“When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life” said Samuel Johnson. He spoke the truth. Whether you’re looking for West End musicals, Double Decker buses, Sherlock Holmes pubs, or Kate Middleton lunch spots, the British capital has something to offer you.
So here is the list of some places that one cannot afford to miss when on a vacation to London
1. The Tower Bridge:
The majestic suspension bridge that nestles above the River Thames is a prominent beautiful attraction offering panoramic views from high-level walkways. It also provides visitors with sneak access to high-tech machinery – which has been responsible for operating it since 1894. The Tower bridge experience includes interactive displays and videos about the landmark and its history alongside the River Thames. When it opened in 1894, Tower Bridge was the largest and most sophisticated bascule bridge ever built, the bascules being raised by hydraulic power generated by steam engines.
2. London Eye:
“The London Eye” perhaps the world’s most iconic and Europe’s biggest Ferris wheel. It provides a splendid view of the city from the glass capsules on the wheel that rises up to 443 ft above the Thames River.
Its construction took 7 years and was completed in 1999. The London Eye has 32 air-conditioned passenger capsules that represent the 32 London boroughs. The capsules are numbered from 1 to 33 but capsule 13 doesn’t exist due to superstitious reasons. Each capsule fits up to 25 people and the London Eye can take up to 800 people in one round. The whole ride lasts for about 30 minutes and is usually accompanied by a long queue.
3. Big Ben :
The very first thing that comes to one’s mind while thinking about London is Big Ben. It is the most iconic image of London – the huge, ornate clock located at the top of the Houses of Parliament in Westminster. Big Ben is Britain’s most important clock; its chimes are used at the beginning of many TV and radio news programs. The clock has hardly ever stopped till date.
In a city made up of hundreds of concrete stones, get a kick out of it by visiting The Hyde Park – largest of the four Royal Parks in central London. The park is home to countless walking and biking paths framed by magnificent old trees. You can rent a bike and choose to spend the day pedaling all over Hyde Park, making stops wherever you want. Or you could pack some snacks and plan a picnic on one of the large and neatly manicured gardens.
5. Buckingham Palace:
Palace was built in 1837 and is the London residence of the Royal Family ever since Queen Victoria came into power. You can take tours of the palace and one of the most popular attractions here is the Changing of the Guard or Guard Mounting ceremony. This free event being very popular, make sure that you arrive early to secure a spot with a good view.
6. Madame Tussauds London:
Where else in London could you get to rub shoulder and strike selfies with Hollywood fame, politicians, sport and pop stars all under one roof. It has lifelike wax statues and interactive areas that bring your favorite movie characters and celebrities to life. From Benedict Cumberbatch to Harry Potter stars to Her Majesty, The Queen. You can enjoy a red carpet walk- the icons of your dreams or visit your favorite movie scenes in a special zone dedicated to Star Wars.
7. Warner Bros Studio; the Making of Harry Potter Tour:
A delight for all the Harry Potter fans, opened in 2012 located less than 20 miles away from London. This one will provide you a behind the camera and discover the real magic of the Harry Potter films: the amazing costumes, sets and props that were made, and the creativity and talent behind tall of them. The visitors here can take a guided tour or explore on their own, one can also learn the whole experience of filming.
8. National Gallery:
Located at the most central point in London, the National Gallery stands tall in its glory providing the home to some of the nations most treasured western art dating from 1250-1900s. The incredible collection in the museum includes paintings from the world’s most iconic painters like Child by Leonardo da Vinci, Botticelli’s Venue and Mars and The Waterlily Pond by Monet among many others.
9. The British Museum:
The British Museum stands still for the past 260 years and it comes under one of the finest places to visit in London. So far it has more than 13 million artifacts ranging from the ancient world to modern times. The priceless objects are from all over the world and civilizations including Assyria, Babylonia, Europe, China, and more. Most famous exhibits include controversial Elgin Marbles from Parthenon, the colossal bust of Rameses II, the Egyptian mummies and much more.
10. St. Paul’s Cathedral:
St. Paul’s Cathedral is the largest and most famous church located at the Ludgate Hill at the highest point of the City of London. It is the mother church of the Diocese of London, catering to 413 parishes and 484 different churches around London and its 17 boroughs. Its world-famous dome, one of the highest in the world(365 ft high), has dominated the skyline for over 300 years and has become an iconic symbol around the world, as well as a representation of national identity.