Best things to do in London
London is a fascinating city in constant evolution. If you want to make sure you don't miss anything when you visit, make a note of these essentials
You could visit London several times and still not fully know it. Charming neighborhoods, magnificent museums, street markets, monuments that are World Heritage Sites, bucolic parks? London has more than a hundred tourist attractions, 9 million inhabitants and 35 million tourists a year. Here is a selection of what you have to see and do in the city.
1. Visit Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament.
Located at the center of England's political and religious power for over a thousand years, the Whitehall and Westminster district, these two attractions are one of the must-sees in London. Westminster Abbey is known as the "Church of the Royal Family" for serving as the pantheon of the British monarchs and the site of their coronations since 1066.
The Westminster Palace, a World Heritage Site, houses the Houses of Parliament, where today the politics and the future of the country are still decided and where you can see the tower where the greatest symbol of London is hidden, the Big Ben, the bell that gives time to its great clock. Check out the types of tickets for Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament in this guide to Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament::.
2. Go on the London Eye
Admire London from the sky aboard one of the largest Ferris wheels in the world, located in the heart of London. Its inauguration in 2000 earned it the title of 'Millennium Wheel' and its 135 meters high made it the tallest in Europe and, until 2006, in the world.
The London Eye is the best place to enjoy an amazing 360º panoramic view of the city and take as a souvenir the best photos of its skyline and some of its wonders, such as Big Ben, Westminster Abbey or St. Paul's Cathedral, in the 30-minute ride aboard one of its 32 glass capsules (one for each district of London). Consult the types of tickets for the London Eye:.
3. Step inside the Tower of London
This historic castle on the north bank of the River Thames in central London is officially Her Majesty's Royal Palace and Fortress. Built in 1066, this portentous Norman medieval fortress has served in its more than nine centuries of life as a center of uninterrupted power in British and European history and that is why it was declared a World Heritage Site.
The tour of its architectural ensemble, consisting of more than seven buildings and areas of interest, will take you no less than 3 hours and will reveal the fascinating story of how it has changed its function over the years. See ticket types for the Tower of London:
4. Take a nighttime walking tour.
Get ready to have a frightening time with a tour that will show you the less 'pretty' side of the City of London through its blackest history and places like the Tower of London and its bloody tower, the first Psychiatric Hospital, the Plague Pits, the haunted areas of the East End and the stories of how and where one of the most famous serial killers in history, Jack the Ripper, operated. See all the information here:.
5. Cross Tower Bridge
Built in 1894 over the River Thames, Tower Bridge is the most famous bridge to see in London and owes its name to its proximity to the Tower of London. You can access this stone drawbridge and see the operation of the steam engine that lifts it and climb to the top and walk on a glass walkway while enjoying great views of the city.
6. Lose yourself in Notting Hill
This neighborhood archiconocido by films like Mary Poppins, who sang to his bustling ** Portobello market **, or by the film that bore the same name, starring Julia Roberts, is a delight for a walk **Saturday morning **, when all the stalls are mounted on Portobello Street among its beautiful colorful houses.
7. Visit St. Paul's Cathedral
The second largest cathedral in the world impresses with its great dome and its 111 meters high to which you can climb and get magnificent views of central London or descend to its crypt, where the remains of Nelson or the Duke of Wellington rest.
8. Take a walking tour of the historic center of London.
If you love to get to know cities by getting lost in their streets, a walking tour through the old part of London will be the most stimulating way to discover the history of the city through places like Covent Garden, the Monument to the Great Fire of London, St. Paul's Cathedral or Tower Bridge. I leave you here linked the article I wrote about London Tours:.
9. Visit Buckingham Palace
What has been the official London residence of the British Royal Family since the 19th century and now inhabited on occasion by Elizabeth II houses lavishly decorated chandeliers, elegant furnishings and treasures from the royal collection throughout rooms such as its Throne Room, where photographs are often taken at royal weddings.
You can visit Buckingham Palace as part of the attractions included in the London Pass or learn more about it with a Palace Tour including afternoon tea.
10. Tour the city by sightseeing bus
Another way to get around London is aboard one of its numerous tourist buses:, which you will see circulating at all hours in the city center. With them you can admire the city from the heights, comfortably seated and get on and off (its famous "Hop on-Hop off") as many times as you want in each of its hundreds of stops along all that can and should be seen in the wonderful metropolis of London.
There are several tour bus companies, among which are Big Bus Tours, The Original Tour, Vintage Tour and Golden Tours, associated with Big Bus with the London Pass. All of them work in the same way and include physical guides or audio guides in several languages, although they differ in their routes and number of routes, in prices, which are always cheaper if purchased in advance and online, and in certain services and offers included.
11. Stroll through Hyde Park
Another must on a trip to London is a park, as strange as it may seem. It is the largest and most famous park in the city and in it you can stroll among a huge lake, various monuments, a rose garden and the gardens and Kensington Palace, whose interior can also be visited.
12. Meet Harry Potter's London
Tours of Harry Potter's London Harry Potter:. For true fans of the most famous magic saga in history or for anyone who wants to have a good time, especially if you're traveling with kids, Harry Potter tours are some of the most fun things to do, whether it's visiting the actual sites that inspired his stories or a day trip to Warner Studios, where many of the scenes from his eight films were filmed.
13. Get cultured at the British Museum
Opened in 1759, it houses a vast collection of key works in human history, from the Rosetta Stone in its Egyptian Room to marbles from the Parthenon in Athens to a Moai from Easter Island.
14. Pass by Trafalgar Square
It is one of the most popular squares to see in London and where you can admire the Nelson's Column of 50 meters high built in honor of this admiral and the victory at the Battle of Trafalgar.
15. Take a cruise on the Thames
They ply the waters of London's river and I consider them indispensable at least once to see another perspective of the city. These :comfortable river cruises: have different possibilities, from the simple one-hour tour to more premium ones with dinner included.
You can also take a flexible ticket that lasts a day and allows you to get on and off the boat as many times as you want during the day, allowing you to move comfortably from one end of the city to the other while taking a break from the long walks.
16. Tour St James's Park
Located near Buckingham Palace is one of the Royal Parks of London and the most loved by its citizens because of the beauty of its gardens and its fun children's areas.
17. Visit the Natural History Museum
This impressive museum exhibits spectacular recreations of all the species of the earth, highlighting its mind-blowing scale reproductions of dinosaurs and an amazing skeleton of a blue whale.
Hypnotize yourself with the lights of Picadilly Circus.
This small square at the intersection of several streets is popular for its bustling life as a meeting point for locals and outsiders and is characterized by large video screens, neon billboards and the famous fountain with the sculpture of Eros. From Picadilly Circus you can reach one of the city's most famous shopping streets, Oxford Street.
19. Take a tour from London
If you are lucky enough to have a long trip ahead of you or have visited London on previous occasions, you can take advantage of your trip to discover other wonders within easy reach of the capital. There are :excursions: for all interests and with several modalities to go only to one place or to take advantage of the day visiting several of them.
You can discover the most famous and mysterious megalithic complex on the planet with 5,000 years old, Stonehenge; the renowned and picturesque university towns of Oxford and Cambridge; the medieval Warwick Castle and its wonderful gardens or the one that has been home to the British royal family for more than 900 years, Windsor Castle.
If you prefer, you can tour the bucolic English countryside of the Cotswolds; one of the most beautiful cities in the country, Bath; and discover the Magna Carta in Salisbury or where Shakespeare was born, in Stratford-on-Avon.
You can get to these places by bus or train alternative transport, but there are some guided tours that will be more instructive, very comfortable and even cheaper than going on your own.
20. Take a bicycle tour of the city
Exercise, fun and places to see is what this bike tour offers you, where you will learn about the history of the city and more than 12 of its main attractions, such as Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace, the street performers of Covent Garden or Trafalgar Square.
21. Visit Madame Tussauds
It is known as "London's favorite tourist attraction" and one of the best to visit with the little ones thanks to its mind-blowing wax reproductions of 250 of the most popular characters in the history of cinema, politics, music, sport or show business.
In addition, it now includes several super fun immersive experiences about Sherlock Holmes, Star Wars, Marvel and the history of London aboard the Spirit London Ride. Check out the types of tickets for Madame Tussauds
22. Shop in Candem Town.
To get a different souvenir of the city of London you must visit this picturesque and popular neighborhood that houses the largest market in the city with more than 1,000 stores and street stalls where you can eat while listening to live music.
23. The best art at the National Gallery
This renowned art gallery houses an impressive collection of paintings by such geniuses as Van Gogh, Michelangelo, Rembrandt, Velázquez and Goya, among many others.
24. Visit Shakespeare's Globe
If you have seen the famous movie 'Shakespeare in love' you can get an idea of what you will see in this visit to the reconstruction of the original Elizabethan theater where Shakespeare's most famous plays were performed and where you will learn about playwriting in 16th century London, including the experience of having an afternoon tea.