There’s nowhere quite like London – it’s a buzzing city where there’s always something going on.
Twinning an intricate history with some of the world’s best restaurants, entertainment facilities and nightlife, London is a city that embraces its past, present and future.
Britain is a long flight from Australia but visiting London will no doubt be the adventure of a lifetime.
Planning a trip to London sometime soon? We’ve put together a list of ten of the best attractions in London – so be sure to add them all to your London bucket list!
- Westminster Abbey
A 700-year-old building standing in the middle of London and the site of Will and Kate’s royal wedding; Westminster Abbey is a must-visit for anyone keen to learn about British history. The bodies of many notable characters throughout the UK’s past are contained within the abbey’s walls: which include Henry V, Elizabeth I and Edward the Confessor. There are memorials to these and many, many more famous characters from British history within the Abbey. You can also see the Coronation Chair, where British monarchs have been crowned for centuries – it is in fact the oldest piece of furniture in the UK that is still used for its original purpose! And of course, the architectural marvels of the Abbey itself are well worth admiring.
- St Paul’s Cathedral
The iconic dome of St Paul’s Cathedral is a must-see when in the capital. Admire the unique architecture and the cathedral’s distinct features; such as some examples of English baroque architecture which were first seen in this building. While the cathedral has been rebuilt and refurbished over the centuries, one has stood on the site for over 1,400 years. The present cathedral was built between 1675 and 1710, after its predecessor was destroyed in the Great Fire of London. The cathedral has been the site of many historic events – from the marriage of Charles and Diana to the funeral of Admiral Lord Nelson – and the grandeur of such can really be felt during a visit to St Paul’s Cathedral.
- Big Ben and Houses of Parliament
One of the most photographed areas in all of London, Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament can be appreciated by a walk along Southbank or by visiting up close. Many people don’t know that it’s the bell that’s called Big Ben, rather than the tower – which is named Elizabeth Tower. It is not possible for overseas residents to tour Big Ben, but tickets are sold to see inside the Houses of Parliament, where you can see British politics in action!
- Buckingham Palace
Possibly the most famous building in London, this is the Queen’s dwelling in the capital. Whether you’re a fan of the monarchy or not, it’s worth visiting to witness its sheer size and opulence alone. If your trip to London coincides with the end of July to the end of September, you could have the chance to go inside the palace. Tickets must be purchased in advance and sell out very quickly. If your visit falls outside of these months, you can enjoy the guard change that happens at 11am most days year-round (check in advance to ensure that it is happening on the day you want to visit) and of course, admire the exterior of the palace at any time.
- London Eye
One of London’s best contemporary attractions, the London Eye offers spectacular views over the entire capital. A ride takes 30 minutes, so you have plenty of time to gaze at the sprawling city beneath you. Each pod accommodates 25 people, with space to walk around and admire the city. You can buy tickets on the day or before visiting.
- London Dungeons
There are dungeons all around the world, but the London Dungeons are a fantastic way to get to grips with some of the capital’s goriest history. Including spooky stories like the tales of the serial killer Jack the Ripper, this interactive experience – which includes actors jumping out in a pitch-dark dungeon setting – is certainly not for the faint hearted!
- Piccadilly Circus
One of the busiest parts of London, Piccadilly Circus is famous for its neon advertising and its statue of Eros; which was built as a memorial to Lord Shaftsbury. There’s a permanent electric atmosphere in this square, and it’s a fantastic place to pass through to see how dynamic London is in the modern day.
- Tower of London
Thought by some as London’s most haunted building, the Tower of London has had several different uses; such as a zoo, the Royal Mint, an observatory and most notably, a jail. Famous interns include Elizabeth I, Henry VI, and two wives of Henry VIII – Anne Boleyn and Katherine Howard. Tours around the tower observe the history of the building and see its most renowned current attraction – the crown jewels.
London’s most prominent department store is a one-of-a-kind shop with history spanning back from the 1800s. Originally a small grocery store with three members of staff, it expanded to meet the needs of visitors to Hyde Park’s Great Exhibition in 1851. It has since developed into the colossal store it is today, which pays homage to its heritage while looking toward the future. Here you can purchase souvenirs, clothes, children’s toys and more, but beware – most come with a hefty price tag. Even if you don’t have the funds to make a purchase, it’s worth going for a window shop and to have a very British afternoon tea in one of the restaurants!
Let’s face it. In London, it rains. Most of the capital’s attractions are just as fun in wet weather, but if you’re faced with a particularly ghastly day, it might be best to retreat inside to one of the many London museums. There’s a huge array to choose from, and most of the main ones are free to enter! These include the Science Museum, the Natural History Museum, the V&A Museum, the Tate Modern and the Imperial War Museum.
Now you’ve got some great ideas for your trip, don’t forget to arrange travel insurance as soon as you’ve made a booking. Get a quote today or call one of our friendly team on 1300 819 888 to discuss your requirements.
Categories: Travel Advice