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May 2014

TRAVEL GUIDE: Make Your Way through Quirky, Pulsating & Historical London


london eye


The City of London is huge megalopolis that is very vibrant, multicultural and very noisy. It is a city where Australian travellers will feel very much at home. After all, the first Western settlers in Australia came from Great Britain. London has some of the great museums and art galleries in the world, more than 300 venues for the performing arts, over 6,000 restaurants, 65 of which are Michelin-starred and four World Heritage Sites, including the Palace of Westminster and Westminster Abbey. The Palace of Westminster is the other name of the Houses of Parliament and is the largest palace in England. It has eight bars and six restaurants. The prices here are kept cheap, so you can indulge.

Best museums and monuments

London bridge

You can enter most of the Museums and art galleries in London for free. The British Museum showcases global history with its huge collection. Victoria and Albert Museum has a cacophony of visual arts, ranging from sculptures to portraits to photography and ceramics. The National History Museum contains a large collection of flora and fauna, while the Science Museum has ancient and modern scientific discoveries, artefacts and more. Some of the art works from the great masters of old are at the National Gallery. The building that houses Tate Modern is awe- inspiring already, a precursor to the very impressive modern art collection it holds inside. Also, do not miss the great view from London Eye, the 900-year old Tower of London and Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, Tower Bridge and St. Paul’s Cathedral. And be among the celebrities of the world at Madame Tussauds.


Best places to shop


Check out the London sample sales to get huge discounts on designer clothes and other items that may not see production. Look for the pop-shops such as Boxpark, which sell trendy clothes for about a month or just during the weekend. If you cannot find these types of shops, there are still plenty of options. For hip clothing and fashionable, casual and everyday wear, check out the shops in Covent Garden and King’s Road, Portobello Road markets & Brick lane.

portobello road

Best London pubs


For a pint or two of the London brew and things gastronomic, here are some of the best. The Mayflower sure has plenty of history because it has stood up in its spot for ages. If you like things German, visit Zeitgeist London. For something with a quirky feel, from sundries to stuffed animals, great entertainment and Thai cuisine, go to Sir Richard Steele. For good food, fun and flavoured beers, try out Greenwich Union.


From London to Paris by train

Paris train

Paris is just two hours and thirty minutes by train from London via Eurostar, whose trains linking London to Paris and vice versa travel undersea via the Channel Tunnel. Its London terminus is at St Pancras International. Return tickets start at £69. The first train leaves St Pancras at 5:40 in the morning. For Australians, here are a few tips. Eurostar conducts ticket scanning procedure through a turnstile machine. After this you go to the passport control. Since you do not have a European Union passport, you have to fill up a declaration card for the British Immigration control, then pass through a French Immigration control before you go through the security screening process – very much like the processes you go through at an international airport.

Some useful tips


London is a mighty crowded city and the best way to get around is either by walking or via public transport. If it is the latter, it will save you time and money to buy a Travelcard or an Oyster card, as any of these will allow you to board public transport as well as provide you with free entrance to some of London’s top attractions. Plan your itinerary carefully so you can see the best of London’s destinations without rushing and take the time to relax and enjoy the views at some of the famous parks in London.



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