London is always a good idea but 2017 looks set to offer even more reasons to visit the capital with a spate of new hotel and restaurant openings and a stellar line up of cool events and blockbuster exhibitions. We've highlighted the hottest picks for your diary below.
1. Exciting New Hotel Openings
A raft of new hotels for travelers of all budgets are set to open in 2017. Occupying the former Port of London Authority, a mammoth 1920s building in the shadow of the Tower of London, Four Seasons at Trinity Square brings 100 luxury rooms to the banks of the Thames. For a more budget-friendly base, the Ibis Styles Piccadilly Circus will be the West End's biggest budget hotel with a total of 583 rooms within the landmark Trocadero building. Nobu Hotel Shoreditch will bring eastern flavors to the east end with a menu designed by eponymous chef, Nobu Matsuhisa. Roomzzz will offer apartment-style rooms close to the Olympic Park in Stratford and The Ned will be the latest offering from the Soho House Group with rooms occupying offices in the former Midland Bank HQ in the City. Oh, and Robert De Niro will open his third property, the Wellington, a boutique property in Covent Garden with a restaurant rumored to be helmed by a celebrity chef.
2. Celebrate the Magic of Harry Potter
To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the publication of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, the British Library will host a major exhibition in partnership with Bloomsbury. Harry Potter: A History of Magic will feature original material from J.K. Rowling's personal archive alongside wizarding books and manuscripts. For a magical experience, consider booking tickets to see a screening of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone on a 40-foot screen at the Royal Albert Hall accompanied by the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra.
Where? The British Library. The nearest tube station is King's Cross St. Pancras.
When? October 20, 2017 to February 28, 2018
How Much? Tickets go on sale from April 3
3. The Robots are Coming… to the Science Museum
The Science Museum's Rise of the Robots exhibition explores humanity's 500-year obsession with robots through a unique display of over 100 bots including a 16th-century mechanical monk and an 8-foot 1950s android. The exhibition will be the world's most significant collection of humanoid robots ever put together and visitors will be able to interact with 12 working robots and go behind the scenes to see the latest robotics research.
Where? The Science Museum. The nearest tube station is South Kensington.
When? February 8 to September 3, 2017
How Much? £15 for adults; £13 concessions; free for children under 7
4. See David Hockney's Finest Work at Tate Britain
Tate Britain's David Hockney retrospective is set to be one of the biggest shows the gallery has ever staged. Spanning six decades, the exhibition features an extensive selection of works by the Bradford-born artist, from his early 60s paintings to his many portraits of family and friends and himself. The gallery already owns two of his most famous works, A Bigger Splash and Mr and Mrs Clark and Percy and the exhibition brings together an impressive selection of paintings, drawings, photography, and video. A series of talks, tours, and special events will run alongside the show.
Where? Tate Britain. The nearest tube station is Pimlico.
When? February 9 to May 29, 2017
How Much? £19.50 for adults; £17.50 concessions; free for children under 12
5. Celebrate Pink Floyd at the V&A
Following the success of 'David Bowie Is' and 'Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty' (both sell-out shows), the V&A will celebrate the life and work of iconic British rock band, Pink Floyd with a huge retrospective in 2017. Marking 50 years since the release of the band's first single, Arnold Layne, this immersive exhibition incorporates sound, design and performance and features more than 350 objects and artifacts including never-before-seen material. Highlights include handwritten lyrics, rare concert footage and a custom-designed laser light show.
Where? Victoria and Albert Museum. The nearest tube station is South Kensington.
When? May 13 to October 1, 2017
How Much? £20-£24; £16 concessions; free for children under 11
6. Hamilton Heads to London
One of the year's hotly anticipated theatrical events will be the opening of hit Broadway rap musical, Hamilton. Writer Lin-Manuel Miranda is said to star in a number of the shows, which picked up TONY and Grammy awards in the U.S. The show tells the story of Alexander Hamilton, one of America's founding fathers and will re-open the Victoria Palace Theatre from October.
Where? Victoria Palace Theatre. The nearest tube station is Victoria
When? Previews begin in October, 2017
How Much? Tickets go on sale from January 30, 2017
7. See Usain Bolt Sprint at the Olympic Stadium
The world's greatest athletes will head to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park once again to compete in the IAAF World Championships in August. The iconic Olympic stadium will play host to top sporting stars including Usain Bolt and Mo Farah. Ticket prices start from a bargain £9.58 (a tribute to Bolt, whose current 100m record is 9.58 seconds).
Where? Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. The nearest tube station is Stratford.
When? August 4 to 13, 2017
How Much? Tickets start at £9.58 for children 16 and under; adult tickets start from £20
8. Explore All Things Nordic on the South Bank
Celebrate all things Nordic on the South Bank throughout 2017 at the Nordic Matters Festival, a year-long event that puts Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Iceland and Finland in the spotlight. One of the major highlights is Adventures in Moominland, an exhibition that celebrates the work of Finnish author, Tove Jansson. Additional events include film screenings, gigs, craft sessions, dance performances, and talks, many of which are free to attend.
Where? The Southbank Centre. The nearest tube station is Waterloo.
When? January 13 2017 to January 2018
How Much? Various entry fees; many events are free to attend
9. Dine at Tasty New Restaurants
Fans of French fine dining will be salivating in anticipation of the opening of Le Dame de Pic, the main restaurant at the new Four Seasons Hotel at Trinity Square helmed by three Michelin-starred chef Anne-Sophie Pic. Meat eaters will be able to fill up on top-notch steak at Hawksmoor Borough and walk it off on the South Bank from February. Harlem favorite, Red Rooster will cross the pond in May bringing Marcus Samuelsson's legendary yardbird fried chicken to the Curtain Hotel in Shoreditch. Six Storeys in Soho will transform an old townhouse into a multi-level drinking den and restaurant from January. Also in Soho, the Bun House is the place to head for bao buns and fries made from deep-fried duck tongues from early 2017.