The Tower of London is just one of the attractions that makes England’s capital city of London such a popular destination for many travelers. It is the constant buzz of people and the endless number of London attractions that makes London one of the most visited destinations in the world.
Renowned for its history, fashion, architecture, and national parks, London is truly a must-visit world destination for most people. A city driven by industry and growth, many of London’s tourist attractions are free to enter, family-friendly, and have plenty of facilitates. However, this makes narrowing down the list of places to see a difficult choice – so here is more information about the Tower of London and other London attractions to help you plan and get the most out of your trip.
1. Tower of London
The Tower of London, which is actually made up of twelve towers, is a must-see attraction for budding Royalists and anyone who is passionate about medieval history and architecture. The Tower offers visitors an array of activities from guided tours to special exhibitions, designed to lead you on the enchanted path of the history of the English monarch. The year-round Crown Jewels Exhibition includes a display of ancient jewels alongside pieces still worn by current monarch Queen Elizabeth II. If you’re short of time on your visit here, make sure to see the White Tower, the Tower of London’s central tower, which is one of England’s most important historic buildings.
If you have more time to spend and seek a truly exclusive experience at the Tower, why not attend the late night Ceremony of the Keys? This ghostly experience takes place at 10 p.m. and must be booked two months in advance.
The Tower of London is open to the public seven days a week, on Sundays and Mondays from 10:00 to 5:30 p.m. and from 9:00 a.m. 5:30 p.m. on every other day. The standard price of admission for adults is £22, and £11 for patrons under.
It’s free for children 0-5. Pre-bought tickets from the Tower of London’s website usually work out cheaper, but if money is not object why not book a VIP tour starting from around £100? The best way to travel anywhere in London is by tube, and the Tower of London is accessed from the Tower Hill Tube stop.
2. National Gallery
The National Gallery is ranked amongst the best in cultural attractions the world has to offer. Conveniently located at Trafalgar Square, and accessed from the London Underground Westminster stop, the National Gallery has so much to see we recommend planning to spend at least six hours here.
Upon entering the gallery you will receive a handy colour-coded map which can help you stay on track or skip ahead to the sections that interest you most to navigate. Inside, you have the opportunity to see some of the most iconic items throughout history including Botticelli’s Venus and Mars and Seurat’s Bathers at Asnières. The National Gallery, however, is not just an art gallery it is a vast museum with historical exhibitions from around the world.
The National Gallery is open on Fridays from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and every other day from 10 a.m.to 6 p.m. As it is a nationally owned building, general admission to the gallery is free of charge.
Be sure to check the gallery’s website for special exhibitions, which occasionally have small entrance fees.
Because of the vastness of the National Gallery, many visitors like to explore the setting in their own time, however, free talks and tours are offered daily for those who want them. The National Gallery is very family-friendly with great facilities including a café and restaurant. The gallery has free audio tours and maps designed especially for children.
3. Houses of Parliament
The Houses of Parliament, as the name suggests, is the political cornerstone of London and British Politics. During the day, the site is always buzzing with a flow of tourists. Many tourists just stop by for a few minutes to absorb the majesty of the building itself and have their photo taken in this iconic location. If that’s what interests you then Lambeth Bridge is a great spot to take photo from, especially when the building is light up in the evening.
Political buffs might be interested to know that the structure itself is made up of the House of Lords and the House of Commons, and has been visited upon by some of the most famous names in ancient and modern history.
Visitors can arrange a to have a guided tour of the building whenever Parliament is on recess; the summer months tours operate six days a week 9:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m., and during the rest of the year they are available at the same time on a Saturday only. The tour lasts approximately one hour and includes a view of famous rooms like the Commons and Lords Chambers, the Queen’s Robing Room, the Royal Gallery, and Westminster Hall. An adult ticket is £17.50 GBP, under 16s tickets costs £7 and children under five have no admission fee.
4. Big Ben
Big Ben is the more popular name for the Great Bell of the clock tower at the Houses of Parliament. Even though the tower is now officially known as the Elizabeth Tower, Big Ben is the most widely known name believed to be named after Sir Benjamin Caunt, who first installed the Great Bell itself. Big Ben is one of the most iconic symbols of London heritage, and as such is a popular destination for photographs. The tower dates back to 1858 and is famous for having the second largest chiming four faced clock in the world, Minneapolis City Hall being the largest.
A visit to Big Ben would be well timed with a trip to the Houses of Parliament, and clock enthusiasts can even arrange to have a tour of inside the tower. However, the tours are very restricted and visitors must follow special precautions when on the site. It is not suitable for young children or elderly relatives. The tour itself costs around £15 and involves climbing 334 small, spiral steps and wearing closed toe sensible footwear is a requirement. For more information about the tour we advise visiting the UK Parliament website for full details and a list of requirements.
5. London Eye
The London Eye, also sometimes referred to as the Millennium Wheel, is a giant Ferris wheel ride which has become a well-established part of the London skyline. The opportunity to ride high above London and scope some incredible views of the city below has proved to be popular with many travelers. Unfortunately, this means it is a busy spot, and visitors often have to wait around in long lines for what is a relatively short ride. For many people it’s and thrilling once-in-a-lifetime ride, but anyone not keen on heights might not be as happy to see the 360 degree views when they are at the top of the ride, which is a massive 400 feet in the air.
There are a wide range of London Eye packages and tickets available to suit a wide range of visitors. Standard adult ticket prices start at £21, with under 16s costing £15 and children four and under admitting for free. Discounts on standard ticket prices can be found on the London Eye’s official website, where you’ll also see some great ticket options and deals including a fast-track ticket to avoid the ques. To make it a truly special day out you could opt for one of the many packages on offer, including Champagne or Whiskey tasting in the pods with tickets starting at £50.