London is one of the most visited cities in the world. In fact, Mastercard’s 2019 Global Destination Cities Index Report ranked it as the world’s third most popular city, with 19.09 million overnight visitors in 2018. Only Paris (19.10 million) and Bangkok (22.7 million) managed to attract more visitors in 2018.
London’s popularity is the result of a wide range of factors. The city’s history, architecture, attractions, shops, nightlife and more draw in visitors from around the globe, including serious spenders who are looking to ‘do London’ in style.
For many, holidaying in London in style means hitting the shops. Oxford Street is the obvious choice and is home to plenty of high-end, internationally known fashion brands, as well as more affordable stores. Shoppers with plenty of cash to spend will also delight in Knightsbridge, which is home to both Harrods and Harvey Nichols. Hamleys on Regent Street – the world’s oldest toy store – is the place to go to treat the kids, while Bond Street is the ultimate location for jewelry and high-end boutiques.
Of course, a trip to London wouldn’t be complete without visiting some of the city’s world-famous attractions. The splendor of Buckingham Palace and the grandeur of the Palace of Westminster (the building that is home to the houses of Parliament and Big Ben) are not to be missed. The Tate Modern, British Museum, National Gallery and Natural History Museum are also well worth a visit. Each attracted well over 5 million visitors in 2018 as a result of their superb cultural offerings.
London is also home to a world-class nightlife scene. Whether it’s a lively night out clubbing or an elegant evening sipping cocktails at the card tables of one of the city’s 29 casinos, London is a city with something for everyone.
Playing cards in London is certainly a tradition for wealthy visitors. Ever since Dr. No was released in 1962, with an opening scene of James Bond playing baccarat (chemin de fer) in the fictional London casino of Le Cercle, the city’s casinos have been embedded in popular culture. Indeed, Bond has played cards in a number of casinos in the movies over the years, and baccarat has featured strongly. Even in online casinos such as Sky City, the game retains a reputation as a pursuit of the upper classes, with baccarat being one of many casino games to incorporate live streaming with real dealers.
Dining out in London is also essential for those looking to holiday there in style. London is the sixth most Michelin-starred city in the world, with a total of 69 Michelin-starred restaurants. The diverse range of cuisine on offer is guaranteed to tantalize the taste buds of even the most demanding global traveler. Dine at The Ivy, Nobu, Sexy Fish and Chiltern Firehouse for some outstanding culinary experiences, as well as the chance to rub shoulders with internationally recognized celebrities.
Whatever your priorities when visiting a city, London is bound to delight. Even for travelers on a budget, the city is an outstanding tourist destination. There are Michelin-starred restaurants that won’t break the bank, the top visitor destinations all offer free entry and the window-shopping possibilities are almost endless!