Experience The Latest Happenings with a London Vacation
Teeming with historic architecture, unforgettable landmarks and world-class museums, London is one of the most iconic cities on the globe. A vibrant, cosmopolitan cultural hub, it is also always a step ahead of the latest trend.
Are you drawn to history and heritage? Or perhaps are you looking to explore the city’s cutting-edge art and fashion scene? Whether you're traveling as a family, or just want to enjoy a city break with your other half, the capital of the United Kingdom offers an alluring parade of attractions for everyone.
What to do in London
A hub of all things from art to politics, and sports to food, diversity is always on the menu. With so much to see and do, planning your days by neighborhood is a strategic way to check off your list.
Get Your Culture Fix
You could spend your entire vacation exploring the halls of London’s free museums and still not see it all. But if there’s one museum you should add to your must-see list, it’s the British Museum. The largest museum in the UK and one of the oldest museums in the world, the British Museum houses treasures such as the Rosetta Stone and Parthenon sculptures. Stop by to discover artifacts from around the world that shaped the understanding of history and cultures.
Curious about fossils and dinosaurs? Get up close and personal with prehistoric specimens at the iconic Natural History Museum in Kensington. After walking your way through the eras and marveling at the giant blue whale skeleton, you’ll be perfectly positioned for a stroll through Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park. Just minutes away, fashionistas will appreciate a visit to the V&A, an art and design museum housing fashion garments throughout the centuries, as well as textiles and ceramics.
Art buffs should take some time to explore one of the finest collections of paintings in the world at the National Gallery. There, you’ll be able to see masterpieces such as Van Gogh’s ‘Sunflowers’ or Cézanne’s ‘Bathers’ (to name a few) with your own eyes. Two other fine options are the Tate Britain and the Tate Modern. The former houses British artistic works, and can be found in Pimlico where you’ll surely enjoy a pre or post-museum stroll through garden squares and secluded parks, as well as along quiet sections of the Thames. If you prefer out-of-the-box forms of artistic expression, make a beeline for the Tate Modern on the South Bank, otherwise known as the most visited art gallery in the world. After you’ve had your fill, head to the tenth floor to grab some great views of St. Paul's Cathedral across the River.
If your interests lie more in the performance arts, you’re also in for a treat. From brand new musicals to classic productions and the latest plays, the West End — also known as Theatreland, the equivalent to New York’s Broadway — is the place to see the hottest London shows. Looking for something classical instead? Catch your favorite Shakespearean plays at the Globe theatre. Alternatively, you could spend an evening of theatre or music at the Southbank Centre or National Theatre on the bustling South Bank of the River Thames. A must for music lovers, the iconic Royal Albert Hall in South Kensington plays host to thousands of shows every year. And if you’re in town in the summer, don’t miss the Proms — an eight-week summer season of daily music that is intrinsically British!
Where to Shop for the Best Souvenirs
From shopping for high-end brands to picking up eclectic mementos, London’s shopping scene is anything but humdrum.
Start your day in Harrods, London's most famous luxury department store. With its fascinating architecture and bedazzling assortment of jewelry, home furnishings, year-round Christmas inspiration, and much more, the Knightsbridge store is a London landmark not to be missed!
More ritzy shopping can be done in the Mayfair district, where label hunters can stock up on designer pieces. For international brands, walk down Oxford Street and Regent Street, where you can spend the day winding in and out of recognizable favorites. And if you do shop until you drop, the area features ample spas for a little refresh.
If you’re more into souvenirs of the peculiar variety, a walk through London’s hippest neighborhoods is just the ticket. Your first stop should be the Old Spitalfields, London’s longest-standing Victorian market, located in the East End. This indoor shopping experience brings together fashion, antiques, crafts, and food, with local vendors opening their stalls 7 days of the week. If you live for vintage discoveries, be sure to walk down to the nearby Brick Lane — a favorite amongst artistic types. Once a slum, the alternative area begs you to explore its basement thrift stores, quirky boutiques, and hidden alleys.
Get Your Taste Buds Ready for a Treat
With the emergence of gastropubs, gourmet food markets, and fine dining restaurants, the fare in London is certainly not what it used to be. The city’s emergence as a foodie destination has brought with it a wave of epicurean options from Brixton to Marylebone, leaving the stereotypical images of roast beef and potatoes behind.
For seats at the most sought-after restaurants in London, take a look into the food scene in Marylebone and Fitzrovia. Once overshadowed by Mayfair and Soho, the northern neighborhoods now please the palates of local and foreign foodies.
If you’re interested in that British pub experience but prefer your plate with a serving of elegance, London’s gastropubs are sure to inspire. A fusion between comforting pub grub and 5-star finesse, these elaborate menus rival those of the poshest restaurants in the city. Be sure to ask your personal concierge for their favorites!
Looking to indulge in a quintessentially British afternoon tea? Treat yourself to afternoon tea with a view at the Shard — Europe's tallest building no less!
London’s food scene wouldn’t be complete without its fragrant food halls and international eateries in the city’s up-to-the-minute districts. In Brixton, follow your nose to the Brixton Village and Market Row — the perfect places to taste different flavors from around the world. Looking to cook at home? Borough Market in London Bridge is the place for fresh produce, homemade bread, and delicious spreads and jellies. Your concierge can arrange a private cooking class, where you and your guide will first stop at the market to scout for the makings of an irresistible dish.
Stand-Out Sights Not to Miss
It should come as no surprise that the international hub falls victim to some pretty serious traffic, especially during rush hour. Our solution? Hop on a ferry cruise down the winding Thames river for unforgettable (and less crowded) views of London’s iconic landmarks. Many of these boats serve spirits, while some serve elegant multi-course dinners. Hop aboard and catch a leisurely glimpse of the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, the London Eye, and Tower Bridge, set against a sunset sky of pinks and oranges.
Pining for greenery? London will spoil you with its many parks. Catch a break and relax in Kensington Gardens, boat around the Serpentine in Hyde Park, or throw down your picnic blanket in St James's Park! And if you’re about catching those views, explore Primrose Hill and Hampstead Heath for a towering outlook on the city.
For a taste of the royal life, make sure to visit Buckingham Palace, the Queen’s official London residence. A mid-day changing of the guards routine is probably the most action you’ll witness from inside the palace gates, but it’s a quintessentially English experience.
And if you are a fan of the Beatles, London gives you a chance to see some of the most important spots in the band's history. Make sure to visit the Abbey Road studios, where the Beatles recorded their 1969 album. And while you’re at it, walk across the zebra crossing at Abbey Road and Grove End Road if only for a frame-worthy photo. Still can’t get enough? Ask your concierge for a private Beatles tour of the city.
Discover Beautiful Vacation Rentals in London By Neighborhood
Our luxurious vacation rentals in London are scattered throughout some of the most in-demand neighborhoods and come equipped with high-end amenities to help you recharge after a long day sightseeing.
For a dreamy mix of entertainment, fine dining, and traditional English charisma, stay in the residential area of Notting Hill. For a picturesque stroll, take a wander through Little Venice, then walk along the water all the way into Camden. Along the banks, you’ll spot colorful boat houses, quaint bakeries, and wistful wrought iron bridges. Perfectly located for exploring London, our high-end Notting Hill apartments feature modern layouts with vintage touches like high ceilings and decorative moldings, creating a homey environment. And if you’re visiting in August, you’ll be right in the heart of the Notting Hill Carnival, a Caribbean celebration chock-full of dancing, music, and fun.
Looking to stay in the West End? Soho’s urban vibe and refined vacation rentals are the place to be. The LGBT friendly neighborhood ensures a vibrant nightlife, with many fine dining options close by. Not only will you be near London’s main theaters, you’ll also be perfectly positioned to go shopping in Covent Garden or Regent Street, enjoy a meal in Chinatown, walk down Whitehall to Parliament Square to see the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben, and stroll down the Mall to Buckingham Palace. After packing your day with must-see sights, you’ll surely appreciate the serenity of one of our Soho luxury rentals.
Would you rather stay close to London’s world-class museums, beautiful Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens, and excellent dining and shopping spots? Opt for one of our luxury rentals in Chelsea. Renowned for its elegant architecture, chic boutiques, and serene village atmosphere, the exclusive neighborhood and birthplace of the 'Swinging Sixties' makes a great base for exploring London on foot.
In Pimlico, you’ll be equally well placed along the Thames, and near many of the main attractions, from the Tate Britain to Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, and Westminster Abbey. Our elegant holiday rentals in the area are close to the riverside walking path, a fine place to venture for an evening stroll.