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London Attractions

Top 23 things to see and do in London

  • Westminster Palace & Clock Tower thumbnail
    An overall view of the Westminster Palace and Clock Tower.

    Also known as the Houses of Parliament, the Palace of Westminster is one of London’s most iconic architectural landmarks and tourist attraction. It serves as the meeting place of both the House of Commons and the House of Lords and lies on the northern bank of the River Thames, with three towers rising above. 

    It was in the 11th century that the first royal palace was built on the site but this was destroyed in 1512 and again in 1834, with Westminster Hall, the Cloisters of St Stephen's, the Chapel of St Mary Undercroft and the Jewel Tower the only medieval structures to have survived. It was Charles Barry who was tasked with reconstructing the palace in the Gothic Revival style seen today, while the interiors are largely attributed to Augustus Pugin ...

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  • Buckingham Palace thumbnail
    The front gate at the Buckingham Palace

    The British monarchy's official residence and headquarters in London, Buckingham Palace, lies in the City of Westminster. It was built for the Duke of Buckingham in 1703 and was acquired by King George III in 1761 to serve as a private residence for Queen Charlotte. Known at the time as Buckingham House, it was enlarged in the 19th century by architects John Nash and Edward Blore and became the British monarch's residence when Queen Victoria took to the throne in 1837.

    Buckingham Palace is fronted by gilded railings and gates completed by the Bromsgrove Guild in 1911. It is a popular location to watch the guards' daily changing ...

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  • 7.5 /10
    Tower Bridge thumbnail
    The Tower Bridge in London.

    The Tower Bridge is a British bascule and suspension bridge. Its decorative facades are made of granite while the rest of the structure and foundation are made of typical steel and concrete. It is located close to the Tower of London for why they partly share its name. 

    The bridge is world-famous for its very special neo-gothic style architecture. It is composed of two large towers, a rigid suspension, a deck that opens to the passage of the tallest ships and, at the top, two parallel pedestrian footbridges. The machinery of the opening bridge has been open to the public since 1982 in the form of a museum showing the operation of the hydraulic mechanism that has been used since 1894 (date of the bridge's construction by Sir John Wolfe-Barry and Horace Jones) to lift the weighbridge ...

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  • Dominating Trafalgar Square in Central London, the National Gallery is home to more than 2,300 paintings and stands as one of the most visited art museums in the world. It was founded in 1824 with a collection that dates from the mid-13th century to the early 20th century and works that represent most major developments in Western painting.

    The National Gallery is housed within a building that was designed by William Wilkins and has been expanded multiple times throughout the past two centuries. As the late Victorian interiors fell out of fashion in the 20th century, the modernist North Galleries were added, followed by the postmodernist Sainsbury Wing to house the gallery’s collection of Renaissance paintings ...

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  • 7 /10

    Located on the South Bank of London’s River Thames, the London Eye is a giant Ferris wheel that rises to 135 meters in height. It first opened to the public in the year 2000 as the tallest Ferris wheel in the world, although it has since been surpassed by a number of others, including Las Vegas’ High Roller (167.6 me-ters). However, it is still the tallest Ferris wheel in Europe and does hold the title of being the "the world's tallest cantilevered observation wheel”, with an A-frame supporting it on one side.

    Designed by the husband-and-wife team of Julia Barfield and David Marks of Marks Barfield Architects, the London Eye succeeded London’s Great Wheel, which was built for the Empire of India Exhibition at Earls Court and first opened to the public in 1895 ...

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  • 7 /10

    The largest of London’s Royal Parks, Hyde Park sprawls across Central London and is one of the city’s most famous green spaces. It was established by Henry VIII in 1536 as a hunting ground before opening to the public in 1637 when it become a popular setting for May Day parades. In 1851 it famously hosted the Great Exhibition when Joseph Paxton’s Crystal Palace was constructed. It’s one of four parks that form a chain between Kensington Palace and Buckingham Palace, with the Serpentine and Long Water dividing the park.

    Highlights of Hyde Park include Speakers’ Corner in the northeastern corner near Marble Arch where debates and public protests regularly take place, as well as Rotten Row that lies on the northern bounds of the Crystal Palace site ...

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  • Located in the former Bankside Power Station (directly opposite St Paul’s Cathedral), the Tate Modern is Britain’s most prestigious gallery of modern art. Its world-renowned collection spans work dating from 1900 to the present day and it stands as one of the largest museums of modern and contemporary art in the world.

    The Bankside Power Station was designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott and constructed between 1947 and 1963 before being redeveloped as the Tate Modern in the 1990s. Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron were the architects behind its reincarnation, adding a two-story glass extension on the roof while retaining the cavernous main Turbine Hall and the northern Boiler House ...

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  • Founded back in 1857 based on surplus items from the Great Exhibition, the Science Museum on South Kensington’s Exhibition Road is now one of London’s most visited attractions. It boasts more than 300,000 items, including the world’s first jet engine and the oldest surviving steam locomotive in the world, the Puffing Billy, and is renowned for its interactive exhibits.

    Take time to learn about the latest in digital technology in the Wellcome Wing and step into the IMAX 3D cinema that showcases science and nature documentaries. The Science Museum is also home to the early steam locomotive known as Stephenson's Rocket and the first prototype of the Clock of the Long Now, which is designed to keep time for 10,000 years ...

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  • The world's largest museum of decorative arts and design, the Victoria and Albert Museum is located in London’s Brompton district. It is named after Queen Victoria and Prince Albert and boasts a rich history, having been founded in 1852 and now housing more than two million objects.

    The collection dates back to ancient times and includes objects from Europe, North America, Asia and North Africa. Sculptures, glassworks, textiles and costumes are all exhibited, together with jewelry, furniture and photography. There’s an outstanding collection of Italian Renaissance works and East Asian ceramics and metalwork while the Islamic collection is one of the largest in the Western world ...

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  • Officially known as Her Majesty's Royal Palace and Fortress of the Tower of London, the Tower of London is an iconic castle that lies on the northern bank of the River Thames. It was founded in the 11th century as part of the Norman Conquest of England and built by William the Conqueror. It served as both a royal residence and a prison for much of its existence, as well as being home to the Royal Mint, a treasury and the Crown Jewels of England.

    Surrounded by defensive walls and a moat, the Tower of London consists of several buildings that were constructed under successive 12th and 13th-century Kings, including Richard I, Henry III and Edward I. It’s played a prominent role in English history in maintaining control over the country, with the White Tower being one of the largest keeps in the Christian world ...

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  • One of the oldest and largest food markets in London, the Borough Market is located on a site near the Southwark Cathedral that dates back to the 11th century. Many of its current buildings were constructed in the mid-19th century and it’s fronted by an Art Deco-style entrance, creating an atmospheric destination to sample and purchase specialty foods and gourmet produce.

    The exact starting date of the Borough Market is difficult to determine but 1014 AD is the year that was used for the Market’s millennium celebration. After the Anglo-Saxon king, Ethelred the Unready, was chased out of London by the Danish warrior Sweyn Forkbeard, he returned with his own band of Vikings, including Olaf Haraldsson, to reclaim the throne ...

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  • 7 /10

    Located on Brompton Road in Knightsbridge, Harrods is perhaps the world’s most famous luxury department store. It was established by Charles Henry Harrod in 1824 on Borough High Street in Southwark and rapidly expanded in the late-19th century, with customers including Oscar Wilde, Sigmund Freud and Laurence Olivier. Harrods is also famed for unveiling England’s first “moving staircase” (escalator) in 1898, with customers offered brandy at the top.

    Today Harrods’ flagship store features 330 departments and sprawls across 90,000 square meters of retail space. It sells everything from fashion to electronics, jewelry, sporting gear and beauty items, as well as homewares, furniture and food ...

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  • Perched on Ludgate Hill at the highest point in London, St. Paul’s Cathedral is a Heritage-listed Anglican cathedral and the seat of the Bishop of London. A church was first founded on the site in 604 AD, although the present cathedral was designed by Sir Christopher Wren in the late 17th century. It was constructed as part of a major rebuilding program following the Great Fire of London and stands as one of the most iconic landmarks in the city today.

    St Paul's Cathedral is famed as having one of the highest domes in the world, which has dominated the skyline of London for more than 300 years ...

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  • Home to the largest and most diverse botanical and mycological collections in the world, the Kew Gardens is located in southwest London. With a history that dates back to the exotic garden at Kew Park, it has grown to include more than 30,000 different types of plants and 7 million preserved plant specimens. Kew Gardens spans more than 121 hectares and includes a number of glasshouse and heritage-listed buildings while boasting its very own police force.

    A highlight of visiting the Kew Gardens is the treetop walkway, which winds between a woodland glade tree canopy 18 meters off the ground and offers a unique perspective on the surrounding landscape ...

    Read more about the Kew (Royal Botanic Gardens)

  • 6.3 /10
    British Museum thumbnail
    The exterior of the British Museum.

    One of the largest and most comprehensive museums in the world, the British Museum is dedicated to the exploration of human history, art and culture. It was established in 1753 in Bloomsbury’s Montagu House and was based on the collection of Sir Hans Sloane, a physician, and scientist. The collection rapidly expanded over the next two and a half centuries during the years of British colonization. It resulted in numerous branch institutions, including the British Museum of Natural History in South Kensington.

    The British Museum is renowned for its Greek Revival facade designed by Sir Robert Smirke. It is fronted by 44 Ionic columns, with sculptures by Sir Richard Westmacott depicting civilization's progress that decorate the main entrance pediment ...

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  • * Regular pre-pandemic touristic activity level.

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