About London

London is the capital city of England and the UK and has a population of 10.6 million. London sits on the River Thames in the south east of Great Britain and was founded by the Romans, who named it Londinium.

Image Description

London is a leading global city in the arts, commerce, education, entertainment, fashion, finance, healthcare, media, professional services, research and development, tourism and transportation. It is the world's largest financial centre and is often regarded as a world cultural capital. It is also the world's most-visited city, has the world's largest city airport system and is the world's leading investment destination, hosting more international retailers and ultrahigh-net-worth individuals than any other city. London's universities form the largest concentration of higher education institutes in Europe. In 2012, London became the first city to have hosted the modern Summer Olympic Games three times.

London contains four World Heritage Sites: the Tower of London; Kew Gardens; the site comprising the Palace of Westminster, Westminster Abbey, and St Margaret's Church; and the historic settlement of Greenwich. Other famous landmarks include Buckingham Palace, the London Eye, Piccadilly Circus, St Paul’s Cathedral, Tower Bridge, Trafalgar Square and The Shard. London is home to numerous museums, galleries, libraries and other cultural institutions, including the British Museum, National Gallery, Natural History Museum, Tate Modern, British Library and West End theatres.

Image Description  Climate

The climate of London is temperate, with modest daily high temperatures during summer and winter lows that seldom fall below freezing. Rainfall is fairly regular throughout the year. October is a fairly cool time to visit London; the autumn season is well underway and the average temperature is 12°C.

Image Description  Language

In Britain, the main language is English, although London has a diverse range of people and cultures, and more than 300 languages are spoken in the Greater London area.

Image Description  Airports

London is served by six international and several smaller airports. The major airports for the city are London Heathrow, London Gatwick and City Airport. There are very good links from these major airports to the centre of London via express trains, coaches, buses, the London Underground and by taxi.

For transportation assistance and the best way to get to Greenwich from your arrival airport, please refer to the transportation page.

Image Description  Currency

In the UK, the unit of currency is the pound (£GBP). Various notes and coins are used – notes include £5, £10, £20 and £50 denominations.

Image Description  Time Zone

The United Kingdom uses Greenwich Mean Time or Western European Time (UTC) and British Summer Time or Western European Summer Time (UTC+01:00).

Image Description  Tipping and Service Charges

Tipping is not expected in the UK. It is not a requirement to tip in taxis, but it is customary to round up to the nearest pound (£) on metered taxi journeys, more as a convenience to both passenger and driver than as a tip. In restaurants where you place your order with your waiter/waitress at your table, should you wish to tip, 10% is generally the maximum. In some restaurants, a service charge is added to the bill, typically 10% or 12.5%. This should be noted on the menu or the bill itself.

Image Description  Electricity

In England, the power sockets are of type G. The standard voltage is 230 V and the standard frequency is 50 Hz.

UK appliances are fitted with a three-pin plug (shown above) and wall sockets have a switch controlling power supply. Adapters are easy to find. If your country uses lower voltage than the UK average of 230 V, you may also need a converter.

Image Description  Hospitality/Tour and Travel desk

A hospitality, tour and travel desk will operate in the hotel during registration and conference hours. Here, delegates can collect their documents for the technical tours and guest programme, or ask for other local information during the BGM.

Image Description  Smoking

In the UK, smoking is banned in all indoor public spaces and workplaces, including restaurants and bars, on public transport and in shopping centres.