History meets modernity in the city of London. London is filled with notable historic landmarks, but is also bustling with trendy galleries and lively pubs. The city has a multitude of attractions. Therefore, when planning your first trip, we suggest allotting several days.
Located on the north bank of the River Thames is the Tower of London. The foundations of the castle were built in 1066 and were later expanded in the 12th and 13th centuries. Throughout history it has been used as an armory, treasury, mint, and prison. Today, it is a museum open year round minus a few holiday closings. There are multiple sections of the museum. However, if you are short on time you must see the Crown Jewels. The Jewels include the most extraordinary diamonds and gems in the world that still worn by the Queen.
Close by to the Tower of London is the Tower Bridge. The bridge is accessible to both cars and pedestrians. However, to enter either of the twin towers or the high-level walkways, there is an admission fee.
There are 2 churches in London that should be a top to do during your visit: St. Paul’s Cathedral and Westminster Abbey. St. Paul’s Cathedral is most recognized for its towering dome, which dominated London’s skyline until 1967. It is also the location of many important services such as the funeral of Sir Winston Churchill, jubilee celebrations for Queen Victoria and the wedding of Charles, Prince of Wales and Lady Diana Spencer. Tourist entry fee at the door is £18 for adults. The gothic style church, Westminster Abbey, is also home to many notable services such as every coronation of a British Monarch since 1066, and many royal weddings (including Prince William & Kate Middleton). Westminster Abbey is usually open to visitors from Monday to Saturday throughout the year and costs £22 for adult admission.
A quick walk away from Westminster Abbey is Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament. The close proximity allows for a quick trip to see the sites and take a nice snapshot before moving on.
Next up, don’t forget to say hello to the Queen, or at least her residence. Around August-September, every year, the Queen goes to Scotland. Her time away from the residence gives tourists a chance to glimpse inside the life of royalty. With a tour, you can see 19 staterooms which are normally used by the Royal family to entertain guests. An amazing site at the palace is also the changing of the guard. The ceremony lasts about 45 minutes, and weather permitting occurs between 10.15-11.45am on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday from January to March.
Your final stop in London should be to the London Eye. The huge ferris wheel gives visitors a bird’s eye view of the city. The view will give you one more, spectacular look at all the amazing sites you have just seen.
This list is very small and there is still much more to do and see in London. Therefore, we suggest utilizing a sightseeing, “hop-on hop-off” bus tour. Most routes will stop at all of these locations plus more, including Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square, and Hyde Park.