When it comes to tourism, there are few cities in the world that can match London. Sightseers from every corner of the globe flock to this capital, where history, culture, entertainment and beauty run along every street (though not quite in equal measure). If you’re planning a trip to London, whether you’re travelling from afar or from just around the corner, then you’ll want to cram as much experience into your trip as possible. Let’s look at ten locations that are certain to make the trip worthwhile.
The Palace of Westminster
It’s in this famous building that the most important decisions in the country are taken. It contains the houses of Lords and Commons, which together form the country’s decision-making apparatus. Depending on your interest in politics, you might find that the building’s exterior is more exciting than its interior: there’s the famous clock tower, containing Big Ben, to focus on, and if you’d like to get close to the action you’ll be able to sit in the viewing gallery while parliament is in session.
Of course, not all decisions in the country are made out in the open. If you’re looking to pay a visit to the residence of the Prime Minister, then be sure to make the short walk down to Downing Street. Naturally, there’s not much to look at, here; but you’ll still be able to cross it off your list when you’re done.
The national sport of the United Kingdom is undoubtedly football – despite the seemingly never-ending failure of the English national team. If you’re looking to watch a game during your trip, then Wembley is probably the best place to watch it. What’s more, there are regular gigantic concerts being held here, too.
This is the most famous building that the royal family deigns to call home. It’s also among the most popular tourist attractions in the world, with the daily changing of the guard reliably drawing sizeable crowds. You’ll be able to witness the spectacle between 11 and 12:15 each morning.
The O2 Arena
After a dubious and controversy-wracked existence as the ‘Millennium Dome’, this building now exists as a far more agreeable concert venue, where big-name acts flock to visit. If you’re staying in town, this is where the biggest performers are to be found – so be sure to check out what’s on.
If you’re going to be visiting the capital, then you’ll want to count Trafalgar Square among your must-visit locations, too. It’s here that you’ll find a monument to one of the country’s greatest military minds, Lord Nelson. His statue stands at the top of an enormous pillar, called, appropriately enough, Nelson’s column. The area is abuzz with bars and restaurants, too – but be aware that some of them are truly dreadful. Do your research ahead of time – as lacklustre restauranteurs will be all too keen to draw in unwary customers.
The London Eye
This is an enormous Ferris wheel pitched on the banks of the Thames, just downriver from the Palace of Westminster. If you’re looking to get a great view of the surrounding city, then hitch a ride in one of the bubble-shaped carriages. They can each accommodate around twenty-four people, and take around two hours to go all the way round.
The River Thames
Of course, we shouldn’t leave the Thames itself off our list. For time immemorial, this river has provided a source of food, commerce and leisure to London. Now, it’s among the best ways to see the sights that the capital has to offer.If you’re planning a trip to the capital, be sure to squeeze in a round of afternoon tea, Thames style. They’re among the most satisfying boat cruises London has to offer, as they combine the nation’s capital city with its favourite beverage.
The Royal Albert Hall
This stunning venue plays host every year to the BBC Proms, which are currently well underway. If you’re looking to see a classical concert in the capital this year, then it’s probably here that you’ll end up venturing to.
This venue pays homage to the style of performance that was prevalent during Shakespeare’s day, and so if you’re looking for a truly authentic theatre-going experience, here is the place to find it. It’s modelled after the original globe, right from the donut-shaped construction to the thatched roof. Also onsite is a museum which documents the bard and his life’s work in exquisite detail.