If you’re reading this article then chances are it’s because of your love for London. But more so than that, you want to learn new and interesting facts about London. If so, then you’re at the right place as we will give you our top 75 interesting facts about England’s capital.
Without wasting too much of your time, let’s begin.
London is by Far the Biggest City in the Whole of Britain
London is not only the biggest city in Britain but also the biggest in Europe with a population of 8.9 million! The second biggest city in Britain is Birmingham with 2.5 million.
London is Quite a Rainy City
This might not sound all that interesting, but back in 2019, London experienced rain in nearly 160 days. The official number was 159.2 days out of 365.
In London and in the UK as a Whole, People Drive On the Left Side of the Road!
Before your mum and dad decide to visit London, make sure to tell them that people drive on the left.
London is the Capital of England and the Official Residence of the Queen
London doesn’t have a president but a Queen! The current Queen is Queen Elizabeth II and she lives in the city.
London Was the First European City With an Underground Railway
Apart from being breathtaking and wonderful, London was the first European city with an advanced underground railway. In England, they call it “the tube.”
There Are More Than 100 Theaters in London
As many as 39 of them are located at West End, with the oldest one dating back to 1663!
London Has Many Dinosaurs
The Natural History Museum in London has more than 100 dinosaur specimens. These specimens include bones and skeletons and some are even assembled to resemble real-life dinos.
London Has a Shrek Theme Park
You might think that Shrek, Fiona and Donkey live in the Land of Duloc, but they actually live in Shrek’s Adventures theme park in London.
The Guards Outside Buckingham Palace Aren’t Allowed to Move!
Buckingham Palace is also the home of Queen Elizabeth II.
People Who Come From the City Are Called Londoners.
That’s right, Londoners is a common name for people from London.
London Was Built By the Romans
The Romans were the ones who build this magnificent city back in 50 AD. However, they didn’t call it London but rather “Londinium.”
The City Was an Olympic Games Host Three Times
London was the host of the Olympic games on more than one occasion. The first one was in 1908, followed by 1948 and the recent one in 2012.
London University Made Huge Strides For Women’s Rights
London University was the first in Britain to allow women to study. This was seen as a very radical change back in 1878, and even more radical when the University started issuing degrees to women.
There Was Once A Gin Craze
Back in the 18th century, Londoners drank a lot of gin. The official numbers between 1720 and 1751 said that every person drank 2 pints of gin per week!
London is Expensive
If you’re thinking about visiting the city, do know that London is in the top 10 most expensive cities in the world! Even a short trip can set you back thousands of pounds!
The Official Currency is the Pound Sterling
Unlike other major countries throughout the world, London and the UK as a whole uses the Pound Sterling as an official currency. Only a handful of countries that hold ties with Britain use this currency.
London Is the Most Popular Destination on the Planet
Nearly 30 million tourists visit the city every single year. These tourists come from all corners of the world, making the city the most popular tourist destination surpassing the likes of New York and Paris.
London Has Many Billionaires
While you might not be aware of it, London has one of the highest numbers of billionaires living in the city. Even though the city isn’t that tax-friendly towards rich people, there are a total of 70 billionaires that call London their home.
London is Home to Wimbledon
Wimbledon is one of the world’s biggest tennis event. The first-ever Wimbledon dates back to 1877!
The City is Quite Environmentally-Friendly
Greater London spans across 1500 square kilometres with 40% of the total area being public parks and gardens.
London Has A River
One of the biggest rivers in the whole of UK is the River Thames. This river passes through London and is a major tourist attraction.
You Might Need to Pay a Driving Fee
If you want to drive in central London between peak hours of 7 AM to 5 PM, then you will have to pay a £10 fee called a congestion charge. London is a big city with a huge population where traffic jams aren’t unheard of.
The City of Museums
The city is home to more than 170 museums. Out of these 170 museums, the most famous and high profile are the Natural History, the British Museum, Tate Britain, National Gallery, and the Victoria and Albert Museum.
London Is Home to Many Football Teams
Football is England’s most popular sport and London is home to the most football teams. The Premier League is the highest-profile league in England, with London having the highest number of teams representing. This includes the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur, Fulham, West Ham and Crystal Palace.
Cricket Is the National Sport
While this is a fun fact about England as a whole, it is actually cricket that is the national sport and not football.
There is a Special Type of Cab in London
While London might be the subject of quite a lot of myths, this is one that is absolutely true. There are special types of cabs in London called “black cabs.” Those that drive these cabs must find their way round 25,000 streets and without using GPS navigation. To become a black cab driver is a hard and monumental undertaking.
City of Foxes
While dogs and cats roam the streets of many cities, it is actually foxes that are the predominant city dwellers in London. Experts estimate that there are up to 10,000 foxes in London and up to half a million in the tube.
London Had the First Zoo
Back in the 17th century, there were no zoos in major European cities. London was the first one to open a zoo back in 1829 and it still exists till this very day.
London is Densely Populated
Nearly 12% of the total population of England lives in London.
Parking Space is Hard to Come By
Larking space in London is so hard to come by that one person paid half a million pounds just to park their car!
Double-decker Busses Roam the Streets
One unique thing about the city is the fact that they had developed the double-decker buses. These have become an icon for the city, and they even donate older units to poorer countries as a cheap means of public transportation.
The Great Plague Devastated London
The Great Plague of 1665 was a devastating disease that killed millions of people across Europe. But it was London that saw the biggest casualties. It is estimated that over 100,000 people, mostly the poor, had died from it.
The Great Fire of London Nearly Razed the City
If the plague wasn’t enough to deal with, the Great Fire of London soon would strike the city. This fire was so devastating that it nearly burned the city to the ground. Although only a handful of people died, the fire was so massive that it took decades to rebuild certain parts.
Jack the Ripper is London’s Most Famous Serial Killer
You’ve probably heard about Jack the Ripper, the notorious serial killer that took the lives of five women in Whitechapel in 1888. Jack the Ripper took the victim’s lives in horrific manners but they never found him nor know his identity.
The Five Deadly Days of London
Continuing on with the most gruesome tragedies to ever hit the city, the Five Deadly Days refers to a fog that hit the city in 1952. You might have heard this event as “The London Fog” and this particular fog took the lives of 12,000 people and hospitalizing nearly 150,000 Londoners!
London Was Bombed for 57 Days in WW2
Back in WW2, the German Luftwaffe bombed the city for 57 consecutive days. This was a relentless Blitz of attacks that lasted from September to October. During these 57 days, Londoners couldn’t sleep without hearing the sirens warning of a German air raid.
The Mourning of Britain
In 1997 on August 31st, Princess Diana lost her life in a car accident while on an official visit to Paris. After the tragic event, people mourned the Princess and left 15 tons of flowers in front of Buckingham Palace.
Big Ben Took 34 Years to Build
The world-famous Big Ben took 34 years to construct with the tower being unveiled in 1858. Ever since the tower has stood strong and was even a symbol of British resistance against the Germans during WW2.
Big Ben Isn’t the Official Name
Yet another interesting fact about London is the fact that Big Ben isn’t the official name of the tower. Instead, Big Ben is the name of the bell while the tower is actually the Elizabeth Tower.
The Tower of London Once Housed a Polar Bear
One of the most interesting facts about London is that it was once home to a polar bear. Henry III was given a polar bear and he kept it in the Tower of London.
The City of Many Names
London is the name we all know and love when we speak about the capital of England. But did you know that the city has as many as 50 different names across the globe?
The Queen Cannot Enter the City Freely
One of the strangest facts about the city is that the Mayor has to grant the Queen permission to enter the city! This permission is actually a formal ceremony at Temple Bar where the Mayor of the city formally accepts the Queen’s entry.
The Same Number of People Visit the City for Work as Those that Live
Yes, you heard that right! More than 19 million people reside in the city during work days. That’s twice the number of people that actually live. This is because many people work in the city but they live outside it. This explains why every train is full.
More than Six Different Governments Once Called London Their Home
Yet another historical fact about London is that it was once the home of governments of six different countries. The countries were Belgium, Norway, Poland, France, Holland, and the UK. This was during WW2 when the Germans had occupied the before-mentioned countries.
Londoners Would Frequently Visit Insane Asylum’s
This is quite a strange fact. Namely, Londoners frequently visited insane asylum’s back in the 18th century just to have fun with the inhabitants. While this is certainly a vile act, these asylums were pretty popular and one of the city’s most visited attractions!
Sheriffs Still Roam the Streets
It’s quite common to see a sheriff roaming the streets of London even now in 2020. But these aren’t the typical sheriffs we know from American Western films. London’s sheriffs are actually government employees responsible for carrying out the instructions of the High Court of Justice.
London’s Underground Has A Mosquito Problem
There is a special breed of mosquitos that have developed means to live in London’s underground railway. These mosquitos can live for longer periods of time in darker areas and sting more than the normal ones.
London is Quite Diverse
London is Britain’s most diverse city. You can hear as much as 300 different languages on the street. It is the most ethnically diverse city on the planet with nearly every ethnic group being represented.
Visits to the Zoo Were Free, If You Brought a Pet
That’s right. One of the most gruesome facts about London related to the Tower of London Zoo in the 18th century. Back then, to enter the zoo, you’d have to pay a fee. But entry was free for those that brought animals to feed the lions. Fortunately, this is no longer the case.
London is Actually the Smallest City in England!
But how could that be? I thought London had a population of almost 9 million people numbering 12% of the total population of England? Well, that’s because the area that houses all these people is called Greater London. While London itself is home to only 9,123 people. There isn’t a smaller city than London.
London Has More Indian Restaurants than Mumbai Itself!
Nothing speaks of London more than grabbing Indian takeaway on your way back from work. But seriously, London is home to so many great places to eat curry that it overshadows the likes of Mumbai.
How Many London’s, Again?
We said something earlier about London having 50 different names. Well, how about we tell you about how many London’s actually exist? For example, Canada and France both have a city called London. And if that isn’t impressive, how about the fact that the United States has 10 of them! But wait, what if we tell you that there is an asteroid named after the magnificent English capital?
London Has the Smallest Statue in the World
Size isn’t everything and it certainly isn’t when we discuss statues. A rather unusual fact has to do with two mice eating cheese. Well, if that isn’t unusual enough, what if we tell you that there’s a statue of exactly that? And the statue itself is a tragic story of two builders accusing each other to have eaten their meal. Both builders died and it was later found that the mice were the real culprits.
Double-deckers Weren’t Always Red
Remember the part about the double-decker busses that are unique to London? Well, they weren’t always red as we know them now. Prior to 1907, they were painted in various colours to signify a different route.
The Shard is the Highest Building in Europe
You might have heard about the Shard, but did you know it is the tallest building in Europe? It stands at nearly 310 meters high and has 72 floors. The building is meant to house inhabitants, and it is one of the most expensive buildings in Europe.
London Eye Spins 800 People Per Rotation
If you haven’t heard about the London Eye, then do know it is a giant Ferris wheel. But what’s impressive about it is that it has 32 capsules. Conveniently, they are ranked from 1 to 33 with number 13 being missing. These 32 capsules spin 800 people per rotation and go as high as 135m.
Every Bank was 10 Minute Apart
There was once a rule that every bank in England must be located within a 10 min walk from the Bank of England. This meant that every bank would be located within a 10-minute walk radius.
It’s Forbidden To Wear A Suit of Armour at Parliament
Sorry for all of your medieval fans but you can’t actually wear a suit of armour in the House of Parliament. This rule came to be in 1313 and has stood ever since.
Trafalgar Square Used to be the Dirtiest Place in London
London, specifically Trafalgar Square, had a horrid pigeon problem. The pigeons would wreak havoc onto passing pedestrians and poop all over the place. The problem was so bad that in 2003, the then-current mayor made it illegal to feed them.
Londoners Were Quite the Rioters
While it might not look like that from the naked eye, but Londoners were quite the angry bunch. Back in the 18th century, Londoners rioted about everything! From political reforms to the Irish, there were plenty of them. But none was more notorious than the Gordon Riots. This was a five-day riot that saw 300 people die and further 25 hanged.
Norway and London Share a History
The government of Norway gifts a Christmas tree to London to be put in Trafalgar Square every year. This tradition has existed since 1947.
Londoners Love Pubs
London’s vibrant pub scene is so massive that there are nearly 3,500 pubs in Greater London. What’s more interesting is that five underground railway stations are named after nearby pubs.
Some Streets Saw Their Unusual Names Changed
In the past, Londoners named their roads and streets based on what they were known for. For example, Pissing Alley was notorious for, well – pissing. There were Shiteburn Lane, Gropecunt Lane, and Cock Lane. These were deemed naughty and changed through time.
Many Consider London to be a Forrest
There are so many trees in the middle of the City of London that many conspire to be a forest. This is actually true if we take a look at the UN definition of a forest.
Beer Killed 8 People in 1814
Yes, you heard that correct. In 1814, the Meaux & Company Brewery exploded unleashing a tidal wave of beer that killed eight people. The scenes of swimming in beer weren’t exactly as some people thought it would be.
The First Traffic Light
In 1868, London had the privilege of installing the first traffic light. Its demise is rather unfortunate as it only lasted for a week after exploding and injuring a man.
City of Many Universities
Throughout the Greater London territory, there are approximately 43 Universities. Some of these include the likes of King’s College, Imperial College, London University, Queen Marry, and many more.
Aldgate Underground Station Was Build On Top of 1,000 Bodies
Not all facts about London are pleasant and nice. This one is rather morbid as the location where Aldgate Underground Station currently sits was a burial ground for bodies during the Great Plague. It is said that more than 1000 bodies lie underneath the station.
The Air Quality in London’s Underground Is Frightening
According to a study in 2002, the air quality in London’s underground railway was found to be 73 times worse than on the streets. This means that London’s underground railways are some of the most polluted places in the world.
Hidden Rivers Flow Beneath the City
Round 20 rivers still flow beneath London’s many streets. These were buried so that the city could be expanded to house more inhabitants. But out of the many rivers that saw such a fate, nearly 20 still flow.
Famous For Time
London’s time zone can be seen on the walls of many hotels round the world. And it was the first city to establish a time zone. This was the Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and is synonymous with London.
Three Women Have Given Birth on the Tube
It is estimated that nearly 3 million people use the London tube every single day. The tube can be so hectic that three women have given birth there. Out of these three babies, one of them is US talk show icon, Jerry Springer.
Kites are Forbidden
Pretty self-explanatory, ever since 1847 it was considered a criminal offense to fly kites in London.
The Tragic Memorial That Took 7 Lives
We said a few things about the Great Fire of London. Well, in the fire, 6 people tragically died. However, 7 people died during the construction of the memorial. Pretty ironic.
There Are No Roads in London
Well, this is quite an understatement as there is only one road in London – Goswell Road.
These were our 75 interesting facts about London. We hope you linked them.