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Best Places to Visit In London

Click to explore our detailed map of the best places to visit in London Located in the southeast of England, London is the capital of the United Kingdom

 


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                 Big Ben, Parliament and London are stunning at night

London has something for every visitor.  Here are our lists with recommendations for the best places to visit (general) Best Museums/Galleries Best Shopping,   Best Daytrips Best Curiosities/Famous Places Best Pageantry and  Best Parks.

If you prefer a more comprehensive approach, start with our London Travel Guide

Click the links below for more thorough description of the attractions listed (including map, addresses, website links or other pertinent information).

Best Places to visit in London

  • The Tower of London
    • The Tower is a historic fortress that was once a royal prison, but now is known for its displays of pageantry, arms, armor and the Crown Jewels
  • Buckingham Palace
    • The home of the British Monarch and the glories of "royal" England is famous for its looks, opulence and the pageantry of the Changing of the Guard.
  •  Westminster Abbey
    • Kings and queens of England traditionally are crowned at this architectural and historical delight.  Most recently it was the scene of the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton.
  • London Eye
    • The world's largest observation wheel provides panoramic views of London and its skyline from the south bank of the River Thames.
  • Trafalgar Square
    • Dating from the 19th century, Trafalgar Square has impressive monuments celebrating the defeat of the fleets of Spain and France by the Royal Navy and Admiral Nelson. It is one of London's prime meeting places.
  • British Museum
    • This famous museum displays the Rosetta Stone, a noted collection of artifacts from Egypt (including mummies), as well as  noted treasures from around the world, as well as from the United Kingdom.
  • St. Paul's Cathedral
    •  Christopher Wren's architectural masterpiece is both beautiful and awe inspiring inside and out.  The tombs of many of England's historical figures  can be found in its crypt.
  • Big Ben
    • No more than a walk-by is required, but this famous clock tower and its bell (Big Ben) at Parliament are among the most enduring icons of London.
  • Globe Theatre
    • An authentic recreation of Shakespeare's theatre in London which was constructed nearby.  Take the tour or attend a performance to experience Shakespeare as it was meant to be seen and heard.
  • Harrods
    • London's quintessential department store is known around the world  for its  luxury goods and services,  Visit the food courts for an experience quite unlike those at your local mall.

 

Best Museums/ Art Galleries

   The British Musuem contains amazing collections of antiquities

  • British Museum
    • One of the world's finest museums, the British Museum is known for its impressive collections focused on Egypt, the Roman Empire, Greek Civilization and more.
  • Tate Britain
    • Known for its collection by the British Masters, the Tate Britain is a very popular venue.
  • Churchill Museum - Cabinet War Rooms
    • Visit this duo for an overview of Churchill and the events leading to and involved in World War II.  The Cabinet War Rooms are a stark reminder of the fragility of freedom.
  • National Gallery and National Portrait Gallery
    • Visit these side-by-side museums to see one of the best collections of European art available anywhere, as well as the portraits of a large number of famous Britons.
  • Tate Modern
    • A rehabilitated power station now houses an amazing collection of modern art, including Dali, Picasso, Warhol and others.
  • Natural History Museum
    • One of the finest natural history museums in Europe.
  • Victoria and Albert Museum
    • One of the world's largest and most distinguished museums for the decorative arts.
  • Science Museum
    • Science is on display through numerous interactive exhibits that will  be a hit with the entire family
  •  Imperial War Museum
    • An impressive collection helps provide a balanced view of war and warfare.  Collections include vehicles, weapons and other instruments of war.
  • British Library - Ritblatt Gallery
    • The Ritblatt Gallery presents the treasures of the British Library in an informative and interesting manner. See the Magna Carta, a Gutenberg Bible, Mercator's Atlas and other treasures.

Best Shopping

  • Knightsbridge
    • (In Knightsbridge you will find Harrods, Harvey Nichols London (eight stories of fashion) and Beauchamp Place, a street lined with trendy boutiques and restaurants.
  • Mayfair/West End
    • Here you will find the mainstays of shopping for Londoners including Oxford Street (name brands), Regent Street (name brands some high end shops),  The Dover Street Market (fashion), The Burlington Arcade (high-end) and Jermyn Street (specialty shops).  Also, be on the lookout for Shepherd Market, a delightful "neighborhoods with older buildings, unique shops and several good quality restaurants.
  • London Street Markets
    • Portobello Road (great variety), Camden Markets (antiques, clothes, furniture), Spitalfields (flea market), Petticoat Lane (clothing), Borough Market (primarily food and related), Brick Lane (flea market), Columbia Road Flower Market (cut flowers, plants, bulbs), Bermondsey Market (antiques and silver).
  • Covent Garden
    • Located in a former flower market, Covent Garden is a celebration with numerous street performers, interesting arts and crafts and some good restaurants.
  • Leadenhall Market
    • Located in a historic market, Leadenhall has an interesting array of shops and it was the scene of the Diagon Market in the movie "Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone."

Best Daytrips

  • Windsor Castle
    • Perhaps the most opulent and symbolic residences of the England's Monarch.
  • Hampton Court Palace
    • Henry VIII's favorite palace filled with impressive decorations and historic artifacts.
  • Kew Gardens
    • The home of the Royal Botanic Gardens is a delightful visit if you have even the smallest interest in gardening  or landscape design.
  • Greenwich and the Royal Observatory
    • The home of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and the Royal Observatory with its fascinating museum focused on time.
  • The Making of Harry Potter Tour
    • The Warner Brothers Leavsden Studio started offering tours at the studio where the Harry Potter movies were created in March, 2012.  Seeing the actual sets used in the movies, animatronics and more make this a required tour for the Harry Potter fan.

Best Curiosities /Famous Places

                             The Tower Bridge is one of the most photographed sights in London

  • 10 Downing Street
    • Office and home of the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
  • Tower Bridge
    • One of the most fanciful and attractive bridges spanning the Thames.
  • The Temple Church
    • Built by the Knights Templar, this round church has great historic value.
  • Millennium Bridge
    • The newest bridge over the River Thames is pedestrian only and a good thing, since it still seems to sway to the delight of those crossing it.
  • London City Hall
    • One of the unique architectural sights along the River Thames.
  • 221 Baker Street-Sherlock Holmes Pub
    • Two different attractions, one a museum, the other a pub, both celebrating the famed detective.
  • Madame Tassaud's
    • You may have visited other Madame Tassaud's, but this is the original and one with a slightly English flare.
  • Abbey Road Studios
    • You know what age you are if you want to walk the zebra stripe intersection featured on  the the cover of the Beatles "Abbey Road" album.
  • Carnaby Street Soho
    • Perhaps it is the Austin Powers thing, but Carnaby Street marches to a different drummer and touring can be quite interesting.

Best Pageantry

                               Buckingham Palace is the center of pomp and circumstance in London

  • Buckingham Palace
    • The Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace is a favorite of visitors to London
  • Tower of London
    •  Held nightly, the Ceremony of the Keys is the locking of the Tower of London at the end of the day, a ceremony that has taken place every night for over 700 years.
  • Horse Guards
    • The "Trooping of the Color" and "Beating Retreat" are held each June, and practices take place year round in the Horseguards Parade area.  (Click this link to see the location of Horseguards Parade Ground on our map of London.)

Best Parks

  • Hyde Park
    • Famous for its lake, the Serpentine, as well as its "Speaker's Corner", this park is a popular place for picnic lunches and relaxing outdoors on warm, sunny days.  Click here  for the Park's official website.
  • Regent's Park
    • Home of the London Zoo, Regent Park is a popular place with families. Click here for the Park's official website.
  • Green Park
    • Known for its stately trees and grasslands, Green Park offers inviting views of Buckingham Palace. Click here for the Park's official website.
  • St. James's Park
    • Located between Buckingham Palace, the Mall and the Horseguards Parade area, the park provides a good respite from touring. Click here for the Park's official website.
  • Kensington Gardens
    • See its formal gardens, beautiful flower beds and stately avenues.  Look for the Albert Memorial, as well as the Peter Pan statue located in the Park's northeast near The Long Water. Click here for the Park's official website.


See our London Travel Guide for more details.

 

 

 

 

 

If you need information about another travel destination, try our Destination Guide Index  or Googling ThereArePlaces.

 
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London Travel Guide

Our Guide to sightseeing in London explores by revealing the city's best places to visit. Palaces, monuments, cathedrals, museums, galleries, fortresses,  shopping, entertainment, street markets, day trips - there is so much to choose from and the best places are covered in our London Travel Guide.

 

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Read our section on London Tourism  for practical information on visiting a country where money is called the Pound, the subway is called the Tube and walking is dangerous for those of us used to driving on the right side of the road (it's "keep left" in the United Kingdom).

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Our map showing the locations of London's Train Stations, may be of interest if you are considering a daytrip outside of London.

 

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Click here for the ThereArePlaces page describing the London Underground (the Tube) that includes a map of the London Underground stations, Tube line service availability updated by the minute and a Journey Planner for getting between where you are and where you want to go using the Tube.

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Explore our London Travel Guide

Best Places to Visit in the United Kingdom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

     
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