London city breaks 2014

Explore one of Europe's most popular city break destinations


Julie Falconer

Julie Falconer
HomeAway travel expert on London holidays

London city breaksLondon has something for everyone. Lovers of history and architecture can revel in centuries of building, from Roman walls to contemporary skyscrapers. Those that like art can spend hours museum hopping, taking in everything from Renaissance painting to contemporary sculpture. Foodies can indulge at the city’s top restaurants and markets, and fashionistas can busy themselves with as much retail therapy as they can handle.

London has long been a popular travel destination, and the city has no shortage of options for accommodation, whether you are looking for a luxury or budget holiday rental. The city’s attractions are likewise easy to access and many offer guided tours in multiple languages. And while London is a big place, an extensive public transport network makes it easy to get around to all of the top sightseeing highlights, whatever those may be for you.


Julie Falconer's verdict on London

Trafalgar Square. Perpetually in motion, Trafalgar Square is where visitors can see London’s energy and creativity shine. Whether you go for an event, before a trip to the National Gallery, or just to soak up the atmosphere, it is not to be missed.

London's restaurants. London’s food scene is impressive, and you can find restaurants serving cuisine from all over the world. The best book up early, so make sure to reserve a table if you want to dine out. Some of my favorites are Amaya and Nahm on the fine dining end of the spectrum, and Ottolenghi and Le Comptoir Libanais on the casual end.

The museums. One of the best parts about London is that almost all of its top museums are free to enter. Whether you are looking for world-class art, design, antiquities, history, science, or textiles, London has a museum that will impress. My top picks are the Natural History Museum, the V&A, the British Museum, and the Sir John Soane’s Museum.

Top places to visit in London

Trafalgar Square Trafalgar Square

Located right in the heart of London, Trafalgar Square is one of the city’s most iconic landmarks. The wide plaza is home to celebrations and festivals throughout the year, so there is never a dull moment under Nelson’s Column. Overlooking the square is the National Gallery, one of London’s best fine art museums. Behind it is the National Portrait Galley and nearby are Leicester Square, Piccadilly Circus, Soho, Covent Garden, and Whitehall, all of which are worth a visit.

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Westminster Abbey Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey is one of the most famous churches in London. Last year it featured on television screens across the world when the Royal Wedding took place there, but the church has been a landmark for many centuries before that. Visitors to Westminster Abbey can see everything from the tombs of British monarchs like Queen Elizabeth I to the South Transept’s famous Poets’ Corner, where the likes of Geoffrey Chaucer and Charles Dickens are buried. That’s to say nothing of the stunning architecture and stained glass windows, which are awe-inspiring.

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The Tate Modern The Tate Modern

Opened in 2000, the Tate Modern is a relatively new addition to a city with over a thousand years of history. But since its debut, the museum on the Southbank has become one of London’s top attractions. The collection features modern and contemporary art from 1900 to the present, including excellent temporary exhibitions. The newest addition to the museum is The Tanks, a series of cavernous spaces dedicated to performance art and events. The museum also offers great views of the London skyline from its top floors. Best of all, entry is free.

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Borough Market Borough Market

London didn’t used to be known for its food, but the city is now one of the culinary capitals of the world. With more Michelin stars every year and an increasingly discerning public, London’s culinary scene has come a long way. And so have its markets. The flagship farmers’ market in the city is Borough Market, and it is a real treat for the senses. From fresh vegetables to prepared foods, from rich chocolate to salty olives, the market has everything you need for a picnic, a meal, or just a graze.

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The Natural History Museum The Natural History Museum

London has no shortage of world-class museums, and the Natural History Museum is no exception. With its beautiful exterior, the museum welcomes visitors from all over the world with an impressive monumentality. And the inside is no less stunning. From giant dinosaur skeletons to interactive exhibits about all things animal, vegetable, and mineral, the museum can keep visitors of all ages entertained for hours. As with the Tate Modern, entry is free.

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