Visiting London for the first time

London is an amazing city. If you`ve never visited Britain`s capital before, you are in for a treat. The city is huge and has many vibrant multicultural communities, making for a rich and varied set of experiences. But at its centre you will find things that go far back into British history: Buckingham Palace, the Changing of the Guard, the ornate parliament buildings at Westminster and, of course, the grand tower which houses Big Ben.

It`s worth investing in a good map or tourist guide so that you can find your way around this vast city. You`ll discover that there are distinct districts in the centre of London, such as the financial district, known rather confusingly as `the City`, with its famous `Gherkin` building), the entertainment and theatre district in the West End, the artistic Covent Garden area and the incredible shopping streets around Oxford Street.

The whole of London has a rich history and culture that is reflected in a multitude of museums, such as the Natural History Museum, Science Museum and Tate Modern. The Royal Albert Hall and the Barbican are just two of the most famous live-music venues.

Despite being such a lively and active place, London is also blessed with some fantastic green areas that are perfect for winding down and enjoying the fresh air. Hyde Park, Regents Park and Kensington Gardens offer acres of space to stroll around and relax in. You`ll often find people playing football or having picnics, as there is definitely a culture among Londoners of escaping to the parks whenever possible.

If cost is a consideration, make sure you shop around as there is a wide array of prices for everything in London. Booking ahead is another great way to make savings and to beat any queues.

Travelling around the city could not be simpler. There is good public transport in the form of the bright-red London buses and the famous Underground system. You will also find the renowned black taxis wherever you look. There is even a cycle-hire scheme throughout the city, which is a great way of seeing the sights.

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