London , the symbol of modernity , is a unique English city where its traditional identity and historical texture are carefully preserved, lively day and night, and courtesy is respected as a living value. It was founded by the Romans 2000 years ago, on the banks of the Thames River, which spans the city from one end to the other, as ‘Londinium’. Maintaining its popularity at all times, London is called the center of the world today as one of the most important business and financial centers in the world.
London, the capital of England , is a city where 300 different languages are spoken, cultural diversity, museums containing the most valuable treasures of the world, world-famous shows and musicals, red telephone booths and famous shops, a city where a completely different story opens as you explore. It is a city that should not be rushed, although you are likely to come across its gloomy, gray atmosphere.
English writer Samuel Johnson said, “Looking from London is looking at life, because London has everything that life has to offer”. Capital London is among the special cities of the world that offers different options to everyone with its temples of art, rich museums, century-old bookstores, lively streets, and parks that surround and encompass the city, apart from its classical landscapes.
London is a very green place, the city arrangement has been made very carefully. Moreover, wherever you turn your head, you encounter structures that are hundreds of years old. Parks, walking areas, lakes are wonderful. Sitting in the huge and peaceful parks and squares of the city and feeling the city without doing anything.
London Places to Visit
Unlike other well-established European cities, London has two historic city centres, The City Of London and The City Of Westminster, where the Houses of Parliament and Buckingham Palace are located. With its 150-year history, Londoners call the oldest underground transportation in the world the Tube. It is best to travel by tube, bus or on foot. With 72 billionaires, 90% of the people use public transportation in the city where the most billionaires live in the world.
It is easy to visit London by public transport, where the world’s first subway was opened in 1863. I would not recommend renting a car in London under any circumstances, especially as a tourist. Since 2003, there is an entrance fee to the city center until the evening hours on weekdays. You can easily reach any place you want by using taxi or metro.
It ‘s a good idea to tour London by Hop On Hop Off bus for 1 day or two days if you have time, weather conditions permit . There are many places to visit and see. Apart from these double-decker buses that you see all the time in the city, there are many buses belonging to private companies that only travel to touristic places.
If you go in summer or spring when the weather is good, choose the open-top buses. These buses are very nice in terms of both fresh air and a wider view of the city. They usually pick up passengers from their stops every 15 minutes. The thing you should not forget about the buses, which you can get off and on wherever you want, is that they follow certain routes in many different parts of the city. Track on the map which route you are on.
To make the bus tour more enjoyable, buy 2-day tickets and you will have visited almost the whole city. Show your ticket to the driver each time you get on the bus. Be careful which tour company you use because there are many companies on buses of the same color. Do not forget where you got off the bus, because on the way back you will get on the bus from the same place. If you get lost try to find the bus tour signs.
Make a plan from the beginning of where you want to go and continue on your way by getting off at the places you want to get off in order and getting on again from the same place. In this way, you can see everything on the route you have prepared and you will not waste time passing through the same places over and over.
One of London’s must-haves is to take a boat ride on the famous River Thames. You can watch a magnificent city view by passing many important touristic places of the city with the boat tour, the duration of which varies from 30 minutes to 4 hours.
The Millennium Bridge, a pedestrian-only steel suspension bridge over the River Thames, connects the city’s Bankside district to the city centre. Don’t say you haven’t crossed London’s newest bridge, which opened in 2000! Moreover, you can capture very beautiful photo frames from where you are.
1. British Museum
The works exhibited in the British Museum have a magical beauty that cannot be described with words. England was once called ‘the land on which the sun never sets’. You can imagine how great England was back then.
They established an empire stretching from the islands of Oceania that we have not even heard of, to the continents of Asia, Europe and America. During the course of global expansion, Britain gathered millions of ancient artifacts from places they once ruled and brought here.
For example, it is possible to see the Rosetta Stone here. The hieroglyph, which remained an unsolved mystery for centuries, was deciphered with the help of this stone, which was found during Napoleon’s Egypt Campaign in 1798. The list of things to see in the British Museum is so long that it doesn’t end with describing it, so it should be included in your London trip itinerary.
The museum can be visited 6 days a week, except Friday, between 10.00-17.30, and on Fridays between 10.00-20.30. The museum is closed to visitors on January 1 and December 24-26. There is no entry fee for British Museum visitors.
2. Trafalgar Square
Trafalgar Square is one of the first places that tourists visit the city to get to know and explore the city. At all hours of the day, always chirpy, the icon of London, the most popular place for tourists. Take a tour around the square and take a breather in a cafe and watch the people.
There are many statues and fountains decorating the square. The famous Nelson’s Column is also located in this square, and just below it, 4 lions lie. This column, built in memory of Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson, who died in the Battle of Trafalgar, is one of London’s attractions.
Although he is not a living hero, the house of the famous detective of stories Sherlock Holmes and his assistant Doctor Watson has been arranged as a museum. Do not be surprised to see the items in the stories before you, start tracking immediately with a magnifying glass you will buy. Founded in 1824, the National Gallery is located in Trafalgar Square.
3. National Gallery
The National Gallery of London is an excellent place that art lovers should add to their list of places to visit in London. The National Gallery of London, which started its operations in 1824, attracts an average of 4-5 million tourists annually. It has a magnificent collection of around 2,300 paintings spanning the 13th to the 19th centuries.
Although not much of a collection, unlike other national museums in Europe, it houses most of the works of the most important painters, from Giotto to Cezanne. Its collection of works by famous artists such as Van Gogh, Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Monet, Titian, Rembrandt, Caravaggio and many more is definitely worth seeing. The best part is that the entrance to this amazing place is free.
The gallery is open to visitors between 10.00-18.00 on Fridays and 10.00-21.00 on Fridays. The gallery is closed to visitors from January 1 to December 24-26. There is no charge to enter the National Gallery.
4. Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace is the London residence of the British Royal Family. Many people go to the palace for the handover ceremony of the soldiers. It is truly a different experience to watch the motionless soldiers ‘at the ready’ in their striking red uniforms and their huge feathered hats.
In order not to miss this change, which is made only once a day, it is useful to get the information from your hotel or tour guide exactly what time the change will take place and go at that time. You may need to be there a while ago, bearing in mind that it is usually very crowded. Even if you can’t see it, it will still be a nice experience to just see the soldiers and take their pictures.
The best part of Buckingham Palace is that it is now open to the public. It is possible to buy your tickets from the area right next to it and visit both the garden and the interior. Of course, not all rooms are open to the public, but you can see most of them. Some rooms are extraordinarily beautiful. Before visiting, be sure to talk to your guide to see if it’s open, as it is sometimes closed for royal ceremonies.
Buckingham Palace is open to visitors between 09.30-19.30 (ticket sale ends at 17.15) from July 25 to August 31, and 09.30-18.30 (ticket sale ends at 16.15) from September 1 to August 31. Buckingham Palace entrance fee is £26.50, student ticket is £24.
5. Victoria and Albert Museum
The Victoria and Albert Museum was built in 1852 for Prince Albert and Queen Victoria. In addition to being the largest decorative art and design museum in the world, it is possible to find a piece of every culture in the museum, which contains 4.5 million pieces of art.
In the museum, where there are countless antiques and contemporary artifacts from almost all over the world, a wide collection of sculptures, costumes, household items, jewelry and silver from the Middle Ages is presented to the visitors. It is also possible to see print paintings, photographs and all kinds of painting and drawing works in this museum.
The Trial Hall , which is the place where those who are interested in sculptures should look first, consists of two huge rooms. The section with replicas of Trajan’s Column and Michelangelo’s Statue of David is quite large, at least 1 hour is required.
Victorian and Albert Museum visiting hours are 10:00-17:45. The museum is open to visitors on Fridays between 10:00 and 22:00. It is closed to visitors on January 1, May 1 and December 25. There is no entrance fee to the Victoria and Albert Museum. You can reach the museum, which is located in South Kensington in London, by buses 14, 430, 74 and C1.
The Royal Albert Hall , one of the most important cultural, artistic, event and organization venues in London, is also very close to here. The building, which is also called an architectural masterpiece with its magnificent architecture, impressive acoustics and interior decoration, was opened by Queen Victoria in 1871. The Royal Albert Hall can only be visited by tour.
The Natural History Museum , which is also very close to the Victoria and Albert Museum, is one of London’s most popular tourist attractions. It is possible to find materials in many different fields, from paleontology to botany and mineralogy. There are approximately 70 million minerals and fossils in total. In addition, besides the magnificent art gallery, very interesting manuscripts are also on display for visitors. Entry is free!
6. Palace of Westminster and Big Ben
The Palace of Westminster is the name of the building in the United Kingdom that houses the British Parliament, which consists of the House of Commons and the House of Lords. I’m guessing you’ve seen it perhaps hundreds of times on television or in photographs.
You can also visit the interior of the magnificent Parliament Building along the River Thames, and I personally highly recommend it. The tour you will purchase covers both the House of the People and the House of the Lord. It also contains information about many historical events that took place in this building. When you enter inside, you encounter the statue of Winston Churchill. It’s pretty shiny as one of her shoes is rubbed for good luck.
You will recognize the clock tower right at the corner of the building, as everyone knows, ‘ Big Ben ‘. Its official name is ‘Elizabeth Tower’. The 96m tall Big Ben is known as the world’s tallest tower with a 7m diameter clock on all four sides. After London’s ‘Jubilee Line’ subway tunnel was opened, it was noticed that the tower leans 46 cm to the left, and it was renovated and this restoration will continue until 2021.
7. Westminster Abbey
This giant gothic church, called Westminster Abbey (St. Peter’s Church), is located just across the parliament building. The monastery, which has a history dating back to 1080, was first built during the time of Mellius. This is the traditional coronation, the burial place of the British monarchs, and the burial of British royalty.
The coronation ceremonies, which started with King Harold and William in 1066, have always been held here, with a few exceptions. It is thought that the last coronation before the Norman invasion was held here. Only Edward V and VIII. It is known that Edward did not participate in these ceremonies. The abbey organ, made by Harrison in 1937 and consisting of 84 sound stops, was first used at the coronation of King George VI.
Kings and queens such as Henry III, Elizabeth I, Richard II, Chaucer, Wordsworh, Milton, TS Elliot, Keats, Sherley etc. This is where poets and writers such as Darwin and Newton are buried. This was the place where Princess Diana’s funeral was held after her death in 1997. Westminster Abbey should definitely be on the list of places to visit in London.
The cathedral is open to visitors 7 days a week between 09.30-15.00. Westminster Abbey entrance fee is £22 for online purchases and £24 for box office purchases. Students and visitors aged 65 and over are £19 for online purchases and £21 for box office purchases. You can visit the museum for free on the first Sunday of every month.
8. The London Eye
The London Eye has been almost the number one tourist attraction since it opened to the public in 2000. The difference of London Eye, one of the biggest Ferris wheels in the world, from other Ferris wheels is that you are in giant plexiglass boxes with dozens of people.
With a height of 135 m from the ground, it has the distinction of being the largest Ferris wheel in Europe. By the River Thames, it gives you a perfect view of the entire city without any hindrance. Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, St. Paul’s Cathedral and many more before your eyes.
A tour takes about 30 minutes. The London Eye experience is a good start for the first day to get an overview of London and get an idea of the size of the city. If you are thinking of going to the London Eye, choose a day when the weather in London is variable.
Check the weather on your smartphone or on weather.com. Considering that it is crowded almost every hour of the day and you have to wait in long lines, try to go early in the morning.
London Eye can be visited between 10.00-20.30 on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and between 10.00-18.00 on other days of the week. London Eye entrance fee is £30, student ticket £27, full ticket for online purchases £27, student ticket £16.
9. Tate Modern
Tate Modern is a museum displaying national and international works of modern art. In Tate Britain, one of London’s most valuable museums, valuable national artworks belonging to many artistic movements, including a wide historical scale from 16th century to 21st century British art, are exhibited.
Tate Modern can be visited from Sunday to Thursday between 10:00 and 18:00, and on Fridays and Saturdays between 10:00 and 22:00. There is no entrance fee to the Tate Modern.
10. Tower Bridge
Tower Bridge , on the other hand, is one of the symbols of the city, dating from the 19th century. You can also see many other symbols of the city from it. The Tower Bridge, built in 1894, is also an ornate example of the Victorian Era.
The bridge is open to visitors between 09:30 and 17:00 throughout the year. The bridge, which opened at 10.00 on January 1, is closed to visitors on 24-26 December. Tower Bridge entrance fee is £9.80, student ticket £6.80.
11. Tower of London
The history of the Tower of London dates back to 1078, when William, Duke of Normandy, invaded England and was later referred to as William the Conqueror of London. There have been many bloody events over the years in the complex, which has expanded since then. The tower is also known as the place where Henry VIII’s many wives were beheaded.
The tower also has a long standing belief/tradition. Legend has it that if the black ravens leave the tower, the Kingdom of England will perish. Today, unfortunately, ravens’ wings are clipped to prevent this from flying, but it is still an interesting experience to see these giant birds.
The most interesting part of the complex is the Crown Jewels. The collection in the Waterloo Shed building is truly worth seeing. Some are so big that you can’t help but wonder how a person can wear them.
The tower guards are quite entertaining and worth seeing. When you buy a tour here, one of these special guards in the tower guides you. On these tours, you see the Tower of London and learn about its history. Just outside the tower is the famous London Bridge. Did you know that the official name of the Tower of London is Her Majesty’s Royal Palace and Castle?
The tower can be visited from Tuesday to Saturday between 09.00-17.30 and on Sundays and Mondays between 10.00-17.30 during the summer period (March 1 – October 31). Tower of London entrance fee is £24.70, student ticket £19.30.
12. St. Paul Cathedral
st. Paul ‘s Cathedral is a masterpiece. The design of the cathedral, made of Portland stone, dates from the Renaissance period. This design is cited as a fine example of England’s understated baroque style. It was opened on October 20, the birthday of Sir Christopher Wren, the architect of the cathedral, which was completed in 1708. This design is cited as a fine example of England’s understated baroque style.
Although the funeral, baptism and wedding ceremonies of the British Royal Family are mostly held in Westminster Abbey, some ceremonies are held in St Paul’s Cathedral. One of the important events that took place in the cathedral is the marriage ceremony of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer. A ritual was held here for those who died after the collapse of the Twin Towers.
There are also 3 small chapels in the corridors that meet inside. The gigantic organ you will see inside is the third largest instrument in England, built in 1694. Featuring a total of 7,189 pipes and 108 tabs, the organ’s extraordinary outer casing was created by Grinling Gibbons.
If you dare to climb the 530-stepped staircase of the building, you can visit the Golden Gallery. Because this place has arguably one of the most beautiful views of London. The dome of St. It was inspired by St. Peter’s Basilica.
About 30 meters above the cathedral floor is the Whispering Gallery. This cellar, which contains more than 200 monuments, serves both the British Empire Chapel and the Treasury Department. In a grand theft case in 1810, almost all the valuable artifacts in the building were stolen.
Paul’s Cathedral visiting hours are 08.30-16.30. The cathedral is open to visitors 7 days a week. Paul’s Cathedral entrance fee £20, online purchases £17, discount tickets £17.50, online purchases £15.
Located in London’s Ludgate Hill area, the cathedral is connected to St. Paul’s station, on the District or Circle lines and at Mansion House station; You can reach it by getting off at Bank station using the Northern, Waterloo and City lines.
13. Piccadilly Square
Piccadilly Square (Piccadilly Circus) is located at the junction of Regent Street and Piccadily Street. With its close location to entertainment and shopping areas, it is one of the frequent destinations of domestic and foreign tourists. Also called the symbol of modern London, the square is like Times Square in New York. Getting to Piccadily is quite easy by metro.
The Shaftesbury Memorial Fountain, located in the square from 1893, was built in the name of Lord Shaftesbury, a philanthropist who loved to help poor people. One of the most beautiful of London’s fountains. The statue of Eros, located at the top of the bronze fountain, is made entirely of aluminum.
The London Music Hall, located between Shaftesbury Avenue and Coventry Street, was established in 1859 as a musical entertainment tent. Electronic billboards started hanging on its walls in 1923. The building was rebuilt in 1986, this time designed as a shopping center. It is certain that people who visit the music hall will be impressed by both its interior and exterior architecture.
The 600-seat Criterion Theater is located on the south side of Piccadily. What makes this theater so special is that it is completely underground, except for the box office at the entrance. In order to reach your seats, you have to go down a very long ladder to the ground. The theater, which is a very old building, was built in 1874.
14. Canary Wharf
Canary Wharf (Canary Wharf) is located in Tower Hamlets within the borders of London and is known as one of the centers of the financial and business sector. In fact, it can be called one of the two financial centers in London.
The pier was once one of the busiest trading ports in the world. Many huge buildings rise here, including the ‘One Canada Square’ building, the second tallest building in the UK.
15. Madame Tussauds London
London Madame Tussauds Museum is a museum that first opened as a wax sculpture museum in London and now has a branch in almost every major city in the world. Statues of famous movie stars, murderers, athletes and famous figures of history made by the sculptor Marie Tussauds is one of London’s gigantic exhibitions.
Combining charm and brilliance with history, the museum offers sculptures of David Beckham, Barack Obama, Lady Di, Lewis Hamilton, Kate Winslet and famous names of the royal family in 14 different exciting and interactive areas. It takes you on a special and full journey that no other standard museum can make you feel.
Madame Tussauds, one of the places to visit in London, has been flooded by millions of visitors from all over the world since it opened its doors 200 years ago. British Royal Family Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth, Princess Kate Middleton and Prince William are among the works exhibited in the museum.
London Zoo , one of the most beautiful places you can go with your children with 650 different species and 12,000 animals , has been home to giant animals such as giraffes since its establishment in 1828. Children can talk to sitters and watch them feed the animals. They may even volunteer to help if they want to help. In 2010, a rainforest section was added to the zoo, including animals such as marmoset monkeys.
Located behind Waterloo Train Station, Waterloo Graffiti Street is also known as Leake Street. The peculiarity of this street is the beautiful graffiti on its walls and amateur street artists who are always present throughout the day. My London Travel Guide blog post contains more detailed information about London.
Hosting Europe’s largest street carnival, Notting Hill is the most popular place for tourists, where costumed street performances are held with the Notting Hill carnival held every August. Portobello Road, where you can find the cheapest of everything in the city, is popular with flea markets and various shops.
Camden Town , an area in the north of the city with small shops, stalls, clubs, pubs and cafes, is considered the center of creativity in London. Sit in a cafe and enjoy being in London! Lie down in the shade of the trees, have a picnic if you wish, a walk if you wish, or have a little laziness. Whatever you do, you will feel the peace in Hyde Park.
You can listen to the best examples of classical music, jazz or rock music in the venues around Soho and Covent Garden, where the nightlife in London is the most colorful and vibrant. It is not possible to come to London, where the world’s best musicals are exhibited, and not go back without watching new or classical musicals every year. Moreover, the prices are not very high.
The most liked cafes of the city by tourists are waiting for you. Enjoy your meal. You can choose and order from the menus and wines of Sea Shell, Applebee’s, Poppies and Masters Super Fish, which are the right addresses for dining.
You don’t need to travel far to find green space in London. The capital Hyde Park has eight beautiful Royal Parks, including St James’s Park Richmond Park. Alternatively, you can visit one of the peaceful gardens such as Kew or Chelsea Physic Garden.
London is home to some of the best museums and galleries in the world, many of which are free. You can spend a few hours at the British Museum, the Tate Modern, the Natural History Museum or the Science Museum, where you can see all the artifacts without paying anything. Maybe you want to add it to the list of places to visit in London.