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    London is the cultural heart of England, housing some of the world’s most famous and popular attractions. A city break means something different to every visitor – some will find a procession of historic palaces and sweeping parks, others a whirl of ground-breaking nightclubs and cutting-edge galleries. Sampling the glitz and glamour of the West End theatre district and the cosmopolitan cafe culture of Soho are among the best things to do in London. 

    London is truly a city of contrasts – Knightsbridge, with its fancy department stores and jet-set vibe, feels a world away from hipster enclave Shoreditch, with its vibrant street art and edgy nightspots. From the regal elegance of Buckingham Palace to the Gothic-style splendour of Big Ben, the British capital makes a dramatic first impression. London nightlife is just as vibrant, with cosy pubs, elegant theatres, and nightclubs livening up the atmosphere until dawn. 

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    What to do in London? 

    The list of things to do in London features some of the most famous and popular attractions in the world. Who hasn't heard of Big Ben, the Tower of London, the British Museum and Buckingham Palace? Many of the attractions of the UK's capital city are historical in nature, but not all of them. They all combine to create a hugely varied experience and, as much as it may sound like a cliché, there really is something for virtually any traveller. 

    If you're interested in history, you'll be spoilt for choice in London. Aside from the major monuments and structures, the museums here are ranked among the world's finest. The British Museum is second only to the Louvre in Paris for popularity, but other options include the Natural History Museum, The Science Museum and the Imperial War Museum. There's even an old battlecruiser – the HMS Belfast – docked on the River Thames for you to explore. Start your journey of discovery on Exhibition Road, but be sure to check out the many smaller establishments around the city. 

    Looking for something a little more engaging and not so educational? There are plenty of unforgettable experiences to be had in London. Take in a show at Shakespeare's Globe, watch the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace or Horse Guards Parade and enjoy the view from the famous London Eye. If you want to get a taste of the real London, check out some of the city's famous neighbourhoods, each of which has its own unique charms and attractions. 

    Where to shop in London? 

    The shopping scene in London is nearly as famous as the city's list of attractions. Whether you're looking for bargains or high fashion, there are world-famous places to choose from. The big names you've almost certainly heard of include Harrods, Camden Market and Oxford Street. 

    The best places to go for luxury goods in London include the big-name department stores like Selfridges, Fortnum & Mason and the aforementioned Harrods. There are also beautiful old arcades where you can find classic boutiques, such as Burlington Arcade, the Royal Arcade and Piccadilly Arcade. A wander around Mayfair will also present you with a wide range of high-end stores. 

    There's no shortage of quirky little stores around London if you're looking for something unique and less expensive. Check out Covent Garden, Brick Lane Market and virtually anywhere in Camden. While London is generally more expensive than the rest of England, you can still find some excellent bargains if you know where to look. 

    Where to go at night in London? 

    Nightlife in London is hugely varied and legendary. It doesn't matter if you're looking for high-energy discos, sophisticated lounges, underground clubs or cosy pubs, there's going to be plenty of options. Some have an outstanding reputation, while others are cultural hotspots of London. 

    Choosing where to go at night in London mostly depends on the sort of experience you desire. Each borough has a different vibe. Shoreditch has a hipster feel, with underground bars offering a wide variety of music and affordable drinks. By contrast, Soho is the fashionable part of town, with cocktail lounges and theatres. If you're looking for something a little different for your night out in London, head to Brixton for a distinctly Caribbean flavour. 

    The best part of London for theatregoers is, of course, the West End. Check out the area around Shaftsbury Avenue, including Piccadilly Circus and Covent Garden. You'll almost certainly find a show to suit you, whether you're looking for a laugh or intense drama. There are some major highlights outside of that area, such as the Royal Albert Hall in Kensington and the Old Vic in Waterloo. 

    Where to eat in London? 

    When it comes to finding something to eat in London, you will be absolutely spoiled for choice. Whether you want innovative fine-dining or something simple and cheap, there are plenty of options. As this is an impressively multicultural city, there's also a huge array of flavours to enjoy. Restaurants in London serve the cuisines of virtually every continent. 

    As with most things in London, each borough of London has its own unique options. Those looking for the very best should head west, where you'll find the very best steaks, seafood, pasta and innovative cuisines that defy descriptions. You'll find flagship properties run by big names like Heston Blumenthal, Gordon Ramsey, Marcus Wareing and Monica Galetti here. 

    Those looking for something a bit different should consider exploring the other compass directions. Notting Hill and Brixton are both famous for their exotic flavours, while Seven Dials has first-class Indian restaurants. Soho is the best place to go for the greatest variety in the smallest area. For budget bites, head to the food markets like Borough and Camden. 

    Is London safe? 

    London is generally a very safe travel destination, thanks to the tireless efforts of the Metropolitan Police. Indeed, it is considered one of the world's safest places to visit. However, being an extremely popular city for tourists, there's the inevitable risk of pickpockets and scams. Remain aware of your surroundings and be sensible with your valuables, and you should have no issues. It's best to keep handbags sealed or stash wallets and phones in your front pockets, especially in crowded Underground stations. 

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