London, the capital city of England, is one of the most visited cities in the world as it presents a unique mixture of old fashion traditions and modern attractions. The city is home to so many attractions that a few days’ stay is hardly sufficient to see even a fraction of all these attractions. It is one of Europe’s largest cities covering over 600 square miles and it has a population of more than 7.5 million and it is considered to be the most diverse city in the world.
Reasons for Visiting London
There are many reasons why people love to visit London. Basically, it has many attractions including historic landmarks, museums, art galleries, theatres, technological wonders, famous tourist attractions, Royal Palaces, Royal Parks, famous shopping districts, world-class restaurants and pubs and exotic nightlife activities. Moreover, many of the top attractions are free such as the Natural History Museum, Science Museum, the British Museum, The Victoria and Albert Museum and the Tate Modern Art Gallery. The city has impressive architecture as can be seen in some famous buildings such as the Houses of Parliament, the Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, St Paul’s Cathedral, Sloane’s House and the Albert Hall.
London has many famous shops such as Harrods, Harvey Nichols, House of Fraser, Selfridges and Fenwick. The famous markets include Portobello Market, Camden market, Petticoat Lane market, Bermondsey Market and Brick Lane market among many others. London also boasts of an exotic nightlife that can be found in some famous clubs such as The Ministry of Sound, Fabric, Heaven, SeOne, KoKo and VIP Lounge. The famous parks of London include Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens, Regent’s Park, St James’s Park, Richmond Park and Battersea Park. Another reason for visiting London is to have a glimpse of the monarchy and their palaces and Westminster Abbey.
However, London is also an expensive city to live in or travel and as such it is essential to plan your trip meticulously in order to be able to cover most of the places that you wish to see and experience in the min9mum possible time. Moreover, there are certain aspects of sightseeing in London that you should know so that you have a hassle-free sightseeing trip.
Important and Useful Tips for Hassle-Free Sightseeing
At the time of planning your trip, you should put aside at least 10 days for staying in the city so that you can get enough time to see at least some of the many attractions and get a general feel of the place. Moreover, you should carry with you comfortable shoes with enough cushioning so that you do not have any problems as you have to do a lot of walking and standing on hard floors. It is also a good idea to hire an audio tour guide at each of the attractions so that you get pertinent information regarding the place that you are visiting. You should also make sure that your backpack has all necessary items such as an umbrella, an extra layer for your upper body, a jacket, a portable power pack for your phone, a bottle of water, energy bars, and a packet of pain reliever like Advil or Tylenol. You must have a spare day with you because some of the attractions could take much longer than what you might have anticipated. You should also buy an Oyster card in the very beginning so that you can avoid having to buy a ticket each time you board a bus or a tube.
Best Places to See in London
London has so many places to see and experience that it is difficult to pin-point a few of them. Basically anyone who wishes to do sightseeing will have to choose the places that he wants to visit based on his own interests. Thus, people who enjoy culture and arts can spend a lot of time visiting the various theatres, museums and art galleries. Similarly people interested in the monarchy and history can visit the various palaces and royal parks and those interested in shopping can visit the various shopping districts.
However, for most tourists it would be ideal to visit a mix of all these places. Some of the sites that are recommended are given below. These include:
- Big Ben and Houses of Parliament: Both of these should be seen together
- Westminster Abbey: A historic site and the resting place of many famous people.
- London Eye: A large Ferris observation wheel
- The Tower of London: London’s original royal fortress.
- British Museum: There are many museums in London but this museum is a must-see place.
- Trafalgar Square: It is located in the heart of London.
- National Gallery: You can see this gallery when you are in Trafalgar Square.
- Buckingham Palace: You should be there on time to see the Change of Guard.
- Hampton Court Palace: There is a lot to see in this historic royal palace.
- London Bridge: It is a famous 19th century bridge across the Thames River.
- Hyde Park: If you do not have enough time you must at least visit Hyde Park.
The other places that you should try to visit include St Paul’s Cathedral, Kensington Palace, Houses of Parliament, Oxford Street and Portobello Road Market. If you wish to experience some exotic night life activities, you can visit Soho at night. Lastly, you must dine at a pub as London is famous for it.