London is a city without shortages. Steeped in rich historical
traditions, a global center for business, finance, arts, and culture, there are
endless reasons to visit this diverse and sprawling city. The modern city lies,
which has been a major settlement for two millennia, lies along the River
Thames, and has managed to both modernize and maintain it’s architectural
historical gems. Over 16 million international visitors come to London every
year, making it Europe’s most visited city. With excellent transportation
systems, tourist-friendly maps, and generally charming people, there is little
in the way of having an excellent time in London. There are endless interesting
things to discover and here are some few facts showing the dynamism of London.
25 Interesting Travel Facts about London
Inside the Palace of Westminster there are 8
bars. There are also 6 restaurants, 1,000 rooms, 100
staircases, 11 courtyards, and a rifle-shooting range.
Many people think Big Ben is the clock tower. However, it
is actually the bell. It chimes in the key of E.
London has had the names: Londonium, Ludenwic, and
Ludenburg, in the past.
These are actual street names in London: Ha Ha Road,
Hooker’s Road, Quaggy Walk, and Cyclops Mews!
Beneath Cleopatra’s Needle, there is said to be a time
capsule that dates back to 1878. The contents are allegedly cigars, a
razor, a portrait of Queen Victoria, newspapers, and pictures of attractive
women of the time.
Famous intellectuals including Voltaire, Edgar Allen Poe,
Mahatma Gandhi, Sigmund Freud, Vincent Van God, and Ho Chi Minh, all spent
time living in London.
Harrods used to sell cocaine. They stopped sales in 1916.
Each year the Christmas tree at Trafalgar Square is
donated by the people of Oslo, Norway. This is a continued thanks for
assistance during World War II.
The actual city limits of London has only a population of
7,000. However, the Greater London area, has 8.3 million residents.
London has the 5th or 6th largest GDP in the world.
Rankings vary by source.
Almost 3 million people of the greater London population
are foreign-born. After New York City, it has the greatest numerical
The tourism industry in London employs about 350,000
full-time workers. Yearly tourist revenue is around Ł15 billion.
Daniel Day Lewis, Michael Faraday, John Keats, David
Beckham, David Bowie, Alfred Hitchcock, and Charlie Chaplin are some of the
most famous people from London.
The Shard is the tallest skyscraper in the European
Union. It is 72 stories and 309 meters high. It was erected on July 5, 2012,
in time for the London Olympics.
London Heathrow airport is the world’s busiest
airport measured by international passenger traffic.
The Monument for the Great Fire of London in 1966 is the
tallest stand-alone stone column in the world. It stands at 62 meters tall.
London has the largest wheel-chair accessible bus network
in the world.
At Leinster Gardens in Paddington there are 2 houses, 23
and 24, which are solely used for the purposes of hiding the Tube line. The
windows are painted on the walls.
The intersection of Marble arch and Edgware road is the
former site of Tyburn Tree. This was London’s official location for
executing people. Over 50,000 people were hanged there.
The exact center of London is marked by a plaque in the
Church of St Martin’s-in-the-Fields, which is nearby Traflagar Square.
In 1811 London became the first city in the world to
reach a population of one million people. Until 1957, when it was overtaken
by Tokyo, it was the world’s largest city.
The Dome in London, used to house Millennium
celebrations, is the largest building in its category. It could fit the
Great Pyramid of Giza or the Statue of Liberty inside.
London has over 800 bookshops and more than 380 public
libraries. This includes the British Library, where the Magna Carta can be
One third of all of the United Kingdom’s archives are
located in the National Archives in London. The materials date back to the
In the 18th century, one could bring a cat or dog to the
London zoo as an alternative to paying admission. The pet would be used to
feed the lions.
10 Unique Facts about London
London has a collection of numerous underground rivers. They are
tributaries of River Thames and River Lea, which now flow through
The smallest house in London is three-and-a-half-feet wide. It is part of the Tyburn Convent in Hyde Park Place, where many nuns live.
There is a statue of George Washington in Traflagar Square. Supposedly it
lies atop American soil because Washington vowed to never set a foot in England.
Jeremy Bentham was a law reformed who donated his estate to London’s
University College in 1832. His only demands were that he could attend the
meeting of the university’s board of governors. An effigy of sorts is still
brought to meetings.
Approximately 80,000 umbrellas are lost in the underground each year.
The Great Fire of London destroyed nearly all of the city. However, only six
In 1662 the first performance of a Punch and Judy puppet show commence at
Convent Garden. There is an annual puppet show each year.
In order to become a black cab taxi driver in London you have to pass a
rigorous test. The information one must know includes every street and notable
building within six miles from Charing Cross. This process can take 2-4 years.
Dying in the Palace of Westminster is considered illegal.
Putting a postage stamp that has a photograph of the queen’s head on it
upside down is considered treason.
10 Food Facts about London
British people eat over 11.5 billion sandwiches annually.
Once a week in London Burger King sells a burger made with Waygu Beef, white
truffles, Pata Negra ham, and Cristal champagne onion straws. The burger goes
for $200 and raises money for different local charities.
Sticky Toffee Pudding originally comes from Scotland, but is very popular in
London. Moist sponge cake is stuffed with raisins or dates and coated in a
toffee sauce and custard ice cream.
The British people eat two times as many baked beans as Americans do each
The official Full English Breakfast includes sausages, eggs, mushrooms,
tomatoes, blood pudding, potatoes and toast.
22% of all of Britain’s restaurants are in London. Over 6,000 licensed
restaurants with menus deriving from over 50 country cuisines exist in the city.
There are also 36 Michelin star rated restaurants.
London has a tradition of taking tea breaks that dates back 200 years.
million cups are drunk daily and 60 billion are drunk per year. 98% of tea is
taken with milk.
The British tradition of afternoon tea is comprised not just of tea. Also
common are finger sandwiches, scones with condiments, and an assortment of
Rock and Sole Plaice is London’s oldest fish & chips shop. They have been in
operation since 1871. 382 million portions of fish & chips are sold every year.
Eton Mess is a dessert named after a boys school. The after-meal treat is a
mix of crushed merengue, cream and strawberries.
10 Cultural Facts about London
Arsenal, the football team, has a Tube station named after the club. It used
to be called Gillespie Road but was changed in 1932 when the football club moved
to North London.
Chess Boxing is a new and emerging sport in London. It is played by playing a
round of chess and then a round of boxing. It also has popularity in Germany.
David Bowie, Iron Maiden, The Clash, Led Zeppelin, The Who, Pink Floyd,
Queen, Fleetwood Mac, and The Sex Pistols all got their starts in London in the
1960s and 1970s.
More than 300 different languages are spoken within Greater London.
The British Museum was the first museum establishment in London created in
1753. Now the city has over 240 museums, galleries, and other art institutions.
Every year London hosts the famous Notting Hill Festival. The event, which is
the world’s second largest carnival, takes place in August. It is devoted to
Afro-Caribbean culture, and over one million people attend annually.
London is famous for its theatre. It has over 36 major theatres, and has the
biggest theatre audience in the world.
The Museum of London is the largest urban history museum in the world. It
chronicles the history of London from Prehistoric times to contemporary times.
There are over 17,000 museum performances spread out over London’s numerous
venues each year.
London has more live comedy shows than any other city in the world.
10 Historical Facts about London
The world's first traffic was made it London. It went up outside the House of
Commons in 1868. Unfortunately, the next year it blew up and the policeman who
was operating it was badly injured.
The English Parliament abolished Christmas in 1647, making it a sad year with
Prior to 1907, London busses were painted in different shades and colors.
they are all red.
People used to be allowed to walk across a walkway atop Tower Bridge.
However, access was halted in 1910 supposedly because of prostitutes.
Henry II was given a polar bear as a gift by the King of Norway in 1251. The
King kept the bear in the Tower of London. He secured a chain around the bear
and allowed it to swim in the Thames.
Gay men in London created a secret slang language in the 1800s. They did so
to communicate without being arrested.
Two London Bible printers made a serious misprint in the year 1631. Leaving
out the word “not,” the 7th amendment read “Thou shalt commit adultery.” Copies
of this bible run for $90,000.
In the 1700s, 20% of all the women in London were prostitutes.
The first theatre in London was constructed in 1576. William Shakespeare’s
plays were performed here as well as many other venues.
London opened the world’s first public zoo in the year 1828.
A Clockwork Orange, Full Metal Jacket, and Oliver! were all shot in the
neighborhood of East London.
The police buildup for the London 2012 Olympics was the
increase since World War II.
British Airways initially had a difficult time putting the London Eye up in
the air. Competitor, Virgin, flew an aircraft over London that said, “BA Can’t
Get It Up!”
The Times of London commissioned the font Times New Roman in 1931. The
creation was a result of being accused of having bad printing and antiquated
typography. Now it is the default setting for many word processing systems.
The Russian Olympic team arrived 12 days late to the London Olympics in 1908.
The reason being they had not started using the Gregorian calendar.
The days between September 3 and September 14 1752 went unobserved and do not
officially exist. This is because the country was changing from the Julian
calendar to the Gregorian calendar.
The nursery rhyme Pop Goes the Weasel is in reference to people pawning their
suits after spending all of their money in the pubs of Clerkenwell.
In London it is illegal to have sex on a parked motorcycle, to beat a carpet
in a public park, or impersonate a Chelsea pensioner.
In 1814 a huge beer vat erupted and 388,000 gallons flooded the streets of
An estimated half a million mice live in The Underground in London.
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