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Big Ben

 

Discover the top London attractions. Don't miss the best places to visit in the city.

Big Ben

Big Ben

Known as Big Ben, the famous clock above the Houses of Parliament has become one of the most famous images of London, as well as one of the leading symbols of the city. However, Big Ben is actually the enormous 14-tonne bell located at the top of the tower.

How to get to: Big Ben

British Museum

British Museum

The British Museum is one of the world's most important and most visited museums. It has over seven million objects, including one of the world's most important collection of ancient Egyptian artefacts, second only to that of the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. In the Great Court, located in the centre of the museum, is the British Library's largest reading room, which was frequented by Karl Marx. Receiving over five million visitors a year, the British Museum is the world's third most visited museum and holds objects from every continent, grouped by place of origin.

How to get to: British Museum

Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace has been the official residence of the British monarch in London since 1837. The Palace is currently home to Queen Elizabeth II. Built in 1703 by the Duke of Buckingham, the building was acquired by King George III in 1762 to be used as a private residence. The Changing of the Guard takes place at the main entrance to Buckingham Palace throughout the whole year. The ceremony involves the changeover of the Guards, who are in charge of security at the Palace, and is accompanied by a military band.

How to get to: Buckingham Palace

Downing Street

Downing Street

Downing Street is one of London’s most famous streets, particularly number 10 which is home of the British Prime Minister. It is located in Whitehall, just a few minutes away from the Houses of Parliament, Buckingham Palace and St James’s Park. 11 Downing Street is the home of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and number 12 houses the Prime Minister’s press office. In 1989, a large black metallic fence was built at the entrance to Downing Street to protect the Prime Minister from terrorist attacks.

How to get to: Downing Street

Houses of Parliament

Houses of Parliament

The Houses of Parliament are the place where a thousand years of history have shaped Great Britain. The building, which is also known as the Palace of Westminster, houses the two chambers of the Parliament of the United Kingdom: the House of Lords and the House of Commons. Most of the current structure of the building dates back to the 19th century when the palace was reconstructed after a fire in 1834. Initially the Houses of Parliament acted as a place of residence for the Royal family, but no monarch has lived there since the 16th century. It is where you’ll find the famous clock tower known as Big Ben.

How to get to: Big Ben

Hyde Park

Hyde Park

Covering over 140 hectares, Hyde Park is the largest park in the centre of London. The park grounds used to belong to Westminster Abbey until they were confiscated by Henry VIII in 1536, after which they were opened as a public park in 17th century. The main entrance to the park can be found at Hyde Park Corner, whereas the north-eastern corner of the park is where you’ll find Speaker’s Corner. One of the most popular activities for both Londoners and tourists alike is to rent a row-boat and to go out onto the Serpentine.

How to get to: Hyde Park

London Eye

London Eye

The London Eye, which used to be called the Millennium Wheel, is a 135 m observation wheel located at the western end of the Jubilee Gardens on the South Bank of the River Thames just next to County Hall. Since its inauguration in 2000, the London Eye has become one of the city’s most emblematic icons. The impressive structure is made up of 32 glass capsules which can hold up to 25 people each. The London Eye moves constantly at slow speed to let people get in and out of the capsules and to give visitors unique views over the city.

How to get to: London Eye

Piccadilly Circus

Piccadilly Circus

Piccadilly Circus is where both locals and tourists go in London to meet up thanks to its privileged location and endless possibilities for entertainment in the Westminster area. Piccadilly Circus is well-known for its bright lights and the Eros Fountain which is located right in the centre and which has become one of the iconic sites of London. The square was built in 1819 in order to connect Regent Street with Piccadilly, the main shopping street at the time. Nowadays Piccadilly Circus also houses the London Pavilion and the Criterion Theatre.

How to get to: Piccadilly Circus

Tower Bridge

Tower Bridge

Tower Bridge is one of the iconic symbols of London. This instantly-recognisable drawbridge, built in the Victorian style, is located right next to the Tower of London. Tower Bridge was built in 1894 and was designed as a drawbridge so as not to affect increasing traffic on the river below. In 1982, high-level open air walkways between the towers were covered and are now part of an exhibition on the internal working of the bridge. During a visit to the exhibition, you’ll see how the drawbridge system works and will discover why Tower Bridge is so important in the history of London.

How to get to: Tower Bridge

Tower of London

Tower of London

Built during the reign of William the Conqueror, throughout history the enormous fortification that is the Tower of London has served as the Royal residence, an arsenal, a fort and a prison. For over 900 years, the Tower of London was a synonym for terror, as it was the place where anyone who offended the monarch would be imprisoned. The White Tower, which gives the entire castle its name, is the central building and also the castle’s oldest. The Tower of London also houses the Crown Jewels, a collection of crowns, swords and sceptres of incalculable value.

How to get to: Tower of London