London has some of the of the most visited museums and galleries in the world and within a few square miles some of the most iconic buildings and places of interest in existence. Our ‘top 10 London attractions’ is drawn from this highly prestigious group of the worlds most popular tourist destinations.
There are, however, a vast array of alternative options which compliment our top 10 London gigs. For alternative days out in London, try exploring our list of more than 60 great things to do in London, almost half of them are free of admission charges.
1. London Eye
Spectacular views across London and beyond. At the top of the wheel you are 135m (443 ft) above the ground and due to the design of the capsule, visitors have a full 360° panorama across the Capital. It’s the fourth tallest structure in the city, providing a splendid birds-eye sensation of being above the famous landmarks of London notably Big Ben and Houses of Parliament immediately across the River. On a clear day it is possible to see up to 40km in all directions.
2. British Museum
The British Museum is dedicated to Human History. Originally, designed and constructed between 1780 and 1867 in Greek Revival style, these magnificent buildings house one of the largest and most comprehensive museum collections in existence containing approximately 8million objects. The most popular museum in the UK and 3rd most visited in the world, the British Museum aims to cover the entire history of the world’s cultures and antiquities, from the stone tools of early man to twentieth century prints and artifacts.
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3. The National Gallery
One of the most popular art museums in the world. The National Gallery has a collection of over 2300 works of art, dating from mid 13th to 19th centuries, containing works by the great masters including Van Gogh, Renoir, da Vinci, Botticelli, Constable, Stubbs and Titian. The entire collection belongs to citizens of the United Kingdom, entry to the main galleries are free. Charges apply to special / visiting exhibitions.
4. Tate Modern
The Tate London, is a national gallery of international contemporary and modern art, from 1900 to the present day. This is the most visited modern art gallery in the world. London’s Tate Gallery is housed in the former Bankside Power Station, facing St Paul’s Cathedral across the River Thames. A central part of this massive building is the wonderful Turbine Hall which forms a huge, serene space in the middle of the structure, from where you can access the galleries and enjoy one of finest collections of modern art to be found anywhere.
5. Natural History Museum
Located on Cromwell Road in South Kensington is the Natural History Museum containing one of the most fascinating collections in the world. These magnificent buildings host amazing collections on natural history, from animals, plants, geology, and palaeontology to ecosystems and climatology. There are 70 million items covering life and earth science specimens categorised into collections, many of of which have historic and scientific significance such as the specimens collected Charles Darwin and the collection of dinosaur skeletons.
6. London’s Museums on Exhibition Road
London’s Science Museum, on Exhibition Road. South Kensington, is a major tourist attraction with 3 million visitors a year. Part of a wider Science Museum Group, the museum offers world renowned collections of human ingenuity. Events and exhibitions, proper 3D films in an IMAX cinema are supported by amazing permanent collections covering all aspects of science, suitable for all ages.
7. Tower of London
Tower of London is Her Majesty’s Royal Palace and Fortress. A great castle to explore any time of the year. Originally built after the Norman Conquest by William the Conqueror in 1078, it has a has been centre piece to British history ever since, serving at various times as a palace, an armoury, prison, a menagerie, home to the Crown Jewels and home to the Royal Mint. It bears the memories of a tough and grisly past, all wonderfully conveyed by knowledgeable, friendly and informative staff.
8. The Royal Museums Greenwich
A World Heritage site. The Royal Museums Greenwich comprise National Maritime Museum, Queen’s House, and the Royal Observatory. A day in Greenwich is a must, on the river with the beautiful Greenwich Park and Blackheath common all close by. The National Maritime Museum is the world’s largest maritime museum with a huge collection of artifacts and information about British history at sea, stretching back over the past 500 years, when the world was a very different place.
9. Palace of Westminster and the Houses of Parliament
The Palace of Westminster is one of the worlds most famous buildings and is home to the UK’s Parliament and is often referred to as the Houses of Parliament. It is located on the northern bank of the River Thames in the City of Westminster. Parliament comprises the House of Commons and the House of Lords, which together set the laws and legislation that govern the UK and which the Government adheres to.
10. Buckingham Palace – and surrounding area
Buckingham Palace, royal residence in London for the Queen. It is the place where the Queen carry’s out her official duties as Head of State for the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth. There are admissions charges to see The State Rooms, the Picture Gallery and parts of the gardens where the Garden Café is a pleasant way to end your visit.
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