Places to Visit in London
London is one of those cities that has a little something for everyone. The city is full of history and entertainment. It also has some of the best museums in cultural heritage sites in the world. Here is a shortlist of places to visit in London.
The British Museum
The British Museum is a place to visit in London if you have a day or a couple of days to fill. It has architectural treasures from antiquity up to the present day. It is also free to visit so it is worth a stop. The museum holds the Rosetta stone, first discovered by Napoleon, it was later that the significance of the find came to light. There are rooms of treasure to explore so take your time, there are only 8 million of them to see. Guided tours can help you absorb a lot of the history and information that is available.
The Tower of London
Nobleman and peasants have made this tower their home over the centuries or rather their prison. The tower is full of history and currently has the Crown Jewels of England, including the Imperial State Crown, on display. This is a tower where you can learn about its bloody past and see some of the most precious jewels the kingdom holds. The tower holds the 350 years and counting exhibition of all the “Line of Kings” which showcases the royal families over the last 350 years. The kings include Henry VIII, James II and Charles I.
No visit to London is complete without a visit to the home of the current Queen of England, Elizabeth II. A place to visit in London that no one should miss is a visit to Buckingham Palace. If you are traveling in the Spring or the summer you can even book a tour in the palace and see the 19 staterooms and various other rooms where the royal family host guests. The Queen’s rooms are off-limits for tours. You will also see all the beautiful treasures that are kept inside the palace such as paintings by Rembrandt and Rubens. You can also visit the throne room where affairs of state occur. It is also the scene of the royal wedding pictures of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
A place to visit in London that should be on your list of places to visit is the Portobello Road market. This is a stretch of Notting Hill Neighborhood that is full of small booths and antiques. Not everything is what you would want to see or buy, but it is full of merchants selling flea market items including art, jewelry, and clothing. There are over 1000 vendors to see and the market is billed as the largest antique market in the world. You can find all the vintage items you could want and pick up pieces of London history while you are at it.
West Minster Abbey
Westminster Abbey is a place to visit in London. It is the scene for more than one royal wedding and it has some interesting collections of antiques and literature. If you like poetry, don’t miss visiting the Poets’ Corner and you can wander the attached graveyard to find the final resting places of some of the world’s best and well-known authors including Charles Dickens and Rudyard Kipling. You can also visit the tombs of the famous royal sisters Elizabeth I and Mary Tudor, daughters of Henry VIII. Guided tours are available, but you can wander as you choose around the grounds.
The Piccadilly Circus is a place to see in London that matches New York’s Times Square. It is a busy section of town filled with businesses and life. You can also shop at the department stores that line the sidewalks or visit one of the many night clubs and bars that are on and off the streets of Piccadilly. There is also some of the best food in the area and if you visit at night, you will be able to see the city lit up with all its neon lights.
Hyde Park & Kensington Garden
Hyde Park was once the hunting grounds of King Henry VIII. Now it is a place to take your family for a chance to interact with nature. You can also explore a lot of the small trials and monuments put up inside of it. You can take a ride on the swan boats that glide over Serpentine Lake or visit the memorial fountain for Princess Diana. You can also read about some of the famous things that have happened in the park-like speeches made by Karl Marx and Vladimir Lenin as well as George Orwell.
The National Gallery is a place to visit in London if you love art. They have one of the largest collections of paintings in the Western European style that date between the 13th and the 19th centuries. The collection includes pieces from the Italian Renaissance and French Impressionism. It has over 2,300 pieces to view and some of the paintings are some of the greatest painters who ever lived including Van Gogh and Botticelli. You may want to consider spending more than a day here as there is too much to see in one day.
The Tower Bridge is a marvelous structure and something every traveler should see. It is probably the most famous bridge in London as it crosses the Thames. The construction of the bridge started in 1886 but includes what was once considered modern technology. The middle of the bridge actually lifts up to let the vessel pass underneath. As a tourist, you can see the entire thing from the elevated sidewalks and get a good view of the rest of the city including the Tower of London and St. Paul’s Cathedral.
Houses of Parlament
The Houses of Parliament is a place to visit in London that comes highly recommended by travelers to the area. Not only do you get to see the halls where the laws and rules of the country are made, but you will get to see the place where the Golden Jubilee takes place and get to look at some of the oldest buildings in the area. It is one of the most visited places in London so get tickets in advance and be prepared for crowds.