Make the Best of London with a Tour of its Attractions
London is arguably one of the greatest capitals in the world thanks to its mix of historical and contemporary architecture, as well as its wide array of attractions, many of which are free. A multicultural hub whose population is comprised of people from virtually every corner of the world, the English capital is definitely one of the places to visit while in Europe.
With a wide variety of hotels to choose from, ranging from high end luxury options to budget hotels, the city has something for everyone, no matter the budget. Many of these establishments are scattered across the cultural and financial hub and because there is an endless array of things awaiting discovery, visitors can seldom be short of things to do.
For instance, a good number of luxury hotels in London are located within walking distance of the city’s numerous royal parks, which offer serene and beautiful atmospheres. The open spaces include central and outer city locations comprised of Hyde Park, Richmond Park, the Regent’s Park, Kensington Gardens, St James’s Park and Green Park.
One of the open spaces particularly worth checking out while visiting the city is Green Park, which features 47 acres comprised entirely of wooded meadows. Straddling London’s Hyde Park and St James’s Park, the area offers visitors opportunities to not only relax in its well maintained expanse, but also to drop by the nearby Buckingham Palace, the home of the Queen.
People staying in 5 star hotels in London located near the park can kick off their day by visiting the park before making their way to the palace, which depending on the time of the year they can actually get to visit. The attraction, which serves as both the office and London residence of the monarch, is one of the few working royal palaces remaining in the world today.
During August and September when the Queen heads to Scotland for her annual visit, the palace’s 19 state rooms are open to visitors. The state rooms are particularly worth visiting because they are used extensively by the Queen and members of the royal family to receive and entertain their guests during state, ceremonial and official occasions.
Located near the palace is the ceremonial avenue of the Mall and the buildings of St James’s Palace and Clarence House, which can be viewed in one go. The Mall, which is an avenue running from the palace to Admiralty Arch, not only provides an arresting view, but also leads to one of London’s great attractions: Trafalgar Square.
Positioned in the heart of London, this is one of the most famous squares in the world and should be visited, if for no other reason than to take numerous pictures for that photo album back home. Located in the centre of the square is Nelson’s Column, a monument built to commemorate the death of Admiral Nelson at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. The column is guarded by four giant lion statues at its base and would be an ideal background to have in any London photo.
Near the square is one of the UK’s many free attractions, the National Portrait Gallery, which houses representations of historically important and famous British people. Founded in 1856, this was the first such attraction in the world and its collection features everything from photographs and caricatures to paintings, drawings and sculpture. Self portraits by the likes of William Hogarth, Sir Joshua Reynolds and other notable personalities can be found in this art gallery.
If such an attraction is appealing, then it may also be worth adding a visit to the British Museum onto the itinerary while staying in hotels in London. Boasting a collection numbering more than seven million objects of human history and culture from its beginnings to the present, the museum is also free to visit.
Other similar attractions in London include the British Museum of Natural History (in South Kensington), the Science Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Imperial War Museum, the National Maritime Museum and the London Transport Museum.
A visit to the English capital should not end without checking out the London Eye, a giant 443 ft high Ferris wheel on the banks of the River Thames. An extraordinary piece of engineering design and architecture, the London Eye is the tallest such wheel in Europe. It is also the most popular paid tourist attraction in the UK and draws more than 3.5 million people annually. Its 32 sealed and air-conditioned egg-shaped capsules provide stunning views of London, with a typical tour lasting around half an hour.