London has a very special place in my heart.
The vibrant city of London has something for everyone! It is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, attracting millions of visitors every year. Known for its rich history, stunning architecture, and vibrant culture, the city has something to offer everyone.
There is no shortage of things to see and do in London.
In addition to its iconic historical and cultural attractions, London is also known for its beautiful parks and gardens, which offer a beautiful and peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.
In this article, I will share the top 5 sightseeing things to do, 5 hidden gems of London, and 5 must-try shopping and food destinations for you to explore.
*As a bonus, check out 3 fun day trip excursions I recommend to round out your trip!
Top 5 Sightseeing Things To Do
London is home to some of the world's most famous historical landmarks, each with its own unique story and significance.
Tower of London: The Tower of London has stood guard over the city for almost 1,000 years. The tower has served as a royal palace, a fortress, and a prison, and is now home to the Crown Jewels, (gasp!) one of the most valuable collections of jewelry in the world.
Buckingham Palace: Buckingham Palace is the official residence of the British monarch. Built in 1703, the palace has been the home of the royal family since the reign of Queen Victoria. Visitors can watch the Changing of the Guard ceremony outside the palace, which takes place daily during the summer months and on alternate days during the winter.
The London Eye: The London Eye is a giant Ferris wheel right in London! It offers breathtaking views of the city. The ride takes approximately 30 minutes, and visitors can see landmarks while riding, like the Houses of Parliament, St. Paul's Cathedral, and the Shard, from the top.
The Tower Bridge: The Tower Bridge is often mistaken for London Bridge. The bridge is actually one of the most recognizable landmarks in the city, and visitors can walk across the high-level walkways for incredible views of the River Thames. Get your cameras out - this is truly Instagram-worthy!
The British Museum and The National Gallery: I love The British Museum. It is located in Bloomsbury, and it is one of the most famous museums in the world! There you will find an incredible collection of artifacts from around the globe, including the Rosetta Stone and the Elgin Marbles. Also, check out the National Gallery. It is located in Trafalgar Square. The gallery is home to one of the world's greatest collections of European paintings, by artists like Leonardo da Vinci, Vincent van Gogh, and Rembrandt. Imagine seeing that up close! Other museums and galleries worth exploring are the Tate Modern, the Victoria and Albert Museum, and the Natural History Museum.
Top 5 Hidden Gems Of London
There are too many hidden gems in London to mention them all, but here are my favorites:
Hyde Park: One of the most famous parks in London is Hyde Park, which covers 350 acres and is home to a lake, a rose garden, and several fountains and statues. While enjoying the beauty, you can also rent boats or bicycles to explore the park further. Every corner seems to have unique gems to find!
Kensington Gardens: While at Hyde Park, visit the nearby Kensington Gardens. This beautiful park in London is home to several beautiful gardens, including the Italian Garden and the Sunken Garden, as well as Kensington Palace, the former residence of Princess Diana. While in the area, walk around Kensington and see if you can find Freddie Mercury’s house.
Harry Potter Studio Tour: Any HP fans? One of the most unique experiences in London is visiting the Harry Potter Studio Tour, which offers a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the Harry Potter films. You’ll be able to see the actual sets, costumes, and props used in the films, and even try on a Hogwarts robe, yourself!
Street Art Tour: Another unique activity in London is taking a street art tour. This will take you on a journey through some of the city's most colorful neighborhoods to see some of the world's best street art. The tours usually include some stops at famous street art locations like Brick Lane and Shoreditch - incredible!
The Churchill War Rooms: The Churchill War Rooms is another unique attraction in London, especially great for history buffs! It offers a unique glimpse into the life of Winston Churchill and the Cabinet War Rooms during World War II. You’ll be able to explore the underground bunker while there!
Top 5 Must-Try Shopping and Food Spots
London is a foodie’s and shopper's paradise, with everything from luxury department stores - to sweet tea shops - to quirky vintage shops.
Oxford Street: One of the most famous shopping destinations in London is Oxford Street, which is home to over 300 shops and department stores, including the world-famous Selfridges and John Lewis.
Borough Market: Borough Market is one of the oldest and largest food markets in the city. For foodies, the Borough Market is a must-visit attraction that offers a variety of food stalls, restaurants, and bars. The market is known for its fresh produce, artisanal cheese, and locally brewed beer. Yum!
Brick Lane: Brick Lane is a must-visit destination that offers a variety of Asian and Indian cuisine, including curry houses, street food stalls, and sweet shops. The area is also known for its vintage shops and hip street art.
Covent Garden: Covent Garden is another famous shopping and dining destination that offers a variety of shops, restaurants, and bars. Visitors can enjoy street performances, live music, and theater shows while exploring the area.
The Candlelight Club: Looking for something truly unique? Then head on over to central London’s The Candlelight Club for a drink and some dancing. It is a 1920s Prohibition style night club that has an actual secret location! With a little digging on Google, you’ll find out where it is when you book. Be sure to dress your flapper best to impress!
Bonus: 3 Day Trips from London not to miss!
While there is plenty to see and do in London, there are also many cool day trips to enjoy!
Stonehenge: One of the most popular day trips from London is to Stonehenge, one of the most famous prehistoric monuments in the world. Visitors can explore the site and learn about its fascinating history.
The City of Bath: Another popular day trip from London is to the city of Bath, which is known for its Roman Baths and elegant Georgian architecture. You can explore the historic city and relax in the natural hot springs.
The Cotswolds: Dreaming of the English Countryside? The Cotswolds is a famous area that is located 100 miles west of London and is known for its picturesque villages, rolling hills, and scenic countryside. While there, enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking, cycling, and horse riding.
Other day trips from London worth considering include Windsor Castle and the seaside town of Brighton. Just stunning in the summer months! Enjoy!
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