The Insiders’ Guide to the World’s Greatest Cities: London

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London from above.

City Guide: London

Virtuoso travel advisors share their can’t-miss highlights in London.

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Cut at 45 Park Lane.
The Radio Rooftop Bar.

Though heavy on tradition – and home to some of the world’s most recognizable landmarks – the appeal of England’s capital city remains fresh. “London never stops giving; it’s full of culture, beauty, and exciting prospects,” says Mark Smith, a London-based Virtuoso agency executive. “Every day is different here, and that’s what I love about it.” 
 
MUST-DO: “London is a top city for theater,” says Michelle Boyles, a Cincinnati-based travel advisor who has visited the UK more than a dozen times. “One of my favorites is The Globe, a replica of the space where Shakespeare’s plays were performed during his time. The original burned down in 1613; this was lovingly re-created to its specs.”
 
TAKE A PASS: Forgo the London Eye, Smith suggests. “You can enjoy the same views from a rooftop bar without all the standing in line – I like Radio Rooftop Bar on the West End.” 
 
DIG IN:Cut at 45 Park Lane has the best steak in London,” Smith says, “and a fun option is Bar Remo, a family-run Italian restaurant tucked behind Oxford Circus.”
 
LOCAL FIND: “Many artists live in bohemian Camden, a borough in northwest London,” Boyles says. “Swing by Camden Market for clothes, accessories, household wares, and other artisan-made finds, or Rough Trade Records for a great collection of music from emerging artists.”   
 
DUCHESS-APPROVED: “The Goring hotel’s excellent service and beautifully appointed rooms make any guest feel like royalty,” Boyles says. “It’s a favorite of the royal family; Kate Middleton spent the night before her wedding here.” 
 
PRO TIP: “Head to Hyde Park for a chance to escape the buzz of London Town,” Smith recommends. “Take a long stroll or get active in a rowboat on The Serpentine lake. There’s always something going on, from live music to open-air theater.”
 
GO: A new exhibit at Kensington Palace, Diana: Her Fashion Story, showcases dozens of couture pieces from the wardrobe of the late princess. Travel advisors can work with NoteWorthy, Virtuoso’s on-site connection in London, to arrange VIP access and private tours of the exhibit and other popular London activities.
 
More: The Insiders' Guide to the World’s Greatest Cities

Photos: Lisa Linder