The city of London has an enormous number of places that are perfect to visit while you’re in town. Whether you want to enjoy a relaxing afternoon at the park or take in some famous art in one of the museums, there’s something for everyone to enjoy here! So, here’s your guide to the top places to visit when in London.
1) The British Museum
The British Museum is a fantastic place to visit if you’re looking for a day of relaxation and fun. It’s also the perfect place for a chill afternoon with friends. There are so many different exhibits you can enjoy, and while they might seem pricey at first glance, I promise they are worth it! Plus, there are lots of events going on all the time that you’ll love. You won’t regret checking this out!
If you want to do something fun yet chilling then head over to Regent’s Park where you can take in some culture on one side and relax on another!
2) The Tower of London
The Tower of London is one of the most well-known landmarks in all of England. It was first used as a fortress, and over time it has been used as a prison and even a zoo. It is now home to the Crown Jewels. The Tower of London offers tours that are open year round, but if you want to avoid large crowds, visit during the winter months when fewer people are in town or on Mondays when they close at 3pm. The crown jewels can be viewed on a guided tour – these tours are 45 minutes long and must be booked ahead of time.
3) Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace is the Queen of England’s residence and where she receives official visitors. It can be seen from a distance as it is the largest palace in all of London. The Palace has been home for the Royal Family since 1761, and was commissioned by King George III, son of King George II. The Palace is two parts. Buckingham House is the smaller front section and has been used as a private home for members of the Royal family while St James’s Palace has been used as government offices.
4) Westminster Abbey
Westminster Abbey is a large, mainly Gothic church just to the west of the Palace of Westminster. It is one of the most notable English churches and has played a prominent role in British history. The Abbey is the traditional place of coronation and burial site for English and British monarchs – 17 monarchs have been crowned there. The building itself is impressive; visitors will be mesmerized by its sheer size, which can only be appreciated fully from outside looking up at it. Visitors will also enjoy exploring inside, including many tombs and chapels.
5) The Natural History Museum
The Natural History Museum is one of the most popular museums in the world and is home to over 70 million specimens and artefacts. The museum was founded by Sir Hans Sloane, who donated his extensive collection of curiosities. The museum has been open since 1881 and features many diverse sections such as Earth Sciences, Zoology, and Botany. The London Underground station for this museum is called South Kensington. Notable exhibitions include the famous dinosaur hall with its original cast of a Diplodocus skeleton (brought back from Wyoming in 1905) and a section on evolution.
6) The Victoria and Albert Museum
The Victoria and Albert Museum is a museum of art and design. It is the most popular museum in London, with over five million visits per year. There are collections of furniture, paintings, prints, drawings and sculptures from all periods and cultures. The museum has the world’s largest collection of paintings by Claude Monet (over 250 works). It also has Europe’s largest collection of sculpture by Auguste Rodin with 144 works. The V&A is a treasure trove for art lovers from around the world.
7) St. Paul’s Cathedral
St. Paul’s Cathedral is the most popular tourist spot in London and one of the most visited landmarks in the world. It is a place where locals, visitors and tourists alike come together to celebrate different religious festivals, ceremonies and services. St. Paul’s also has a cemetery that contains more than 100 burials, some dating back as far as 1666.
The Golden Hinde at Tower Bridge is an exhibition about Sir Francis Drake’s famous ship that he used for his circumnavigation of the globe between 1577-1580. Visitors can see how sailors lived on board during this time period, see maps of Drake’s voyage or just look at paintings from the era.
8) The Churchill War Rooms
The Churchill War Rooms, now open as a museum, were a British government underground command center from where Winston Churchill and his team directed the country’s war effort during World War II. The bunker has been preserved as it was when Churchill left it on August 15th 1945. Visitors can see the maps, charts and other paraphernalia which gave life to the war room.
At first glance it may not seem like much but walking down the stairs into this underground world is like stepping back into history. It is hard to believe that such an important part of our recent past is still here for us all to visit and learn from today.