London is a diverse and exciting city with some of the world's best sights, attractions and activities.
Visiting London In December
Visit London in December to discover a winter wonderland for adults and children alike.This is one of the most exciting times of year to visit the capital, with a host of winter activities to suit all ages.
London's shopping streets are decorated with sparkling Christmas lights, and the stores are full of gift hunters finishing off their Christmas shopping. Christmas markets also make a welcome appearance this month, offering charming crafts and excellent food, not to mention a festive atmosphere and plenty of warming mulled wine.
The seasonal nostalgia continues in Trafalgar Square, where the capital's biggest Christmas tree glistens, donated each year as a gift from the city of Oslo. Carol services are held around the tree throughout the month.
Christmas and New Year are the perfect excuse for a party and London is certainly not lacking in places to let your hair down. From vast nightclubs with the hottest DJs to sophisticated cocktail bars, the city's party venues are many and varied. You'll find delicious celebratory menus in most London restaurants too.
Little ones will be in awe of Hyde Park Winter Wonderland, a feast of festive fun with ice skating, a Ferris wheel, stalls brimming with toys and sweets and, of course, Santa's grotto.
For a bit more festive fun, check out the annual Great Christmas Pudding Race in Covent Garden on 5th December, where you can cheer on appropriately dressed teams attempting to make round an obstacle course without dropping their puddings.
Even on Christmas Day, London offers a must-see event: the Peter Pan Cup. Not just any normal swimming race, it sees hardy members of the Serpentine Swimming Club compete in the icy waters of the Serpentine lake in Hyde Park.
London's famous fireworks display at the London Eye happens every year. In 2014, the New Year's Eve fireworks were ticketed for the first time. Check back nearer the time for details of ticketing for the 2015 New Year's Eve fireworks. You can also watch the fireworks broadcast live on BBC One, and there are still lots of great things to do in London on New Year's Eve.
Before you visit London, you'll need to know the basics. Here are some useful facts and tips to help you plan your trip provided by www.visitlondon.com.
Capital of Britain
London is the political, economic and cultural capital of Britain. You can visit the Queen's official residence at Buckingham Palace and tour the Houses of Parliament, historic home of the UK government.
London is incredibly well-connected, with five international airports and the high-speed Eurostar rail link. More than 50 countries are within a three-hour flight time and upwards of 300 international destinations have direct links to London.
London is a city at the centre of the world – and a world in one city. Around 230 languages are spoken here and you'll find a wealth of different cultures and communities throughout the capital.
London's history stretches back over thousands of years, and the city boasts four World Heritage Sites: the Palace of Westminster and Westminster Abbey, the Tower of London, Maritime Greenwich and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
London's world-class tourist attractions are renowned across the globe. Many of the most famous attractions are free to visit, for example Tate Modern, the National Gallery and the Victoria and Albert Museum.
The river Thames runs through the heart of London, from Richmond in the west, through the central London borough of Westminster, to Greenwich in the east. London river cruises and river buses are a great way to see the city.
About one third of London is devoted to parks and open spaces, so there are plenty of places to relax on fine days. Make sure you visit The Royal Parks as well as Hampstead Heath in North London, which offers amazing views over the city.
There are more than 6,000 restaurants in London so you'll never be short of new places to eat. London boasts 65 Michelin-starred restaurants and many celebrity chefs are based here, and there are plenty of good, cheaper options too.
According to the Globe Shopper City Index, London is Europe's best shopping destination. Whether you head to the West End, Westfield Stratford City or a quirky London market, there's a huge range of places to buy gifts, fashion and food.
Want to bring your kids to London? They'll have a great time. London is full of child-friendly attractions, and many – including the Science Museum and Natural History Museum – are free to visit. See our Family Activities section for more ideas.
Whether you want to stay in a well-known 5-star hotel, a cosy bed and breakfast or a cheap backpackers' hostel, London offers a wide range of quality accommodation. You can browse and book accommodation in our Where to Stay section.
London's fantastic transport system, with its Tube, red buses and black taxis, will enable you to get around the city quickly and easily. Why not buy an Oyster Card in advance and download a free Tube map to help you plan your days out?
London's facilities for disabled visitors are constantly improving, with more accessible attractions, restaurants, tours and transport. For more details visit our Accessible London pages or the DisabledGo website.
- Visiting London for the First Time
Check out our top tips for making your first trip to London easy and fun. Get ready for the London holiday of a lifetime
- VisionAir Video Guide to London
Experience a day in the life of London with VisionAir's video guide to the capital. Includes practical tips and top sights
The London Pass is the ultimate sightseeing package which allows holders fast track entry to over 60+ top London attractions and tours including the Tower of London, Westminster Abbey, the London Bridge Experience, a Thames River Cruise and many more. EIP conference attendees benefit from a 10% discount using the promo code EIPLONDON10. To see the attractions included in The London Pass, look at our map here http://www.londonpass.com/london-tourist-map/