Whether you’re just planning a weekend in London, these eight must-see sights should be on your list! in London, and there are often several sights close together so that you can visit two at the same time. London is a beautiful city which everyone should visit .
Big Ben (Elizabeth Tower)
If this is your first trip to London, you should go to the main attraction in London – Big Ben. The large clock tower rises over 96 meters and is centrally located in London at the north end of the House of Parliament, where the British Parliament meets. Big Ben is one of the most important landmarks in London. Therefore it was renamed in honour of Queen Elizabeth II in 2012 and is officially called “Elizabeth Tower”. For most of them, however, the name Big Ben is more common and refers to the entire Elizabeth Tower, including the clock and bell. What many do not know: “Big Ben” (short for “Big Benjamin”) was originally only the largest of the five bells in the tower. The big bell weighs an impressive 13.5 tons. The Elizabeth Tower was completed in 1859. To this day, the building, visible from afar, is a magnet for many tourists. Renovation work has been going on at Big Ben since the beginning of 2017, which is why it is closed.
For this reason, the tower cannot be visited until 2021. Alternatively, the team around the Elizabeth Tower offers free lectures which usually take place once or twice a month. The presentations are designed to be interactive so that the audience can also ask questions. They are each one hour long and give an insight into the history of the Elizabeth Tower with the big Big Ben bell.
The London Eye is one of the most popular attractions in London. With a proud 3.75 million visitors a year, the London Eye is the most visited paid attraction in London and Great Britain. The Ferris wheel on the Thames gives you a fantastic view of London. At 130 meters at the highest point of the London Eye, you can see the many bridges over the Thames and even as far as the airports. By day or by night, the half-hour ride on the Ferris wheel is an absolute highlight. However, I can tell you that it is even more impressive at night! The London Eye then glows in different colors and is reflected in the Thames. You have a view of the illuminated city that makes you dream!
Buckingham Palace & Hyde Park
Buckingham Palace is the official seat of the royal family and currently also the administrative headquarters of the ruling monarch. Besides, it is, of course, among the most famous attractions in London, mainly because of the rigid guards who are not allowed to move. The palace is close to some of the city’s famous parks so that you can combine your visit with a stroll or even a picnic in the adjacent St. James Park. The vast and famous Hyde Park is also just a few minutes’ walks from Buckingham Palace.
Follow in Shakespeare’s footsteps and see his plays in the historic Globe Theater. Although this is only a replica (you can visit the original location, it is only a few minutes away from today’s Globe Theater and has information boards), you can feel the atmosphere of Shakespeare’s time. In the theater, you can see not only traditional plays by the famous writer but also modern plays and productions. The Globe offers much more than that. Guided tours give you everything you need to know about the history of theater and Shakespeare, and then you can stock up on souvenirs in the shop. The theater also offers a wide range of training and courses for actors and is involved in numerous projects of all kinds.
Borough Market is just a ten-minute walk from the Globe Theater and therefore not far from the Thames – an absolute must for every gourmet and food lover. This partially covered market offers everything your heart desires: from delicious bread to typical specialities from all over the world to a wide variety of lunch snacks and desserts. The best thing to do is to take some appetite with you to the market and try it out. Then it’s best to plan a picnic with all the delicious finds in one of the many green parks in London.
Lovers of modern art will feel at home in the Tate Gallery of Modern Art (Tate Modern for short) – especially because the building itself looks spectacular, both outside and inside. Admission to the Tate Gallery is free, and you can see a lot for free (apart from special exhibitions). There are frequently new exhibitions of various modern art movements, from famous artists like Henri Matisse to emerging newcomers, everyone is on the program. You can easily spend half a day in the gallery if you want. Our tip: Be sure to take a look at the extensive shops, as you will find exciting and atypical souvenirs there.
Natural History Museum
London has an absolute superlative of museums to offer. The Natural History Museum, like the National Gallery, the Tate Modern and the British Museum, is among the largest museums in the world. Like all public museums in the UK, the National History Museum is free to enter. Incidentally, the museum is not only concerned with classical human history, as the name suggests, but you will also find numerous exhibitions on all possible scientific fields, such as zoology, botany, mineralogy and more.
Camden Lock Market
If you want to shop extensively in London, you should go to Camden Lock Market – not only souvenirs and bargain-hunters will be happy there, but also visitors who want to buy goods made by local artists. While numerous souvenir shops have settled in the area around the traditional Camden Lock Market, you can find beautiful souvenirs of all kinds (jewelry, works of art, bags, etc.). And also numerous food stalls with delicacies from all over the world at the actual market. Once you’ve had your fill and shopped, you can take a nice walk along the canal.