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50+ London Quotes: All the Best Quotes About London, Past to Present

50+ London Quotes: All the Best Quotes About London, Past to Present


Looking for London quotes? We have over 50 quotes about London right here for inspiration, nostalgia, or reminding you why the UK capital is so amazing.

London’s a great city; it has been for centuries and will continue to be for centuries more. And, as any great city, it’s had its share of love and hatred bestowed upon it.

We’re talking quotes about London. So—

Whether you’re in love with London or would love to visit, here are more than 50 of the best London quotes around:

london quotes all the best quotes about London
Taken by E. Dang via unsplash.com. [Public Domain].

London is a modern Babylon.

Benjamin Disraeli

She honestly could not tell if she loved London or loathed it. For she could not decide for herself what London was at all.

Miranda Emmerson

Commuting in London is basically warfare. It’s a constant campaign of claiming territory; inching forward; never relaxing for a moment. Because if you do, someone will step past you. Or step on you.

Sophie Kinsella

There are two places in the world where men can most effectively disappear – the city of London and the South Seas.

Herman Melville

London’s greatest strength is our diversity.

Sadiq Khan

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

I like the spirit of this great London which I feel around me. Who but a coward would pass his whole life in hamlets; and for ever abandon his faculties to the eating rust of obscurity?

Charlotte Brontë

There’s nowhere else like London. Nothing at all, anywhere.

Vivienne Westwood

Londoners slag off London because, deep down, we know we are living in the greatest city in the world.

David Mitchell

And marbled clouds go scudding by,
The many-steepled London sky.

John Betjeman

London is satisfied, Paris is resigned, but New York is always hopeful. Always it believes that something good is about to come off, and it must hurry to meet it.

Dorothy Parker

Yeah, that’s really about the Big Apple, but we have more New York quotes right this way.

London aerial view sunrise
Taken by L. Micheli via unsplash.com. [Public Domain].

If you’re curious, London’s an amazing place.

David Bailey

There’s someone for everyone, here in London, they always say.

Philip Hensher

Do you realise that people die of boredom in London suburbs? It’s the second biggest cause of death amongst the English in general. Sheer boredom.

Alexander McCall Smith

I had neither kith nor kin in England, and was therefore as free as air — or as free as an income of eleven shillings and sixpence a day will permit a man to be. Under such circumstances, I naturally gravitated to London, that great cesspool into which all the loungers and idlers of the Empire are irresistibly drained.

Arthur Conan Doyle

Go where we may, rest where we will, Eternal London haunts us still.

Thomas Moore

How vast is my London! How strange my native place!

Emma Richler

The most wonderful thing in life is to be delirious and the most wonderful kind of delirium is being in love. In the morning mist, hazy and amorous, London was delirious. London squinted as it floated along, milky pink, without caring where it was going.

Yevgeny Zamyatin

London was not designed for cars. Come to that, it wasn’t designed for people. It just sort of happened.This created problems, five or ten or a hundred years down the line.

Neil Gaiman

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

I stop dead in my tracks. Someone behind me walks into me and swears (stopping abruptly in central London is a heinous crime, and immediately gives the people around you permission to kick you).

Beth O’Leary

That’s essentially the most important travel tip for visiting London!

London has long been regarded as a vibrant, busy, historical metropolitan city rich in history and beautiful iconic buildings. However, like most cities of this scale, it also has a characteristic local side: beautiful village-like enclaves that are extremely photogenic and full of character. Partner all that with a unique style and you’re left with something pretty special.

Siobhan Ferguson

When it’s three o’clock in New York, it’s still 1938 in London.

Bette Midler

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

I went to London because, for me, it was the home of literature. I went there because of Dickens and Shakespeare.

Ben Okri

London is a cluster of communities, great and small, famous and unsung; a city of contrasts, a congregation of diversity.

Roy Porter in London: A Social History

I’ve been walking about London for the last 30 years, and I find something fresh in it everyday.

Walter Besant
red double-decker bus in London
The quintessential red double-decker bus of London, everyone’s favorite bus. Taken by A. Van de Pol via unsplash.com. [Public Domain].

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, door, passage, door. Mayfair to Piccadilly to Soho to the Strand.

Anna Quindlen

Paris is a woman but London is an independent man puffing his pipe in a pub.

Jack Kerouac

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 in London by London

One of the the things she 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

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

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 in Sketches by Boz

Here’s some great London travel advice from Sir Richard:

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

I got to the top and looking down upon London. Well, I realised I’d arrived. The sky was scattered with cumulus. The red, pink and orange came from everywhere. I looked towards The North, East, South and West. I have them in the palm of my hand. I own London. In that sense London owns me.

Scarlet West

The man who can dominate a London dinner table can dominate the world.

Oscar Wilde

You find no man, at all intellectual, who is willing to leave London. No, Sir, when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.

Samuel Johnson

London has the trick of making its past, its long indelible past, always a part of its present. And for that reason it will always have meaning for the future, because of all it can teach about disaster, survival, and redemption. It is all there in the streets. It is all there in the books.

Anna Quindlen

The interesting thing about London is that there are always stylish surprises around every corner.

Natalie Massenet, founder of Net-a-Porter

Nothing is certain in London but expense.

William Shenstone

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.

King George VI, father of current Queen Elizabeth II

If you’re curious, London’s an amazing place.

David Bailey

In London, love and scandal are considered the best sweeteners of tea.

John Osborne

In London, everyone is different, and that means anyone can fit in.

Paddington Bear

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

“Those angels you’ve painted in your mind wouldn’t last for a moment on the streets of London, Mother,” Ellie called out to her. “We’re the devils who stepped in to replace them.”

Katherine McIntyre

London was a hodgepodge of centuries, banging elbows like drunks at a bar.

Alexis Hall

I think London’s sexy because it’s so full of eccentrics.

Rachel Weisz

One thing about London is that when you step out into the night, it swallows you.

Sebastian Faulks

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

Noon comes with bells on, because this is London, and London is a city of bells. From its heart to its ragged edges, they bisect the day in a jangle of sound: peals and tinkles and deep bass knells. They ring from steeples and clock towers, from churches and town halls, in an overlapping celebration of the everyday fact that time passes.

Mick Herron

I travel continuously, and I see many cities, but there is nowhere like London.

Norman Foster

London is a riddle. Paris is an explanation.

G. K. Chesterton

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.

Charles Chaplin

I like walking ’round London at night, I do it all the time. Not for no reason, just cos… it’s home, innit? It’s brilliant, you can’t ever get bored of London cos even if you live here for like a hundred and fifty years you still won’t ever know everything about it. There’s always something new. Like, you’re walking round somewhere you’ve known since you was born and you look up and there’s an old clock on the side of a building you never seen before, or there’s a little gargoyle face over a window or something. Don’t you think it’s cool?

Richard Rider

London, London, London town,
You can toughen up or get thrown around.


Oh, I love London Society! It is entirely composed now of beautiful idiots and brilliant lunatics. Just what Society should be.

Oscar Wilde

You don’t live in London. You play London – to win. That’s why we’re all here. It is a city full of contestants, each chasing one of a million possible prizes: wealth, love, fame. Inspiration.

Caitlin Moran

This was London, in all its filth and glory. Nostalgic for the past, while yearning to cast off the chains of bygone ages and step forward into the bright utopia of the future. Proud of its achievements, yet despising its own flaws. A monster in both size and nature, that would consume the unwary and spit them out again, in forms unrecognizable and undreamt. London, the monster city.

Marie Brennan

Well that’s all our quotes about London, and we hope you enjoyed them! Got any questions, feedback, or other great London quotes to add? Let us know in the comments below, and thanks for reading!

Christian Eilers
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Christian Eilers
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