A trip to London might not be possible at the moment, but we can still daydream about spending a couple of days in London checking things off our London bucket list. To help with those imaginative travels and fuel your wanderlust, we’ve put together over 100 of the best London quotes.
Considering its millennia of history, it’s no surprise that there’s plenty to be said about London! “The Big Smoke” leaves a lasting impression on all those that visit, and has been featured in countless novels, poems, songs and musings over the years. Admittedly, not everyone has good things to say about London – but some of these quotes about the darker side of London, or the London weather, are the funniest!
So whether you’re looking for a little inspiration or the perfect London Instagram caption – we’ve got you covered!
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Quotes About London: 100 BEST London Quotes
Famous London Quotes
Kicking off this list of the best London quotes are some of the most famous. And the very first one, by wise old Paddington Bear, still remains my favourite of all the quotes about London!
- “In London, everyone is different, and that means anyone can fit in.” – Paddington Bear
- “When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.” – Samuel Johnson
- “There’s nowhere else like London. Nothing at all, anywhere.” – Vivienne Westwood
- “The man who can dominate a London dinner-table can dominate the world.” – Oscar Wilde
- “If you’re curious, London’s an amazing place.” – David Bailey
- “London is a world by itself. We daily discover in it more new countries, and surprising singularities, than in all the universe besides.” – Thomas Brown
- “I have often amused myself with thinking how different a place London is to different people.” – James Boswell
- “The parks be the lungs of London.” – Charles Dickens
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London Travel Quotes
Having travelled to many different cities around the world, I can happily confirm that there really isn’t another place like London. It’s a dream destination that everyone should visit at least once in their life! The energy in the city is like no other; a vibrant blend of modernity and history, with a generous sprinkling of culture.
- “I travel continuously, and I see many cities, but there is nowhere like London.” – Norman Foster
- “The streets of London have their map, but our passions are uncharted. What are you going to meet if you turn this corner?” – Virginia Woolf
- “When exploring London, you will come across lots of excitement by chance, so try to take everything in rather than just rushing around to all of the major tourist haunts.” – Richard Branson
- “The interesting thing about London is that there are always stylish surprises around every corner.” – Natalie Massenet
- “The best thing about the London Eye is the journey. It’s not like the Eiffel tower, where you get in a dark lift and come out on to a platform at the top. The trip round is as important as the view.” – Julia Barfield
- “I came to London. It had become the center of my world and I had worked hard to come to it. And I was lost.” – V. S. Naipaul
- “London always reminds me of a brain. It is similarly convoluted and circuitous. A lot of cities, especially American ones like New York and Chicago, are laid out in straight lines. Like the circuits on computer chips, there are a lot of right angles in cities like this. But London is a glorious mess.” James Geary
Funny London Instagram Captions and Puns
Life’s too short to be serious all the time! Here are some of the best funny London quotes and puns to accompany your London Instagram photos.
- “A bad day in London is still better than a good day anywhere else.”
- “Stopping abruptly in central London is a heinous crime, and immediately gives the people around you permission to kick you.” – Beth O’Leary
- “Having the Thames of my life.”
- “Eye came, Eye saw, Eye conquered.”
- “Money can’t buy you happiness, but it can buy you a ticket to London.”
- “A person who is tired of London is not necessarily tired of life; it might be that he just can’t find a parking place.” – Paul Theroux
- “I’m taking life one scone at a time.”
- “Relationship status: crushing on Big Ben.”
- “Nothing is certain in London but expense.” – William Shenstone
- “How can you ever be late for anything in London? They have a huge clock right in the middle of the town.” – Jimmy Kimmel
- “Visiting Buckingham Palace but I’m having a bad heir day!”
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Short London Quotes and Captions for Instagram
After checking out all the best Instagram spots in London, you’ll need the perfect Instagram caption to go with it! These short but sweet London quotes make for great captions to complement those Insta-worthy moments.
- “London is calling, so I must go.”
- “All you need is love and a vacation in London.”
- “Living like the royals.”
- “Keep calm and go to London.”
- “From London with love.”
- “When in doubt, follow your heart to London.”
- “Falling hard for London.”
- “There’s no time to be bored in London.”
- “London is always a good idea.”
- “Here’s the hot tea from London.”
- “London, baby!” – Joey, Friends
- “Mind the gap.” – London Underground
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Quotes About London Weather
London is infamous for its grey, dreary weather. And its a reputation that is mostly fair – we do get a lot of rain in London. However, when the sun is shining in London it is truly one of the most magnificent of places. Even on a rainy day, there is still beauty to be seen with red phone boxes and buses adding a splash of colour against cement skies and neutral coloured buildings.
- “Take a perfect day, add six hours of rain and fog, and you have instant London.”
- “The English mist is always at work like a subtle painter, and London is a vast canvas prepared for the mist to work on.” – Arthur Symons,
- “Everything in London is quite good, apart from the weather: it’s cold and rainy there, and the winter is long.” – Sayed Kashua
- “London is too full of fogs and serious people. Whether the fogs produce the serious people, or whether the serious people produce the fogs, I don’t know.” – Oscar Wilde
- “I’m leaving because the weather is too good. I hate London when it’s not raining.” – Groucho Marx
London City Quotes
From its beautifully ornate historic buildings to modern architectural marvels, London is a sight to behold. The contrast of new versus old and the juxtaposition of these elements is one of the things that makes London so enthralling. These London city quotes help capture the marvel of this wondrous place.
- “By seeing London, I have seen as much of life as the world can show.” – Samuel Johnson
- “I’ve been walking about London for the last 30 years, and I find something fresh in it every day.” – Walter Besant
- “In London, love and scandal are considered the best sweeteners of tea.” – John Osborne
- “It is difficult to speak adequately or justly of London. It is not a pleasant place; it is not agreeable, or cheerful, or easy, or exempt from reproach. It is only magnificent.” – Henry James
- “One thing about London is that when you step out into the night, it swallows you.” – Sebastian Faulks
- “London goes beyond any boundary or convention. It contains every wish or word ever spoken, every action or gesture ever made, every harsh or noble statement ever expressed. It is illimitable. It is Infinite London.” – Peter Ackroyd
- “Aesthetically, London is just beautiful; it’s a gorgeous city. The architecture, monuments, the parks, the small streets – it’s an incredible place to be.” – Sara Bareilles
- “To walk alone in London is the greatest rest.” – Virginia Woolf
- “London is a bad habit one hates to lose.” – William Sansom
- “There are two places in the world where men can most effectively disappear – the city of London and the South Seas.” – Herman Melville
- “New York has a great energy, but London is better.” – Jaime Winstone
- “I like the spirit of this great London which I feel around me.” – Charlotte Bronte
- “London, with its monotonous and melancholy houses, seems like an inharmonious patchwork, as if pieced together without design. Yet it is lovable in its sprawling confusion.” – Joseph Fort Newton
- “You will recognise, my boy, the first sign of old age: it is when you go out into the streets of London and realise for the first time how young the policemen look.” – Sir Seymour Hicks
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Quotes About London and Londoners
One of my favourite things about London is how multicultural and diverse the city is. As you walk through the city, you’re likely to hear countless different languages spoken, or even written on street signs or in shop windows. And with this you can find all the benefits of these various communities, from incredible food options to different cultural events taking place.
These quotes encapsulate the unique identities and traits of London and Londoners!
- “London is a roost for every bird.” – Benjamin Disraeli
- “It is not the walls that make the city, but the people who live within them. The walls of London may be battered, but the spirit of the Londoner stands resolute and undismayed.” – George VI
- “My Dad says that being a Londoner has nothing to do with where you’re born. He says that there are people who get off a jumbo jet at Heathrow, go through immigration waving any kind of passport, hop on the tube and by the time the train’s pulled into Piccadilly Circus they’ve become a Londoner.” – Ben Aaronovitch
- “In this city 300 languages are spoken and the people that speak them live side by side in harmony. This city typifies what I believe is the future of the human race and a future where we grow together and we share and we learn from each other.” – Ken Livingstone
- “London is a cluster of communities, great and small, famous and unsung; a city of contrasts, a congregation of diversity.” – Roy Porter
- “The best bribe which London offers to-day to the imagination is that in such a vast variety of people and conditions, one can believe there is room for persons of romantic character to exist, and that the poet, the mystic, and the hero may hope to confront their counterparts.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
- “One of the things I most liked about the city – apart from all its obvious attractions – the theatre, the galleries, the exhilarating walks by the river – was that so few people ever asked you personal questions.” – Julia Gregson
- “London’s greatest strength is our diversity, and it’s wonderful to see Londoners celebrating our capital’s different traditions, determined to stand up to division.” – Sadiq Khan (Mayor of London)
- “The English language is like London: proudly barbaric yet deeply civilised, too, common yet royal, vulgar yet processional, sacred yet profane.” -Stephen Fry
- “In many ways, London is like a great big pinata, and everyone who lives here is like an excited, blindfolded child with a heart full of hope and a big flailing stick. Aim that stick right and London will split at the seams like a ruptured spleen, showering you with the most extraordinary places to visit, places like you won’t find anywhere else in the world. Get it wrong and the chances are you’ll lose your footing and end up in a frustrated, eyeless heap.” – Paul Carr
- “London has now become almost like a gigantic frog! With its long tongue it draws curious insects from all over the world inside itself!” – Mehmet Murat Ildan
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Inspirational Sayings About London
Looking for a bit of London inspiration? Hopefully these inspirational London quotes will do the trick and help you realise why you need to book that trip to England’s capital city!
- “I think London is sexy because it’s so full of eccentrics.” – Rachel Weisz
- “London is a modern Babylon.” – Benjamin Disraeli
- “London opens to you like a novel itself… It is divided into chapters, the chapters into scenes, the scenes into sentences; it opens to you like a series of rooms, doors and passages. Mayfair to Piccadilly to Soho to the Strand.” – Anna Quindlen
- “Oh, I love London Society! It is entirely composed now of beautiful idiots and brilliant lunatics. Just what Society should be.” – Oscar Wilde
- “If London is a watercolor, New York is an oil painting.” – Peter Shaffer
- “The vibe of London as a city is captivating. It’s both fast-paced and extremely rushed but still has the calmness that would attract any big-city person.” – Ali Fazal
- “Fragmentarily the City is nothing, but collectively it is gigantic…” – Charlotte Riddell
- “As to London we must console ourselves with the thought that if life outside is less poetic than it was in the days of old, inwardly its poetry is much deeper.” – Goldwin Smith
- “Sir, if you wish to have a just notion of the magnitude of this city, you must not be satisfied with seeing its great streets and squares, but must survey the innumerable little lanes and courts. It is not in the showy evolutions of buildings, but in the multiplicity of human habitations which are crowded together, that the wonderful immensity of London consists.” – Samuel Johnson
Famous London Quotes from Books
London has provided the backdrop for many different books over the years and as such, some of the best London quotes can be found in books!
- “Scars can come in useful. I have one myself above my left knee which is a perfect map of the London underground.” – J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
- “The appearance presented by the streets of London an hour before sunrise, on a summer’s morning, is most striking even to the few whose unfortunate pursuits of pleasure, or scarcely less unfortunate pursuits of business, cause them to be well acquainted with the scene. There is an air of cold, solitary desolation about the noiseless streets which we are accustomed to see thronged at other times by a busy, eager crowd, and over the quiet, closely-shut buildings, which throughout the day are swarming with life and bustle, that is very impressive.” – Charles Dickens, Sketches by Boz
- “I long to go through the crowded streets of your mighty London, to be in the midst of the whirl and rush of humanity, to share its life, its change, its death, and all that makes it what it is.” – Bram Stoker, Dracula
- “The City seems so much more in earnest: its business, its rush, its roar are such serious things, sights and sounds. The City is getting its living – the West-End but enjoying its pleasure.” – Charlotte Bronte, Villette
- “It is my belief, Watson, founded upon my experience, that the lowest and vilest alleys in London do not present a more dreadful record of sin than does the smiling and beautiful countryside.” – Arthur Conan Doyle, Sherlock Holmes
- “London is a friend whom I can leave knowing without doubt that she will be the same to me when I return, to-morrow or forty years hence, and that, if I do not return, she will sing the same song to inheritors of my happy lot in future generations.” – Stella Benson, This Is The End
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Songs and Poems About London
London is a cultural hub, home to some of the best music venues and artists, as well as being at the epicentre of many a poem.
- “Maybe it’s because I’m a Londoner / That I love London so / Maybe it’s because I’m a Londoner / That I think of her wherever I go / I get a funny feeling inside of me / Just walking up and down / Maybe it’s because I’m a Londoner / That I love London town.” – Hubert Gregg, Maybe It’s Because I’m A Londoner
- “London, London, London town / You can toughen up or get thrown around.” – Kano, London Town
- “You might laugh you might frown / Walkin’ round London town / Sun is in the sky oh why oh why? / Would I wanna be anywhere else.” – Lily Allen, LDN
- “And marbled clouds go scudding by. The many-steepled London sky.” – John Betjeman, Christmas
- “A mighty mass of brick, and smoke, and shipping, / Dirty and dusty, but as wide as eye / Could reach, with here and there a sail just skipping / In sight, then lost amidst the forestry / Of masts; a wilderness of steeples peeping / On tiptoe through their sea-coal canopy; / A huge, dun cupola, like a foolscap crown / On a fool’s head – and there is London Town.” – Lord Byron, Don Juan
Quotes About the River Thames
The River Thames is perhaps synonymous with London. However, what few realise is that it is also England’s longest river, spanning 215 miles from its source in the Cotswolds to the coast. It is a diverse ecosystem, home to a myriad of fish and other aquatic species.
It is an iconic London landmark, cutting through the sprawling city and helping to shape it. It has been intrinsically entwined with the development of the capital city, flowing through the heart of it. These London quotes reflect the River Thames’ important part in shaping the landscape of London.
- “The Thames is no ordinary waterway, it is the golden thread of our nation’s history.” – Winston Churchill
- “Twenty bridges from Tower to Kew – Wanted to know what the River knew, Twenty Bridges or twenty-two, For they were young, and the Thames was old. And this is the tale that River told” – Rudyard Kipling
- “I have admired the romantic elegance of the Place de la Concorde in Paris, have felt the mystic message from a thousand glittering windows at sunset in New York, but to me the view of the London Thames from our hotel window transcends them all for utilitarian grandeur – something deeply human.” – Charlie Chaplin
- “The Thames is liquid history.” – John Burns
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Quotes about London’s less glamorous side!
While I think London is one of the most beautiful cities in the world… plenty of others would disagree. Like Marmite, London seems to be one of those places you either love or hate!
- “I don’t know what London’s coming to – the higher the buildings, the lower the morals.” – Noel Coward
- “I walk to Oxford Street and climb on the number 8. It’s freezing and it starts to rain and it’s the ugliest bus I’ve ever seen, rattling down the ugliest streets, in the ugliest city, in the ugliest country, in the ugliest of all possible worlds.” – David Thewlis
- “The truth is, that in London it is always a sickly season. Nobody is healthy in London, nobody can be.” – Jane Austen
- “Yes, London. You know, fish, chips, cup o tea, bad food, worse weather, Mary-fucking-Poppins. London!” – Dennis Farina
- “This melancholy London – I sometimes imagine that the souls of the lost are compelled to walk through its streets perpetually. One feels them passing like a whiff of air.” – William Butler Yeats
- “There’s a hole in the world like a great black pit and the vermin of the world inhabit it and it’s filled with people who are filled with shit and it goes by the name of London.” – Stephen Sondheim
- “London is like a cold dark dream sometimes.” – Jean Rhys
Although I’m biased, I absolutely adore London and hope that these London quotes may have inspired you to visit the Big Smoke or provided the perfect accompaniment to your London Instagram shot!
Do you have a favourite London quote on this list? Or are there any we’ve missed?! As always, leave us a comment and let us know what you think.
Before you go, you may also like some of these posts about London:
- Most Instagrammable Places in London
- London’s Most Famous Streets
- Non-Touristy Things to do in London
- Ultimate London Bucket List
- 2 Days in London
- Famous London Landmarks
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