takes place in London’s distinguished Royal Albert Hall, where orchestral concerts, operas, choral concerts and world music all make it onto the two-month programme. This is a quintessentially British celebration, and the famous Last Night of the Proms sees a rousing rendition of Land of Hope and Glory during which the entire crowd – many waving Union Jacks – rises to its feet to join in the singing.

    Notting Hill Carnival

    24 – 25 August 2014

    Venue: Notting Hill and Ladbroke Grove.

    West London erupts into one massive Caribbean street party over the August Bank Holiday weekend as Notting Hill Carnival takes over the area. One of the last Sunday and Monday in August, this free event spreads over Ladbroke Grove, Notting Hill and beyond, with DJ sets, live musicians and wonderful Caribbean food stalls. On the Monday, the main parade sees a flurry of flamboyant costumes, energetic dancing, musicians and floats make its way through the crowds.

    Mayor's Thames Festival

    1 – 30 September 2014
    Website

    Venue: South Bank and riverside locations.

    The annual Mayor’s Thames Festival offers a spectacular weekend of free events celebrating London and its river. It’s one of London’s biggest and best free outdoor arts festivals; expect riverside market stalls and street entertainers and much more, culminating in a fabulous Night Carnival on Sunday evening along Victoria Embankment featuring an illuminated procession of lanterns, costumes and floats.

    London Fashion Week

    12 – 16 September 2014
    Website

    Venue: Somerset House.

    Every February and September, the British capital hosts the glamorous, celebrity-studded London Fashion Week, one of the world’s largest and most famous fashion events. Fashion aficionados congregate in their masses to glimpse the very best English designers showcasing their latest collections. See the likes of Jasper Conran and Matthew Williamson presenting their autumn/winter collections (February) and spring/summer pieces (September), and round off a day’s fashion viewing with a champagne-filled after party.

    BFI London Film Festival

    8 – 19 October 2014
    Website

    Venue: National Film Theatre and other cinemas around London.

    The BFI London Film Festival is one of the country’s largest film events. The packed and varied programme shows films from across the world, and screenings take place in many great London film venues, including the South Bank Centre and the Empire and Odeon cinemas in Leicester Square. As well as feature films, there are documentaries, shorts, animations and video installations. The festival also includes galas, talks from famous directors and actors, and movie workshops.

    Men's Health Survival of the Fittest London

    22 November 2014
    Website

    Venue: Wembley Park

    Survival is back this Autumn. Packing a colossal 10k urban assault course in each host city, the Survival series will see 25,000 participants take on totally unique challenge events. Want to join them? Survival is for all comers: Men, women, teams and solo contenders.

    New Year's Eve fireworks

    31 December 2014
    Website

    Venue: River Thames.

    Every New Year’s Eve in London, the city comes alive with celebrations, fireworks and parties in every corner of the capital. The riverside fireworks extravaganza is nothing short of beautiful and draws thousands of people to the Thames. Get there early to bag the best views.

    Oxford-Cambridge Boat Race

    22 March 2015
    Website

    Venue: River Thames from Putney to Mortlake.

    Known simply as the ‘Boat Race’, this famous competition between England’s most prestigious pair of universities dates back to 1829 when two friends suggested the challenge. It has taken place every year since, with around 250,000 cheering spectators lining the banks of the River Thames between Putney and Mortlake. The high-adrenalin spectacle is also screened live on British television and watched by over 7 million viewers.

    Virgin London Marathon

    26 April 2015
    Website

    Venue: Through the streets of London.

    The mighty London Marathon is one of the world’s greatest road races. Starting in Greenwich, runners make their way through Charlton and Woolwich before crossing the River Thames at historic Tower Bridge, looping through the east end of London, past the towering sleek form of Canary Wharf in Docklands, and then heading west to Embankment, Parliament Square, Birdcage Walk and the final stretch to the finish line on The Mall by Buckingham Palace.

    Chelsea Flower Show

    19 – 23 May 2015
    Website

    Venue: Royal Hospital, Chelsea.

    The Chelsea Flower Show’s ground-breaking designs, fine floral collections and new plant unveilings draw horticultural enthusiasts from far and wide to the grounds of London’s Royal Hospital Chelsea for five days in May. Members of the British Royal Family can be spotted perusing the dazzling show gardens created by leading garden designers, and the main topic of conversation is who is most worthy of being crowned the Best Show Garden.

    Queen's Birthday Parade - Trooping the Colour

    13 June 2015
    Website

    Venue: Horse Guards’ Parade.

    Troops of the Household Division (Foot Guards and Household Cavalry) perform the ceremony of Trooping the Colour each year in honour of the Queen’s official birthday. Although Queen Elizabeth II was born in April, Trooping the Colour is held in June in the hope of good weather. Traditionally, the regiment’s colours (two flags or banners) were paraded before its own troops so that soldiers would recognise and rally to them in battle. This tradition continues, nowadays for the benefit of the Queen who then receives a royal salute.

    Taste of London

    17 – 21 June 2015
    Website

    Venue: Regent’s Park.

    With its bevy of new restaurants and world-class chefs, Taste of London is one of the most anticipated summer events in London. Visitors can dine from 40 of the capital’s top restaurants, try and buy from 200 food and drink producers, enjoy fine wine tasting and watch some of the world’s greatest chefs demonstrate their skills live on stage. A recent addition is The Secret Garden: a gastronomic oasis and exclusive area of hidden treats.

    London Pride Festival

    21 – 28 June 2015
    Website

    Venue: Streets of central London and Trafalgar Square.

    London’s yearly Pride celebrations will be back bigger and more colourful than ever. The World Pride Parade will take place through the streets of London, followed by a full on party in Trafalgar Square, featuring world-class artists and performers.

    City Of London Festival

    21 June – 16 July 2015
    Website

    Venue: Various venues.

    Every summer, the City of London Festival brings music, dance, art and family events to iconic venues across the city. This year’s festival is based on three themes: city walls, connecting the City of London with Londonderry and other historic walled cities from Utrecht to Jerusalem; conflict and resolution; and trees. More than 100 free events will take place outdoors, including a Northern Irish-themed family day on Hampstead Heath. There will also be concerts at St Paul’s Cathedral and free lunchtime concerts at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

    Wimbledon Tennis Championships

    29 June – 12 July 2015
    Website

    Venue: All England Lawn Tennis Club, Wimbledon.

    The world’s tennis greats flock to the All England Lawn Tennis Club in Wimbledon every June to battle it out in the famous championship, that is almost as famous for the frequent wet weather, Henman Hill (or Murray Mount), strawberries and cream on the lawn and a good helping of royal faces, than it is the tennis. Today, the event has grown to major proportions with over 500,000 visitors, and a worldwide TV audience of millions.

    All information subject to change. Please check the dates on the relevant event organizer’s website.

    Enjoy

    Hotels in London

    ListMap

    From grand historic hotels to budget boutique digs and hostels, London has a plethora of hotels from which to choose.

    The best are booked early, particularly during the summer and at Christmas.

    Dukes

    35 St James’s Place
    SW1A 1NY London
    UK
    Show on map

    Category: Expensive

    A cocoon of five-star luxury with a historic twist in the heart of swanky Mayfair.

    Blakes

    33 Roland Gardens
    SW7 3PF London
    UK
    Show on map

    Category: Expensive

    Four-poster beds, luxe velvet fabrics and gleaming antiques are the hallmarks of Anouska Hempel’s design hotel.

    Rough Luxe

    1 Birkenhead Street
    WC1H 8BA London
    UK
    Show on map

    Category: Moderate

    This unique concept hotel mixes salvaged furniture and funky décor with luxury linens and impeccable service.

    The Sumner

    54 Upper Berkeley Street
    W1H 7QR London
    UK
    Show on map

    Category: Moderate

    Boutique hotel comforts within a stone’s throw of Hyde Park and Oxford Street.

    10 Pembridge Gardens

    10 Pembridge Gardens
    W2 4DU London
    UK
    Show on map

    Category: Cheap

    Enjoy contemporary rooms in a grand Georgian terrace in fashionable Notting Hill.

    Discover

    The best speakeasies in London

    ListMap
    London, Flüsterkneipen, Barts, Lufthansa, Travel Guide, Travelguide

    Hidden away behind fridges and bookshelves, speakeasies in the style

    of the U.S. Prohibition era are the latest hit on the London nightlife scene.

    Evans & Peel Detective Agency

    310c Earl’s Court Road
    SW5 9BA
    London
    Tel. +44-20-73 73 35 73
    Show on map

    “What brought you here today?” Only the victims of a (fictitious) crime are shown into the backroom sanctum of the private detective’s office, where mini burgers and classic cocktails are served, while their case is discussed at length. This place is an absolute must for crime fiction aficionados and Sherlock Holmes fans.

    Cellar Door

    Zero Aldwych
    Covent Garden
    WC2E 7DN
    London
    Tel. +44-20-72 40 88 48
    Show on map

    A bright pink neon arrow points the way down to this tiny bar, occupying what used to be public conveniences. At this ‘90s version of a speakeasy, open every night, guests can sip cocktails with fanciful names like “ Never trust a flamingo ” and take a pinch of snuff as they sit back and enjoy live music and burlesque acts on stage.

    Experimental Cocktail Club

    Chinatown
    13A Gerrard Street
    W1D 5PS
    London
    Tel. +44-20-74 34 35 59
    Show on map

    In London’s most exclusive speakeasy, there’s a female ’20s-style Boy George lookalike barkeeper who mixes tinctures from small bottles to create titivating cocktails. Take the Saint-Germain-des-Prés, for instance, incredibly hot and yet with a refreshing cucumber taste. Be warned, though: A little persuasion is required to get past the rather severe lady on the door.

    The Worship Street Whistling Shop

    Shoreditch
    63 Worship Street
    EC2A 2DU
    London
    Tel. +44-20-72 47 00 15
    Show on map

    Comparatively easy to locate, this bar modeled on the British gin palaces of yore has a beguiling menu of exquisite spirits and original drinks – including a rum cocktail spiked with absinthe that’s artificially aged with gamma rays. Cozy: the library setting.

    Barts

    Chelsea, Chelsea Cloisters
    Sloane Avenue
    SW3 3DW
    London
    Tel. +44-20-75 81 33 55
    Show on map

    The living room among speakeasies. Tucked away behind a door plastered with comics in the hotel lobby, this plushy red, zanily decorated railway compartment of a bar attracts a classy style of patron (suits and little dresses). But looks can be deceptive, and they certainly know how to party here! Definitely book ahead!

    Good to know

    Best time to visit

    Today: Wednesday, 26.11.2014 17:00

    light rain

    temperature


    9°C


    48°F

    wind direction

    north

    wind speed

    3.125 mph

    humidity

    100%

    7 days forecast

    Thursday

    27.11.2014

    10°C / 7°C

    50°F / 45°F

    Friday

    28.11.2014

    12°C / 8°C

    54°F / 46°F

    Saturday

    29.11.2014

    10°C / 6°C

    50°F / 43°F

    Sunday

    30.11.2014

    9°C / 5°C

    48°F / 41°F

    Monday

    01.12.2014

    8°C / 2°C

    46°F / 36°F

    Tuesday

    02.12.2014

    6°C /

    43°F / 32°F

    Wednesday

    03.12.2014

    5°C /

    41°F / 32°F

    Climate and best time to visit London

    Summer is peak season, offering long days, mild weather and plenty of festivals including the Trooping of the Colour, Wimbledon, London Pride and the Notting Hill Carnival. Crowds peak in July and August, tailing off as kids get back to school. Spring and autumn are cooler, but offer their own draws with the Chelsea Flower Show in May and start of many major art shows, exhibits, opera and theatre programmes in September. Winter is grey, rainy and can be cold, although Christmas lights and heaps of festive spirit cheer up December.

    Climate & best time to visit United Kingdom

    Owing to it being an island, the UK is subject to very changeable weather. Extremes of temperature are rare but snow, hail, heavy rain and heatwaves can occur. For detailed descriptions, see Climate in the respective country sections.

    Good to know

    Phone calls & Internet

    Telephone/Mobile Telephone

    Dialing Code: +44

    Telephone

    There are numerous public call boxes. Some boxes take coins, others phonecards or credit cards.

    Mobile Telephone

    Roaming agreements exist with most international mobile phone operators. Coverage is mostly good, but can be patchy in rural areas. It is possible to buy a pay as you go sim card from any phone shop or booth.

    Internet

    There are internet cafés and centres in most urban areas. Some multimedia phone booths, often located at main railway stations and airports, offer touchscreen access. Most hotels also offer Wi-Fi, although this may be less likely in more rural areas. The City of London now has free Wi-Fi covering 95% of the Square Mile, whilst London Underground now offers Wi-Fi at station platforms across the network.

    Enjoy

    Shopping in London

    Stadtführer, Lufthansa, Travelguide, Shopping, Einkaufen

    Key Areas

    High-end stores and global brands concentrate in Knightsbridge and Mayfair, while popular chains and franchises sit along Oxford Street, Regent Street and King’s Road, culminating in the shopping epicentre of Covent Garden. Hampstead and Notting Hill are known for their lovely independent boutiques while avant-garde designers populate Clerkenwell and Shoreditch. For vintage and discount fashions, head further east to Spitalfields and the East End.

    Markets

    The most popular are Spitalfields, Camden and Portobello Road for fashion and antiques, Borough and Greenwich for food, Columbia Road for flowers, and Brick Lane for bric-a-brac. Bigger markets are open six days a week, while Columbia Road and Brick Lane are Sunday only.

    Shopping Centres

    Many of London’s big name stores, such as Harrods, Selfridges, Fortnum & Mason, the Burlington Arcade and Liberty are must-see sights in their own right. Other lesser-known gems include historic Asprey and the London Silver Vaults.

    Discover

    My London

    I like to have lunch at London’s oldest restaurant, The Rules, where they serve the best Irish stew around. The Rules is in Maiden Lane, not far from Covent Garden. After lunch, I often pay a visit to Goldsmiths Hall, a historical building that would gladden the heart of any architect. It regularly hosts exhibitions and events promoting the contemporary works of jewelers and silversmiths. Goldsmiths Hall is located on edge of the City of London, just a short walk from Farringdon and Chancery Lane stations.

    Alexandra Mikamo, Crewtipp, London, Lufthansa, Travelguide, Travel Guide

    Alexandra Mikamo (46), Purserette

    Good to know

    Traveller etiquette

    Social Conventions

    The monarchy, though now only symbolic politically, is a powerful and often subconscious unifying force. Members of the Royal Family are the subject of unceasing fascination, with their every move avidly followed and reported by the popular press, both in the UK and abroad.

    Handshaking is customary when introduced to someone for the first time. One kiss on the cheek is gaining popularity for close friends. Normal social courtesies should be observed when visiting someone’s home and a small present such as flowers or chocolates is appreciated. It is polite to wait until everyone has been served before eating.

    Clothing

    Some nightclubs and restaurants do not allow jeans and trainers, otherwise casual wear is widely acceptable. For business, a suit and tie should be worn, although in some workplaces an open neck is acceptable.

    Use of public places

    Topless sunbathing is allowed on certain beaches and tolerated in some parks. Smoking is banned in all enclosed public places, including stations, pubs and restaurants, throughout the UK.

    Good to know

    Health

    Main emergency number: 112

    Food & Drink

    Food within the UK is generally safe to eat, with health and safety standards monitored by various government agencies. Tap water is considered safe to drink but bottled water is widely available. If you’re camping, always boil, filter or purify water from streams.

    Other Risks

    The UK is not a risky destination but travellers should still take appropriate precautions. Summer temperatures in England rarely reach above 30°C but on hot days there is still risk of sunstroke and it’s advisable to wear sunscreen, as well as appropriate clothing. The same goes for winters, during which weather can be very changeable. Waterproofs (or at least a strong umbrella) are mandatory at any time of year. Those hiking in the mountains should come prepared, with appropriate gear and maps if needed but the biggest danger comes from those who disregard warning signs or poor weather.

    Although the risk remains low, travellers are advised to ensure they are fully vaccinated against measles, as cases have risen in the past few years.  Travellers visiting the UK during the winter may also wish to consider being vaccinated against flu.

    If you’re planning to walk in wooded or heath areas such as in the Scottish Highlands, it’s worth taking precautions against tick bites: ensure you wear long-sleeved tops, tuck your socks into your trousers and wear insect repellent. Ticks are known to spread Lyme disease which, although fairly rare in the UK, can affect your skin, joints, heart and nervous system. Symptoms include: a pink or red circular rash which develops around the bite up to 30 days after a person is bitten; flu-like symptoms; headaches; and muscle or joint pain. If left untreated, symptoms can become more serious.

    Midges are a hiker’s and camper’s nemesis, especially in the northwest Highlands during the summer. While they’ll do no worse than cause a multitude of unbearably itchy bites, it’s definitely worth covering up and dousing yourself in insect repellent to ward off these persistent beasties.

    The weather in Scotland can change in an instant. If you’re walking, skiing or climbing in the hills, it’s vital to be prepared for all weathers. It’s not at all uncommon to go for a walk on a beautifully sunny day, only to find yourself surrounded by mist and drizzle with little warning. Make sure you’re equipped with a map, compass, extra food, layers and waterproofs, and always tell someone where you’re heading before you set out. Scots and visitors alike also find themselves unexpectedly caught out by the sun – you might not need it often, but pack some sunscreen.

    Contractual physician of Lufthansa

    Konrad Edmud Dr. Kotowski
    82 Harley Street
    London W1G 7AN
    Great Britain
    Tel. +44-203-073-1002

    Please note that Lufthansa accepts no responsibility for the treatment nor will it bear the cost of any treatment.

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