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Quick Facts

Get up to speed about the region

London is the capital of England and the United Kingdom. It is a large and dynamic city, with a strong international character and diverse population of more than eight million people.  One of the world’s frequent 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.  Majority of the 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 recent updated 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.

GBP 1.00 equals:

Exchange Rates Currency
4.50 United Arab Emirates Dirham (AED)
1.77 Australian Dollar (AUD)
1.16 Euro (EUR)
9.64 Hong Kong Dollar (HKD)
166.06 Japanese Yen (JPY)
1.70 Singapore Dollar (SGD)
20.96 Turkish Lira (TRY)
1.23 US Dollar (USD)


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.

Business Hours

Bank Hours
Generally 9.30am - 4.30pm, Monday to Friday
Some branches are open on Saturday from 9.30am to 12noon

Office Hours
9am - 5pm (Monday to Friday)

Shopping Hours
9am - 5 or 6pm (Monday to Saturday)
Majority of the department stores are open every day with reduced hours on Sunday; usually, Thursday is ideal for late night shopping

Public Health

NHS (National Health Service) treatment is inclusive for UK residents. Overseas nationals are not eligible for 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).

Local Climate
Month High Low
Jan 8.3ºC 2.6ºC
Feb 8.5ºC 2.4ºC
Mar 11.4ºC 4.1ºC
Apr 14.2ºC 5.4ºC
May 17.7ºC 8.4ºC
Jun 20.7ºC 11.5ºC
Jul 23.2ºC 13.9ºC
Aug 22.9ºC 13.7ºC
Sep 20.1ºC 11.2ºC
Oct 15.6ºC 8.3ºC
Nov 11.4ºC 5.1ºC
Dec 8.6ºC 2.8ºC

8 million


Time Zone
GMT / GMT+1 (daylight saving time)

Metric System

220 volts

Plug Type

Mobile Phones
GSM 900 / 1800