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15 London Landmarks You Need To Visit At Least Once

15 London Landmarks You Need To Visit At Least Once

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Whether you live in London or you're just visiting, these are a few of the best London landmarks that you definitely want to visit at least once!
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London, founded by the Roman empire in 50 A.D., is one of the most famous cities in the World, with over 30 million people visiting it every year. It therefore comes as no surprise that it has some of the greatest landmarks in the country, or arguably in modern Europe. When visiting London, or even if you live her permanently , there are some Landmarks that you need to see… so here are 15 London landmarks you need to visit at least once.

1. Big Ben at The Houses of Parliament

Probably one of the most iconic bells in the world, Big Ben, as part of London’s Houses of Parliament, should be at the top of any list of London landmarks to visit. Located in Westminster, in the heart of London,  Big Ben chimes out to mark the hour for those around to hear and is especially worth visiting to bring in the new year. The clock’s tower stands at 96 meters (320 ft) and is over 159 years old. Definitely one to visit.

2. Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace, situated in Westminster, just off of Green Park and St James’s Park, is well known to be the home of Queen Elizabeth the 2nd. The Palace itself was originally built in 1703, and has been residence for the royal family since 1837. Every day in summer and selected days during the rest of the year (weather permitting), a changing of the guard ceremony takes place between 11am – 11.45am, which is entertaining to watch and should be seen at least once in your life.

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3. The London Eye

One of the worlds largest Ferris wheels, the London Eye is right by the Thames on London’s famous South Bank by Waterloo, and stands at 135 meters (443ft.) The London Eye offers panoramic sights of London during a 30 minute ride start to finish. A great experience for yourself and friends, a romantic setting for you and your partner, or a chance to see the sights solo. Check this one out as soon as you can.

4. The Shard

Western Europe’s tallest building, standing at 309 meters (1016ft); The Shard, located in the London Bridge area, towers over all other buildings in the London skyline, which means it also has the best view. The building offers restaurants and bars, as well as a viewing platform to really get the most out of your experience while viewing the panoramic views of London. Visit day or night for a drink and dinner, or just to say you have.

5. The Meridian Line at The Royal Observatory

In Greenwich Park, South East London, sits The Royal Observatory and the beginning of the Meridian Line. The Meridian Line itself represents the beginning of the Prime Meridian, or the beginning of where time is measured from. The Royal Observatory also hosts London’s only Planetarium, as well as multiple other space related exhibits. This is only open during daylight hours, so make sure to get there in time.

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6. Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey offers a wide stretch of history and is thought to date back to around 960 AC. Throughout its time it has had multiple reconstructions done upon it, and now has a mainly Gothic architectural theme. The church itself has been used for coronations dating back to 1066 and royal weddings dating back to 1100 (most recently Prince William and Catherine Middleton.) It holds an extremely rich history intertwined with the Royals, and should definitely be one on your list of things to see while in London.

7. The 02 Arena (The Millennium Dome)

The 02 Arena (originally known as the Millennium Dome) was opened in 2000 to celebrate the 21st century. Although the exhibitions within the Dome itself were unsuccessful, it was a huge landmark for London. The Dome was later redeveloped into the 02 Arena, and now boasts to be one of the busiest entertainment venues in the world. It houses top musicians and entertainers, many restaurants and bar’s, a cinema, and a bowling alley.. so truly something for everyone. You can also walk across the top of the dome creating an amazing experience, and something everyone should do while in London.

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8. The Tower of London

Whether you are interested in history, architecture, or even the paranormal, the Tower of London is an amazing place to visit. At 900 years old, it is unsurprising that there has a long history surrounding the tower. It has housed a multitude of London’s most famous prisoners, including two of King Henry the 8th’s wives and famous conspirator Guy Fawkes, and is currently home to the Crown Jewels. There is also many reports of ghost sightings on the property, so bring a camera and be prepared for a scare.

9. The Globe Theatre

The Globe Theatre was built in 1576, and is most famously known for housing the famed playwright William Shakespeare. The original globe burnt down during a performance of Henry VIII, but was rebuild shortly afterwards, before being demolished in 1644. However, in 1997 the globe was again rebuilt to closely match the original design and is now open to the public with showings of Shakespeare’s great plays. This is definitely one to visit and really immerse yourself in the cultural history of London.

10. Downing Street

Downing Street, or more particularly number 10 Downing Street, is famously known to be the official residence of the current Prime Minister, and has been since 1735. This historic home is perhaps the most important in all of England’s history and has been the location for most of the key decisions made in England since its beginnings. Although number 10 isn’t open for public tours, it’s worth visiting to truly get a feel for British politics.

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11. Leicester Square

Leicester Square itself has a long history dating back to 1665, however the reason to visit this famous London landmark today is due to its modern use. The site plays host to numerous street artists who draw massive crowds for a variety of different acts. The Odeon Cinema is also used to premier most of the major films England releases, so is frequently visited by the stars of the silver screen, so bring your autograph book, and a camera to get some great pictures, and head down as soon as possible.

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12. Tower Bridge

Tower Bridge is London’s most iconic bridge, and joins the Southwark and Whitechapel areas of London via the River Thames. While crossing the bridge and viewing the incredible architecture may be enough for some, the bridge also offers exhibitions and an overhead glass walkway to allow a great view of the bridge being raised. Visit as a walkway to get from one side of the Thames to the other, or so spend some time really getting to know the bridge’s history.

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13. Nelson’s Column at Trafalgar Square

One of London’s most recognisable landmarks, Nelsons Column, stands at 5.5 meters (18ft) overlooking Trafalgar Square to commemorate the death of Admiral Horatio Nelson. The square itself plays host to numerous street performers, mini festivals, and is home to the National Gallery. Take a break by one of the fountains or near the famous lions and take in the hustle and bustle around you before continuing your journey around London.

14. The Canals at Little Venice

Perhaps one of the most picturesque locations on this list is the Canals of Little Venice. Part of Regent’s Canal system, a line of colourful boats lines the waters across from beautiful London townhouses. Visit during summertime and sit in a local bar, or in one of the boat,s and get the full feel of the area. Just across from Paddington station, it is truly a lovely way to spend an afternoon.

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15. The Barbican Centre

The Barbican Centre is a hub of creative arts, and was created with an idea of a ‘Utopian vision to transform an area of London left devastated by bombing during the Second World War.’ (Barbican Website.) The venue is host to a theatre, a cinema, art galleries, and even an indoor conservatory garden. Although this isn’t too well known, it is still definitely not one to miss.

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These are 15 London landmarks that you need to visit at least once! What London landmarks do you love to visit? Let us know in the comments below.
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