Whether you are looking to visit a city steeped in history or a city resplendent with cultural and artistic innovation and a contemporary edge, London has it all: instantly recognizable landmarks such as Tower Bridge and the modern silhouettes of The Shard, you’ll never be short of Instagram-worthy content.
The incredible diversity of London permeates all aspects of life in the city. Anytime is a good time to visit – there’s always plenty going on. Catch a show at one of more than 200 theaters in “Theatreland” in the West End, or on the South Bank where you’ll find Shakespeare’s Globe and the National Theatre. London’s architectural heritage is an impressive blend of old and new, featuring Georgian (as seen at Number 10 Downing Street), Edwardian, Gothic Revival, Neo-Classicism, Art Nouveau and Art Deco alongside confrontational modern architectural styles. The capital of the United Kingdom is also renowned for its linguistic diversity, reflected in the various dialects heard across the city.
If art, culture and history are your thing, London is the right place to come. It is home to some of the world’s most renowned collections and galleries, such as the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square and the Tate Modern in the former Bankside power station. Even the pubs are enmeshed in literary history – the wonky building that has housed the George Inn in Southwark since 1677 features memorabilia honoring past patrons such as Charles Dickens and Shakespeare.
Discover the cosmopolitan capital and book a flight from Zurich to London now.
- All timetable details may be subject to change. Insofar as is permitted by law, SWISS accepts no liability for the correctness and completeness of the details provided.
How far is it from Heathrow Airport to central London?
Heathrow Airport is approximately 24 km (15 miles) west of central London and easily accessible by road or public transportation. The fastest service to central London is the non-stop Heathrow Express train that runs between LHR Terminals 2 & 3, taking 15 minutes to central London and 21 minutes from LHR Terminal 5.
The Transport for London (TfL) rail service provides a cheaper, stopping service to London Paddington, departing every 30 minutes and calling at local stations in west London. Journey time varies between 31 and 49 minutes.
The London Underground (the “Tube”) also provides a cost-effective service from LHR to central London on the Piccadilly Line. Travel time is just under one hour and trains run approximately every 10 minutes at all times. Heathrow has three Tube stations – one servicing Terminals 2 and 3 and one each at Terminal 4 and Terminal 5.
What about public transportation around the city?
Public transportation in London uses the Oyster Card system. If you are planning on using public transportation, consider a Visitor Oyster Card, which allows you to ride the Tube, Thames river bus services, local overground trains, London trams or the iconic London double-decker buses. The London public bicycle hire scheme is also a great way to see the city. With more than 750 docking stations and 11,500 bikes around the city, explore at your own pace on marked cycle lanes – and the first half hour is free. London’s fleet of iconic black cabs is also always at your service.
What else is good to know?
If you have a lot of luggage, it is probably worth taking a cab. Travelling on the Tube with large suitcases – especially during rush hour – can be a challenge. Aside from that, getting a traditional taxi is all part of the London experience.
Explore London’s most famous spots
With a population of close to eight million, there is no end to things to do, see and experience in London.
- ”London Pass” for free entry
- Discover London via bike
- Windsor Castle
- Free exhibitions
- Warner Brothers Studio Tour London
- The London Eye
Consider a “London Pass”, giving you free, fast-track entry to more than 80 top London attractions, including the Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace, Westminster Abbey, ZSL London Zoo and Madame Tussads.
Hire a London bicycle and cycle northwest to the 320 hectare (790 acre) Hampstead Heath for city views from Parliament Hill lookout, or southwest to the 2,500 acres of national nature reserve at Richmond Park. If you prefer to stay central, you are sure to find something to do in Hyde Park – 350 acres of greenery in the heart of London offering boating on the Serpentine, tennis and horse riding, or simply relaxing at a waterside cafe.
For a royal experience, visit Windsor Castle – the oldest and largest working castle in the world and residence of Her Majesty the Queen. Changing of the guard occurs at 11:00 a.m. each morning. Or visit the opulent Tudor-style Hampton Court Palace, built by Henry VIII, where you can sample medieval fare after finding your way through the famous maze.
For those on a budget, there are plenty of free things to do and see in London, including free exhibitions at the British Museum, Museum of London and the Science Museum.
Enjoy the ultimate Harry Potter experience on the Warner Brothers Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter. A must-see for fans, where you can experience the sets, costumes and props from the films and step inside some recognizable locations including the Great Hall, Dumbledore’s office and Hagrid’s hut.
Take the 30 minute ride on the 32-capsule Coca-Cola London Eye ferris wheel for an unforgettable, breathtaking perspective of London.
London – the city of art
London also has over 240 museums with exhibits ranging from maritime history (National Maritime Museum) to plant, animal, fossil, rock and mineral specimens (Natural History Museum). Visit the Victoria & Albert Museum (“V&A”) to see one the greatest collections of decorative art, design, fashion and textiles in the world, and the British Museum to feast your eyes on any of the 50,000 pieces on display, including the Rosetta Stone and the Parthenon sculptures.
Do you like trains?
Ride the Tube – London’s underground train system and the oldest rail network in the world – or take in the city from on an open-top bus tour, or from the water on a cruise along the Thames. Flee the madding crowds for the tranquility of one of the many Royal Parks in the city. When hunger strikes, the spectacular diversity of London’s culinary landscape will make it hard to choose.
And that’s not all: discover other fascinating attractions in London attractions in London in our travel guide.
Refuel then shop ‘til you drop
You are guaranteed to work up an appetite after a day sightseeing in London. With everything from restaurants with Michelin stars to dining with a view and dishes from almost every country in the world, you’ll be spoilt for choice.
Recommended restaurants in London
As one of the top-ranked cities in the world for fine dining, London has plenty of culinary stars testifying to that status, with more than 70 Michelin-starred restaurants - the choice is yours.
City pubs are renowned for their atmosphere, and a visit to London would not be complete without stopping in for a pint and a bite to eat. Situated between two lanes, London’s oldest pub Ye Olde Mitre at 1 Ely Court in Holborn was established in 1546 by Bishop Goodrich. The Old Bell Tavern on Fleet Street dates back to the 17th century and was rebuilt by Sir Christopher Wren after the Great Fire of London.
There is no shortage of excellent places to eat and drink in London – so find out more.
London – the shopping paradise
If browsing markets is your thing, London has more than 20 awaiting exploration. For fresh produce, you can’t pass by London’s oldest market at Borough Market – over 1,000 years old with many small scale artisan producers, offering traditional British produce, alongside regional specialties from around the world. Or try the 14th century, covered Leadenhall Market on Gracechurch Street for unique shopping and dining in the heart of the City of London. In the middle of Camden Town is Camden Market on the Regent’s Canal in north London. Camden Market is six markets rolled into one, each selling food, clothing, art, trinkets or a combination.
For some upmarket retail therapy, head to Harrods (est. 1849) or Harvey Nichols (est. 1831) in Knightsbridge for designer clothing, luxury gifts and fashion accessories. Refuel at the Harrods Food Hall – a whole department store floor dedicated to high-end foodstuffs from all over the globe – or the Fifth Floor Café and Terrace at “Harvey Nicks”. Of course, London retail therapy would not be complete without a visit to the quintessential Marks & Spencer flagship store at Marble Arch.
A good place to start your night would be the terminally hip Shoreditch area. Or try the more iconic venues, like Ministry of Sound – the “home of dance music” at 103 Gaunt Street. The flagship all-night club has been entertaining London revelers for more than 25 years and spawned a record label in the process.
Whether you like shopping, food or art – book your flight from Zurich to London today and discover the capital of United Britain!
Zurich - LondonFlight duration: 01:50 hrs total, Frequency: 1 x daily
Departure ZurichTerminal: 1 / 3Counter opening time: 24 h prior to departure
Airbus A340-300Height: 16.80 mLength: 63.70 mSeats: 219
Crew:Pilots: 2Cabin crew: 10
Arrival LondonDistance to city centre: 22 km