Kensington is a central neighborhood known for its white-pillared houses, gardens, palace, and fancy residents.

TravelCurious Tip

Head to the Dana centre. By day its a quiet cafe-bar; by evening its a venue for serious, fascinating discussions on science, technology and culture

The Two Cultures

Kensington is one of London’s most affluent boroughs. But while the luminous white houses and sprawling green spaces are lovely, the real attraction to living or visiting here are the cultural institutions. Kensington High Street is great for shopping, but you can do that elsewhere — what you won’t find anywhere else is the Victoria & Albert Museum.

The V&A opened in 1852 and was part of Prince Albert’s legacy to the nation following the Great Exhibition of 1851. Within these walls you will find the world’s largest collection of decorative arts, ranging from Chinese paintings to Middle Eastern rugs, furniture, fashion and Medieval religious art. The temporary exhibitions cut quite a contrast: in recent years they have focused on David Bowie, the designer Alexander McQueen and ‘disobedient objects’ from the world’s most famous protest movements.

A stone’s throw from the V&A is another of London’s highlights, the Natural History Museum. This colossal building captures that curious Victorian combination of wild adventure and bookish taxonomy. Bones, minerals, insects, plants and fossils are the order of the day. It’s amazing to watch children having such fun learning. Almost too much fun — if you want quieter reflection, you are better off visiting when they are likely to be stuck at school.

The French connection

Kensington is home to many of London’s European embassies, but it has a special connection to France. London is known as the twenty first arrondissement of Paris, such is the number of French people living here. Kensington is where they congregate, alongside the Lycée Français Charles de Gaulle, French Consulate, French Embassy Cultural Department. You’ll hear plenty of French on the streets!

Nearby Attractions

See all attractions in London
Kensington Palace
Located in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in London, Kensington Palace has been since the 17th century, a residence of the British royal family.
Royal Albert Hall
Royal Albert Hall plays host to some of the greatest symphonies, ballets, award shows, and concerts in the city.
Hyde Park London
The largest of the royal parks, it is home to Kensington Palace and sprawls over 350 acres.
Albert Memorial
The Albert Memorial is a monument in Kensington Gardens that commemorates Prince Albert's death in 1861, Queen Victoria's husband.
Diana's statue in the Sunken Garden
The statue of Princess Diana, in the Sunken Garden at Kensington Palace, shows the Princess of Wales and children by her side. The statue was commissioned by Prince William and Prince Harry.
Natural History Museum of London
With some 80 million objects covering five collections, the Natural History Museum is a must-see attraction in Kensington.

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