London sights – 40 best places to see!
London sights. The top 40 best places to see in the capital of England!
Despite its quiet and measured lifestyle, London attracts not only tourists, but also migrants from Europe. Only 44% of the UK’s population are natives, the rest are attracted here by the romantic rainy weather, beautiful architecture, Michelin-starred restaurants and world-famous fashion stores.
If you want to hear English accurately and beautifully, experience the history of England and see the sights of London with your own eyes, this is the best place to convey the noble and refined atmosphere of this beautiful country.
London’s historic sights
Big Ben is a clock tower which appeared in London, a city whose residents so value punctuality. Built in 1288 the building is famous for its hundred meter height and amazing accuracy of time transmission – the error does not exceed two seconds a day.
Interestingly, the caretaker, during whose work the clock was once one second late, was going to be fired. Big Ben is a symbol of England, it is against this background TV reporters begin to conduct news programs and under its ringing meet the New Year in London.
We suggest you get acquainted with the sights of the whole of Great Britain. It will be fascinating!
2. Tower Bridge
Tower Bridge was initially considered by the British as ridiculous and ugly, but now it is impossible to imagine England without this landmark of London, which is rightly considered the main decoration of the city. The architect, inspired by Victorian Gothic culture, began its construction back in 1886.
It got such a name due to the fact that it has a similar design to the Tower of London, which is located nearby. Eight years after construction began, the Prince of Wales himself and his wife attended the opening ceremony.
3 The Tower of London
The Tower of London was built as a castle for King William, but under the Tudor dynasty it became a prison for two wives of King Henry VIII and subsequently became a prison for other prisoners. The Tower also acquired a sad reputation because of the 22 executions that took place here, according to official sources.
At one time it functioned as a mint and a royal menagerie. Now it houses an armory and seventeenth-century royal decorations, including crowns and scepters. And the black crows that fly here are still considered guardians of the mysterious, and in the dark times of day even sinister, tower.
4. Westminster Abbey
Westminster Abbey is of great historical value for tourists and residents of the city – this monastery was the coronation place for all rulers of England. Now the abbey serves as a tomb for many famous personalities – Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, David Livingstone and other prominent people. A curious feature of this place are also the casts made from the faces of royal families of all generations.
5. Palace of Westminster
The Palace of Westminster, a castle whose history dates back to 1042, has always served as a home for the monarchs’ families. It became possible to visit this building only since 2004, so if you want to visit its most ancient parts, it is better to do it at the end of August, because during the whole year the British Parliament sits there. Solemn ceremonies are held there, which are attended by Queen Elizabeth II herself.
6. Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace currently serves as the residence of the Queen of England, Elizabeth the Second, and in the 18th century it was built for the Duke of Buckingham, which was later bought from him by the King of England, George III, and settled there with his family.
But it was Queen Victoria who contributed the most to the decoration of this palace, making it famous and another of London’s must-see attractions. Over 800 apartments, sumptuous gardens, restaurants, police and hospitals made the palace almost an entire city for royalty.
7. Kensington Palace
Kensington Palace was built back in 1605 by the Earl of Nottingham. Queen Victoria was born in the palace, and it later became the home of Princess Diana and Prince Charles. Many of its parts can be visited – the reception hall, the apartments of Queen Mary II, the royal dressing room of Charles I’s youngest daughter, the famous 18th-century fashionista Anne Stuart, and the beautiful gardens outside the palace.
8. St. Paul’s Cathedral
St. Paul’s Cathedral is one of the tallest buildings in the world with a dome 118 meters high. It is now the seat of the Bishop of London. The cathedral’s life story begins in the 18th century, when it had to be reconstructed after being bombed during World War II. It is also known for the burial within its walls of the greatest men of British history – Churchill, Fleming, Nelson and others.
9. British Museum
British Museum of History and Culture was founded in 1753 and contains more than 50 thousand paintings, sculptures and other art objects testifying the development of England since the Ancient Egyptian era. There are more than 100 exhibition halls in the museum, and what cannot fail to please its visitors – museums in London are free, so you can safely take a few days to study the exhibits.
10. Hampton Court Palace
Hampton Court is a palace donated to King Henry VIII in 1529, the interior of which was commissioned by the monarch himself. The building later served as the residence of King William III, and now houses the Royal Chapel, where services are held. There are many mystical stories about this landmark in London, and there’s even a book about the ghosts of Hampton Court.
It’s thought that the spirits of wives who didn’t die of natural causes still roam the castle, but the most sinister remains King Henry III, who only appears during thunderstorms. The children will enjoy the almost two meter high bush maze and the costume shows.
London: Top 30 sights
London – the capital of Great Britain, this fact is studied in English lessons still at primary level. Then most students get interested in this unusual and ancient city. It was founded after 43 AD and witnessed all the greatest events in the history of England.
London is literally filled with the history of England, masterpieces of past eras and events of the country. Historical buildings are juxtaposed with modern symbols of Britain and even fairy-tale characters, such as Harry Potter. Many fans of the Potteries come to the British capital just to see the 9 ¾ platform and the Millennium Bridge with their own eyes!
What else can you see in the British capital? This selection contains 20 of the most interesting places in London!
1 Buckingham Palace.
The first thing to see for yourself in London is the residence of the British monarchs. Queen Elizabeth II, members of the royal family and their honored guests visit here. Tourists can also witness the changing of the guard ceremony. Every other day from August to April, and the rest of the time every day. The court division changes shifts at 11:30. This custom attracts hundreds of tourists from all over the world.
2 The Tower fortress.
Perhaps the most important symbol of Britain is the Tower! This fortress was built in the 11th century by the famous King William the Conqueror. Since then the Tower took part in all the important events of the country and was a prison, a fortress, a palace, a mint and even a zoo. Anne Boleyn, Katherine Howard, Thomas More, and other famous figures awaited their execution here. Near the Tower, you can also visit the bridge at once!
3 Tower Bridge.
No less famous than the Tower is the bridge located near this ancient building. This drawbridge has a characteristic design that has long been a symbol of Britain. The bridge is 244 meters long and is divided into spans by two 65-meter high towers. It was built in 1894 and at that time had a very interesting hydraulic water system. Now the Tower Bridge still has galleries that are open to the public.
4 Big Ben.
Another integral part of London is the Big Ben Tower, and officially since 2012 the Elizabeth Tower. This part of the Palace of Westminster attracts tourists separately, because it is the third largest clock in the world. The tower is made in the neo-Gothic style, which attracts fans of this style in architecture. And the nostalgic just want to admire the main symbol of London, which so much seen in pictures! By the way, Big Ben is one of the bells inside the tower, not the tower itself.
Big Ben is part of an equally famous building – the Palace of Westminster. Here important decisions for the country are made, because it is in this building that the British Parliament sits. Therefore, it is often referred to simply as Parliament. On this site before 1529 there was a residence of English monarchs, but the modern building was built in the middle of XIX century. Parliament has a distinctive neo-Gothic style.
6 Hard Rock Cafe
Not far from Hyde Park and Piccadilly there is a cafe where all rock music lovers flock. Now the network of famous Hard Rock Café’s are located all over the world, but the first café appeared just in London. It happened in 1971, in the building of the Rolls-Royce department store. The café has a huge collection of musical exhibits from around the world, as well as an amazing setting!
7 Warner Bros. Studios.
One of the good reasons that beckons tourists to London is to see the world of Harry Potter with their own eyes. Who hasn’t dreamed of visiting Hogwarts? After the filming was completed, the film studio was transformed into a museum, a true Potteromaniac’s dream. It has everything, Dumbledore’s study, Gryffindor’s living room, Cosmic Alley, a model of Hogwarts, and even creamy beer!
8 London Eye
For fans of extreme sports, a tour of the largest ferris wheel in Europe, the London Eye, is ideal. From a height of 135 meters you can see the whole of London as if in the palm of your hand with all its surroundings. However, this is if the day is sunny! The construction fits perfectly into the historical image of the city and is one of its symbols.
9 British Museum
This museum is second only to the Louvre in terms of attendance in the world. It was founded in 1753 and included only three collections. Now it is a famous historical and archaeological museum, which contains many rare finds. The Library of Britain was founded here, which contains unique texts.
10 Oxford Street
Fans of fashionable stores and busy traffic should take a stroll down Oxford Street. It is one of the most famous streets in London and the most important one in the historic Westminster area. It is especially beautiful in November as it is decorated annually with Christmas lights. Celebrities solemnly turn on the street lights, which delight tourists for months.
11 Museum of Natural History
Botany and zoology lovers should definitely visit the Natural History Museum in London. This huge building contains more than 6 million plants, 9 million specimens of paleontology, and 55 million specimens of animals. The basis of the museum in 1881 was the collection of Dr. Hans Sloan. Of particular interest is the collection of dinosaur skeletons, such as a mechanical model of a Tyrannosaurus.
12 National Gallery
And now the third most visited museum in Trafalgar Square, which everyone calls the National Gallery. The building houses a huge collection of European paintings from the 13th century to the 20th century. The gallery will be a real discovery for art lovers, because here you can find masterpieces by Leonardo da Vinci, Rembrandt, Van Gogh and other artists.
13 Victoria and Albert Museum
For lovers of design and arts and crafts, the Victoria and Albert Museum is perfect. Its walls contain a huge collection of sculptures, ceramics, designer items, photography, fabrics and other types of applied art. By the way, admission to this museum, like almost all others, is free!
14 Trafalgar Square.
Experienced tourists advise walking from Trafalgar Square to Piccadilly. The former is the transport heart of London, with the city’s three main streets originating here. In the center of Trafalgar Square is the famous statue of Nelson, commander in chief of the British Navy. The square itself is named after the battle of the same name.
15 Piccadilly Square
Piccadilly Square is famous for being the tourist center of the capital. A walk through the center of London will be unforgettable! This square connects three streets – Shaftesbury Avenue, Regent Street and Piccadilly Street. A distinctive feature of Piccadilly Circus is a huge number of neon signs, because of which it is called “the neon heart of the capital. The square is home to the Cupid Museum as well as many fashionable stores.
16 Madame Tussauds Museum
Of course, there are Madame Tussauds museums in nineteen cities around the world. But the most important museum, which was founded by the master herself in 1835, is located in London. Amazing copies of famous people made of wax have become popular all over the world and made the name of Madame Tussauds famous! The museum is located next to the London Planetarium.
17 Tate Britain and Tate Modern
Two other museums for art lovers are the Tate Britain and the Tate Modern. The former is located near the Houses of Parliament and is a collection of important national masterpieces. The Tate Modern, on the other hand, is a collection of modern British art. The famous Millennium Bridge leads to the entrance to the gallery.
And here is the Millennium Bridge, which can be seen in the sixth Harry Potter movie. For the sake of this unusual sight Potteriana fans are willing to walk across the bridge. By the way, it has an interesting history and two opening dates. The first time, in 2000, during the opening ceremony, it began to wobble. Therefore, the bridge was closed and reopened only in 2002.
19 The Globe Theater
The Globe Theatre is one of London’s important historical landmarks. The name is usually associated with three buildings. The first was built in 1599, and it was where Shakespeare’s first works were staged. It burned in 1613, and was rebuilt in 1614. However, in 1642 it was destroyed again, and it was possible to reconstruct it according to the descriptions only in 1997. Now everyone can visit a theater that looks exactly like Shakespeare’s!
20 Westminster Abbey
This abbey is a World Heritage Site, so it is a must-see. This Gothic church has been the coronation and resting place of the kings of England for centuries. The abbey was founded in 1065 and has been rebuilt periodically since then until 1745.
21 Hyde Park.
In central London, you can take a stroll through the Royal Park. Hyde Park has a long history and was opened to the public in the 17th century. The British here traditionally organize festivities, rallies, celebrations, exhibitions. On the vast territory of the park, 1.4 square kilometers, there are many interesting buildings, such as the gallery at Lake Serpentine, a statue of Achilles or the corner of the speakers.
22 St. Paul’s Cathedral.
The residence of the Bishop of London, St. Paul’s Cathedral, is also a tourist attraction of the city. The first structures on the site date back to 604, so the cathedral has a rich history. There were a total of five churches named after St. Paul, and the current version was completed in 1708 by architect Christopher Wren. The huge dome of the cathedral resembles St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.
23 Covent Garden.
Connoisseurs of high art can visit the famous Covent Garden Theater. The modern building of the theater is the third in a row, the previous two burned down in a fire. The first building appeared in 1732, and the last reconstruction in 1857-1858. The Royal Ballet and the Royal Opera often perform here. Covent Garden is named after an entire district in central London. There are plenty of places of interest, such as the Museum of public transport, Drury Lane Theatre and the market.
24 The residence of the British Prime Minister
The famous address 10 Downing Street is familiar to many who are familiar with British politics and are interested in British life. Here since 1905 is located the residence of the Prime Minister of Great Britain. The house is located in Westminster and has approximately 100 rooms. The house originally consisted of three buildings, which were united in the XVII century. The building often housed prime ministers, so it has a little secret – the door only opens from the inside.
25 Royal Botanic Gardens
Botany lovers should not miss the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew. Here is the largest collection of living plants, more than 30 thousand exhibits. Here you can see 7 million specimens in the herbarium, which is considered one of the largest in the world. The gardens are a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
This name can often be heard in connection with references to the British government. No wonder as Whitehall Street runs straight from the Houses of Parliament to Trafalgar Square. If Oxford Street is rich in fashionable stores, Whitehall is dotted with ministerial buildings and offices. This is the street where the important decisions for Britain are made!
27 Kensington Palace
Get in touch with royal life with a visit to Kensington Palace. It is now the residence of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and Kate Middleton has been declared the official hostess. Compared to other residences, it is quite modest, but interesting because it has centuries of history. It has been owned by Queen Victoria, Princess Diana and now Kate.
28 The Shard skyscraper.
When it opened in 2012 this skyscraper was the tallest not only in Britain, but also in all of Europe. Now it is the fifth tallest building in Europe. Its height of 310 meters (87 floors) and the modern look of the building at one time caused much controversy among the public. Over the years, however, the skyscraper not only has not spoiled the look of the city, but has become one of its symbols. The skyscraper’s name translates to “splinter” because its glass glistens in the sun.
29 Mary Axe Tower
The Mary Axe skyscraper is called a cucumber or gherkin by Londoners. Such a funny name this 180-meter building (40 floors) was given from the dark green glass of the floors. Surprisingly, the all-glass structure has no corners at all. And from the top of the skyscraper there is a stunning panorama of London.
30 Platform 9 ¾.
A true Potteromaniac should not only visit the Harry Potter Museum but also the famous Platform 9 ¾! This place that opens the door to the magical world, just like in the book, is located at King’s Cross Station. This platform really exists, there is even a store with souvenirs and free scarves of faculty colors. There’s even a special person standing by the platform who can support your scarf on the weight while you take your picture!
These aren’t all the amazing places to visit in London. The capital of Great Britain is famous for a mass of memorable spots that have a rich history!
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