London is the capital city of the United Kingdom. Standing on the River Thames, it has been an important settlement for two thousand years, the Roman town, Londinium, being founded in the middle of the 1st century. London is a leading global city, a centre of finance, research, culture, art, fashion and tourism.
There are 15 million people living in London and its metropolitan area with many people commuting to work from outside the city. London is multi-cultural with more than 300 languages are spoken within Greater London. It is traditionally Christian with sizable Muslim, Hindu, Sikh and Jewish communities.
London is a major tourist destination with over 15 million international visitors per year making it one of the world’s most visited cities. London’s free museums with their complex and engaging exhibitions are very popular, the British Museum, the Tate Modern, the National Gallery, the National History Museum and the Science Museum attract huge crowds all year. The permanent ferris wheel sitting on the bank of the River Thames, the London Eye is within walking distance from the iconic Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament and the Westminster Abbey: these are most popular destinations as well. Madam Tussauds, the Tower of London and the St Paul’s Cathedral (bearing the name of London’s patron saint) are also among the major attractions.
London is a very busy city with lots of traffic and a well-oiled public transport system. Besides the symbolic red double-decker buses there are several train lines and eleven underground lines too. The London underground is called “the tube”. Although the city is definitely very crowded, there are also a number of lush green parks and small forests that help the city, and its inhabitants breathe.
London has a wide cultural scene. Exhibitions, theatres, ballet, opera, cinemas, a wide range of restaurants, traditional or modern pubs and bars are all easy to find in the city. London is also a centre of education with major colleges, universities and libraries offering their services to those interested.
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