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Tourist Places To Visit In London
London, or as the old English put it, ‘Lundun,’ is the capital of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. A city that was there even when most of the world’s top cities didn’t exist, London has a rich and haunted history, from the Saxons of Britain to the Danes and Vikings that invaded, from the House of Orange to the House of York. The city has been an urban dwelling since time immemorial and became a hub of UK’s industrial revolution. Today it is a great place for a holiday, what with hosting the many royal palaces that house the Royal family, being home to some iconic structures like the Big Ben and London Bridge, a shopping paradise as well as a cultural experience for one and all. Here are some of the most coveted tourist places of London for you to visit.
The Buckingham Palace is the home of the British Monarchy, the current Queen Elizabeth II. It is also the iconic representation of London and attracts tourists like bees to honey. The palace was a gift from George III to Queen Charlotte back in 1761, after which the house underwent quite a few renovations over the years. With its 700+ rooms and a hoard of events held in those historical rooms, Buckingham Palace should be on your must-see list. The Palace is only open to the public from July to September and for a few days in December, January and April. You will be able to book tickets online as well.
The Tower Bridge is not the same as the London Bridge, as most visitors believe. The Tower Bridge is a gothic structure that is brilliantly designed to lift and divide the London bridge when ships pass underneath. It is a marvel really and if you are lucky, you will see it at work. There is also an updated feature here, a glass pedestrian bridge, from where you get an amazing view. There is also the Victorian engine rooms where you get to explore the old mechanism of bridge lifting. The Tower Bridge is open for tourists between April to September and then from October to March. The entry costs tickets for adults as well as children and you may get group discounts.
Big Ben is the most iconic structure of London’s skyline, one that uniquely identifies the city even in silhouette. Also known as Elizabethan Tower, Big Ben stands to the north of the Houses of Parliament and has a round clock and bell at the top. The place is a landmark in London and also a major tourist attraction. The giant bell inside the tower is actually called Big Ben but the name has extended to the whole of the structure. Big Ben is almost a hundred and fifty years old and makes for a rather fascinating view for art and history lovers, a structure that stood tall through the chaos of World War II.
The London Eye is another iconic London skyline structure and makes for a great ride to see all of London under your feet. This giant ferris wheel is located on the southern bank of Thames and was built in the new millennium. You can take a ride on the London Eye, which lasts about half an hour. The capsules can be booked for private affairs as well. Many a memorable proposals and announcements have happened in the capsules of London Eye. The best time to take a ride of the ferris wheel is at dusk so that you are at the top when night falls and London twinkles beneath you. A glass of royal champagne is complementary to visitors and it is recommended you book your ride in advance.
St Paul’s Cathedral
The St Paul’s Cathedral is another historic structure of London, built in the years between 1675 and 1710 by Sir Christopher Wren. The structure is a master piece baroque building and also one of Europe’s biggest cathedrals. Art lovers will enjoy a visit here as you get to see the beautifully sculpted Corinthians columns and domes. It is also a spot on London’s must visit list.
Hyde Park is literally the heart of London, a garden that is brilliant and beautiful and lively with a cheerful spirit. It was opened in 1637 and has since been the biggest royal park for public. The park sits by a man-made lake called Serpentine and you can explore the many monuments and landmarks of the park by boating in the lake too. Do make sure to visit the Memorial Fountain, built in honour of Princess Diana, take a walk in the Rose Garden and also check out the Speaker’s Corner. Once done, you can plop down on a shaded spot and eat a picnic lunch. What’s best here is that the entry to Hyde Park is absolutely free.
Madame Tussaud's London
There are many Madame Tussaud's around the world but the London one is famous for royal reasons. The Wax statue museum here is filed with some of the most famous personalities of the world, from all times. You will find everybody from Benedict Cumberbatch to the Queen, Star Wars characters to Mahatma Gandhi here. There are also special movie and cartoon scenes created and a designated Star Wars area for fans of the franchise. The place is open from 10 am to 4pm everyday.
The Westminster Abbey is a historic structure in London, an abbey that was graced by the first York kings and queens, one where the two houses of York and Stuart fought over the throne, the place where many a coronations happened. The Westminster Abbey has also been the hub of Christianity in this part of Europe since the 7th Century, and lately been a very coveted wedding venue for the British Royals. It is a must to walk down the alleys of this abbey, and be a part of the layers and layers of history from different centuries and different regents that ruled this land.
Museum of London
British history is something half the world is curious about. What with the dramatic Viking raids and Cousins’ wars, the passage of Magna Carta and one of Europe’s strongest royal dynasties. All of this and much more is featured at the Museum of London, showcasing the city through old times. This place is not charging for entry so you can go for free! The museum itself is a masterpiece, brilliantly designed.
The National Gallery of London, located right in the centre of Trafalgar Square, is a unique place for art lovers. The place displays a collection of paintings from some of the most celebrated and noted artists of the world, including Vincent van Gogh, Leonardo da Vinci, Johannes Vermeer, Claude Monet and Michelangelo. Regular exhibitions and shows are also held with guest displays coming in from all over the world. What’s more is, the National Gallery is also free to visit, so budget travellers get a bonus. Sometimes, some tourists just visit the place to escape sudden London weather!