- The Tower of London is a popular tourist attraction.london bridge image by Adkok from Fotolia.com
London is a popular tourist destination: according to Visit London Media Centre, the capital of England and the United Kingdom attracted almost 25 million overnight visitors in 2009. Dating back to Roman times, London has a rich and complex history. During the 16th century, it grew to become one of the largest cities in Europe. Its significance continues in the 21st century with the arrival of the Olympic Games in 2012. Sightseeing trips offer a time-effective way of exploring this vast city.
- If you have not been to London before, take an open-top bus tour to get an overview of the city's center and see such landmarks as Buckingham Palace, the Tower of London and Houses of Parliament. Bus tour operators Original London Sightseeing and Big Bus Sightseeing Tours both have a hop-on and hop-off service, offer a choice of language commentaries and include a free river cruise. To learn about London in more detail, take a specifically targeted tour. Visit London, the official visitor organization for the capital, lists tours to Buckingham Palace, London Treasures by River and a Fab Four London Rock Tour for places associated with the Beatles.
- If you are adventurous and enjoy good health, you might like to tour London by bicycle. Bike tours allow access to tiny cobbled streets that buses can't reach. Companies offering guided cycle tours include Fat Tire Bike Tours, BrakeAway Bike Tours and The London Bicycle Tour Co.
- Walking tours are another way of getting acquainted with the city. Walks are tailored to specific interests: London Walking Tours offers walks on Dickens and Shakespeare, and on Hidden Hampstead; London Discovery Tours features Harry Potter walks and tours of historic London pubs. Both have Jack the Ripper tours. Context is a network of scholars and specialists who, in addition to their normal work as professors and researchers, design and lead in-depth walking seminars for small groups of intellectually curious travelers. The weekly magazine Time Out lists both conventional and quirky walks.