Things To Do In London
The London Eye, Big Ben, Limehouse Dock, Buckingham Palace, Camden Market, House of Parliament -- when in London, everyone gets to witness how history successfully mixes with fashion, art, architecture, trade, entertainment, and food. . . along with a glass of good old British beer! The love and respect for culture and tradition is evident in the Tate Modern Galleries; classical music and elegance rule when the Royal Opera House is open. Shoppers and fashion enthusiasts can comb the excellent Oxford Street shops for the very latest in fashion.
Food lovers can sip a cup of cream tea at Harrod's or snack on freshly made fish and chips from the food stalls. For avid music lovers, from the Beatles to One Direction and all other British contemporary music artists, a visit to the Abbey Road is a must. For the Harry Potter fans, his special museum awaits to be explored -- guests are delighted to learn the cinematic secrets behind his fantastic wizardry.
When To Go:
London's weather is always unpredictable. One of the world’s capitals for trade and tourism, the city is among the mildest in England -- but the damp weather that occurs particularly in winter and spring can make it appear to be much colder than it is. Summers are pleasant with average temperatures above 64 degrees. The hottest weather is likely in July and August. The past few years saw a steady temperature of 86 degrees at the peak of Summer. The Spring and Autumn temperatures fall between 52 and 59 degrees, while winter temperatures are normal between 36 and 43.
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During that time of the year, an overcast climate and drizzle are always expected. The low season is from January to February, while the high season occurs during the months of December, and then May all the way to September.
These are the things to do when in the city of London:
At noontime the Buckingham Palace regiment and infantry troops perform the cavalry parade of the Royal Guards. This is a very colorful ceremony that takes place every day. It will be important to arrive well before the appointed time to get a good view because there is always a huge crowd of tourists. In front of the main gate of the palace is a monument in honor of the great Queen Victoria. Nearby is the beautiful Green Park. And on the way to the palace there is a Royal Gallery where you can buy souvenirs with symbols of London and the United Kingdom.
The official residence of the British monarchy, Buckingham Palace was erected in 1705, and received its present status in 1837 at the behest of Queen Victoria. The building is characterized by its large size and rich finish. With 775 rooms in the palace, the entire complex covers an area of just under 50 acres, of which 42 are reserved for the garden. Halls of the palace are decorated in beige and gold tones; they have solid stucco, gilding, fine drapery -- and part of the building has a distinct oriental style. There are expensive collections of Sevres porcelain, English and French furniture, and paintings, including artists such as Rembrandt and Rubens.
The London Eye
At any time and in any weather the London Eye offers stunning views of London's most famous landmarks from above. For about $32 you get to see the most vivid impressions of the city. You can pay a little more and taste a good wine, served by a pleasant sommelier (wine steward). If you want to see an aerial view of London on an aerial view, you must come here. Pre-book and buy a ticket via the Internet to avoid the line when you arrive at the site. It is certainly worth a visit and the best time to enjoy it is during sunset.
Another way to enjoy unforgettable, breathtaking, panoramic views of London is on the largest Ferris wheel in the world, built by British Airways in honor of the millennium. The wheel height is 443 feet and it is 394 feet in diameter. The wheel has 32 glass cabins shaped in the form of capsules. It rotates at a constant speed of just over 10 inches per second and one revolution takes 30 minutes. After completing the circle, you can buy a photo of your ride while inside one of the cabs.
Tower of London
The Tower of London was built in pre-colonial times, before Britain grew rich. Indeed, the interior is modest; however, you will love the treasure chest that displays the crown jewels (for example, a diamond scepter that is over 200 carats). It is highly recommended to take the audio guide (available in the Tower near the entrance, it will cost around $7), because it will make your tour much more interesting. The tour covers many events within the walls of the Tower over the past centuries, and how many people were buried there.
The whole atmosphere is felt as soon as you approach the Tower. A daily changing of the guard takes place here, and if you're lucky and you sign up in advance on the website, you can get to witness the ceremonial closing of the lock with a key. In the evening, when the crowds leave, the castle guards also perform the closing ceremony of the castle-fortress. The legendary Ravens guard watches over England’s tower with its rich history of coups, power struggles in the ancient times, and the treasures of the Queen. Make sure you visit to see the biggest diamonds in the world; they are as majestic as the Tower itself.
To see it all in one day is not enough as the British Museum is so large and interesting that no words are adequate to describe it. Visitors particularly like the sections devoted to the Egyptian, Babylonian, Sumerian and ancient Greek antiquities. You can also admire works of art from around the world including prints, drawings, sculptures, and modern art. The museum was founded in 1753 and keeps an incredible collection of mummies, sarcophagi, and artifacts from ancient Egypt. The museum also has a decent restaurant with an historic kitchen where they mostly highlight Babylonian cuisine. There is a gorgeous room with a clock, which shows an insane number of different world times.
Admission is free, picture taking is allowed, and this interesting museum is always filled with a huge number of tourists and a lot of school groups on educational tours. It is best to schedule an early visit to avoid long lines at the entrance. However, one visit is not enough to absorb everything that it has to show, spend at least two days to explore and understand British history and culture.
St. Paul’s Cathedral
The famous St. Paul's Cathedral is located in the heart of the oldest part of London City. Tours are like those in a museum where you can view and listen to everything through headphones. The cathedral still looks magnificent and makes a strong impression especially if you learn its history. It stands at the highest point of London, directly opposite the Tate Modern -- from one attraction to another you just cross the Millennium footbridge. This is version 5 of the cathedral, created by English architect Christopher Wren; it was built on the foundation of the previously burned cathedral, and construction was fully accomplished in 1710). The dome of the cathedral is very similar to the dome of St. Peter's in Rome.
The huge cathedral stretches up to the center of London; its size is impressive, a truly imposing building with huge domes and pillars. St Paul's Cathedral is the burial place of 200 eminent politicians and famous personalities of England. The first famous burial in the cathedral was that of its architect - Christopher Wren. Also buried here are Horatio Nelson, Arthur Wellington, Winston Churchill, Alexander Fleming, and Lawrence of Arabia. This cathedral was the venue for the wedding ceremony of Prince Charles and Princess Diana. If you climb up the spiral staircase of the Cathedral, the city will be at your feet.
Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum
While in London, do not forget to visit the original museum of Madame Tussaud’s. It is one of the largest and most famous wax museums that keep a huge number of exhibits. Here you can find images of famous politicians, actors, musicians, athletes, scientists and public figures. One of the exhibit rooms is dedicated to Mary Tussaud. There is also a 5D cinema and a chance to be photographed with your favorite famous icons and personalities. Feel free to take pictures with anyone you like. Some wax figures will have long lines, especially the photo opportunity with the Queen and other famous members of the Royal Family.
Then there are things to do -- scary hall, the historic hall, and the film showing, all done on the children's level. There are huge lines at the entrance, especially in the morning. It is highly advisable to come closer to the end of the day, to see everything without standing in line for a really long time. Also recommended: buying the combined tickets (e.g . Eye + Tussauds) so you can have discounted entrance fees.
A tour of the Kensington Palace allows you to see the king and queen's chambers, and the room of the grandmother of Europe, Queen Victoria. Here you will see a portrait of Peter I, by G. Kneller. William III persuaded Peter to pose for a court painter, and Peter agreed because he was so struck by the scientific instruments which are fashionably seen today.
The palace also holds a fine collection of paintings, royal gowns, and dresses up to the time of the late Princess Diana (this palace used to be her official home). An individual exhibition highlights Queen Victoria (her former clothes, jewelry, and other odd objects that might be interesting ). A garden near the palace itself is wonderful and it is absolutely free.
The Palace is still used as a royal residence; currently Prince William and his family live here when they are in London, as does Prince Harry.
Houses of Parliament
The Houses of Parliament (Palace of Westminster) is the place where the government works and the laws for the UK government are debated and voted upon. It is located on the River Thames. Several rooms are made available for the public to visit: the House of Commons, where the political debate occurs; the Lobby and Royal Gallery, Hall of the House of Lords, and Westminster Hall.
The Central Hall of the Westminster Hall is the oldest part of the Houses of Parliament. Westminster Palace was badly damaged by fire in 1834, but Westminster Hall (main hall) and the crypt were kept preserved. Excursions (as with a guide, and with audio guide) are normally held on Saturdays only to avoid interruption while the parliamentarians are at work during weekdays.
Big Ben is the classic London landmark facing the River Thames. This famous clock tower has a height of 200 feet. Its official name is the "Clock Tower of Westminster Palace" and it is part of the architectural complex of the Palace of Westminster. The bell is named in honor of Hall Bendzhamina who was responsible for the installation of the bell. It is located in the tower of this famous clock with four dials.
Visit the complex at night because it looks more impressive when illuminated by searchlights. Inside, unfortunately, access is not a possibility. Outside, there is always a huge crowd of tourists wanting to have a photo opportunity with the landmark clock of London. Everyone wants to see Big Ben live, because this attraction is really worth it!
The Tower Bridge is a famous landmark of London that is definitely worthy of respect and a visit. From the Piccadilly Circus it is a 25 minutes' walk away. This bridge is a drawbidge, to it is raised frequently to give way to the large shipping vessels that cannot pass underneath. The massive pillar is consisted of two towers built in the gothic style, and they are connected to draw span and galleries, which are designed for pedestrians. The gallery is made in such a way that when the spans diverge, pedestrians still continue to move.
In order to reach the top part, you need to climb up the spiral staircase or take the elevator. There is normally no need to wait for a long time, and going to the top makes this landmark of London and its great view seem even more majestic.
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