London, England, is one of the most vibrant cities in Europe, a cosmopolitan hub with a rich culture dating back centuries. World-class dining, intriguing historical architecture and museums, high-street style, atmospheric pubs, and not-to-be-missed nightlife – from Big Ben to Buckingham Palace, London has something for everyone, if you know where to look.
Iconic Street Culture: The Notting Hill Carnival
If you’re visiting in August, don’t miss the Notting Hill Carnival, which transforms the serene streets of this upscale neighbourhood into a colourful party for two days every summer.
This is the biggest street carnival in Europe, with more than a million revellers each year. It’s also a really important event for the city, with roots in the swinging 1960s, when two summer parties, among London’s Caribbean population and the free-loving hippies, joined together to celebrate cultural unity. Today the carnival is an official event, but has managed to maintain a fun, freewheeling spirit.
For Tourists In-the-know: Buckingham Palace State Rooms
While most tourists remain outside Buckingham Palace to watch the changing of the guards, you have the rare opportunity to step inside these hallowed halls and tour the impressive State Rooms during summer.
What a way to experience the breathtaking opulence of the royal family. You might even catch a glimpse of the queen!
History Comes Alive: Churchill’s Bunker
London is paradise for history buffs, and it seems like there’s something significant around every corner. Winston Churchill’s bunker is one of the city’s lesser-known historical attractions that’s well worth your time to visit.
Built 40 feet underground to host meetings between Churchill and his Cabinet during World War II, this bomb-proof citadel is now open for private tours. Intimately connected with London’s military history, this is one of those unique attractions that will become a highpoint of your trip.