You may know London as the capital of England, but did you know it is one of the largest travel capitals in the world? This huge city is one of Europe’s most frequently-traveled destinations filled with hundreds of historic landmarks as well as world-famous shopping centers, museums, and restaurants. The atmosphere of the city is vibrant and energetic, making it an ideal travel destination for those who enjoy the hustle and bustle of city life. Because of London’s extensive history, there are hundreds of places to visit from royal attractions to historic landmarks. Here are a few must-see places we recommend you check out on your next trip.
Westminster Abbey has been the setting for every coronation of the royal family for almost a millennium, and has even held sixteen royal weddings. This Gothic-style abbey is filled with stained glass windows, impressive architecture, and centuries of royal artifacts. Today, the abbey is still in use and daily tours are available to view the tombs and memorials of over 3,300 monarchs and greats - including Queen Elizabeth I and King Henry V.
Speaking of royalty, Buckingham Palace is the official residence and headquarters of the British Royal Family. It holds many royal gatherings such as ceremonies and weddings, and depending on the time of year, visitors can take a tour inside the Palace’s state rooms. The Palace is also known for its famous Changing of the Guards, where you can see Beefeaters in full uniform in front of the Palace. Its grounds are a site to be admired as well, where visitors can walk through lush gardens and take a look through royal museums.
Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament
Another London landmark is Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament. Located in the center of the city directly on the River Thames, they are almost impossible to miss. Big Ben stands at over three hundred feet, one of the largest clock towers of its kind, and is one of London’s most frequently visited locations. While it is currently closed for construction, in 2021 tours of the clock tower as well as the Houses of Parliament will be available year-round, where visitors can take a first hand look inside the meeting rooms and view commemorations of famous British politicians.
The London Eye
The best place to get a full view of the city’s skyline is on the London Eye. This giant ferris wheel is located at the center of the city on the River Thames and provides unbeatable views both day and night. This thirty-minute ride will show you some of the city’s most famous landmarks including Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, and Buckingham Palace, as well as cathedrals and gardens.
If you’re looking to spend some time outdoors, Hyde Park is the perfect place to spend an afternoon. Hyde Park is one of London’s most famous parks, where visitors can boat, sport, or relax. As the largest royal park in London, it hosts some of the city’s biggest events, including rallies and concerts. Memorials and tributes honoring some of England’s greatest figures can be found throughout the park, as well as commemorative monuments marking significant moments in England’s history.
With around 200 million visitors every year, Oxford Street is Europe’s busiest shopping street. Although it has a background as a broadcasting center during World War II, today the street stretches for over 1.5 miles and is filled with hundreds of trendy restaurants, department stores and high-end retailers, including Selfridges, one of the UK’s largest and best known department stores.
When you’re in town, eat local! There are plenty of food halls and markets to stop by and pick up a quick lunch on the go or try some of the city’s fresh fish and chips. The most popular place to grab a bite to eat is the Borough Market, one of London’s oldest food markets dating back to the 12th century - and still remains to be one of the largest wholesale and retail markets in the city.
With so much to see and do, exploring the city of London is sure to take you on an adventure. To learn more about London and what it has to offer, click on the link below.