Called the most iconic city in the world London boasts a very long history. Visitors love its old world charm, which you can only feel when you actually visit. So, if you’re planning a trip to London do take the time out to visit these great places in “the city of the bold one”, as the Romans named it over 1500 years ago.
Here’s a list of all the attractions you should definitely see on your next London visit:
1. Buckingham Palace
Built in 1837, Buckingham Palace has been the London residence of the Royal Family since Queen Victoria’s reign. The palace’s most popular attractions is the Changing of the Guard. The palace guards march to the tune of music and the ceremony is a must-see.
2. The British Museum
With 8 million artifacts and two million years of human history, the British Museum is a not-to-miss place in London. Housing priceless objects from every corner of the world including those from ancient civilizations such of Assyria, Babylonia, China, Europe and more. The museum also houses controversial pieces such as the Elgin Marbles, Benin Bronzes, Rosetta stone, Crystal Skull, and more from the Greek and Roman eras. Truly a historian’s paradise!
3. Victoria and Albert Museum
Founded in 1852, the Victoria and Albert Museum covers 13 acres and houses a Natural History Museum as well as a Science Museum; it is also known as the world’s largest museum of applied and decorative arts and design as well as sculpture. With 145 galleries housing artifacts that are more than 5000 years old it is named after Queen Victoria and Prince Albert and boasts a permanent collection of over 2.27 million objects.
4. St. Paul’s Cathedral
One can recognize St Paul’s Cathedral as the majestic dome that dominates the London skyline. You’ll get an amazing view of the entire cathedral after you climb its 560 steps up into the golden gallery. You can talk to the whispering walls and listen to them whisper back. The crypt houses lifelike statues of Tudor kings and queens. An interactive multimedia guide will take you through the history of the tombs and the cathedral. You’ll also learn about the cathedral’s history and famous weddings that have taken place there, including Prince Charles and Diana’s in 1981.
Want to check out its acoustics? You can watch the choral evensong at 5 p.m. on most weekdays and you’ll understand why its acoustics are a musicians dream.
5. Westminster Abbey
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Westminster Abbey is perhaps one of the most famous places in London to visit. With more than 700 years of British history it is one of the most iconic buildings in U.K. A traditional place of coronation for monarchs, it is adorned with the burial site for famous English poets, legendary writers and other prominent sovereigns. It has recently gained popularity as a preferred location for Royal Weddings.
6. Madame Tussauds London
One of the best places to visit in London, Madame Tussauds, houses lifelike wax statues that look real in the context of interactive areas which bring your favorite movie characters and celebrities to life. From Her Majesty, the Queen to celebrities who walk the red carpet these days you’ll find statues of almost everybody who is famous. They’re so real no one will think you’re crazy if you’re found talking to someone from the big screen or from an historical era.
7. Hyde Park
This is one of the most iconic places to visit in London. Open since 1635 and a tribute to the freedom of speech, this 350-acre open space is the largest in the city where anyone can come and talk about whatever they want. The park holds an 18th Century man-made lake called Serpentine, famous for boating and swimming.
Free speech and demonstrations is what Hyde Park has been famous for since the 19th century. The famous Speakers’ Corner was established as a point of free speech and debate in 1872. The park is also known for holding free rock music concerts, and includes Apsley House, the former home of the first Duke of Wellington.
8. Big Ben
The real name of Big Ben is the Great Bell referring to the clock at the north end of the Palace of Westminster in London and is the name given to both the clock and the clock tower collectively. Renamed Elizabeth Tower in 2012 to mark the Diamond Jubilee of Elizabeth II, the official name of the tower in which Big Ben is located was originally the Clock Tower. A truly legendary monument, the 97-meter tower with its giant clock is known throughout the world as the time signal of BBC radio. It is one of the most awesome places to be in the world… and let’s just leave it to that.
These are just a few places you can visit whenever you’re in London. Visit them, cherish the history, enjoy the present, and take lots of pics.