A city that’s made it to almost everybody’s bucket list of places they want to visit before they kick the bucket, the most populous religion, bustling urban zone and metropolitan area, this capital city of England contains a diverse hub of people from different ethnicities and backgrounds.
It is the ideal blend of historical and imperial architecture, a wide array of delightful global cuisines, a variety of occupations and a million (precisely 8 and a half million as of 2013) beating hearts in this fast-paced city.
London has whooping FOUR Heritage World Sites listed by UNESCO, namely: the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, The Palace of Westminster (Houses of Parliament and Big Ben, St. Margaret’s Westminster and Westmibster Abbey) and Maritime Greenwich.
Other than those compulsory sites you must visit on your trip to London, here are the Top 10 most popular tourist attractions in London:
#10: Buckingham Palace
Long story cut short, this is where the Queen lives. And I’m not talking about Queen Latifah, I’m talking about Your Royal Highness. Aren’t the British charming?
It has been London’s official residence for the British monarch since 1837, with Queen Victoria being the first monarch to live there.
Today, it isn’t just home to Queen and Prince Philip but is also home to the Duke of York and the Earl and Countess of Wessex and their daughter. Closest thing to a fairytale you’ll find.
When the Queen is home, you will see her royal flag flying high from the flag pole on top of the Palace, called the Royal Standard.
The flag is split into four quadrants with two diagonal ones for England and the other two for Scotland and Ireland.
#9: The London Eye
The London Eye is the world’s largest ferris wheel and can hold 300 passengers on a 30-minute ride. From its highest point of 450 feet, you can view up to 25 miles of the entire city.
Perfect for the bird’s eye view. Not suitable for people with a fear of heights or vertigo.
It is also known as Millenium Wheel and was designed by architects Frank Anatole, Nic Bailey, Steve Chilton, Malcolm Cook, Mark Sparrowhawk, and the husband-and-wife team of Julia Barfield and David Marks.
It was formally opened by then prime Minister Tony Blair on 31st December, 1999.
#8: St. Paul’s Cathedral
It was built in 604 AD but burned down in 675 AD and is the largest dome in the world after St. Peter’s dome in Rome.
St Paul’s Cathedral occupies a significant place in the national identity of the English population.
“It is particularly in its plan that St Paul’s reveals Medieval influences.St Paul’s Cathedral is built in a restrained Baroque style which represents Wren’s rationalization of the traditions of English Medieval cathedrals with the inspiration of Palladio, the Classical style of Inigo Jones, the Baroque style of 17th-century Rome, and the buildings by Mansart and others that he had seen in France.”
#7: Madame Tussauds
This wax museum begun in London now has several extensions and branches worldwide where there are several historical, pop culture and royal figures from movie stars, notorious murderes, monarchs and sports stars.
It was founded by wax sculptor Marie Tussaud, who created her first wax figurine of Voltaire in 1777. She modeled several prominent victims in the French Revolution.
The original model of Hitler, unveiled in Madame Tussauds London in April 1933 was frequently vandalized and a replacement in 1936 had to be carefully guarded.
#6: Tate Modern
“Sitting grandly on the banks of the Thames is Tate Modern, Britain’s national museum of modern and contemporary art. Its unique shape is due to it previously being a power station. The gallery’s restaurants offer fabulous views across the city. Entry is free but special exhibitions require tickets.”
It is the most-visited modern art gallery in the world, with around 4.7 million visitors per year.
#5: National History Museum
The museum is a world-renowned centre of research specializing in taxonomy, identification and conservation. Given the age of the institution, many of the collections have great historical as well as scientific value, such as specimens collected by Charles Darwin.
Sir Hans Sloane permitted for his collections to be put on display by the British Government. Sloane’s collection included dried plants, and animal and human skeletons initially.
#4: Hyde Park
This park was a site for the Great Exhibition in 1851 for which the Crystal Palace was designed by Joseph Paxton.
The park is divided into two by the Serpentine and the Long Water. The park has become a traditional location for mass demonstrations.
Hyde Park has been the venue for some famous rock concerts, including the major location for the Live 8 string of benefit concerts where Pink Floyd reunited their classic line up for the first time in over 30 years. Queen played here in one of their most popular shows, in 1976. Other such performers include Rolling Stones, Bon Jovi, Bruce Springsteen, Pal McCartney.
#3: The London Bridge
We’ve all wondered about it after the ingrained nursery rhyme “London Bridge is falling down”. In fact, it isn’t. Quite the opposite with the Modern London Bridge, really. It comprises three spans of pre-stressed concrete box girders, a total of 928 feet (283 m) long.
The nursery rhyme has been speculatively connected to several of the bridge’s historic collapses.
#2: Big Ben
Big Ben is the nickname for the Great Bell of the clock at the north end of the Palace of Westminster in London and is often referred to as the “clock tower”.
It began with being named a national landmark.
#1: British Museum
Quoted directly from noambit: “Housing one of the largest collections of art and artifacts from human history and culture, the museum has been around since 1759. If nothing else peaks your curiosity, visiting the Rosetta Stone which allowed man to decipher ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphs is something to brag about.”
We’ll take your word for it!