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It’s not easy to see, especially if you’re visiting for the first time and have limited time in the city…
Historical Places In London England
To help you decide where to go and what to see in London, in this guide we share only the best London attractions and TOP tourist attractions. For each attraction, we include the best tips and tricks for your visit. And finally,
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London is not only one of the most beautiful cities in the UK, but also one of the most beautiful and unique cities in the world. With centuries of history, royal heritage, a blend of ancient and modern architecture, world-class museums, shopping and entertainment, it has a lot to offer to all types of visitors.
However, with so much to see and do in London, it can be overwhelming for first-time visitors to even know where to start. So if you want to know the absolute best things to do in London for tourists, this guide will give you a good overview of the best London attractions.
In this London sightseeing guide, we list only the best tourist attractions, the best places to see and the best things to do in London that will be the most worth your time.
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Good to know: We’ve put together a map of all the best places to visit in London to help you plan your trip. You can find it at the end of this article. Plus, for each look, we’ll include some practical tips to help you get the most out of your trip. Look at this!
London landmarks, the Palace of Westminster and Big Ben are now known as the Houses of Parliament and the Elizabeth Tower. Whatever you call it, it’s one of London’s must-sees!
The Houses of Parliament have been used for political meetings since the Norman Conquest in 1066. Today, they are the center of British government, where the House of Commons (elected MPs) and the House of Lords meet.
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The oldest part of the Houses of Parliament is Westminster Hall, built in 1097. There are tours available where you can see the magnificent architecture of the magnificent neo-Gothic building and learn more about the interesting history of the Parliament.
The most famous part of the Houses of Parliament is probably the Elizabeth Tower – commonly known as Big Ben. Completed in 1869, it is the most famous watch in the world. The name “Big Ben” actually refers to the 13th and largest bell of the clock. This bell weighs 13.76 tons (30,000 pounds) every hour.
The clock tower is 96 m (105 yd) tall and has 399 steps leading up to Ayrton Light at the top. Unfortunately, you can’t look inside the tower, but Big Ben is impressive enough from the outside.
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TIP: For the best photo angles, go to the south side of Westminster Bridge or across the river. Note that the light is on at the top of all four hour shifts – this indicates that Parliament is in session. The face of the watch is always illuminated for a particularly impressive look at night.
No trip to London would be complete without a visit to the London Eye, Britain’s most popular paid tourist attraction. It is Europe’s tallest observation wheel, offering easy access to the best views of London.
Known as the Millennium Wheel, this mighty structure was erected on the south bank of the River Thames to mark the beginning of a new century. It was officially opened on New Year’s Eve 2000. It became known later
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The London Eye is 135 m (443 ft) tall and 120 m (394 ft) in diameter. But despite its huge size, it was originally intended only as a temporary attraction. Over 20 years later, the London Eye is still running and as popular as ever!
The eye has 32 fully enclosed glass capsules or “caps” that are in constant motion, albeit very slowly, and you have plenty of time to get in and out safely. The ticket buys you a ride on a full rotation of the wheel, which takes about 30 minutes.
The views of the capital are breathtaking, with the best views of many of London’s landmarks, including Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament. Even on a cloudy day, you can still take great photos!
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TIP: The London Eye is very popular and waiting times can be very long. Get your tickets online in advance for the best experience. If you book at least a day in advance, it’s cheaper AND it saves time standing at the ticket office (you still have to stand at the London Eye itself).
To save time for this, consider fast-track tickets that allow you direct entry. On a busy day, this will easily save you 2-3 hours. It’s well worth it, especially if you’re only in London for a few days and want to see as many of the popular sights as possible.
Your London bucket list wouldn’t be complete without visiting one of its most important landmarks, Buckingham Palace. Built in 1703, it is one of the few working royal palaces in the world. It has been the London home of the British royal family since 1837.
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When Queen Elizabeth II lived here, you could tell if she was in the house by looking at the flag above the palace. While he was in residence the Royal Standard was raised. When he left, you saw the Union flag flying in his place.
When the Royal Family is away on annual holidays (usually from the last week of July to the end of September / first week of October), you can go inside Buckingham Palace (more information and tickets here). As you’d expect from a royal home, it’s lavishly decorated, with grand rooms and halls, sweeping staircases and works of art. You can even visit a part of the Royal Gardens with wildflowers and lakes in the heart of London!
Good to know: The castle can be viewed from the outside when it is closed to visitors.
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Additional offer. Don’t forget to visit the Royal Mews. This site is open to the public even when the palace is closed (more information and tickets here). Here you can see an impressive collection of royal carriages and vehicles. This is especially good for families visiting London with children.
Almost every postcard from London has a picture of the Queen’s Guard (now the King’s Guard) in their berets. You can see them at Buckingham Palace!
If you’re visiting London attractions, don’t miss the Changing of the Guard! This happens almost every morning when the old guard (on duty) is replaced by a new guard.
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The Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace takes place every day between June and July. During the rest of the year, it can be seen on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. It starts around 10.45 am and lasts for an hour. Official start time is 11:00 AM; This is when the relief of St. James’s Palace came out of Buckingham Palace.
The ceremony is accompanied by the music of the military band. But don’t expect to hear JUST military marches – you’ll often be treated to tunes, and even one or two of the latest pop songs!
TIP: This is one of London’s most popular tourist attractions, so make sure you arrive early and get a seat near the palace gates for the best view. Alternatively, you can take a walking tour; they just know the right places and the best time to be there.
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Good to know: this isn’t the only place to see the Royal Guard in London. More information below.
A visit to Westminster Abbey will allow you to step back in time at the site of many important moments in history. The building was consecrated in 1065 and every British monarch has been crowned there since 1066. It has also been the site of 16 royal weddings.
The abbey is open for regular worship, but it is not a typical parish church or cathedral. Instead, Westminster Abbey is known as a “Royal Peculiar”, meaning it is not held by a bishop or archbishop – only by the reigning sovereign.
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The most interesting is the ancient coronation chair in St. Petersburg. This is a magnificent oak chair that British kings and queens have been crowned with over the centuries. You can also see the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, where the body of the soldier was
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