London is a must-visit destination on every traveller’s list and there are tons of reasons behind it. The city has it all – history, architecture, art, food, entertainment – anything you can possibly think of. And it’s as cosmopolitan, diverse and exciting as a world-famous capital city can get. Let’s take a tour around London to see what it has to offer.
The history of London goes as far back as the Romans and there are many different ways for you to experience it. St. Paul’s Cathedral stands on the highest point in London like a precious jewel – as elegant as it was 400 years ago (though it was rebuilt several times). You can join a variety of guided tours offered by the Cathedral that offer an insight into its rich history. Bear in mind that the church is only open as a place of worship on Sundays.From the Cathedral, you can cross the Thames River via the Millennium Bridge and reach the Tate Modern, a museum of modern art, in 15 minutes on foot. The place attracts tourists and art lovers alike for its curated collection of over 70,000 artworks from well-recognised modern artists such as Andy Warhol and Dame Hepworth. Though the entry is free, the exhibitions and audio tours are reasonably priced.
Another popular attraction close to the bridge is the Tower of London where you can experience the spirit of London, learning about the most important historic events and admiring the stunning castle where infamous Henry VIII had Anne Boleyn beheaded. You can also take a look at the impressive treasures including the Crown Jewels. It’s a good idea to book your place in advance to avoid long queues. Just a 10-minute walk away is Tower Bridge that provides breathtaking panoramic views of the bustling city.
A city as famous and rich in culture as London comes with a variety of flavours. Cheese sandwiches, meat pies, and fish & chips – any local delight you could think of can be found in the Borough Market which dates back to the 13th Century. It’s within a walking distance from the Millennium Bridge and has a diverse collection of cuisines, vast and aged collections of wines and cheese, fresh items and food stands. It’s a great way to experience affordable street food while enjoying a view of the Thames River. Apart from that, London is also known for its plethora of Indian and other Asian restaurants such as Vietnameese or Chinese.
Another attraction for foodies is the Harrods’, the most luxurious shopping centre in London, Food Halls which offers an amazing variety of culinary tastes – however there is limited seating so you will probably have to opt for takeaways. It’s advisable to go for the traditional afternoon English tea or have lunch instead of dinner to go easier on the pocket while you’re in the city.
Don’t forget to visit the famous Big Ben, which has become an icon for the city and is a must-see place for all visitors. This 16-story neo-gothic clock tower was completed a hundred and sixty years ago and until today it is the biggest and most accurate chiming clock in the UK.
From there, a five-minute walk will take you to the Palace of Westminster that is one of the top landmarks in the world of Gothic architecture and offers guided tours on Saturdays. Nearby you can spot the London Eye – this Ferris wheel offers an unmatchable view of the city and attracts long queues of visitors. It’s a good idea to buy your ticket in advance and look for a clear day to fully enjoy the view.
Besides the stunning gothic masterpieces, there are a number of internationally recognised museums and galleries dotted around the city. Victoria and Albert is widely recognised for their diverse collection of art from around the world. Besides, the entry is free. The vast areas full of masterpieces will keep you entertained for hours. The British Museum is often compared to the Louvre at Paris for its collection which includes Egyptian mummies, the Rosetta Stone and more. Another must-visit museum is the Natural History Museum. It offers an educational insight into our world’s history that is as valuable for kids as it is for adults. It is particularly famous for the enormous dinosaur skeletons.
The abundance of London’s renowned theatres will certainly impress you – the city is just as attractive for theatre enthusiasts as the average entertainment-seeker. Arguably, the Royal Opera House is one of the most well loved for its top quality, class and rich history which can be experienced with their backstage tour. Located just next to Piccadilly Circus, Her Majesty’s Theatre offers the original showing of the Phantom of The Opera, one of the world’s greatest musicals. The Romanesque Novello Theatre, in turn, attracts Mama Mia enthusiasts year-round. The West End of London needs no introduction – you can easily book a tour to visit several theatres in one go.
London is a seamless blend of historical and modern architecture and culture, which will let you spend countless days wandering the city, always finding new places and attractions and getting to know the United Kingdom’s fascinating history and culture. However, remember that there’s much more to the UK than London. Consider going on a road trip across the UK during your next visit. It is an amazing opportunity to explore everything this country has to offer, from beautiful Scottish highlands, through the Yorkshire Moors to the breathtaking cliffs of Dover, the United Kingdom is an amazing destination that is truly worth visiting.