London, the capital of England. England is one of the 4 countries that make up the United Kingdom along with Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. London is famous for many things, of course the Royal family and Buckingham Palace. The river Thames features the iconic Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, Tower Bridge, the Tower of London and the London eye to name a few.
London is an old city dating as far back as 43 CE when the Romans occupied London and called it Londinium. This old city still keeps its charm even though it has managed to modernize itself to keep up with the rest of the world. London manages to maintain a wonderful balance of old and new, for instance holding onto their historical past with Westminster Abbey and St Paul’s Cathedral along with new modern buildings like the Gherkin and the Shard.
This vibrant city is also home to Hyde Park, London’s central park if you will. This is the place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. It is also where the annual Winter Wonderland is held in the lead up to Christmas which is a must-visit for any lover of the holiday season. London is also home to West-End, where some of the best stage shows in the world are performed. In fact, West-End is the best theater district in the world, losing out to Broadway only twice in 1997 and 2000.
London is very easy to get around, though it might be tempting to hail a famous London Black Cab, it’ll cost you a pretty penny. Take a red open-top double decker London bus to tour the city, these usually offer hop-on-hop-off tickets which are mighty handy for sightseeing. Otherwise, the London Underground is pretty handy with stops all over the city. London experiences 4 seasons with the coldest month being January where temperatures can dip below 33°F. July is the warmest month with temperatures topping 70°F.
London being one of the oldest cities in the world is home to historic icons. Let’s explore these in our Tripio custom top 10 most historic places in London. History buff’s, these are bound to be on your bucket list adventure of a lifetime.
The National Gallery is located in the iconic Trafalgar Square. It was founded in 1824 and houses an impressive collection of over 2,300 paintings. The era these paintings stem from is anywhere between the 13th century to present day. It is one of the most visited art galleries in the world and is worthy of our Tripio top 10.
A history buff’s vacation isn’t ever complete without visiting a few museums. The British Museum is dedicated to anthropology, culture and art. It houses an incredible collection of over 8 million artifacts spanning 2 million years. Having this sheer amount of historical matter makes this one of the most important museums in the world. Not to mention, what you might have already guessed, it has one of the largest collections in the world.
Earning its spot in the number 8th position in our top 10 is the Natural History Museum. This is one of the most iconic buildings in the world. It has featured in numerous blockbuster films such as The Eternals and Paddington Bear. If you thought the British Museum’s collection was impressive, wait till you see this one. The Natural History Museum in London is home to over 80 million artifacts. Their 5 main exhibitions are Paleontology, Zoology, Mineralogy, Botany and Entomology. This museum is bound to blow you away. If you enjoy taking an adventure through history while traveling, I highly suggest you add this museum to your Tripio travel itinerary. If you selected that you enjoy history when making your custom itinerary on the Tripio app, this museum is bound to appear on your custom to 10.
One of the things that London is most famous for is its West End. It is home to 38 theatres dating back to 1663. West End is London’s live entertainment district and Her Majesty’s Theatre is one of the grandest. Her Majesty’s Theatre is home to the Phantom of the Opera, one of London’s longest running shows with over 13,000 performances under its belt and counting. Andrew Lloyd Webber is one of the greatest composers of all time. Even if you don’t see this particular production, there are lots on the West End to suit everyone’s tastes from comedy to romance to horror.
Taking the 6th spot on our top 10 is St Paul’s Cathedral. This impressive cathedral dates back to 604 AD, however, the structure you see today was constructed in the 17th century. This iconic building has also featured in blockbusters like Harry Potter. This Cathedral is still a practicing place of worship and so entrance to the inside of the building is only permitted when attending a service. You are free to explore the gardens and grounds anytime. This Cathedral has hosted some of the most important weddings of all time. In 1981, it hosted Prince Charles and Lady Diana’s wedding. Don’t be getting any ideas ladies, not just anyone can tie the knot in this grand cathedral. Only if you have relation to someone in the chapel of the most excellent order of the British Empire, the cathedral’s crypt. Married there, buried there, I suppose.
5. Tower Bridge
The next historic landmark is one of my personal favorites, Tower Bridge. This bridge is so beautiful and is unmissable over the River Thames. It was constructed in 1894 and has been a defining London landmark ever since. The architecture and mechanism of this beautiful bridge is impressive today and remarkable for its time. Take a leisurely stroll and adventure across one of the world’s most beautiful bridges.
The Tower of London is a historical Jewel maybe because it houses Her Majesty the Queen’s Crown Jewels in a vault that you can visit. The Tower of London is a place of beauty, wonder, marvel and terror. It is the Queen’s official Fortress and it has proudly sat on the banks of the River Thames since 1066 AD. Part of this structure was actually built by order of William the Conqueror. It has served as a fortress, torture chamber, military Armory, treasury and Royal Mint.
Westminster Abbey, one of the most iconic places in London. Another place that the Royal’s like to have their weddings. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, future King and Queen of England, William and Kate tied the knot in this incredible building. I, personally, have always found the abbey, as it’s affectionately called, creepy. Even more so when I visited it in person, maybe it has something to do with the fact that over 3,000 people are buried here. The list of the buried includes kings, queens and important figureheads. This building whether you find it creepy or spectacular should be on your bucket list. It is located in central London, so if you have traveled all the way here, you may as well check it out. If you love history, make sure you rank it high on the Tripio app when creating your own custom itinerary.
Coming in at number 2 on our custom top 10 is Big Ben and the houses of parliament. These landmarks are featured on every London vacation travel magazine. Big Ben is just so beautiful and my personal favorite landmark in all of the United Kingdom. Ever since I was a little girl, I have been fascinated by Big Ben. That is actually the name of the bell inside the clock tower, the tower itself is called the Elizabeth Tower, but nobody calls it that. The houses of parliament also known as the palace of Westminster serves as the British parliament’s house of Lords and house of commons. This incredible structure proudly sits on the River Thames and no vacation to London is complete without a picture with this world renowned landmark.
Rounding out our top 10 in first position is of course the home of the Queen of England, Buckingham Palace. This palace is recognized all over the world. This is where royal celebrations are held such as jubilees, coronations, Royal birthdays and anniversaries and military parades. This palace is a symbol of the British Monarchy and Empire. For at one time in history it was said that the British Empire was so large that the sun never set on it. The changing of the guard happens daily and is a sight not to be missed. Thank you for reading another Tripio top 10. Ensure all your friends have the Tripio app downloaded so they can plan their next epic travel adventure.
-Gemma Winchester, Tripio Guru