There can be no doubt that England`s capital city, London, is among the finest cities in the world for a weekend trip.
There is so much to do and see here that the weekend will pass in a flash and it is vital that plans are made in advance to ensure none of the highlights are missed. Whether you are into the theatre, art or history, London has some of the best examples of each on the entire planet.
London, of course, has some of the finest art exhibitions around whether you are into the classics or the more cutting-edge contemporary scene. The National Gallery in Trafalgar square offers free access to more than 2,300 artworks from the Renaissance masters to the best of the impressionists and post impressionists. In addition, there is always a special exhibition on at the National Gallery. A few must-see exhibits include Cezanne`s groundbreaking `Bathers`, the infamous `Sunflowers` of van Gogh and Gainsborough`s `Mr and Mrs Andrews`.
Alternatively, the Tate Modern at Bankside offers the best in the contemporary scene. Admission to the permanent exhibition is always free, while the special exhibitions will cost extra. The present exhibition (until sept 2012) is the first official Damien Hirst show in the country and, of course, features the infamous `The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living` one of the most intriguing and thought-provoking artworks of recent times.
In reality there are just so many fine museums in the city that it is virtually impossible to single any out. However, the British Museum in Bloomsbury has everything under one roof from art and archaeological artefacts from the ancient European civilizations to excellent examples of African, Asia and Middle Eastern artworks and artefacts.
Alternatively, the National History Museum in South Kensington is a must for lovers of botany and zoology. Highlights here include several specimens collected by Darwin himself and the excellent dinosaur skeleton exhibition, dominated by the massive Diplodocus cast. For the most part, entry is free while there is sometimes a charge for temporary displays.
Londoner`s will proudly claim that this is where public theatre really began. While this is debatable, the city certainly has one of the best theatre scenes in the world - if not the best. The majority of the shows are in the West End area, which includes Piccadilly, Trafalgar Square and the Strand.
However, the South Bank`s National Theatre offers some of the best shows in town and has a fine selection of cafes, bars and restaurant available to make the evening a real night out. Favourites include a modern day `Antigone` and Dumas` classic `The Count of Monte Cristo`. Prices range from around £10 - £40 and tickets are available for these and most other shows from numerous Boxoffice London outlets.