Quote: Originally Posted by I think not Quote: Originally Posted by BlackleafMoscow is the largest city in Europe.
London, obviously. It's the largest city in Europe and not so long ago was the largest in the world.
London is Europe's largest (and richest) city. And not only that, but it's also the most ethnically diverse city in Europe, if not the world.
In terms of per capita GDP, London is also much richer than the richest city in North America, New York.
London has been the world's greatest city for centuries.
London (England), city, capital of the United Kingdom. London is situated in southeastern England along the Thames River. With a population of about 7 million, this vast metropolis is by far the largest city in Europe, a distinction it has maintained since the 17th century. In the 19th century it was the largest and most influential city in the world, the center of a large and prosperous overseas empire. Although it no longer ranks among the world’s most populous cities, London is still one of the world’s major financial and cultural capitals.
By European standards, London is physically spread out and dispersed, without a predominant focal point. It therefore defies easy general description, as the city’s character is found in its diverse and distinct sections. Many of these sections began as separate villages, and today they maintain some of their individual identities. London’s image is partly defined by its past, as its major buildings and institutions represent 2000 years of community history. Its image is also the product of a new multiethnic mix of people and the creative impulse of the new popular culture of “Cool Britannia,” a phrase Britain’s promoters conceived in the mid-1990s to portray Britain as modern and trendy.
London’s climate is generally mild and damp, although it can be erratic. This region is one of the driest parts of Britain, and the average annual rainfall is only 750 mm (30 in). However, the weather is generally cloudy, and some rain is liable to fall on half the days of the year. With a mean temperature in July of about 18° C (about 64° F), London has warmer summers than most of the island, although heat waves are infrequent and seldom last long. Temperatures rarely go above 26° C (78° F). Winters are relatively frosty, however, and the mean temperature in January is 4° C (40° F). Fog frequently develops in winter. In the past, foggy days were aggravated by smoke, resulting in London's traditional 'pea-soupers.' However, since the use of coal has significantly declined, these have largely disappeared.
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London and luxury have been twinned since the city's birth. Europe's largest city, capital of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, first grew up as a seaport, importer of fine objects. Medieval merchants turned it into a famous place; then Victorian industry turned it into a giant; and consequently, as capital of a mercantile and military nation, it grew into one of the financial powerhouses of the globe.
Amidst the urban bustle of London, luxuries glitter. Saville Row tailors make the finest suiting in the world, bar none. Knightsbridge, Bond Street, Regent Street and nearby areas hold some of the most tastefully exclusive shops in the world. Intimate, club-like hotels and grand palaces both cater carefully for visitors. London's restaurants now rank among the finest in the world. Some nightclubs have an almost aristocratic air and casinos are proliferating in the capital. Hatton Garden has a thousand jewellery craftsmen. Cork Street and Hoxton boast art galleries that sell traditional and avant garde art.
London Fashion Week (September) attracts the glitterati, though there are plenty of enjoyable public events: the colourful Chelsea Flower Show in May; Trooping of the Colour on the Queen's Birthday (June) and the 400-year-old Lord Mayors' Show - featuring decorated Thames river barges and countless costumed performers (the public gallery of the Oxo Tower offers the best views).
Festivals and sports events have their own luxurious sides, often based in long-lasting traditions. Royal Ascot and the Epsom Derby, both staged near London, are the horseracing calendar's premier events, whilst courtside seats for finals day at Wimbledon are always in huge demand. The elite sport of rowing gathers a chic crowd to the elegant waterside festival of the Henley Regatta, whilst the lush lawns of Windsor Great Park host the super-exclusive Cartier International Polo Event.
Open to all comers as well are London's great shows of history, theatre, classical music, and the fine arts. Highbrow highlights include London's five superb Orchestras, the magnificently restored Royal Opera House at Covent Garden and theatre in the West End, where some of the best actors in the world put on its most compelling plays.
Public houses, or pubs, which come in many guises, are still the seat of much of the city's social life: try a distinctive gastro-pub for a taste of traditional life, albeit fashionable and upmarket. Since these often function as neighbourhood restaurants you should ask your hotel concierge for advice on which might best suit you. Ethnic diversity is a strong point of the city: it has a zip and dash that draws people from all over the world.
At one end of the Mile, is London's striking new landmark, the London Eye: a giant, slow-revolving Ferris wheel. From its lofty vantage you can see the whole valley of the Thames filled with an intensely urban city, stretching out to hills both north and south. Nearby you will spot neo-classical Buckingham Palace, home of the Queen of England, and the spiky, Victorian Gothic architecture of the Houses of Parliament, home of one of the world's foremost democratic assemblies.
One of the best ways to get around the city remains the traditional black taxi:
London 'cabbies' are amongst the best trained in the world, with a thorough knowledge of the best shortcuts - useful in a city as tangled as London. And thankfully, some of central London's notorious traffic problems have eased since the introduction of a daily vehicle toll in 2003.
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