If you plan to visit London for the first time or if you go only for a small weekend, you may have too much time to explore the different parts of the British capital, or even to discover its unusual side. So for those who want to spend a stay in London and do not know all this great city, here are some essential ideas of things to do. And you’ll have a pleasant surprise to realize that there are lots of free things to see.
1. The British Museum
The world-famous British Museum exhibits the works of man from prehistoric to modern times from around the world. The best exhibits include the Rosetta Stone, the Parthenon frieze or mummies of ancient Egypt. Admission is free, but some special exhibitions require tickets.
2. Tate Modern
Sitting majestically on the banks of the Thames, the Tate Modern is Britain’s national modern and contemporary art museum. Its unique shape is due to the fact that in the building of a former power station. Restaurants in the gallery offer a magnificent view over the city. Admission is free as well.
3. London Bridge
This bridge is recognizable among all those in London and is known by millions of visitors. However, it is present in the London landscape since 1973. You can visit the interior with the Tower Bridge Experience. But if you do not have time for this and you want to join directly attractions, you can just cross looked after.
4. The Tower of London
The Tower of London is the capital in its most historic side. This is really the heart of the kingdom, where every brick tells a story, and his story is an inexhaustible source of intrigue. Visit the Tower of London with one of the Yeomen Warders (guard) which will take you around the enclosure. Discover its history of nearly a millennium where the fortress is seen as a prison and place of execution, arsenal, royal palace, today housing the crown jewels. Contemplate White and cross rooms where medieval kings lived Tower.
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5. Westminster Abbey
Steeped in history and tradition, the pillars of this great Christian building support walls the final resting place of men and women who built England. Not only is it a landmark, but the Abbey continues to play an active role in the life of the nation, the coronation of the kings royal weddings (including that of Prince William and Kate Middleton in 2011) and the National Funeral .
6.’s St. Paul’s Cathedral
The masterpiece of Sir Christopher Wren is sure to leave you breathless. Climb the huge dome, one of the largest in the world, to discover the unusual acoustics of Whispering Gallery (whispering gallery), and even higher in the Golden Gallery for a panoramic view of London.
7. Buckingham Palace 7.
This is not the largest nor the most beautiful royal residences, but the palace in the center of London is nevertheless essential to have a glimpse of what the life of the royal family. The opulent state rooms open to the public is amazing, not to mention the collection of porcelain and carriages in the “Queen’s Gallery” and “Royal Mews” (stables).
8. Changing of the Guard at Buckingham
Although the role of the Queen is now largely symbolic, the guard still patrolling in front of Buckingham Palace. This impressive ceremony is composed of the Old Guard uniforms brilliant, shouting commands on military tunes. It takes place in the forecourt of the palace and we see the guards off duty from his hand to the new guard.
9. Palace of Westminster (Houses of Parliament) and Big Ben
For over 500 years, the Palace of Westminster was sitting where the two Houses of Parliament called the House of Commons and House of Lords. The Gothic building was designed by the Victorian architect Sir Charles Barry. Big Ben, the great bell of the clock tower (Clock Tower), was suspended in 1858 and strikes the hours while four small bells quarter of an hour. Westminster Hall is the only surviving part of the original Westminster Palace, whose construction dates back to 1097.
10. The London Eye
The London Eye is a major feature of the London skyline. This Ferris wheel offers some of the best views of London from its 32 capsules, each weighing 10 tonnes and up to 25 people. Climb aboard for a wonderful experience, giving an unforgettable view over 55 of the most famous monuments of London, all in just 30 minutes!
11. The National Gallery
Overlooking Trafalgar Square, the National Gallery in London is a vast museum filled with paintings of Western Europe from the 13th to 19th centuries. In this famous art gallery, you can find works by masters such as Van Gogh, da Vinci, Botticelli, Constable, Renoir, Titian and Stubbs. Admission is free.
12. The Hampton Court Palace
This idyllic palace on the banks of the Thames so captivated Henry VIII it became the headquarters of the British monarchy and remained so for centuries. Tudor charm, enhanced by the style of Sir Christopher Wren, and a picturesque setting make it a great trip. Not even the hard commander Oliver Cromwell, who moved here in 1653, was able to resist her charms.
13. Kensington Palace and Gardens
Kensington Palace (or Kensington Palace) is a royal residence set in Kensington Gardens. It is currently the official residence of Prince William and Duchess Kate. It is nice to walk around the palace built in the early 17th century.
14. Shopping, out in pubs
We return to activities to do for a second (or nth) living in London later, but every trip to London is usually accompanied by a little shopping in the famous shops of the capital, and of course a good meal or a pint of beer in a typical English pub.