London is the capital and largest city of England and the United Kingdom. It is located in southeastern England along the River Thames. With over 9 million residents, London is one of the most populated cities in Europe.
The area that is now London has evidence of human habitation dating back over two millennia. The Romans established the city of Londinium in 43AD as a hub for trade and commerce. After the decline of the Roman Empire, London fell into obscurity for centuries. The city grew rapidly during the medieval period and became an important political and economic centre.
Modern London emerged in the 17th and 18th centuries as the British Empire expanded around the globe. London became a global city and the capital of the largest empire in history. Immigration from Britain’s colonies and beyond led to tremendous diversity in London’s population. It was the world’s largest city from 1831 to 1925.
Today, London is a leading global city in finance, entertainment, fashion, healthcare, tourism, education, and arts and culture. Iconic landmarks include the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben, the London Eye, Tower Bridge, Buckingham Palace, and the British Museum. Other top attractions are the West End theatres, the Tower of London, St Paul’s Cathedral, Greenwich, and Hyde Park. Ethnically diverse neighbourhoods across London contribute to its multicultural identity.
The Greater London metropolitan area incorporates 32 boroughs and the City of London. The mayor of London heads the city’s devolved administration. Some notable Londoners throughout history are William Shakespeare, Charles Dickens, Alfred Hitchcock, Charlie Chaplin, David Bowie, and Elton John.
As a cosmopolitan world city, London offers something for everyone, from history and culture to dining and nightlife. It continues to attract visitors and new residents from across the UK and around the world.