London is the capital of England and the United Kingdom. It is one of the largest and most dynamic cities in the world, with a strong international character and diverse population of more than eight million people. One of the world’s most visited cities, London has something for everyone, from history, culture, art and museums to architecture, royalty, fashion and glamour.
Citizens of EEC countries do not require visas to enter the UK. Most other nationalities do. To find out whether you need a visa to visit London, check with your local British Embassy or other diplomatic representative before you travel. The rules change regularly, so please check for the most up to date information at the UK Border Agency website
View visa requirements from the UK Border Agency
British Pound or Pound Sterling (£), divided into 100 pence.
Here are the most recent exchange rates for some common currencies.
A value-added tax (VAT) is generally added to all purchase amounts. Tax is included in prices.
A discretionary service charge of 12.5% is usually added automatically to all hotel and restaurant bills in London. If not, a 10% tip is appropriate for waiters.
Bank HoursGenerally 9.30am - 4.30pm, Monday to FridaySome branches are open on Saturday from 9.30am to 12noon
Office Hours9am - 5pm (Monday to Friday)
Shopping Hours9am - 5 or 6pm (Monday to Saturday)Most department stores are open every day with reduced hours on Sunday; usually, Thursday is ideal for late night shopping
NHS (National Health Service) treatment is free for UK residents. Overseas nationals are not eligible for free NHS treatment except if they need emergency care while in the UK. You are strongly advised to take out travel insurance to cover any medical expenses.
If you are visiting from Europe, you need to carry a valid EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) in case you need immediate and necessary medical treatment at an NHS hospital. Without this, you can be charged for treatment.
London and the South East have one of the mildest climates in the UK, but the weather can be unpredictable. Londoners get used to carrying both an umbrella and sunglasses to be prepared for all eventualities.
Summer can be very pleasant, with temperatures averaging 18°C (64°F) and often into the low 20s (70s). Typical temperatures in winter are between 2°C and 6°C (36°F to 43°F).
Periods of rain
Variable clouds with a few showers
Time ZoneGMT / GMT+1 (daylight saving time)
Mobile PhonesGSM 900 / 1800
31 St Thomas Street, London, SE1 9QU, United Kingdom
T:(44 20) 7234 8000
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