London, the city with many faces, has always been a global centre of finance and industry, a cultural melting pot and a magnet to eccentrics and creative minds.

It’s a place where trends are set. London is the perfect place to combine sightseeing with shopping. The city has its icons – Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, Westminster Bridge and Harrods – that you just have to visit. It’s a place where music lives and fashion trends can be seen on the streets. Shopping in London is simply an experience – and not just at Christmas, when the whole city is beautifully decorated. Its culinary delights are as many and varied as its street scenes.

Who said English food was boring? As the popularity of the so-called gastropubs has increased, so too has the quality of the food they serve. Thick stews and soggy chips are definitely a thing of the past; now it’s all about fabulous cuisine. Thanks to Jamie Oliver!

City Facts

  • Location

    Capital of the United Kingdom and the country of England; close to zero meridian.

  • Population

    About 8.2 million

  • Size

    1,572 km2

  • Public transport

    Well-developed network with underground (Tube), buses, rail and taxis.

  • Climate

    London is in the moderate climate zone. Summers are warm but rarely hot, and although the winters are cool, the temperature rarely drops below freezing. The weather in London is unreliable, but there is a lot of rain and fog.

  • Best time to visit

    May to September, because the weather can be unreliable and it’s difficult to plan ahead.

  • Good to know

    As well as the traditional «black cabs», there are also minicabs – but be careful not to end up with an unlicensed driver. Ask to see his license.

  • Nice to know

    It might rain a lot in London, but the temperature rarely drops below freezing in winter.

  • Airport

    London Heathrow, approx. 24 km from the city centre; London City Airport, approx. 10 km from the city centre.

  • Bus

    National Express provides a regular service to the airport from the main stops at Heathrow and Victoria Coach Station. Depending on the route, the travel time is between 40 and 90 minutes.

  • Railway

    The quickest form of transportation is the Heathrow Express. The travel time to Paddington station is 15 minutes; the Heathrow Express stops twice at the airport: Heathrow Central for Terminal 1-3 and at Terminal 5.

  • Taxi

    Taxis at the airport terminal (cab or minicab); a regular trip from Heathrow to the centre costs about £40 (approx. 57 CHF). The airport terminals all have an official taxi counter.