Whether you're coming to visit world-famous landmarks like Buckingham Palace or Big Ben, admire the cutting-edge art on display in the Tate Modern or party hard in trendy Soho, the city of London never fails to impress. Visitors from South Africa's largest city are in luck; multiple airways now jet off regularly from Johannesburg to London Heathrow, ensuring a variety of flight times and competitive prices. Book a comfortable overnight flight and you can spend the 11-hour journey dreaming of the exciting plans you've made for exploring the British capital.
London’s global reputation as a year-round visitor destination means there are few seasonal variations in flight prices, so the best way to find a bargain is to be as flexible as possible with your dates. Avoid the school holidays if you can, as demand for both flights and accommodation peaks in July and August. The festive period around Christmas and New Year is also quite a busy time of year. If you're able to travel at short notice, last-minute searches can reveal some surprisingly competitive deals on Johannesburg to London flights – you might even be tempted to splash out on an upgrade.
Several airlines make the 5,700-mile journey from Johannesburg to the British capital. Virgin Atlantic, South African Airlines and British Airways run scheduled flights from O.R. Tambo Airport, all of which land at London's busiest hub, Heathrow. Kenya Airways also operates a one-stop route via Nairobi, which takes a little longer but is often a cheaper option. The nonstop-flight time is just over 11 hours, but you probably won’t feel jet-lagged, as the time difference between the countries is never more than 2 hours – which gives you that little bit longer to linger over your Full English once you arrive.
London Heathrow is experienced at handling large volumes of passengers at all hours, so you’ll soon be on the next stage of your journey. The quickest way to cover the 15 miles from Heathrow into central London is via the Heathrow Express, which takes around 15 minutes to reach Paddington Station. A more budget-friendly alternative is the London Underground’s Piccadilly Line, which stops at all of Heathrow's terminals and reaches the West End in around an hour.
For many visitors, London’s unique heritage is one of its chief attractions. If it’s your first time here, get your bearings in one easy trip on a hop-on, hop-off double-decker bus. From Buckingham Palace and Big Ben to the Tower of London and Horse Guards Parade, you can effortlessly tick off all the must-see sights on this tour. Back on the pavements, check out the Gothic splendour of Westminster Abbey on a guided visit of this venerable institution with its famous tombs of kings and poets. Or be wowed by the priceless art collection at the National Gallery, a magnificent landmark overlooking the lions of Trafalgar Square.
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