London has a huge amount of attractions, but there are a handful of top spots that you surely should not miss.
1. Tower of London
Start with the Tower of London to get a quick education in London’s history including the good, the bad, and the ugly. The Tower is a complex of several buildings set within two concentric rings of defensive walls and a moat. You can enjoy a spectacular display of the Crown Jewels, visit the iconic White Tower, Royal Mint, Fortress and other Medieval Palace contained fabulous interiors used by medieval kings and queens. The tickets cost GBP 22 for adults and GBP 11 for kids between 4 to 15 years.
2. Tower Bridge
Close to the Tower of London is the iconic Tower Bridge. The bridge offers fabulous views of London from its high-level walkways and is lifted over 1,000 times a year to let tall ships, cruise liners and other large craft pass through. You can watch the event happen if you time your visit right. Most of the bridge can be seen for free but there is a ticket to be purchased for the elevator and exhibition. The ticket costs GBP 9 for adults and GBP 4 for children between ages of 5 to 15 years. It is open from 10 am to 5.30 pm on most days.
3. St. Paul’s Cathedral
The Cathedral is Europe’s largest cathedral and one of the most famous, its dome size comes second only to that of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. The cathedral is closed for tourists on Sunday, on other days it costs approx. GBP 16 for adults and GBP 8 for children.
4. Westminster Abbey
Westminster Abbey is in the heart of London – next to Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament. The abbey serves as the burial ground for numerous politicians, sovereigns and artists and is more a historical site than a religious one. Entry is at a cost of GBP 20 for adults and GBP 16 for children between 6 to 16 yrs of age. The Abbey is normally open between 10.30 am to 3.00 pm.
5. The Houses of Parliament (Palace of Westminster)
The Palace is the seat of the two parliamentary houses of the United Kingdom: the House of Lords and the House of Commons. The Westminster Hall built in 1097 is one of Europe’s largest unsupported medieval halls.
6. Big Ben
Also known as St. Stephen’s Tower is located in The Palace of Westminster (Houses of Parliament) and is one of London’s most famous landmarks named after the tower’s largest bell. The clock was the largest in the world when constructed in 1858 and is still the largest in Great-Britain. However there is no public access for this site.
7. The Natural History Lesson
For the most comprehensive museum that touches on subjects from Mars to elephants, the Natural History Lesson is unbeatable.
8. Victoria and Albert Museum
For art, check out the Victoria and Albert museum, that houses a collection of more than 4 million pieces. It is the largest decorative arts museum in the world.
9. London Eye
For a great view of the city head up high in the London Eye. It is a giant Ferris wheel on the banks of the River Thames and offers a bird’s eye view of the magnificent city. One slow rotation costs GBP 30 (best discounts are offered when booked online) and its timings are from 10am to 9.30 pm.
10. Madame Tussauds
To snap a photo with the wax statue of your celebrity dream date visit Madame Tussauds. The works are quite detailed and therefore very impressive though expensive. The cost is GBP 30 for adults and GBP 25 for children, however you can save 20% or more by booking online or visiting after 5pm. They are normally open from 9.30 am to 5.30pm which is last admission.
11. Buckingham Palace
Get your Royal family fix by visiting Buckingham Palace, the London residence and principal work place of the monarchy of UK. The best time to go is for the changing of the guards at 11:30AM. Hours and prices for museums and attractions vary with the season, so check on-line before you go. However, most locations stay open late in the summer high-season, typically until 8 or 9:30PM. However in winter timings may be restricted to only 4.30 or 5pm. The tour of the Palace interiors costs approx. 20 GBP for adults and 12 GBP for children between ages of5 to 17 years.
12. London Zoo
The London Zoo is the world’s oldest scientific zoo. It houses over 760 different species of animal and is the only zoo in London where you can experience big animals such as gorillas and giraffes. With over 12,000 animals to see and incredible animal displays taking place throughout the day (including feeds and keeper talks) you can be sure of an entertaining and eventful day.
13. London Theater
For high-quality shows, London’s theater scene ranks equally or above Broadway, but thankfully costs much less. Get discount tickets by buying them the same day as the show, and don’t be afraid to try something new. The options aren’t limited to just Shakespearean classics – avant-garde shows, musicals, and pop culture hits all run nightly. Among all the museums and attractions, don’t forget to enjoy the charming villages and parks that are the heartbeat of London. You can purchase in advance online at London Theater Passport
London Pass – from GBP 49
Discover the joy of sightseeing with the London Pass, and enjoy free entry to 60 of its world-class sites like Westminster Abbey and the Tower of London. Save time as you skip the queues with fast-track entry at countless attractions, and take advantage of special offers at quality London restaurants and shops.Even better, upgrade and include transport with your London Pass’ Choose from a 1-, 2-, 3- or 6-day sightseeing pass with transport included and see the highlights of England’s cosmopolitan capital with ease. To purchase the pass online or find more details visit London Pass Including Hop-On Hop-Off Tour.
Royal Palaces Pass
Royal Palaces Pass: Kensington Palace, Hampton Court and Tower of London – GBP 39
Book in advance and jump the queue at the Tower of London, Hampton Court and Kensington Palace. Don’t waste time waiting in lines on vacation! Your pass is valid for one visit to each attraction and is valid for two years. You’ll have plenty of time to explore the stories and intrigues at each site at your leisure, as part of your own itinerary. You can purchase online atBest Royal Palaces Pass: Kensington Palace, Hampton Court and Tower of London.
Browse the street markets, watch a game of cricket in Hyde park, or float down the Thames river and take a stress-free look at this thriving metropolis.
Unique Things to Do in London
Not a typical tourist? Enjoy some unique activities and experiences and make your trip truly memorable by booking these in advance right here.
1. 30-Minute Helicopter Flight over London from Epping – $169.40
London sightseeing flights depart from regional airports. You will see rural English countryside gradually build up to the outskirts of the city and before you know it, you are marvelling at the extensive city before you – miles and miles of buildings and landmarks disappearing into the distance, as far as the eye can see.
If that isn’t enough, from your perfect view flying over the River Thames, your pilot will point out East London’s great landmarks – the Houses of Parliament, Buckingham Palace, St Paul’s Cathedral, The London Eye, Tower Bridge and the O2 Arena.
2. Thames Lunch Cruise with 2-Course Meal – $32.03
Combine London’s waterfront sights with a 2-course lunch during a 1.5-hour Thames River sightseeing cruise! While cruising between Tower Pier and Westminster, savor a 2-course lunch with tea or coffee and admire views of London landmarks from the water. Look out for the Shard, the London Eye, Big Ben and more, and purchase drinks from the onboard bar, if you wish.
3. London Pub Passport – $18.69
Delight in the quintessentially British experience of a pub meal during your vacation to the English capital with the London Pub Passport. Valid at a wide selection of pubs across the city, your pass entitles you to a delicious main course from a menu of traditional British dishes such as fish and chips, washed down with a refreshing drink of your choice.
4. London Eye: Champagne Experience – $51.24
No visit to London is complete without a trip on the London Eye! Indulge yourself with this breathtaking experience. Book a flight and add a glass of Pommery Brut Royal champagne as you absorb beautiful views of London. Champagne will be served by your host who can also answer questions. You’ll also enjoy skip the line access, priority boarding and souvenir mini-guide. Visit includes new interactive guides powered by Samsung Galaxy Tab and an entry to the London Eye 4D Experience, an inspiring journey of discovery that brings London to life through multi-sensory special effects.
Discover Stonehenge, Windsor Castle and Bath on this day trip from London. Leave the city behind you and travel by air-conditioned coach to Windsor Castle, home of the British Royal Family for the last 900 years. Visit St George’s Chapel and the State Apartments with your professional tour guide before traveling out to Salisbury, where the ancient rock formations of Stonehenge await. Continue on to the beautiful Georgian city of Bath, visit the Roman Baths and enjoy a panoramic tour with your guide before returning to London.
Delve into the magical world of Harry Potter™ at the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London, with round-trip luxury coach transport included. Follow in the footsteps of Hogwarts’ students as you walk around original sets like Diagon Alley and Platform 9 ¾, complete with the Hogwarts Express steam engine. Get up close to costumes and props, and discover the wizardry required to create the mind-blowing special effects and animatronics.
7. Paris Rail Day Trip from London – $242.01
Take a day trip from London to Paris by Eurostar train, and explore the city on your own or with a guide! Choose from an independent trip with a Paris hop-on hop-off tour to see sights like the Louvre, or a guided day trip that includes a city tour, visits to the 2nd level of the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame Cathedral plus a Seine River cruise. The rail trip comes with a Eurostar seat in standard class, or an upgrade option is available to first class for more leg room, breakfast and dinner.
Escape the hustle-bustle of London for a day and travel to the English countryside for a tour of Leeds Castle, Canterbury Cathedral and Dover. Enjoy a private viewing of beautiful Leeds Castle before the doors open to the public, get an exclusive tour inside UNESCO World Heritage–listed Canterbury Cathedral, and admire the symbolic White Cliffs of Dover. Listen to your guide’s expert commentary throughout the day through your personal headphones.
These can be booked at lowest cost, when booked in advance.