London is stuffed full of so many famous landmarks and iconic sights that it is hard to narrow that list down to only 15! However, there are just some landmarks that need to be seen, even if they are on every stereotypical tourist’s list. That’s why I’ve kept this list focused on the grandest and most iconic landmarks of London. Expect culture, stunning architecture and a lot of ceremony- London is the capital of England after all.
1. Big Ben
If Big Ben being literally one of the world’s biggest landmarks, isn’t enough to sway you then I don’t know what will! Although, the inside of Big Ben isn’t open to the public generally, it’s worth going as close as possible to this infamous tower just to see how big it really is. Either way it’s majesty is something you need to visit at least once in your life.
2. The Natural History Museum
This is one of my favourite landmarks in London, and best of all it’s free to enter! Although if you can spare a donation to keep the museum going, please do. There is so much to see here you can spend a whole day here easily, I for one have been a few times for a few hours and barely scratched the surface. You also need to go see the Dinosaur gallery once in your life!
3. Tower of London
If you’re fascinated by London’s sometimes grim history this is definitely the place for you. For those less gore inclined inside the tower you will also find the history of a royal place, an armoury and fortress. Also, everyone needs to take a peak at the Crown Jewels, just so they can imagine what they’d look like wearing them!
4. Houses of Parliament
I know a lot of people will probably roll their eyes at wanting to visit the House of Parliament but it’s a must see landmark for anyone visiting London. Also, just look at how beautiful it is, even if you’re not interested it is incredibly rich history, you have to marvel at its architectural might.
5. The Shard
If you want London’s highest view this is the building for you. If you’re scared of heights brave it and visit anyway (unless of course you’re severely afraid- I don’t want anyone to needlessly distress themselves!)! Especially since The Shard boasts some of the best restaurants in London- I mean how can you resist the experience of eating absolutely delicious food with a stunning view?!
6. The Globe Theatre
To visit, or not to visit: that is the question. First of all, I profusely apologise for the pun; I couldn’t resist. Secondly, if this list wasn’t already full of culture already, I’ve added visiting the Globe on top of it. Best of all, when visiting you get to see a beautifully acted rendition of Shakespeare at the same time. For those who are nervous of Shakespeare from school, watching the play performed makes it a lot easier to follow- as after all performance is where plays shine!
7. Tower Bridge
I bet you didn’t know but there is actually an exhibition inside Tower Bridge where you can step on the glass floor and look down on the bridge below. For those who that would make them feel a bit queasy; you just just walk along the bridge itself instead! However, the Victorian Engine Rooms inside are truly a hidden gem of London, and tickets are under £10 for adults!
8. Westminster Abbey
With a history stretching back over a 1000 years this is definitely a London landmark you need to visit at least once. The abbey is open to visitors from Monday to Saturday, so it’s easy to visit. Especially since it is free to attend services, and everyone is welcome.
9. The British Library
To be honest, I personally do not take a lot of convincing to visit The British Library, as I’m book obsessed. The words, ‘second largest library in the world by number of items catalogued’ is more than enough to get my attention. If you need a bit more convincing The British Library is also known for their exhibitions, and they will be exhibiting the ‘Harry Potter: A History of Magic’ exhibit starting from Friday 20th October this year. As well as delving into the history of magic and folklore that is present within the Harry Potter stories; there will be original drafts and drawings by J.K. Rowling and illustrator Jim Kay making their debut. I don’t know about you but I will most definitely be there!
10. London Eye
Although, it is effectively just a giant ferris wheel; there is nothing quite like the view from the top of the London Eye. It’s also not cheap starting at £23.45 for a standard ticket, but it’s an experience you need to do at least once. If my mum can do it (and she’s incredibly afraid of heights); you can do it too.
11. Buckingham Palace
You can’t visit London without at least getting a glimpse of something related to the Queen so why not visit her residence instead? There’s definitely plenty to see as the palace has 775 rooms though a lot of those are closed to the public, or only available to view at certain times of the year.
12. London Dungeon
If you want to visit a landmark but also have an interactive adventure; then London Dungeon is for you. Expect the gory and macabre but also humour. Also, expect to be jump scared. It will definitely wake you up and give you a thrill, which will come in handy as many of London’s other landmarks can be quite intellectually heavy.
13. Tate Modern
Art lovers can rejoice because the Tate Modern is both iconic and the hub of modern contemporary art. It’s also free to enter, and open Monday- Sunday, so what’s not to love? There’s also art from 1500 onwards, for anyone interested in the older styles of art. With so much to offer there’s guaranteed to be a painting to catch anyone’s eye.
14. National Gallery
For those of you wanting some more grandeur with your art; the National Gallery is the place for you! It’s also located in Trafalgar Square so you get to see two iconic landmarks at once! Entry is also free, which is a bonus.
15. Hyde Park
If all the buildings get a bit too much for you; you can escape to the green paradise that is Hyde Park. Also, not only does the park cover a whopping 350 acres; it is also home to many famous landmarks including Speakers’ Corner (if you have something to say this is the place for it!); Serpentine Lake and the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain.
Do you have any London landmarks that should be on this list!? Share in the comments below!
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