I recently had the opportunity to travel to London, England, which was a fantastic experience. In this post, I want to share some of the essential iconic sites in London. The city has a rich history, and culture is everywhere. From iconic sights like Big Ben and the London Eye to charming neighborhoods like Notting Hill and Camden, these sights are a must-see for any traveler.
The city has a rich history, and culture is everywhere.
Watch for my upcoming blog post, where I’ll share some of the lesser-known must-see sites in London. But for now, check out my top 12 essential things you must see and do:
Buckingham Palace/Changing of the Guard
Buckingham Palace is the official residence of the British monarch and has been the London home of the royal family since 1837. The Changing of the Guard ceremony is famous to watch in front of the palace. During this ceremony, the Old Guard hands over responsibility for protecting Buckingham Palace to the New Guard. Music played by a military band accompanies the ceremony and is a colorful display of British pageantry.
St Paul’s Cathedral
St. Paul’s Cathedral is a historic church in the heart of London. It is one of the city’s most famous and recognizable landmarks, with its iconic dome dominating the skyline. Visitors can explore the cathedral’s interior, which is home to numerous works of art and stunning architecture. The Whispering Gallery, located inside the dome, is a must-visit attraction, allowing visitors to whisper to each other from opposite sides of the gallery and be heard perfectly.
Natural History Museum
The Natural History Museum is one of the world’s most popular and fascinating museums. It has an extensive collection of specimens from various fields of natural history, including plants, animals, fossils, and minerals. The museum’s life-size blue whale skeleton suspended from the ceiling is one of the main attractions.
Tower Bridge is an iconic landmark that offers stunning views of the River Thames and the city. It was built in the late 19th century and combines a suspension and a drawbridge. You can explore the Tower Bridge Exhibition, which provides an insight into the bridge’s history and construction. The glass floor walkway is a unique experience that allows you to see the river and the city from a different perspective.
Regent Street is one of London’s most famous and busiest shopping streets in the heart of the West End. It is known for its beautiful architecture, high-end shops, and popular restaurants. The street is home to a wide range of stores, from luxury brands such as Burberry and Cartier to more affordable stores like Zara and H&M.
The London Eye is a giant Ferris wheel located on the South Bank of the River Thames. It offers stunning panoramic views of the city, and from the top, you can see some of London’s most famous landmarks, including Big Ben and Buckingham Palace. The ride takes about 30 minutes and is a popular attraction, so book your tickets in advance.
Surrounded by some of London’s most famous buildings, including the National Gallery and St. Martin-in-the-Fields church, Trafalgar Square features the famous Nelson’s Column statue, fountains, and beautiful bronze lions guarding the entrance.
Big Ben is London’s iconic clock tower. It is officially known as the Elizabeth Tower and is one of the most famous landmarks in the city. The tower stands over 96 meters tall and has a large clock face on each side. Visitors can’t go inside the tower but can admire its stunning Gothic architecture from the outside. Big Ben has been a symbol of London for over 150 years.
With over 330 departments spread across seven floors, Harrods is a shopping paradise for anyone looking to indulge in luxury shopping. The store offers an extensive range of products, including designer clothing, jewelry, watches, cosmetics, and gourmet food. This architectural masterpiece features grand halls, marble floors, and ornate decorations.
The Shard stands at 310 meters tall. It is a stunning skyscraper that stands 310 meters tall, making it the tallest building in the United Kingdom. The building has 95 floors and offers spectacular city views from its observation deck, which is open to the public. You can enjoy a 360-degree panoramic view of London from 244 meters above ground level. In addition to the observation deck, there are several restaurants and bars with stunning city views.
This Gothic abbey has been the site of coronations, royal weddings, and famous burials for over a thousand years. The abbey’s stunning interior is adorned with intricate stone carvings, stained glass windows, and soaring vaulted ceilings.
Red Telephone Booth
The iconic red telephone booths are integral to the city’s cultural heritage. These telephone booths, known as kiosks, were initially designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott in the 1920s and 1930s. Although their purpose as public telephone booths has dwindled with the increasing use of mobile phones, they remain an essential symbol of London; with their distinctive red color and elegant design, the telephone booths add a touch of nostalgia and charm to the city’s bustling streets.