What to see in London: main attractions, places and museums to visit

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Valery Aloyants

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

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London, called the New York of Europe, is one of the most beautiful cities in the world whether we are talking about architecture, atmosphere or landscapes. Find out what the best museums, attractions and places to see in London while visiting the English capital

Visiting London means diving into one true cosmopolitan city. Capital of the United Kingdom and one of the largest European cities, London is one dynamic, effervescent, vibrant, modern city... also often called the "city of the world".

Thousands of shops, restaurants and pubs, hundreds of museums and galleries, dozens of markets and parks ... In London you never stop discovering new places to see and interesting activities to do!

But somewhere you have to start, so here's one list of what to see in London, the most interesting attractions to do, the most beautiful places to see and the main museums to visit. Don't forget to use the convenient card London Pass to visit attractions and museums.

What to see in London

Buckingham Palace

What to see in London - Buckingham Palace -

Buckingham Palace is the official residence of the Queen of England, Elizabeth II. This is where many historical events or other official ceremonies or banquets take place, such as royal baptisms, the queen's birthday or visits by heads of state.

During the guided tour, you will be able to discover the 19 magnificent official apartments. There is also a real-life exhibit that changes staging every year during the palace's summer opening. They want us about four hours to visit Buckingham Palace.

The palace is open to tourists only from the end of July to the end of September and is indispensable book tickets in advance.

If you come to visit London outside of this period, you will not be able to enter Buckingham Palace, but you will still be able to witness the famous changing of the guard in front of the palace gate (tickets online here).

The changing of the guard takes place every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday at 11:00. This ceremony of 40 minutes it attracts thousands of tourists every day, especially in summer.

The changing of the guard is canceled in case of bad weather. You can consult the program , available on the Internet, to check if the ceremony will take place.

Big Ben and Westminster Abbey

What to see in London - Big Ben and Westminster Abbey -

If you want to see one of London's iconic symbols, go to Big Ben, certainly the most famous image in London. Built in 1858, this huge clock tower is an integral part of the Palace of Westminster, also called the Houses of Parliament.

The Clock Tower is 106 meters high and is adorned at the top with 4 huge 7 meter diameter clocks, one on each side. Big Ben it can only be admired from the outside, only the British can also visit the inside of the Clock Tower.

A few steps from Big Ben, you can visit theWestminster Abbey, one of the most famous religious buildings in London, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Gothic in style, it is the burial place of most kings and queens of England, but also of statesmen, poets ... This is also the place where the main royal coronations take place. You can choose to find out through a guided tour (tickets online here)

Tower of London

Tower of London –

Close to Tower Bridge, la Tower of London it is located in the city center, on the north bank of the Thames. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is one of the most important museums to visit. The foundations of this fortress date back to 1066 and served as both a royal residence, prison and place of execution.

Today it is a museum of medieval history, housing the crown jewels, as well as beautiful gems that are still regularly worn by Queen Elizabeth II. The exterior of the Tower is also very interesting to visit.

Remember to book your tickets in advance here, because there is a large crowd of tourists at the ticket office, especially in the summer.

Tower Bridge

Tower Bridge – Foto da Pixabay

Tower Bridge, easily recognizable even from afar thanks to its two huge Gothic towers and sky-blue frames, is one of the main attractions to see in London. This bridge built over the Thames at the end of the 19th century it was, at the time, the most sophisticated movable bridge in the world.

Now it allows thousands of cars and pedestrians to cross every day from the north bank to the south bank of the river. If you are there at the right time, you can even see it open in two to allow the passage of large boats.

Tower Bridge it can be admired from the banks of the Thames. At night it is even more spectacular, with all its twinkling lights. You can of course walk across it, the upper walkway is pedestrianized and will give you a nice view of the city and the Thames (tickets online here).

The Shard

What to see in London - The Shard Photo from Piqsels

Another must-see monument in London is The Shard, also known as Shard of Glass. With its 310 meters of height, it is the tallest building in Londonas well as the fifth tallest skyscraper in Europe! It is a glass tower located in the London Bridge district, designed by architect Renzo Piano and inaugurated in July 2012.

If you don't feel dizzy, this is an activity not to be missed (get your tickets here). Once you get on one of the high-speed elevators atOsservatorio panoramico The View from The Shard, you will have an impressive and breathtaking view of the city.

After the visit you can take a break. The Shard is right next to the Borough Market, the coolest food market in town. It offers excellent products from all over the world and it is possible to eat on the spot.

London Eye

What to see in London - London Eye - Photo Michael Kleinsasser from Pixabay

La London Eye it is the largest Ferris wheel in Europe. Each cabin accommodates up to 25 people and from its top, 135 meters high, you can enjoy a breathtaking view of London.

It is located on the banks of the Thames, close to Big Ben and the Palace of Westminster. The wheel turns very slowly and a full rotation takes about 30 minutes.

Remember it is London's most visited attraction, and to avoid long lines don't forget to book a skip-the-line ticket. If you want to opt for a cheaper ticket, take the standard ticket.

Walk to Hyde Park

Hyde Park is the largest green space in the city. Like Central Park's New York or the Mount Royal Park in Montreal, is one of the most beautiful city parks in the world.

A walk in Hyde Park is a must during a stay in London. At the end of the year you will also find a great one Christmas market in Hyde Park. And if you're visiting London with the family, your kids will love the Winter Wonderland Fun Fair and on the largest skating rink in the UK.

Madame Tussauds

One of the most famous and most visited museums in London, Madame Tussauds is the first of a series of museums in various cities around the world.

It is a wax Museum which was founded in 1835 by Marie Tussaud. You will find dozens of statues representing famous people from all over the world, singers, actors, sovereigns, the entire royal family, or great artists like Picasso and Oscar Wilde… The wax figures are very realistic!

As the museum is one of the most visited places in London, we highly recommend purchasing tickets in advance here.

Madame Tussauds is located in Baker street e open every day from 9: 30 to 17: 30. It takes approx 3 hours for the visit.

Piccadilly Circus

Piccadilly Circus Londra –

Piccadilly Circus is the unmissable crossroads of the city and the emblem of modern and commercial London. It is impossible not to have in mind the image of this lively place with huge advertising screens broadcasting advertisements 24/24.

It's a bit like London's Times Square, in a slightly smaller version. This square connects the neighborhood of Soho with the most commercial streets of Regent Street, Shaftesbury Avenue e Covent Street.

You can see her on a walk in Soho, preferably in the evening to appreciate the contrast of the lights.

Covent Garden

Among the things to see in London, I recommend going to Covent Garden. Located in the heart of the city and in the boroughs of Camden and Westminster, Covent Garden is the shopping and theater area, very popular with both tourists and Londoners.

Known as the most historic fruit and vegetable market in London, opened circa 1600, Covent Garden Market has evolved over time, but has fortunately retained its beautiful glass roof.

It houses many shops, workshops, restaurants and even a museum, the London Transport Museum. An interesting one takes place on Saturday mornings craft market.

The National Gallery

What to see in London - National Gallery -

This museum dedicated to art presents one of the largest collections of works of art in Western Europe. You can admire more than 2.300 paintings dating from the 13th to the 20th century. The famous are exhibited here Sunflowers by Van Gogh!

Founded in 1824, the National Gallery is located in Trafalgar Square, the famous square "guarded" by four large black lions. It is one of the most beautiful museums in London.

Like all national museums in London, admission to the National Gallery is free all the year. The museum is open every day from 10:00 to 18:00 and on Fridays the closing is postponed to 21:00.

Notting Hill

This is one of the upscale neighborhoods of London, made famous by the film “Notting Hill” with Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant. It feels like a quiet little village with its elegant and characteristic pastel-colored mansions. Fans will not fail to identify the various locations of the film.

In Notting Hill, don't miss the Portobello Road flea market, open every morning. This is an opportunity to buy something special among the many antiques, second-hand clothes and other unusual items offered on the stands.

Notting Hill is also known for its carnival which takes place every year during the last weekend of August.

Camden Town Market

The Tate Britain and Tate Modern museums

London really is the city of museums. These are two other must-see museums, as well as free admission.

Il Tate Britain Museum it is located on the banks of the Thames, south of the borough of Westminster. It is dedicated to five centuries of British art and honors many iconic artists such as Turner, Hogarth, Francis Bacon, William Blake and so on… You can admire a very rich collection of paintings, photographs and sculptures dating from the XNUMXth century to the present day.

While Tate Britain focuses solely on British art, the Tate Modern Museum it is mostly devoted to modern art in general. It is located on the south bank of the Thames, opposite St. Paul's Cathedral.

The British Museum

Another museum to see in London and one of the most visited sites in all of Great Britain is the famous British Museum, which retraces the history and culture of man.

Opened to the public in 1759, it initially exhibited Dr. Hans Sloane's collections, gradually growing, to present today more than 7 million objects from all over the world.

In addition to the collections on display, the building that houses the museum is itself a masterpiece of architecture. One of the most beautiful places in the museum is the entrance, called The Great Court, with its central rotunda and glass and steel roof.

The museum is free for everyone and is open every day from 10:00 to 17:30.

The Making of Harry Potter – Warner Bros Studio Tour Londra

The Making of Harry Potter – Warner Bros Studio Tour Londra –

If you are a fan of the famous Harry Potter films and the magic of cinema has always attracted you, then I suggest you visit the exhibition “The Making of Harry Potter”. It is located in the Warner Bros Studios, in Leavesden, about thirty miles from London and is easily accessible from the city center (return tickets are available here).

You will be able to explore amazing landscapes such as Diagon Alley, Dumbledore's office or the Great Hall. You will also have the chance to get on the famous one Hogwarts Express. Since March 2017 there is a new attraction, the Forbidden Forest.

It is also very interesting to take a tour of the places and of the location where parts of the Harry Potter films were filmed in London. Find out more in this article ...

Other places and attractions to visit in London

To make your visit to London even more complete, here is a list of other places to see and activities to do during a trip or holiday in the English capital:

  • Hampstead Village
  • The Greenwich meridian
  • National maritime museum
  • Natural History Museum
  • Victoria and Albert Museum
  • Saint Paul's Cathedral
  • Harrods
  • Shakespeare Globe’s Theatre
  • Millenium Bridge
  • The Chelsea neighborhood
  • Regent's Park
  • Go shopping on Oxford Street

Visit all of London's most famous attractions using your card London Pass.

What to see in London - London Eye - Photo Michael Kleinsasser from Pixabay
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