Designed by John Nash in 1830, Trafalgar Square is the largest square in London. With all the cultural events taking place here, including demonstrations and New Year's Eve celebrations, it is often considered the heart of the city. Nelson's Column stands in the center of the square with four lion statues around. It was built in 1848 to commemorate Admiral Nelson.
The gallery holds a collection of over 2,600 pieces - no wonder it is one of the most visited galerries in the world. It displays classic art including paintings by El Greco, Jan van Eyck, Rembrandt, Michelangelo, and many more famous artists. It's really huge and the entry is free, so art lovers should allow themselves plenty of time for their visit.
Nelson’s Column is the tall monument that dominates Trafalgar Square. It was built in the early 1840s to commemorate Admiral Horatio Nelson, one of Britain's best-loved heroes. His most famous battle was the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805, in which he defeated Napoleon and the French and Spanish fleets, but which cost him his life. Nelson’s Column proudly stands over 169 ft (51 m) tall and has surveyed the scene in Trafalgar Square for 170 years. It has been the site of many protests and is ranked as one of London's greatest landmarks.
The elaborate Palace of Westminster is home to both houses of the Parliament of the UK - the House of Commons and House of Lords. It is an outstanding example of Neo-Gothic architecture dating back to 1097, when the oldest part of the complex, Westminster Hall, was built. Come see the centre of political life in London!
The most famous bell in Europe, perhaps even the world, Big Ben is one of the iconic landmarks of London. The tower is the third largest bell tower in the world and is over 150 years old. It was recently renamed Elizabeth Tower as a tribute to Queen Elizabeth's 60 years’ of reign. Part of Westminster Palace, it was designed in the Neo-Gothic style. There is no elevator, but 334 steps lead to the top; however tours are only available to British nationals who organize a trip through their Member of Parliament. The skyline in this part of London is spectacular, so taking pictures of Big Ben with the London Eye in the background is very popular.
First monks lived here back in the 10th century. Henry III had the abbey rebuilt in 1245 when he chose it as his burial site, and managed to turn it into one of the most important Gothic buildings in the country. Many other notable figures are buried here and royal artifacts are on display in the museum. Nowadays it is a setting for weddings and other royal ceremonies. Also, Westminster Abbey has been used for coronations since 1066.
London's oldest royal park. Small but marvellous - go for a walk and meet the squirrels and pelicans! Take a moment and relish the beautiful view of London's landmarks from the Blue Bridge spanning the St James's Park Lake. There are also some remarkable places in the park itself, including the Tiffany Fountain or Queen Victoria Memorial. Avid birdwatchers will have a great time on the Duck Island, which is home to at least 17 bird species.
This majestic palace is the official residence of British monarchs and is usually recognized as a symbol of UK's monarchy. Originally built as a townhouse, Buckingham Palace was turned into a private residence for Queen Charlotte in 1761. The palace was reconstructed and enlarged during the 19th century and it has been used as a residence of the British monarch since Victoria's reign. It now serves as an exquisite example of Neoclassical architecture. On selected days, you can visit some of the state rooms and Queen's Gallery. Do not miss the Changing the Guard ceremony! Be sure to arrive early to see well.
Long and broad promenade lined by tall leafy trees serves for ceremonial occasions. When the United Kingdom receives a state visit, the monarch and the visitor take a ride on this street which is decorated by flags of both states. The famous London Marathon finishes here, too. If you manage to visit the road at the time of one of these events, it will be an unforgettable experience. Closed to traffic on Sundays. Enjoy!
A famous road junction and public space in London's West End. It's famous for neon signs all around the square, the Shaftesbury Memorial Fountain commemorating the works of Lord Shaftesbury, and the statue of Eros. Popular setting for protests and demonstrations for its size, the square also inspired many artists and musicians in their work.
Explore the restaurants, bakeries, night clubs and enjoy the great atmosphere of Chinatown. Well worth a visit. If you happen to be in London at the time of the Chinese New Year, head to Chinatown for the largest celebration of this event outside Asia. However, there are also things to do all year around. Chinatown is home to around 80 restaurants, many of them serving authentic Chinese and Asian cuisine. You have a lot of dining places to choose from! While walking around Chinatown, you can find several blue plaques, commemorating famous people and events.
With approximately 300 shops, Oxford Street is Europe's busiest shopping street and is home to a number of major department stores and many flagship stores. If shopping is your thing, then the shopping district it forms with Regent Street and Bond Street is sure to delight you! Located in the West End of London, the street is about 1.5 mi (2.5 km) long and used to be part of the London-Oxford road. It actually follows the route of a Roman road that linked Hampshire with Colchester. The area can be very busy with shoppers and tourists and gets quite polluted by the number of buses running along it. Christmas is a particularly busy and particularly pretty time on Oxford Street as, since 1959, it has been decorated with festive lights each year, usually switched on by a celebrity.
This medieval castle is one of United Kingdom's iconic sights and a weekend home for the Queen. Monarchs have been using this palace since the time of Henry I, the fourth son of William the Conqueror. Apart from being the Queen's home, the castle hosts official visits and is used for ceremonies. Part of the Royal Collection is housed here. The medieval castle mixes Georgian and Victorian styles with some Gothic features. The state rooms were designed by Jeffry Wyatville in the 19th century and combine Rococo and Victorian Gothic styles. While entering the area of the castle, you will undergo an airport-style security check. Try reducing the amount of items you bring to pass the check quickly. You will be asked to check in some items such as luggage, pushchairs or scissors. Eating and drinking is not allowed in the castle. Photography and filming is allowed in some areas.
Eton College /iːtən/ is an English independent boarding school for boys in Eton, Berkshire, near Windsor. It educates more than 1,300 pupils, aged 13 to 18 years. It was founded in 1440 by King Henry VI as "The King's College of Our Lady of Eton besides Wyndsor", making it the 18th oldest Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference school. Eton is one of the original seven public schools as defined by the Public Schools Act 1868. Following the public school tradition, Eton is a full boarding school, which means all pupils live at the school, and it is one of four such remaining single-sex boys' public schools in the United Kingdom to continue this practice. Eton has educated 19 British prime ministers and generations of the aristocracy and has been referred to as the chief nurse of England's statesmen.
This historic tea clipper is one of the few remaining ships that transported goods for Jock Willis Shipping Line in the 19th century. The company's primary focus was on tea trade with China, later it participated in the wool trade with Australia. Located in dry dock in Greenwich, it was turned into a museum and it is the part of the National Historic Fleet.
If you want to familiarize yourself with the history of the British navy and the whole Europe, come to this museum. It is in fact one of the largest maritime museums in the whole world. It displays many remarkable artifacts involving sea and navigation, such as ship models, instruments that were used for navigation, and paintings. Admiral Nelson's uniform is also on display here.
If you want to stand on two hemispheres at the same time, visit this place where the meridian divides the Earth! It is based at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich and it was established in 1851 by Sir George Biddell Airy, English mathematician and astronomer. The prime meridian with longitude 0º is the reference line for the Greenwich Mean Time; it means that every new year starts at this line! While in the area, be sure to visit the surrounding museum and observatory, and learn more about the Universe, astronomy and the meridian line itself. In addition, you can explore some of the oldest parts of the site including the Astronomer Royal's house.
An enormous white cathedral and London's highest point serves as the seat of the Bishop of London. The current church was built by Sir Christopher Wren, one of the most famous English architects, after the Great Fire of London. Do not miss this famous sight with its elaborate interiors and crypts.
A phenomenally successful modern and contemporary art gallery housed in a former power station, one of the largest art galleries in the world. Well worth a visit! If you are carrying any bags, briefcases or umbrellas, you may need to leave them at the cloakroom. Large bags and suitcases must be left there, too. There is a café and a restaurant in the gallery, where you can refresh yourself. You can also find three shops selling books, gifts and more.
Come see the modern replica of the theater where some of Shakespeare's plays were staged for the first time. The original theater was built in 1599 by the Lord Chamberlain's Men, Shakespeare's playing company. Book your tickets ahead! Take the guided tour to learn more about Shakespeare and the building.
A fairly new concrete and steel bridge standing at the site where a number of bridges stood in the past. Very nice when illuminated at night. This bridge connects the historic City of London with the artistic Bankside. You have a chance to compare and contrast these two areas. In close proximity to the bridge, there are also interesting sights to be seen, such as Golden Hinde and HMS Belfast. In addition, the views of Shard from London Bridge are spectacular. You can also take a boat at the London Bridge pier, cruise the River Thames and view London from a unique and new perspective.
Also known as Her Majesty's Royal Palace and Fortress, the complex was formerly used as a prison. Many notable figures were sent here, such as Sir Walter Raleigh with his wife Elizabeth Throckmorton and even Elizabeth I before she became a queen. It is now a famous tourist attraction and home to the Crown Jewels.
St Katharine Docks, in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, were one of the commercial docks serving London, on the north side of the river Thames just east of the Tower of London and Tower Bridge. They were part of the Port of London, in the area now known as the Docklands, and are now a popular housing and leisure complex.
This fascinating bridge is not only one of London's icons, but also one of the best-known bridges in the world. Tower Bridge's construction started in 1886 and it took only 8 years to be finished. The views from the top are amazing as the towers feature a glass floor walkway. Another sight worth waiting for is to see the bridge open for ships. If interested, there is an exhibition in the twin towers, dedicated to the history and construction of the bridge. Apart from various short films and interactive displays, you can also see some of the original designs of the bridge. Be sure to check the Victorian engine rooms, too.