With multifaceted culture, London is among the most frequented travel spots in the world. The city is a cultural and historical center in the United Kingdom. The well-established public transportation system provides efficient transport for visitors to travel from one place to another. The Buckingham Palace, Camden Market and the London Eye are some of the most popular destinations. Be prepared for a lot of walks to go through all the major sightseeing.
LONDON -JUNE 22:Tourists visit Trafalgar Square June 22, 2010 in London. One of the most popular tourist attraction on Earth it has more than fifteen million visitors a year (Kamira / Shutterstock)
LONDON – JUNE 24: British Royal guards perform the Changing of the Guard in Buckingham Palace on June 24, 2015 in London, UK. Queen’s Guard change is one of the major tourist attraction in England. (PHOTOCREO Michal Bednarek / Shutterstock)
LONDON, UK – JUNE 4, 2015: Household Cavalry walk along The Mall in London, England, towards Buckingham Palace. The parade of the Horse Guards is very popular with visitors. (Flik47 / Shutterstock)
LONDON – MARCH 5:Tourists visit Trafalgar Square in London. One of the most popular tourist attraction on Earth it has more than fifteen million visitors a year, London, 5 March, 2015. (CRSHELARE / Shutterstock)
LONDON – JUNE 2, 2013: View of the London Eye at sunset. London Eye (135 m tall, diameter of 120 m) – a famous tourist attraction over river Thames in the capital city London.(Kiev.Victor / Shutterstock)
LONDON – MARCH 19 : The London Eye, erected in 1999, is a giant (135mt.) ferris wheel situated on the banks of the river thames. Is the most popular attraction of the UK. March 19, 2011 in London, UK. (Luciano Mortula / Shutterstock)
LONDON – JUNE 10: Unidentified tourists in London eye cabin observe the city from a bird’s eye view on June 10, 2011 in London, UK. It’s tallest Ferris wheel in Europe 135m (443ft) and most popular paid tourist attraction in UK. (Ints Vikmanis / Shutterstock)
LONDON, UK – APRIL 22, 2015: People in the restaurant of the Sky Garden Walkie-Talkie building. Viewing platform is heist UK garden, locates at the 32 floor and offers amazing skyline of London city. (IR Stone / Shutterstock)
LONDON – JULY 1, 2014. People relaxing in front of the The Tate Modern Art Gallery (a disused power station) in London, South Thames Embankment. (Pres Panayotov / Shutterstock)
LONDON – JANUARY 18, 2015.People walking in the Turbine Hall in Tate Modern Art Gallery.It is located in the former Bankside Power Station, (a disused power station) in London, South Thames Embankment (Aija Lehtonen / Shutterstock)
LONDON, UK – AUGUST 11, 2014: National History Museum, is one of the most favourite museum for families in London. (IR Stone / Shutterstock)
LONDON, ENGLAND, UK – MAY 5, 2014: People choosing books to buy at “Word on the Water” bookbarge, a bookshop on barge that moves up and down the Regents Canal, in Little Venice (Paddington, London). (Elena Dijour / Shutterstock)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM – MAY 25, 2014: Camden Lock, or Hampstead Road Locks is a twin manually operated lock on the Regent’s Canal in Camden Town, London Borough of Camden in may 25, 2014. (Will Rodrigues / Shutterstock)
LONDON-SEPTEMBER 27:Stall selling caribbean food in the Camden Market September 27,2008 in London.The Market is the 4th most popular attraction in the city attracting over 100,000 people each weekend. (Kamira / Shutterstock)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM – OCTOBER 10, 2014: Street view of outdoor dining along the Camden Market in London. (littleny / Shutterstock)
LONDON – DEC 9 : Inverness Street Market at Camden Lock in London on Dec 9, 2015. (Philip Bird LRPS CPAGB / Shutterstock)
LONDON – JUNE 6, 2015: Entrances of London Borough Market, near London Bridge, one of the largest and oldest food open markets in London. (Bikeworldtravel / Shutterstock)
LONDON – MAY 15 2015:Visitors in Apple Market in Covent Garden in London, UK. The Apple Market is sells arts and crafts dedicated to antiques and collectables items. (ChameleonsEye / Shutterstock)
LONDON, UK – NOVEMBER 4TH 2014: A sculpture of Michael Bond’s fictional children’s character Paddington Bear – situated in Paddington Station in London on 4th November 2014. (chrisdorney / Shutterstock)
LONDON, UK – JUNE 6, 2015: Unidentified pretty young girl talking on the phone on train platform of South Kensington Metropoliten and District Railway station (Flik47 / Shutterstock)
LONDON, UK – MAY 30, 2015: People walk along a busy shopping street in London’s Chinatown. Over 120,000 people of Chinese ethnicity live in the British capital, 33% of the UK’s Chinese population. (1000 Words / Shutterstock)
London, UK – 12 July 2015: Two hipster girls standing in front of a wall covered in graffiti and murals representing faces of famous cinema characters such as Harry Potter in Brick lane, Shoreditch. (DrimaFilm / Shutterstock)
Shoreditch, London, UK – April 18 2015: Three hipster girls walking in front of a wall covered in graffiti with the writing “No Good”. Shoreditch is home of some of the world’s best street art. (DrimaFilm / Shutterstock)
LONDON – NOVEMBER 15: The Sherlock Holmes Museum on Baker Street, one of the famous tourist attractions in London, November 15, 2012, England (LTerlecka / Shutterstock)
London, England – February 04, 2016: People passing by the H&M fashion store in Richmond, London. Originally from Sweden, H&M opened their first store outside Scandinavia in London in 1976 (Thinglass / Shutterstock)
LONDON – SEP 12: Oxford Street on September 12, 2010 in London. It’s 1.5 miles (2.4 km) long major road in City of Westminster and Europe’s busiest shopping street. (Deymos.HR / Shutterstock)
LONDON, ENGLAND, UK – JUNE 18: People crossing the Abbey Road zebra crossing made famous by the 1969 Beatles album cover on June 18, 2011 in London, England, UK (Claudio Divizia / Shutterstock)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM – MAY 7: Hyde Park on May 7, 2011 in London, United Kingdom. Hyde Park, with 142 hectares (350 acres), is one of the largest parks in central London. (nito / Shutterstock)
London, UK – July 08, Big Ben in London, July 08.2014 in London. (maziarz / Shutterstock)
LONDON – APRIL 12: Buckingham palace at sunset on April 12, 2015 in London, UK. It’s the London residence and principal workplace of the monarchy of the United Kingdom. (photo.ua / Shutterstock)
London, UK – February 26, 2014: Picture Tower Bridge with the Girl with a Dolphin sculpture by David Wynne in the foreground. (MarkLG / Shutterstock)
The Top 50 Places in London
By Samantha Graham
London is one of the most exciting cities to visit, full of magnificent architecture and steeped in history. The city is vibrant and buzzing with life and you can’t help but get caught up in the wonderful atmosphere of this magnificent place.
It is true to say that there is something for everyone and one thing for sure is you will not get chance to be bored. Many of the city’s attractions are absolutely free and can be visited on foot, so long as you have some comfortable footwear.
Here are 50 of the top places to visit, although I could go on and on. I have not listed them in any specific order as everyone has such different tastes. If there’s anywhere not listed that you are interested in let me know and I’ll see if I can find some more information for you.
Before you start your journey it’s worth knowing about the London transport system. There is an underground train system that interconnects throughout London. It is commonly known as the ‘tube’. It’s probably the quickest way to get around. At first it may seem daunting but with a little help from London Underground’s friendly staff and a tube map you will be on your way in no time.
You may also be familiar with London’s famous red buses. Never run for a bus as there will be another along in a matter of minutes. This is not always the quickest way to travel, but by far the best for viewing the beauty of the city.
Hackney carriages or black cabs – stick out your arm and hail a cab. Just not in rush hour as you will pay dearly. There are plenty of unlicensed cabs, cheaper but personally I wouldn’t take a risk as a Tourist.
The Oyster card – is what all the locals use. If you are staying in London for more than a few days it’s certainly well worth buying one. As I speak (September 2012) they are 5 English pounds to buy, and then you top up as you go. Within 2 to 3 journeys you will have got your money back. You can use them on buses and the tube.
Travel cards – allow you to travel around London for a set price depending on what zones you are visiting.
The London pass – is a pass that allows you to visit many attractions free or for a reduced cost. This includes some travel. It also allows you to skip the queues
A – Z Guide – The A-Z is a street index of London. You can buy one from most news agents. If you are at a tube/train station then nip into WH Smith’s (news agents) and you will most certainly see a copy to buy. They are easy to use and will help you find your way around very easily whilst giving you a sense of where everything is situated.
1. Tower Bridge – over 8 years to build and more than 11,000 tons of steel were used to construct this great bridge. The high walkways allow you to see the River Thames. The bridge opens it bascules once or twice a day. There is also a permanent exhibition with the towers of the bridge.
2. Tower of London – Almost next door to the Tower Bridge, you can get a good view from the bridge down onto the 900 year old fortress built by William the Conqueror. You will see the infamous Beefeater’s dressed in their red uniforms guarding the tower. Every English school child pays a visit to the tower at least once during their school years. Her majesty’s crown jewels are kept here and well worth a look, amongst all the other exciting things to view.
3. St. Pauls Cathedral situated in the Diocese of London attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors a year. It was designed by Architect Christopher Wren and built between 1665 and 1670. It is described as a ‘House of prayer for all people of all nations. It is to protect against injustice and public expression to hope for a better society’ Martin Luther King collected his Nobel Prize here in 1964. Royal weddings and state funerals are also held here.
4. Buckingham Palace – official London residence of Queen Elizabeth II. The palace opens its doors to visitors once a year.
5. Westminster Abbey – if you love history you will not be disappointed when you visit this fascination building. Over 1000 years old it has been the coronation church since 1066 and is the final resting place for 17 monarchs.
6. Big Ben (formal name Elizabeth Tower) – The Londoner’s favourite icon. The huge bell’s chime is loved by the locals. Standing tall on the banks of the river Thames next to the houses of parliament it’s certainly a sight to see.
7. Houses of Parliament – next door to Big Ben you can walk around the Houses of Parliament or take an official guided tour.
8. The Natural History Museum – you can spend hours wondering around this superb museum. The huge dinosaur in the main entrance is a real hit with the kids, as is the enormous T-Rex in the dinosaur exhibition. Admission is free.
9. The Science Museum – this spectacular museum will hold you in awe and capture your imagination. There’s a whole are in the basement of interactive play designed specifically for children. Admission is free (It’s next to the Natural History Museum).
10. The V& A (Victoria and Albert) Museum – described as the world’s greatest museum of Art and Design. It’s definitely worth a look even if you think it may not be your thing. Admission free (next to the above museums).
11. The National Gallery – Houses one of the world’s greatest exhibitions of Western European art. Admission is free.
12. The Tate Britain – Gallery – a wonderful gallery with many fascinating art and photography exhibitions. Admission is free.
13. The Tate Modern – Sister museum to Tate Britain, but located on the South of the river. If you like something a bit more contemporary then this is the place for you. Admission is free.
14. The British Museum – Arts and Artefacts from British history. Admission is free.
15. Madame Tussauds – The famous wax work museum. Loved by tourists.
16. London Planetarium – Just next to to Madame Tussauds is the London Planetarium. Get a real feeling for the night sky. Both are very near to Baker Street (home of Sherlock Holmes) and beautiful Regents Park.
17. Hyde Park – One of London’s most famous parks. Popular with everyone. Visit speaker’s corner and listen to the latest debates or simply wander around these glorious grounds. At the top of busy Oxford Street.
18. Green Park – Another glorious park close to Buckingham Palace and Piccadilly Circus. The famous Ritz hotel is nearby.
19. Greenwich – Cutty Sark, Maritime Museum, Observatory – catch a boat down the Thames to Greenwich Village. You can visit the fascinating Maritime museum, have a tour around the Observatory and view the famous Cutty Sark.
20. The Ritz – Anyone for High Tea? If you fancy some afternoon tea in luxurious surroundings then you can book in for one of the five daily tea sessions. If you have a healthy budget you can stay at the hotel, visit the ballroom or cinema. Close to Piccadilly and Green Park.
21. The Savoy – the famous Savoy hotel with panoramic views of London skyline and the river Thames. If you book far enough in advance you may be able to grab a deal.
22. Camden Market – is one the most popular London markets. Bustling at the weekend with tourists and locals. You will find funky clothes, music, great food, bars, pubs and restaurants. A great atmosphere, right on the canal. It’s a little quieter during the week as there’s no big market but plenty of shops to visit.
23. Portobello Market – the famous market is full of vintage clothes and antiques. If you are looking for something a little unique then take a trip, you won’t be disappointed.
24. Kenwood House, Hampstead Heath – The heath spans across North London and is the perfect place to stretch your legs, have a picnic or visit the historic Kenwood House. There are also natural pools where many of the locals swim. A word of advice – take a map as you can spend hours wondering around if you get lost. It’s big and beautiful.
25. Carl Marx and Highgate Woods – About a 20 minute walk from Hampstead Heath is Highgate Village. Here you will find the famous Highgate cemetery, the final resting place of Carl Marx just one of the many famous people buried here. Highgate itself is a quaint Victorian village with some good pubs and restaurants (The Flask is very old and particularly good).
26. Brick Lane – Once home to the Jewish community it is now housed with Indian restaurants. Actually, most of the curry houses are run by the Bangladeshi community who make up the majority of the local community.
27. The Museum of Childhood (Bethnal Green) – something for the children. Artefacts, costumes, arts and activities, treasure hunts and more. Check out the exhibitions. Children and Adults will love this family day out.
28. The Royal London Hospital – (Whitechapel) has a museum open to the public. It was here that Joseph Merrick (The Elephant Man) spent his last few years. Displays include those of Joseph Merrick, Edith Cavell and original material on Jack the Ripper who committed his crimes around this area.
29. Walks around London – one of the best ways to see London is on foot. There’s the ‘Charles Dickens’ walk, Haunted Holborn, Money trail through the city’s square mile and much more.
30. Borough Market – Opposite London Bridge Tube Station. This is one of London’s biggest wholesale food markets. Delicious game and fish supplies as well as Artisan Bakers, Specialist Beers stalls and fresh fruit and vegetables. Open on Friday and Saturday. There is a pub just along the road called ‘The George’ one of the oldest pubs in London – worth a visit.
31. Colombia Road Market – in the East End. If you like flowers then this is the market to visit (Sunday’s only and it usually closes around 3pm). Close by is the famous Spitalfields market.
32. Shoreditch – Trendy Shoreditch with its warehouse conversions, art galleries and very cool bars is also worth a visit.
33. Soho – once home to the ‘ladies of the night’ it now a bustling cafe community. A popular place to drop into for a drink or bite to eat before you visit theatre land.
34. Covent Garden – one of London’s most popular tourist spots. Street theatre acts, arts and crafts as well as a huge choice of cafe’s bars and restaurants.
35. Oxford Street – home to all the big stores including the famous department store Selfridges. From Oxford Street you can easily access most central locations on foot.
36. The Globe Theatre – is associated with William Shakespeare. Originally built in 1599, later destroyed by fire 1613. The theatre that stands here now is approximately 750 feet from the original site. This newest site was opened in 1997 and is a popular theatre with all ages.
37. River Cruise – take a river cruise along the River Thames. You will get to see some of London’s great architecture and learn about its history.
38. Canary Wharf/London Docklands – is one of London’s tallest buildings situated in a busy financial district, alive with shops, cafés and accessible on the DLR (Docklands Light Rail).
39. Kensington Palace – in the heart of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. Home to the late Princess Diana. Visit the beautiful gardens, have lunch or afternoon tea. Close to Central London.
40. The Kings Road, Chelsea – One of the posh ends of town. The Kings Road used to be home to punks, mods and rockers. Now a bit more sophisticated. There are some beautiful shops, including the famous designer Vivienne Westwood. It’s also close to Chelsea Pier, as well as Chelsea and Fulham football clubs.
41. South Bank – Cross the bridge at embankment to the South side of the river and as your descend the stairs you will be at the doorstep of The Festival Hall. This is just one of the many attractions situated along the south bank. It’s a great area of riverside with views of the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben. You will find shops, café’s, bars, fabulous entertainment/exhibitions at the festival hall and access to the Oxo tower.
42. London Zoo – close to Camden and Regent’s Park is London Zoo. You can see some spectacular animal’s right in the middle of the city, although you wouldn’t believe it.
43. Leicester Square/Piccadilly Circus/Shaftesbury Avenue/Theatre Land – In the heart of London you can easily walk between these bustling areas of London. Leicester Square and Piccadilly Circus are full of shops, cinema’s pubs and café’s. Running alongside Leicester square is Shaftesbury Avenue where many of the popular theatres are situated.
44. China Town – official name is Gerrard Street. A stone’s throw from Leicester Square to the south and Shaftsbury Avenue to the North. Even if Chinese food is not your favourite, it’s worth a stroll through the vibrant streets of Chinatown.
45. Trafalgar Square – a popular tourist attraction in the heart of the city. Home to the National Gallery, Nelson’s column and St. Martin’s-in-the-field, plus quite a few pigeons.
46. The Royal Academy of Arts – Green Park. The academy is an independent institution founded by George III in 1768. The original members wanted to provide a venue for British Arts and Architecture to be displayed to the public in which their skills could be passed onto future generations.
47. Hamley’s Toy Store – one of the finest toy stores in the world. You will find it on Regent Street. Don’t expect to ‘pop in’. There are 4 or 5 floors packed with every toy and game you could imagine. I’ve never managed to get in and out in less than an hour.
48. Hampton Court Palace – Former home to King Henry VIII. This Tudor building houses tapestries, artwork and activities for guests. There is the famous Hampton maze if you have a few hours to spare.
49. Harrods Department Store – Situated in Knightsbridge in the Royal Borough of Kensington. This upmarket store is worth a visit just to see the building. You will find luxury items of every description and the most amazing food hall.
50. Kew Gardens – The Royal Botanical gardens of Kew. Situated just 10 miles outside of London can be reached easily on the tube.
Samantha Graham has lived and worked in London for most of her life. Here she shares just some of the great places to visit. For more information visit http://samnashy.hubpages.com/