London is one of the most famous cities in the world and considered the crown jewel of the United Kingdom. From iconic movie scene locations to world-famous landmarks, tourists the world over visit England’s capital city to see the sights, soak in the sounds and breathe in the bustling atmosphere.
There are many landmarks to visit, signature areas to explore, and bespoke activities to enjoy within the city. Read on to find eight examples that prove just how unique the city of London is.
8 Reasons Why London Is So Unique
London is home to a veritable plethora of landmarks. Some signature sights are Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, Madame Tussauds, and Westminster Abbey, for example.
There are also a number of modern attractions in London, such as the London Eye, The Tate Modern, and the multi-purpose London Stadium. The city has numerous UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including the Tower of London and the Royal Observatory.
In the middle of the 16th century, despite a catastrophic plague and one of the most destructive fires in world history, London survived terrible odds to come back stronger than ever. The city stands as a testament to the resilience of Londoners, approximately 90% of whom lost their homes to the massive fire.
The London Taxi
The black cabs of London have an air of mystique about them. Their monochrome design and iconic silhouettes are instantly recognizable on the streets of the city.
Originally known as ‘hackney carriages’, their trademark style has become a marketable asset for London, and various cities around the world have bought into the ‘London Taxi’ brand.
Considering how intriguing their heritage is, it makes sense that these sleek locomotives are so well-renowned. The London Taxi brand is protected by strict regulatory laws and age-old traditions.
All prospective drivers must pass a stringent test if they want to operate black cabs. Known simply as ‘The Knowledge’, this demanding test requires intricate knowledge of the entire city’s layout.
Who hasn’t heard of fish and chips or chicken tikka masala? Both of these iconic foods owe their existence to London’s citizenry.
Scotch eggs, smoked salmon, and golden syrup are all in the same boat, as well as gin, bourbon biscuits, and Earl Grey tea. Without a multicultural mix of people calling it home, the city of London would never have been able to produce such a vast array of delicacies.
There are a number of lesser-known food items that also originate from the UK’s capital. The Pot Noodle brand of instant noodles comes from the Brits, and apple pies have been baking in London’s ovens since the late 13th century.
Lasagne, Kit Kat chocolates: even the basic sandwich is a British invention.
The Mother of Invention
As one of the world’s ‘global cities’, London holds significant influence over international markets. It has the biggest urban economy in Europe and is a major financial center of world trade.
The city is home to Europe’s largest concentration of tertiary education institutions, including the world-renowned University College London, the London School of Economics, and the Imperial College of London.
From a tourism perspective, London is one of the most highly sought-after holiday destinations in the world. It has been voted as the world’s best city by many travel experts.
The power city is also the first city to have hosted three Summer Olympic Games and is the world leader in many aspects of its society.
The Multi-culture Capital
London is a melting pot of multiculturalism. Over 300 languages are spoken throughout the city, making it especially welcoming for tourists of all nations. It is the third-most populous city in Europe with around 10 million inhabitants and is home to the second-largest immigrant population behind New York.
Although it was originally a Christian faith-based city, London’s denizens have embraced all cultures and religions equally. In central London, the Sikh population has erected the largest Sikh temple outside of India.
Muslim and Hindu communities have over 50 temples and mosques scattered throughout the city, and the Bevis Marks Synagogue is the only European synagogue to have offered its services for more than three centuries.
The watering holes of London come in all shapes and sizes. Some are extremely popular, with regular patrons on a daily basis.
Other bars are well-hidden to the point that one wonders whether they want to be found in the first place.
As one of the oldest cities in the world, London is home to some truly ancient pubs. There are quite a few that are at least 400 years old, but there are also plenty of modern establishments available.
With over 1,000 bars scattered around the city, London is home to the highest density of drinkeries in the world.
Nicknamed ‘the Tube’, London’s Underground rail transit system is an engineering marvel and a pioneer of public transport technology. The extensive railway covers central London, Hertfordshire, Essex, and Buckinghamshire.
With over 250 stations and more than 5 million passengers per day, London is home to one of the world’s biggest and busiest metro systems.
The Underground forms a significant part of the oldest underground railway system in the world; the Metropolitan Railway. Curiously, despite its name, less than half of the London Underground is actually under the ground.
It is the first public transport system in the world to implement zero-touch technology and touchless payment systems.
Weird & Wonderful Museums
The British Museum has one of the largest collections of historical artifacts in the world. As the first public museum to ever be created, it provides visitors with a rather accurate picture of the entire span of human history, albeit from the perspective of the British Empire.
The National Gallery and the Natural History Museum are also regular tourist attractions, though all three of the aforementioned institutions are not without their fair share of controversy.
Evidently, there are many typical museums and conventional galleries in London. However, there are plenty of strange and surprising museums as well.
There’s a Sherlock Holmes Museum in Baker Street, as well as the Cinema Museum and the Cartoon Museum. There’s even an entire museum dedicated to the reproductive area of the female body.
No matter which area of you choose, London is a novel experience with excitement around every corner.