London is famous for more than its magnificent ancient buildings, the Palace of Westminster, Trafalgar Square, Tower of London, London Eye, Art Galleries, and Big Ben. As the capital city of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, London is well known for influencing other cities of the world since the Middle Ages.
When you walk around London, you see many things from the early history of the world that evokes both curiosity and excitement. You also see a warren of narrow streets, old boats on the river Thames, old tunnels, to name but a few. Some people stand, stare, and start dreaming because London is known as the city of dreams that arouses emotions and joy.
Is London the Most Famous City in the World?
Without a doubt, London is not only the most famous but also the most dynamic city in the world. It has characteristics that other major cities in the world don’t have, and they are all very easy to see.
Here is Why London is so Famous
London is an ancient city, originally made up of two ancient cities, known as the City of London and the City of Westminster. The City of London is the oldest part of London, established as a settlement in 43 AD by the Romans.
The City of London is one square mile and independent with its flag, police force, ceremonial army, and governed by a Lord Mayor.
Surprisingly, if Her Majesty wanted to enter the City of London, her office needs to get the Lord Mayor’s permission first. Considering just that, you can understand why London is so famous and a city with such a unique setting.
The City of Westminster accommodates the British parliament also known as the Palace of Westminster. Both ancient cities that makeup London hold significant power in world politics, business, and finance.
Whatever you think about a great city, nowhere in the world except in London, you will find medieval buildings and modern ones stand side by side and complement each other.
London is no longer known only for its vast midsized old buildings because many unique skyscrapers are springing up everywhere, and it boggles so many minds.
The overcrowded streets and alleyways may not be ideal for everyone, but the busy atmosphere makes shopping in London an incredible adventure.
London is a city full of character. It doesn’t matter which boredom threshold those who travel to London have they find pleasure in this city. London has a million things to do and places to see.
From the famous museums, or landmarks, to the little-known nooks and crannies of daily life that make up the city’s multi-faceted identity, London boasts an endless stream of exciting activities to get everyone engaged.
It also has nightlife and lots of entertainment, squares, cathedrals, castles, and of course, countless pubs. London has everything it is difficult to feel bored.
London is also well known for its rich history, strong financial services industry, quirky villages, arts, cocktail bars, and many more. That explains why so many people from around the world are keen to visit or live in London.
Is London a Country?
No, it is not! But surprisingly, a lot of people believe that London is a country because of its popularity. It is also understandable when many get confused about London being a country, and this is why:
On a wide range of measures, London is more of a country than a city. More people live in London than the 8.3 million in Scotland and Wales put together, two self-governing regions described as nations within the UK.
London is a very dominant and extremely wealthy city. So much money is made every day in the British capital. It has the most dynamic and productive economy in the whole of the UK. With just 13% of the British population, London contributes almost 30% to the UK economy.
Many wealthy people from around the world come to invest and live in this great city. Its labour market is enormous, and it is so easy to find a job in London than anywhere else in the UK, Continental Europe, or other places.
No other city can demonstrate the same level of power and influence London has in the world. It has many top Universities, the best financial industry in the world, and a business intensity you don’t find in other major cities.
The City of London is the world’s premier financial and business center — More foreign currency trading deals are done daily in London than anywhere else. The city also attracts many foreign business people and investors, particularly in the real estate sector.
Other major cities have tried and failed for years to emulate the success of London.
London is very huge, with an area equivalent to 607 square miles or 1572 square kilometers. Its population in 2019 was over 8.8 million people, but that is expected to grow by:
9.54 million in 2026
9.84 million in 2031
10.11 million in 2036
London is the best city in the world that attracts people of all kinds, but it appeals more to young people from everywhere. It is a city that supports education, sports, entrepreneurship and has a fantastic entertainment atmosphere.
Nearly half of the population in London is relatively young. The average age is 35.6 years, compared with 40.3 years in the rest of the UK. More than one in every ten people who live in London are between 30 and 34 years old.
London is Famous for its Role in International Trade
There are many more things associated with London. History shows London has been the epicentre of international trade for hundreds of years. It developed its role as a leading city in international trading during the British Empire. Because of that, London has a lot of historical global trading knowledge.
Today it remains a highly influential actor in global trade. It is a city that embraces innovation, new technology, and science. This allows London to adapt to the ever-changing environment in international trade.
The video below gives a perfect vantage point from which to see and gain a bit more understanding of what arguably makes London the most famous city in the world.
London is Famous for Multiculturalism
London is an introduction to nearly every culture in the world. It is not the capital city only for the United Kingdom but also the global one that has been since the Roman empire.
The culture in London is not a monolith. Its residents are diverse, composed of different nationalities, religions, and cultures that use more than 300 various languages.
For example, aside from English the native Londoners’ language, more than 45,000 of its inhabitants speak Turkish, 43,000 speak Gujarati, over 12,000 speak Arabic, more than 22,000 speak Punjabi in London, and these are just a few.
Also, many fascinating things are emerging because of multiculturalism in London. Among those is the ever-changing London urban vernacular.
English is evolving every day on the streets of London as people of various ethnic groups intermingle. There are always new words and slang coming up, which is very captivating but sometimes confusing to those who are not Londoners.
All those things have turned London into a melting pot of cultures, and it is a wonderland that has something for everyone. You can find every type of food from around the world in London.
It’s the most multicultural city on the planet – where mixed cultures work well together. For many people who come to London in droves, the appeal is to live in a city that is full of opportunities, with highly diverse but connected people.
London keeps developing into a more beautiful and vibrant modern city, filled with elegant architecture. But, its breathtaking green parks and historical buildings are well preserved for everyone to come and enjoy.
London is Famous for Green Spaces
London is the best city to live in for everyone who enjoys green spaces. It has the most beautiful and extravagant gardens, and woodlands compared to other major sprawling cities in the world.
London is famous for its green parks. The British capital has a mix of large and small parks, located on every angle of this great city. It also has several open and obscured green spaces where you can escape from the busy streets and enjoy the pleasures of being in the countryside.
In terms of the city where people want to live and work, London stands out from other major global cities with its abundance of green spaces and parks. Londoners have so many options to choose from where to meet, work, and exchange ideas.
Whatever you need to escape from the crush of a hectic city, London has all the beautiful and quiet spaces for anyone to relax and feel comfortable.
Walking through some parts of London is like strolling in the countryside. It’s the only city in the world where you can find small green pretty villages with some extraordinary history.
The weather in London might not be the best, but that doesn’t deter people who come in droves every year for various reasons.
London is Famous for its Attractions
There are many famous things in London from the remarkable historical sites to modern architecture, world-class Museums, and unparalleled tourist attractions – London has all.
- Statues of Notability in London
There are hundreds of statues in London, some of which are enormous and grand. But some are much less obvious and must be seen to be believed. All cities will have a ‘smallest statue’ but few would likely be able to boast one as tiny as the smallest statue in London.
On Philpot Lane, a miniature statue of two mice munching on some cheese was erected in memory of two builders who lost their lives after arguing over a sandwich.
The pair plummeted to their death after falling atop the monument they were building. The missing sandwich was neither of their faults but rather that of a significant infestation of mice!
Outside Edgware station is one of the most obscure but lesser-known statues in London. Installed in 1990, this statue of a window cleaner with a small ladder looks up at the ginormous building in front of him.
It is said that the statue is there to represent the fact that one should always keep one gaze upwards.
If you love looking for hidden treasures, then the works of Jonesy, a renowned street artist in London, can be found all around the city. These are small sculptures and statues that often have a theme around the environment.
Most statues are designed from bronze, and this is because the artist has a connection with a bell foundry.
However, Jonesy is also known to create wooden carvings and incredible murals painted on high up walls and unassuming places. It is truly one of the great joys of visiting London.
You may have even walked the streets and seen an original Jonesy piece without even knowing it.
We cannot talk about famous things in London without mentioning the colossal ArcelorMittal Orbit. It is the tallest and most magnificent sculpture in the UK at the time of writing. It was recently opened to the public in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford.
The Orbit sculpture is a fine example of contemporary art, and it is hardly surprising when you learn that one of the artists that created the piece has won the Turner Prize! The statue sits at an incredible 114.5 meters and weighs more than 2000 tonnes.
Constructed from steel and being nothing short of an eye-catching modern wonder, the sculpture draws in thousands of people every day wanting to marvel at what is truly an artistic achievement.
- Buckingham Palace
There are so many famous places of interest in London and the list of London attractions is so overwhelming. Buckingham Palace is one of the most famous and a popular London attraction.
Many people believe that the Queen lives in Buckingham Palace. Yes, she spends a lot of time there. But the palace is more like an office for her than a home.
The palace was built in 1703 but, despite being owned by the royals, it wasn’t used as a royal residence until Queen Victoria ascended the throne and decided that it was a palace fit for royalty.
Since then, many royals have called the palace home but, Queen Elizabeth II calls Windsor Castle home.
She has her private apartment in the monumental building and having spent many happy years there as a child it is little wonder that she still enjoys staying in the castle today.
The palace is so big it has more than seven hundred rooms inside. These include Staterooms, royal, and guest bedrooms, offices, ballroom, picture gallery, throne room, and a swimming pool.
The Changing of the Queen’s Guard attracts a lot of visitors every day. This happens every day in front of the Buckingham Palace building. The New Guard replaces the existing Old Guard with music played by a military band.
Read also: Why you Must Travel by Thames River Taxi
The Royal Standard which is a royal flag is always hoisted whenever Her Majesty the Queen is in the Palace. The British flag is flown on Buckingham Palace only when the Queen is not inside.
- The Tower of London
The Tower of London is one of the most well-known landmarks in London. It draws in more than 2 million visitors every year. The tower was built back in the 1070s.
It is one of the oldest buildings in London, but there have made many adjustments since then.
One of the most notable things about the Tower of London is not its age or how many people come to see it but rather who is inside.
Many people are familiar with the fact that the precious Crown Jewels are housed here but did you know that the Beefeaters that guard the tower live here too. But not just in any old put up; there are houses in the Tower of London!
Beefeaters, who must have served at least 22 years in the military, and their families are given a home, free of charge in exchange for their services.
When visiting the Tower of London, feel free to chat with one of the Beefeaters to hear more about their exciting life.
As well as live-in guards, the Tower of London is also home to six ravens. In case you didn’t know, ravens are large black birds that, way back when, were believed to have provided protection.
It was Charles II who instilled this belief into the people of the Tower and even to this day, there are always six ravens housed inside.
London is Known for its Arts and Museums
London is famous for its museums and galleries. The city museums are incredibly fascinating. The British Museum houses the biggest collection of more than seven million objects, and it’s the largest in the UK.
Its collection includes artefacts from many civilizations and spans a period of more than two thousand years.
The Natural History Museum is renowned across the world for its impressive collection and a grand entranceway.
However, if you want to see the quirkier side of London, you might be interested in some of the more obscure and unusual museums.
The Cartoon museum celebrates everything to do with the history of British illustration, animation, and cartoons. Visitors see an array of unique and original drawings and books with more than 14,000 different pieces on offer.
Are you a fan of fans? If so, you might enjoy a trip to the Fan Museum, where some of the world’s oldest fans are located. Some of these beautiful designs date back to the 11th century.
But the museum is between two 18th century buildings that also houses a delightful orangery where patrons can indulge in a spot of afternoon tea.
The Freud Museum is inside the Freud family home, who relocated to London during the Second World war. Although Sigmund Freud’s theories may be controversial, there is no doubt that his work has been of interest to millions of people.
Britain has been associated with magic for hundreds of years, with some of the ancient Wiccan traditions giving the impression of magical history. More recently, the success of Harry Potter has drawn millions of tourists to the UK.
The Magic Circle Museum at the Centre for Magic Arts is just another of London’s exciting and unique magical places.
London is Famous for Entertainment and Annual Sports Events
Those who have the taste for modern entertainments, don’t find London lacking in that category
The entertainment scene of the city is certainly one of the highlights for travelers who want to enjoy London.
The West-End part of London is where you can find the best and world’s most diverse theatres featuring a variety of entertainments from fantastic plays, numerous musicals, and other popular London shows.
Apart from theatre performances, there are other London shows and festivals all year round. The Chelsea Flower Show, the Queen’s birthday parade, the Wimbledon tennis Open and many other sports events that take place every year.
Every year, the London marathon brings thousands of people to the British capital city.
London is Famous for a Myriad of Cultural Events
If you want to know more about a myriad of different cultures, then London is one of the best places in the world to do this.
Every year, the city plays host to hundreds of cultural and artistic events all over London, and they cover a diverse range of themes from food to music, art to science, and so much more.
- Chinese New Year in London
With a Chinese population of more than 120,000, it is little wonder that the British capital plays host to such notable Chinese New Year celebrations that take place across the city.
Trafalgar Square is one of the most spectacular Chinese New Year locations in London, with Leicester Square being another. Here you will see hundreds of different acts including, Chinese singers, dancers, and of course, the world-famous dragon dancing that has been synonymous with this global celebration for as far back as we can remember.
Once the entertainment has finished, you can head across to Chinatown, where a dizzying array of food stalls and Chinese delicacies will greet you.
- Covent Garden Festival
Operatic music has played a prominent role in many cultures throughout the centuries, and what better way to celebrate it than with an entire festival?
The Covent Garden Festival takes place throughout May, just as the spring weather begins to allow British people and their visitors to make the most of the ample outdoor space.
- Notting Hill Carnival
If you go to London at the height of summer, in August, then you will be fortunate enough to witness the incredible Notting Hill Carnival. This event started in the 1960s and now it is the biggest carnival in the world.
Notting Hill Carnival is an Afro-Caribbean community celebration of the breath-taking cultures of this part of the world.
More than two million people flock to the city to enjoy the delight that this event brings. It takes place over two days and is a cacophony of brilliant costumes, catchy music, and more than 300 food stands to tickle your tastebuds.
- Pearly Kings and Queens Harvest Festival
Held in October, the Pearly Kings and Queens Harvest Festival sees the Pearlies in all their buttoned glory put on a display that you should not miss.
The harvest service at the church of St Martin in the Fields is the focus of the event, but it also gives visitors a chance to get in touch with a long-standing part of the London culture.
London is Famous for its Fish and Chips
Many visitors who come to the British capital ask , why is London famous for fish and chips? Well, fish and chips are an obligatory part of life in the United Kingdom. And London is unrivalled when it comes to fish and chips, a very popular British dish since the 19th century.
London is well known for inventing fish and chips as a British meal. The first fish and chip shop was opened in London on Cleveland Street in 1860. Today you can get it from everywhere in this great city.
Most restaurants in central London are Fish and chip shops through and through, and fish bars where everyone can get fresh fried fish and chips are scattered all over the British capital. You can also find it in almost every hotel and pub.
If you are in London, you will likely want to experience the unique taste of fish and chips, especially if it is your first time to visit this famous city. With a vast array of fish and chip shops dotted about the city, choosing the best one can be something of a challenge.
But, as Londoners, we know of a few hidden gems where you can enjoy a traditional British fish and chip supper.
- The Chipping Forecast
The Chipping Forecast cleverly named eatery is not only impressive by name but also hugely impressive by nature. Located in one of the most upmarket and desirable neighbuorhoods in London, Notting Hill, you can be sure of a warm welcome and a tasty dish like nothing you will have ever experienced.
You will likely need to book a table, although they offer a takeaway service too so, your options are varied.
Inside the chip shop is a gorgeous shabby chic decor that makes use of recycled furnishings. In terms of food, you will get a fish and chip lunch with crisp, flavoursome batter and fluffy chips.
Unlike many bog-standard chip shops, here you can get your hands on rock oysters, squid, and crab on toast. If you’re a seafood lover, you won’t go far wrong here!
There is also an impressive range of specials including hand-cut chips, seared pork belly, and Cornish steamed mussels. This is truly a mouth-watering dining experience that takes fish and chips to the next level.
- The Fryers Delight
The Fryers Delight is considered the veterans of the fish and chip supper in London. So, if you don’t want an haute cuisine version of fish and chips but something much more traditional, then your options are certainly not limited.
Having been in operation since the 1960s, this chip shop and its staff knows what they are doing, and the result is a hearty, hot fish, and chip dinner like no other.
But don’t take our word it; look at the many awards that this eatery has won, and you will quickly see why it is a firm favourite at lunch time for business, lorry drivers, cabbies, and people from every other walk of life.
- Tea Shops in London
England is famed for its tea. If anyone from across the pond that we have spoken to is of the firm belief that us Brits slurp on a cuppa at any opportunity, and let’s face it, they’re not far wrong.
The British people love a brew in the morning, one before starting work, a few on our tea breaks, and again when we are done.
As such, there is nothing quite like a traditional British tea time. While tea is not grown in this country, it is well-loved.
Tea is so famous in London. Only a few people leave London without tasting the afternoon tea.
London has the best tea bars, shops, and tea rooms in the world – where even strangers can share light-hearted conversation while enjoying a fine cup of tea with freshly baked scones.
- The Twinings Teashop
Twinings is one of the most well-known tea companies, and with a history dating back more than 300 years, it is hardly surprising.
If you have ever sipped a cup of Earl Grey or indulged in a fresh English Breakfast Tea, then you can claim to have had an association with Twinings since this company was the first to develop these blends.
The Twinings tea shop on The Strand is the oldest in the country, and it is here that you can purchase all of your favourite Twinings drinks along with some specials that can only be found here.
Drink tea in the shop or take it away to enjoy in your own time. While you’re here, there is the opportunity to visit the incredible Twinings museum that will give you a great insight into the history of the tea company and the love that the Brits have for a good cuppa!
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- London Restaurants
London offers a warm solace for all types of travellers. The minute you step out of London’s famous airports, the Heathrow or Gatwick, you will be bombarded with a multitude of colours and captivating sights and sounds.
No wonder why it is considered as one of the most important tourist capitals of the world.
Each year, more people come to the tea-drinking capital of the world – not just because of its impressive structures and charm, but also because of the excellent cuisines and superb dining experience that you get from popular London restaurants.
Among the most famous restaurants in London is the Simpson-in-the-Strand – it was the favourite dining place for a former British prime minister Sir Winston Churchill.
- London Bars and Pubs
London is famous for its old pubs that serve ale and all types of lager. It’s impossible to imagine London without thinking of beer. This great city is home to the largest concentration of pubs in the UK, and it’s the reigning cocktail capital of the world.
The pubs have been the mainstay of British culture for the past five centuries.
Londoners can’t imagine life with their pubs. They serve as a haven where relationships and great friendships are guaranteed. And there’s no better place to sit down and chat with friends over a wide range of beers than in London.
The Dickens Inn
Pictured here, the Dickens Inn is one of the most beautiful and outstanding pubs in London. The British love nothing more than a pub dinner, and while we take pride in our high-end restaurants, our day to day dining revolves around a classic pub meal.
But don’t be fooled into thinking that a pub is a dimly lit, smelly man cave where the workers go for a swift pint after a long shift; although there are some drinkers pubs here. In contrast, there are gastropubs, like the one that offers some rather impressive dishes.
At the Dickens Inn, the first thing you will notice is the gorgeous exterior, covered in bright blooms with a welcoming wooden facade. It feels homely, just with a touch of something special.
Located in St Katherines Docks, the outdoor balcony provides incredible views across the city including those of The Shard and The Tower of London. Inside, the pub continues its welcoming theme with live sports, top food, and a wide range of ales, wines, and spirits.
There is also an events area that can be rented for a variety of things such as parties, hen-dos, and much more.
On the menu, there is much to tempt every taste with everything from hearty fish and chips, loaded burgers, and a crisp club sandwich.
- The Mayflower Pub
Thames River is the longest in England. The river flows through the British capital from the west to the estuary east of London. The Thames harbours many famous landmarks in London.
Along its banks, are an array of places to eat, drink and be merry. And that is what the British do best! British hospitality always goes above and beyond The Mayflower Pub is no exception.
Located in the Rotherhithe area of London, this is the oldest pub in the city. What’s more, it is surrounded by beautiful cobbled streets that take you back to a simpler time.
As you sip on a cool beer or chow down on some of the amazing food, you will be treated to riverside views that cannot be beaten.
If you visit on a weekday afternoon, why not try one of the delicious Mayflower sandwiches oozing with melted cheese, caramelized onion, and chicken and bacon, to name a few of the mouthwatering ingredients. The sandwiches come served on a crusty roll.
If sandwiches aren’t tickling your fancy, there is an extensive main menu served throughout the week with starters including a meat platter and a veggie sharing platter.
London is Famous for its Black Cab Taxi
London is famous for plenty more than its long list of attractions that includes old architecture, beautiful gardens, canals, narrow streets, arts, red buses, hidden rivers, and unique shops.
It is also known for its vintage and modern Black Taxis, commonly known as London Black Cab. Even if you have never been to London, you might have seen one from somewhere.
One thing you notice when you arrive in London is the number of black cab taxis. You will see hundreds if not thousands of black cabs whizzing around the city carrying people to where they need to be.
Much like New York has its yellow cabs, the black cab is the ultimate symbol of the UK’s largest city.
The London Black Cab is well-known. It has appeared in thousands of movies, magazines, and many newspapers around the world.
Initially known as Hackney carriages, these taxis first went on the streets of London in the 1600s. The original cars were strictly black, but today they come in any type of colour and are still referred to as Black Cabs.
But if you thought that you could turn up in London and find a job as a cab driver, you would be sadly mistaken. OK, you might be able to get an Uber gig easily but if you wanted to be up there with the black cab elite, you would need to take the test; and pass!
This test is lovingly known as ‘The Knowledge’ and requires potential cabbies or drivers to commit all the streets of the capital to memory. It can take years for them to remember it all, and not everyone passes the test.
One thing you can be sure of if you take a ride in a black cab, your driver will get you to your destination!
London is Famous for its Underground Train Networks
London is famous for its role in the underground railroad. The London Tube or Metro is the oldest and one of the busiest underground railway train network in the world. It opened its first section of the Metropolitan Railway in January of 1863.
It has earned several other names along the years, including the Underground and the tube.
Despite being the oldest underground railway, the London Underground is still among the best public transport systems in the world.
London is Famous for its Red Buses
London is famous for its red busses. However, the Routemaster is the most famous red bus of all time and an enduring London icon. The Routemaster has been on the streets of London since 1956. It achieved fame because of its design specifically for service in London.
More Interesting Facts About London
London is full of wonders, and it is almost impossible to know everything in this fantastic city. The British capital remains a mystery to even Londoners as there is always something new and old inside to discover.
The following are some of the many interesting facts about London below:
The Palace of Westminster
London is a city with a plethora of architectural landmarks. One of the most iconic buildings in London is the Palace of Westminster.
Also known as the Houses of Parliament, the Palace of Westminster is the largest Gothic building in the world with over 1,000 rooms, 100 staircases and three miles of passages in it. It is the largest palace in the United Kingdom.
The Big Ben
London is home to the giant clock tower. The tower is a famous landmark in London known for its bell, and it is part of the Palace of Westminster. Not only the largest, but it is also the most famous four-faced chiming clock in the world. Big Ben is the name of the bell inside the 320-foot high clock tower.
Streets of London
Many global travellers are familiar with the catacombs which lie beneath the streets of Paris. But these same travellers do likely not know about what is beneath the streets of London.
But don’t worry, there’s no sign of a zombie apocalypse just yet; the 1000 or more bodies that are buried beneath Aldgate station have been resting there peacefully since the Great plague – or at least, that’s what historians believe.
The most magnificent city on earth embraces its tradition but also the contemporary. It has a lot of medieval buildings and bold architecture, including wondrous modern structures.
London thrives on all the modern, old, and beautiful architecture. This great city is always the same but also keeps changing to remain alive.
The shard is part of this most protean city in the world. It is the tallest building not only in the UK but also in the European Union. This amazing building was built in 2012 and has 72 habitable floors – that is 1,016 feet high.
Do you know what is London most famous for? Leave your thoughts in the comment box below