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london websiteLondon is a great city to visit. I should know, having lived on the outskirts of it for 30 years before I upped sticks and headed north to Manchester, another great British city. London is always a hotspot of tourism, with a long history told through the buildings, a great many attractions, and the good ol’ Royal Family 6 Websites To Learn About Queen Elizabeth II During Her Diamond Jubilee Year 6 Websites To Learn About Queen Elizabeth II During Her Diamond Jubilee Year 2012 is the Queen's Diamond Jubilee year, with the actual celebration itself taking place between 2nd June and 5th June. This coincides with the date of her coronation on 2 June, 1953. While most people... Read More that is more beloved by tourists than the people they rule over.

I’m writing this article prior to the London 2012 Olympics Make The Best Out Of The London 2012 Olympics With These Smartphone Apps Make The Best Out Of The London 2012 Olympics With These Smartphone Apps The London 2012 summer games are almost upon us. If you’re a fan like I am, you’ve been waiting for this day ever since the closing ceremony in Beijing 4 years ago (or at least... Read More , when tourism is expected to spike massively as people head to the capital of the U.K. to watch this great event. But even after the closing ceremony has ended, and all the athletes have headed back to their respective countries, London has a lot to offer tourists from all four corners of the world.

What follows are 10 essential websites everybody visiting London should check out before heading into the heart of the English capital.

Official London City Guide

london website

What better place to start than the Official London City Guide. This site has everything you’d expect it to and a little more besides. With feature guides to upcoming events, a list of attractions, competitions, and blog posts. There are also various maps of London, and the opportunity to book stays at hotels or buy tickets for shows.

Lonely Planet Guide To London

london sites

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Lonely Planet is a well-known resource for travelers. London is one of the many destinations it has an extensive guide to on its site. You land on a short introduction to the city, and from there you can learn about the history of London, or find out more about the activities, sights, restaurants, and shopping expeditions available to all visitors.

Rough Guide To London

london sites

Rough Guides is another well-known resource for travelers that has London covered in a big way. After reading the introduction you can learn about how best to travel around the capital, which attractions not to miss, and guides to eating, drinking, and going out in the evening. There are also specific pages dedicated to must-see sights such as Big Ben and Buckingham Palace.

Time Out London

london sites

Time Out is a guide to pretty much everything there is to do for fun in London. This is the website to bookmark in order to keep your finger on the pulse of all things cultural. There are sections dedicated to restaurants and bars, museums and art galleries, music festivals, comedy clubs, and a whole lot more besides. An invaluable search feature lets you find the right event happening on the right day.

London Town

best london websites

London Town is a website curated by a team of experts who really know their stuff. Each one focuses on one aspect of London life, with guides to hotels, attractions, pubs, restaurants, markets, and exhibitions, amongst others. There is also practical information for first-time visitors, and a guide to the different boroughs and postcodes for those planning longer stays.

Londonist

best london websites

Londonist is a site that feels very much like a community having a conversation. News stories, blog posts, photo sets, and podcasts sit comfortably together, all delivered with a healthy mix of information and opinion. The ‘London for Free‘ and ‘London on the Cheap‘ pages are must-visits, featuring hundreds of things to do in the English capital either for free or for under £5.

Hidden London

best london websites

Several of the sites already featured focus on the main attractions most people have already heard of. Hidden London, as its name suggests, veers away from the big venues and instead attempts to inform visitors about the more obscure locales and curiosities that can be found within the bounds of London. This is the website for those seeking to avoid the tourist traps guaranteed to be packed with visitors.

My London Map

My London Map is a simple-yet-invaluable tool for anyone heading into London. It’s an interactive map of the area, with overlays including streets, hotels, apartments, and theater tickets. There are effective search options and, best of all, an accurate depiction of all the tube lines – it looks very different viewed geographically rather than topologically.

Transport for London

With so much to see and do in London it’s essential to be able to get where you need to go with the minimum of fuss. The integrated public transport system is far from perfect but it works well at all but the peak travel times. The Transport for London website features a journey planner, maps, and service updates for the tube, trains, buses and other modes of travel that act like the arteries of the capital.

BBC News London

london website

Last but not least we have the BBC News London website. This primarily features the latest news from London, with local headlines for each area. There are also short guides to the latest events, travel news, and a weather forecast. Outbound links will take you to sites for neighboring counties that people staying longer may want to venture in to for a day trip.

Conclusions

Visiting a new location, particularly a city as sprawling, populous, and diverse as London, requires you to soak up a lot of information in advance of actually making the trip, in order to get a true feel for the place. The preceding websites should give any budding tourists heading into London everything they need to make the most of their vacation, however long it may last.

Have you visited London as a tourist? If so, which websites did you find particularly useful in helping plan the trip? If you know of one that didn’t make the list then please let us (and the budding tourists who have landed on this page) know in the comments section below.

Image Credit: John Goode

  1. Andrei Bogdan
    July 27, 2012 at 6:11 pm

    I would love to visit London and I will sure do so in the near future .

  2. RJE
    July 25, 2012 at 9:45 am

    Just realised that is the link for the actual walk I did rather than the main website -London for Free: http://www.londonforfree.net/

    • Dave Parrack
      July 26, 2012 at 5:30 pm

      That looks like an awesome site I'll be using myself the next time I'm in London :)

  3. RJE
    July 25, 2012 at 9:22 am

    How about http://www.londonforfree.net/maps/royalmap.shtml. Some great walks, which I used when there recently, on my iPad while following the route.

  4. SupersizedSEO
    July 25, 2012 at 9:21 am

    I know the above are websites but an invaluable app for tourists is 'Tube Map'.
    It downloads the entire underground map to your phone so you can access it on the run - without using data.

    It's free for Android and I'm sure it's available for iPhone too.

    • Dave Parrack
      July 26, 2012 at 5:30 pm

      Apps are just as welcome as websites, so thank you for sharing :)

  5. nahid saleem
    July 25, 2012 at 5:24 am

    I think AirBNB also shows you good places to live in. I use Airbnb to compare the prices with hotels but I dont find it safe to stay in someone's house.

  6. Mohamad Basri Hamzah
    July 25, 2012 at 3:51 am

    I found this very useful to plan my way around London.

    http://visitbritain.transportdirect.info/

    Transport Direct is the only website that offers information for door-to-door travel for both public transport and car journeys around Britain. Our aim is to provide you with comprehensive, easy-to-use travel information to help you plan your journeys effectively and efficiently.

    • Dave Parrack
      July 26, 2012 at 5:29 pm

      Nice find, thanks for sharing :)

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