London here we come!

London, capital to the birthplace of the parliamentary system of government, native land to the industrial revolution, center to the once superpower of the world and site of the English Renaissance and Gothic Revival. London is the capital city of the United Kingdom and is the ninth-largest city in the world. Its rich history started from the arrival and invasion of the Romans to Britain in 43 A.D. It is situated in the southeast of England near the Thames River.

Amazing 360 degree panoramic view of London (click the picture to view enlarged version. Note: enlarged version might take a while to load depending on your internet connection speed)

360 panoramic view of London
360 panoramic view of London

The city of London now comprises the merger of two cities which were the city of London, also known as the ‘Square Mile’ or ‘the City,’ which is the financial and business capital of the United Kingdom and the city of Westminster, the place where the Parliament, various government offices and the London residence of the Queen of England and her Royal Family are situated. London’s 2000 years of history has affected the world in multi-faceted ways both in culture, politics, business, education and economy. Is it any wonder then that London has been one of the most visited and frequently traveled places in the whole world?

London Travel Video:

If you still have any doubts as to why London is the place to be then let me give you a few reasons why you should see one of the most fascinating and awe-inspiring places in the world. The following are top five tourist attractions in London based from the frequency of travelers and the reviews of the travelers themselves.

One of the top attractions in London, not to mention the largest Museum in the United Kingdom, is, of course, the British Museum. It is considered as the most frequented place by tourists with over 6 million visitors annually. The British Museum has been around since 1753. It was created through an Act of the Parliament and initially consisted of the collections of Sir Hans Sloane. This makes the British Museum not only the oldest museum in the world but also the oldest national public museum. Yup, you read right. Tourists can visit the British Museum for free.

The world under one roof, the greatest museum in the planet, the most majestic museum in the world are only a few of the phrases that have described the British Museum. The Museum’s collection consists of approximately 7 million objects which covers the span of 2 million years of human history. Its collections include the most primitive prehistoric tools to the most modern devices of today. It comprises treasures from all over the world such as the Assyrian treasure and Mildenhall treasures. You will also see the infamous Rosetta Stone, the Portland Vase, sculptures of Parthenon, Egyptian mummies and the Sutton Hoo among others. The Museum’s collection is housed in one of United Kingdom’s architectural landmarks in London’s biggest roofed public square.

London as viewed from Greenwich Park: (click the picture to view enlarged version. Note: enlarged version might take a while to load depending on your internet connection speed)

Panoramic view of London from Greenwich Park
Panoramic view of London from Greenwich Park Image Credit: © Bill Bertram (Pixel8) 2008

To fully explore the Museum, tourists can visit the Museum’s reading room located in the Great Court wherein they have interactive computer screens that tell you where you can find the objects you are interested in or the civilizations that you want to see. There are also guided tours of the Museum, some for free, some with a fee, depending on what you want to see.

The British Museum generally opens from 9:00-17:30. However, there are different opening hours for the reading room and the galleries. Admission is for free but there are charges for events or exhibitions in the Museum. The British Museum is located at Great Russell Street, London, London, WC1B 3DG. You can also visit their site at

Another one of London’s most frequented attractions is the Tate Modern. The Tate Modern is Britain’s national museum of contemporary and modern international art from the period of the 1900s up to the present. The Tate Modern is located in the former Bankside Power Station in the riverbanks of Thames. Even the building where Tate Modern is situated is reason enough for you to go there and see it as it designed by Herzog & De Meuron and it has won the Nobel Prize in architecture in 2000 and the Pritzker award. Tate Modern showcases the works of Picasso, Pollock, Matisse, Rothko, Warhol, Bourgeois and many others. Tate Modern’s bar is pretty amazing too.

Admission in Tate Modern is also free and it is located in Bankside, London
London, SE1 9TG. You can visit their website at

Another of London’s must-sees is the National Gallery which is located north of Trafalgar Square. The National Gallery was founded on 1824 and it houses 2100 paintings making it one of the world’s richest and largest art galleries. The paintings are mostly Western European from the period of 1250-1900. Unlike the other art galleries, National Gallery organizes the paintings in a continuous, chronological timeline thereby allowing the visitors to appreciate the development of art through the years. Some of the works displayed in the National Gallery are those of da Vinci, Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Boticelli, Renoir, Gainsborough, among others. Aside from paintings there are also audio-visual presentations, lectures, exhibitions and guided tours.

Admission to the National Gallery is free to the collection and special exhibitions in the Sunley Room, Room 1 and The Space on Level 2. However, there are charge for other special exhibitions. National Gallery opens daily from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm and on Wednesdays from 10.00 am to 9.00 pm. It is located at Trafalgar Square, London London WC2N 5DN. Visit their website at for more information.

If you have kids or are just young at heart then London’s National History Museum is definitely for you. It offers hundreds of interactive exhibits that highlight, what else, but history, with a magnificent ‘Dinosaur’ exhibition, the eewy ‘Creepy Crawlies’ section, ‘Human Biology,’ ‘Ecology’ and ‘Mammal’ and the interesting ‘The Power Within’ which showcases an earthquake experience guaranteed to chill you to the bones. The National History Museum is perfect for both a fun and educational experience for you and your family. Its architecture is quite amazing too being one of London’s most beautiful Gothic-revival buildings with a sort-of grand cathedral entrance.

Admission to the National History Museum is free and they are open everyday from 10:00 am to 17.50 pm. It is located at Cromwell Road, London, London SW7 5BD. Look at for more details

If New York has the Empire State Building and Paris has the Eiffel Tower then London has the London Eye. London Eye is a 135 meter or 443 feet observation wheel making it the world’s tallest observation wheel and London’s fourth highest structure. The London Eye contains 32 enclosed gondolas that takes a full 30 minutes to rotate giving its passengers a breathtaking view of over 55 of London’s extraordinary landmarks. The London Eye was built to commemorate the Millennium that’s why it is sometimes called the Millennium Eye. To avoid long lines and queues I suggest you pre-book a slot for the London Eye either through phone or online.

Prices for each ticket are £15.00 to £15.50 per ticket for adults and £7.50 to £7.75 per ticket for kids The London Eye is located at Westminster Bridge Road, County Hall, Riverside Building, London, London SE1 7PB. Their website is at

Now that you have acquainted yourself with the various must-see tourist spots in London, you may be worrying how you are going to get to London, how you will travel to your hotel and how you will get to your various tourist destinations. Well, fear no more, I’m here to give you a crash course on how you can make that London travel dream come true. The great thing about London is that it offers a variety of transportation options for different people that have varying budgets in different times of the day. You have three options on your mode of travel to London. You may choose to use the Eurostar, which is a high-speed rail service that travels in the United Kingdom and the rest of Europe thru the Channel Tunnel. It’s comfortable and affordable with inter-capital destinations. Or you may choose to travel via coach services which also travel thru the United Kingdom and the rest of Europe. There are various coach service companies that you may book and avail of. Budget airlines are also available to the tourist.

If you are traveling to London thru an airline then you will need transportation from the airport to your hotel or the place where you are staying. There are various modes of transportation from the airport, depending on which airport you landed. By far the most common modes of transportation are the railway services, such as Gatwick Express, Stansted Express and Heathrow Express; the coach services, such as the National Express and easybus; there are also the taxi services. Various companies have their different time and places of destination and price so you may want to check these companies. Some hotels provide for bus services to their customers from the airport to the hotel. Shuttle services such as the National Express dot2dot are also available. The Tube, which is a train service, is also a cheaper alternative but the travel time takes longer.

Once you have settled in your hotel or any other accommodation you may have arranged, you may wonder how you will get around London to the tourist destinations. There are three main ways to go around London. You may travel via the Tube or by buses or through taxis. Either way I suggest you first download the Tube, bus or access maps of London from various websites as to accustom yourself to the geography. I also recommend you buy Oyster cards which are electronic smartcards that you touch on the yellow reader to be able to get on board the Tube or the bus. You can pre-pay Oyster cards online.

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