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London’s Best Sights & Attractions | Top Things To Do

London's Best Sights & Attractions | Top Things To Do
 
Keep reading to discover London’s Best Sights & Attractions.
 
If you’re visiting London you’re going to want to make sure you hit up all of the iconic spots of the city. That’s why I’ve listed out some of the top London landmarks and attractions to visit in London. I’ve also put my thoughts on each of them and suggested the best (and cheapest) ways to see them. First, let’s dig into some FAQ.
 
 

What are the best ways to buy tickets for London’s best sights & attractions?

There are two fool proof ways to buy tickets for London’s top attractions and landmarks. Before I tell you, I cannot stress enough that however, you book your tickets make sure you do in advance. If you don’t book in advance you are going to spend your ENTIRE trip queuing for tickets rather than actually experiencing London itself. The two best ticket options for London’s top attractions are The London Pass or individual tickets.
 
 

What is The London Pass?

The London Pass is a sightseeing credits package that gives you access to a choice of over 80 popular tourist attractions in the city using just one pass. It’s available for either 1, 2, 3, 6, or 10 consecutive days. You simply scan your mobile ticket or card at the gate and London Pass credits will be deducted as you enter each attraction. For more information on The London Pass, I have done a whole blog post about it here.

 

What are individual tickets?

Individual tickets are what they say on the tin. You buy separate tickets for each individual attractions rather than buying a pass that admits you to various places.

 

Which one should I go for?

In order to choose the right one I would ask yourself these questions:
 
1. What’s your budget?
2. Your length of time in London?
3. How many things do you want to see?
 
Once you’ve asked yourself these questions read the below and you’ll know which of these two options are best for you!
 
The London Pass is great if you want to visit 3 or more of the top attractions. For example, if you visit London Zoo, do a hop on bus tour and visit Westminster Abbey that will cost you £84. A one day London Pass is £75 and allows you to visit these, plus over 70 more attractions.
 
Individual tickets are good if you plan on just seeing one or two attractions when you’re in London as it’s going to work out more cost effective. For example, if you buy a London Pass but only want to visit the Tower of London it’s not going to be cost effective for you.

 

London’s Best Sights & Attractions

 

 Tower of London

The Tower of London is one of the world’s most famous castles dating back to 1070. With over 1000 years of history, it’s been used as a royal palace, a prison and even a zoo. What it’s most known for is being the home to the priceless Crown Jewels.  

Any Tips?  If you’ve got small kids children, The Tower of London provides family fun trails and interactive touchscreens to keep even the little ones happy.

Best Way to Book? It’s included in The London Pass or click here to buy Tower of London tickets.

London's Best Sights & Attractions | Top Things To Do (Picture of Tower of London)

 

 

Tower Bridge

Tower Bridge is a combined bascule and suspension bridge in London, built between 1886 and 1894. The bridge crosses the River Thames close to the Tower of London and has become an iconic symbol of London.

Any Tips? The banks of the river are where you are going to get the best view of the bridge rather than actually stood on it!

Best Way To Book? No booking required.

London's Best Sights & Attractions | Top Things To Do (Picture of the Tower of London)

 

 

Coca-Cola London Eye

The London Eye is 135-metre observation wheel that sits on the bank of the River Thames. It has 32 high tech glass capsules and takes about 30 minutes to do a full circle. You can see up to 40 kilometres across London on a clear day.

Any tips? The queues get very busy for The London Eye.  I’d highly recommend booking in advance.

Best way to book? The London Eye is not included in The London Pass. Click here to buy London Eye Tickets

London's Best Sights & Attractions | Top Things To Do (Picture of the London Eye)

 

 

Covent Garden

Covent Garden is a popular area of London’s West End. It was built in 1654 and originated as a goods market. It’s since become a hot spot for fashion, food and theatre.

Any tips? Go during the week if you can. The weekends get busy.

Best way to book?  No tickets required.

London's Best Sights & Attractions | Top Things To Do (Picture of Covent Garden Market)

 

 

Piccadilly Circus

Piccadilly Circus is the connecting area between two of London most popular areas, Regent Street and Piccadilly. It’s widely recognised around the word for its neon advertising screens and the statue of Eros.

Any tips? Honestly? It’s a little over rated and very crowed. Probably the most ‘touristy’ spot out of them all on this list. I understand, however,  it is iconic so you may want to visit. I would recommend you don’t block out too much time to visit and maybe pay a visit when you’re walking through the area on your way to better areas like Covent Garden or Green Park.

Best way to book?  No tickets required.

London's Best Sights & Attractions | Top Things To Do (Picture of Piccadilly Circus)

 

 

Buckingham Palace

No trip to London is complete without a visit to Buckingham Palace – the official London residence of the UK’s sovereigns since 1837 and today is the administrative headquarters of the Monarch. Buckingham Palace has 775 rooms. These include 19 Staterooms, 52 Royal and guest bedrooms, 188 staff bedrooms, 92 offices and 78 bathrooms. In measurements, the building is 108 metres long across the front, 120 metres deep (including the central quadrangle) and 24 metres high.

Any tips? The state rooms inside the palace are only open to visit between July and September. If you’re visiting outside of those months you can always stand outside and snap a picture of the exterior. It’s also worth going as early as if you want a picture outside the palace you’ll want to get there before 10 am as the crowds arrive. Also, if you want a complete ‘British’ Experience, make sure you catch the Changing of the Guard. The Changing of the Guard is a ceremony where The Queen’s Guard hands over responsibility for protecting Buckingham Palace and St. James’s Palace to the New Guard. It lasts approximately 45 minutes and is free to watch. This is only performed on certain days of the week so make sure you check the calendar here.

Best way to book?  Tours of Buckingham Palace are only available between July and September. Book your tour here.

London's Best Sights & Attractions | Top Things To Do (Picture of Buckingham Palace)

 

 

St Paul’s Cathedral

St, Paul’s Cathedral is one of the capital’s most iconic buildings. It was designed by Britain’s famed architect, Sir Christopher Wren as part of the major rebuilding of the City after the 1666 Great Fire of London. It is one of London’s most popular places of interest for its beautiful architecture and its rich history.

Any tips? Entry to St Paul’s is free during worshipping hours. However, to experience the entire cathedral tickets are required.

Best way to book?  It’s included in The London Pass or you can buy tickets for St Paul’s Cathedral here.

London's Best Sights & Attractions | Top Things To Do (Picture of St Paul's Catherdral)

 

 

Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey is a large gothic abbey church just across from another London icon, The Houses of Parliament. Most people know this beautiful building for the royal wedding of Kate and William, however since 1100, there have been 16 royal weddings. It is also the burial site for at least sixteen monarchs, eight Prime Ministers, scientists and military leaders.

Any tips? Go during the week if you can. The weekends get very busy.

Best way to book?  It is included in The London Pass or you can buy tickets to Westminster Abbey here.

London's Best Sights & Attractions | Top Things To Do (Picture of Westminster Abbey)

 

 

Houses of Parliament and Big Ben

The Houses of Parliament (or Palace of Westminster as its official name) is the home of and meeting place of the UK Parliament. Big Ben sits on the north end of the building and is is widely recognised around the world as an iconic symbol of London. It was built in 1859 and is currently undergoing 4 years of renovation.

Tips? Big Ben is undergoing a £61m refurbishment until summer 2021 so unfortunately if you’re reading this before then Ben will be covered in scaffolding. Not great for those pictures I’m afraid.

Best way to book?  Not included in The London Pass . Buy tickets for a guided tour of The House of Parliament here.

London's Best Sights & Attractions | Top Things To Do (Picture of Houses of Parliament and Big Ben)

 

 

London Parks

London has some stunning parks all over the city. 

Richmond – Greenwich – Hyde Park – Regents Park – Green Park – Hampstead Heath – Victoria Park – St James Park – Battersea Park

Check them all out here.

Any tips? Look at each park’s website for cycling rules within the grounds. There also maybe rules for BBQ’s and picnic areas so make sure you double-check before visiting.

Best way to book?  No tickets required.

London's Best Sights & Attractions | Top Things To Do (People sitting in a London park)

 

 

London Markets

London has some fantastic markets for food, gifts and antiques. Check out my blog post here of London’s top markets.

Any tips? The markets I’ve mentioned on my blog are open at a bunch of different times. Some are only in the week, others weekends only. Check each one before visiting. If you can visit during the week I’d highly recommend you do as the weekend get incredibly busy.

Best way to book?  No tickets required.

London's Best Sights & Attractions | Top Things To Do (Picture of Borough Market)

 

 

Museums and Galleries

There are over 50 museums and galleries in London so you’re sure to find something to suit everyone’s taste. There are bigger, more famous ones like the Tate Modern or The Natural History Museum or smaller, quirkier ones like The Sigmund Freud House or Whitechapel Gallery – the best thing is a lot of them are absolutely free!

 

Any tips? If you are interested in the quirkier museums The London Pass includes some really unique ones as part of the pass such as The Cartoon Museum and the Museum of Brands.

Best way to book?  Most of the museums I’ve listed above are free. However, some of them will have larger exhibitions that you will need to buy a ticket for. See individual websites for more information.

London's Best Sights & Attractions | Top Things To Do (Picture of a dinosaur in a museum)

 

 

The Shard

The Shard is a 95 storey skyscraper that dominates London’s skyline. It took three years to build from 2009 – 2011. Its name comes from that it was purposely built to look like a shard of glass. Inside are offices, bars, restaurants and a 360 degrees observation desk on the 72nd floor.

Any tips? The bar on the 32nd floor gives you a great view of London and you can visit there for the price of a drink. However, if you want to experience the full view of London the View From The Shard on the 72nd floor is best for you.

Best way to book?  It is included in The London Pass or you can buy tickets to The Shard here.

London's Best Sights & Attractions | Top Things To Do (Picture of The Shard)

 

Hampton Court

Hampton Court Palace is a historic royal palace in Richmond upon Thames that was once home to King Henry VIII. Inside this breathtaking building, you’ll get to walk through 60 acres of beautiful gardens, marvel at the grandeur of the staterooms and lose yourself in the maze. Audio guides are included in the palace ticket and costumed tours and talks happen daily. Also, there is an excellent programme of seasonal events.

Any tips? It’s a nice choice if you want to venture outside of Central London.

Best way to book?  It is included in The London Pass or you can buy tickets to Hampton Court Palace here.

London's Best Sights & Attractions | Top Things To Do (Picture of Hampton Court Palace)

 

 

London Zoo

London Zoo is the world’s oldest scientific zoo. It opened in 1828 and is today home to 673 specifies of animals and 19,289 individuals. A great place for adults and children alike.

Any tips? Make sure you plan your route inside the zoo to make the most of seeing all the animals they have. As well, there are lots of free talks, workshops and chances to touch the animals. Make sure you get a programme of events when you go in.

Best way to book?  It is Included in The London Pass or you can buy tickets to London Zoo here.

London's Best Sights & Attractions | Top Things To Do (Picture of a child feeding deer at London Zoo)

 

 

HMS Belfast

HMS Belfast is the most significant surviving Second World War Royal Navy warship, with a history that extends to the Arctic convoys, D-Day, the Cold War and Korea.  The ship is now permanently moored as a museum ship on the River Thames in London and is now operated by the Imperial War Museum. Keep a lookout up on the flag deck where you can get amazing 360-degree views of London, and delve deeper into the boiler and engine rooms 15ft below sea level.

Best way to book?  It is included in The London Pass or you can buy individual tickets here.

London's Best Sights & Attractions | Top Things To Do (Picture of HMS belfast)

 

 

Kew Gardens

Kew Gardens is a botanical garden in southwest London that houses the “largest and most diverse botanical and mycological collections in the world”. Founded in 1840, the collection includes more than 30,000 different kinds of plants and is one of London’s top tourist attractions and is a World Heritage Site.

Any tips? Go during the week if you can. The weekends get busy.

Best way to book?  It is included in The London Pass or  you can buy tickets for Kew Gardens here.

 

London's Best Sights & Attractions | Top Things To Do (Picture of Kew Gardens)

 

 

Football/Tennis Stadiums

London is home to some of the biggest football clubs in the world including Wembley, Chelsea and Arsenal. Most of the stadiums offer tours where you can explore behind the scenes, sit in the changing room and walk down the tunnel and hear the roar of 60,000 fans.

Best way to book?  You can book your tickets here for  Arsenal, Wembley, Chelsea and Wimbledon tours or if you buy The London Pass it includes entry into all of the above plus many more!

London's Best Sights & Attractions | Top Things To Do (Picture of a football stadium)

 

 

Monument

The Monument to the Great Fire of London, more commonly known simply as the Monument, is a Doric column situated near the northern end of London Bridge. It was built to commemorate the Great Fire of London, it stands 202 feet west of the spot in Pudding Lane where the Great Fire started on 2 September 1666.

Any tips? Don’t bring luggage. Visitors with large bags will not be able to enter. All other bags will be searched.

Best way to book?  It is included in The London Pass or you can buy individual tickets here.

London's Best Sights & Attractions | Top Things To Do (Picture of the monument to fire of London)

 

Walks

The best way to explore London is on foot where you can take in its beauty and rich history for free! I recommend you take my free sightseeing walking tour.

Any tips? Wear comfy shoes and bring water.

Best way to book?  No tickets required.

London's Best Sights & Attractions | Top Things To Do (Picture of a couple walking holding hands)

 

 

London Theatres

Next to New York, London is the theatre capital of the world. It’s home to some of the most groundbreaking pieces of theatre ever created and shows like Les Miserables, Phantom Of the Opera and The Mousetrap are still running 30 years on. In just the ‘West End’ of the city alone there are 38 theatres and that’s not including the more artistic establishments around the city. A trip to London is not complete without seeing a show.

Any tips? DO NOT buy tickets from the ticket vendors in Piccadilly Circus. They add on an extortionate booking fee to your ticket which means, for example, your £40 ticket could be one at a value of £30 with a £10 booking fee! London also has a great day seat incentive where you can queue up at the theatre on the day of the show at 10 am to catch a limited number of tickets for much cheaper then they would usually be. See more information about which theatres do day seats here.

Best way to book?  Go to the box office of the show you want to see to check if they have tickets first. The theatres themselves do not charge any bookings fees so you could save yourself around £8 per ticket.  If you want to book in advance I’d recommend these reputable companies to book through –  Encore, See Tickets and London Theatre Direct

London's Best Sights & Attractions | Top Things To Do (Picture of a London theatre)

 

 

Harry Potter Locations

If you’re a Harry Potter fan you’ll know London is the place to be to experience the magic in real life. It’s home to many of the locations you’ll have read about in the books and also where JK Rowling was inspired to write it. It’s also home to the world-famous studio tour and award-winning play Harry Potter and The Cursed Child. See the recommended Harry Potter Experiences below.

Best way to book?  I’ve linked each bullet point to the best place to book.

London's Best Sights & Attractions | Top Things To Do (Picture of a Slytherin Robe)

 

Trafalgar Square

Trafalgar Square is a public square named after Britain’s victory in the battle of Trafalgar in 1805. The large open space in Westminster features some of London’s top attractions including galleries and historic buildings to statues and monuments. The square has been a place for protests, demonstrations and large-scale events, which continues to this day.

Any tips? Don’t feed the pigeons 🙂

Best way to book?  No booking required.

London's Best Sights & Attractions | Top Things To Do (Picture of Trafalgar Square)

 

Thank you for reading London’s Best Sights & Attractions.  This page contains affiliate links which means NOTSOBASICLONDON gets a small percentage if you buy a product from this page. This is at no extra cost to you and doing so helps to run this blog. Thank you in advance.

London's Best Sights & Attractions | Top Things To Do

 

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