London: A Visitor’s Guide
Have you seen our guidebook? Honest reviews of 200 London attractions with money-saving tips, opening times, prices and maps
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The London Eye is one of the largest observation wheels in the world, and offers visitors a 360 degree view of up to 25 miles. Closed (middle two weeks of Jan); 10 AM to 8.30 PM (last week of Jan-Mar); 10 AM to 9.30 PM (first half of Apr); 10 AM to 9 PM (second half of Apr); 10 AM to 9 PM (Sun-Thu, May-Jun); 10 AM to 9.30 PM (Fri-Sat, May-Jun); 10 AM to 9.30 PM (Sat-Thu, Jul-Aug); 10 AM to 11.30 PM (Fri, Jul-Aug); 10 AM to 8.30 PM (Sep-first week of Jan)Cost: Adults £23.00; Children £17.00 (4-15); Infants free (under-4); Family ticket £80.00
A trip to St. Paul’s is a must, and so is a visit to the famous Whispering Gallery. The huge dome rises 259 steps above the mosaic floor and, due to a bizarre acoustic effect, everything said on one side can be equally understood on the other – 107-feet away! 8.30 AM to 4.30 PM (Mon-Sat); Last entry 30 mins before closing; The cathedral is only open for worship on SundaysCost: Adults £18.00; Children £8.00 (6-17); Infants free (under-6); Family ticket £44.00
You don’t have to wait for summer for Parliament to open its doors to the public… they also offer tours every Saturday. You’ll get to see many of the finest rooms, including the House of Commons and House of Lords.
Next time you visit the Tower of London join one of the famous Yeoman Warder tours. The tours are always very informative and amusing, and will contain tales of intrigue, imprisonment, execution and torture. 10 AM to 5.30 PM (Sun-Mon, Mar-Oct); 9 AM to 5.30 PM (Tue-Sat, Mar-Oct); 10 AM to 4.30 PM (Sun-Mon, Nov-Feb); 9 AM to 4.30 PM (Tue-Sat, Nov-Feb); Last entry 30 mins before closingCost: Adults £24.50; Children £11.00 (5-15); Infants free (under-5); Family ticket £60.70
A tour on an open-top bus is probably the first thing that any visitor to London should do. It will give you a good overview of the city, and introduce you to things that you never even thought about. Most of the bus tour companies operate in a hop-on, hop-off manner, so you can use them to travel around without having to pay extra for the bus fare.
If you buy just one present in London, make sure it’s from Harrods – the world’s most luxurious department store. If you want something cheap then check out their sweet section… the posh pick-n-mix is like nothing you have ever seen! Just remember to pick up one of their famous green carrier bags… so you can prove to your mates back home that the sweets really were from Harrods. 10 AM to 9 PM (Mon-Sat); 11.30 AM to 6 PM (Sun)
The O2 (or ‘Millennium Dome’) is a world-class concert venue. The seats cling to the sides of the dome, sometimes rising so high that they give you vertigo! The incredible acoustics and unobstructed views make this one of London’s best nights out. You can find out which music concerts and comedy gigs are playing on our O2 events page.
Getting your photo taken outside Horse Guards is a must. There are two horse boxes on the Whitehall side, and tourists like to stand there and try to make the soldiers laugh (you won’t succeed – they are famous for staying stoney-faced).
The boat ride to Greenwich is one hour of pure bliss. Starting off at Westminster Pier, in the shadow of Big Ben, the one hour trip will take you past Cleopatra’s Needle, the Globe Theatre and St. Paul’s Cathedral, before sweeping under Tower Bridge and past the skyscrapers of Canary Wharf. It will then drop you off at Greenwich, a short walk from the Cutty Sark and National Maritime Museum.
Look through our guide to what’s on in London for more ideas about things to do