London Highlights: What Not to Miss
A fantastic blend of many cultures, London is a most international city with lots to do and see. Here, the new can never overshadow traditions and antiquity; in London, they live side by side. Intersected by the river Thames, London celebrates its bridges and dockside communities with riverside restaurants and river cruises. Get into the spirit of madcap London; take a ride on a double-decker bus, make a call in a red telephone booth, see a play, or visit Notting Hill’s famous market. There are many day trips you can take from the city to see gardens and castles, or the famous cathedrals of England.
Founded in 1753, the British Museum is the oldest museum in the world. Filled with treasures brought from all over the world, the most prized acquisitions are a fine collection of Egyptian mummies, The Elgin Marbles- reliefs from the Parthenon in Athens, and Lindow man – a 2000 year old body preserved by the peat bog acids in Cheshire.
Headquarters of the British Monarchy, Buckingham Palace, is set right in the heart of London. Buckingham Palace has served as the official London residence of Britain’s sovereigns since 1837.
The Palace of Westminster has been the seat of both the House of Commons and the House of Lords since 1512. Entry is through St. Stephen’s Entrance, where you can join a queue for the public galleries, known as Strangers Galleries. Debates in the commons take place on Mon. Tues. and Thurs. from 2-30 pm; Wed. & Fri. from 9-30 am.
The Museum of London provides a glimpse into life in London from prehistoric times to now.
The National Gallery in London houses one of the greatest collections of European painting in the world. These pictures belong to the public and entrance to see them is free.
the Natural History Museum promotes the discovery, understanding, enjoyment, and responsible use of the natural world. Explore the world-class collections, fantastic exhibitions and cutting-edge research at no charge except for special exhibitions.
Christopher Wren’s answer to the influence of Roman architecture in London, St. Paul’s Cathedral boasts some of the most beautiful and extravagant architecture ever included in one building.
The Tate Gallery of British Art holds the largest collection of British works from the 16th to the 20th century. There is no charge for the regular collections, but an admission fee is charged for major exhibits.
Tate Modern is the national gallery of international modern art. Located in London, it is one of the family of four Tate galleries which display selections from the Tate Collection. This comprises the national collection of British art from the year 1500 to the present day, and of international modern art.
The Victoria and Albert Museum is the one of the greatest museums of art and design, a world treasure house with collections of fabulous scope and diversity. The Museum holds over 3000 years worth of artifacts from many of the world’s richest cultures.
Westminster Abbey is the final resting place for Britain’s monarchs and the site of coronations and other pageants. This abbey is a medieval architectural masterpiece. Do not miss seeing this national treasure.
Take in a play
London is renowned for its fantastic theater scene. While there are several top tier playhouses in the city, there are many more smaller theaters at various price-points. And, if you are looking for bargains, be sure to check out Tkts Liecester Square, the official half-off ticket offfice operated by the Society of London Theatres. (Note: there are lots of places calling themselves discount dealers, but many are rip-offs.)
St. James Park lies in the heart of London and is both a wildlife preserve and a relaxing way to escape the hustle bustle of the city.
Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens are adjoining parks that offer the best of both worlds. Hyde Park provides space for sporting events, concerts and a lake for swimming. On the other side is Kensington Gardens, which offers spacious grass areas and beautiful flowerbeds, with a pond that is a popular ice-skating spot in Winter.