Here’s a list of my thoughts on some of the sights and landmarks in London. These are just places to make sure you see, my list of places you can actually visit is in Attractions.
Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament: Probably one of London’s biggest attractions. The houses of Parliament are really an incredible feat of architecture and sit right on the Thames in Westminster. You can actually go inside Parliament if you book a tour really far in advance, but most people never actually go inside. The best place to get your picture with Big Ben is to walk halfway across Westminster Bridge and then to get your picture looking back. (Tube Stop: Westminster)
Tower Bridge and London Bridge: They are not the same thing. Tower Bridge is the iconic suspension bridge with the two towers – do not mistake it for London Bridge. London Bridge is one bridge down from Tower Bridge. It’s not very exciting and not really worth a visit. It just has a famous past for burning down like 5 times. Tower Bridge is definitely worth a visit, mostly because it’s in a great area, with city hall on one side and the Tower of London on the other. There is a museum in the tower which is interesting, but definitely not a top attraction. (Tube Stop: Tower Hill)
Buckingham Palace: Honestly, there’s not really much to see at Buckingham Palace. It’s neat to peek through the gate and imagine the life the Queen is living inside, but as far as the royal palaces go, it’s pretty much the most boring one. If the flags are flying, it means the Queen is home. Make sure you try your hardest to get the palace guards to laugh at you! (Tube Stop: Green Park or St. James’s Park)
Piccadilly Circus: Also known as the Times Square of London. Again, not really a whole lot to see aside from some billboards, but it’s in a great area of London as well, with lots of shopping, restaurants, theatre, and clubs nearby. Chinatown is right around the corner and worth a visit, as is Oxford Street, Leicester Square, Covent Garden, and Trafalgar Square. (Tube Stop: Piccadilly Circus)
Covent Garden: A great place to go on a weekend afternoon. You can eat lunch in a cafe, watch street performers, and do some shopping! I love the atmosphere at Covent Garden! (Tube Stop: Covent Garden)
Trafalgar Square: I love Trafalgar Square! It’s tourist central and always busy, but I love it. It’s a huge square in front of the National Gallery, with Nelson’s Column at the front along with the big stone lions and large fountains. There’s always events going on in Trafalgar Square and there’s always street performers. I love the backdrop of the National Gallery and it is a must to climb up and take your picture with the lions! (Tube Stop: Charring Cross or Embankment)
The Strand: The Strand runs along the Thames just down from Trafalgar Square. You can start at Westminster Bridge and walk down along the river past the Embankment, Cleopatra’s Needle, Temple, and on towards London Bridge. I love just walking along the river enjoying the sights! (Tube Stop: Embankment)
The South Bank: Essentially just the other side of the river. You can walk from the London Eye all the way up to Borough Market, the Shard, and Tower Bridge. I actually like this side of the river better. The Shard is the huge, newly constructed glass building that was designed to look like a shard of glass. Sometimes it glows different colours at night! (Tube Stop: Waterloo or London Bridge)
Notting Hill and Portobello: See my page on Shopping page on Portobello Market. This is a more posh area of town, located at the far end of Hyde Park and made famous by Julia Roberts in Notting Hill. It has lots of charity shops and of course, the famous Portobello Market! While you there, you can also take a pop over to Kensington Palace or a walk through Hyde Park! (Tube Stop: Notting Hill Gate)
Knightsbridge: Home to the famous Harrods and Harvey Nichols Department Stores! Worth a browse, but not the money. See my Shopping page. (Tube Stop: Knightsbridge)
Oxford Street: Home to a number of famous department stores and of course, Primark and Topshop. Definitely worth walking down this street, starting at Tottenham Court Road and ending at Marble Arch. See my Shopping Page. (Tube Stop: Oxford Circus)
Abbey Road: I’ve never visited it myself, but you can stop by if you fancy re-creating the Beatles famous pose on the crosswalk. The only trouble is it’s a bit outside central London. (Tube Stop: Kilburn or West Hampstead)
Baker Street: 221b Baker Street, birthplace of Sherlock Holmes. Again, I’ve never visited it, but I kind of wish I did just to snap a photo. Plus, the BBC films Sherlock in the area sometimes! (although not actually on Baker Street) (Tube Stop: Baker Street)
Millennium Bridge: Featured in lots of movies, it’s my favourite place to cross the Thames. There’s always guys roasting chestnuts on it that smell delicious and it gives you a great view up and down the river. It crosses by the Tate Modern and Shakespeare’s Globe on the south side and St. Paul’s Cathedral on the north. You may have seen it in Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince being dismantled by death eaters! (Tube Stop: St. Paul’s)
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