Visiting London - What to See and Do
(London Luton Airport LTN, England)
The tapestry of neighbourhoods and villages that make up the fabric of London
has been nearly two millennia in the making. This is undisputedly one of the world's greatest cities and has been for more than a long time. The seat of kings and queens is also home to world-class footballers, top fashion designers, famous tourist attractions and some of the hottest bands around.
The menu of things to do and see in Britain's capital is almost too good to be possible. Visitors need to plan wisely, because there is never enough time in a trip to cover everything. The museums alone include the Tate Modern and the British Museum, while landmarks like the Tower of London and the Parliament buildings should be seen at least once.
Days are quickly filled with shopping excursions to Mayfair and Chelsea, walks through Hyde Park or a ride on the London Eye. The capital never seems to slow down, with the Theatre District rolling every night and a universe of nightclubs, pubs and bars to unwind in. Dust off the credit cards, because London is going to cost you dearly, but in the best possible way.
Ten things you must do in London
- St. Paul's Cathedral is more than just an architectural icon and leading attraction of London. It is the final resting place of a pantheon of legendary heroes in its crypts and naves. Climb the 500 stairs to the Golden Gallery and you will get one of London's finest panoramic views.
- The world's most visited art gallery is the Tate Modern. This is the place to go if you like modern art from geniuses such as Dali or Picasso. Take the 45-minute guided tour or explore on your own. It is all free at the Tate.
- The Tower of London is more than a mere tourist highlight. It is one of the world's finest surviving castles with the kind of real history you simply can't invent. Check out the impossibly dazzling crown jewels, and then fantasize in the Royal Armoury with its extensive collection of weapons and armour.
- London is a legend of the stage. Its Theatre District is home to hundreds of little theatres that put on an insanely diverse array of performances every night of the week. Even if you aren't a theatre junkie, do consider planning a night in the West End.
- Of the many remarkable historic buildings in London, Westminster Abbey is the real deal. The history behind this landmark is straight out of a fairytale, and you are welcome to ponder the tombs of great English kings and queens, admire the memorials of Poet's Corner and check out the royal treasures inside the Abbey Museum.
- Hyde Park is great, but the flora on display at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew is out of this world. No matter what time of year you visit, the 300 acres / 121 hectares of gardens are in full glory. Giant hothouses recreate tropical biospheres, lakes speckle the landscape and paths create hours of enjoyable meandering.
- The London Eye big-wheel attraction is definitely worth the time and money. Visitors will be able to take a ride over the Thames and soak in the cityscape of Britain's capital. The cabins are comfortable and weather-tight, and the views to die for. Take your ride at dusk for a possible natural light display to add to the scenery.
- Whether it is Oxford Street, Knightsbridge or Notting Hill, London is a genuine shopper's paradise. You can go luxury retail or funky boutique, and there is seemingly no end to the variety of little independent shops, especially if fashion is on your to-do list.
- Few museums on the planet cover the spectrum as well as the British Museum. This is a land unto itself that can easily consume two or three days gawking at ancient Egyptian treasures or pieces of the Parthenon. The BM has something from every major civilisation we know of. It is a real masterpiece.
- The best chance you will get to tour the rooms of English royalty are in Hampton Court Palace. After Henry VIII took the place from Cardinal Woolsey and Anne Boleyn arrived on the scene, things started getting interesting. You can see the King's Dressing Room, the Royal Chapel and even the kitchens where the king had his meals cooked.