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London is the political, economic and cultural capital of Britain, and its world class tourist attractions are renowned across the globe. The Greater London area is bursting with attractions for visitors of all ages. With 30 historic gardens and 123 historic buildings, London also has more than 200 museums, 600 cinema screens, and 108 music halls. London's 33 boroughs, including the City of London, are spread over an area of 1572 square kilometres. The river Thames runs through the heart of London, from Richmond in the west, through the central London borough of Westminster, to Greenwich in the east. London river cruises and river buses are a great way to see the city. About one third of London is devoted to parks and open spaces, so there are plenty of places to relax on fine days. London is incredibly well-connected, with five international airports and the high-speed Eurostar rail link. More than 50 countries are within a three-hour flight time and 310 international destinations have direct links to London. t is one of the world's leading financial centres and has the fifth- or sixth-largest metropolitan area GDP in the world. It is the world's most-visited city as measured by international arrivals and has the world's largest city airport system measured by passenger traffic. London's universities form the largest concentration of higher education institutes in Europe, and a 2014 report placed it first in the world university rankings. London is bursting at the seams with attractions that offer insight into Britain’s long and fascinating history. Visit the Tower of London, a 1000-year old attraction that’s home to the Crown Jewels, and St Paul’s Cathedral, a centre of London-life for centuries. At Tower Bridge, admire the iconic Victorian construction that opens its gates as tall ships sail past along the majestic River Thames. Travel further west to see Buckingham Palace, the official residence of the Queen of England, and Trafalgar Square, with its imposing lions and Nelson’s Column. Nearby are the Houses of the Parliament in Westminster and the majestic Big Ben offer two attractions that are symbol of London the world over. Cultural attractions including The British Museum, Tate Modern, the National Gallery and the Science Museum are all free to enter and are fitting testaments to Britain’s historic and artistic legacy. For pop culture, join the queue at Madame Tussauds, a museum that offers the chance to rub shoulders with celebrities like Lady Gaga and Prince William – all in wax form. Although London’s magnificent Olympic Park is closed to the public until July 2013, there are still many places from which you can have a great view of this fantastic attraction.