1. Buckingham Palace
Watching the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace is one of the most popular attractions among visitors to London. The event takes place on at 11:30am on most days, while the Queen’s official residence of Buckingham Palace is open to the public during the summer months.
2. St Paul’s Cathedral
Designed by Sir Christopher Wren, St Paul’s Cathedral is one of London’s most iconic buildings and easily recognisable by its distinctive crowning dome. Visitors who climb to the Golden Gallery at the top of the dome will be treated to stunning views all the way across London.
3. Marble Arch and Hyde Park
Designed by John Nash in 1827, Marble Arch can be found in the northeastern corner of Hyde Park. Across the way is famed Speakers’ Corner (Sundays) which is always entertaining as you pass into London’s most accessible park, a nice place to escape the bustle of the city and shopping of nearby Oxford Street.
4. The Tower of London and Tower Bridge
Home to the Crown Jewels and guarded by iconic Beefeaters in their red uniforms, the Tower of London was built more than 900 years ago. The Tower of London is believed to be one of the most haunted buildings in the entire world, as it has also served as a prison for several historical figures.
5. Shakespeare’s Globe
Culture vultures will want to pay a visit to Shakespeare’s Globe, which is located in the South Bank district. This is an authentic reproduction of the original Globe theatre, and plays by Shakespeare and his contemporaries are staged here during the summer months.
6. Westminster Abbey
One of London’s most striking buildings, Westminster Abbey dates back to the 10th century. The abbey has played an important role in London’s history for several centuries, as a succession of monarchs have been crowned and buried here, while the abbey is also used to host royal weddings and other special events, most recently for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (better known to us all as ‘Wills and Kate’).
6. Art Galleries & Museums
London is home to many world-class art galleries and museums including the Tate Modern, British Museum, National Gallery and Natural History Museum. Due to the inclement weather it is often the perfect thing to do on a rainy London day!
7. Go Shopping in Oxford Circus
Experience the hustle and bustle of Oxford Circus and give your credit card a good work out at a huge range of shops including Topshop, Selfridges, Marks and Spencer and much much more! If markets are more your thing, try Portobello Road Market or Camden Market.
8. Discover the Gorgeous Parks
London is known for its large number of pretty parks, which are great places to relax and unwind for a while. Both Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens are great places to pause for a picnic while exploring central London, while rowing a boat across one of the large lakes in Regent’s Park on a sunny day is an unforgettable experience. Hampstead Heath and Wimbledon Common, further afield are more natural and are certainly worth a picnic.
9. Have a Pint
London is famous for its numerous pubs and “gastropubs” (serving delicious and affordable food). Have a pint at a traditional London pub to start off and see where the night takes you!
10. Take a Day Trip
If you have time, take a day trip or 2 out of the city to discover the amazing sights of Stonehenge, Bath, Oxford or Brighton. Hire a car, take a tour or book a bus ticket and get busy!