Museums, Theater and Shopping in the Most International City

London museums, London theater and London shopping are perhaps the most popular activities for the more than 25 million visitors who travel here each year, of which 6.2 million are in London for business travel.

Business Travel Video: London

This shouldn’t be surprising: with 7.5 million residents in greater London, this is the largest city in Europe; it’s also recognized as the world’s most popular city destination for international travel.

And the British capital continues to find ways to greet even more travelers as it prepares to host the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. London estimates more than 12,000 additional hotel guest rooms will be opened prior to 2012.

London literally has thousands of shops, markets stores and boutiques. With more than 1,000 London event venues, London offers more than 300 museums and art galleries, 63 theatres (The Society of London Theatre), 6,000 restaurants and more than 1,300 hotels. Events in London have a full range of options for exhibition space, conference hotels, cultural venues, entertainment options and sporting attractions (London has 13 professional football teams, more than any other city in the world).

Of course, London is also famous for its shopping, and the most popular shopping spots include Bond Street, Oxford Street, Covent Garden, Fortnum and Mason, and Harrods. The best London shopping can be found in Mayfair, Knightsbridge and Piccadilly.

Most of London’s social and business life can be found along or near the River Thames, which at 183 miles (296 kilometers) is viewed as the longest riverside walk in Europe. Of course, many popular corporate and social events take place somewhere near or around central London.

The majority of visitors to London come from the USA, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, the Irish Republic, Netherlands, Canada and Poland (in this order). However, Eastern Europe countries, particularly those that joined the European Union after 2005, have been London’s fastest growing markets. This, according to 2007 data from Visit London.

Interesting, visitors to London stay for an average of four days/three nights, making it a perfect three days in London.

2007 London Statistics

  • Total London Visitors: 25.2 million
  • Total London Business Visitors: 6.2 million
  • Total London Leisure and Other Visitors: 11.55 million
  • Total London Hotels (metro area): 1,353 (2006 data)
  • Total London Hotel Rooms (metro area): 99,034 (2006 data)
  • London Average Room Occupancy: 82.2%
  • Average Visitor’s Trip (nights): 4.25 days
  • Total Visitors from Europe: 9.5 million
  • London Visitors from France: 1,313,000
  • London Visitors from Germany: 1,217,000
  • London Visitors from Spain: 936,000
  • London Visitors from United States: 2,370,000

Source: Visit London

Convention Center Highlights

Business Event Venues/Activities

Local Information

London Weather

London’s weather changes from cold and damp in winter to bright and warm in the summer. Here’s what you can expect to find throughout the year.

  • Spring (Mar – May)Quite unpredictable with a good mixture of sun, rain and cloud. Temperatures average between 11°C (51.8 F) and 15°C (59 F). Take a jacket when you go out.
  • Summer (Jun – Aug)
    Generally sunny, with the occasional rainstorm. Temperatures average around 20°C (68 F), but have been known to go as high as 37.9°C (100 F).
  • Autumn (Sep – Nov)
    Pretty much the same as spring. However it’s not unknown for summer to run well into September or for November to be uncharacteristically cold. So be prepared.
  • Winter (Dec – Feb) Temperatures hover around 6°C (42.8 F) and it’s normally mild but damp. It rarely freezes or snows in London, but you’d be wise to take a hat and gloves when going out.

Source: Visit London

The U.S. Department of State Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs has published additional background information about the United Kingdom.

By Rob Hard
Article Photos © 2008 Rob Hard / RH Communications, Inc.