Ever wondered which are the 10 best landmarks in London? Which famous monuments and historical sites should a tourist definitely not miss? Here is a list of the 10 must-see landmarks that every visitor to London simply must visit.
If tourists only take one photograph in London then it’s invariably this one – Big Ben. ‘Big Ben’ is actually the name of the bell, rather than the clockface, and it stands in the Elizabeth Tower at one end of the Houses of Parliament. Did you know that you can actually get permission to climb up Big Ben, and stand in the belfry whilst the bell goes off? (Don’t worry, ear-plugs are provided!) Read Drummerboy’s review here.
St. Paul’s Cathedral is arguably London’s most beautiful building, by the country’s greatest-ever architect – Christopher Wren. Every tourist should definitely make sure they visit the famous Whispering Gallery. We also recommend a Choral Evensong service. Opening times: 8.30 AM to 4.30 PM (Mon–Sat); Last admission 4 PM; Galleries open from 9.30 AM; Last admission to the galleries 4.15 PM. Cost: Adults £15.00; Children £6.00 (6–17); Infants free (5 and under); Family ticket £36.00.
Tower Bridge should be a pure piece of kitsch… a mock-gothic building built in the 19th-century. But its two castle-like towers have become synonymous with London around the world. If yoiu’re lucky then you might be able to see Tower Bridge open and close. Opening times: 9.30 AM to 6 PM (daily, Oct–Mar), 10 AM to 6.30 PM (daily, Apr–Sep); Last admission 1 hour before closing time. Cost: Adults £8.00; Children £3.40 (5–15); Infants free (under-5); Family ticket £18.00.
Nelson’s Column celebrates the life and death of the country’s greatest naval hero – Horatio Nelson. He stares down on Trafalgar Square from his lofty pedestal 185-feet above the pigeons, guarded by four huge bronze lions.
The London Eye is one of the capital’s newest landmarks, built for the millennial celebrations in 2000. As one of the largest observation wheels in the world, it offers visitors a 360 degree view up to 25 miles, in a trip that lasts for half-an-hour. You can read Drummerboy’s review here. Opening times: 10 AM to 8.30 PM (Jan–Mar), 10 AM to 9 PM (Apr–Jun), 10 AM to 9.30 PM (Jul–Aug), 10 AM to 8.30 PM (Sep–Dec). Cost: Adults £18.60; Children £9.54 (4–15); Infants free (under-4); Family ticket £56.28.
The Houses of Parliament are home to the UK government. It is made up of two chambers, the Lords and the Commons, and both are open to the public. As well as touring the entire building, you can also attend debates when the MPs are sitting. Opening times: House of Commons public gallery (when in session): 2.30 PM to 10.30 PM (Mon, Tue); 12:30 AM to 7.30 PM (Wed); 10.30 AM to 6.30 PM (Thu); 9.30 AM to 3 PM (Fri).
Buckingham Palace is the Queen’s official London residence. The ‘Changing the Guard’ ceremony – which takes place on the forecourt – is a favourite photocall for tourists. Here is the schedule. Opening times: Closed to the public, apart from the Summer Opening during Aug–Sep.
The Tower of London is one of London’s most important and historic landmarks, begun by William the Conqueror in the 11th-century and added to ever since. Don’t miss the Ceremony of the Keys and the Yeoman’s Tour. Opening times: 9 AM to 5.30 PM (Tue–Sat, Mar–Oct), 10 AM to 5.30 PM (Sun, Mon, Mar–Oct), 9 AM to 4.30 PM (Tue–Sat, Nov–Feb), 10 AM to 4.30 PM (Sun, Mon, Nov–Feb); Last admission 30 minutes before closing time. Cost: Adults £19.80; Children £10.45 (5–16); Infants free (under-5); Family ticket £55.00.
No.10 Downing Street is the traditional home of the British PM . The shiny black door is one of the most famous front doors in the world, but unfortunately the street has been sealed off since 1989. You can only see it now through a big black iron gate.
Piccadilly Circus is to London, what Times Square is to New York. It is famous for two things: the huge neon advertising signs, and the statue of Eros that adorns the central fountain. Most people think that he represents the Greek god of Love, but he was originally meant to be the Angel of Christian Charity.
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