London is a large city but a lot of the sights are within the central area and it is easy to get around by tube and bus. The good thing about London is that although it is an expensive city you can do a lot for free, museums and art galleries generally do not charge.
Places to visit in London
Trafalgar Square - is the iconic square that symbolises London for many people. It is also near the centre of the city and its free to visit. A great place to start any tour. Nelson's Column was erected in 1843 to commemorate Nelson's victory at Cape Trafalgar.
The Mall and Buckingham Palace
National Gallery - overlooking Trafalgar Square this is main location for much of the nation's art, with works from most eras and many renown artists. Nearby is the National Portrait Gallery - with a large collection of paintings of people from Britain's history.
Piccadilly Circus - another famous landmark of London the statue of Eros in the middle of a very busy intersection. Piccadilly is the name of a major street that leads from Piccadilly Circus towards Hyde Park - the location of the Ritz Hotel and Fortnum & Mason's the posh department store.
Covent Garden - was once London's main fruit and vegetable market and is now a trendy place to visit for restaurants, cafes, bars and small stalls - a bit touristy through. It is near all the main theatres so is busy well into the night.
The Mall - is the the landmark ceremonial approach road to Buckingham Palace. It runs through St James's Park and Green Park and is great for a peaceful stroll as there is usually only light traffic on it.
Buckingham Palace - Buckingham Palace is the official London residence of the British monarch. It dates from 1703 and has been the home of the ruling Monarch since 1761. It is open to the public during the summer - but it gets very busy.
Houses of Parliament - is the home of the British
South Bank - if you cross Westminster Bridge you can walk along the south bank of the Thames for several miles until you get to Tower Bridge. Along the way you will see the London Eye, the Royal Festival Hall, the Queen Elizabeth Hall and The Hayward art gallery, the Millennium Bridge and Tate Modern, Shakespeare's Globe Theatre and Southwark Cathedral.
Tower Bridge - perhaps the most recognised landmark in London - dates from 1894.
Tower of London - one of the highlights of any visit to London. The home of the Crown Jewels, the famous Beefeater Guards and the ravens; the tower is a World Heritage Site.
Tate Modern - is on the south bank and is a huge art gallery housed in a former power station. It has a large collection of modern art including impressionists, cubist, and surrealists. Has massive structures in the turbine hall.
Tate Britain - is on the north bank near Vauxhall Bridge - it houses a large collection of British art including many works by Turner, Blake, Whistler, Gainsborough and Spencer.
Millennium Bridge - is a pedestrian bridge that crosses the Thames, linking Tate Modern with St Paul's Cathedral on the north bank.
Shakespeare's Globe - a full size replica of the original theatre which used to be located nearby until 1613 when it burnt down.
St Paul's Cathedral - St Paul's Cathedral is an Anglican cathedral on Ludgate Hill, and is the seat of the Bishop of London. The present building dates from the 17th century and was designed by Sir Christopher Wren.
St Paul's Cathedral
Westminster Abbey - is a large gothic abbey near the Houses of Parliament - it is where most British monarchs are crowned and also the last resting place for many of them
Hyde Park - is the largest park in central London and where Londoners go to relax and exercise. At the centre of the park is the Serpentine Lake and in the north east corner you will find Speakers Corner where you can lecture the public till you're hearts content.
Natural History Museum - is in South Kensington and is a 'must see' museum for visitors. Popular with kids of all ages perhaps due to the huge dinosaur skeleton at the entrance.
Victoria and Albert Museum - also in South Kensington the V & A houses a vast collection of decorative art and design.
Science Museum - also in South Kensington with many moving models this museum covers the development of science from the 18th century to the present day.
Greenwich - in south east London on the banks of the Thames. This was, for a long time, the London base of the Royal Navy - here you will find the Old Royal Navy College and the National Maritime Museum.
Regents Park - is located in the northern part of central London - the main draw of the park is London Zoo which was established in 1828. It has a fine new gorillas enclosure as well as many animals - check out the feeding times for the views.
Harrods - the number one store in London, if not the world! Many people (myself included) make at least one purchase there so you can get the carrier bag!
Guide to Europe
|Travel Guide to the European Union 2013|