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07 August, 2017
London attracts 27 million visitors every year from all over the world. Founded by the ancient Romans, London City has thrived through plagues, wars and alien occupations but still stands proud and beautiful. London is split into North, West, South, East London and Central London, which is the commercial hub. The city offers some of the world’s best entertainment, shopping, art, dining and historical experiences in the world - absolute must visit place for every traveler.
1. Hyde Park
The 350-acre park has two manmade lakes, including the Serpentine, where you can paddle boat, swim and watch the swans. The Speakers' Corner is a traditional forum for free speech. Apsley House, home of the first Duke of Wellington, victor of Waterloo, is now a museum where you can see Wellington's paintings, (including the Waterseller of Seville by Velázquez), plus precious items gifted to Wellington by grateful European kings.
Westminster contains Britain’s Parliament House, Big Ben, and Westminster Abbey, where many notable greats are entombed. Parliament Square has statues of important politicians such as Nelson Mandela and Winston Churchill. Westminster Abbey was found by Edward the Confessor in 1065; till 1700, all sovereigns were crowned and buried here.
3. Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace was built in 1837 and has been residence of British monarchy since Queen Victoria’s time. It is famous for architecture, history, and the daily Changing of the Guard. Royal members stand on a special balcony to greet subjects on special occasions. Touring the State Rooms, the Queen's Gallery, the Royal Mews and watching the Changing of the Guard are some of the best things to do in London.
4. The British Museum
The British Museum contains over 13 million artifacts, many of them from ancient Babylonia, China, Assyria, Europe, and other places. Be sure to check out the Parthenon’s controversial Elgin Marbles, the Rosetta Stone, and the bust of Rameses II, the Egyptian mummies, and the Mildenhall Treasure, a collection of 4th-century Roman silver. Best get that UK Visa now, huh?
5. The Tower of London and Tower Bridge
The Tower of London has been a palace, a prison, a treasure vault and a private zoo over the centuries. The massive White Tower was built by William the Conqueror in 1078; today it serves as a museum, displaying royal armaments, armor, the famous Crown Jewels, the Royal Mint, the Beefeaters, and exhibits concerning the many executions that took place here. The London Tower Bridge which rises 61 meters above the River Thames is one of the city’s best known landmarks near the Tower.
6. Churchill's War Rooms
The Former Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s WWII nerve center still contains the table where he planned his moves, the tiny cubicle where he slept, and the radio studio from where he broadcast wartime speeches. There’s even some wool left over by Clementine Churchill's, Winston Churchill’s wife. The War Rooms brings the WWII history to life again.
7. The London Eye
The London Eye is Europe's largest observation wheel, built to commemorate the new millennium. Get into one of its glass capsules for the best views of the city from 443 feet above the Thames. It takes 30-minutes for a full journey, but it’s worth it, as you can experience London as never before.
8. Hampton Court Palace
The Hampton Court Palace dates back to the paragon of six wives, Henry VIII. Check out the fascinating 1540 astronomical Clock Court, the State Apartments (with the Haunted Gallery), the King's Apartments, the Tudor tennis court, the Chapel, the Privy Garden, the Broad Walk, the Pond Garden, the Elizabethan Knot Garden, the Wilderness and the famous Maze. It’s said that two of Henry VIII’s wives are still haunting the palace.
9. The Victoria and Albert Museum
The Victoria and Albert Museum comprises the Natural History Museum and Science Museum, founded in 1852. Take the time to check out all 145 galleries containing art and artifacts spanning 5,000 years. You will love everything here – the ceramics, the glass, silver and jewelry, textiles and costumes, ironwork, prints and photos and sculptures collected over the years.
10. Piccadilly Circus and Trafalgar Square
Trafalgar Square was built to commemorate Lord Horatio Nelson's Trafalgar victory over the French and Spanish in 1805. The 56-meter-high Nelson's Column overlooks Trafalgar Square’s fountains and bronze reliefs, which are made out of French canons. Be sure to check out the Admiralty Arch, St Martin-in-the-Fields, and the National Gallery around the square. Piccadilly Circus isn’t a circus – it’s actually the haphazard intersection of several busy streets, watched over by a sculpture of the winged Eros.
11. St Paul's Cathedral
St. Paul’s Cathedral is the largest and the most spectacular church in London. It sits atop the site of a Roman temple. This church was destroyed and rebuilt in the 1600s, with twin Baroque towers and a magnificent 365 foot dome of St Paul. Climb up into the dome for some spectacular views of the dome's interior and the Whispering Gallery.
12. Covent Garden
Covent Garden is a market area, marked with Long Acre’s shops and restaurants, Neal's Yard and Seven Dials, and the street performers of Central Square. The arcades of Covent Garden Market are full of shops selling fine handcrafts and souvenirs of London. Be sure to visit the London Transport Museum with its historic trolleys, trams and buses. The Royal Opera House is also located in Covent Garden.
13. Greenwich and Docklands
Greenwich has been the hub of Britain’s naval power for centuries. Today you’ll find the last of the 19th century tea clippers, the Cutty Sark, which imported tea from China into Britain. Next to this ancient ship is the Discover Greenwich Visitor Centre which displays exhibits that span 500 plus years of maritime history. Be sure to check out the Palladian mansion known as Queen's House and the National Maritime Museum for a history of the British Royal Navy.
Don’t miss a visit to London’s National Gallery, for an incredible collection of European paintings, dating from 1260 until 1920. Feast your eyes on Dutch Masters and Italian Schools of the 15th and 16th centuries. London has so much to appreciate that you’ll make many visits just to enjoy the city’s historical and cultural ambience.
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