London, the capital of England, is a thriving metropolis that is a major destination that attracts visitors for its iconic landmarks, excellent restaurants, historic museums, great shopping and cool night life.
The city will tempt you with anything from browsing vintage boutiques on Portobello Road, to duck feeding at Hyde Park, a touch of royalty at the Changing of the Guard, cocktail drinking in Chelsea or checking out contemporary art at the Tate Modern.
London has so much to see that any visitor can easily fill their itinerary, and many of the top attractions such as the National Gallery are free however consider purchasing something like a London Pass if you are staying in the city for a few days or longer.
Take a stroll along the River Thames to the famous Tower Bridge, often mistakenly called ‘London Bridge’ of which there is another bridge of this name. You can enter Tower Bridge where you can enjoy great river views from the walkway between the two towers. Afterwards, visit the Tower of London to see the Crown Jewels and Royal Armories and perhaps strike up a conversation with one of the Beefeater guards.
Big Ben is the nickname of the large bell inside the clock tower at the Houses of Parliament at Westminster. Unfortunately, overseas tourists can’t visit the clock tower however you can stand in Parliament Square and take photographs of one of London’s most iconic landmarks – it looks particularly impressive at night when the clock faces are illuminated.
A visit to London is not complete without dropping by Buckingham Palace, the Queen’s official London residence. Don’t miss watching the Changing of the Guard parade, but we recommend skipping the crowds at Buckingham Palace and instead find a spot at Friary Court at St James' Palace then the Wellington Barracks where the Guards start off before ending at Buckingham Palace.
Spend some time at Trafalgar Square and the impressive National Gallery, before visiting one of the many excellent museums in London such as the British Museum, Natural History Museum, Science Museum or the Victoria and Albert Museum.
If you’re looking for something a bit different, catch the Tube to Camden where you can browse the Camden Markets for vintage clothes and grab a plate of street food to eat beside Regent’s Canal.
Book a ticket for a show at West End where you can watch international-level performances in stunning Victorian theaters. With over 40 theaters to choose from, performances include musicals, dramatic plays or opera.
The British equivalent of Versailles, Hampton Court Palace, is found just under one hours’ drive from London. Allow plenty of time here as you wander the majestic former residence of King Henry VIII including the State Rooms, Haunted Gallery, Tudor kitchens and sprawling gardens with a maze.
If you’re looking for a picturesque place to visit, drive to Rye. Located in East Sussex about 140 kilometers from London, Rye is the perfect example of a quaint English town with Tudor timber-framed houses lining cobbled lanes and the 14th century Ypres Tower. Rye is best reached by car as there are no direct trains from London.
Canterbury is a UNESCO listed cathedral city that is located 1.5 hours’ drive from London in Kent. Join a leisurely cruise on the River Stour before ticking off tourist hotspots such as Canterbury Cathedral, St Augustine’s Abbey and the Canterbury Heritage Museum.