London is one of the most famous cities in the world and it’s not hard to see why. Although it offers all the amenities of a of modern city, it also features incredible buildings that date back more than 1,000 years. Whether you’re a history buff or simply love the splendor of a giant metropolitan city, London will not disappoint. To make sure you have the best experience, don’t forget to add these three landmarks to your itinerary.
Westminster Abbey may be one of the most iconic churches on the planet. Its distinct Gothic architecture makes it impossible to forget. When British royalty is to be crowned or buried, Westminster Abbey is the site that gets used.
Though it is more than 700 years old, Westminster Abbey is very well maintained. Every year, more than a million tourists will visit it. In fact, it remains open for daily services. While anyone can attend, there typically aren’t any tours offered for visitors on Sundays.
Tours of Westminster Abbey can be scheduled with vergers – people who assist in the ordering of religious services – and you’ll be allowed to see the tomb of Saint Edward the Confessor, Poet’s Corner, the Nave, the Cloisters and the Royal Tombs.
On Wednesday nights, you can stop by for a limited self-guided tour and a special dinner held in the Cellarium Café and Terrace. Guests are allowed to check out the Coronation Chair, which was constructed for King Edward I.
Even if you’re not a member of The Church of England, Westminster Abbey is so full of history and beautiful architecture, that it’s absolutely worth making time for.
Not far from Westminster Abbey is the legendary Big Ben. No one is certain how the name “Big Ben” came to be. While it now refers to the entire clock tower, originally, it referred to just the bell. The two leading ideas are that it’s either a reference to Sir Benjamin Hall, who oversaw its installation, or Benjamin Caunt, a famous English boxer.
For foreign tourists, it would be all but impossible to get a tour of Big Ben. These are only provided to people who meet strict criteria, which includes permission from a member of the House of Lords or their MP. Even then, tours of Big Ben are usually sold out for about six months in advance.
Still, you can get great views and plenty of photos of it from outside. Considering it’s 16 stories tall, you won’t have any trouble getting pictures, even on the busiest of days.
THE LONDON EYE
Speaking of great views, another London landmark that’s known for its height is the London Eye. The giant Ferris wheel is taller than Big Ben and, best of all, you’re more than welcome to get inside it.
This is fantastic for tourists because the London Eye looms right over the heart of the city, meaning you can see for miles in every direction. Obviously, you’ll want to take pictures of these incredible views.
There are 32 capsules in total, all of which are walled in by high-tech glass. This is good news considering how cold it could get at those heights.
As the number one tourist attraction in all of London, you can expect a bit of a line, but rest assured that the wait is well worth it. Furthermore, once you’re in the London Eye, you’ll have a full 30 minutes to enjoy it. This includes hearing from interactive guides who will provide you with helpful information about the city in several different languages.
When your ride is done, try out the London Eye 4D experience. Using multisensory special effects, this beautiful city will come to life during a four-minute show.You really can’t go wrong with your visit to London, but you should definitely make time to check out these three landmarks.