London is one of the best cities in the world for sightseeing. From the iconic Big Ben, to Buckingham Palace and the London Eye, you could fill a whole week just checking out the major London sights! Apart from these obvious London sights there are also many lesser known attractions, so I have given an overview of everything you need to see in London below. Happy sightseeing!
Major London Sights
Houses of Parliament and Big Ben
See the glorious Gothic architecture of the British parliament buildings and the iconic Big Ben – this is actually the name for the bell housed inside the tower, so make sure you visit on the hour to hear it chime throughout the city.
One of the most well-known Gothic churches in the world, Westminster Abbey was most recently in the news as it was the venue for Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding. Also home to the Unknown Soldier, a British serviceman killed during the first world war.
‘Buck House’ as its affectionately known has been the primary British royal residence since 1702. Each day at 11.30am the space in front of the Palace sees the changing of the guard, one of London’s most popular attractions for any visitors. Make sure you get down early to get a place at the front – you never know who you might see!
Located minutes from Buckingham Palace and Harrods, this is one of the biggest open spaces in London, and has been home to many concerts, festivals and events in London’s time. Visit on a sunny day for a picnic and take advantage of the London bicycle hire scheme and see as much of the park as you can, including the Diana memorial and Speakers Corner.
Tower Bridge is London’s most recognised bridge, and is often mistaken for its neighbour, the London Bridge. This beauty is best seen at night, but if you happen to pass during the day you might see its drawbridge in use from a passing boat!
Tower of London
Right next to Tower Bridge sits the Tower of London, the home of the Crown Jewels and a notorious place of imprisonment and execution in centuries gone by. These days its home to Beefeater’s who wear a very distinguishable red and black uniform who provide tours of the Tower.
Originally the London Eye was only supposed to exist for around 10 years as a trial, but due to it’s popularity and icon status, it will be part of London’s skyline for years to come. A must see for anyone living in London.
London’s most famous department store, it was rumoured in the 70’s and 80’s that Harrods could literally source any product for you in the world – at a price though, mind you! These days its glamour and exclusivity attracts millions of visitors each year, and you can even pick up an piece of Harrods history such as bags, tea towels and hampers at an affordable price.
The London Dungeon recreates London’s gruesome history as a place of medieval torture , but with a humorous twist. it features exhibits on Sweeney Todd and perhaps London’s most notorious criminal, Jack the Ripper.
This is the ‘flagship’ branch of the Madame Tussuad’s franchise, with nothing but the best and latest wax figures on show. Lots of fun in a group of friends – it will take you back to being a teenager as soon as you lay eyes on your celebrity crush!
London’s answer to Times Square in New York, this intersection in London’s West End sure does light up the night sky! Come in the black of night to capture some great photos.
Royal Observatory, Greenwich
Greenwich’s Royal Observatory is the home of Greenwich meantime, and lies on the earths primary meridian. You can read about the history of astronomy and navigation and even stand one leg either side of the meridian line!
10 Downing Street
Come and say hello to Britain’s Prime Minister at 10 Downing Street. Sure, you wont get close to the door due to security, but there’s some great shots of the sign to be taken, and if you get chatting to the guards they may just give you the tip off of when a sighting of the PM is likely!
An open space outside the British Museum, Trafalgar Square is home to Nelsons Column and looks down towards Big Ben and the Houses pf Parliament. There’s frequently events and festivals here so keep your eye out for whats on.
Tate Gallery of Modern Art
If you are wanting a slightly different London sightseeing experience, then head to the Tate Modern – London’s biggest collection of modern masterpieces, including works by Damian Hirst and Tracey Emin. Every few months there is a new featured work in the main hall of the gallery, and it’s usually spectacular, so check out their website to see whats on.
Located in the Soho area of London’s West End, Chinatown has some great Asian restaurants, bars and supermarkets. Wander through here on a Friday night and soak up the atmosphere.
Covent Garden Market
Covent Garden market is home to shops, restaurants, bars and street performers every day of the week. Browse your way around the cobbled roads and watch some great performance art.