With more than 20 million visitors each year, London, the buzzing capital city of England, is one of the most visited cities in the world, and among the most iconic places to visit in Europe. Home to the Royal Family, London depicts an amalgamation of both ancient and modern European cultures. From world-class museums, magnificent art galleries, and quirky shopping markets to dazzling nightlife, London has the best of everything! Whether you are looking to spend a lazy day in a park or want to enjoy a rocking evening at one of the many pubs, Britain’s bustling capital offers something for everyone. With so many impressive tourist attractions, it is quite a task to visit every remarkable site. But not to worry, we have listed here some of the best tourist attractions in London, and make sure to add these to your bucket list to have an unforgettable experience as part of London tour packages.
A trip to London, among the top places to visit in England, is incomplete without visiting Buckingham Palace. It is one of Britain’s most iconic buildings, and among the top places to visit in London. Built-in 1837, it serves as both the office and London residence of the Royal Family since Queen Victoria’s accession. It is famous for the city’s most popular display of circumstance, the Changing of the Guard which takes place around 11.30 in the morning on all days. The Queen gives her public appearance through the Palace’s central gallery on special occasions. The palace has 19 staterooms that are open to visitors during the summer and on selected dates from November to December when the Queen makes her annual visit to Balmoral. These fascinating rooms are decorated with some of the greatest treasures from the Royal Collection, including paintings by Rembrandt, Rubens, and Canaletto. Apart, there is a large garden at the premises of the Palace that spans over an area of 39 acres which consists of around 350 wildflower types and 200 trees, a 3-acre vast lake, Tennis courts, summer house, Rose Garden, and the Waterloo Vase.
The London Eye
Often regarded as the Millennium Wheel, the London Eye is a huge Ferris wheel located on the South Bank of the River Thames opposite the Houses of the Parliament and Big Ben in London, among the prominent cultural destinations in Europe. Built to mark London’s millennium celebrations in 2000, it is now Europe’s largest observation wheel with an impressive height of 135 meters (443 feet) and a diameter of 394 feet. The wheel consists of 32 capsules that are made of glass in which one can take a thrilling ride that lasts for 30 minutes. From these glass capsules, one can get a 360-degree view over the city of London, and also able to spot the popular landmarks including Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, and Buckingham Palace. Besides, the London Eye also offers a 4D experience in which people can be able to feel multi-sensory special effects like scent, bubbles, and wind.
The Tower of London
One of the most iconic historical sites in the world, the Tower of London is a historic castle located in Central London, among the top places to see in the world at least once. Built by William the Conqueror in 1078, this site has fulfilled many different roles over the centuries from prison to palace, treasure vault to a private zoo. Known worldwide for its fascinating architecture and craftsmanship, this iconic site also reveals about the most momentous tales and happenings in British history. The tower is now a UNESCO world heritage site and it attracts 2 million visitors annually. Inside the massive White Tower is the 17th-century Line of Kings with its remarkable displays of royal armor, the Crown Jewels exhibition, plus the stories of ghastly executions that took place around the building.
St. Paul’s Cathedral
St. Paul’s Cathedral is an Anglican church that sits atop the highest point in London. It is the matrice or Mother Church of the Church of England’s province of Canterbury or the Diocese of London. The previous church was destroyed in the Great Fire of 1666, and the present structure was rebuilt in 1708. Designed by Sir Christopher Wren, the twin Baroque towers and the magnificent 365-foot dome of St. Paul’s Cathedral is a masterpiece of English architecture. St. Paul’s Cathedral is still very much a celebrated part of the London skyline for the past 300 odd years and is the second largest dome in the United Kingdom. Besides, the cathedral is home to an enormous array of art where you can discover a trail of artwork around the Cathedral and theological messaging behind them. The church owns a specific design of the cathedral’s dome, where sound carries incredibly well across the whispering gallery, which goes thirty meters up. One can get a breathtaking and panoramic view of central London from the top.
The British Museum
Founded in 1753, the British Museum is the first national public museum in the world, and among the prominent museums in Europe. The museum is dedicated to human history and culture. With more than 8 million pieces dedicated to human history, art, and culture, the museum is indubitably the best in the world. It documents the story of human culture from its beginnings to the present. The museum lures over 6 million visitors every year to experience the most comprehensive collection, including world-famous objects such as the Rosetta Stone, the Parthenon sculptures, and Egyptian mummies.
Big Ben & Parliament
Another iconic landmark of London, Big Ben is a 97-meter tower housing the giant clock situated at the north end of the Palace of Westminster. Known throughout the world as the time signal of BBC radio, it is the most recognizable clock in the entire world, and it has been ticking 116 stories above since May 1859. While in London, don’t forget to visit the Houses of Parliament located beside the Big Ben. There are guided and self-guided tours that takes you through the multiple areas of the building, including Westminster Hall (the oldest building on the Parliamentary estate, which is more than 900 years old), the House of Commons Chamber and the House of Lords that offers a unique chance to see real-time debates and lively political discussions.
Officially known as the Collegiate Church of Saint Peter, Westminster Abbey is a large Gothic abbey church in the City of Westminster, London. Situated along the western bank of the river Thames, it is one of the United Kingdom’s most notable religious buildings known for having hosted coronations, weddings, and a burial site for the English and British monarchs. The highlight of this site includes spotting more than 600 memorials in the Nave, including the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior, and Poet’s Corner where more than 100 poets and writers are buried including Geoffrey Chaucer, William Shakespeare, Jane Austen, and Charles Dickens, the Westminster Abbey Museum and the attractive gardens. Visited by millions of visitors every year, it is one of the must-visit tourist attractions in London.
Located at the edge of Trafalgar Square in London, National Gallery is a popular art gallery in England and ranked among the top art museums in the world. The museum holds an impressive collection of paintings covering the period between 1260 and 1900 CE. The museum displays more than 2000 Western European paintings of renowned artists like Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, Rembrandt, Turner, Van Gogh, etc. Organized chronologically, the main highlights among them are a cartoon (preliminary sketch) of the Madonna and Child by Leonardo da Vinci, The Waterlily Pond by Monet, Van Gogh’s Sunflowers, and Michelangelo’s The Entombment, Botticelli’s Venus and Mars. A trip to London is incomplete without catching a glimpse of this impressive gallery.
Warner Bros Studio
One of the largest working studios in the UK, Warner Bros. Studio is a huge filmmaking exhibit located just outside the London at Leavesden, Watford. Opened to public in 2012, it is a delight for all Harry Potter fans. This studio offers guided tours to visitors that will provide you the film-making magic behind the Harry Potter films such as the larger-than-life sets, the incredible special effects and animatronics, and the green screen technology. Along with learning the whole experience of filming, you can also wander through the famous places in the movie like The Great Hall. Also, it features several artefacts, famous costumes, and souvenirs from the sets of the Harry Potter series that are on display. Apart from Harry Potter, this studio has witnessed many films such as Batman movies, Star Wars movies, and the Mission Impossible films. Frequented by thousands of tourists all-round the year, this award-winning attraction is one of the must-see during your London Trip.
Constructed over the river Thames, Tower Bridge is a popular suspension bridge and one of London’s iconic landmarks. The bridge was built in 1886 with a unique combination of bascule and suspension elements, and was opened to public on 30th June 1894 by the Princess of Wales. The bridge is 240 meters in length and its twin towers rise 61 meters above the river Thames. Bascule bridge refers to those bridges which are lifted in order to allow the boats and the barges to pass. It holds an exhibition from where you come to know the history of the bridge, how and why it was built through various interactive videos and displays about the landmark. Also, it has a high-level glass floor walkway from where one can experience the amazing view of the London and can also notice the museums and historic buildings surrounding the river. Flocked by thousands of visitors every year, the rising bascule and the grand towers this bridge make it one of the most recognized bridges in the entire world.
Founded by Marie Tussauds in 1835, Madame Tussauds is a popular wax museum and among the most popular tourist attractions in London. This museum is known for its wide array of wax figures of famous personalities from around the world. The museum is home to around 400 wax figures from all the categories that includes musicians, actors, sportsmen, politicians, historical figures, scientists, comic book heroes, religious heads, and even criminals. Apart, the place also offers several other entertainment options like taxi rides in some of the most historically significant regions of London, a small movie experience featuring 4D figurines of Marvel Superheroes, etc. which is visited by thousands of tourists to make their trip even more beautiful.
Piccadilly Circus & Trafalgar Square
Picadilly Circus and Trafalgar Square are the two popular and best-known tourist attractions located near to each other. Picadilly Circus is one of the busy spots that marks the intersection of several London’s busy streets – Piccadilly, Regent, Haymarket, and Shaftsbury Avenue and overlooking the winged Eros – London’s most famous sculpture delicately balanced on one foot. On the other hand, Trafalgar Square is another beautiful place surrounded by several iconic buildings and landmarks. This square was built to commemorate Lord Horatio Nelson’s victory over the French and Spanish at Trafalgar in 1805. The square has a 56-meter granite monument, Nelson’s Column overlooking the square’s fountains and bronze reliefs, which were cast from French cannons.
Santhi is an avid traveler and primary contributor to the blogs at Trawell.in. She has explored most of the states in India and gained vast knowledge on tourist destinations in India and abroad. She also contributes content to other travel websites.