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Tourist Sights in London
As an international city with charm, culture, and history, London is a prime destination for visitors who wish to explore Europe. With an array of parks, museums, shopping, pubs, and gardens, site-seeing in this city is a matter of preference and planning. However, there are some staples that many foreigners won’t want to miss.
Millions of travelers every year take in the famous sites like the London Bridge, Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, and the London Zoo.
Following are some of the main stops for tourist sites in London, and a bit of information about each.
Walking across London Bridge is a must-do for the first-time visitor. This famous bridge goes over the Thames River and is often filled with visitors.
Big Ben is the iconic clock tower located at the Palace of Westminster. This site is probably familiar for tourists who have seen Big Ben as the backdrop of London in movies or television scenes. The towering icon is favorite for walking tourists, who can catch a glimpse of the stunning architecture up close.
Visitors to London are easily persuaded to head toward Buckingham Palace. This royal venue is not just a historical and architectural marvel, but also a living display of culture. Since 1837, Buckingham Palace has been home to Britain’s sovereigns. From the outside, the elaborate building is awe-inspiring, and inside, even more so. Buckingham Palace has 775 rooms, and is the venue for special guests for dinners and banquets. Most visitors will have to settle for an outside view, and a sight of the famous Queen’s guards.
Princess Diana's Memorial Fountain in Hyde Park is also a favorite tourist site. As a beloved iconic figure for many, Princess Diana’s tragic death struck a chord for an international crowd. The fountain, which was built out of Cornish granite and designed with waterfalls to cascade in a free-flow representation of Diana’s life, was opened in July 2004. Today, the memorial is staffed by guards, but open to visitors. Visitors are allowed to dip their feet into the fountain. Visiting hours at the Princess Diana Memorial Fountain vary during the seasons, and are subject to weather conditions.
Sitting atop the highest point in London, St. Paul’s Cathedral, is another must-see site. The beautiful dome set between churches is a towering part of the London skyline.
Another great architectural and historical site is Westminister Abbey, the final resting place of the monarchs. There are daily services as well as special events here. With lots of green outside and interior details to explore, this is one place to take in a bit of livings history. Westminster Abbey can also be hired as a venue for special events.
There’s a lot to see and do at the Tower of London, making it a great one-stop for families. Take a stroll through London’s regal history and view 500 years of armour worn by the royals. An on-site Yeoman Warder will take your family on a tour, telling tales of the sites you come across. On a sunny day, take some time to walk along the trails. The Tower of London is reachable via train and the London Underground. Opening hours vary by season, with more limited hours in the winter. The tower is closed over the Christmas holiday.
There are a wide range of sites to take in when visiting London. Other tourist sites of interest include Madame Tussauds, the London Eye, Shakespeare’s Globe Theater, the Royal Observatory and the London Zoo. As home of the 2012 Summer Olympics, London will have a new addition to the list of popular tourist attractions---Olympic Park.
While it’s possible to fit in a lot of site seeing, getting to know about some of the main tourist sites will help plan a better itinerary giving everyone a chance to enjoy a more leisurely experience.