The Summer Olympics will be in London July 27 through August 12, 2012. London is the first city in Olympic history to host the Summer Olympics three times with the previous years being 1908 and 1948.
London, the capital of England and the United Kingdom, is located in the Southeast of the country. A major city for over two millenniumand founded by the Romans, today London is the most visited city in the world. With five major international airports, headquarters to 100 of the worlds’s 500 largest companies, London is a leading global city with significant contributions in commerce, finance, media, healthcare, fashion, and the arts. Along with New York City, London is the world’s largest financial center and has the largest GDP in the European Union.
Red double-decker buses, black cabs and the Tube are internationally recognizable icons of London. Be sure to check out our Ludus London Blog.
London - Useful Information
- English is the official language.
- No visa is needed for a United States citizen staying up to six months
- Time zone - GMT/UTC 0, Noon in San Diego, California means it’s 8 pm in London
- London observes Daylight Savings
- London uses 240 volts vs US where we use 110 volts – we recommend bringing a converter over an adapter
- Phone calls - Country calling code is +44 and the City code is 020
- Most US cell phones will work in London.
- There are plenty of internet cafes and Wi-Fi hotspots.
- Currency – Both the Pound and the Euro are acceptable forms of payment in the United Kingdom.
- The Great British Pound (GBP) is also called a sterling pound; each pound (£) is made up of 100 pence (p)
- Coins: 1p, 2p, 5p, 10p, 20p, 50p, 1£ and 2£.
- Bank notes: 5£, 10£, 20£, and 50£.
- ATMs are easily found, MasterCard and Visa are accepted almost everywhere
- Gratuity is usually added onto restaurant bills. However, if not, a 10-15% tip is acceptable. It is not appropriate to tip in a pub. Tip taxi drivers up to 10% or round up to the nearest pound. Tour guides and/or drivers appreciate a tip for their commentary.
- Tap water in the city is safe to drink.
- Smoking is banned in all enclosed public places.
- Drive on the left side of the road; always wear your seat belt.
- Texting the word "toilet" to the number 80097 provides directions to the nearest public restroom.
LONDON CITY (East London) - 6miles to city center
This is the closest airport to the city center, I would even say walking distance to Excel but it's super tiny. It has got one terminal, few and usually more expensive flights land here.
LONDON LUTON (North London) - 32miles to city center
It's one of the largest UK airports and is popular among people using low coast European flights (e.g. Ryan Air/Easy Jet..).
LONDON HEATHROW (South West London) - 20miles to city center
This is the biggest airport in London and one the most sophisticates and busiest airports in the world. It has got 5 terminals and most of intercontinental flights are landing here.
LONDON GATWICK (South London) - 28miles to city center
The second largest airport in UK after Heathrow, has got two terminals and a mix of flights.
LONDON STANSTED (North East London) - 40miles to city center
It is home to many of the UK's low-cost airlines, serving mostly European and Mediterranean destinations.