View the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace.
Buckingham Palace, one of the most recognizable structures in the United Kingdom, is also the site of London’s most celebrated pomp and circumstance display, the Changing of the Guard. This colorful and free exhibition of precision marching and song, which draws crowds regardless of season, also takes place in St. James’s Palace, after which you may follow the band around The Mall as they march between places.
Visit the Tower of London and go across Tower Bridge to see the Royal Jewels.
The beautiful Tower of London has served numerous functions over the years, from prison to palace, treasure vault to a private zoo. This stunning World Heritage Site, one of Britain’s most recognizable landmarks, will captivate tourists interested in the country’s rich history – after all, so much of it happened here. The 17th-century Line of Kings, with its spectacular displays of royal armaments and armor, is housed within the huge White Tower, which was erected in 1078 by William the Conqueror.
Learn something new at the British Museum.
The British Museum houses one of the world’s finest collections of antiquities, with over 13 million artefacts from the ancient world. With rare artefacts from Assyria, Babylonia, China, Europe, and other ancient civilizations, it’s difficult to know where to begin at this vast attraction.
Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament will captivate you.
Nothing says “London” like the 318-foot tower holding the massive clock and its deafening bell known as Big Ben. It’s as well-known as Tower Bridge, and the tolling of Big Ben serves as the BBC’s time signal around the world. The Houses of Parliament are located beneath it, along the Thames.
At the National Gallery, you can express yourself creatively.
It’s nearly impossible to visit London without seeing the stunning National Gallery. This magnificent, columned museum is located on the outskirts of Trafalgar Square and houses amazing artworks, making it one of London’s best attractions.
Visit the Victoria & Albert Museum’s Sculptures.
The Victoria and Albert Museum (also known as the V&A) is part of a museum complex in South Kensington that also contains the Natural History Museum and the Science Museum. The V&A, founded in 1852, spans over 13 acres and houses 145 galleries spanning 5,000 years of art and related artifacts. Ceramics and glass, fabrics and costumes, silver and jewelry, ironwork, sculpture, prints, and photography are among the exhibits, which are easily arranged.
Explore Piccadilly Circus and Trafalgar Square.
Piccadilly Circus and Trafalgar Square, two of London’s most well-known tourist attractions, are not far apart and serve as gates to Soho, the city’s vibrant theatre and entertainment quarter. The stroll between them is genuinely enjoyable, with unique stores, delectable cafés, ice cream shops, and winding laneways reflecting a bygone period when only horses and buggies traversed these old streets.
Take a Trip to the Shard’s Top
Since its debut in 2012, The Shard has become one of London’s most iconic and visited monuments. This magnificent structure, which stands 1,016 feet tall and has 95 stories, dominates the skyline despite its similarity to a shard of glass.
Take a cue from the two Tates: Tate Britain and Tate Modern
Visitors to London who are interested in art should not miss a visit to the two Tate museums. Tate Britain and Tate Modern are located on opposite sides of the Thames. The original gallery opened in 1897 as the foundation of a national collection of major British art and proceeded to make acquisitions, requiring greater room to fully display its collections. It now houses one of the world’s most important art collections.
Explore Westminster Abbey’s Holy Places.
Westminster Abbey, another location with a historical link with British aristocracy, stands on a site associated with Christianity from the early 7th century. Officially known as the Westminster Collegiate Church of St. Peter in Westminister, Westminister Abbey was founded by Edward the Confessor.
Make your way underground to Churchill’s War Rooms.
The superbly preserved nerve center from which Prime Minister Winston Churchill led British military campaigns and the defense of his motherland throughout World War II is one of the most fascinating and evocative of London’s historic landmarks. Their Spartan simplicity and constrained quarters highlight England’s terrible situation as the Nazi grip stretched across Europe.
The Natural History Museum’s Dinosaur Walk
The remarkable Natural History Museum in London, founded in 1754, is still one of the world’s most frequented attractions. It’s simple to notice because of its massive Romanesque façade, and a visit is something you won’t want to miss. Arrive early because it can become extremely crowded. Many of the original exhibits from the museum are still on display centuries later.
Take a picnic in Hyde Park.
Hyde Park, London’s largest open area, covers 350 acres and has been a tourist magnet since 1635. The Serpentine, an 18th-century man-made lake popular for boating and swimming, is one of the park’s features. Speakers’ Corner, a traditional platform for free expression – and heckling – can also be found in Hyde Park.
Climb St. Paul’s Cathedral’s Dome.
St. Paul’s Cathedral, the largest and most famous of London’s many churches, and unquestionably one of the most stunning cathedrals in the world, rests atop the site of a Roman temple. Sir Christopher Wren planned the reconstruction after the former church structure was destroyed in the Great Fire of 1666.
Shop at the Best Markets in London
Whether you like food, flowers, art, or clothes, there’s something for everyone in London’s top markets. While most are only open on weekends (including Fridays), some of the more unique sites, such as the bustling Camden Market (in North London), welcome shoppers daily. Camden Market has over 100 stalls, stores, and cafés selling everything from gluten-free treats to handcrafted gems to bohemian apparel. If you’re seeking a distinctly urban vibe, this is the place to go.
Buskers entertain you at Covent Garden.
The Covent Garden market halls are simply the beginning of the district, which also includes the stores and restaurants of Long Acre and other nearby streets, those of Neal’s Yard and Seven Dials, and the Central Square with its very brilliant and distinctive street performers.
Take a Tour of the London Eye
The London Eye (officially the Coca-Cola London Eye) is Europe’s largest observation wheel, and it was built to commemorate London’s millennium celebrations in 2000. Its separate glass capsules provide the most breathtaking views of the city as you ascend 443 feet above the Thames on a circle trip. The travel takes about 30 minutes, which is often less than the time spent lining up for your turn.
Visit Hampton Court Palace to meet Henry VIII.
Hampton Court, another outstanding Thames-side destination, is one of Europe’s most famous palaces and a genuinely remarkable place to visit in London. Its Great Hall dates from Henry VIII’s reign (two of his six wives are said to haunt the palace), and it was here that Elizabeth I learned of the Spanish Armada’s loss.
Cross the Meridian Line in Greenwich and dine at Docklands.
Greenwich has been the center of British naval strength for decades, but it is best known to tourists as the home of the Cutty Sark, the last of the 19th-century tea clippers to sail between Britain and China. The ship is next to the Discover Greenwich Visitor Centre, which features displays spanning more than 500 years of maritime history.
Riding a Horse at Richmond Park
When visiting Richmond Park, it’s difficult to realize you’re in London (well, officially just outside of London). This lavish natural wonderland, one of the eight Royal Parks, has everything you’d seek in an English park: winding walks, verdant woodland, glittering lakes, horse stables, trails, bike lanes, and several picnic areas.
Visit Kew Gardens to see the Flora and Fauna.
One of the nicest things to do in London is spending a day visiting Kew Gardens. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is home to over 50,000 living plants and some of England’s most beautifully kept gardens. Kew, officially known as the Royal Botanic Gardens, is located in southwest London on