No matter your reason for visiting, London has something for everyone. History buffs looking to brush up on the British narrative will delight in the Tower of London. Admirers of art or theater will praise the National Gallery and the West End Theatre District, while fans of the monarchy can’t skip Buckingham Palace. Below are the nine best Tourist Attractions for first time and veteran visitors.
London is a city of admiration. Red buses, black taxis, phone boxes, Parliament, the Tower of London and Tower Bridge. There is, nevertheless, one icon above all others, our Eiffel Tower and Empire State: Big Ben. The bell and the tower is rings in has long been the pictorial symbol for the capital and is now a must for tourists, but still beautiful to those who pass it daily.The clock won’t chime again until 2021, except on special occasions. Big Ben has fallen silent for major repair work expected to last until 2021. The midday bongs were the last regular chimes from the famous bell until the repairs to its tower are complete.
The London Eye
See all of London in one go and from every angle on a Sunday when you take a trip on the Coca-Cola London Eye. The London Eye has become the most popular paid-for UK visitor attraction, visited by over 3.5 million people a year. While traveling in complete safety you can see up to 40 kilometers away in all directions from each capsule. The London Eye really has to be included in a trip to London. Don’t forget your camera!
Tower Bridge is a combined bascule and suspension bridge in London, built between 1886 and 1894. The bridge crosses the River Thames close to the Tower of London and has become an iconic symbol of London. Because of this, Tower Bridge is sometimes confused with London Bridge, situated some 0.5 mi upstream.
Buckingham Palace is the London residence and administrative headquarters of the monarch of the United Kingdom. Located in the City of Westminster, the palace is often at the centre of state occasions and royal hospitality. It has been a focal point for the British people at times of national rejoicing and mourning If you’re visiting the palace between May and July you’ll have the chance to see the ceremonious Changing of the Guard. This takes place at around 11.30am and you’ll be able to see the colourful tradition that regularly attracts a huge crowd of spectators.
St Paul’s Cathedral
Arguably one of the most impressive buildings in all of London, St Paul’s Cathedral stands tall and boastful as an iconic sculpture in the centre of the city. You can wonder at the elegant domed cathedral from the outside or take a multimedia tour inside to really get to know St Paul’s.If you’re feeling enterprising then you can climb up into the dome, first visiting the Whispering Gallery with incredible acoustics before catching your breath and climbing up to the Golden Gallery. A climb well worth it.
Trafalgar Square is a public square in the City of Westminster, Central London, built around the area formerly known as Charing Cross. Its name commemorates the Battle of Trafalgar, a British naval victory in the Napoleonic Wars over France and Spain that took place on 21 October 1805 off the coast of Cape Trafalgar.
On the north side of Trafalgar Square, you can visit the National Gallery and just around the corner on St. Martin’s Lane is the National Portrait Gallery. Both have free permanent displays and regular special exhibitions.
Victoria and Albert Museum
The V&A is the world’s leading museum of art and design, housing a permanent collection of over 2.3 million objects that span over 5,000 years of human creativity. The Museum holds many of the UK’s national collections and houses some of the greatest resources for the study of architecture, furniture, fashion, textiles, photography, sculpture, painting, jewellery, glass, ceramics, book arts, Asian art and design, theatre and performance.
The Tate Modern
Tate Modern is the national gallery of international modern and contemporary art from 1900 onwards. The gallery opened in 2000 in a converted power station on the south bank of the Thames in an imposing position opposite St. Paul’s Cathedral. You can visit again and again as it’s free and the modern art displays change quite frequently. You’ll often find enormous installations in the Turbine Hall on the ground floor. Right outside is the Millennium Bridge (the one that was ‘wobbly’ when it first opened).
The Natural History Museum
From dinosaur fossils and chunks of moon rock, to exotic plants, and even a dodo skeleton, there’s no telling what you’ll come across during a visit to London’s Natural History Museum. The Natural History Museum is home to more than 70 million specimens (with at least 500,000 items being added each year), making it one of the largest collections of natural history in the world. The museum was founded in 1754 (although it moved to its current location in 1881), and was founded thanks to the generous contributions of Sir Hans Sloane, who was also responsible for contributing items to the British Museum. Apparently Sloane wasn’t pleased with the natural history collection at the British Museum, and as a result he decided to help fund a second museum in a separate building to house more of these items. Today, the museum attracts more than five million visitors each year, and is considered to be one of the three most important museums in London (behind the British Museum and the Victoria & Albert Museum).