Planning a trip to London? Do you know what London attractions you want to see?
Maybe you need a few ideas.
I’m here to help.
If I’d have to guess, I’d say there are way over 1000 London attractions to see, counting the museums, landmarks and other sights.
It may be hard to decide what to see. Let me give you some ideas of what you may want to see and do while in London.
Here are a dozen of my top picks.
12 Great London Attractions
- Westminster Abbey
- Speakers Corner – Hyde Park
- The Tower of London
- River Cruise down the Thames to Greenwich
- St. Paul’s Cathedral
- Piccadilly Circus
- The British Museum
- Parliament/Big Ben
- Buckingham Palace
- Trafalgar Square
- The London Eye
Westminster Abbey is incredible. It is one of the most important Gothic buildings in all of England.
It is loaded with a treasure trove of paintings, stained glass, various artifacts, sculptures and more.
It is the final resting place of many famous historical figures from Isaac Newton to
Queen Elizabeth I.
The Abbey has hosted coronations since the days of William the Conqueror.
Admission is approximately $30 but well worth it. I would say 90 minutes to 2 hours is enough time for a short tour of the Abbey, but you’ll probably want to stay for longer.
It is gorgeous, grand, and the center of London. Try to go early, this is a popular attraction. The Abbey opens at 8:30 AM and the latest you can visit is 4:30 PM.
Speaker’s Corner can be bustling with people on Sunday afternoons.
Take some time on any given Sunday afternoon to visit Hyde Park and go by Speaker’s Corner.
You will experience a wide variety of very passionate speakers attempting to persuade, sway, and stir up those in the crowd.
Sometimes somewhat unnerving with their sermon, perhaps somewhat frenzied, sometimes over the top, but entertaining nevertheless.
It will leave you with a picture of the different ideas and issues which make up our society.
It may be a little out of your comfort zone, but it is a worthy experience.
Tower of London is among the most famous of the world’s buildings. The 900 year old Tower of London has a storied history that includes use as a royal palace, a frightening prison, and the
site of many an execution.
Today, the Tower of London houses the Crown Jewels and other wonderful artifacts. It is very interesting on so many levels.
Be sure to go on a tour with a guide, which is included in the admission. They are very informative, fun, and funny.
You will get the history of the tower and see the Crown Jewels. The tower history is long and so much has happened there. This is a don’t miss kind of experience.
River Cruise Down the Thames to Greenwich was a very enjoyable experience. There are several types of boats and tours you can take to make the 30 minute trek to Greenwich.
You can take a private tour or you can take TRS – The Thames River Services.
The sites are plentiful and beautiful. Just to name a few you will pass: Westminster Bridge, The London Eye, Tower Bridge and many more beautiful sights.
Once you get to Greenwich there is so much to see. The view of London’s skyline from Greenwich is gorgeous.
St. Paul’s Cathedral is truly a gorgeous spectacle to see. For approximately $25 we were a little leery to take the tour, but glad we did.
You get a hand held audio and video device for your self guided tour. It is absolutely gorgeous inside and out.
For the most panoramic views in all of London you can scale the interior of the dome. But you will have to trek 500 and some stairs to do so. Think you can do it?
Piccadilly Circus is a great place to people watch. It is buzzing with people. There are street performers, shops and restaurants all around.
It is near a lot of attractions and just a fun place to check out. It is near the theater district and that is another great area to explore.
Harrods is exquisite. Walking into the main floor and into cosmetics was stunning. Absolutely amazing.
Harrods remains at the height of British luxury retail, attracting millions of customers from across the globe.
It is one of the most distinguished names in the world.
It consists of 7 floors and 330 departments that showcase the best of luxury merchandise, from high-end fashion, accessories, finest housewares and the latest technology.
You won’t want to miss this extravagant iconic department store. If only to have a bite or drink in one of their 32 amazing restaurants.
The British Museum is world famous with fantastic exhibits that span prehistoric times to the modern era.
This family-friendly destination has a little something for everyone. Some highlights include an Ancient Egypt collection, complete with mummies, the fabled Parthenon sculptures,
and the Rosetta stone.
Admission is free, however tickets are required for some special exhibitions. Be sure to visit the museum’s website while planning your visit to London, as exhibits change quite often.
Taking a walk to get to this destination was beautiful. Such history all around.
Seeing the majestic building and Big Ben up close is really awe inspiring.
Once you get to the building there is strict security, so checking in takes a little extra time, but necessary.
We took the 90 minute audio guided tour and it was very informative and interesting. I’ve talked to people who have taken the guided tour and they were very pleased as well.
So much history. Again, try to go early. Less people in the morning and the security check line may be longer in the afternoons.
Big Ben and Parliament
Buckingham Palace is closed to the public except for the summer months when the Queen goes on holiday.
At that time part of the palace is open to the public.
One can wander through 19 lavishly furnished state rooms. You may also go out into part of the gardens (the largest private gardens in London).
The rest of the year, you can only gaze through the gates at the imposing facade. This is also where The Changing of the Guard happens, when the Foot Guards of the Household Regiment, who guard the royal family, change shifts.
I haven’t been on a tour, just got to gaze through the gates. It was still a very impressive site to see.
Trafalgar Square is a great location for meeting friends. There are tons of shops and cafes in every direction as well free galleries.
Often spectacular events are in the square and it is very close to all London’s major attractions. The 145 foot high monument of a statue of Lord Nelson which is guarded by lions marks the spot considered the center of London.
The London Eye is a giant Ferris wheel on the South Bank of the River Thames.
It was the tallest viewing point in London until it was superseded by the Shard, a 95 story skyscraper in London which has an observation deck on the 72nd floor.
The eye is the most popular paid tourist attraction in the UK with over 3 million visitors annually. It has amazing views of the city of London. It also looks pretty cool at night.
- With all of these attractions and sites you need to do a little research
- The one’s that have an admission fee attached especially. You may want to buy your tickets online and ahead of time
- Some allow you to purchase one to two months in advance. Most will save you a buck or two and may save you a lot of headaches if you buy them online and in advance
- Most of those attractions are usually most busy in the afternoons, so you want to try to get an early start to an attraction each morning
I hope my suggestions will help guide you in your decision making on choosing some great London Attractions to visit on your vacation to London.
Have a great time and an amazing adventure.