One of Europe’s best known capitals draws tourists all year round for a combination of the classic and modern wonders of all things British. There are literally thousands of ways one can visit this capital and its outlying districts, but we’ve highlighted here those parts which have stood out to us from past visits.
Be sure to realize that London is an expensive city. Not only is the Pound likely to be worth more than your own currency, things are just expensive in general. Much of your budget will go to your place of lodging and even getting around on the buses and metro’s with your Oyster card.
Westminster Cathedral & Westminster Abbey
These two places of worship demonstrate so much of the country’s tradition in art, faith and architecture. The former remains a Roman Catholic church and the Latter is of the Church of England. They are just about 10 minutes walking from each other and so it is quite worthwhile to see both around the same time. There is a fee to enter Westminster Abbey and it is the more beautiful of the two.
We’ve grouped these two sites together because of their proximity along the Thames River. The Tower of London is a massive fortress that is stunning both inside and out. Cost and crowds kept us satisfied just to have a look around the perimeter. There are public restrooms nearby, a nice riverwalk and the London Bridge is just 3 minutes away. The bridge has nice pedestrian walkways and the best pictures are usually taken from along the riverwalk.
Trafalgar Square and The National Gallery
While Piccadilly is certainly iconic and worth seeing, Trafalgar is the prime spot for people watching and enjoying vast views of the city’s pulse. There is the famed musical church of St. Martin in the Fields on the one side, various government buildings and promenades nearby. The National Gallery contains wonderful classical works from all different eras and movements of art. The access is free and it makes for a great cultural experience in the heart of the city.
British Museum & British Library
The parade of free museums and historic treasures is a theme found all over London. The British Museum is in our opinion the best and most worthwhile museum in the city, if not the world. The collections span every known and little known ancient empire and artifacts one can imagine. Mesopotamian and Ancient Near Eastern cultures are especially well represented. The displays could last for days so plan accordingly. The British Library is part museum part functioning library, so its collections while impressive especially regarding historic English language texts will only take around an hour to peruse.