So many labels get stuck on London: posh, amazing, elegant, funky. The city carries them all with aplomb. Let’s renew our acquaintance with this dear old friend, and explore some new facets with SWISS Magazine editor Patrick Lindner.

Photos: Joyce Kim

It’s all down to the residents: From the macchiato mums of Kensington and the gentlemen of Mayfair to the street musicians of Camden Town and the start-up whizzes. The city is reinventing itself over and over again.

Almost 2,000 years ago this global star of a city started out on its story. That was when the Romans founded their settlement of Londinium on the banks of the River Thames. Fiercely fought over - like a parking space in today’s West End - the place became the capital of Britain in the early 2ndcentury.

Since then, there’s been one prime driver of London’s rapid geographical, economic and cultural growth: immigration. People, originally from the countryside, later from the Empire and now from all over Europe and the world.

Good to know

  1. Many smarter addresses add a tip of around 12.5 per cent to the bill as a “discretionary service charge”.

  2. London is on Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), which is one hour behind Central European Time.

  3. Take local buses or trams during peak travel times. They are less expensive than the underground. Check tfl.gov.uk for further information.

  4. Better than its reputation! London had higher average temperatures last year (14.4 °C) than Hamburg or Amsterdam.

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    London is still the place to be when it comes to nightlife. Pubs, bars and clubs provide for an exciting night out. Just stop by and hop in.