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7 Jan 2016

What makes London such an International City


London is the capital of the United Kingdom, and one of its best assets are its international residents and visitors. The diverse range of nationalities represented here should not be underestimated and with an impressive number of cultural events, centres, languages, cusines and connections, it is no surprise why London attracts such a worldwide audience when it comes to arts, politics, tourism, education and business.

Here are 5 reasons that make London the number one international city in the world:


1. London's airports

London is geographically in a very easily accessible position for visitors travelling to and from Europe and The Americas. It also has 5 airports - London Heathrow & London Gatwick  - that are the two major international hubs. Then there is London City, Luton and Stansted. All operate an extensive network of connections across the world and some impressive airport facilities and services making them an attractive stopover destination for many visiting the capital or transiting to other destinations.



2. London's restaurants
You will find every cuisine from around the globe available in this city, it's true! There are the favourites that Londoners can't live without like Chinese from Soho, Curries from Brick Lane, Lebanese from Edgware Road, Indian from Southall, Jamaican from Brixton. And then there are the popular chains like Busaba for Thai, Prezzo for Italian, Wahaca for Mexican, Gaucho for Argentinian, Maroosh for Arabic, Best Mangal for Turkish to name a few.

Even markets like Borough Market, Exmouth Market and Spitalfields serve up an appetising variety of delicacies freshly cooked up in front of your eyes.


3. London's events
London is exciting any time of the year, but what really sets our city apart from others is the variety of international shows, exhibitions, festivals and performances. Exhibition centres like Olympia, SouthBank Centre, Excel Centre and The Barbican feature international events and shows highlighting the best from other cultures right here in London. Some of these are the France Show, Asian Bride, World Travel Market and many more.

Trafalgar Square is also a centre point for these events celebrating festivals like Diwali, Chinese New Year, Eid, Russian Winter Festival and more. Even popular attractions like Madame Tussauds put on special exhibits of famous personalities from other countries like actor Amitabh Bachan from India and South African revolutionary politician Nelson Mandela.


4. London's universities
With many renowned universities in London across multiple disciplines like Law, Arts, Science, Medicine, Business, Economics and Social Studies, it is no surprise that the city receives a huge influx of foreign students every year. These international students contribute to the local economy in a big way and often enter the workplace with their unique skill set and international experiences. Many universities also offer you the chance to learn a foreign language or participate in cultural exchange programs.


5. Cultural centres
Cultural centres are dotted everywhere infusing international cultures into the local communities. These are places where people come together to mingle, celebrate festivals, learn new languages, explore new ideologies and experience different parts of the world right in their own backyard. There are also many religious and spiritual institutions that promote various customs and traditions from around the world making our city the lively melting pot of cultures that it is loved for.

Here is a list complied by one of our favourite London websites The Londonist:

Hungarian Cultural Centre - Covent Garden
Islamic Cultural Centre and London Central Mosque - Regent's Park
London Jewish Cultural Centre - Golders Green
Kurdish Cultural Centre - Kennington
Romanian Cultural Centre - Regent Street
London Chinese Cultural Centre - Southwark
Institut Francais - South Kensington
London Irish Centre - Camden Town
Indo-Pakistan Cultural Centre - Finsbury Park
Milaap Centre: Kingston Multicultural Association (Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Punjabi, Urdu, Tamil) - Kingston
Afghan Association of London - Harrow
POSK: Polish Social and Cultural Association - Hammersmith
Goethe Institute (German) - South Kensington
The Institute of Ismaili Studies - Victoria
Czech Centre London - Harley Street