Seeing London once should be on the goal list of any traveler’s. The United Kingdom is on almost everyone’s bucket list. An easy and inexpensive flight from the east coast of North America, London is a popular jumping off point for travelers embarking on the classic backpacking, or summer trip to Europe, and for students who are off on their first big adventure, dreaming of hostels and wild nights. The continent is equally popular with retirees who are off on leisurely boat trips along the canals, or supported cycle tours through the countryside.
From prison to palace, treasure vault to private zoo, the magnificent Tower of London has fulfilled many different roles down the centuries. One of Britain’s most iconic structures, this spectacular World Heritage Site offers hours of fascination for visitors curious about the country’s rich history – after all, so much of it happened here. Inside the massive White Tower, built in 1078 by William the Conqueror, is the 17th-century Line of Kings with its remarkable displays of royal armaments and armor. Other highlights include the famous Crown Jewels exhibition, the Beefeaters, the Royal Mint, and gruesome exhibits about the executions that took place on the grounds. The adjacent Tower Bridge, its two huge towers rising 200 feet above the River Thames, is one of London’s best-known landmarks. For the best use of your time, especially during the busy summer season, purchase the Tower of London Entrance Ticket Including Crown Jewels and Beefeater Tour in advance, to bypass the ticket office lines. This ticket guarantees the lowest price, helps avoid the crowds, and saves time and hassle.
Hyde Park is possibly the most famous park in London, and it is one of the largest. The park has historical significance, having hosted a number of demonstrations and protests including protests by the Suffragettes. The park’s famous Speaker’s Corner is still occupied by debates, protests, and performance artists every week. The park is home to several memorial features, as well as two bodies of water, the most famous being the Serpentine. Here you can go paddle-boating, see a number of swans, and take in a breath of fresh air in the center of the city. A must-visit.
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Trafalgar Square is situated in Westminster and is considered one of the biggest in London. The square was named after the battle of Trafalgar, a victory over the French fleet by Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson. Today, the square features some of the most popular attractions in London and has been a place for many protests, demonstrations, and large-scale events. Wander around the square to find the famous Trafalgar Square lions or snap a selfie with one of the bronze statues in each corner. The North-East part of the square is home to the fabulous St Martin-in-the-Fields church. Cost: Entry to Trafalgar Square is free.
Hyde Park is situated in the heart of London and is known for its greenery, open spaces, and numerous monuments. It was opened to the public in 1637 and is the largest royal park in London. Bordering the south-west edge of the park is the Serpentine, a man-made lake. The lake flows to other parks and landmarks and is popularly used for boating and swimming (mostly by the Royal bloods). The Memorial Fountain for the late Princess of Wales (Diana), The Rose Garden, and Speakers’ Corner are also notable attractions.
This is the place to visit if you’re interested in London’s history. The Museum of London documents the history of London from prehistoric times right up to today. It’s about Londoners as much as the city as the people have made the city what it is today. Learn about London from the days when the whole population would fit on one double-decker bus! Make sure you see the Lord Mayor’s Coach, which was built in 1757 and is still used every year for the Lord Mayor’s Show.