London: contrasts, charm, history and edges

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LONDON, ENGLAND (BDCi) –Located on the River Thames, London is a vibrant and ever changing cosmopolitan city, home of some of the world’s richest and fascinating historical sites. This combination of old-fashioned charm, edge fashion, courtesy and fun makes the capital of England the largest urban zone in the European Union.

This British town is the world’s largest financial center along with New York City; has the largest GDP in Europe and it attracts the biggest number of visitors in the world, over 27 million overnight people, what explains why Heathrow Airport is the busiest by number of international passengers in the entire globe. The total of international travelers every year surpasses 14 million.

London is one of the most important centers of higher education teaching and research in Europe with 43 universities. All these statistics reflect in the variety of people, religions and cultures that compose this beautiful, and unique country.

The capital is a dream destination for lovers of music, theatre, dance and cinema with its enormous creative production and lots of venues. There’s always something to see and one of the easiest ways of getting around the town is via underground, also known as tube. The best and cheaper option is to buy the Oyster Card, which is also used for buses and trams and can be reloaded almost anywhere.

Whether you are looking for traditional English heritage or modern European attitude, indoors or outdoors, the contrasts are endless and London has it all, or almost, because many of the best restaurants in town serve food from the other side of the world and the British cuisine may resume itself in fish n´chips, roast beef, tea and scones.

Some of the city’s best attractions are within walking distance. The riverside area cannot be missed: stop at the Westminster Abbey, enjoy Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, London Aquarium, London Eye, Southbank Centre, Hayward Gallery, National Theatre, Somerset House, Oxo Tower Wharf, Bankside Gallery, Tate Modern, Shakespeare’s Globe, Millennium Bridge and St. Paul’s Cathedral.

If you are more into biking, the city also offers a public bike sharing system, called “Bardays Cycle Hire”. It was launched in 2010 and the idea is to allow casual or members to rent a bike in several locations throughout the city using a credit or debit card.

Next year, London will host the Olympic Games for the third time and should be in the spotlight again.

For more information about London, things to do and how to get around go to:

By: Ana Paula Silvani
Sources: Time Out London, Wikipedia & Amexnetwork
Photo: Ana Paula Silvani
September 14, 2011
11:30 p.m. PDT

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