Feb 3, 2019
When the Romans founded the city of Londinium almost 2 millenniums ago, it would have been hard for everyone to imagine the fast-growing city it has become. And being a multicultural city with a population of about 9 million inhabitants, London continues to grow and look to the future. Among many famous landmarks such as the Buckingham Palace or the Houses of Parliament, we are going to find a place with the best possible views of the area and much more. So sit down comfortably and let me show you what to see in London.
In this short series of two articles, we will discover everything the capital and the largest city in the UK standing on both sides of the River Thames has to offer its visitors. I have been to London twice and absolutely fell in love with it so let’s see why.
What to see in Lucerne What to see in Lucerne What to see in Lucerne Pilatus Pilatus Pilatus
We’ll begin our trip in the same centre
It is always better to visit the Eye in the morning after opening. The queue can take up to an hour when you join it in the afternoon, especially during weekends.
This view from the top of the wheel shows the area of Westminster with one of the most iconic and photographed landmarks in the city – the Houses of Parliament. So let’s move on and walk a few minutes to get there.
Houses of Parliament
Overlooking the River Thames is the honey-coloured Palace of Westminster, also known as the Houses of Parliament. It consists of the House of Commons, which proposes the laws, and the House of Lords.
The distinguished tower, often wrongly called the Big Ben, is actually the Elizabeth Tower. Strictly speaking, the great bell hanging inside is actually Big Ben, however, this name is better-known.
What you see in the right part of the wide picture above is the Westminster Bridge connecting embankment with the London Eye with Westminster.
In a shadow of the Houses of Parliament is the Westminster Abbey. All coronations of English monarchs take place between walls of this church.
Remembrance Day or informally known as Poppy Day is a memorial event on the 11th November to remember soldiers who died for the country in world wars. Red poppies are the symbol of this day which is observed in countries of Commonwealth. This photo was taken in front of the Westminster Abbey where many people put their paper-made flowers to commemorate the casualties.
Slowly walking through Whitehall, we are meeting Downing Street. The protected area in the centre of London is situated off the governmental Whitehall and is the official residence of the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. 10 Downing Street is the address of that grey house, which is currently an office of Theresa May.
The Square is greatly recognizable for its centrepiece, the 56-m high Nelson’s Column built in honour of naval hero Lord Nelson who was fatally wounded in the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805.
The British National Gallery in the left picture with its cupola closes the square. It houses more than 2400 paintings dating from the 13th century to the 20th one. It’s one of the most visited galleries in the world. Moreover, entry to the main collection is free of charge.
The Trafalgar Square is well-known for pigeons as there are really many of them. You will also meet a couple of buskers and street artists performing their shows or painting various images.
Covent Garden has been the first market with fruit and vegetables in London. It was used for that purpose from the 17th century to early 1970s when the area was transformed into a complex of small shops, restaurants and cafés. It’s also a popular place among street entertainers as well as the Trafalgar Square. You can sit down, order a cup of traditional English Tea and just enjoy the time together with other people.
The area around Covent Garden is also known as ‘Theatreland’ and is London’s famous theatre district with dozens of venues nearby.
The London Transport Museum is just next to the passage offering its visitors a chance to engage with the past and present of transportation in London.
Just a short walk from the Covent Garden is Piccadilly Circus, a busy road junction in London’s West End. The place is well-known for its colourful displays and neon signs mounted on a corner building.
The Shaftesbury Memorial Statue in the centre of the plaza is a popular relaxation place for tourists.
Before going towards the Square, we will first make our way through Chinatown recognizable for big and nicely decorated gates and many restaurants offering typical Chinese cuisine.
Leicester Square is the beating public heart of London. Being home to some of the best cinemas and theatres in the city, it attracts millions of visitors each month as many red carpet film premieres take place here.
Odeon Luxe is the first Dolby Cinema in the United Kingdom.
We have made a circle through Theatreland and London’s West End and come back to Trafalgar Square, from where it is just a short walk to Horse Guards with its parade ground and home of the Household Cavalry. Although still used by the military, one part featuring a museum is open to the public.
At the end of famous red The Mall, just next to St. James’s Park sits the Buckingham Palace. This splendid building has been the official London residence of British monarchs since 1837. It is rare to see the palace’s frontage without a sea of visitors, especially when the Changing the Guard ceremony takes place at 11 AM, usually with musical support. Presence of Her Majesty the Queen is indicated by fluttering Royal Standard from a flagpole. You are able to buy tickets to see some of the magnificent State Rooms for 10 weeks during summer when the Queen stays at her Scottish home, Balmoral. The price is around £25 per adult.
St. James’s Palace
The Tudor St. James’s Palace was the official royal residence after the Whitehall Palace burned down in
Within a short walk through Knightsbridge is Harrods, the largest department store in Europe. Although selling mainly luxury goods, it has a part with souvenirs for tourists.
Part of London called Kensington is home to three of the best-loved museums in the city, all of those located just within a few steps from each other. The Natural History Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Science Museum. The first one, shown in the pictures above, houses thousands of specimens of the flora and fauna from pre-historic ages until now. The Victoria and Albert Museum educates in art, design and manufacturing whereas the Science Museum presents science in a friendly way. I visited the Natural History Museum which has free entry.
Royal Albert Hall
The Hall is one of the most popular concert venues in London. Especially known for ‘the Proms’, the Henry Wood Promenade Concerts, that take place every year.
This is the end of part one. Continue reading with the second article.