London, the capital city of England, is full of history, entertainment and unique sights. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, welcoming over 30 million tourists from all over the world. You can explore a city made of glass, watch a local football game or tour a 400-year-old building. Regardless of your interests, London has something for you.
Big Ben and Parliament
Figuring out what to visit in London isn't easy, but the Houses of Parliament and Elizabeth Tower are among the world's most iconic landmarks, and visiting them is an absolute must. In fact, you can take a tour of Parliament at the Palace of Westminster even when Parliament isn't in session.
Westminster Abbey is one of the most historically significant churches in the world. Take a guided tour of the church where a verger will lead you on an educational tour to the most important parts of the church, including the Tomb of Saint Edward the Confessor and the Lady Chapel.
The British Museum
The British Museum boasts roughly 8 million works in its permanent collection, making it one of the world's largest and most comprehensive museums. Important treasures include the famed Rosetta Stone, a collection of cat mummies, a colossal head of Amenhotep II, the Sutton Hoo ship burial helmet, and an original Easter Island statue. After touring the museum, head to the Palm Court at Kimpton Fitzroy London for afternoon tea. You'll want to savor some refreshments before heading onto Oxford Street for world-class shopping.
Famous for its iconic fountain and scrolling electronic billboards, Piccadilly Circus is one of the busiest squares in London. Many have likened it to New York's Times Square, although London's version currently only has one building carrying the electronic displays.
The Shard, sometimes referred to as the Shard of Glass, is one of the most recognizable sights in all of London. It is the tallest building in Western Europe at 1,016 feet high and is built with over 11,000 glass panels. This vertical city is not only home to some of London's most iconic residents, but it also has some of the best restaurants, shops and attractions in the capital. Begin your experience at the Shard by checking out The View, a viewing gallery that is 95-stories tall and offers you a 360-degree view of the city.
Take in a football game at the famous Wembley Stadium. Wembley Stadium hosts major football matches including the FA Cup Final. You can also experience concerts from some of the top musicians in England including the Spice Girls and The Who. You will also find plenty of refreshments options within Wembley Stadium. No scheduled events during your travel? No problem. You can take a behind-the-scenes tour of the Wembley Stadium which takes you to the dressing rooms, press conference room and into the famous Royal Box.
London's pedestrianized Leicester Square is an entertainment epicenter and cultural hub attracting over 2.5 million visitors each week. Leicester Square offers some of the best theaters and shows in the city, not to mention unparalleled shopping and dining destinations. Be sure to enjoy a drink at the Hotel Indigo rooftop bar to enjoy stunning views of the city. From award-winning West End musicals to expansive family-friendly stores, Leicester Square has something for all ages.
The Somerset House sits atop the River Thames with memorable views of the Waterloo Bridge. The architecture of the building dates back to 1776 when Sir William Chambers replaced a historical Tudor palace. Today, the Somerset House displays London's top artists including their photography, storytelling and illustrations.
The Kew Gardens, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is home to over 50,000 living plants. The gardens are decorated with vibrant artwork and beautiful glasshouses. For a truly memorable experience, check out one of their unique tours like the Kitchen Garden Tour or the Introduction to the Gardens, for first-time visitors.
In the heart of central London lies Borough Market—a sprawling market where you can buy fresh fruits, vegetables, bread and specialty foods. Borough Market is one of the oldest and largest in all of London with a history that dates back to the 12th century. Enjoy the experience as you check out the hidden passageways and historic buildings that make up the market.
Tower of London
Serving as both a prison and a palace, the Tower of London has played many roles in England's long and storied history. The World Heritage Site currently houses the Crown Jewels; you can see this astounding collection of 23,578 gemstones up close during your tour. The Tower of London is also home of the Royal Mint, the Beefeaters and educational exhibits.
To make the most of your trip to the Tower of London, skip the lines and purchase your tickets online. You can also get a London Pass, which gives you fast-track entry to attractions like the Tower, a Hop-On-Hop-Off Bus Tour, Kensington Palace, Westminster Abbey and more.
The London Eye
To enjoy one of the best views in London, take a ride on the London Eye. Centrally located in the heart of the capital opposite the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben, the London Eye stands at 135 meters as the world's tallest cantilevered observation wheel. The ride provides you with a breathtaking 360-degree view of London's skyline and famous landmarks.
Hyde Park is the largest of the four Royal Parks that make up the entryway to the Kensington Palace. You can honor Diana, Princess of Wales, by reflecting at the Memorial Fountain or stroll through the serene Rose Garden. Other popular activities at the park include tennis, horseback riding, and biking. There are also often concerts and rallies held within the park. To make the most of Hyde Park, consider staying at the luxury InterContinental London Park Lane Hotel.
Whether you enjoy tasting the best culinary dishes or you want to explore the exciting, rich history of the city, London has it. You can fill a long weekend or two full weeks with sightseeing and eating and still have attractions to visit. Regardless of what you do, ensure you get a good night's sleep so you don't miss a thing.