What Makes London Such a One-of-a-Kind City?


London is one of the top tourist destinations in Europe.

Every year, around 19 million people visit the city, drawn to the awe-inspiring collage of culture and wealth of entertainment, retail and historical opportunities. Whether visiting as a student or for a business trip, the vast, 1500-kilometre radius of the city means your days in London will always be different.

With the Barbican Rooms Hotel promising luxury accommodation in the cultural heart of the city, there’s no time like the present to visit London. With the summer just around the corner, we thought we’d explore some of the reasons why London is not just a popular tourist destination, but an ideal place to settle down and call home as well.

London and transport

London is home to one of the best transport systems in the world.

London Transport

The London Underground system has been running since the Victorian era, and now consists of 11 different rail lines. Capable of transporting users from East to South and over 12 miles in under half an hour, the London Underground system sees 5 million passengers a day.

With easy to use travel cards and great value group deals, the London Underground is a simple solution for tourists traversing the city.

London and history

River Thames

Having been founded by the Romans over two millennia ago, London has a wealth of history. Just standing on the shores of the Thames might have you discovering washed up clay pipes, crockery and relics from hundreds of years ago!

With every street telling a unique story, London has amassed a broad-spanning collection of museums, blue plaques and memorials, many of which you can visit for free. Yep, that’s right – free!

London and music

Music School

With many a music school, pub venue and arena hall, London is one of the top spots in the world to catch international acts, both old and new.

With a thriving music scene intertwining with other mediums like art and fashion, London districts such as the Montcalm Hotel Barbican’s very own Shoreditch have been the heart of live music in London for decades. Furthermore, the city plays host to dozens of music festivals each year, crossing a variety of genres and giving you a unique way to explore the city’s parks and venues.

London and art

As is the case with music, London is also a hub for art education, with institutions like the Royal Academy and Chelsea College of Art cultivating young creatives in the city.


With a long history of galleries and art movements, London is one of the best cities in the world to see, engage with and make your own masterpieces.

London and theatre

The theatre scene in London’s West End offers up just under 40 performance spaces, with a wide variety of shows. Whether you’re after a gleeful musical or a hard-hitting drama, there’ll be a show to suit your tastes every night of the week.


Better still, the marvel of London’s West End isn’t the only theatre available in the city. There’s also a thriving culture of off West-End and fringe venues, giving emerging performers a chance to show their work in several boroughs throughout the city.

London and comedy

As a laugh-a-minute (at least!) hybrid of performance and art, stand-up comedy and sketch groups constantly flood the London entertainment scene.


With more international comedians than canned laughter in a sitcom, the London comedy scene not only makes space for veterans of the industry but also makes space for first-timers at London pub open mic nights. If you’re a budding comedian making the most of our London hotel packages, then why not try your hand at nearby pubs with an open stage.

London and nightlife

If you prefer cocktails over afternoon tea in London city, you’re in luck as late-night ravers can dance the night away any day of the week in London.

London Night life

If you don’t mind the pounding hangover, London is home to a vast network of sensational nightclubs. From the nocturnal warehouses of Hackney Wick to the ring road revels of Elephant and Castle, you’ll be amazed at just how many clubs are hidden throughout the city.

London and cycling

A recent addition to London’s eco-friendly push is the ever-growing cycling superhighway.

cycling in london

With the relatively recent introduction of the Santander Cycle scheme offering cheap inner-city travel by bike, the cycling superhighway gives Londoners a simple, safe solution to cutting down carbon emissions. With cycling networks spreading to every borough of London, pedaling through your sightseeing agenda has never been easier!

London and nature

London nature

Adding to the eco-striving vibe of London, the city hosts many pockets of outstanding natural beauty. From the wildlife reserves of the London Wetlands Centre to the East End Walthamstow Marshes, there’s plenty of animals, wilderness and rural retreats right here in the heart of London.

London and parks

Hyde Park London

From rewilding efforts to Royal Parks, the historic green grounds of London have been part of the city’s draw for hundreds of years. From the once royal hunting grounds of Richmond Park to the central city crown jewel of Hyde Park, there are thousands of acres of a public park to see in the city.

London and tech

If you’re a business traveller with a focus on tech, it wouldn’t be surprising to find yourself staying at the Barbican Rooms Hotel.

With the countless start-ups of East London having recently transformed the Old Street and Shoreditch area into a hi-tech haven, London is unique in its approach to nurturing new business in technology. Whether you’re enjoying a working lunch at one of the finest restaurants in London City or renting out an East London conference room, the Montcalm Group has you covered.

London and museums

Building on the rich history of London, the London museum scene offers up a range of weird and wonderful institutions offering interactive and accessible exhibitions.

Horniman Museum

From the free-to-visit trio of museums on Museum Row in South Kensington to the gaudy exterior of the Horniman Museum in Forest Hill, London’s museum scene is expansive enough to keep you occupied for weeks on end.

London and children

SEA Life Aquarium

From the imagination-fuelled playgrounds of Hyde Park to the child-friendly Puppet Barge Theatre, London is accessible to even the youngest of tourists. Whether it’s a trip to Warner Bro.’s Harry Potter World to the South Bank-based Sea Life Centre, there’s plenty for adults and children alike to enjoy.

London and education

Whether you’re visiting the city with a view of studying here or are chaperoning on a school trip, London is incredibly accommodating for students, especially on a budget.

With some of the top universities in the world based in the UK capital, student deals and concessions are available for everything from theatre shows to London’s public transport system. Your best bet for finding these deals is with your hotel concierge or online.