If you plan on visiting England anytime soon, you might want to know about the top sites in London to see. The truth is, there are far too many attractions and landmarks in the capital to see on one trip, but that’s what makes planning your itinerary all the more important. With this in mind, here are some of the top must see places in London and the experiences that you will not want to miss whether you travel for two days, two weeks or more.
Hyde Park is the best-known park in the United Kingdom and one of the largest in London. As you may know, this was also the location for many major demonstrations (Suffragettes) over the years and debates and protests still take place in the “Speakers Corner” to this day. However, you will also find various artists and musicians at work. There are also multiple interesting memorials are scattered around the park. Hyde Park is a beautiful green space with fresh air, shimmering lakes and plenty of bird life.
Westminster is the political center of London and where you will find both the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben. But more on that in a moment. Westminster Abbey is open to the public and you can walk in the footsteps of famous icons like Winston Churchill and Nelson Mandela, making it one of the top sites in London. That being said, this is also where royal weddings take place and where famous kings, queens and soldiers went about their business. As for the building itself, Westminster Abbey is a remarkable piece of architecture. You can even attend mass which is held several times every day.
Although Soho was once known as the red-light district, it is now one of the most vibrant places in terms of nightlife and one of the top sites in London. What’s more, you will also find a long lineup of theaters, restaurants and jazz bars on every corner. Now, just so you know, there is still a somewhat risqué vibe to the area. Yet, when it comes to checking out a cultural hotspot, Soho is one of the most interesting places for a night out. And even if this proves a little too much for the senses, you can quite easily move on to Leicester Square which is just a short skip away from the area.
Flowing right through the heart of the city, the Thames has been bringing industry to London for many centuries. In fact, this river was of central importance during both World Wars and back as far as Roman invasions. For this reason, there is much to see and learn along the river and a cruise is often the best way to experience this history. Just so you know, this cruise would take you past the London Eye and Tower Bridge and even the Houses of Parliament. Either way, it’s a great way to see the city and a totally different perspective of the London you might see on foot.
You might not plan on shopping in London but Oxford Street is still a great place to soak up some atmosphere and mingle with the locals. In fact, more than half a million visitors descend on Oxford Street every day. Here, you will find all the major stores such as Selfridges, House of Fraser and Debenhams. When you are finished window shopping, there is no end of choices for cafes or restaurants. This is also one of the safest areas to explore in the city of London.
Is a trip to London really worth it without a visit to Buckingham Palace? More specifically, how could you not want to see the changing of the guard?
Buckingham Palace has been the home of the Royal Family since the mid-1800s and has more than 700 rooms. However, outside of the palace, you can watch one regiment take over from another in a historic tradition that takes place twice daily. If for nothing else, you might want to see the iconic bearskin hats in person. Then, catch a quick snap next to these imposing characters who are notorious for never breaking their facial expression.
As already mentioned, Big Ben is located next to Westminster Abbey and is also known as Elizabeth Town or even just the clock tower. While this might not seem like anything special, this is arguably the most iconic feature on the London skyline. Also, given the central location of Big Ben, you can easily access the tower and capture a memorable photograph. Becoming the centerpiece of your photo album of exploring London.
Similarly, Tower Bridge and the Tower of London are two more of the most famous sites in London. Tower Bridge, often mistakenly called London Bridge, is the historical bridge with its two iconic towers. It used to be the sole river crossing since Roman times. The actual London Bridge is about a half mile away. It doesn’t even have the towers and opened in 1973. Meanwhile, the Tower of London was founded in 1066 and was initially a prison before converting to a castle. You can even go inside this historic building and witness the Crown Jewels and many more ancient crafts.
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At Gourmet Adventures Travel Co., I craft culinary getaways for travelers who love to eat well and yearn to truly savor the authentic side of their destination. From a river cruise through Provencal wine country to a journey through the heady spice markets and medinas of Morocco, you'll taste your way through the world's most enchanting landscapes.