London's Must-See Attractions

London is one of the most iconic and cosmopolitan cities in the world and a must-see on any vacation to the UK. There is, in fact, so much to see and do in London that it can be difficult to know where to start, especially if you only have a limited time in the city. Here is our pick of the unmissable attractions and things to do in London.

1. Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament
Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament are iconic landmarks of Great Britain and their outstanding glory never fails to disappoint! Big Ben is a large tower adorned with a clock and bell that sits next to the Houses of Parliament, where the UK Government’s offices reside. One of the best ways to take in these quintessentially British monuments is on a city cruise that takes you on a fun trip along the River Thames – this will also provide you with ample opportunity to take some stunning photos to show your friends back home.

2. Buckingham Palace and Hampton Court Palace
London has several wonderful royal palaces that you can visit that give you a fascinating peek into royal life. Through their majestic interiors, stunning architecture and manicured gardens, they are perfect for a day out, especially if you are interested in learning more about the British Royal Family and English culture, or even if you just want to see some of the UK’s finest buildings. Two of our favorites are Buckingham Palace and Hampton Court Palace.

Buckingham Palace is The Queen’s home in London and it is also often used for state occasions and royal hospitality as it is positively drenched in refinery. The interior designs can only be described as magnificent and feature priceless art, hand-carved doorways and precious antiques. Many areas are open to visitors, including the State Rooms, which are used for ceremonies and entertaining. While at the Palace, you can also enjoy the Changing the Guard ceremony, when one regimen guarding The Queen takes over from another. It is a spectacular 45-minute show that encompasses a colorful display, allowing you to snap some unforgettable photos and selfies.

Hampton Court Palace is a royal palace in Greater London, which is a popular attraction that may easily be reached from central London. It is a particularly fun day out for families as there are plenty of family-friendly events and activities, including the Haunted Gallery, the fun-filled maze and entertaining reenactments. The Palace is also home to a stunning collection of precious art and it has some of the prettiest gardens in all of England, including one of the largest grape vines in the world!

3. Tower Bridge and the Tower of London
Tower Bridge is surely the most famous bridge in the world! It is a stunning piece of architecture that magnificently straddles the River Thames in London. The bridge consists of two bridge towers tied together at the upper level by two horizontal walkways, with the high-level walkway affording stunning views of London. You can also visit the Tower Bridge Exhibition, which has a spectacular glass floor and showcases the greatest bridges of the world and also lets visitors in on the secret inner workings of this famous structure.

Close by Tower Bridge you can also find the iconic fortress that is the Tower of London. Here you can marvel at the priceless Crown Jewels or explore the magnificent collection of royal armor. You can also be entertained by the Yeoman Warders who, through their tales, bring to life the stories of the infamous prisoners that lived and died in the Tower all those years ago. It makes a fun yet fascinating day out for families, couples and groups, and is worth it simply to see the dazzling brilliance of the Crown Jewels!

4. Kew Gardens
If you’re a nature lover then Kew Gardens in Richmond are a must-see! The gardens make up London’s largest World Heritage Site and there are tropical glasshouses and an expanse of stunning landscaped gardens, where you can lose yourself in the beauty of English nature. There is also a tree-top walkway, botanical art collections and exhibitions that allow you to discover the science and history behind these exceptional Royal Botanic Gardens. You can also buy gifts for friends and family back home from one of the garden’s shops – the profits help support Kew’s vital science-based conservation work around the world. There are also several cafes and restaurants serving seasonal food, some of which is grown on-site, making the gardens the perfect day out!

5. The London Dungeon
Take a theatrical journey through 1000 years of London’s murky past at The London Dungeon, which features 18 multi-sensory sets and two thrilling rides. This is a particular favorite of families and school groups, as the attraction brings to life important historical events in London, such as the plague of 1665, Guy Fawkes and his plan to blow up the Houses of Parliament in 1605, the gruesome Sweeney Todd and one of London’s most famous criminals: Jack The Ripper. There are also events for over 18s only, called Dungeon Lates, which feature laughs, scares, shocks and theatrical story-telling in a Victorian Gin Palace Bar.

6. St Paul’s Cathedral
St Paul’s Cathedral is a magnificent Baroque church designed by Sir Christopher Wren in 1673 that is dedicated to Paul the Apostle. It is within easy reach of Blackfriars and St Paul’s underground stations, and is famous as one of England’s most celebrated architectural masterpieces. It features a magnificent dome, framed by the spires of Wren’s City churches, which has dominated the skyline for 300 years, becoming one of the most recognizable sights of London.

Inside, you can explore the crypts, which have become known for their ghostly whisperings; there are also multimedia guides and the “Oculus”, which is an award-winning film experience. You may also attend one of the church’s daily Anglican services in the morning or evening, and nearby you will find a gift shop and several cafes and restaurants, serving typical English cuisine.

There is so much more to do, including city cruises on the Thames, visiting Kensington Palace or the Imperial War Museum, enjoying artistic masterpieces and rare works of art at the Tate Modern or discovering the secrets of science at the Science Museum, but we had to choose our favorites! Please visit our Blog for more inspiration on what to do on your vacation in the UK.

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