London is Britain’s largest metropolis and is the country’s economic, cultural and transportation centre. London is one of the world’s greatest cities with history spanning nearly two millennia, and has mesmerizing historic and cultural gems scattered at every corner and a never-ending list of things to do and see. London offers some of the world’s best sights, attractions and activities, making it a number one tourist destination. The following is a short list of things that make London the place that everyone must see at least once in their lifetime.
The largest wheel-shaped observatory ever built is located opposite the Parliament on the south coast. The view reveals a beautiful panorama of London.
It was built to celebrate the arrival of the new millennium in 2000 and has achieved great popularity particularly among tourists. It consists of 32 closed cabins, each with the capacity to accommodate 25 people.
It takes 30 minutes for the wheel to make a full circle, and in clear weather it can be seen up to 40 kilometres away.
The West End, is a colloquial term for theatres and accompanying facilities and institutions (acting agencies, theater troupes) based in the West End district of central London.
Along with Broadway in New York, they are considered the most prestigious theatre institutions in the English-speaking world, and visiting live performances is one of the most popular tourist activities in London.
Collegiate Church of Saint Peter in Westminster is a cathedral, built in a predominately Gothic style and is located in London’s central Westminster.
It is the traditional place of coronation and burial of the rulers of the United Kingdom.
Notting Hill is a district in west London and extends to the west edge of the city of Westminster. Notting Hill is known as a cosmopolitan neighborhood, which organizes a carnival every year. It is also well known for the flea market Portobello Road Market. As far back as 1820, Notting Hill has been associated with artists and “alternative” culture.
Notting Hill today has a contemporary reputation as a rich and modern neighborhood; known for its attractive terraces of large Victorian city palaces and elegant restaurants. Many tourists visit Notting Hill to see the neighborhood where the popular film of the same name was filmed starring Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts.
The full London experience is not entirely complete without shopping. Tourists looking for retail therapy in London can find a number of popular shops, from haute couture to street fashion. Whether it is world-famous department stores with a tradition of decades or smaller vintage stores, rest assured that it will satisfy every shoppers expectation.
Top shopping addresses: Bond Street, Oxford Street, Covent Garden, Selfridges, Harrods, Carnaby Street, Sloane Street, The Knightsbridge Estate, Regent Street, King’s Road, Piccadilly, Camden Markets, Portobello Road Market, Brick Lane Market, Brixton Market
Parks and gardens
One of the most prominent features of Londons urbanism are the fascinating and famous parks, especially the largest parks in central London, Royal Parks Hyde Park, adjacent, with which it creates a unique whole, Kensington Gardens, and Regent’s Park at the north end of central London.
Regent’s Park contains London Zoo, the oldest science zoo in the world. Closer to the city centre are the smaller ones, Royal Parks Green Park and St. James’s Park. Hyde Park, is particularly popular for sports. Several large parks extend beyond the city centre, including other Royal Parks, Greenwich Park in the southeast, and Bushy Park and Richmond Park in the southwest, as well as Victoria Park in the east.
Primrose Hill north of Regent’s Park is a popular panoramic spot overlooking the city.
Tower of London
The Tower of London is a medieval fortress that forms one of the central points of the city and is located on the eastern edge of the historic centre of London along the north bank of the River Thames.
The Tower of London is best known for its function as a prison, torture and execution site for high-ranking royal prisoners and opponents, most of whom were significant figures in English history.
Today, the crown of Queen Elizabeth II is kept in the Tower along with royal jewels.
Buckingham Palace is the Queen’s official home and one of London’s most recognizable landmarks.
Every morning at 11 a.m. (10 a.m. Sunday and winter), a guard shift takes place. The guards wear traditional red uniforms and large bearskin hats. The guards march from the nearby Wellington Barracks to the palace.
The palace was built in 1705 and the beautiful facade was completed in 1913. A part of the palace is open to visitors, as are many royal gardens.
Museum of wax figures
Madame Tussaud’s is a famous wax museum in London with numerous branches in major world cities worldwide.
Marie Tussaud (1761–1850), worked as a housekeeper for Dr. Philippe Curtius, who was skilled in modeling. Curtius taught Tussaud the art of modeling. After Curtius’ death in 1794, Marie received his collection of wax figures.
The museum was moved to its current location, Marylebone Road, in 1884. In 1925, a fire destroyed many figures, but most of them remained undamaged.
Today Madame Tussaud’s Museum is one of London’s biggest tourist attractions.
The Lamb and Flag
The Lamb and Flag is one of the oldest pubs in London. It has remained unchanged and looks like it did in the Dickens era. It is located in the heart of Covent Garden, in a quiet alley. Do be aware in the summer months it can get quite crowded.
Dog and Duck
This small pub is located in the heart of Soho. Art students and designers typically gather in the tiny bar which houses a rich selection of beers, you can find beer from almost every corner of England.
Other popular pubs: Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese, George Inn, Jerusalem Tavern, Spaniards Inn, The Grapes, The Eagle, Freedom Brewing Co.