A city that does not need an introduction, London is undoubtedly one of the most captivating places in the world!
Dive in its bustling streets, peppered with historic monuments, wine and dine in world-class restaurants, visit its extraordinary theater scenes, explore its vast parks, enjoy great art and immerse yourself in renowned architecture!
One of Britain's most iconic buildings, Buckingham Palace was built in 1837 and has been the London residence of the Royal Family since Queen Victoria's accession. It is also the scene of London's most popular display of pomp and circumstance, the Changing of the Guard taking place at 11:30 am regardless of the season. Duchess Kate and Prince William sometimes delight royal fans by appearing on the famous Kensington balcony of the 775-room royal residence.
One of London's best-known landmarks, this iconic 19th-century bridge was designed by Sir Horace Jones. Still operational, the bridge is raised approximately 850 times a year. Non-acrophobic people can cross the glass-floor walkway to experience incredible bird's eye views of the city, 42 metres above the River Thames. At the south side of the bridge is the Butler's Wharf, a groovy section of the town boasting numerous restaurants.
The London Eye was built to commemorate London's millennium celebrations in 2000 and is Europe's tallest cantilevered observation wheel and the most popular paid tourist attraction in the United Kingdom. The individual glass capsules offer the most spectacular views of the city and the River Thames as you embark on a circular tour rising 135 metres above the water. The journey lasts close to 30 minutes, which you don't even feel mesmerized by the view.
Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament
Big Ben, is known for its accuracy and massive bell weighing 15.1 tons. The tolling of Big Ben is known throughout the world as the time signal of the BBC. Formally known as St. Stephen’s Tower, in 2012 it was renamed Elizabeth Tower on the occasion of Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee, celebrating 60 years on the British throne. The Palace of Westminster has been the seat of the British Government for many years. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1987.
Since its opening in 2012, the Renzo Piano' s massive building has dominated London's skyline and is one of the most recognizable and visited places in the city. The Shard is home to a stunning hotel, numerous restaurants, offices and indoor and outdoor viewing platforms, which offer a breathtaking views of the city. The 72-storey and 310-metre tall skyscraper is designed by the Italian architect as a spire-like sculpture emerging from the River Thames.
Hyde Park has been offering Londoners and their guests an escape from the hustle and bustle since 1635. It is the largest of four Royal Parks. Visitors can enjoy a picnic on its perfectly maintained green fields, a bicycle ride, swimming or boating in the man-made Serpentine lake or relax with a book under an English oak tree. Speakers' Corner, a traditional forum for free speech and heckling is located in the park.
Covent Garden is a shopping and entertainment district in London's West End buzzing with stores, restaurants, a market, theatres drawing crowds for plays and musicals and so much more. The halls and arcades of Covent Garden Market are lined with shops and kiosks selling everything from teas to fine handcrafts and souvenirs. Housed in the former flower market, you'll find the London Transport Museum and the Royal Opera House in the area.
Exploring the city
London offers numerous types of transportation to choose from when you want to move around the city.
Whether you choose the highly developed network of public transportation, the various options for electric vehicle hiring, or you want to move by car, bicycle or a cab, you will be able to easily explore the city and everything it has to offer.
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Sources: Architectural Digest; PlanetWare