London, the home of the iconic Big Ben Clock Tower, and the capital city of England, gives you multiple reasons to enjoy, regardless of the time of your trip. It has something in it for people of all age groups, making it one of the top tourist destinations in the world. Are you planning a trip to London? Here are the top things you can enjoy here.
Things to see and do in London
The trademark symbol of London is the huge clock tower of Big Ben, located in the Westminster Abbey. The Houses of Parliament are located here. The Westminster Abbey is a church that has witnessed many politically meaningful ceremonies over the centuries. Many people flock to Westminster to hear the clock tower chiming every hour. Constructed in 1245, this Abbey is England’s most iconic Gothic structure. You can take the Thames River Cruise to get an excellent view of the entire Westminster building.
You have to get on the London Eye to get a panoramic view of the city. The London Eye is a huge Ferris wheel with many capsules to accommodate the increasing number of locals and tourists who come here every day. The capsule moves slowly, as you take in the brilliant views of the Thames River, Big Ben and other iconic structures from above.
Tower of London
You have to visit the Tower of London to get a glimpse of the 1000-year old history of London City. You can take guided tours in various languages to understand stories of pain, pleasure, heritage, betrayal and more. This place also houses the world-renowned Crown Jewels, which will blow your mind away. William the Conqueror constructed the majestic stone structure of the Tower of London in the 1070s. Today, it continues to be the abode of the raven guardians and other historical elements, making it one of the top tourist attractions in the world.
St. Paul’s Cathedral
Besides being an iconic religious structure, the St. Paul’s Cathedral perfectly represents Britain’s rich political history. After a huge fire damaged the original structure, Christopher Wren constructed this beautiful cathedral in 1666 with five levels. The viewing platform on top of the cathedral’s dome gives you an unforgettable view of the city of London. Though many ceremonies have taken place here, it is still known for being the site of Sir Winston Churchill’s state funeral and hosting the wedding ceremony of Prince Charles and Lady Diana.
One of the most beautiful places to walk around in the city is Hyde Park. Read your favorite book while you enjoy watching the swans in the river bodies in this park, or make use of a bright day by going paddle-boating on one of the park’s two rivers. Walk around the park to see some memorable locations like the place, where the Suffragettes held quite a few protests and Speaker’s Corner, where debates are being held even today.
Cruise on the Thames River
A cruise on the Thames River is a must-do activity when visiting London. Being the longest river in England, the Thames has been an integral part of London’s history and culture to date. The cruise tours help you take a glimpse of the most important sites like the Houses of Parliament, Tower Bridge, London Eye and more located along the river’s coastline.
Like the London Eye, the O2 Arena was constructed to welcome the millennium. If you want to enjoy the nightlife of London, you can come to the O2 Arena. The place is full of live music, stage shows, exhibitions and other activities for adults and kids. As part of your guided tour, you can climb on the dome of O2 Arena to get a view of the entire London city. When you visit this arena, don’t forget to travel on the cable car, Emirates Air Line.
If you are a shopaholic, you cannot miss shopping at Oxford Street, one of the most popular shopping destinations in Europe. The entire street has over 300 designer and international fashion brand shops that keep you hooked all day long. A visit to this shopping haven is a must, especially during the Christmas season. This is when the place looks extremely beautiful with colorful lights and decorations everywhere.
Leicester Square is a must-visit place for movie buffs. Ever since the 19th century, Hollywood celebrities have frequented this place because of its large number of cinemas with huge screens, restaurants and more. If you are tired after all the walking around, you can enjoy good food and drinks at the bars & restaurants here. Don’t miss the Prince Charles Cinema for some of the most awesome movie and concert screenings.
Galleries and Museums
London is known for its wonderful galleries and museums, as the city has a lot of history to boast about. Art lovers must visit the National Gallery at the Trafalgar Square, as it houses some of the best original works of Van Gough, Leonardo da Vinci and more. The National History Museum and the Victoria & Albert Museum are other notable places that you should visit to know the city’s rich culture.
London Travel Tips
- Staying in Central London is a great choice, because most of the tourist attractions can be easily accessed from here. Hotels may be slightly expensive, but you can save a lot on transport
- Consider buying tickets in advance; you can also buy skip-the-line tickets to save time.
- Take the iconic red double-decker buses for short distances and the tube (underground metro trains) to travel long distances.
- You must try the local British delicacies of Fish & Chips, foods from Borough Market, high tea in the afternoon and other foods from the local supermarkets. If you can afford it, the food hall at the Harrods supermarket is a must-visit destination.
When to visit London
Summer, spring and early winter are perfect seasons to witness London in its full glory. Spring falls between March and May, summer is from June to August and early winter is from September to November. The temperature is mild and pleasant during these seasons, making it comfortable for you to walk around the city.