25 Interesting Facts about London

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Want to know more about London? Here are 25 Interesting Facts about London that you probably didn’t know before reading this!

To make this even more fun, I want to challenge you as well. How many of these London facts did you know before reading this? Share your result in the comment section!

1. It was founded as Londinium

Did you know that London was founded by the Romans in 47 AD? It was then called Londinium and became the capital of the Roman province of Britannia.

Since then the city has also been named Lundenwic and Lundenburh during Anglo-Saxon times. 

2. All black cab drivers must pass a test

If you want to drive a black cab in London, you need to pass a test known as “the knowledge”. The black cab driver test includes memorizing every single street in the city. 

Black Cab taxi

Photo: Shutterstock

3. It’s one of the most expensive cities to live in

London is often ranked in the top of the most expensive cities in the world, and while the place varies after what ranking factors measured, one thing is certain, you’ll need a lot of money if you want to live well in the UK capital. 

READ MORE:  Top Things To Do In London

The most expensive neighborhoods in the city are Kensington, Chelsea, Knightsbridge, and Notting Hill. The median property price of a home in Kensington is 1.7 million Sterling pound.

Kensington

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4. There are more than 10 000 foxes living in the city

The Londoners don’t appreciate the howling foxes very much and they are mostly deemed as a problem since they are seen frequently in human neighborhoods and courtyards. 

This might be one of the most surprising facts about London as a foreigner. 

London fox

Photo: Shutterstock

5. London is home to more than 70 billionaires

Only New York City, Hong Kong, and Moscow have more billionaires.

6. It’s one of the most visited cities in the world

More than 30 million visitors come to the UK capital every year, and more than 26 million people stay overnight. In 2018, the city had about 20,7 million international visitors. 

London tourism

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7. More than 300 languages are spoken in London

As one of the most multicultural cities in the world, it might not be one of the most surprising facts about London, but nonetheless interesting. More than 300 languages are being spoken on a regular basis within the city limits. 

8. Home to the world’s first underground railway system

The first line went from Paddington and Farringdon and started in 1863, which makes it the oldest rapid transit system in the world.

London underground

Photo: Shutterstock

9. London used to stink and be filled with smog

The Great Stink took place from July to August in 1858 and spread an unpleasant smell across the city. It was caused by hot weather who intensified the smell of human- and industrial waste. 

Air pollution has been a problem in London since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, and while the government tries to lower the pollution levels these days, it is only around 70 years since “The Great Smog” where at least 4000 people died. 

READ MORE:  Top Things To Do In London

10. The city has more than 170 museums

If you like to visit museums, there are not many other cities that could compete with London. It would take almost half a year to visit all of them if you visit 1 museum every day. 

London museum

Photo: Gordon Bell / Shutterstock.com

11. It’s the third largest city in Europe

With a population of 9,1 million people, it is the third most populated city in Europe, after Moscow and Istanbul. Depending on how you measure it could also be the largest city in Europe. 

12. More than 500,000 Londoners are British Indians

London is one of the most diverse cities in the world, and the largest ethnic group are British Indians, which account for about 6% of the total population. 

British indian

Photo: Shutterstock

13. Visitors can follow the footsteps of Jack the Ripper

Jack the Ripper is one of the most infamous serial killers in human history, and he was never caught by the local police. And today, there are various tours available for those who want to visit places that he made famous. 

14. More than 4/5 of the city was destroyed in the Great Fire of 1666

It is said that 70,000 houses were destroyed in the fire, and at this time the city only had 80,000 inhabitants. The Great Fire started at a bakery on 2 September in 1666.

15. Big Ben is actually the name of the bell, not the tower

Most tourists think that Big Ben is the whole clocktower, but the clocktower is actually named The Elizabeth Tower, and Big Ben is the name of the bell inside the clocktower. 

Big Ben

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5 x Fun Facts about London

  • Royal Navy ships are required by law to provide a barrel of rum when entering the Port of London
  • The Queen has to Ask for Permission to Enter the City of London
  • Due to a large number of trees in the city, it could be classified as a forest per UN definition
  • More than half of the Underground network runs above ground
  • The soil under the statue of George Washington in the Trafalgar Square is imported from the USA because he pledged to never set foot on English soil again
London statue

Photo: Chrispictures / Shutterstock.com

5 x London facts for kids

  • London Eye is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city
  • There are six football teams from London in the English Premier League
  • The city grew from 2 million to 6,5 million during the Victorian period and has now more than 9 million inhabitants
  • It’s the only modern city to have hosted the Summer Olympic Games three times
  • There are at least half a million mice living in the London underground
London facts for kids

Photo: Silvi Photo / Shutterstock.com

General Facts about London

Below is some general information about London such as total population, land area, and other general facts that might be interesting to know.

  • Total Population: 9,126,366
  • Founded: 47 AD by Romans
  • Demonym: Londoner
  • Mayor: Sadiq Khan
  • Total city area: 607 sq mi (1,572 km2)
  • Metro area: 3,236 sq mi (8,382 km2)
  • Time zone: UTC +0 and UTC +1 (summertime)
READ MORE:  Top Things To Do In London

Neighborhoods

If you’re looking for facts about London, it might also be interesting to know some of the neighborhoods.

MayfairShoreditch
ChelseaGreenwich
SouthwarkBrixton
Notting HillCamden
SohoKensington

Flag of London

flag of london

Map of London

Below is a map of all the boroughs of the city. 

London map

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Airports in London

Heathrow is the main airport and also one of the busiest airports in the world. Stansted and Gatwick are commonly used by low-cost carriers such as Ryanair and Easyjet. 

  • Heathrow
  • Stansted
  • Gatwick
  • Luton airport
  • Southend
  • City

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How many of these London Facts did you know beforehand? Share your result in the comment section below!

April 12th, 2019|

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Swedish Nomad

Hello! I’m Alex Waltner — A Swedish Travel Blogger & Photographer.

My vision with this blog is to inspire people to travel more and better by sharing useful travel guides and tips from my adventures around the world.

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