Houses of Parliament and Big Ben at night in London

Compare the best London city breaks

The UK's capital city is an ideal location for a city break; indeed, it is undoubtedly one of the world's best cities, featuring an incredible range of museums, galleries, historic buildings, shops, restaurants, bars and entertainment venues.

Why go?

A city break in London has all the ingredients for a fantastic getaway - the only problem you might have is fitting it all in! Here's why to go...

You can take a tour of Buckingham Palace or visit the Tower of London, where traitors and criminals were punished in bygone times. See the Beefeaters and ravens and admire the Crown Jewels. Take a stroll around Parliament Square and admire the architecture.

Enjoy fine works of art at the National Gallery and Tate Modern. Take a ride on the London Eye for stunning views over London, or book a Champagne Experience at dusk and let the bubbles go to your head as you watch the sun set over the River Thames.

Visit world-renowned stores such as Harrods, or browse designer boutiques and department stores such as Selfridges. Other famous shopping areas include Oxford Street, Covent Garden and Carnaby Street. There are many markets selling a wide variety of goods along with caffs and restaurants to stop for a break.

For an educational day out, visit the British Museum to see treasures from around the world. These include Egyptian mummies. The Natural History Museum has a dinosaur in the entrance hall to welcome you and in the Science Museum you can enjoy great interactive exhibits.

Get away from the bustle in Hyde Park, where you can hire a bicycle, enjoy a peaceful picnic or visit the nearby London Zoo. Or hire a car and escape to nearby Kent, Brighton or Oxford.

For the best in live theatre visit the West End. Many shows book up early so it is best to book in advance. There are also numerous venues offering live entertainment, from comedy clubs to live music venues. Alternatively, there are many quiet bars and restaurants where you can enjoy a romantic evening.

Most attractions in London are open all year round, making it ideal for short breaks and holidays at any time. The summer months are the most popular with overseas tourists.

The Gatwick Express will whisk you into Victoria Station from the airport, non-stop, in just 30 minutes. Other, cheaper, train services operate, but they are slower.

Heathrow Airport's Express train service will have you in Paddington Station in just 15 minutes. Once again, other services, such as the Underground, are cheaper but significantly slower.

Use the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) to reach central London from London City Airport. The journey takes around 30 minutes. London Luton Airport is connected to central London by bus and train services. Both journeys take around an hour and cost roughly the same.

Stansted Airport, in Essex, is also well connected to London. Express trains take 45 minutes to reach Liverpool Street Station by express train. A longer coach journey will save you some money.

To travel around London, you will be able to hop aboard iconic London buses, or use the Tube (the Underground network of trains) to get around central London. Buses, Tube trains and Overground trains, plus the DLR, are great for journeys into the capital's outer reaches.

Boats on the River Thames also connect parts of the capital. Alternatively, hail a black cab in the street, jump into one at a rank, or book a licensed minicab.

When to go?

Weather in London can be unpredictable. However, there is so much to see that you'll never be stuck for things to do in this vibrant and exciting city...

The temperature in London varies between 30°C in summer and 0°C in winter. Being on an island the weather can change from one week to the next; however, extreme weather is uncommon here.

What's on?

There is always something going on in London, and if you want to get involved in an event or festival, you'll find plenty to keep you entertained...

London has many events throughout the year, including music and art festivals.

The London Film Festival; October: Taking place at venues throughout the capital, the London Film Festival is the largest public film event in the UK.

Wireless Festival; July: Previously sponsored by O2 and then Barclaycard, this music festival is now sponsored by Yahoo and features a number of well-known acts and artists.

If you are planning a trip to London this year and need some help, read our fact file below and use TravelSupermarket's search tool to find the cheapest deals.

What to do?

The energy of this city will captivate you, and whether you're looking for a romantic, active or family weekend, you'll be spoilt for choice for things to do...

Romance: For the ultimate view of London and a romantic treat, consider booking a Cupid's Capsule aboard the London Eye. Your private tour of the skyline will be accompanied by Champagne and truffles.

Families: The Tower of London is a terrific place to keep the clan entertained for the day. If you visit in winter you can even book an ice-skating session in the Tower's moat.

Shopping: Shopaholics love London for its range of department stores, designer labels and high street brands. Knightsbridge's Harrods is an experience in itself, where you can never tire of marvelling at the ornate food halls and gasping at price tags.

Free & cheap: Many of London's top museums offer free admission. Check out the British Museum, the Natural History Museum or the Science Museum. Get there early to avoid big queues.

Active types: See the capital by bike! The Barclays Cycle Hire scheme allows you to pick up a bicycle and drop it off at another city location. It's a great - and cheap - way to see the sights.