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A travel plan that only includes mainland Europe misses out on one unforgettable destination
whose diversity rivals the entire rest of the continent. Today’s London is a huge amalgamation
of cultures from the former British Empire. Ethnic Britons make up a minority of the city’s
population, so it’s the immigrants who are continually injecting a liveliness into the ancient
city. Cultural experiences wait around each corner— driving punk chords fuse with syncopated
Nigerian drum rhythms, and the food is more curry and naan than bubble and squeak.
It’s best to think of London as a collection of neighborhoods, each with its own beating heart. The extensive London Underground system (known to locals as the Tube) whisks people across the city in just a matter of minutes, so a traveler can hit the West End’s Convent Garden for some sublime people-watching, then head to the East End for a bagel lunch on Brick Lane. London’s enduring attractions—Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, the British Museum, Buckingham Palace, and on and on—draw huge crowds and for good reason, but it’s easy to wander off the beaten path into a world that’s not found in the travel books. Street art (which might be called graffiti anywhere else) covers the walls of former tenement blocks adding unique bursts of color and imagery to otherwise drab buildings . Sunday markets hum as locals bustle to and fro, filling their baskets with fresh produce. Whatever you end up doing on your London trip plan, it is sure to be filled with history, architecture, delicious cuisine, and a whole lot of culture.