About London

Sites & Attractions

1. The Houses of Parliament with Big Ben - The Houses of Parliament is the place where laws governing British life are debated and enacted. On Saturdays and during the Summer Opening (Monday to Saturday inclusive, but not on Sundays or Bank Holidays), visitors can buy tickets to tour Parliament. When Parliament is in session visitors can attend debates and watch committees. In the summer months it can get pretty congested with tourists and traffic competing to cross Parliament Square.  Tours take about 75 minutes.   Tel: 020 7219 4272.  The Houses of Parliament contain the bell Big Ben that strikes on the quarter hour. A light in the clock tower tells when the House of Commons is in session. `Big Ben` - the ornate, gilded clock tower, strictly speaking refers only to the thirteen-ton main bell.

2. Tower Bridge - One of the most famous London attractions and just over a hundred years old, the Tower Bridge with its twin drawbridges, or bascules, each weighing about 1,000 tons have been raised more then half a million times since it was built. The closest tube stations are, Tower Hill and London Bridge. Open : daily 10am-6:30pm; Nov-March 10am-5:15pm. Tel: 0207 403 3761.

3. Buckingham Palace - It has served as the Monarch`s permanent London residence since the accession of Queen Victoria. It is the largest private house in London - it has more than 660 rooms. The palace is actually back-to-front: the side you look at from the Mall is the back of the building. The famous Changing of the Guard is staged by the front entrance at 11:30 a.m. daily during peak summer months (May to July) then every other day at other times. The State Rooms of the Palace are open to visitors during the Annual Summer Opening in August and September. Nearest Underground Station is Victoria from where the palace is signposted. Nicest is to walk across Green Park, from Green Park Underground or across St James Park from Westminster.

4. London Eye - Based on the bank of the River Thames near Waterloo Station this is the biggest observation wheel in the world.  It makes a full circle over 30 minutes  offering a splendid view of London. If there are clear skies you will have a 25-mile panoramic view. Open: Daily 10.00am - 8.00pm. Late opening to 9.00pm during June to September. Tel: 0870 5000 600.

5. Trafalgar Square - The statue of Admiral Lord Nelson, built to commemorate his naval victory over Napoleon at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805, dominates the square from 167 feet above it.  Each year people from all parts of London congregate there on December 31st to celebrate the New Year. Nearest Underground Station is Charing Cross.

6. The Tower of London - Overlooks the river at the eastern boundary of the old city walls. Chiefly famous as a place of imprisonment and execution, it has variously been used as a royal residence, an armoury, a mint, a menagerie, an observatory and - a function it still serves - a safe-deposit box for the Crown Jewels.. It is a good idea to  join up with one of the guided tours, given every thirty minutes. . Nearest Underground Station is Tower Hill.

7. The British Museum - You will find almost everything under one roof starting with collections from Egypt, Greek and Roman art, China, old Mesopotamia, Antiques, coins and medals, Prints and drawings, Renaissance and Anglo-Saxon Britain, etc. There are 2,5 miles of galleries, so you should be prepared to spend most of the day there. . It is located on the Great Russell Street, London, WC1 and you can reach it by taking the Tube to Russell Square or Tottenham Court Road. Open : Mon-Sat 10am-5pm, Sun noon-6pm. Tel: 0207 323 8000.

8. The Natural History Museum - This museum is home to life and earth science specimens comprising some 70 million items within five main collections: Botany, Entomology, Mineralogy, Palaeontology and Zoology. It is particularly famous for its exhibition of dinosaur skeletons, and ornate architecture. It is also a world-renowned centre of research. The Natural History Museum is based in South Kensington near Hyde Park.  Nearest underground station is South Kensington. Open from: Mon-Sat 10am-5:50pm, Sun 11am-5:50pm. Tel: 0207 942 5000.

9. Tate Gallery of Modern Art - The building was transformed from an old power station by the Swiss architectural duo Herzog & de Meuron.. This gallery features international Modern Art organized in four themed groups - "Landscape", "Still Life", "The Nude" and "History". The nearest underground stations to Tate Modern are: Southwark, Mansion House and St Pauls. Tel: 0207 887 8000.  

10. National Gallery - Next to the National Portrait Gallery on the north side of Trafalgar Square you will find the National Gallery which was founded in 1834 and houses one of the greatest art collections in the world. It includes artists like Titian, Monet, Leonardo da Vinci and Turner to name but a few. Nearest underground station is Charing Cross. Open from: Mon-Sat 10am-6pm (Wed till 8pm), Sun noon-6pm. Tel: 0207 839 3321.

11. The Victoria & Albert Museum - This is the home of applied arts. It has the world`s largest collection of Indian art outside India, Chinese, Islamic, Japanese and Korean galleries, more Constable paintings than the Tate; seven Raphael masterpieces and sizable collection of miniatures, watercolours and medieval and Renaissance sculpture, and a splendid collection of Samurai swords, among other things. It is located near South Kensington tube station, at Cromwell road, SW7. Tel: 0207 942 2000.

12. Westminster Abbey - The coronation of every king and queen (apart from two) spanning 900 years has been held here. The magnificent Gothic building seen today dates from the 11th century. Nearest underground station is Westminster.

13. Abbey Road Studios -  The prime Beatles landmark in London is the Abbey Road zebra crossing featured on the album cover, located near the EMI studios, where the group recorded most of their albums. Nearest underground station is St. John’s Wood.

14. Brick Lane - Once upon a time this was the main location for the brick kilns which helped rebuild the City of London after the Great Fire. Nowadays, Brick Lane lies at the heart of the Bengali community. If you are looking to purchase particular kind of Eastern music then this is the place to visit in London. Nearest underground station is Aldgate East.

15. British Library - This is the largest library in London. The sheer number of books inside will take your breath away. Location - Euston Road (near St Pancras Station).

16. Chinatown - Located in between Leicester Square and Shaftesbury Avenue, is a self-contained jumble of shops, cafes and restaurants that makes up one of London`s most distinct and popular ethnic enclaves. The Chinese New Year celebrations, instigated here in 1973, are a community-based affair, drawing in thousands of Chinese for the Sunday nearest to New Year`s Day (late Jan or early Feb). Huge papier-mache lions dance through the streets of London to a cacophony of fireworks devouring cabbages hung from the upper floors by strings pinned with money.  

17. Covent Garden - Based around Inigo Jones`s piazza - London`s oldest planned square - the area had for years been a market centre for fruit and vegetables. Now we have the elegant old market hall, and shops, restaurants and arts-and-crafts stalls. It has become one of London`s major tourist attractions, which now boast some of the trendiest clothes shops, cafes and restaurants in London. Nearest underground station is  Covent Garden.

18. Greenwich - The most famous thing about London Greenwich is the Old Royal Observatory from where time all over the world is measured. It is a home of Greenwich Mean Time and the Meridian Line. Another delightful sight is the world`s last surviving tea clipper, Cutty Sark. The Docklands Light Railway comes to Greenwich (Cutty Sark for Maritime Greenwich and Greenwich Stations) from Bank station via Canary Wharf which is also on the Jubilee line. You can travel to Greenwich by train from Charing Cross, Waterloo East, Cannon Street and London Bridge and Thames Clippers leave from Embankment and a number of other piers along the river.

19. London Aquarium – It  is the first attraction of its kind in the capital, and is one of Europe's largest exhibitions of global aquatic life, displayed in over 2 million litres of water. The nearest underground stations are Westminster and Waterloo. Westminster tube is on the Circle, Jubilee and District lines.

20. Piccadilly Circus - Piccadilly Circus is a busy plaza in the heart of London at the junction of five major streets: Regent street, Shaftesbury Avenue, Piccadilly and Covent Street.During the weekend this place is absolutely packed with people. Nightlife is in abundance here, especially with nightclubs like the Hippodrome, MGM Cinema, local pubs and bars, people trying to draw your picture and the Trocadero centre. Inside the Trocadero is Segaworld the world`s largest indoor theme park, spanning seven floors and offering you all kinds of 21st Century games. Nearest underground station is Piccadilly Circus.

21. St Pancras Station - St Pancras International is one of the greatest Victorian buildings in London and one of the most impressive and best looking stations in Europe. It has also become a key destination for Eurostar and high-speed rail in the UK,

22. St Paul`s Cathedral. It is a Church of England cathedral and seat of the Bishop of London. Built of Portland stone with a Dome that rises to 365 feet and with Great Paul, the largest bell in England, this is one of the must see sights in London. The present structure is the fifth cathedral to be built on the site. The weddings of the Prince and Princess of Wales, the funeral of Sir Winston Churchill and many other occasions have graced this spiritual centre. Open from: Mon-Sat 8:30am-4pm. Tel: 0207 236 4128.

23. Shakespeare`s Globe Theatre -Shakespeare's Globe is a unique international resource dedicated to the exploration of Shakespeare's work and the playhouse for which he wrote, through the connected means of performance and education. The theatre uses only natural light and the minimum of scenery, and currently puts on shows from mid-May to mid-September. Also on site are a restaurant, cafe, cinema and, inevitably, a shop selling lots of Bard (Shakespeare) merchandise. The local stations are Mansion House on the District and Circle Lines (10 minute walk), London Bridge on the Northern and Jubilee Lines (10 minute walk), Southwark on the Jubilee Line (15 minute walk), and St Paul's on the Central Line (15 minute walk).For more information please call: 0207 902 1500.

24. Portobello Market. Portobello Road is a street in the Notting Hill district in west London. It runs almost the length of Notting Hill from south to north, roughly parallel with Ladbroke Grove. On Saturdays it is home to Portobello Road Market known for its second-hand clothes and antiques. Every August since 1996 the Portobello Film Festival has been held in locations around Portobello Road. Also, once a year Portobello Road is one of the outdoor venues for the famous Notting Hill Carnival. Nearest underground stations are  Ladbroke Grove and Notting Hill.

25. Camden Market. Camden's group of markets is one of the most-visited tourist attractions in London. It is the largest street market in the UK. Composed of one main street with small alleys and buildings this market is very popular with younger people. There are hundreds of designer workshops, studios, stalls, shops, cafes, restaurants and bars selling an individual and extensive array of high quality goods from designer, alternative & vintage clothing and accessories to one-off pieces of art, furnishings, antiques, jewellery, records & CDs, collectables, arts & crafts and international food. The best days to visit it are Saturdays and Sundays. Nearest underground station is Camden Town.

26. Borough Market. Borough Market is a wholesale and retail food market in Southwark. It is one of the largest food markets in London and sells a large variety of foods from all over the world. It is located beneath the railway arches on Southwark Street and Borough High Street just south of Southwark Cathedral on the southern end of London Bridge. Nearest underground station is London Bridge.