As the largest city in Western Europe and with a metropolitan area that encompasses over 14 million people from across the globe, London truly is one of the most dynamic, vibrant and interesting cities in the world. With so many unique attractions to visit it can be difficult to choose which are the most deserving of your attention, but the following five are attractions that you perhaps cannot afford to miss on a London holiday.
One of the most popular attractions, Buckingham Palace attracts millions of visitors every year. A symbol of the British monarchy and modern day Britain, the palace is the official residence of Queen Elizabeth II. Originally known as Buckingham House, the palace was originally just a townhouse built for the Duke of Buckingham in 1703. Since then many additional buildings have been added, and it is today known as Buckingham Palace, serving as a Royal residence and reception for popular royal parties, which attracts more than 50,000 people per year.
Another popular attraction which draws in more than a million visitors per year is Westminster Abbey. The large Gothic church is located in Westminster and is the traditional place for coronation as well as a popular burial place for Commonwealth monarchs. During its existence the abbey has severed as a monastery, a church and a burial site and is now recognized as one of the most beautiful cathedrals in the world.
St Paul’s Cathedral continues to be one of London’s most popular attractions. Designed by Christopher Wren, the current cathedral is a replacement of the original Gothic building which was destroyed in 1666. The cathedral is open to the public and is free if you attend the midday service; however, it is not possible to get to the top without a valid ticket. What’s more, below the cathedral are the tombs of some of the most famous figures in British history, including Admiral Lord Nelson and the Duke of Wellington.
The Tower of London – founded by William the Conqueror in 1066 – is one of the city’s most famous attractions. During its 900 year existence the tower of London has served as a Royal Palace, a prison, jewel house, a place of execution, and countless other roles. If visiting the castle it is worth going to the Ceremony of the Keys, a locking up ceremony performed every night at ten o’clock. During the tower’s existence the tradition has never been missed and only delayed once when the Luftwaffe bombed the tower.
Trafalgar Square continues to serve as one of London’s most popular attractions. Designed by John Nash in the 1820’s as a commemoration of London Nelson’s victory against Napoleon at the battle of Trafalgar, the pigeon-popular columns attract millions of visitors every year. Trafalgar square is also the location of London’s smallest police station and within walking distance of the popular National Gallery.
Indeed, central London offers travelers a wide range of activities to enjoy, which means it is all the more important to understand that there are a wide range of hotels in London available to help ensure that you make the most of your holiday. And with so many attractions to visit and enjoy, such an option can only be a good thing.
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