London, the capital of England, never fails to surprise us. A unique combination of traditional with modern, the city reflects its true spirit in its classic landmarks, Victorian architecture and urban life. Read through the list to know the places you need to visit in London to catch the true pulse of the city.
- Go Shopping
What is London if you don’t shop your heart out? London boasts of several world-famous shopping streets and department stores. From luxury goods in Mayfair to peculiar pickups at Covent Gardens to large shopping centers like Westfield – the city has the answer to all your shopping needs. And of course, there are elite departmental stores like Harrods in Knightsbridge that opened its doors in 1834. Get all the prestigious, high-end brands assembled here. Selfridges in Oxford Street is the second-biggest department store after Harrods, but it is known as the world’s best department store. You can spend the whole day just browsing shops at Harrods and Selfridges, as all the shops are open 24 x 7. And of course, multiple boutiques and various shops are scattered in every corner of London. Do you need any further prodding to go shop?
- Tate Modern
Think about art in London and you just can’t miss out on Tate, the most visited modern art gallery in the world. The Tate opened its doors for the first time in 1897 with just one gallery and from then on it is continuously serving British art. Today, Tate boasts of four major sites and a national collection of British art dating from 1500 to the present day. Tate also houses nearly 70,000 pieces of international modern and contemporary art. Plan a full day’s visit in Tate if you wish to cover a considerable portion of the gallery. The gallery is open every day and you can easily connect through the Millennium Bridge which links the city with Bankside, the location of Tate Modern.
- Thames River Cruise
No matter whether you prefer a peaceful, luxurious cruise or an adrenaline-pumping speedboat experience, a boat on the river Thames is a perfect vantage point to soak in the sights and sounds of London. The Thames cruise will take you to some of the iconic sites of London. Experience the majesty of Big Ben, sail along the Houses of Parliament, the great London Eye, Canary Wharf, and other famous landmarks. Cruises covers various routes, so choose yours from a long list. Be assured, you will experience a totally different London from that of a regular bus tour.
- St Paul’s Cathedral
One of the most famous and most recognizable sights in London, St. Paul’s Cathedral is the second-largest church building in the United Kingdom and comes only after Liverpool Cathedral. The present cathedral building was designed in the English Baroque style by Sir Christopher Wren after the old cathedral was destroyed in the Great Fire of London. Situated right in front of the Millennium Bridge in the heart of London, St. Paul’s Cathedral has got the highest dome in the world, at 111 meters. Open for climbing, it offers the most spectacular 360 degree view of the city panorama.
- Tower Bridge
It is an iconic symbol of London and one of the most famous bridges in the world. Built between 1886 and 1894, the Tower Bridge crosses the river Thames near an equally famous landmark – the Tower of London. The bridge was officially opened in 1895 by King Edward VII (then Prince of Wales) and his wife. Tower Bridge is not only one of the famous landmarks of London, but a personal landmark in the life of many individuals as well, since one can hire the tower’s walkways for a personal event like wedding, engagement ceremony or any other personal or corporate event. Walk down it in a quiet evening to enjoy and appreciate the Victorian architecture of the bridge and the aura of British aristocracy it exudes.
- Natural History Museum
History breathes here in the British Museum, also known as the Natural History Museum. Located in South Kensington, the museum houses some 70 million specimens of life and earth science covering botany, zoology, entomology, mineralogy and palaeontology. Many of the collections have a great scientific and archaeological value. Some of the specimens are contributions of Charles Darwin himself! The museum is particularly renowned for the large dinosaur skeletons that reign in the central hall. Among many other sections, the most famous section is The Darwin Center and the focus of attraction here is Archie, the 8.62 meters long giant squid. One can easily reach Natural History Museum by bus, tube, car and even bicycle.
- London Eye
Situated on the South Bank of the River Thames is the London Eye, a giant Ferris wheel and one of the most iconic landmarks of the city. Also called Millennium Wheel, the London Eye was formally opened on 31st December, 1999. With a height of 135 meters, it is Europe’s tallest Ferris wheel and it offers a spectacular 360 degree panoramic view of London. Naturally, it has become the most popular tourist attraction of in the UK and has made many appearances in movies, art and other popular culture. Visiting the London Eye should be a must in your to-do list while visiting the UK.
- Kensington Palace and Gardens
Visiting London and wish to get a taste of Royalty? Then Kensington Palace and Gardens must be on your bucket list. Situated between Notting Hill and Kensington High Street, it has been a residence of the British Royal Family since the 17th century and is currently the official residence of Prince William and Duchess Kate. However, a few sections of the palace are open for public viewing and make a wonderful getaway from busy London life. The public gardens, the artificial lake, walkways and various historical memorabilia inside the palace, including Queen Victoria’s rooms and Queen Elizabeth’s and Princess Diana’s wardrobes, are an unforgettable experience in royal grandeur.
- Windsor Castle
This 11th-century castle is one of the oldest royal palaces in the world. Famous for both its royal connection and its impeccable architecture, Windsor Castle is one of the three official abodes of the Queen. It has been a home to the Sovereign for over 900 years. The Queen spends her weekends and officiates in many important events from this castle. It is open for visitors throughout the year, but check before visiting since the castle remains closed during official events or ceremonies. Just a short journey west from central London, Windsor Castle will take you back to old royal ages of history, art and British gentry.
- Palace of Westminster
The House of Commons and the House of Lords, the two Houses of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, meet here. The name of the place is derived from the adjoining Westminster Abbey, which was the main residence of the kings of England until 1512 when a major fire broke out and destroyed much of the complex. Currently recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, the Palace of Westminster is not only a renowned landmark of London but the whole world. You need to apply for entry and the tour can be taken after the approval. Visit the Public Galleries of both Houses and enjoy the beauty of Big Ben in the London skyline.
Originally posted 2017-06-29 12:32:56.