A tourist hotspot. A global financial centre. A sporting powerhouse. A world-renowned theatreland. The seat of government and royalty. London, the UK’s capital city, is a big player on the world’s stage.
Steeped in history and culture, ol’ Londontown has long been one of the top destinations on the planet for visitors. In fact, in 2015 a record-breaking 31.5 million international and UK tourists came to the capital city. People are drawn to the many world-class restaurants, bars, music venues, museums, art galleries, shopping districts, and award-winning West End musicals and shows.
Sport-lovers truly are spoilt for choice. There are no less than five Premier League football teams, two top Rugby Union and one major Rugby League clubs that play in the capital, as well an array of smaller clubs in a wide variety of sports. London’s reputation as a sporting titan is also thanks to its history of hosting top sporting events including the FIFA world cup, the UEFA champions league final, NFL American football International Series games, International test series in cricket, the Rugby (union) World Cup finals, the Wimbledon tennis championships and the Olympic Games. In 2012, London became the only city to have hosted the summer Olympics three times in the modern era.
But if all that’s a bit tiring for you, take a relaxing stroll around one of the city’s eight Royal Parks and numerous other greenspaces. Or wander through the historic streets, taking in the range of stunning architecture from the stylish Georgian townhouses to the chic, contemporary skyscrapers. Alternatively, you can meander along the banks of the River Thames that flows through the heart of the city and historically helped develop the capital into the global power that it is today.
And getting here is no problem. With 8 airports attached to the city, London has the busiest airspace in the world. The three major airports – Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted – fly passengers to destinations across the globe. Moving around the city itself is reasonably easy thanks to the capital’s comprehensive transport network, including road, rail, bus, ferry and trams links, as well as the world-famous London Underground, the city’s metro system.
With so much going on, it’s no surprise that people from across the country and around the globe also flock to London to make it their home. This has helped the city to become one of the world’s leading financial centres, with a GDP equal to that of some countries! In 2015, residential property in London was estimated to be worth $2.2 trillion – that is the same value as Brazil’s annual GDP! Property prices are considerably higher than the rest of the country, making quality homes much-sought-after and keeping the large rental market buoyant.
This bustling, thriving metropolis is seemingly unstoppable, and is certain to continue to be a favourite for tourists, residents and investors from around the world.