London sights, details about the city

London sights, details about the city

The House of Lords and the House of Commons meet at the Palace of Westminster, and its many kilometers of corridors make it easy to lose your way, but its most famous part – the clock tower – is literally known across the world and is one of the most iconic symbols of the city.

British Museum in London

British Museum is the central historical and archaeological museum of Great Britain and one of the largest museums in the world. It was founded in 1753 with the permission of the British Parliament. Its exhibition occupies 94 galleries, the total length of 4 kilometers.

Buckingham Palace

One of the few operating royal palaces in the world today is Buckingham Palace. It is the official residence of Her Majesty the Queen in London. The area of the palace with the garden is about 20 hectares, it has its own police station, two post offices, hospital, swimming pool, bar – in fact, it is a whole city.


Westminster today, as it was many years ago, is the political center of Great Britain and the place where the most important issues of life of the whole country are decided. It was founded in the 7th century around the then existing monastery. The main part of tourists want to see Buckingham Palace, Parliament and Trafalgar Square first.

Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey is not only a religious building, but a real treasury, with masterpieces of painting, monumental and applied art, amazing fabrics, tapestries and beautiful church utensils.

Hyde Park

Hyde Park is one of Londoners’ favourite parks, despite the fact that it’s always crowded and well frequented by tourists, so you can see for yourself this unique “bastion of free speech”.

London Eye

“The London Eye is a ferris wheel built in the capital of England to celebrate the Millennium. The second name of this attraction is the Millennium Wheel. At the time of its construction the “London Eye” was the highest observation wheel in the world. Its height is 135 meters from the base.

Madame Tussauds Museum

Today Madame Tussauds is the biggest and most famous wax museum in the world, branches of the museum are scattered in 10 cities around the world. Movies and show business stars, presidents and prime ministers of different countries, kings and queens – there is no one else in the exposition!

Sherlock Holmes Museum in London

The most famous address in London, where, according to the stories of the author, Sherlock Holmes and his friend Dr. Watson lived is 221b Baker Street, in the Westminster district. Although at the time of the creation of the works this address did not yet exist in London, because Baker Street in those days ended at the hundredth number of houses.

The National Gallery of London

The London National Gallery is one of the biggest art galleries of the British capital. It exhibits more than two thousand masterpieces of Western European painting from the 12th to the 20th centuries.

Oxford Street

Oxford Street is the center of London’s tourist attraction. It’s one of the best-known shopping streets in the world and is mentioned in every guide book.


Even those who have never been to London probably know Piccadilly Street – it is often mentioned by writers, musicians and filmmakers in their works. Piccadilly is one of the brightest and busiest streets in the historic city center – Westminster.

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The City of London

From an architectural point of view the City can be called a unique area, as it combines ancient monuments and ultra-modern buildings. Thus, practically next door are the Great Fire Monument, the Tower – a fortress on the banks of the Thames, St. Paul’s Cathedral and “cucumber” – a huge skyscraper Mary-X.

St. Paul’s Cathedral in London

At the highest point in London, on Langate Hill, is St. Paul’s Cathedral (St. Paul). This largest Anglican church in Europe is the residence of the Bishop of London. The date of opening is October 20, 1708, but it was the fifth cathedral to be built on this site.

Soho is the most fashionable and lively district of London. It is loved not only by tourists but also by locals. You’ll find bank clerks lounging after office hours, artists, musicians, and students enjoying themselves.


The Tower of London is not only the symbol of London, but also the entire Great Britain. Its special place in British history is the reason why the Tower is one of the most visited architectural and historical attractions in the world.

Tower Bridge

Most popularized symbol of London – Tower Bridge – was inaugurated in 1894. It is both bascule and suspension. The bridge is designed so that when the lower center aisle is opened for the passage of ships, the upper gallery is open for pedestrians.

Globe Theatre

The Globe Theatre, one of London’s oldest theaters. Today’s Globe is the third theater with that name. The first Globe Theatre was built on the south bank of the Thames in 1599 by a company of which William Shakespeare was a shareholder.

Covent Garden Theatre.

The auditorium of the Royal Theatre seats over 2,200 spectators. Above the forecourt there is a screen on which the credits are broadcast. There are also screens on the backs of some seats in the parterre, on which librettos from productions are broadcast.

Trafalgar Square

Located at the intersection of three of Westminster’s most important streets – the Strand, Whitehall and Mall – the square is an important transportation hub. It is also home to the Charing Cross Underground station on the Bakerloo and Northern lines, which is important in shaping the passenger flow of the London Underground.

London is visited by many tourists every day. The capital of Great Britain simply attracts travelers from all over the world. And no wonder, such a bright and huge metropolis deserves close attention. If you still think that London is rain and fog, you are greatly mistaken. Of course, the weather sometimes does not pamper visitors to the capital, but you can forgive such a city a lot.

In central London, almost every house and every street is interesting in its own way. Of course, it is worth visiting the main areas of the city, which have become a kind of legend – respectable City, colorful Soho, historic Westminster, artistic Covent Garden and many others. One of the symbols of London is the Tower Bridge. During the day it looks austere and indestructible, and at night in the light of illumination – fabulous. Another symbol of the capital of England – Big Ben. Locals and visitors have been using it to synchronize their watches since 1859.

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London has the world’s tallest Ferris wheel – 135 meters. If you want to explore the city properly, it is better to do it during the day, but in the evening on the ride you can arrange a romantic meeting. When the lights of the metropolis, the view from the wheel is amazing.

Everyone finds his or her own thing to do in London. Some like the historic buildings and landmarks. For others, the best place to see modern architecture is Wembley Stadium, the Millennium Dome (O2 Arena) or the Gherkin skyscraper. In any case, to explore all of London in a few days is not possible, and this means that will return here again.


London and its main sights, brief history. Evening out and interesting places nearby.

The sights of London attract many tourists. The capital of Great Britain is located in its southeast, at the mouth of the River Thames. The city with a population exceeding 8 million, is one of the largest in the world. It ranks among the leading financial centers of the planet.

Piccadilly Square, 1946

The beginning of the history of London is considered to be the appearance of the Romans in 43 AD in the British Isles. At the end of I century. roman trading settlement acquired a fortress wall, beyond the boundaries of which the city did not pass a thousand years. With the fall of the Roman Empire, London too fell into decay. Then it began to move here North Germanic tribes – Angles, Saxons, Jutes, Frisians, who gradually suppressed the resistance of local Celtic tribes of Britons. The first signs of revival are noted from the beginning of the VII century. The next few centuries the city was alternately owned by the Normans (Vikings) and the Anglo-Saxons.

In 1066 the army of William the Conqueror, Duke of Normandy, landed in the British Isles. After defeating the Anglo-Saxons at the Battle of Hastings, he was crowned the first English king in London’s new-build Westminster Abbey. Then a royal residence was built in the city, later called the Tower, the Palace of Westminster, and a stone bridge. Over the next few centuries, the Anglo-Saxons and Normans (not to be confused with Normans) merged to form a single English nation.

Piccadilly Square, 1972

In the Middle Ages, London survived a brief French invasion, a plague in 1348 that decimated half the population, and looting by rebellious peasants led by Wat Tyler. The decline was interrupted in the 16th century, aided by the defeats of rivals at sea – Antwerp, and especially Spain, whose Great Armada was defeated by the English in 1588, the country became the ruler of the seas.

Another blow to the city was dealt by a huge fire in 1666, which destroyed many medieval buildings. St. Paul’s Cathedral was rebuilt in the early 18th century, followed by the erection of landmark buildings – Westminster Bridge and Buckingham Palace. The railroad, the first subway (1863) and, especially, the sewers (1865) which put an end to cholera outbreaks, gave a new impetus to the development of the city. Industrialization transformed London into a major industrial center, and the population exceeded the million mark.

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The Victorian era (most of the 19th century) was the heyday of London. It was built up intensively, and the population reached 6 million. But many buildings were destroyed by German bombing at the beginning of World War II. The postwar period is characterized by large immigration from the former colonies of the British Empire. And already in the XXI century several ultra-modern buildings were built in the city, which will be discussed below.

The Main Historical and Archaeological Museum of the British Empire

London sights

London’s major classic architectural and historical landmarks include.

  • Westminster.
  • Tower.
  • St. Paul’s Cathedral.
  • British Museum.

The tomb of Elizabeth I


This historic district is the political center of Britain. London’s most interesting sights are located here :

  • The royal residence – Buckingham Palace;
  • Parliament, which sits in the Palace of Westminster;
  • Westminster Abbey;
  • Trafalgar Square.

A tour of the area’s iconic sites can begin by taking the London Underground to the St James Park stop.

The Horse Guards Parade and the colourful Changing of the Guard Ceremony are held at Buckingham Palace every day from 11am. Almost everyone who has been to London has seen them. But few have seen the palace’s sumptuous interiors. Collections of paintings from the Royal Collection are exhibited in the Gallery of the same name during the Queen’s vacations in August and September from 10 am to 6 pm. Tickets cost 16.5 GBP (pounds sterling).

The symbol of London is the Palace of Westminster with its bell tower Big Ben. It was successfully reconstructed in XIX century instead of the original building, which burnt down in the Great Fire of 1666. On the opposite side of the palace there is Victoria Tower, through the gate of which the Queen goes to make a speech in Parliament. Other traditions are honored as well. For example, the Lord Chancellor still sits on a sack of wool, and parliamentarians who address the Speaker are sure to wear hats. The easiest way to get to the Palace of Westminster is by Tube, getting off at Westminster or Victoria stations.

St. Peter’s Cathedral Church is the official name of Westminster Abbey. It is an outstanding monument of English Gothic architecture founded in 1065, and it was completed until the 16th century. The Cathedral is the place of coronations and burials of the British kings. In Poets’ Corner there are the graves (not always real ones) of famous Englishmen – Newton, Dickens, Shakespeare, Thackeray, Milton, Chaucer, Burns, Handel and others.

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Visit the cathedral for 20 GBP from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Wednesday until 7 p.m., and Saturday until 2:30 p.m. There are services for parishioners on Sunday. The nearest tube stations are St James’s Park or Westminster.

The central square of London is named after the battle won by the English fleet near Cape Trafalgar. On a high column in the center – a 5-meter tall figure of the hero of the battle Admiral Nelson. Around the statue are beautiful sculptures and fountains. In the corner of the square is a model of the ship in which the admiral was mortally wounded. And from the monument to King Charles I all London distances are counted. Nearby are the Charing Cross, Piccadilly Circus and Leicester Square tube stations.

The traditional poppy field in front of the fortress walls

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The Tower Palace and Fortress in Tower Hamlets, London, is a thousand years old. For a long time the building was a prison and even a place of execution for noblemen, including kings. Some visitors say they have seen the ghosts of those executed here. The current Tower is the royal treasury, armory and residence for elite guests. The building’s guards in magnificent uniforms are guides and living exhibits for visitors. Not far from the Tower is the eponymous bridge, an iconic landmark of the British capital. It is especially beautiful in the night illumination.

The Tower can be reached by subway to Tower Hill Station or by buses 15, 42, 78, 100, RV1. Opening hours are from 9 am to 4:30 pm to 5:30 pm (depending on the season), and from 10 am on Sundays and Mondays. A regular admission ticket costs 25 GBP.

East side of the Cathedral

St. Paul’s Cathedral is located in the City area. The building was designed by architect Christopher Wren from 1675 to 1710. From the outside tourists’ attention is attracted by a grand triple dome with a height of 120 meters. Many amazing things can be seen inside – the columns reaching to the ceiling, the false second floor, the famous Gallery of whispers heard within a radius of 30 meters, the best English organ. In the right tower is the main bell “Great Paul”, the sound of which reaches 37 km. In the cathedral are buried two prominent military leaders – the Duke of Wellington and Admiral Nelson.

Tourists who have climbed the 560 steps to the Golden Gallery will be rewarded with a remarkable panorama of the city. You can get to the Cathedral by taking the subway to St. Paul’s station. Opening hours are from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., except on Sundays when services are scheduled. Tickets cost 14.5 GBP.

London has many interesting museums. The most famous is the British Museum, open since 1753. The geography of its 7 million items is incomparably broader than its name. In the Ancient Egypt section, the Rosetta Stone and a statue of Pharaoh Ramses II stand out. In the ancient Greek exhibit, you can see the Parthenon marble slabs, among others. The museum can be visited from 10 to 17:30 for free. And you can get there by getting off at the Russell Square, Holborn Metro stations, or by bus numbers 7, 55, 19, 22b, 8, 38, 25, 98.

The museum building and the queue to get in

London is home to the main wax museum, founded back in 1835 by sculptor Marie Tussauds. It exhibits over a thousand famous characters categorized by occupation. The organizers especially tried to create a “cabinet of horrors”. In it in the semi-darkness are presented maniacs and death masks of executed on the guillotine. To enhance the experience, museum employees in dark robes suddenly pop out of the darkness and grab the hands of visitors. If you like it very much you can spend a night here for 100 GBP.

Tickets cost 28.8 GBP for the museum, which is open from 10 to 17:30. And you can get here by subway to Baker Street station, or by bus numbers 13, 18, 27, 30, 74, 82, 113, 139 and 274.

Another famous museum is dedicated to Sherlock Holmes. Letters to the famous detective at 221B Baker Street still arrive. Now this apartment has also been relegated to the museum, located nearby at 239. The museum, which is open from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., can be visited for 6 GBP. Directions are by subway to Baker Street.

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City Hall vestibule

In the current century in London several buildings were built in a postmodern style. The modern architecture of London is controversial. Proponents consider these buildings as new attractions, and opponents say they spoil the architectural look of the city. The two buildings were designed by one of the founders of the high-tech style, the architect Norman Foster. He attributes the unusual shape of his buildings to environmental considerations.

London’s new City Hall building, City Hall, was built next door to Tower Bridge. It was commissioned in 2002. The curved façade of the 10-storey building evokes associations with a sliced egg. The narrowness of the upper floors contributes to better illumination of the lower floors. There is no air conditioning in the City Hall either; in the summer the building is cooled by groundwater from a special well.

Mary Axe Tower

Another of Foster’s creations is the 40-story Mary Axe Tower in the City, which opened in 2004. The mesh construction of the “Cucumber” has a maximum width of 57 meters on the 17th floor, narrowing to 25 at the top. The green glass panels allow the sun’s rays to pass freely, and the rounded design minimizes wind currents. One-third of the building’s glass panels are blacked out, giving it a swirling effect. The nearest subway station is Aldgate. You can only get inside during Open House London days in September.

The Shard skyscraper, which reaches 310 m, is the tallest building in Western Europe. The building, designed by Italian Renzo Piano, has been in operation since 2013. Its name (“Glass Shard”) fully reflects its appearance. The last 4 of the 72 floors are reserved for over-the-top (literally) observation decks for visitors.

It is better to buy tickets well in advance and check the weather forecast: heavy clouds can interfere with the distant view.

The nearest tube station is London Bridge; bus numbers 43, 48, 141, 149 and 521. Visiting hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. Tickets cost 26 GBP.

An Evening in Leicester Square

Things to do in London

The British capital is not just full of architectural and historical sights. Where to go in London in the evening? The most popular with tourists enjoy several options. Where exactly to go in London depends on personal preferences.

  • Soho area (Piccadilly Circus, Covent Garden, Leicester Square) with many restaurants, clubs and bars.
  • Traditional English pub. The most famous are Lamb & Flag and Cittie of York in Covent Garden, Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese and Ye Olde Watling in the City.
  • Ronnie Scotts Jazz Club with advance reservations required.
  • Shakespeare’s The Globe Theatre (Cannon St and Mansion House tube stations).
  • English afternoon tea ceremony, available to elite hotels such as the Dorchester, Ritz and Claridges on their websites.

Ye Olde Watling Pub

Where can I go from London on a free day? Excursions are organized from the city to see the nearby sights. You can also visit them on your own.

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