London can be a great place for parents, who among other factors, don’t like to vacation in a place where they don’t speak the language. And for kids, parks and green spaces dot the city, many of the museums are free and the large number of stay-at-home mums means that there are lots of other families around. Yet, it still battles its legacy of Victorian attitudes toward children (locals love to recall when restaurants and hotels had signs reading “No dogs or children”). The city can be hair-raisingly expensive, the Tube and train system—while convenient for getting around—is often crowded and rife with staircases that make coping with a stroller exhausting, however, one-day family tickets, which allow unlimited rides on tubes and buses throughout much of London can save a bundle in time and cost. And the ever changing weather means parents need a few tricks up their sleeves when outdoor attractions are waterlogged. Still, the City’s long history, modern outlook and royal background make it a dramatic and captivating destination for kids.

No trip to London would be complete without a visit to the London Eye, Buckingham Palace, Kew Gardens, the Tower of London and the Theater District. Our insider suggestions will make is easier to enjoy the Big Smoke with the small fry.

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