As one of the world Metro poles London enjoys over 30 million visitors from all around the globe every year, making it one of the world’s top tourist destinations. . Bossops has put together a top 10 list of what you should not miss being there, with an addition of London’s latest attraction the Shard.
The London eye is a perfect start to get an overview of the city and take a 30 minutes slow ride in one of the world’s iconic landmarks. 135 metres high The London Eye was the world tallest Ferris wheel when it was erected in 1999 at the south bank of the river Thames. A good tip is to pre-book your tickets to avoid the massive ques at the ticket office. The London Eye is a popular spot for television to make interviews so watch out for any celebrity being interviewed in the pod next to you.
Central Telegraph, New Year’s top hot spots
Central Telegraph, Tue, 18 Sep 2012 “Watch London town light up with fireworks from the base of the London Eye and the banks along the Thames River. The best vantage points are from the Embankment, Westminster Bridge or Waterloo Bridge and the South Bank. Flights to London start from” …
A prominent player in the English history situated on the north bank of the river Thames. A Palace for Kings and Queens but also a prison for many historical persons such as William Wallace and Anne Boleyn, who lost her head there. The tower of London has become increasingly popular since the TV series “The Tudors”, with the Irish actor Jonathan Rhys Meyers playing Henry VIII. Around two and a half million visitors a year come to see the Crown Jewels with some of the most legendary jewels in the world. Here is also the White tower which gave the building it’s name, Royal armour, Royal beasts, and the prisoners exhibition. Join a Yeoman Warder or “Beef eater”, as they are also called for a entertaining tour around the premises with tales of intrigue, imprisonment and torture. The place is known to be haunted, so be aware.
Do you want a glimpse inside the official London residence and office of the British Queen, the place where she waves from the balcony? Then a visit to Buckingham Palace in the City of West Minister is a must, the centre of many official events and ceremonies. Buckingham Palace was originally the Duke of Buckingham’s townhouse and was acquired by King George III 1761 to later be the centre piece of Britain’s constitutional monarchy. The building boosts 775 rooms, including the 19 State rooms open to visitors during late July to September. Many art treasures can be seen here such as paintings by Rubens, Rembrandt and Vermeer. Outside Changing the guard is a colourful classic. The ceremony starts 11.30 and takes 30 minutes. Check schedule at Changing the guard.com to make sure you’re there at the right day.
You don’t have to be a UK citizen to enjoy this tour. On the site of historical Royal palaces such as King Henry III’s Palace of West Minister stands today the perpendicular gothic style building known as the Houses of Parliaments, with its iconic clock tower Big Ben. A tour guide will walk you through the corridors where many historical persons tread, such as Winston Churchill, and Margaret Thatcher. It is quite a feeling to sit on the benches of the parliaments where David Cameron duel with other politicians, so many times seen on TV. The building is a fascinating beauty, both outside and inside, with a myriad of statues and paintings of historical events. It took 30 years to finalize the building from the 1830’s when the work started. Many lying in state has taken place in Westminster hall such as Sir Winston Churchill and King George VI, Queen Elizabeth’s father also known from the film The King’s Speach. Take your time to climb the Big Ben with it’s famous chimes, the location for many big screen movies. Big Ben is leaning one and a half feet of a level position, just as the leaning tower in Pisa, and it is clearly visible from outside.
Do you want to see the Rosetta Stone, Nike or the Queen of the night? Regarded as the best and largest museum in the world, British Museum is the place to go and see ancient Babylonian, Egyptian, Greek, and Roman treasures and many more from different historical times of mankind. Many of the worlds most famous artefacts are on display here. For example the drawing apartment has original drawings from Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and Raphael, or have a look at the Elgin marbles from the Pantheon, which the Greeks want’s back. With over eight million objects it’s not easy to choose what to see. The museum is located at Great Russel Street. The entrance is free.
Tate Modern has recently got media attention for the Damien Hirst retrospective exhibition displaying a stuffed shark in an aquarium and his £50m platinum and diamond skull sculpture among other things. Have a look at the Chinese artists Ai Weiwei’s eight million sunflower seeds which at first just might look like heap of gravel but are impressing handcrafted ceramics symbolising the Chinese people and their relationship to the rulers. The Building in itself is very impressing sitting on the south bank of Thames. it feels like it swallows you hole when you walk into to the massive turbine hall in the formerly Bankside power station. Tate Modern is Britain’s national gallery of international modern art and has over four million visitors a year.
For a bit of extra fun You can access the museum from the north bank by the millenium bridge Also known as the “Wobbly bridge”. Some exhibitions are free and some have an entrance fee.
Where else in the world can you just go in have a photo taken of you next to your favourite celebrity albeit they might feel a bit waxy. Marie Tussaud’s is famous for recreating famous people in wax. In 1777 Marie Tussaud made her first wax sculpture of the famous philosopherVoltaire and from there it has moved on and branched out throughout the world adding many famous wax people to it’s collection. Have a close look at Johnny Depp, Brad Pitt, Rihanna or Lady Gaga here. One of the museums most famous part is the Chamber of Horrors and Scream, containing the original guillotine blade that killed Marie Antoinette.
Many tourists put a silver lining to their stay by visit some of the many world-famous musicals playing in the west end where most of the theatres are concentrated. Some call West End London’s Broadway. It’s a great evening out feeling a bit of Glamour sipping your champagne in the foyer before the show starts. At present you can see The Lion King, Singing in the Rain or Shrek the Musical. For a full listing go to LondonTheatreDirect.com
Opposite the Tate Modern is Saint Paul’s Cathedral. Saint Paul’s Cathedral is one of the most prominent features to the London skyline with its 111 metres high dome, second largest in the world. This is the place where Princess Diana and Prince Charles had their fairy tale wedding in 1981. Many famous people are also buried here like, Florence Nightingale, and Sir Alexander Fleming. A peculiar acoustic phenomena is the whispering gallery running inside the dome 30 meters above the floor 259 steps. Whisper against the wall and your friend can hear you across the gallery putting the ear against the wall.
Trafalgar square is the very centre of London and the location for political protests and the scene for public celebrations such as new year’s Eve. It’s also the place where people just likes to hang out and watch other people passing by. In the middle Lord Nelson overlooks the square on his 171 foot column with four bronze lions at the bottom and two fountains flanking the sides. At north of the square you find National Gallery, to the east St Martin-in-the-Fields church. Trafalgar square adjoins The Mall entered through Admiralty Arch to the southwest. To the south is Whitehall, to the east Strand and South Africa House, to the north Charing Cross Road and on the west side Canada House.
11. The Shard
London’s latest addition to the skyline is a 72-storey skyscraper being the highest building in the European Union. The glass-clad pyramidal tower has 72 habitable floors, with a viewing gallery and open-air observation deck – the UK’s highest.