The Best of London: 9 Places That Are Worth Seeing

Best of London

Updated On: November 08, 2023 by   Marwa Abdel MoniemMarwa Abdel Moniem

Arriving in the British capital will immediately make you play the lyrics of the old song “London Bridge is falling down, falling down, falling down”, and all you expect is the fog hovering in the skies of the city, but those well-known facts are just one drop in a sea of things that you could see in London.

A city as old as London, about 1,976 years of age, holds a lot of promise regarding sightseeing and places to visit. It is a city that you should study before you travel to. Here’s a look at the best of London through 9 of its must-see attractions!

Buckingham Palace

Summer is here, and Buckingham Palace will be open to the public from July until October. Buckingham Palace is the official home of the King of Britain in London and features 775 rooms, of which visitors are only allowed into the 19 State Rooms to see some of the treasures of the Royal Collection.

The Royal Mews

Best of London

Opened most of the year, the Royal Mews at Buckingham Palace is something to behold. The Royal Family’s state vehicles are grouped in one of the most elegant stables in the world. 

The collection includes horse-drawn carriages and motor cars, not to mention the iconic 260-year-old Gold State Coach, a fairytale-like carriage that has been used for every coronation since 1821, the latest being King Charles III Coronation in 2023. 

The Royal Mews are responsible for all road travel arrangements for the King and his family. It has around 30 horses with nameplates indicating their birth years. But only two breeds —Cleveland Bays and Windsor Greys— are used to pull the royal carriages.

The Queen’s Gallery

Here you will find items from the Royal Collection displayed as part of an exhibition whose theme changes occasionally. The current show, for example, is “Style and Society: Dressing the Georgians”, so it would be an excellent chance to explore 18th-century fashion.

The treasures shown at the Queen’s Gallery are entrusted to the monarch and include old master paintings, decorative arts, and rare furniture. You can visit the Queen’s Gallery almost any time of the year.

Buckingham Palace Garden

Best of London

Extending over 39 acres, Buckingham Palace Garden is the private park of the King in London. This is where most official celebrations have been taking place for over 200 years. 

“A walled oasis in the middle of London” that’s how Buckingham Palace Garden is defined, as it contains up to 325 plant species and more than 1,000 trees. There are also 30 species of birds and 85 species of oak. A lake created in the 19th century is also found in the Garden. Only part of the royal garden is open to visitors of the State Rooms who can walk about 500 yards to the next exit at Grosvenor Place. 

Changing the Guard 

Best of London

Visitors to Buckingham Palace can also see the changing of the guard ceremony that occurs from 10:45 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. So, make sure you arrive there before time to be able to watch the handover from a nearby spot.

Buckingham Palace is located in central London in the City of Westminster. Guided tour tickets can be booked in advance through the website of the Royal Collection Trust.

The London Eye

Want to see London from above? You should not miss a visit to the London Eye. Standing at 135 metres above the ground, the London Eye is considered the tallest Ferris wheel in Europe, where you can see the skyline of the British capital from 404 feet high. It is also the most giant cantilevered observation wheel in the world, offering different views of 25 miles in every direction—a true engineering achievement!

River Cruise

Best of London

Launched in 2000, the London Eye is found on the South Bank of the River Thames. While there, don’t miss booking the river boat cruise, which lasts 40 minutes and allows you to see some famous landmarks in London, such as Big Ben, St Paul’s Cathedral, the Tower of London, and Shakespeare’s Globe. The cruise’s starting and ending point is the London Eye Pier, offering an impressive, circular tour of the city.

Tickets

The London Eye is a paid tourist attraction, and tickets can be pre-booked on their website (highly recommended) or purchased from the ticket office on the day of the visit. 

Purchasing a standard ticket means you could be waiting in queues for about 45 minutes, but you can reduce it to 20 minutes if you buy a Fastrack ticket.

Hyde Park

If you are in London, one of the unmissable attractions is Hyde Park. This must-see London attraction, covering 350 acres, is designed to give visitors some fresh air. Hyde Park is also the go-to place for sports such as boating, swimming, skating, and cycling. It is also the perfect park for a little afternoon stroll.  

There are quiet places at Hyde Park where you can relax, sunbathe, and unwind. The best part about this green space is that it is one of the best free attractions in London, where every member of the family will have something to enjoy.

Boating and Swimming

Boating on the Serpentine Lake in the middle of wildlife is one of the favourite activities for both tourists and Londoners. This fantastic activity is available from April through October.

Besides pedal boating, Serpentine Lake is also considered a small oasis for open-water swimming. There is also the Lido, a place designed for public swimming. The Lido is open every day from late May to mid-September. It would be a great activity to enjoy if you happen to be in London during this time.

Speakers’ Corner

Best of London

Hyde Park is also famous for its Speakers’ Corner. Speakers step up to give morning speeches on Sundays in the northeast corner of the park. Debates and discussions are also allowed in this free speech area. You can share your views and arguments there!

Events

Located in the borough of Westminster, Hyde Park hosts multiple events and concerts during the summer. You might like to attend any of those while visiting the largest royal park in London. Visits to Hyde Park are free, and it opens from 5.00 a.m. to midnight daily.

The Borough Market

While in London, you should visit the Borough Market and grab a bite. Extending over 4.5 acres in the heart of London, this place is considered the most prominent and oldest farmers’ market in Britain, with over 100 stalls selling high-end products.

Top London chefs are frequently present at the market to create and season delicious dishes made of local and international ingredients. Borough is the market where food is made and sold for a pleasant eating experience.

Besides fruit, vegetable, and livestock, you will find bakeries and delis and gourmet stalls along the passageways of the market. Cheesemongers and fishmongers are also there—everything is available with top quality. It is open all weekdays except Mondays. So, make sure to visit Borough Market on your vacation and treat yourself to a fantastic street food-style feast!

The British Museum

Museum-goers will fall in love with London and its wide range of different kinds of museums. A long list of museums, the most prominent of which is the British Museum, will make their trip here the most satisfying. It is a real treat!

We are talking about more than 8 million objects, including a collection of ancient Egyptian artefacts that will leave you bewildered. One of the most popular exhibits here is the Rosetta Stone—the tablet that unlocked the secret of Egyptian hieroglyphs. Also displayed are the Parthenon Sculptures, a set of marble architectural decorations from the temple of Athena.

Entrance to the British Museum is free, and you can book tickets for a group of up to nine persons. The different exhibits provide informative and visual explorations that museum lovers enjoy.

Tower Bridge

Best of London

This is London’s bascule bridge, whose roads open and close with the help of a central span, just like a seesaw does. It is part of the history of the British capital, serving as a vivid manifestation of Neo-Gothic architecture. This blue and white bridge runs between two tall towers standing on piers. It was built between 1886 and 1894 and stretches over 244 metres.

An upper walkway allows people to cross the bridge when it is raised. Connected to Tower Bridge, the upper walkway is famous for its glass floors, thus giving a spectacular view of the River Thames underneath. There you will also find camera windows installed for visitors to take their perfect pictures. 

Built to ensure better access to the East End of London, Tower Bridge prioritises river traffic, lifting open any time of day or night to allow ships sailing up the River Thames to pass first. Walking across the bridge and watching its opening and closing is free and could take about an hour. However, if you want to see the Tower Bridge Exhibition, you must buy a ticket. 

Oxford Street

Best of London

London’s Oxford Street should be on your agenda if you are considering buying clothes. If you are on a budget, you will find something suitable to buy from more than 300 shops along Oxford Street in the West End of London. 

The street is full of flagship stores selling their upper-class brands in this largest shopping district. You will also find four underground stations for easy movement as you shop. 

Oxford Street extends over 1.2 miles between Marble Arch and Tottenham Court Road. Most shops are open Mondays through Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., and some are also available on Sundays from 12:00 to 6:00 p.m., leaving you with plenty of time to shop till you drop!

Madame Tussauds Museum

Best of London

You cannot possibly be in London and not visit Madame Tussauds and enjoy seeing the wax statues of your favourite stars, heroes, and athletes. Madame Tussauds Museum in London offers you this chance. 

Founded in 1835 by French sculptor Marie Tussauds, this wax museum opened in London in 1884. It displays waxworks of famous figures in such high quality that you would think they are flesh and blood. What’s so fun about visiting Madame Tussauds is that you can have your camera to capture your good moments with your favourite celebrity inside. 

Currently, there are 21 Madame Tussauds museums worldwide, but the one in London is the biggest. Located on Marylebone Road, northwest of London, the wax museum opens every day from 9:00 a.m. Do not forget to purchase your ticket beforehand; you will love it there!

Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament

Best of London

In London, many landmarks stand as symbols of Britain. One such landmark is Big Ben, which symbolises the British order. Informally known as the Houses of Parliament, the Westminster Palace is the oldest royal palace in London.

Indeed, Big Ben is a tower clock, but what is most significant about it is that it is the clock of Great Britain, home to Greenwich Mean Time (GMT)—this could be useful for you to set your time to Big Ben when you arrive in London and determine your time zone.

Built between 1843 and 1859, Big Ben is officially known as the Great Bell. The clock is considered the largest worldwide, with the diameter of the dial measuring 7 metres and the arrows measuring 2.7 and 4.2 metres. Unfortunately, only British citizens are allowed into the attraction.  

However, while you can only see Big Ben from the outside, tours are organised to the Palace of Westminster, where you can see this world heritage site and learn about the work of the UK parliament. The parliament is open to visitors from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. from Mondays to Fridays, and entry is free!

Visiting London Is Worth It!

The least that could be said about this city is that it is a mix of culture, entertainment, and shopping. A visit to London would simply make you smile, so keep the London vibes up, and as our beloved character Joey says: “It’s London baby!”

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