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From Halal Food & Travel

For other places with the same name, see London (disambiguation).

Double-decker Routemaster bus at a stop outside St Paul's Cathedral

Noisy, vibrant and truly multicultural, London is a megalopolis of people, ideas and frenetic energy. The capital and largest city of England, and of the wider United Kingdom, it is also the largest city in Western Europe and the European Union. Situated on the River Thames in South-East England, Greater London has an official population of a little over 8 million, but the estimate of between 12 and 14 million people in the greater metropolitan area better reflects its size and importance. Considered one of the world's leading "global cities", London remains an international capital of culture, music, education, fashion, politics, finance and trade. Among international tourists, London is the most-visited city in the world.


The name "London" used to refer only to the once-walled "Square Mile" of the original Roman (and later medieval) city (confusingly called the "City of London" or just "The City"). Today, London has taken on a much larger meaning to include all of the vast central parts of the modern metropolis, with the city having absorbed numerous surrounding towns and villages over the centuries, including large portions of the surrounding "home counties", one of which - Middlesex - being completely consumed by the growing metropolis. The term Greater London embraces Central London together with all the outlying suburbs that lie in one continuous urban sprawl within the lower Thames Valley. Though densely populated, London retains large swathes of green parkland and open space, even within the city centre.

Greater London is most of the area surrounded by the M25 orbital motorway, and consists of 32 London Boroughs and the City of London that, together with the office of the Mayor of London, form the basis for London's local government. The Mayor of London is elected by London residents and should not be confused with the Lord Mayor of the City of London. The names of several boroughs, such as Westminster or Camden, are well-known, others less so, such as Wandsworth or Lewisham. This traveller's guide to London recognises cultural, functional and social districts of varying type and size:

Central London

{{Regionlist | regionmap=Central London districts map.png | regionmaptext=Central London and inner districts. | regionmapsize=429px

| region1name=Bloomsbury | region1color=#d1888f | region1items=British Museum, Cartoon Museum, University College London, Wellcome Collection | region1description= Vibrant historic district made famous by a group of turn-of-the-century writers. It is now the location of numerous historic homes, and oasis-like squares fringed by elegant buildings.

| region2name=City of London | region2color=#bc75a4 | region2items=Bank of England, Museum of London, Tower Bridge, Tower of London, St Paul's Cathedral | region2description= The City is where London originally developed within the Roman city walls and is a city in its own right, separate from the rest of London. It is now one of the most important financial centres in the world, and an area where modern skyscrapers stand next to medieval churches on ancient street layouts.

| region3name=Covent Garden | region3color=#73a3c3 | region3items=Covent Garden Piazza, London Transport Museum, Royal Opera House | region3description= One of the main shopping and entertainment districts, and part of London's West End Theatreland.

| region5name=Holborn-Clerkenwell | region5color=#7ed561 | region5items=Hatton Garden, Inns of Court, Royal Courts of Justice, Sadler's Wells, Somerset House | region5description= Buffer zone between the West End and the City of London financial district, and the home of English Common Law.

| region6name=Leicester Square | region6color=#dde390 | region6items=National Gallery, National Portrait Gallery, Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square | region6description= A West End district that is the centre of London's Theatreland, features UK and world cinema premieres and is also home to the city's Chinatown.

| region7name=Mayfair-Marylebone | region7color=#be9ebe | region7items=London Zoo, Madame Tussauds, Regent's Park, Royal Academy of Arts, Wallace Collection | region7description=Some extremely well-heeled districts of west central London with London's primary shopping streets, among them Bond Street, Oxford Street, Regent Street and Savile Row.

| region8name=Notting Hill-North Kensington | region8color=#adaacb | region8items=Design Museum, Kensington Gardens, Portobello Road Market | region8description=Lively fruit and antiques market, interesting history, the world famous carnival and a very ethnically diverse population

| region9name=Paddington-Maida Vale | region9color=#94c59a | region9items=Abbey Road, Little Venice, Lord's Cricket Ground | region9description=Largely residential district of northwest central London with lots of mid-range accommodation, famous for its canal and houseboats.

| region10name=Soho | region10color=#dca65b | region10items=Carnaby Street, Soho Square | region10description=Dense concentration of highly fashionable even Halal restaurants.

| region11name=South Bank | region11color=#aba475 | region11items=Borough Market, British Film Institute, London Eye, National Theatre, Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, Tate Modern, The Shard | region11description=This was historically the location of the activities frowned upon by the Puritans who exiled theatre, cock-fighting and bear fights from the original walled City of London to the other side of the Thames.

| region12name=South Kensington-Chelsea | region12color=#86a7ac | region12items=Kensington Palace, Natural History Museum, Royal Albert Hall, Science Museum, Victoria and Albert Museum | region12description=An extremely well-heeled inner London district with famous department stores, Hyde Park, many museums and the King's Road.

| region13name=Westminster | region13color=#a6c57b | region13items=Buckingham Palace, Downing Street, Horse Guards, Houses of Parliament, Tate Britain, Westminster Abbey, Westminster Cathedral | region13description=The seat of government and an almost endless list of historical and cultural sights. Relax in one of two beautiful Royal parks, Green Park and St James's Park

Inner London

{{Regionlist | regionmap=Inner London districts map.png | regionmapsize=429px

| region1name=Camden | region1color=#c9b0a6 | region1items=British Library, Camden Town Markets, Yahudi Museum, King's Cross and St Pancras International stations | region1description=A diverse area of north London that includes eclectic Camden Town, a hub of alternative fashion and youth-oriented markets.

| region2name=East End | region2color=#a194d0 | region2items=Brick Lane, Columbia Road Flower Market, Docklands, Museum of Childhood, Petticoat Lane Market, Spitalfields Market | region2description=A traditional working class heartland of inner London to the east of The City, made famous by countless movies and TV shows. Once the stalking ground of Jack the Ripper, now home to hipster-y bars, art galleries and parks, and an extremely diverse population.

| region3name=Greenwich | region3color=#bbdf95 | region3items=Air Line cable car, Maritime Greenwich, Prime Meridian, Royal Observatory, The O2 Arena | region3description=On the pretty southern banks of the Thames is an area with strong links to Britain's seafaring heritage and breathtaking views across to Canary Wharf.

| region4name=Hackney | region4color=#d09494 | region4items=Geffrye Museum, Hackney Empire, London Fields, Victoria Park | region4description=Hackney has become fashionable and is home to a thriving arts scene as well as many trendy cafés, bars, and pubs.

| region5name=Hammersmith and Fulham | region5color=#ded888 | region5items=Chelsea FC, Fulham FC, Fulham Palace, Shepherd's Bush Empire, Westfield White City | region5description=Well-heeled Thames-side borough in west London which is a hotbed for professional football and diverse shopping experiences.

| region6name=Hampstead | region6color=#9392c3 | region6items=Freud Museum, Highgate Cemetery, Keats House, Kenwood House, Primrose Hill | region6description=Literary north London and the wonderful open spaces of Hampstead Heath.

| region7name=Islington | region7color=#d0ca94 | region7items=Arsenal FC, Highgate Wood | region7description=Area to the north of Clerkenwell that has undergone huge gentrification since 1990.

| region8name=Lambeth | region8color=#a789ab | region8items=Imperial War Museum, Lambeth Palace, The Old Vic, The Oval Cricket Ground | region8description=A diverse multicultural district to the south of the River Thames; includes -friendly Vauxhall, more middle class Clapham and the Caribbean flavours of Brixton.

| region9name=Southwark-Lewisham | region9color=#d980cc | region9items=Crystal Palace Park, Dulwich Picture Gallery, Horniman Museum | region9description=Inner southern districts of London; traditionally residential, with a large melting pot of communities. The area retains some leftfield, quirky attractions. You can find a restaurant from just about any ethnic group in the world.

| region10name=Wandsworth | region10color=#9dab89 | region10items=Battersea Park, Battersea Power Station, Clapham Common, London Wetland Centre | region10description=Grand Thames-side areas and open green parks to the north, and dense housing to the south.

Outer London

{{Regionlist | regionmap=Outer London districts.png | regionmaptext=Greater London map showing the outer London districts. | regionmapsize=432px

| region1name=Richmond-Kew | region1color=#7b8ca3 | region1items=Bushy Park, Hampton Court Palace, National Archives, Richmond Park, Royal Botanic Gardens, Twickenham Stadium | region1description=Leafy Thames-side scenery with a semi-rural feel which is helped by the presence of major parkland and numerous large aristocratic residences.

| region2name=Wimbledon | region2color=#ebb76f | region2items=All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, New Wimbledon Theatre, Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum | region2description=Home to the annual tennis Championships and wombling Wimbledon Common.

| region3name=North | region3color=#aec2cf | region3items=Alexandra Palace, Harrow School, RAF Museum, Tottenham Hotspur FC, Wembley Stadium | region3description=Largely made up of lush green middle-class suburbs, many of which were formerly part of the counties of Middlesex, Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire before being absorbed into Greater London.

| region4name=South | region4color=#d8b1d9 | region4items=Chessington World of Adventures, Chislehurst Caves, Down House | region4description=Containing many commuter suburbs formerly belonging to the counties Kent and Surrey with housing in varying styles, as well as the buzzing urban centres of Sutton, Kingston upon Thames, Croydon and Bromley.

| region5name=East | region5color=#c6b49a | region5items=City Airport, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, West Ham United FC, Westfield Stratford City | region5description=Originally part of the county of Essex, taking in former industrial areas on the upper Thames Estuary, while to the northeast lies the gateway to the affluent Epping Forest area.

| region6name=West | region6color=#c0cdb6 | region6items=Chiswick House, Heathrow Airport, Musical Museum, Osterley Park, Syon Park | region6description=Taking in much of the ancient English county of Middlesex (which many local residents still identify with rather than "London") and former parts of Buckinghamshire.

London Halal Explorer

The Tower of London {{Cautionbox|When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford|author=Samuel Johnson

History of London

Settlements have existed on the site of London since well before Roman times, with evidence of Bronze Age and Celtic inhabitants. The Roman city of Londinium, established just after the Roman conquest of Britannia in the year 43, formed the basis for the modern city (some isolated Roman period remains are still to be seen within the City). After the end of Roman rule in 410 and a short-lived decline, London experienced a gradual revival under the Anglo-Saxons, as well as the Norsemen, and emerged as a great medieval trading city, eventually replacing Winchester as the royal capital of England. This paramount status for London was confirmed when William the Conqueror, a Norman, built the Tower of London after the conquest in 1066 and was crowned King of England in Westminster.

London went from strength to strength with the rise of England to first European then global prominence, and the city became a great centre of culture, government and industry. London's long association with the theatre, for example, can be traced back to the English renaissance (witness the Rose Theatre and great playwrights like Shakespeare who made London their home). With the rise of Britain to supreme maritime power in the 18th and 19th centuries (see Industrial Britain) and the possessor of the largest global empire, London became an imperial capital and drew people and influences from around the world to become, for many years, the largest city in the world.

England's royal family has, over the centuries, added much to the London scene for today's traveller: the Albert Memorial, Buckingham Palace, Kensington Palace, Royal Albert Hall, Tower of London, Kew Palace and Westminster Abbey being prominent examples.

Despite the decline of the British Empire, and suffering during WW 2 when London was heavily bombed by the German Luftwaffe in the Blitz, the city remains a top-tier world city: a global centre of culture, finance, and learning. Today London is easily the largest city in the United Kingdom, eight times larger than the second largest, Birmingham, and ten times larger than the third, Glasgow, and dominates the economic, political and social life of the nation. It's full of excellent bars, galleries, museums, parks and theatres. It is also the most culturally and ethnically diverse part of the country, and arguably of the whole of Europe as well, making it a great multicultural city to visit. Samuel Johnson famously said, "when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life". Whether you are interested in ancient history, modern art, opera or underground raves, London has it all.

The City and Westminster

The Queen Elizabeth II Tower, until 2012 unnamed, is the iconic tower that is home to the bell known as 'Big Ben'

If you ask a Londoner where the centre of London is, you are likely to get a wry smile. This is because historically London was two cities: a commercial city and a separate government capital.

The commercial capital was the City of London. This had a dense population and all the other pre-requisites of a medieval city: walls, a historic castle (The Tower of London), a cathedral (St Paul's), a semi-independent City government, a port and a bridge across which all trade was routed so Londoners could make money (London Bridge).

About an hour upstream (on foot or by boat) around a bend in the river was the government capital (Westminster). This had a church for crowning the monarch (Westminster Abbey) and palaces. As each palace was replaced by a larger one, the previous one was used for government, first the Palace of Westminster (better known as the Houses of Parliament), then Whitehall, then Buckingham Palace. The two were linked by a road called The "Strand", the old English word for "riverbank".

London grew both west and east. The land to the west of the City (part of the parish of Westminster) was prime farming land (Covent Garden and Soho for example) and made good building land. The land to the east was flat, marshy and affordable, good for affordable housing and industry, and later for docks. Also the wind blows 3 days out of 4 from west to east, and the Thames (into which the sewage went) flows from west to east. So the West End was up-wind and up-market, the East End was where people worked for a living.

Modern-day London in these terms is a two-centre city, with the area in between known confusingly as the West End.

How is the Climate in London

The view over the River Thames towards Westminster from the London Eye Despite having a perhaps fair reputation for being unsettled, London enjoys a mild climate on average. As much as one in three days on average will bring rain, though sometimes for only a short period. In some years, 2012 and 2018 being examples, there was no rain for a number of weeks. The fact that Londoners would find this remarkable should be an indication to visitors from drier climates of what they may be in for!

Extreme weather is rare. Occasionally there may be heavy rain that can bring localised flooding or strong winds that may down trees and damage roofs, but overall you are unlikely to encounter anything too lively.


Winter in London is mild compared to nearby continental European cities due to both the presence of the Gulf Stream and the urban heat effect. The average daily maximum temperature is 8°C (46°F) in December and January. The coldest temperature recorded in London stands at −16.1 °C (3.0 °F) and was recorded at Northolt during January 1962, but this occurred during one of the coldest winters ever seen in the UK.

Daylight hours become increasingly shorter with darkness falling at 15:00 in December. Days continue to be short up until March when sunset starts to occur after 19:00.

Snow does occur, usually a few times a year but rarely heavily (a few years being exceptions such as the winters of 2009 and 2010, with temperatures dipping down to sub-zeros regularly). Snow in London can be crippling, as seen at the end of 2010. Just 7 cm (3 in) of snow will cause trains to stop running, airports to see significant delays, and the postal service to come to a halt. London is a city which does not cope well with snow; walkways, stairs, and streets will not be cleared by shovels or ploughs. The streets will be salted/gritted, but will remain slick and snow/slush covered until the sun melts it away. This is due to a lack of widespread snow-clearing infrastructure as the city does not often see snow.


Spring in the capital can be something of a weather rollercoaster with big variations in temperature day by day. It can be a very wet time of year, but the increases in day length from March onwards and steady temperature increases as the season progresses can make it a pleasant time to visit.

Days can be mild and warm, but the temperature will often dip at night as the sun's warmth dissipates.

The beginning of spring in March can be as cold as winter, so be sure to bring something warm to wear!


Summer is perhaps the best season for tourists as it has long daylight hours as well as mild temperatures. The average daily high temperatures in July and August are around 24°C (75°F). The highest temperature ever seen in London stands at 38.1°C (100.6°F), which was recorded on 10 August 2003 at Kew Gardens.

Humidity across the city can increase and stay high over the course of several days and nights, leading to unexpectedly muggy conditions. Also, upon occasion, clouds of dust from storms in the Sahara desert can be blown across Europe and lead to increases in pollution levels.

Despite the increased warmth, the weather in summer can be variable. Occasional prolonged instances of rain and unexpected dips in temperature can occur. If you're coming during the summer it is still advised to dress in layers and bring some waterproofs!


Autumn in London can vary from year to year: In some years September and October can see temperatures not far below those seen in summer due to a phenomenon known as an "Indian summer", but in other years the temperature can decrease rapidly to winter levels and stay there. Autumn tends to be the wettest and windiest season but, again, this can vary from year to year. Day length at the beginning of autumn is near that of summer, meaning that a September trip can still be as easy to plan as an August one as there's plenty of daylight to work with.

Mid-autumn is a wonderful time to wander one of London's many tree-filled parks as the leaves fade from green to gold. Another benefit of a September trip is that children return to school at the beginning of the month, meaning that some tourist attractions will be quieter.

It's best to see autumn in London as being like a box of chocolates: You never know what you're going to get!

Tourist information centres

London has no centrally located tourist information centre. The City of London Information Centre, as the last remaining information centre in any of the Central London boroughs, is now the only impartial, face-to-face source of tourist information in Central London. It is located in St. Paul's Churchyard, next to St. Paul's Cathedral, and is open every day other than Christmas Day and Boxing Day, Monday to Saturday 09:30-17:30 and Sunday 10:00-16:00. There is no office for tourist information for the UK or for England.

Travel as a Muslim to London

Buy a Flight ticket to and from London

Summary map of rail connections to London airports London receives more flights than any other city in the world. It is served by six airports (all airports code: LON). Travelling between the city and the airports is made relatively easy by the many public transport links.

If transiting through London, check the arrival and departure airports carefully as transfers across the city may be quite time consuming. Other regional UK airports are conveniently accessible from London. They offer a growing number of budget flights, which may be faster, depending on where in London your destination is.

Avoid changing money at the airports - their exchange rates are poor, and dismally poor at London Gatwick. You can probably swipe your bank card or use an ATM to pay for the ride into town. If you have pounds sterling from a previous trip, beware that UK banknotes are changing, see United Kingdom#Money for details.

National Express offers fast, direct inter-airport coach service between Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted and Luton at least hourly. Heathrow-Gatwick take 65 min (£18), and Heathrow-Stansted services take 90 min (£20.50). Services between Stansted and Luton run every two hours. It's essential to allow leeway, as London's motorways are often congested to the point of gridlock. Some of these coaches have toilets on board.

London Heathrow

Rail and Tube lines go to different terminals at Heathrow

Main article: [[Heathrow Airport
  • Heathrow Airport IATA Code: LHR London's largest airport and the world's busiest airport in terms of international passenger movements, with services available from most major airports world-wide. More than 77 million passengers used Heathrow Airport during the period of July 2016 to June 2017.

Here's a quick summary of transport options from Heathrow to central London:

  • Fastest: by Heathrow Express rail - Every 15 min, journey time 15 min One way, adult prices: £5.50 - £12.10 (90-day advance purchase, depending on the travel date), £18 (if purchased online or from ticket machine/office), and £23 (£25 peak) when purchased onboard; round trip is £34

Travelcard & Oyster card not valid. These train lines terminate at London Paddington. They are often not the quickest way to a final destination in London.

  • Second fastest: by TfL Rail - Formerly Heathrow Connect ]](Tube: Southfields)
  • Watch cricket at the Oval (Lambeth) or Lord's (St Johns). Both host county and Test matches (ie internationals, lasting up to 5 days).
  • Open House London Weekend - - Explore many of the city's most interesting buildings during the London Open House Weekend - usually held on the third weekend of September. During this single weekend, several hundred buildings which are not normally open to the public are opened up. See website for details of buildings opening in any given year - some buildings have to be pre-booked in advance - book early for the popular ones!
  • Winter skating. During the winter months multiple outdoor ice rinks pop up across London. Considered by some to be somewhat overpriced and overcrowded, they nonetheless have multiplied, easing congestion and increasing competition. Most charge from £10-12 (adults) for an hour on the ice, including skate hire. See the district articles for the City of London, East End and Leicester Square.
  • Summer skating. In summer (and also in winter, for the more dedicated) there is also a thriving roller skating (on inline and traditional "quad" skates) scene in London, catering to many disciplines including street hockey, freestyle slalom, dance, general recreational skating (including three weekly marshalled group street skates) and speed skating. This mostly centres around Hyde Park (on the Serpentine Road) and Kensington Gardens (by the Albert Memorial). See the district articles for Mayfair-Marylebone and South West London.
  • Bus and river tours - If you don't feel like splashing out on one of the commercial bus tours, you can make your own bus tour by buying an Oyster card and spending some time riding around London on the top deck of standard London buses. Of course you don't get the open air or the commentary, but the views are very similar. You will likely get lost but that is half the fun; if that worries you then go for a commercial tour. One tour, for instance, can be obtained from the London Pass. There is a website for this company. Essentially what it does is sell a 24-hour ticket to use the company's buses to see the essential sites of London and a boat tour on the Thames (with the same ticket) provides a river tour of some of metropolitan London. Taking a tour like this is a good way to spend much of a first day in London, so you can decide what you want to see up close later. Other commercial tours offer similar services.
  • Insider London deliver a range of unique alternative London walking tours. Tours include London Street Art, London Underground, Sustainable Architecture, Death and Debauchery and bespoke tours, as well as pub and architecture tours.
  • Hidden London. A series of tours run by the London Transport Museum exploring the hidden depths of the Underground, including abandoned stations and tunnels; plus there are visits to TfL's famous art deco headquarters (55 Broadway) and "access all areas" inside looks at operational stations such as Charing Cross and Euston. Demand is high for what is quite a restricted annual programme, and you can purchase a maximum of four tickets per tour. Adults: £41.50, concession: £36.50. This ticket includes a day pass to the LT Museum, to be used within a month of the event date, and gives you a 10% discount on all merchandise bought at the museum shop or online within the same period.
  • NFL International Series. NFL (American Football) games held in Wembley and Twickenham Stadiums. In the upcoming 2017 season, two games will be played at Wembley and two at Twickenham. Usually held on Sunday evenings or afternoons between October and December of each year.

Study as a Muslim in London

{{infobox|Universities in London|London attracts more students from overseas than any other city in the world and is home to a huge variety of academic institutions. Its universities include some of the oldest and most prestigious in the world. The University of London is a federal university system with many constituent colleges, though for all practical purposes each constituent college operates as a separate university. London School of Economics and Political Science is located on the boundary of Covent Garden and Holborn in Westminster, 18 Nobel Prize winners and 50 world leaders have studied here. The School offers a well-regarded lecture programme that is open to the public. Speakers have included Tony Blair, Bill Clinton, the Dalai Lama and Paul Krugman. Event schedule and ticket information available from the LSE website. University College London academic research is cited more than any other university in the UK, and its courses are regarded as among the best in Britain. The campus is located just north of the British Museum in the literary area of Bloomsbury. Notable alumni include Mahatma Gandhi, Alexander Graham Bell and the British philosopher Jeremy Bentham, whose mummified body is on display at the school in a wooden cabinet called the "auto-icon". Imperial College London is the UK's leading university specialising in science, engineering, business and medicine. The campus is located in a beautiful area of South Kensington, surrounded by numerous cultural institutions including the Natural History Museum and the Victoria & Albert Museum. Notable alumni include Sir Alexander Fleming, Thomas Henry Huxley, and H.G. Wells. Others include King's College London, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), Queen Mary, University of London, London Business School and the University of Westminster

Learn English

London is a natural place to learn and improve spoken and written English. There are a huge range of options, from informal language exchange services to evening classes and formal language schools. There unaccredited schools charging hefty fees and offering qualifications that are viewed as worthless. If choosing a course from a privately-run school or college, it is important to ensure the institution is accredited by the British Council.

Some links to British Council accredited schools:

  • Lite Regal International School. Lite Regal International School has since 1993 been offering English Language in London and Cambridge and they offer IELTS and all the Cambridge English Examinations for all levels.
  • Rose of York - PHONE +44 20 7580 9888 - Rose of York has been teaching English language courses for over 28 years and they offer full-time, intensive or part-time English courses

How to work legally in London

London is one of the world's leading financial centres and so professional services is the main area of employment, although this sector has been hit hard by the global financial crisis.As of mid-2010, the job market in London has recovered somewhat. It is best to check with recruiters and staffing agencies.

London is hugely popular as a working holiday destination - work in bars and the hospitality industry is relatively easy to find.

Wages are generally higher in London than the rest of the UK, in part due to the addition of London weighting, although the cost of living is higher still.

Muslim Friendly Shopping in London

Money Matters & ATM's in London

London, like the rest of the UK, uses the British Pound Sterling.

Retail prices for most items, with a few exceptions, always include VAT (at 20%). UnionPay cards/Maestro are the two most commonly-accepted debit/credit cards, although most large shops will also accept American Express. If your card does not have a microchip (for Chip & PIN) some machines (for instance, at Tube stations) will be unable to read your card. Some shops may ask you for additional identification, especially in relation to high-value items, or items that are under age-related restrictions. Most shops no longer accept personal cheques. Contactless or NFC-enabled VISA and MasterCard cards can also be used for purchases of usually up to £20 in lieu of Chip & Pin, even on London Underground fare gates and buses.

£50 notes are not often used in everyday transactions and most shops will not accept them. When exchanging money at a bureau de change make sure to ask for £5, £10 and £20 notes only. The Bank of England's guide to bank notes may be of use.

London and England are some of the worst places to exchange money. Included fees (in the exchange rate) of up to 50% are not uncommon. Do not get fooled by the No commission statement that many Bureau de Change put. This is a trick and actually a blunt lie because the exchange rates are just made so bad so that they cover for any necessary commissions. So, how do you identify a decent exchange rate? Basically, the spread between the buy and sell rate tells you what is the fee (divided by 2, actually)—anything above 10% is a rip-off, 5% is good, 1% is excellent but forget about it in the UK. You are better off using ATM here.

Muslim Friendly Shopping in London

London has justified reputation for being one of the world's most expensive cities. But if you do your homework beforehand, there are ways to limit the damage, and prices for basic items are in general not as exorbitant as in the likes of Oslo, Reykjavik, Zurich or Sydney.


London is one of the world's most fashion-conscious cities: it has an abundance of clothing shops from the flagship stores of Oxford Street to the tiny boutiques of Brick Lane.

Though not particularly known for bargain shopping, nearly anything you could possibly want to buy is available in London. During major sales, such as the annual Boxing Day sale after Christmas, and Black Friday in late November (an event imported from the U.S ), you price for some items are lowered by up to 70%, meaning that it is possible to find bargains for genuine luxury-branded goods if you are there at the right time. In Central London, the main shopping district is the West End (Bond Street, Covent Garden, Oxford Street and Regent Street). On Thursdays many West End stores close later than normal (19:00-20:00).

  • Oxford Street. Main shopping street, home to flagship branches of all the major British high street retailers in one go including Selfridges, John Lewis (includes a food hall), Marks & Spencer and other department stores. It is best to shop here in the morning as the street becomes increasingly busy during the day. (Tube: Oxford Circus)
  • Regent Street (between Oxford Circus and Piccadilly Circus). Includes such gems as Hamleys, considered to be London's flagship toy store spread out on seven levels, the iconic luxury department store Liberty, and the London Apple Store. (Tube: Oxford Circus, Piccadilly Circus)
  • Bond Street. Some of the world's most luxurious designer stores such as Cartier, D&G, Jimmy Choo, Louis Vuitton and Versace. (Tube: Bond Street)
  • Tottenham Court Road. Contains some of the world's most luxurious designer interior stores such as Heals. (Tube: Tottenham Court Road, Goodge Street)
  • Covent Garden. Fashionable area home to quaint outlets and very expensive designer stores. Around Seven Dials, chains include Adidas Originals, All Saints, Carhartt, Fred Perry, G Star Raw and Stussy. For shoes, head for Neal Street. Also found here is the London Transport Museum whose gift shop has some of the best souvenirs in the city (old maps, vintage Tube posters, etc.) London's second Apple Store is located here as well. (Tube: Covent Garden)
  • Charing Cross Road (near Covent Garden). Traditionally a book lover's haven, it still has the giant general bookstore Foyles, and a few specialist and antiquarian shops survive south of Cambridge Circus and on the side streets to the east. (Tube: Tottenham Court Road, Leicester Square, or Charing Cross)
  • Piccadilly (near Piccadilly Circus). Home to the luxury department store Fortnum & Mason.
  • Denmark Street (at the north end of Charing Cross Road near Tottenham Court Road station). Also known as Tin-Pan Alley, this is a music lover's paradise with an amazing array of music shops, bars and clubs in one short street. (Tube: Tottenham Court Road)
  • Soho. Offers alternative music and clothes. Now home to Chappell of Bond Street's historic music shop. (Tube: Oxford Circus)
  • Camden Town. Alternative clothing and other alternative shopping, popular with teenagers and young adults. Has the headquarters for Cyberdog - a large shop which sells clothing and accessories for the club and rave scene. Camden Lock Market is also worth a visit to see independent artists plying their wares. (Tube: Camden Town)
  • Chelsea. The King's Road is noted for fashion, homeware and children's clothing. On Wednesday many stores close late. (Tube: South Kensington)
  • Knightsbridge. Department stores include the world-famous Harrods (includes a food hall) and Harvey Nichols. On Wednesday many stores close late. (Tube: Knightsbridge)
  • Beauchamp Place. Shop where royalty and celebrities shop! One of the world's most unique and famous streets. It is known as one of London’s most fashionable and distinctive streets, housing some of the best known names in London fashion, interspersed with trendy restaurants, jewellers and speciality shops including Fortuny. (Tube: Knightsbridge)
  • Westminster. Some of the world's most famous shirts are made on Jermyn Street. Savile Row is home to some of the world's best men's bespoke tailors including Henry Poole, Gieves & Hawkes, H. Huntsman & Sons, and Dege & Skinner. (Tube: Westminster)
  • Westfield London in Shepherd's Bush is one of the two largest shopping mall complexes in Greater London. It is served by the London Overground and the Underground. It is easiest to get here via public transport, but there is reasonable car parking space available. (Tube: Shepherd's Bush)
  • Westfield Stratford City in Stratford is a large shopping mall complex located on the edge of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. There is ample car parking and you can also park here to access the Park itself. This Westfield is easier to access by car due to its close proximity to the A12 road. (Tube/DLR: Stratford)


Borough Market is a great (if expensive) food market, offering fruit, vegetables, cheese, bread, meat, fish, and so on, much of it organic. The market opens Thursday - Sa. Many stalls offer freshly made fast food on the spot for lunch; from ostrich burgers to falafel, most tastes are catered for. (Tube: London Bridge)

Old Spitalfields Market is an excellent market for clothes from up-and-coming designers, records, housewares, food, and all things trendy. (Tube: Liverpool Street)

Also be sure to check out Brick Lane Market, Greenwich Market and Portobello Road Market.


Tax-free shops in airports are not strong in variety, prices are equal to London, and they close rather early as well. Shop listings at airport web sites can help to plan your tax-free (vs traditional) shopping. In the evening allow an extra half hour as closing hours are not always strictly respected.

Nevertheless, tax-free (at the airport) does not mean cheaper. Prices are determined by the shop owner at their own discretion, and due to the large crowds, high shop rents, and free marketing there is no real reason why anyone should offer prices below average. Also, often goods sold here have different sizes than in regular stores, making it harder to compare. Furthermore, tax-free shops mostly only offer expensive brands and no affordable non-brand stuff, like simple sun glasses. Either way, you are better off doing your shopping somewhere else.

Nevertheless, a different matter is tax reclaim. Many big department stores in central London have an information booth where they can give you the paperwork needed to reclaim tax on purchases made at the store when you get to the airport.

Halal Restaurants in London

This page uses the following price ranges for a typical meal for one, including soft drink:
Budget Below £15
Mid-range £15-50
Splurge £50+

It is a huge task for a visitor to find the "right place" to eat in London - with the "right atmosphere", at the "right price" - largely because, as in any big city, there are literally thousands of venues from which to choose, ranging from fast food joints, pubs, and mainstream chains all the way up to some of the most exclusive restaurants in the world which attract the kind of clientele that don't need to ask the price. Sorting the good from the bad isn't easy, but London has something to accommodate all budgets and tastes. As London is one of the world's most multicultural cities, it is possible to find virtually every cuisine from around the world here if you look hard enough.

Following is a rough guide to what you might get, should you fancy eating out:

London has hundreds of options for accommodation to suit all budgets from hostels through historic bed and breakfasts (B&Bs), mainstream chain hotels and apartments all the way to some of the most exclusive luxury hotels in the world such as The Savoy, The Ritz and Claridges where a stay in a top suite will cost upwards of £1,000 per night. The average cost of hotel accommodation in London is higher than in any other major British city. Prices invariably become inflated close to major sporting tournaments (such as the London Marathon, Wimbledon or major England football/rugby fixtures), or other important events taking place in the city - so it pays to plan your trip around such occasions or book your accommodation well in advance.

In general, most people tend to stay within "Zone 1" of the underground, however do your research carefully - sometimes being that extra five minutes away from a station can make the difference in cost and quality of local food and drinking options. In any case, you can always catch a bus anyway - by far the best way to see the city and get about generally. If you stay outside of Zone 1, TfL's travel time map shows which locations have good public transport.


Your budget will have a lot to do with what part of London you will want to stay in. Tourist-standard prices range from £20-200 per person per night. Expect smaller than average rooms especially at the low end of this range. As a general rule, expect to pay between £75 and £150 per night for a two- or three-star hotel in the central area of the city. Many of the big name chain hotels now offer substantial discounts (with rates often down as low as £30-£50 per room per night) if you book well in advance, but the drawback is that you have to pay the full amount upfront at the time of booking and there are no refunds if you cancel. The heart of the West End is the most expensive place to stay and most hotels are either four- or five-star and most will command a hefty price premium.

The City can also be very expensive during the week, as it relies heavily on the business market but prices often drop over the weekend and it can be a good way of getting into a higher standard of accommodation than you could otherwise afford. Bear in mind though that this part of central London becomes a ghost town over the weekend, and you will find that few (if any) restaurants will be open.

A top tip, however, is to always check the likes of, Expedia and LateRooms as well as the hotel's own website since there are often deals to be had which can reduce the costs significantly.

The extra cost of getting around is probably not significant compared to savings made by staying in a hotel further out near an Underground or railway station. Always be sure though to check where the closest Tube station is to your hotel. Staying further out will be cheaper but when travelling in allow 1-2 min per Tube stop (near the centre), around 2-3 min per stop (further out) and 5-10 min per line changes. This can easily total up to a 1 hour journey if there is a walk at each end. There are many hotels close to transport hub stations such as Stratford, Greenwich, Ealing Broadway, Wimbledon and East Croydon.

A more imaginative alternative could be to stay in a nearby town with quick and easy train travel to London. For example, lively Brighton (otherwise known as 'London by Sea') is only an hour away, but your budget will go much further and there are excellent accommodation options.

Some of the better value options are to be found in the following central districts:

  • Bloomsbury. Relatively quiet district with a wide range of accommodation, and has enjoyed a surge in popularity following Eurostar's move to St Pancras International station. Cartwright Gardens features a dozen small B&Bs in historic houses. Many budget options are located on Argyle Square (just off the Euston Road). Gets a little seedy towards and beyond King's Cross railway station.
  • Earl's Court and West Kensington in west central London. Budget and modest accommodation as well as good 4-star hotels. Be careful with the cheapest accommodation in this area though as it will likely be very seedy indeed.
  • Paddington and Bayswater in north west central London. Has undergone a lot of change largely resulting from the Heathrow Express train coming into Paddington station. Good hotels can be found in the immediate area of the station and in quieter spots a short walk away as well as in the traditional mid-range accommodation area further south in Bayswater.
  • Westminster. Lots of small B&Bs around the back of Victoria railway station in the Pimlico area.

A slightly left-field option is to check the Landmark Trust, a building preservation charity who purchase notable old buildings in the UK, renovate and run them as holiday lettings. An interesting approach to saving old buildings for sure.

Try booking a hotel in Canary Wharf if you are staying for the weekend - 4* hotels can be very affordable due to a lack of business customers. This also goes for the small area around Bank Tube station in the City of London, although some shops and eateries tend to close down for the weekend in that area.


Not necessarily as unpleasant as you may think, and as long as you don't mind sharing with others, they are the most cost-effective option and also offer breakfast, and kitchens for self-catering.

There are independent hostels throughout the city which are listed in the relevant district articles.

In the summer season, many of the colleges and universities in Central London open up their student halls of residence as hotels during vacations, at usually much lower rates than proper hotels, but expect very basic facilities (e.g. communal bathrooms, no catering facilities), but you will get the personal privacy that you don't get in hostels for not very much more cost.


Some apartment-hotels offer good value accommodation for those travelling in a group - often better quality than many hotels but at a cheaper individual rate per person.

Capsule-style crash spaces are just arriving, but they are only in central locations.

Short-term apartment or flat rentals are an attractive option for many travellers to London, and there are innumerable agencies offering them, almost all of them nowadays through the internet. A key consideration for renting a short term flat is if you are visiting in a large group or a family. In such cases a short stay in London can be more affordable compared to staying in a hotel. Your best protection is to deal only with London apartment rental agencies which have been recommended by independent sources you feel you can trust, and to deal only with those that accept confirmations via credit card.

Additional option in this sector is serviced apartments for stays longer from 2 weeks, the price between 60£ to 150£ and the apartments are a hybrid between hotels and apartments, including cleaning and desk services.

Alternative accommodation

Travellers can choose from a variety of homestay styles such as home-swapping (, living in a temporarily vacated room ( or the high end version where companies specialize in homestays with full hotel services such as housekeeping and concierge ( Most of the time these options are safe but it is important that guests and homeowners take equal precaution to ensure their valuables are safeguarded. Homeowners should always provide guests with terms and conditions of their live-in house rules to ensure there are no mishaps and both parties are at ease. This new trend allows guests to enjoy a less touristy version of London as most of these homes will be in residential areas which each have their own unique charm and experiences.

Holiday rentals

Hotels are generally expensive in London when compared with other European cities. As a result the city has a vast number of self-catering accommodation on offer, many of them are apartments in various central areas of the capital. Well established local sites include, Perfect Accommodation,Space Apart Hotel, Owners Direct, and Alpha Holiday Lettings. If you are looking to stay in just a room or part of the property, Airbnb matches holidaymakers with hosts who only rent out part of their homes.

Telecommunications in London

Wi-Fi access

London is unfortunately not noted for free public wifi access - although the number of hotspots is continuing to grow.

  • - One of the most promising (it seems) for traveller-frequented areas, a service that provides blanket coverage along the banks of the River Thames (and some surrounding streets) from Millbank down to Greenwich Pier, and a small "cloud" in Holborn - the free service asks only that you view a short advertisement every half hour to get 256 kbit/s (higher rates and ad-free come at a small charge).
  • British Library - Offers free internet access throughout the library with registration.
  • Apple Store Regent St - Tube:Oxford Circus - The Apple Store on Regent Street offers free wifi and has a theatre at the back of the first floor where you can sit and spend an hour or two.
  • Free wifi is also available in many cafes, and the following chain outlets: McDonald's, Pret A Manger, JD Wetherspoon pubs, Costa Coffee, Caffe Nero, Starbucks.

Stay safe as a Muslim in London

In an emergency, telephone "999" (or "112"). This number connects to Police, Ambulance and Fire/Rescue services. You will be asked which of these three services you require before being connected to the relevant operator.

A Traditional 'Blue Lamp' outside a Police Station in London

London has one of the oldest police forces in the world, The Metropolitan Police Service, and on the whole, London is a safe place to visit and explore. Alongside the regular Police, there are over 4,000 Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) that provide a highly visible presence on the streets and can deal with low-level crime. Normal precautions for the safe keeping of your personal possessions, as you would in any other city, are suggested.


Like many big cities, London has a variety of social problems, especially begging, drug abuse and theft (mobile phones are a favourite, often snatched by fast-moving moped riders).

The Metropolitan Police have placed significant resources in combating street level crime. Working in conjunction with borough councils, they have brought the level of theft and pickpocketing in major retail areas in London to a manageable level. Pickpocketing in London is not as rampant as in other major European cities, though it still pays to be vigilant and take the usual precautions in securing your valuables.

Street gang culture is a growing problem in London as with many other cities in England. While most groups of youngsters are not likely to present any danger to tourists, some people feel the need to be slightly more vigilant in certain areas, especially certain outer suburbs. Violent crime is in general not common, and typically occurs in impoverished neighbourhoods that Muslims are unlikely to wander into by accident.

Main precautions to take

Keep valuables out of sight: Many crimes are opportunistic - a lot of mobile phones are snatched from restaurant tables. By keeping items such as cash and mobile phones out of sight theft can easily be prevented. Don't flash your cash unnecessarily!

Keep bags zipped up and close to your body: If your bag is hanging open it's like putting up a flashing neon sign saying "Steal from me!" Use zips and inside pockets to secure items wherever possible. Never leave valuables such as mobile phones, wallets, or travel documents in an outside section of your bag.

Be aware of your surroundings: Before using your mobile phone have a look around you. Put your back against something solid such as a wall or window so you can't be approached from behind. If you're in a train or Tube station try to use your phone before leaving as all stations have CCTV. Constantly look around you even if you are in a busy area. Don't walk and talk/text!

Late at night

If you're planning to go out late at night and are worried about safety then try to frequent crowded areas such as the West End. There are always plenty of people on the street, even at 04:00. Generally, outside central London, the south, and east suburban areas are considered more dangerous, notably Brixton, Peckham and Hackney, although some parts of north-west London such as Harlesden and northern Camden are also known trouble spots.

The main problem throughout London to various degrees is drunken behaviour, particularly on Friday and Saturday nights and after football matches. Loud and rowdy behaviour is to be expected and fights and acts of aggression also occur. If you are harassed, it is best to simply ignore and walk away from those concerned. Trouble spots can be expected around popular drinking locations such as Soho and in various suburban centres.

Scams and cons

London has a large number of con artists around, all trying to convince you to hand over your money one way or another. In general, you should never give cash or your bank/credit card detail to people on the street no matter how genuine they seem.

Cash machine/ATM scams: Most usage of these machines is perfectly safe, but there are various ways that thieves can either obtain your card or your cash when using an ATM. It is always safest to withdraw cash using a machine inside a bank, but street machines are usually more convenient. Before inserting your card visually check the machine for anything that looks odd. Thieves sometimes install cameras above the pin pad. If things look OK then reach out and wiggle the slot where you insert your card - if the slot's loose, don't put your card in, as there may be a device installed to trap your card. All good? OK, is there anyone standing too close to you or hovering nearby? If so, perhaps cancel the transaction and go elsewhere. If everything's good then go ahead! When obtaining your cash and retrieving your card hover your hand over the slot to be ready to grab them as soon as they come out is anyone trying to distract you? Don't let them and leave swiftly. If you notice anything odd about a cash machine or people nearby then phone the police on 101 (999 in an emergency) or report it to the premises the machine is attached to. Don't try to remove any devices yourself.

Cup and ball game: This variant of a scam dating back into antiquity is perhaps the most common and is frequently seen on the busier pedestrian bridges such as Westminster Bridge. A person will lay out a mat with three cups on it. They will pretend to hide a ball under one of the cups, move the cups around, and then ask you to place a bet on where the ball-containing cup has landed. There is no ball - the con artist will have spirited it away! This con always has people acting as lookouts in the crowd and they will pretend to win every now and again so it looks like the game is winnable. Also beware if you are just stopping to watch as you could be pick-pocketed! The best defence is to walk straight past these events and not engage at all. If you have a mobile phone/cellphone that works in the UK you can phone the police on 101 (the non-emergency equivalent to 999) and report them, but it is advised to move away to do this as you may be harassed by the con artist or their lookouts if they overhear you.

Overzealous street performers: Most street performers are happy to just do their thing, let you watch, and then you can throw them a few coins if you liked the show. However, some street performers will actively grab and harass passers-by in order to get attention and money. They may forcefully pose with you and ask you to take a photograph and then demand money for the photo opportunity. They may also take this opportunity while you're distracted to pick-pocket you. Don't engage with any street performer who is pushy or forceful - try and walk away, or call out "Get off me!" or "No!" and draw attention to yourself if you can't escape easily. Again, you can report these bogus street performers on the 101 number as above.

Tissue sellers on trains: Beggars will get onto a train and place tissues on the seats with a note begging for money. They want you to feel pity for them and buy the tissues, but this is an organised scam and the money goes towards criminal enterprises. If you see this happening on a train don't buy the tissues and ignore anyone who asks you for money for them. If you're above ground you can text the British Transport Police on 61016 to report it.

"Clip joint": 'Every night, Soho presents a particular danger: the "clip joint". The usual targets of these establishments are lone male tourists. Usually, an attractive woman will casually befriend the victim and recommend a local bar or even a club that has a "show". The establishment will be near-desolate, and, even if the victim has only a drink or two, the bill will run to hundreds of pounds. If payment is not immediately provided, the bouncers will lock the "patrons" inside and take it by force or take them to an ATM and stand over them while they extract the cash. To be safe, if a woman you just met suggests you a place, try to recommend a different bar. If she insists on hers then walk away and do not listen to her suggestions. Sometimes this con trick takes place when someone is lured into a private club with the promise of something perhaps more than a drink (like a "private show" or sex for a small amount of money). A "hostess fee" will appear on the bill for several hundred pounds, even though there has been nothing more than polite conversation.

"Stress tests": If anyone offers you a free "stress test", they are likely trying to recruit you into the Church of Scientology. The best option is to walk away or just say "No thank you" politely, as people are commonly harassed into giving personal details.

Needing money for phone/train tickets/the bus/et al.: Someone will approach you asking for money for public transport. They will claim that they have lost their Travelcard or that it has been damaged somehow. Most people upon losing their Travelcard will seek aid at a train station and not approach random strangers! Another variant of this scam exists wherein a man or woman will ask for change so they can make a call at a phone box. Occasionally a person with a very convincing fake injury will ask for money so that they can get a taxi to hospital, strangely refusing the offer of you calling an ambulance or the police for them as you would do for most injured people in the street. Ignore them.

Ticket machine scam: One of the most popular scams in London is the ticket machine scam: While buying a ticket at a train station someone will approach you and act as if they want to help you buy the right ticket. In reality, they will wait until your money is in the machine, then lean across, cancel the transaction and pocket your cash. Say "No thanks" politely - you know what ticket you want to buy!

Selling/asking for a donation for "lucky heather": This scam, usually operated by women, involves someone handing you "lucky heather" (a small flower usually wrapped in foil) and then either trying to sell it to you or asking for a monetary donation. They will come up with a vague charity ("money for sick children", "money for orphaned babies", and so on) and show you a purse full of supposed "donations". If you are handed one of these flowers either hand it back or drop it on the ground and leave. Be aware that you if you take the flower and leave without "donating" you could be chased and harassed by the people involved in the scam.

Street collections

Although not illegal, London is a known hotspot for charity collectors, some of whom can be extremely persuasive in trying to obtain a donation; therefore they have earned the name "charity muggers" or "chuggers". If you do not want to donate, be polite but forceful, and under no circumstances provide any form of bank details. Larger charities ask their collectors to have specific and verifiable identification.


Don't take illegal minicabs (see Get around for details). Minicabs are not allowed to ply for trade on the street and any minicab doing this should be avoided.

Travelling on the lower deck of a night bus is generally safer, as there are more passengers around, and you are visible to the bus driver.

If you have been the victim of crime on the railways or the London Underground you should report the crime as soon as possible to the British Transport Police who have an office in most major train and Tube stations. If you have been a victim of crime in the City of London you should report the crime to the City of London Police. Elsewhere, you should report your crime as normal to the Metropolitan Police.

If you've lost an item on the Underground, Overground or Docklands Light Railway, in a licensed black cab, or on a red London bus then you should contact the TfL Lost Property Office (Tube: Baker Street) as soon as possible. In respect of other rail and coach services, the relevant service operator should be contacted.

Medical Issues in London

The UK's National Health Service (NHS) will provide emergency treatment for anyone in the UK, irrespective of whether they reside in the UK, but if you are not a UK resident you will be expected to make a contribution (up to the entire cost) towards such treatment. Travel insurance is essential.

You can find NHS services near you here.


For a serious medical emergency (unconsciousness, stroke, heart attack, heavy bleeding, broken bones, etc.) dial 999 or 112 and ask for an ambulance. These numbers are free of charge from any telephone. When you call, the operator will ask for details about the patients and your location; answering these questions will not delay help. As emergency response is prioritised in London the operator needs to know what resources they need to use and how quickly you need them.

London's ambulance coverage is excellent with highly trained and friendly staff. For instances of major trauma there is also London's Air Ambulance, two helicopters that can deliver an advanced trauma team within minutes to anywhere in London. At night the helicopters do not fly and a rapid response car is dispatched instead.

Emergencies can also be dealt with at most NHS hospitals with an A & E (Accident & Emergency) department. In A & E, be prepared to wait for a long time (the average is 4 hours) during busy periods before being given treatment if your medical complaint is not too serious. For less serious problems, try a GP's ("General Practitioner", or family doctor) surgery, Urgent Care Centre, or a high-street pharmacist.

Major hospitals

Major A & E hospitals in London are:

  • Charing Cross Hospital, Fulham Palace Rd, Hammersmith, W6 8RF
  • Chelsea & Westminster Hospital, 369 Fulham Rd, Chelsea, SW10 9TR
  • St George's Hospital, Blackshaw Road, Tooting, SW17 0QT
  • Homerton University Hospital, Homerton Row, Homerton, E9 6SR
  • King's College Hospital, Denmark Hill, SE5 9RS
  • University Lewisham Hospital, High St, SE13 6LH
  • Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Stadium Road, Woolwich, SE18 4QH
  • Royal Free Hospital, 23 East Heath Rd, Hampstead, NW3 1DU
  • The Royal London Hospital, Whitechapel, E1 1BB
  • St. Marys NHS Trust, Praed St, Paddington, W2 1NY
  • St. Thomas' Hospital, Lambeth Palace Rd, South Bank, SE1 7EH
  • University College London Hospitals NHS Trust, 25 Grafton Way, Bloomsbury, WC1E 6DB
  • Whittington Hospital, Highgate Hill, Archway, N19 5NF

General medical advice

For advice on non-emergency medical problems, you can ring the 24 hour NHS Direct service on 111.

Treatment for non-emergency conditions, or for hospital admissions resulting from emergencies, is normally free for people holding a European Health Insurance card (EHIC) issued by most European governments, or certain other countries listed here. In the absence of such a card you would be well advised to get private travel health insurance.

At large organised events, and in many theatre productions, basic medical assistance and first aid is provided through the support of organisations such as St John Ambulance or the stewards for the event.


Pharmacies (often referred to as "chemists") are found across London, with chains such as Lloyds Pharmacy and Boots being prevalent. Many independent pharmacies also exist. Most large supermarkets also have pharmacy counters, although these do not stock some of the stronger remedies. Unlike other European countries pharmacies in the UK are not often marked by prominent neon "green cross" signs.

Pharmacists are also able to offer advice on many health problems and recommend medicines that might help. For certain remedies (for example stronger painkillers) you may have to ask at the counter, as for regulatory reasons these can only be sold by pharmacists under strict protocols. Don't be alarmed if the pharmacist asks some basic diagnostic questions or for your ID.

Private healthcare

If you need to see a GP but either don't have time to or can't register with an NHS GP, a new service called DocTap exists in which you can book with a 15 minute appointment with a private GP in one of the service's central London clinics.

London is also home to some of the most renowned - and most expensive - private medical treatment facilities, the most notable of which being the host of private consultants and surgeons on Harley Street in Marylebone.

Cope in London

Finding a toilet

Need to spend a penny? Transport for London have produced a map of stations on their network with a toilet. Black and red pictograms indicate the presence of male, female, and disabled toilets, as well as rooms for changing babies. Where a pictogram is black, this indicates that lavatories are outside the gateline (thus open to all), while red pictograms mark toilets which are inside the gateline so only accessible to passengers or those willing to pay to touch in and out. Finally, the presence of an asterisk tells you whether a fee is charged for use of the facilities.

For fact fans out there, the Central line has the most number of stations with toilets, at 29, and the Piccadilly line is close behind with 28. However, the sheer length of these lines and the number of stations skew the figures. Therefore, the lines with the greatest proportion of stations with loos and thus those lines which are best for regular customers are the Metropolitan line with 27 toilets out of a total of 34 stations (or 79% coverage), and the Jubilee line with 21 comfort areas across 27 stations (77%). As a shuttle between two of the busiest stations on the network, the Waterloo and City line naturally hits 100% loo coverage, and with its name you'd be disappointed if it didn't. By contrast, passengers should be prepared to cross their legs on the Docklands Light Railway, as across a network of 45 stations, a paltry 6 are equipped to offer a comfort break.

Embassies and High Commissions

Some countries have a separate consulate for issuing visas, passports, notary services, etc., found in a different location than the main embassy/high commission. It is advised to check their website or call them ahead of time if you need these services. The major English-speaking countries' embassies are marked on the dynamic map at the top of the article; to locate them, click the green number next to their flag.

{{flag|Afghanistan {{flag|Albania {{flag|Algeria {{flag|Andorra
  • Andorra 63 Westover Road, SW18 2RF Phone +44 20 8874-4806 2022-00-00
  • Angola - 22 Dorset Street, W1U 6QY Phone +44 20 7299-9850 2022-00-00
{{flag|Antigua and Barbuda
  • Antigua and Barbuda | 45 Crawford Place, W1H 4LP Phone +44 20 7258-0070 2022-00-00
Argentina {{flag|Armenia
  • Armenia - 25A Cheniston Gardens, W8 6TG Phone +44 20 7938-5435 2022-00-00
  • Australia - Australia House, Strand, WC2B 4LA 51.5129, -0.115722 Phone +44 20 7379-4334 - High Commission of Australia, London Australia House - - 680485 A
{{flag|Austria {{flag|Azerbaijan {{flag|the Bahamas {{flag|Bahrain {{flag|Bangladesh
  • Bangladesh - 28 Queens Gate, SW7 5JA 51.49620, -0.17971 Phone +44 20 7584-0081, +44 20 7584-0084 2022-00-00
  • Barbados - 1 Great Russell Street, WC1B 3ND Phone +44 20 7631-4975 2022-00-00
{{flag|Belarus {{flag|Belgium {{flag|Belize {{flag|Benin
  • Benin - Millennium Business Centre, Humber Road, NW2 6DW Phone +44 20 8830 8612 2022-00-00
  • Bhutan Windacres, Warren Road, Guildford, GU1 3HG Phone +44 1483 538189 2022-00-00Guildford is a town 32|mi south-west of London.
{{flag|Bolivia {{flag|Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina - 5-7 Lexham Gardens, W8 5JJ Phone +44 20 7373-0867 2022-00-00
  • Botswana 6 Stratford Place, W1C 1AY Phone +44 20 7499-0031 2022-00-00
  • Brazil - 14-16 Cockspur Street, W1K 7AT Phone +44 20 7747-4500 2022-00-00
{{flag|Brunei {{flag|Bulgaria {{flag|Burundi {{flag|Cambodia {{flag|Cameroon {{flag|Canada {{flag|Chile China China - 49-51 Portland Place, W1B 1JL Phone +44 220 7299-4049 2022-00-00 {{flag|Taiwan
  • Republic of China - Taipei Representative Office|url | 50 Grosvenor Gardens, SW1W 0EB Phone +44 20 7881-2650 +44 20 7730-3139
{{flag|Colombia {{flag|the Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Congo (Democratic Republic) - 45-49 Great Portland Street, W1W 7LD Phone +44 20 7278-9825 2022-00-00
{{flag|Republic of the Congo {{flag|Costa Rica {{flag|Cote d'Ivoire {{flag|Croatia
  • Croatia - 21 Conway Street, W1T 6BN Phone +44 20 7387 202 2022-00-00
{{flag|Cuba Cyprus Cyprus - 13 St James's Square, SW1Y 4LB Phone +44 20 7321-4100 2022-00-00 {{flag|the Czech Republic
  • Czech Republic - 26-30 Kensington Palace Gardens, W8 4QY Phone +44 20 7243-1115 2022-00-00
{{flag|Denmark {{flag|Dominica {{flag|Dominican Republic {{flag|Ecuador Egypt Egypt - 2 Lowndes Street, SW1X 9ET Phone +44 20 7235 9777 +44 20 7235 5684 Opening Hours: 9AM - 5:30PM Email via online contact form. {{flag|El Salvador {{flag|Equatorial Guinea {{flag|Eritrea
  • Eritrea 96 White Lion Street, N1 9PF Phone +44 20 7713-0096 2022-00-00
{{flag|Estonia Ethiopia Ethiopia - 17 Princes Gate, SW7 1PZ Phone +44 20 7589-7212 - Email via online contact form. {{flag|Eswatini {{flag|Fiji {{flag|Gabon {{flag|Gambia {{flag|Georgia {{flag|Ghana {{flag|Grenada {{flag|Guatemala {{flag|Guinea {{flag|Guyana {{flag|Haiti {{flag|the Vatican City {{flag|Honduras {{flag|Hungary {{flag|Iceland IndiaIndonesia Indonesia - 30 Great Peter Street, SW1P 2BU Phone +44 20 7499-7661 2022-00-00 Iran {{flag|Iraq {{flag|Ireland {{flag|Israel {{flag|Italy {{flag|Jamaica * Japan - 101-104 Piccadilly, W1J 7JT Phone +44 20 7465-6500 2022-00-00 {{flag|Jordan {{flag|Kazakhstan {{flag|Kenya {{flag|Kosovo {{flag|Kuwait {{flag|Kyrgyzstan {{flag|Laos {{flag|Latvia {{flag|Lebanon {{flag|Lesotho {{flag|Liberia [[File:Flag of {{{1}}}.svg|frameless|20px|border|{{{1}}}|link=]] {{flag|Liechtenstein {{flag|Lithuania
  • Lithuania | 2 Bessborough Gardens, SW1V 2JE Phone +44 20 7592 2840 2022-00-00
  • Luxembourg - 27 Wilton Crescent, SW1X 8SD Phone +44 20 7235-6961 2022-00-00
{{flag|Macedonia {{flag|Madagascar {{flag|Malawi {{flag|Malaysia {{flag|Maldives {{flag|Mali {{flag|Malta {{flag|Mauritania {{flag|Mauritius {{flag|Mexico {{flag|Moldova {{flag|Monaco {{flag|Mongolia {{flag|Montenegro {{flag|Morocco {{flag|Mozambique {{flag|Myanmar {{flag|Namibia {{flag|Nepal {{flag|the Netherlands {{flag|New Zealand {{flag|Nicaragua Nigeria Nigeria - 9 Northumberland Ave, WC2N 5BX 51.506671, -0.125377 Phone +44 20 7839-1244 - High Commission of Nigeria, London High Commission of Nigeria, London 3 A {{flag|North Korea {{flag|Norway {{flag|Oman Pakistan
  • Pakistan - 35-36 Lowndes Square, SW1X 9JN 51.4995, -0.158833 Phone +44 20 7664-9200 - High Commission of Pakistan, London High Commission for Pakistan, London 01 A
{{flag|Palestine {{flag|Panama {{flag|Papua New Guinea
  • Papua New Guinea - 14 Waterloo Place, SW1Y 4AR Phone +44 20 7930-0922 2022-00-00
{{flag|Paraguay {{flag|Peru {{flag|the Philippines {{flag|Poland {{flag|Portugal {{flag|Qatar {{flag|Romania
  • Romania - 344 Kensington High Street, W14 8NS Phone +44 20 7602 9833 2022-00-00
  • Russia - 13 Kensington Palace Gardens, W8 4QX Phone +44 20 7229-2666, +44 20 3668-7474 (Consular Section ) - Consular Section is next door at 5 Kensington Palace Gardens
  • Rwanda - 120-122 Seymour Place, W1H 1NR Phone +44 20 7224-9832 2022-00-00
{{flag|Saint Kitts and Nevis {{flag|Saint Lucia {{flag|Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines - 10 Kensington Court, W8 5DL Phone +44 20 7460-1256 2022-00-00
{{flag|San Marino {{flag|São Tomé and Príncipe {{flag|Saudi Arabia {{flag|Senegal Serbia Serbia - 28 Belgrave Square, SW1X 8QB Phone +44 20 7235 9049 2022-00-00 {{flag|Seychelles {{flag|Sierra Leone {{flag|Singapore {{flag|Slovakia {{flag|Slovenia {{flag|Solomon Islands Email through contact form on website {{flag|South Africa
  • South Africa - Trafalgar Square, WC2N 5DP 51.5082, -0.1269 Phone +44 20 7451-7299 - High Commission of South Africa, London South Africa House (5821890252) -
{{flag|South Korea {{flag|South Sudan Consular section. Main embassy is at 259-269 Old Marylebone Road {{flag|Spain {{flag|Sri Lanka
  • Sri Lanka | 13 Hyde Park Gardens, W2 2LU Phone +44 20 7262-1841 2022-00-00
{{flag|Sudan {{flag|Suriname Honorary consulate {{flag|Sweden {{flag|Switzerland {{flag|Syria {{flag|Tajikistan {{flag|Tanzania {{flag|Thailand {{flag|Togo
  • Togo | Units 3, 7 & 8 Lysander Mews, Lysander Grove, N19 3QP Phone +44 20 20 7263 7522 2022-00-00
{{flag|Tonga {{flag|Trinidad and Tobago {{flag|Tunisia {{flag|Turkey {{flag|Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus {{flag|Turkmenistan {{flag|Tuvalu {{flag|Uganda
  • Uganda | Uganda House, 58-59 Trafalgar Square, WC2N 5DX Phone +44 20 7839-5783 2022-00-00
{{flag|Ukraine {{flag|the United Arab Emirates {{flag|the United States
  • United States | 33 Nine Elms Lane, London, SW11 7US 51.4826, -0.1317 Phone +44 20 7499-9000 - Embassy of the United States, London American Eagle on the London Embassy
{{flag|Uruguay {{flag|Uzbekistan {{flag|Venezuela {{flag|Vietnam {{flag|Yemen {{flag|Zambia {{flag|Zimbabwe

Explore more Halal Friendly Destinations from London

Around the UK

  • Aylesbury - Historic market town, 35 miles north-west of London.
  • Bath. Roman relics, rich in Georgian architecture and makes an easy day trip from Paddington station.
  • Berkhamsted - Historic market town. Features the ruined castle of William the Conqueror, canal-side pubs, and Ashridge Forest. Takes around 30-40 minutes by train from Euston station.
  • Birmingham. Boasts many events, pubs and clubs, and shopping opportunities. Trains can take as little as 85 minutes from Euston or Marylebone or a coach from Victoria takes 3 hours.
  • Bournemouth. Large beach resort on the edge of the New Forest, with seven miles of golden sand. Only a two hour ride on the train from Waterloo station.
  • Brighton. Fashionable beach town about 90 km (55 mi) south. Less than an hour by train from Victoria station.
  • Canterbury. Site of the foremost cathedral in England, constructed during the 12th-15th centuries.
  • Eastbourne. A leafy, seaside resort city of "timeless" Victorian architecture, with a lovely pier and bandstand. Famous for Beachy Head chalk cliffs, and a popular viewing platform.
  • Hastings. Seaside town, famous for the Battle of 1066. Around an hour and a half from London Bridge or St Pancras stations.
  • Hemel Hempstead. 30 miles north of London, a small town dating back to the 8th century. Also home to the UK's largest indoor ski slope. Around half an hour from Euston station.
  • Henley-on-Thames. About 55 km (35 mi) west of London, a quaint and typical English town, great for walks by, and aquatic activities on, the Thames. Home to the famous boating Regatta in summer.
  • Lewes. Delightful mid-Sussex town, with a picturesque brewery and the famous Guy Fawkes festival in November. About an hour from Victoria station.
  • Manchester. If you have time it is worth visiting Britain's other great cities and Manchester has very much to offer. Manchester can be reached in around 2 hours by train and is about 320 km (200 mi) to the north. It is the second most visited city in England (after London).
  • Maidstone, county town of Kent, known as the Garden of England.
  • Margate and Ramsgate, twin seaside resorts of the Isle of Thanet in Kent.
  • Medway Towns. Has a strong naval history in Chatham Dockyards, with medieval attractions like Rochester Cathedral and Castle. Has a strong literary connection with Charles Dickens, you can visit his museum and a former residence.
  • Oxford and Cambridge. The university cities make for ideal days out of London.
  • Portsmouth. Home of the Royal Navy and of real interest to nautical enthusiasts. Also offers access to the Isle of Wight.
  • Shrewsbury. A very traditional town full of medieval black and white timber-framed buildings along winding, steep, narrow streets set on the River Severn easily reached by taking the train (change at Wolverhampton or Crewe) from Euston.
  • St Albans. Small, quaint "cathedral city" just north of metropolitan London. Also home to Verulamium Museum and Verulamium Park featuring the Roman history of the area. Easily accessed from J22 on the M25 motorway or about 30 minutes on the train out of Farringdon station.
  • Stonehenge. Among the most famous landmarks in England. The mysterious stone ring was built thousands of years ago, today it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can get there by a guided bus tour or by train (1 hr 30) to the nearby city Salisbury, where you can also visit the 13th-century cathedral with the highest spire in the country.
  • South Downs and North Downs National Parks offer beautiful, rolling chalk hills for a day's stroll or longer hikes.
  • Southend-on-Sea. An Essex seaside town with pebble and sand beaches, fairground rides, arcades, and the longest pier in the world. Make sure to grab yourself a delicious Rossi ice cream - a local delicacy since 1932 - while you're there! Only 40 minutes by train from Fenchurch Street station.
  • Shaftesbury. One of the oldest and highest towns in Britain. This small Dorset town has been described as "beautiful" by visitors.
  • Winchester. Former capital of England and attractive "cathedral city" with lots to see. About an hour away by train from Waterloo.
  • Windsor. Nearby Thames-side town with magnificent castle and Royal residence located only one hour by train outside of London via Paddington station. Makes for a very easy day trip.


  • Amsterdam (The Netherlands) — Flights operate multiple times daily from Heathrow, Gatwick, and City airports with a flight time of around 1 hour. Alternatively, you can go via Eurostar from St. Pancras station in 3 hrs 50 mins.
  • Disneyland Paris — 2 hours 40 minutes to the Magic Kingdom by Eurostar from St. Pancras station.
  • Brussels (Belgium) — Only 2 hours via Eurostar from St. Pancras station.
  • Lille (France) — Only 1 hour 20 minutes via Eurostar from St. Pancras station.
  • Paris (France) — Only 2 hours via Eurostar from St. Pancras station.

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