The British capital revels in its status as the home of the British establishment and former lynchpin in a global empire. The riches of history are all around you, as evidenced by the Crown Jewels, Buckingham Palace and Big Ben. Check out all these world-famous sights, and then explore some alternatives.
London via Asia
Per person one way from Auckland, Wellington or Christchurch
Business Premier: 3 Mar - 28 Mar & 19 Apr - 17 Aug 2018
Terms and conditions: Advertised fares are based on travel originating in New Zealand. Please note the entire travel period may not be available at the time of booking. Advertised travel period as stated, other special Economy fares also available for travel 16 Jan – 31 Aug 2018
For airfare only bookings paid with credit, debit or charge card, a fee of $17.50 per person per one way long-haul journey applies. For airfare only bookings made through our Contact Centre a non-refundable service fee of $60 per person, per one way long-haul journey applies. Airport and government costs will vary and are subject to currency fluctuations. Taxes on return sector will vary from those on the outbound journey. Travel is via Air New Zealand nonstop services from Auckland to Singapore, Shanghai and Hong Kong and beyond on partner Airlines. Travel ex Christchurch/ Wellington is via Auckland on Air New Zealand domestic flights, excluding travel ex Wellington or Christchurch via Auckland & Singapore may incur an additional cost based on confirmed routing. Connections from all other Air New Zealand serviced domestic airports via Auckland available with additional cost. Connections from provincial New Zealand points requiring an overnight break in the journey will be at passengers' own expense. Advertised fares to London via Los Angeles are based on travel on Air New Zealand operated services. Travel to UK/Europe via Los Angeles, San Francisco, Vancouver, Buenos Aires, Houston, Tokyo or Osaka available at additional cost. Premium Economy: Air New Zealand domestic flights, and connecting flights maybe in Economy Class. Business Premier: Air New Zealand domestic flights will be in Economy Class. Advertised travel period as stated. Seats are limited and may not be available on all flights or on all dates. Prices correct as at 30 Aug 2017. New deals may be released at any time. The baggage limit is 1 piece for Economy fares; 2 pieces for Premium Economy and 3 pieces for Business Premier, not exceeding a maximum weight of 23kg (50lbs) per piece. See further baggage information. Airpoints™ Terms & Conditions, General Terms and Conditions, Global Saver, Premium Economy and Business Premier terms and conditions apply. TTY assistance is available for deaf and hearing impaired via NZ Relay on 0800 4 711 711.
Everyone knows Tower Bridge, but did you know you can now tread a glass-floored walkway between the towers? At 42 metres high, you’ll have a bird’s eye view of the road and river traffic passing below.
Do you enjoy art and culture? You’ll want to spend hours in the National Gallery on Trafalgar Square and the Tate down by the river. For an edgier experience, head to Damien Hirst’s Newport Street Gallery which opened in 2015.
Shopping aficionados should check out Spitalfields and the Boxpark pop-up mall in trendy Shoreditch. Get your hands on small and independent brands that may not be on sale in mainstream outlets.
At the end of a long day’s sightseeing, make your reservation at Quaglino’s in Mayfair. It’s been a famous nightspot for generations and underwent a multi-million pound refurbishment a few years back. As well as fine food there’s live music, entertainment and DJ sets starting from 10pm.
Above all, make sure you experience London street life. Stroll the market stalls in Borough Market south of the Thames, tasting delicious bites from artisan producers. Check out galleries showing works by London’s ever-changing community of artists and provocateurs. Soak up the atmosphere of a city that never seems to slow down.
And don’t forget that London is only a tiny corner of the United Kingdom. It’s easy to get away by train to the dreaming spires of Oxford and Cambridge or the impossibly cute villages of the Cotswolds. From the civilised Georgian squares of Edinburgh to the wild beauty of Cornwall, there’s a whole country waiting to be discovered.
Best time to go
A traditional British Christmas is well worth experiencing but for most people the time to visit is summer. May’s weather may be unpredictable but you’ll avoid the crowds that descend on the UK from June through August. Autumn can be a golden time with fewer queues and less pressure on public transport.
How much will it cost
Currency movements have taken some strength out of the pound, making Britain less costly for visitors. A cappuccino will cost between three and four pounds, while two can dine out for about 54 pounds in a mid-range restaurant. That global staple the McDonald's combo will set you back five pounds.
New Zealand has a Reciprocal Health Care Agreement with the UK, meaning New Zealanders are entitled to some subsidised health services. This covers free treatment as a public in-patient or out-patient in a public hospital. Regardless of this, comprehensive travel insurance cover is a good idea.
New Zealanders can get visa-free entry to the UK for up to six months. There are also a range of Ancestry, Working Holiday, Study and Skilled Worker visas available.