London is one of the most charismatic capital cities in the world. It is home to Victorian palaces, prestigious cathedrals, and much historic heritage, as well as blends the modernity of the present era in its gorgeous skyline.
A journey through London opens our vision to a fusion of Victorian-era essence and modernism that blends seamlessly into a perfect balance. If you are planning for a UK visa, certainly London is on your mind. So, if you are wondering what’s in store for you in London, here is a short guide on the most popular places to check out on your London trip.
1. London Eye
Also known as the Millennium Wheel, London Eye is the only spot in London city that offers a panoramic view from a different perspective. Located along the shores of the River Thames, it takes you on a 30-minute scenic ride in one rotation that gives you unrivaled views of London’s breathtaking city skyline. The evenings are particularly the best time to view this beautiful city from the observation pods of the London Eye.
2. Oxford Street
If you want to view the bustling chaos of Londoners, head to Oxford street where nearly a million people visit the street making it one of the biggest and busiest shopping streets in Europe. Oxford street stretches around 2 kilometers and is the best place to shop for fashion and gadgets as wells as enjoy entertainment and lip-smacking culinary delights. For shopaholics, Oxford street offers a wide range of merchandise and fashion brands to explore and indulge in for that dream shopping experience.
3. Hyde Park
Step away from the bustle of London city and enjoy quietude at Hyde Park. Known as one of the finest city parks in the world, Hyde Park is also steeped in history as it was used as a place to relax and play sports by the Royal families. Today, it attracts visitors from all over the world with green open spaces shrouded in verdant foliage and accessorized in fountains, statues, and a charming lake. It is a great spot to visit to take a break from the modern rushes of life and enjoy serenity in the lap of nature.
4. Buckingham Palace
The official residence of the Queen and the Royal Family, Buckingham Palace has been a witness to London’s foundation and historic timelines. The palace is steeped in heritage and one gets the opportunity to get a glimpse of this with a tour of the palace. Visitors are allowed to tour the lavishly decored staterooms, the Grand Hall, and the Royal Gardens. A tour gives an insight into the royal life of England and is only available during the summer months when the Queen is not residing in the palace.
5. St. Paul’s Cathedral
One of the most historic landmarks of England, St Paul’s Cathedral is over 300 years old and is known for its magnificent white dome, grand interior decor, and a fabulous art collection that spans across different art eras. It is also the place where famous personalities have been laid to rest and holds the honor of being a memorial ground for the prestigious historic figures. Created by the British architect Sir Christopher Wren, the cathedral is one of the most beautiful heritage sites to visit in London.
6. House of Parliament and Big Ben
Did you know that Big Ben is not the name of the world-famous clock tower standing at the north of the Houses of Parliament? In fact, the tower is named the Elizabeth Tower; Big Ben however is the title given to the giant hour bell. Together with the Houses of Parliament, the iconic landmark by the Thames River is one of the most visited spots in London.
7. Tower Bridge
London’s most striking bascule and suspension bridge on the River Thames is quite a popular tourist attraction to view the scenic surrounds of London city. An iconic landmark of the city, the bridge is apt for a walking tour and the Butlers Wharf on the south is a classic spot to take a pause and enjoy some refreshments in fantastic restaurants and cafes. A night stroll is quite recommended at this attraction as the Tower Bridge looks magnificent when it is illuminated at night.
8. Kew Gardens
Nature lovers would fall in love with this London attraction. The Kew Garden is considered one of the finest and largest botanical gardens in the world and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Apart from a variety of flowering plants and foliage, you can view unique installations and structures such as the Great Pagoda created during the year 1762, Japanese landscapes, the Treetop walkway, an indoor rainforest at Palm house, and the Hive.
9. National Gallery
This art museum at Trafalgar Square is home to some of the finest paintings and artworks of European artists. London is a place of historic heritage that showcases the best of architecture around the city, but at The National Gallery, you get to see the best of the artist’s work of art and masterpieces. Some of the famous painter’s works displayed here are of Claude Monet, Rembrandt, and Vincent Van Gogh. The attraction is also open to the public free of cost.
Boasted as one of the hot and happening spots to hang out in London, Shoreditch is brimming with alfresco and indoor restaurants, cafes, and entertainment venues. Here you can find a variety of flavors to satiate your taste buds. You can even challenge your friends to a game of table football or a game of darts over a friendly drink. Nonetheless, the place is amazing for casual chitchats and having a great time with friends or for making new ones. Shoreditch is also known for its famous street arts and shopping experiences. The Columbia Road Flower Market explodes in a riot of colors every day with countless floral blooms and is a sight to behold. This is one attraction in London where you would not experience a dull moment ever.
Insider’s tip for London visitors
- One of the best ways to get a gist of the whole city is by taking a walking tour, a hop on hop off bus tour or just going museum hopping as many of the museums in the city are free of cost and great for a budget-friendly holiday. A London Pass is also an ideal option to get around in the city.
- Public transport is quite well connected and extensively used. It is a great option if you want to save money on transportation. Just be equipped with a map and you will be all sorted for traveling within the city.
- The best time to enjoy attractions is on weekdays as weekends and public holidays can get overwhelmed with crowds in London. The best time of the year is usually March till early June. But the weather can get unpredictable and you may witness showers from time to time. So, it is better to be prepared and carry an umbrella along.