Welcome to London!
London has to be one of the most attractive cities in Europe for the gay visitor: a vast amount of bars, cafes, clubs, Restaurants, theatres and shopping, all located in the historic centre. The main gay area,Soho, just west of the West End, is where all theatres are located and north of China Town. Main gay street is Old Compton Street, where many bars are located.
Getting into London from Heathrow Airport is easy. Situated approximately 16 miles away from central London.. one option is to take the easy way with a pre-purchased transfer from London Heathrow Airport, London Gatwick Airport or London Stansted to your London Hotel. Easy, stress free, door-to-door service. Book your transfer HERE. Another option is Heathrow Express – direct train service from Heathrow airport that goes to Paddington Station where just outside station you can take a London black cab. Trains run every 15 min. and it takes approx. 15 min to reach London. It is more expensive way to travel compared to the Coach option.
There are so many sights to see in and around London – it’s hard to pack it all in, but here a few key must-see London sights:
The Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace is a free and colourful display of Royal pageantry. In August and September it is open to visitors and you can tour Buckingham Palace itself. Take tube to Victoria, St James`s Park or Green Park tube station. There are actually two ceremonies at separate places. The more popular venue is Buckingham Palace where at 11.30am on most days The Queen`s Guard, accompanied by a band, arrives from Wellington Barracks having marched via Bird Cage Walk to the palace. The ceremony lasts about 40 min. and takes place inside the railings of the palace. A separate ceremony also takes place daily throughout the year at Horse Guards Parade in Whitehall at 11am Mon-Sat and 10am on Sun. Here The Queen`s Life Guard – ride in to perform the ceremony via Hyde Park Corner, Constitution Hill and The Mall.
Take a look at the Houses of Parliament and the famous Big Ben clock tower.
Tower of London with its colourful ‘Beefeaters’ has served as a place of execution and torture, an armoury, a zoo , a mint … and now it is an iconic symbol of London and one of the world’s most visited tourist attractions. It also houses the magnificent Crown Jewels.
Other sights include the Tower Bridge, British Museum, Kensington Palace (former home of Princess Diana and Queen Victoria), and the famous Harrod’s Department Store, which spans four acres in size and with more than 300 departments, bars, restaurants and even it’s own pub.
Of course, you have to ride on the London Eye – the new landmark for London! The London Eye offers spectacular views of the capital of England from high above the River Thames. The famous landmarks to be seen include Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Buckingham Palace and Westminster Abbey. Buy your tickets in advance HERE and SKIP the line!
With the London Pass you will enjoy free entry to 60 of London’s world-class sites saving time as you skip the queues with fast-track entry at countless attractions, and special offers at quality London restaurants and shops. Choose from a 1, 2, 3 oder 6 day pass. Want to explore the city in the most hassle-free way? Upgrade your London Pass to include a zones 1-6 London Travelcard. Competitively priced, the upgrade option covers all journeys made on the London Underground, London Overground, buses and Dockland Light Railway for the validity of your pass. Buy your pass from GoGayToday HERE and you’re set!
London is one of the biggest gay party cities in the world, and on the weekend you can party almost around the clock. There are two main gay areas in central London – that’s zone 1 on the tube. These are Soho und Vauxhall.
The main gay area has to be Soho, just west of the West End, where all theatres are located and north of China Town. In Soho also the major shopping areas like Oxford Street can be found. The main gay street is Old Compton Street, where many bars are located like the popular G-A-Y, Village Soho and many more. Bars are busy day and night, but most close early around midnight.
Most big venues can be found in the Vauxhall area. Here you can find many clubs and big different parties, though many of them use the same venues in different weekends. Clubbing is big business in London and the prices are high. Drinks will run you £3-6 and entry/cover charges can range between £4-20 depending on the venue and night – be on the lookout for party fliers which provide discounted entrance.
There are lots of cruising venues and a wide range of gay sauna’s. The biggest ones are Chariots Shoreditch (near Liverpool st Station), Pleasuredome (near Waterloo). In Soho there is a smaller sauna aswell, but good when bars close Sweatbox.
Pride London, founded in 2004, is now Europe’s largest non-ticketed event. The parade (usually in early July), commencing at Baker Street and featuring floats and music, is always one of the most vibrant events in the London calendar.
London has a great public transport system. The underground or “tube” as it’s called is efficient and easy to figure out. However, it is prohibitively expensive if you pay as you go – it is best to get a London TravelCard for cheaper travel on the bus, rail and tube network. See above to combine with your sightseeing and SAVE. The bad news is that the tube/underground stops after midnight. So, for those late nights out, its best to grab a black taxi. They are quick, easy and usually reliable.
No matter how much or how little you decide to do while in London, you will leave wanting more!