If you have never visited the great city of London before, then you owe it to yourself and your family to see all the vaunted attractions that this city has to offer. While it would take months to visit all the historic landmarks and places to visit, there are a certain number of attractions that simply must be seen.
London is certainly one of the most historic and important cities in the world, boasting a great number of attractions that has made it one of the most visited cities on the planet. A great number of the best museums are located in London along with a number of famed attractions.
What follows is an all-too-short list of must-see places in London for those who want to at least experience a fraction of what this tremendous city represents.
When visiting London, you might as well start with perhaps the most famous palace of them all. Buckingham Palace has a rich history, but is surprising smaller than many people might imagine if they have not seen it for themselves. This is because the palace was originally built for the Duke of Buckingham in 1703 and wound up replacing St. James’s Palace in 1837 as the residence of the monarch.
Still, Buckingham Palace is quite impressive with its 19 wonderfully furnished rooms featuring the art of Rembrandt, van Dyck, Vermeer and so many more. If you time your trip when the Queen is on vacation, then you can take the tour and see these remarkable works of art along with the vaunted Throne Room. Naturally, you’ll want to take the time to see the changing of the guard which occurs at 11:30am daily from May to July and alternate days for the rest of the year.
Naturally your travels through London will take you to the famous Trafalgar Square and the centerpiece of this impressive area of London is the famous National Gallery. A huge building that features many of the great Western European paintings that date back to the 13th century, you can walk through and view the wonders of da Vinci, Van Gogh, Renoir, Constable and many, many more. This impressive tour of some of the most famous art in Western civilization is absolute free to see.
Tower of London
The famous and infamous Tower of London boasts a long and unique history in the British Empire. During its 900 years of existence the Tower has served as a royal palace, prison, a place where prisoners were executed, an arsenal, house of jewelry and even a zoo. You can marvel at the collection of crown jewels that the Tower still stores and walk around this vibrant place of history, including the famed White Tower or cross through the bedchamber of the King.
Not only is this the largest museum in the UK, it’s also one of the finest museums in the world. Featuring an astounding collection that boasts immense collections of Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Middle Eastern and European artifacts, this astounding museum is a collection of world history with some of the most famous pieces still residing within the walls.
Constructed in 1753, the British Museum has undergone many redesigns and upgrades over the centuries. Although a short description of what you’ll find would take pages of description, the highlights include the famed Rosetta Stone, the famous stone that deciphered Egyptian hieroglyphics, the Sculptures of the Parthenon, the Anglo-Saxon Sutton Hoo burial relics, the famous Oxus Treasure of the Persian gold dating back to the 7th century BC and much, much more.
This is certainly one of the more popular attractions in London. Boasting a world famous collection of contemporary and modern art, the works are housed in the famed Bandside Power Station on the south side of the Millennium Bridge. The combination of modern art and the large industrial brick design makes for one of the most fascinating contrasts in London.
This museum is certainly for the art lover in all of us and taking one of the multi-media guides is actually rather inexpensive as well. Of course, you can always indulge in the free 45 minute guided tours of the highlights in this remarkable collections.
If you are hungry for a taste of 18th century British cuisine, then Rules is the place to visit. Established in 1798, Rules is the oldest operating restaurant in London and features a healthy amount of meats and fish on their menu. The Rules is extremely “posh” and very British as well, providing a great cultural insight into the type of meals that have been enjoyed for well over two centuries. Plus, you can try the puddings, treacles, trifles and lots of custard as well.
The London Eye is one attractions that you are not likely to miss. The “eye” is the world’s tallest observation wheel that holds 32 capsules of 25 people each as it gives a breathtaking view of the London skyline. During this 30 minute ride, you can see more than 55 of London’s most famous landmarks and attractions, offering an unparalleled view of the city.
Certainly one of the most famous wax museums in the world, Madame Tussauds is where you come face to face with some of the world’s most famous faces crafted in a realistic manner that is beautiful and touching at the same time. Stand with the likes of Shakespeare, Lady Gaga or pretend to run against Usain Bolt or admire Brad Pitt. The museum has hundreds of attractions that are sure to be entertaining and fascinating for all visitors.
This was just a short list of some of the most famous locations that London has to offer. You should plan your trip accordingly so you can visit as many of these locations as you can, although even visiting all of this short list may take more than one trip. However, all of these locations are well worth seeing if you get the chance.