London has never been an English city. It has always been an international city, living off trade and conquest and migrants. London's cosmopolitan nature is obvious in the East End, populated first by French Protestant refugees (Huguenots) around Spitalfields market, then by persecuted European Jews at the turn of the century, and post-WWII, by a Bangladeshi community who worship at the Jamme Masjid mosque. Brick Lane curry houses are a major foodie draw and Brick Lane market offers vintage fashion bargains. Stylists shop for film props at Beyond Retro, and Hackney's Columbia Road flower market is ideal for photo ops amid parrot tulips and tuberose.
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Family
LGBT
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Getting Around London
The best way to get around London is using public transportation and taxis. Poor parking availability and legendary traffic makes driving tricky, and Americans may find it challenging to drive on the opposite side or the car and road. Gatwick Express is the fastest train service from Gatwick to Central London. Trains run daily directly into London Victoria train and tube station starting at 4:35 a.m. and 5:20 a.m., then run every 15 minutes from 5:50 a.m. until 12:35 a.m. with the last trains leaving at 12:50 a.m. and 1:35 a.m. Fares: 1st Class £26 (Single), £50 (Return); Express Class £17.90 (Single), £30.80 (Return). Heathrow Express is the fastest train service from Heathrow to Paddington Station. Trains run from 5 a.m. until midnight from Heathrow. The standard single fare is £20 and standard return costs £34.
Nearby Airports
  • London Heathrow Airport-LHR
  • Gatwick Airport-LGW
Airport Taxis
  • £45-£83-Heathrow to Central London, depending on time, tariff, and traffic
  • £78-£98-Gatwick to Central London, depending on time, tariff, and traffic
Things to Do and See Near Hackney
  • London Eye
  • British Museum
  • Big Ben
  • Buckingham Palace
  • Tower of London
  • Tate Modern
  • London Zoo
  • Natural History Museum
  • Tower Bridge
  • Westminster Abbey
  • Hyde Park
  • London Bridge
  • Globe Theatre
  • Trafalgar Square
  • Saatchi Gallery
  • Palace of Westminster
  • St Paul's Cathedral
  • Marylebone
  • Middle Temple
  • Covent Garden