There are a number of festivals, holidays and other events celebrated in London each year. The main ones are listed below.January 1: New Year's Day (national) March 17 : St-Patrick's Day (national)
Although this feast day honours the patron saint of Ireland, in London as in many other cities with strong Irish communities, it is celebrated each year with a huge parade, pipe and brass bands, dancing, street theatre and the colour green everywhere. Spectators come from all over the world to celebrate St Patrick's Day in a festive atmosphere.April 23 : Saint George's Day (national)
In the United Kingdom, several cities have begun organizing annual programmes of events to honour the country's patron saint, who died on this day in 303 A.D. London's main festivities include live bands, family activities and food stalls.June 8–August 16 : Summer Exhibition (local event)
The world's oldest open-submission art exhibition, this event has been a highlight of London's cultural calendar since 1768. Every summer, the Royal Academy of Arts showcases the work of little-known and emerging artists alongside pieces by more established figures.July 17 – September 12 : BBC Proms (local event)
For several weeks each summer, London's Royal Albert Hall and Cadogan Hall vibrate to the sounds of classical music, with dozens of concerts featuring many of the world's greatest artists, composers, orchestras and ensembles.July 25 – August 31 : Summer Opening of Buckingham Palace (local event)
Each summer, the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace, the official London residence of Britain's sovereigns, open to the public for eight weeks. A great opportunity to explore its many treasures: paintings by Rembrandt, Rubens and Poussin, sculptures by Canova, but also an impressive collection of Sèvres porcelain as well as exquisite French and English furniture.Weekend before the last Monday in August : Notting Hill Carnival (local event)
Europe's largest street festival, attracting millions of visitors from around the globe, this three-day carnival is held every year on the last weekend of August. Traditional and contemporary Caribbean music fills the air.September : Great River Race (local event)
Hundreds of boats powered by oars or paddles, ranging from standard rowboats to Viking longships and Hawaiian outrigger canoes, take part in this annual 34-kilometre (21-mile) river marathon on the Thames, from the London Docklands to Ham House, Richmond.December 25 : Christmas (national)
|Month||Min. Average Temperature (°C/F°)||Max. Average Temperature (°C/F°)||Average Rains (MM)||Best Time to Travel|
|January||2/36||8/46||57/2.2||Not the best period to go|
|February||-2/28||9/48||45/1.8||Not the best period to go|
|March||3/37||12/54||43/1.7||Not the best period to go|
|April||5/41||14/57||45/1.8||Not the best period to go|
|May||8/46||18/64||49/1.9||Not the best period to go|
|June||11/52||21/70||49/1.9||Good period to go|
|July||13/55||23/73||47/1.9||Good period to go|
|August||13/55||23/73||51/2.0||Good period to go|
|September||10/50||20/68||52/2.0||Good period to go|
|October||7/45||16/61||70/2.8||Not the best period to go|
|November||4/39||11/52||61/2.4||Not the best period to go|
|December||2/36||8/46||57/2.2||Not the best period to go|
The London Heathrow Airport is located 22 kilometres (14 miles) west of the city centre.
London's public transport system is efficient and convenient but relatively expensive compared with those in other cities.
London's rapid transit network comprises a total of 12 lines. Most of these lines operate from 5 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. Monday to Saturday and 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. on Sunday. The single adult fare for travel in zones 1 and 2 is GBP 4.90.
The Visitor Travel Card VTC is an efficient and inexpensive way to use the subway. With this paper card, you can travel the capital unlimited for 1, 3 or 7 days. Zones 1 and 2 cover all of London's city centre, as well as most places of touristic interest. Starting from GBP 12.70 for a 1-day card in zones 1-2. The VTC card is also valid on the bus.
The Visitor Oyster Card is also an affordable way to use the subway. This smart card is sold online (GBP 5 non-refundable deposit). You credit a chosen amount (GBP 10, GBP 15, GBP 20 to a maximum of GBP 50) to be used in all zones of transportation. Fares will thus be debited as you use the card.
London's old-fashioned, bright red double-decker buses are a tourist attraction in their own right and can be a much more enjoyable way to discover the city than using the Underground. The adult fare is GBP 1.50 when using a TravelCard or a Visitor Oyster card. Note that certain lines only run during the day, from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. (approximately). Special night buses (numbers preceded by the letter "N") begin their service before the Underground closes for the day.
London metered black taxi cabs are easily recognizable. They all have orange “For Hire” signs on their roofs that light up when the cab is available. They are also very convenient, because they are particularly roomy (fitting up to five people). The minimum fare is GBP 2.40 at all times.
Please note: Some taxis accept credit or debit cards, but there is a processing charge.
Renting a car in London is a very bad idea. Parking garages are exceedingly expensive and the city's congestion charge applies each time you enter certain central areas of the city. London is clearly doing everything within its power to discourage unnecessary car use by its residents. It makes sense to follow their example!
A cruise on the Thames is also an excellent way to explore London. Circular Cruise operates sightseeing boats plying the river east from Westminster Pier to St. Katharine's Pier near the Tower of London, before making the return trip in the opposite direction. Round-trip tickets cost between GBP 15.25 per adult.
Upon your arrival in London, you can get in touch with local tourism professionals for further information and to help organize your stay.Official Visitor Guide to London
Offers practical information and useful recommendations (accommodation, restaurants, public transport, festivals, cultural events, etc.).
London's Tourist Information Centres offer helpful information and recommendations for your stay in London and its surrounding area. Listed below are the main addresses:
The official website developed and maintained by Visit Britain, the main UK tourist board, provides a wealth of information on London.
The currency used in the United Kingdom is the Pound Sterling (GBP).
$1 = £0.76
£1 = $1.32
The above exchange rate is given for information because is variable.
See your doctor before you travel. London counts several hospitals and medical institutions, as well as quality medical practitioners and health specialists. It is recommended that you obtain insurance covering health care expenses as well as medical evacuation or repatriation before you leave home.Vaccinations
There are no vaccination requirements for visitors to the United Kingdom.
For more information, contact Air France's international vaccination centre:
Tap water is safe to drink in London.
Citizens or nationals of several countries must carry a visa to enter the United Kingdom.
For further information, visit the website of the United Kingdom’s Government Digital Service: www.gov.uk/check-uk-visa/y
To enjoy peace of mind during your stay in London, visit the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of your country.
In London as in the rest of the United Kingdom, there are no fixed rules for tipping. At restaurants, a service charge is sometimes included in the bill. Otherwise, it is customary to tip about 15% of the bill, unless you are not satisfied with the service. A 10 to 15% tip is also expected by taxi drivers.