Is London overrated
The most beautiful sights in London - and our highlights!
- The most beautiful sights in London - and our highlights!
What makes London so special? Find out here! We're huge London fans and recently went back for five days in the British metropolis and capital England. Here you will find everything you need to know about the most important sights, markets, tours and attractions. You can discover all of these highlights in 3 to 5 days in London.
Here could be a list of the most famous sights in London. We decided against it because the British capital has so much to offer that you can come back a few times and still have not seen it all.
That's why we've listed tours and other activities that you shouldn't miss out on!
Have fun while reading!
The most famous and popular attractions
Buckingham is the official seat of the royal family. However, only on weekdays and outside the summer holidays. Only in August and September, when the Queen is on vacation, you can visit 19 rooms in the building. Including the Throne Room, White Drawing Room (room for receptions), the ballroom, the picture gallery and the gardens. When Corona is over, you can Buy tickets at Get Your Guide.
In front of Buckingham Palace is a fountain with an equestrian statue of Richard the Lionheart. From here you can watch the changing of the guard or just take pictures of the palace.
If you're in the mood for the crowds, watch the Changing of the Guard at 11 a.m. Look in front of iton the websitewhen the changing of the guard will take place. Because this does not take place every day.
Westminster Abbey is officially called: The Collegiate Church of St Peter, Westminster. Since William the Conqueror (William the Conqueror) all kings and queens of England have been chosen here (with a few exceptions). Some of them also found their final resting place here. We still have fond memories of the wedding of Prince William and Kate in the collegiate church. The funeral service for Lady Diana also took place here. You see, quite a place steeped in history.
You can also find tombs of important personalities (writers, artists and politicians such as Stephen Hawking, Charles Dickens, Isaac Newton) here. For Brits and fans of the Royals, there is probably no more important place than Westminster Abbey.
All information about the visit:
Note: Before you go next, watch The Crown on Netflix. Then you know very well about the royal family. Rumor has it that the series is very close to reality.
The famous clock tower in London is one of the landmarks of London. What many do not know: Only the clock is called Big Ben, the 96.3 meter high tower itself is called the Elizabeth Tower. Unfortunately, restoration has been delayed due to the pandemic. Therefore, you have to be patient until 2022 until the scaffolding is removed again.
The government originally considered shortening the time the clock was switched off, because the sound of the bell is, after all, a symbol of London. It's a shame that Corona is delaying everything. Incidentally, the bell weighs 13.5 tons and the sound is known as the "voice of Britain".
Big Ben is right next to the House of Parliament and cannot be missed. You have the best view from the London Eye, a helicopter flight over London or a boat trip on the Thames.
Are you wondering, like us, whether you can visit Big Ben?
The answer is disappointing for us:
Big Ben is not open to the public. Only British citizens can apply to their MPs to climb Elizabeth Tower, view the bell and chimes, and enjoy the view. Too bad.
Saint Paul's Cathedral
What would the London skyline be without St. Paul's Cathedral with its 110 m high dome? Enter via the portal and get into the impressive main nave, at the end of which is the dome. St. Paul's Cathedral is one of the most important cathedrals in the world. Here Princess Diana and Prince Charles said yes. Pictures of the wedding still flicker on the TV today.
Unfortunately, the Whisper Gallery is now closed. You can no longer go up the 257 steps. In the past, everything that was whispered towards the wall could be heard clearly and distinctly from the other side 30 m away. A lot of fun not only for children.
The nave, the cathedral and the crypt are still open to the public.
You have a great view if you cross the river from the opposite side of the Thames Millennium Bridge walking towards St. Paul's Cathedral.
You can order your ticket in advance from Get Your Guide (and save time).
The landmark of London is the Tower Bridge. Opened in 1894, the bridge is one of the most important arteries across the Thames. Take the hop-on bus over there, walk over there or even better: take the Tower Bridge Experience part. in the London Pass included (even without the queue) you can enjoy the view on the pedestrian walkway with the glass floor!
Tower of London
The Tower of London is a permanent fixture in London. Until the 17th century this fortress served as a royal residence, until the 20th century as a prison and until today you will find the royal treasury here.
The crown jewels have been made accessible to the public here for 300 years. You can of course also have a look at them. You pass by on an escalator. Stopping is not. Photography is strictly forbidden.
Queues are preprogrammed here. There are no fast-track tickets for this in order to shorten the waiting time.
There are currently 36 Beafeaters (Queen's Life Guards) in the Tower of London. One of them is the Raven master. He takes care of the well-being of the 6 ravens who are at home here on the site.
London Eye - the ferris wheel
Experience the skyline of London from the Coca Cola London Eye - as London’s Ferris wheel is officially called! Even if the prices seem expensive to many, it's worth it!
The modern landmark of London on the Thames attracts many tourists. The Ferris wheel on the South Bank of the Thames is 135 meters high, making it the largest in Europe.
As we were traveling in early April, we did not reserve a time slot ticket (£ 37). When suddenly the sun was shining and visibility was good, we walked along the Thames on the South Bank to the London Eye. We upgraded our London City Passes with £ 10 for a fast track ticket on site.
We had to pay for the tickets for the London Pass holders in full (£ 40). Had we pre-booked these tickets we would have saved £ 3 per person and paid only £ 37. A tip for you: book your Fast Track Ticket on the Internet before traveling. For an extra £ 4 you can book the fully flexible ticket for a specific day. Then you are not tied to a time slot and can visit the London Eye whenever you want via the Fast Track entrance.
The gondolas offer space for 25 - 28 people. It could easily accommodate twice as many people. But in order to guarantee everyone a good view, we leave out what we think is great. If you are lucky and the weather is good, you will get a view that stretches for miles.
Information and tickets for the London Eye:
- Do you own oneLondon City Pass? Then the regular ticket is included. Is theLong queue? Then book yourself at the cash desk for£ 10 upgrade to the fast-track ticket.
- Fast Track Skip the Line Ticket for London Eye
- Standard pre-line ticket online: £ 27. On site: £ 30.
- Don't you have a London City Pass? Then buy your ticket online in advance and save money.
- Regular ticket in advance on the Internet with a time slot: £ 37. On site: £ 40
- Regular ticket in advance on the Internet “Flex” and Fast-Track all day: £ 41
- Note: Save yourself the photo package which you can buy for £ 25. We have seldom seen such poor photomontages. Take your own photos. These are 100% better quality and with no cut off arms. Look at the pictures on site and you will understand what we mean).
- Opening hours: Times are always changing. In the morning the Ferris wheel is always open from 10 a.m. Sometimes until 8.30 p.m. and sometimes until 9.30 p.m. Check the exact opening times on theofficial websitebefore your trip.
- Getting there: By underground: Westminster or Waterloo.
The View from The Shard
"Experience the Greatest View of London" emblazoned on the flyer. He's right. In our opinion the most beautiful view of London you get from The Shard, tallest building in London. The "splinter" protrudes310 meters in the air and is the new landmark in Southwark. From here, in our opinion, you have the most beautiful view of London!
Unfortunately you have panes of glass in front of it and everything is reflected when you take a photo. Thanks to technical aids (Lens Hood) it works without reflection!
We sat at the window high up and enjoyed the sunset with a glass of champagne (it was my birthday). The view and the colors from up here are gigantic. When night falls and all the lights below you start shining, you have the best time up here!
Best time to visit
Be prepared for long waiting times in summer when the weather is good and during holidays. At the beginning of April we were lucky and were able to go upstairs straight away. The View from The Shard is rightly one of the most popular London attractions. We went up around 5 p.m.
There were already a lot of people sitting on the floor in front of the glass panes, but somehow we managed to get a seat. The last admission is one hour before closing. Enjoy the sunset (unfortunately turned away from Tower Bridge and all sights) and especially afterwards the light. Then it gets really nice and most of the tourists leave the viewing platform.
Info and tickets for The View from The Shard
The Palace of Westminster is the seat of the British Parliament, which consists of the House of Commons and the House of Lords. The complex is also known as the Houses of Parliament.
Together with Westminster Abbey, Westminster Palace is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The neo-Gothic facade with the towers, which includes Big Ben, is one of the most popular photo opportunities in London.
Info about the Palace of Westminster
- Nearest tube station: Westminster
- Opening times: Monday - Friday: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. (closed on Saturday and Sunday)
The Trafalgar Square was named after one of the most important battles between the English and Napoleon. It is a large square in the heart of London and is considered by many to be the “center of the city”. The fountains and the Nelson columnwho have favourited Admiral Horation Nelson in honor of who fell at the Battle of Trafalgar.
Four bronze lions watch at the feet of the column. Legend has it that the lions come to life when Big Ben hits 13 times. This is where the embassies of Canada and South Africa are located, as you can see from the flags on the outside when you walk past.
There is always a lot going on here, for photos you have to come either early in the morning or in the evening. The popular one is right on Trafalgar Square National Gallery, the largest art museum in the capital. When it rains, it's time to go to the museum. The most interesting (for me) artists exhibited here are the impressionists Cezanne, Monet and Van Gogh. Everything older is too gloomy for me (Rubens, Rembrandt and Co.)
You can find all the information about the museum on The National Gallery's website.
- A great photo opportunity, especially at night, as the huge video screens illuminate the square.
- Five busy streets flow here.
- Entrance to the West End and Soho neighborhoods
- Popular tourist magnet because it is conveniently located.
Hyde Park is the “green lung” of the city. It belongs to the royal parks and is one of the largest inner-city parks in the world. At the northeast corner of the park you will find the famous "Speakers Corner". Here everyone can give lectures or listen to other lectures.
- Underground station: Hyde Park Corner
The best markets in London
The Borough Market is the most famous and for us the best market when it comes to food! It's full of course, but the food - we're still raving about it!
The market hall is the oldest in London.
Do you like meat: Make sure to eat a steak sandwich at The Beefsteaks. Dom was so excited that he bought a second one straight away. Also good the muffins, donuts, real Colombian coffee and much more! Here you can eat until you burst.
We generally find Camden very touristy. That was the case 20 years ago when I visited London for the first time. That's why we left out Camden on this trip and visited other markets instead.
Information about the Borough Market:
- Opening times: Monday - Thursday: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., Friday: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m., Saturday: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
- Nearest tube station: London Bridge
Brick Lane Market
TheLondon's oldest market, the Shoreditch Sunday Marketworth it on sunday. In addition to some ramshackle stands, there are also cool stands with second-hand clothes, antiques and food.
In the immediate vicinity is theBrick Lane Market. The market inspires us with street food stalls and a large market hall with food from all over the world. From Finnish to Tibetan to Japanese and French you will find everything here to satisfy your hunger. All around you will find a lot of kitsch and "clutter".
- Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Location: Along the entire Brick Lane, next underground station: Aldgate.
According to a friend, the is less recommendableColumbia Flower Market. We wouldn't have had time for that anyway.
- Old Spitalfields Market
- Portobello Road Antique Market (Notting Hill)
- Covent Garden Market Hall
- Alfies Antique Brand (Lisson Grove)
- Broadway Market: vintage clothes and organic food
Leadenhall Market covered market
The beautiful Leadenhall Market is a covered market with pubs and restaurants. We particularly like the architecture and the atmosphere created by incident light.
The building has been a listed building since 1972 and is Harry Potter fans a term. Scenes from Diagon Alley in the first film Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone was filmed here.
The classic among the London markets. You will now find more tourists here than locals. Already in the Abitur year for my graduation trip I was disgusted by Hitler souvenirs and gas masks that you can buy here (there are here, no joke). Check out the market if you're around anyway, otherwise I advise you to check out Brick Lane Market.
Activities and tours
Explore street art
The Street Art Tour in Shoreditch is popular. So it starts at 10 a.m. with guide Dave and about 20 other interested people.
Dave shows us not only three original Banky's on the 3-hour tour (sorry, I'm a big fan). But also works by ROA, a work of art by the Space Invader and also lesser known artists.
We stand against a wall for about an hour and learn how quickly works of art are created here and new ones are added. Almost every day Dave discovers something new.
The district lives from its artists, many walls have been approved by the house owners to be pasted up. I wish it were the same in my home country.
Of course, you can discover street art on your own. But we wanted to hear stories about artists and their works.
In addition, we would probably have overlooked one or the other work. Some of these installations are too hidden or too small.
- Book this tour here on the internet.
- Cost: £ 20 (pay in cash at the beginning)
- After the tour, Dave will send you a very long email with links to the artists, the artworks and films on YouTube. So good!
Go to a musical in London's West End
Whenever we are in London we go to a musical. Les Miserables, Hamilton, Wicked, Book of Mormon, Come from away, The Phantom of the Opera and many more.
Dom and Katrin are big fans of it. Now we were all together in the best hip-hop musical in the world:Hamilton! You have to see that. Unfortunately it is very expensive and almost always fully booked. The tickets are always released three months in advance. Then you have to be quick.Hamilton Well worth it (we've seen it now in New York on Broadway as well as in London's West End).
For Dom we even have tickets forBook of Mormon won.If you like South Park, you love this musical and the humor very much! Every day you have the chance to take part in a lottery at the entrance. To do this, you have to fill out a form and be there at 5:30 p.m. for the draw.
If you are lucky and you are one of the winners, you will get 1 or 2 tickets (you can specify) in the first row! Awesome, isn't it?
Also for Hamilton there is a daily raffle (via app). Try your luck, we haven't had one for this popular musical yet.
Jack the Ripper Tour
Jack the Ripper is known to everyone. In Whitechapel in 1888 he was up to mischief and unbuttoned several prostitutes. The tour takes you to these places and is just great. Top tip!
We explore London for almost 3 hours in the footsteps of famous artists: Beatles, Rolling Stones and the punk rock bands.
We see Apple Studios, where the Beatles recorded most of their albums outside of Abbey Road. Or the location where the Let it be movie was filmed.
We hear of stories that happened in Soho's legendary Barnaby Street. Oh yes, sex, drugs and rock'n roll. We also pass the pub "The Ship", one of the last rock'n'roll pubs in today's hipster district of Soho.
Do you want to know where Bohemian Rhapsody was recorded or where you can meet one or the other musician in London over a beer? Then be sure to book a place on this tour.
The best museums
Warner Bros. Studios - "Making of Harry Potter"
A visit to the Warner Bros. Studios and the "Making of Harry Potter" is not only an experience for Harry Potter fans. Here you can marvel at real film sets and props.
Read on here for a detailed report on the Harry Potter Studio Tour in London
The Harry Potter Studio Tour enchants us and we could for hoursHogwarts, Gringotts and theDiagon Alley marvel at. Theoriginal Hogwarts Express stands here as well as theKnight bus.
Harry's home inPrivet Drive, hissmall chamber under the stairs or theWall on track 9 3/4 you can marvel at. It gets scary in theForbidden forest.
We are thrilled with how this Harry Potter tour in the studios is. At the end there is a surprise like the end of the last film. Brilliant!
Information for the Warner Bros. Making of Harry Potter Studio Tour
- Duration for the tour: 3 - 4 hours. Journey from London approx. 1 hour
- Getting there: From London Euston by train to Watford, then on the Harry Potter double-decker bus directly to the studio (return bus for £ 2.50).
- Tickets for adults aged 16 and over: £ 45
- Tickets for children (5-15 years old): £ 35
- Family tickets (2 adults & 2 children or 1 adult & 3 children): £ 148
- Tip: Do you have theLondon Pass? Thanks to this, there is a £ 3 discount if you book your ticket with transfer (double-decker bus) from Victoria Station.
- More information on the official website
Tate Modern Gallery
The Tate Gallery of Modern Art is one of the world's largest museums of modern art. Located directly on the Thames, you should definitely pay a visit to the free museum.
Do you have a London Pass? Then you can borrow the extensive audio guide for free.
Natural History Museum London
The Natural History Museum in London is divided into 4 departments and is one of the largest natural history museums in the world. From dinosaurs to earthquake simulations, you'll find tons of great things here! I love museums in the UK. Already inEdinburgh andGlasgow I was completely enthusiastic about the natural history museums.
- The Natural History Museum is free.
- Underground Station: South Kensington
- Opening times: daily 10 a.m. - 5:50 p.m. Last admission 5.30 p.m.
- Closed from December 24th to 26th
Overview of London attractions as a map
To make it easier for you to find your way around, we have marked the most important London sights on the map. Plus our highlights and tips for restaurants, bars, markets and parks packed.
The best thing to do is to download the map to your mobile phone offline. You can open it in Google Maps and use it to navigate on site in London.
Buy a London Sightseeing Pass
Tickets for attractions in London are not cheap. Just the ticket for the London Eye (skip the line) costs £ 27. That's almost € 32! That is why we advise you to consider whether one of the London passes for sights and attractions is worthwhile.
! We have a discount deal for the London Pass! When booking, use this link in the discount codemuch on the go2020 one andsave 10% when buying a 3, 6 or 10 day pass.
Alternatively: buy tickets online before traveling and save money
Buy the tickets online before you travel. This not only saves you money (tickets are often cheaper on the Internet), but also time. You can buy time-based tickets (for a specific time) or buy tickets so that you can use the fast track (without having to queue).
What is London known for?
London is known for the expensive rents in the center. The city on the Thames is considered the most expensive city in Western Europe. London is flashy, always trendy and quite expensive for us.
How many districts does London have?
The city on the Thames has 13 boroughs in Inner London. There are 33 boroughs in Greater London.
How expensive is a week in London?
With flights and accommodation you have to reckon with at least 700 - 800 euros. The most expensive of these are hotels.
Is London expensive?
London is generally expensive. As a result of Brexit, the pound lost some of its value against the euro. Nevertheless, shopping, dining out and a hotel are generally more expensive than ours.
Where are most of the sights in London?
Most of the highlights can be found in central London along the Thames. These are all not far from each other: London Eye Ferris Wheel, Tate Museum, Westminster Abbey, Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square and Tower Bridge.
Where do you get the best view in London?
We love seeing the sun set from The Shard. The city and the Thames are at your feet. You can also catch a great view of the city in the Sky Garden. As a third (and free) spot, we recommend the viewing terrace in the Tate Modern Museum. You are not nearly as high here, but we still think the view is quite nice.
Do you have any further questions or information about the highlights in London?
Leave us a comment! We are looking forward to it.
All tips and tricks for London in detail
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