Things to Do in London
The Big Ben, Picadilly Circus, the Marble Arch and the popular double-decker bus – there are no shortage of staples when it comes to London. However, the architectural delights of London are not the main attractions in the city. The charms of London lie in its multicultural population, friendly residents, unique neighborhoods and cultural delights. That being said, there are a number of things to do in London that you simply cannot miss out upon while touring the city.
The Buckingham Palace was constructed in the year 1703 for the Duke of Buckingham. It replaced the St. James’s Palace as the official residence of the British Monarch in the year 1837. The Palace consists of 19 fantastically furnished State Rooms that are full of artworks created by artists like Poussin, Rembrandt, Canaletto and Van Dyck. Tourists can also tour the Throne Roomm the Royal Mews and the Queen’s Gallery. One of the most popular attractions of the Buckingham Palace is the Changing of the Guard Ceremony that takes place from April to July at 11.30AM sharp.
The British Museum is famous as one of the finest, oldest and most popular museums in the world. It consists of a plethora of treasures that encompass the Eyyptyian, Greek, Middle Eastern, European, Roman and Etruscan cultures and it is believed to attract almost 5.5 million travelers each year. Some of the main attractions at the museum include the Rosetta Stone, the Parthenon Sculptures, Egyptian Mummies, Anglo-Saxon Sutton Hoo burial relics, the famous Reading Room (along with its beautiful blue and gold domed ceiling that is made from papier mache) and the Great Court (believed to be one of the best architectural displays in the city).
St. Paul’s Cathedral
The St. Paul’s Cathedral is known to have the second largest church dome in the world. It was designed by Christopher Wren and constructed between 1675 – 1710. The site is believed to have housed four other cathedrals, the first of which dates back to the year 604. Some of the most popular sights inside the St. Paul’s Cathedral include the Stone Gallery, the Golden Gallery, the Whispering Gallery, the Crypt and the Restaurant at St. Paul’s.
Hyde Park is a huge oasis of green located right in the midst of the city. It was once known to be a venue for horse racing, duels and executions and was converted into a humongous potato field during the World War II. Today, the Park boasts of beautiful architectural delights, picturesque scenery and breathtaking natural beauty. The main attractions at the Hyde Park include the Marble Arch, the Tyburn Tree and the Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain.
The London Eye
The London Eye is a giant Ferris Wheel that has been known to be a symbol of London. The popular landmark is mainly known for its spectacular views and it offers an unparallen bird’s eye view of the South Bank area of London. So if you’re looking to check out beautiful views, very few can beat the panorama of the 360 degree views that this Ferris Wheel offers from a height of 400 feet.
Soho has developed a reputation as being the epicenter of nightlife in London. Its night activities and attractions are the stuff of legends and the area is known to come of its own after sunset. Some of the main charms of Soho include the pleasant Soho Square, the bar filled Dean Street, the gay village of Old Compton Street, Greek St. and Frith Street.
Madame Tussauds is an ideal place for those wanting to get up close and personal with their favorite celebrities. The museum is home to life size replicas of popular figure such as George Clooney, Lady gaga, Victoria Beckham, David Beckham, the Queen, Prince Harry, Prince William, Barack Obama, Marilyn Monroe, Michael Jackson, etc. Other attractions at Madame Tussauds include the original Chamber of Horrors and the modern day Scream.
The Kensington Palace was the favorite royal residence until George III became the king. It still hosts the private residences of certain extended royal families and is mostly associated with princesses Victoria, Diana and Margaret.
Even if you don’t plan to shop at Harrods, a trip to the most famous department store in London is a must. Harrods is not just a department store, its a shopping mall in itself. Harrods still showcases old world interiors and is full of regal grandeur, an ideal reminiscent of the good old days. The food halls, the shrine dedicated to Princess Diana and perfumery are particularly popular.
Shakespeare’s Globe Theater
The Globe Theater is an open air playhouse that has been designed on the building where the great man penned countless plays. The Globe Theater showcases all aspects of the original Globe Theater, including Sam Wannamaker’s struggle to recreate the Globe from its 1599 original designs.