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They’re all familiar names: Trafalgar, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham, Hyde Park, Big Ben... A weekend might be short to see it all, although London is a great city break. And to come back again and again. Also, the Museum of Natural History, Madame Tussauds and the Tate Modern are not to be missed.
Walk around and blend in
Cinema has transformed Notting Hill and Covent Garden into romantic settings. Also inspiring is the London Eye ferris wheel. And after a shopping spree at King’s Road and Oxford Street, fun and nightlife await in the always buzzing areas of West End, Piccadilly and Leicester Square.
Culture and Business
Make sure you have your citizen’s card or passport and boarding pass with you. Depending on your country of origin, arrange your visa or other required documentation well in advance.
The UK climate is temperate maritime. This means that temperatures do not usually fall much below 0°C in the winter or rise much above 32°C in the summer. However, it is a humid climate and subject to frequent changes.
Geography and Politics
The United Kingdom is composed of the island of Great Britain and the northeast region of the island of Ireland. In total it is 4 countries: England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. The United Kingdom is a constitutional monarchy, with legislative power vested in an elected government and executive power vested in a council of ministers led by the prime minister.
Tips and Payment
The currency of the United Kingdom is the Pound Sterling (GBP). It is considered normal to tip 10 to 15%. Sometimes, however, a service charge is already added to the account, so check first.
Language and expressions to memorize
The official language is English, with several other regional languages. Some useful phrases in English are: “hello” = hello; "Please” = please; "Thank you very much” = Thank you very much; “Sorry” =Sorry.
What to do
Be punctual - British punctuality is essential, especially in business. The English style of communication can be slightly indirect, so pay attention to the tone of voice and facial expressions. British humor forms part of every aspect of life and culture. It is even present in a professional context, and it is sometimes used as a defense mechanism and as irony.
What not to do
Although direct eye contact is important when greeting someone, do not prolong this moment too much as it may make people uncomfortable. Do not be too intrusive and try to respect each person's personal space.
What to wear
Appearance is important, so opt for a classic and professional style. You may choose a less formal style depending on the industry, such as in creative or technological areas.
When meeting someone in a business context, greet him or her with a handshake. It is usual to address colleagues by their first name, reserving titles and surnames for much higher positions. If you are invited to someone's house, offer a bouquet of flowers or a bottle of wine to show your appreciation.