Postcard from Big Ben - 28 Things to Do in London

As the capital and largest city of the United Kingdom, London is one of the world's most visited cities. It boasts not only the rich legacy of British Empire, but also a diverse population as a result of being the melting pot of various cultures from around the world. 

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If you plan to visit London in your next trip, you better read the list we've arranged for you below. Here are some of the most interesting places to visit and things to do in London.

1. Buckingham Palace

If Queen Elizabeth II says she's going home, then she's going here. Buckingham Palace is the official London residence of British monarch and the royal family. It is open for guided tours on selected dates throughout the year, where visitors can walk through its lavishly decorated halls and State Rooms. 

2. The British Museum

One of the largest museums on earth, the British Museum gathered their collections since the era of British Empire. Discover priceless artifacts from around the world, from Egyptian mummies and Assyrian clay tablets to Chinese paintings, Indian statues, and African knives.  

3. Palace of Westminster

Situated on the north bank of River Thames, the massive palace with soaring towers functions as the UK's House of Parliament. You can take a guided tour to see the sophisticated interior, and even watch the parliamentary debate. The famous Big Ben stands on the northern end of the palace.   

4. Westminster Abbey

The Gothic abbey church has been the site of coronation since almost 1,000 years ago, including Queen Elizabeth II who was crowned here in 1953. Marvel at its impressive architecture and visit the tombs of famous persons such as Queen Elizabeth I, Sir Isaac Newton, and Stephen Hawking.

5. Trafalgar Square

The public square in Central London with its beautiful fountain and column is favorite location of gathering for many Londoners. Some historic demonstrations also took place in here, from women's suffrage rally in early 20th century to anti-Vietnam war and climate change protests. 

6. The National Gallery

Standing just in front of Trafalgar Square is one of the most important art museums in the UK. The neoclassical building of The National Gallery is home to some 2,300 valuable artworks, including famous paintings of van Gogh, Monet, and Leonardo da Vinci.  

7. The View from The Shard

Enjoy the breathtaking views of London from the 72-storey skyscraper, The Shard at 32 London Bridge Street which is currently the tallest building in UK. The lifts are equipped with video screens to create a magical effect of passing through the roofs of iconic buildings in London. 

8. Tower Bridge

People often mistake it for London Bridge, but the actual name is Tower Bridge. The 19th century suspension bridge crosses the Thames River with twin towers and hydraulic system to make way for passing ships. Visitors can go up and see the exhibition on the high-level walkway. 

9. Big Bus London

Hop into a double-decker bus with open roof taking you around the landmarks of London, including Marble Arch, Trafalgar Square, Buckingham Palace, and famous streets such as Baker Street. Big Bus London is a convenient way of exploring all the best spots of London in one day.

10. Sky Garden

Built on top of the Fenchurch Building (The Walkie-Talkie), Sky Garden is a three tiers of public gardens inside a huge glass dome. It features posh restaurants, bar, and an outdoor balcony where you can enjoy the lovely panorama of London and River Thames as the wind touches your hair.   

11. London Eye

Also known as the Millennium Wheel, the giant observation wheel located on the south bank of River Thames is another good choice if you love to see the views of London from above. At the height of 135 metres (443 ft), every rotation lasts for 30 minutes with amazing views.  

12. Kew Gardens

Located in the southwest London, the historic gardens from 18th century cover an area of 132 hectares (330 acres) and are managed by Royal Botanic Gardens. The gardens include massive glasshouses and a collection of more than 50,000 species of plants from around the world. 

13. St. Paul's Cathedral

One of the most iconic landmarks of London, St. Paul's Cathedral stands on London's highest point on Ludgate Hill. The Anglican cathedral with soaring neoclassical dome is the mother church of the Diocese of London. Funeral services for Winston Churchill and Margaret Thatcher were held here. 

14. Millennium Bridge

The pedestrian suspension bridge above River Thames is a beautiful spot to enjoy the landscape of London and the lofty dome of St. Paul's Cathedral. Come after the dark and you will find the steel bridge is glowing like something straight of a sci-fi film.  

15. Shakespeare's Globe

Go back to the time of Queen Elizabeth I as you watch Hamlet, King Lear, and other masterpieces of Shakespeare in the reconstruction of Globe Theatre. Located not far from the Millennium Bridge, this playhouse is built according to the original place where Shakespeare wrote his plays.   

16. Tower of London

Within the London Brough of Tower Hamlets in Central London, lies a historic castle which has been listed as UNESCO World Heritage. Don't miss a chance to see the British Crown Jewels kept here, including St. Edward's Crown and Koh-i Noor, one of the largest cut diamonds in the world. 

17. Natural History Museum

See the giant skeleton of blue whale hanging above the Victorian era hall dubbed as 'Cathedral of Nature'. Located in South Kensington, Natural History Museum is home to more than 80 million specimens related to nature and earth, including priceless specimens collected by Charles Darwin.


18. Hyde Park

Covering an area of 140 hectares (350 acres), Hyde Park is the largest royal park in central London. Take a walk among large trees, lawns, ponds, and monuments scattered throughout the park. The famous Winter Wonderland festival is run every Christmas season here.

19. Sherlock Holmes Museum

Calling all Sherlock's fans! Don't miss a visit to Sherlock Holmes Museum at the real address of 221B Baker Street. The museum is a beautiful attempt to recreate the residence of the legendary detective and the Victorian era atmosphere surrounding it. You can also buy Sherlock themed souvenirs here. 

20. Madame Tussauds London

The wax museums of Madame Tussauds can be found all around the world. But did you know that the original museum is the one in London? Also located in Baker Street, Madame Tussauds London displays a collections of some 250 wax sculptures of public figures and celebrities. 

21. Tate Britain

With a history stretching back since 19th century, Tate Britain is one of the oldest and largest art museums in the UK. The museum is home to a huge collection of paintings and art pieces by artists living in UK since Tudor times, including William Hogarth, Sir Joshua Reynolds, and J. M. W. Turner. 

22. Borough Market

The historic market in central London will greet you with nice scent of fruits, coffee, and bakery. Borough Market is one of the largest food markets in London, so you will definitely find something to satisfy your palate. From wraps and burgers to ice cream and vegetarian food, you name it. 


23. Abbey Road

Take a picture at the world-renowned zebra crossing and recreate the legendary moment when The Beatles crossed the road. Don't forget to pay a visit to Abbey Road Studios and leave your note on the Graffiti Wall outside, just like what every fan of The Beatles did for the past 50 years.

24. Thames River Cruise

Another convenient way for sightseeing around London is by hopping into a boat. There are many services offering boat cruise along River Thames, passing through iconic landmarks such as Palace of Westminster and Tower Bridge. There are also options to enjoy lunch and dinner on the boat.

25. Chinatown London

Discover more than 70 authentic East Asian restaurants, shops, cafés, bars serving everything from dim sum, friend noodle, Japanese cake, and hot pot to Thai massage parlour and supermarkets selling imported goods from Asia. Truly a shortcut to enjoy a glimpse of Asia while you are in London.

26. Leadenhall Market

Are you ready to shop? Leadenhall Market is made of glass-covered alleys flanked by boutique shops and restaurants with magnificent architecture. You may find some spots in the market to be familiar, since this place appears in Harry Potter films as Diagon Alley.

27. Platform 9 ¾

In the film, Harry Potter catches the Hogwarts Express by running into Platform 9 ¾ at London King's Cross Station. You can find the real spot in the station, where the fans of Harry Potter queue to take pictures there. Don't forget to buy some cool wands or Hogwarts jumper at the souvenir shop.

28. Warner Bros. Studio Tour London

Around 60 - 90 minutes from central London, you can visit the extremely popular exhibition of Harry Potter displaying all the sets, costumes, and props used in the films. From Scribbulus Shop in Diagon Alley to the office room of Dumbledore and the scale model of Hogwarts School. 

Please keep in mind that London's events calendar is also hectic all year round. Something is always happening whether it's summer or winter. 

If you know other interesting places to see and things to do in London, please tell us in the comment section.

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Hope you enjoy every moment of your vacation!

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