If you’re planning a visit to London to see all of its many and various tourist attractions, then you’ll probably be faced with the difficulty of cramming as many disparate distractions into the same day as possible. Even if you’ve got two, or even five days to kill, you might struggle to see and appreciate everything that the nation’s capital has to offer. With that in mind, let’s look at ten sights in London that you’ll want to see during your stay!
Buckingham palace is, famously, the residence of the British royal family. It’s also among the most famous attractions in the city – and perhaps even the world. The changing of the palace’s guard is perhaps the event that draws the biggest crowd. It occurs every day between 11 and 12:15.
Wembley area is the theatre of the national sport of England: football. Though the national team’s on-field successes haven’t exactly been plentiful in recent years, the stadium is well worth a visit – even if you aren’t the biggest football fan. Naturally, there are other sports on display here occasionally, too – as well as big musical events!
Trafalgar square is the site of what is arguably the city’s best-recognised monument, Nelson’s Column – as well as innumerable pigeons. If you haven’t yet visited the city, then incorporating a trip to the famous statue of Lord Nelson is surely obligatory. The monument was built thirty-five years after Nelson’s death at the battle of Trafalgar, and is decorated at the pedestal with four bronze panels, cast from captured French guns.
The Houses of Parliament
If you’d like to be where the action is – and where all the big decisions are made – then you’ll need to make a trip to Westminster. The houses of parliament (being the House of Commons and the House of Lords) are probably more exciting on the outside than they are on the inside, depending on the strength of your interest in politics. If you’d like to witness an actual debate, then you’ll be able to sit in the viewing gallery above the commons and do so. They’re only open while parliament is actually in session – so not during weekends and parliamentary recesses.
The River Thames
The Thames is a river without which London simply wouldn’t exist – for centuries it’s provided Londoners with trade and recreation, and if you’re looking to take a close-up look there can be few better ways than with the help of a floating tea-room. If you’re looking to enjoy afternoon tea on the Thames, then you’ll be able to do so with the help of a specialist Thames river cruise.
The London Eye
If you’re looking to enjoy an unparalleled view of the capital, then you’ll need to visit the London Eye. This enormous Ferris wheel is situated on the banks of the Thames, just a short walk from the houses of parliament. You’ll be able to spend a couple of hours taking a look around the city – from a vantage point high above the rooftops!
The Royal Albert Hall
If you’re a fan of classical music, then you’ll certainly want to pay a visit to the Royal Albert Hall, which is amongst the country’s foremost venues. Every summer it hosts the BBC Proms, which provide daily classical concerts for several months – so be sure to check this year’s listing!
The Globe Theatre
During Shakespeare’s day, plays were performed in an altogether different setting to the one in which we usually enjoy them. That’s the appeal of London’s Globe Theatre. The original theatre was built in 1599, only to be destroyed by a fire fifteen years later, rebuilt and then demolished in 1644. The new globe lies around 230 metres from the site of the wold one, and opened to the public in 1997. If you’re looking to enjoy great theatre, and convincing Tudor architecture, then look no further!
The O2 Arena
The O2 arena, built into what was once the Millennium Dome, is one of the foremost musical venues in the capital. If there’s a big-name act playing in town, then the chances are that they’ll be doing so in the O2. Be sure, therefore, to check what’s on while planning your visit.
Downing street houses the famous residence of the Prime Minister. It’s actually not that much to look at, but if you’re looking to visit the landmarks of the capital, then it’s one that simply must be checked off!