Six Attractions of London that First-Time Visitors Must See

For first-time visitors to London, a mind-boggling number of attractions are waiting to be explored and as such, it might become a difficult task to choose which ones to see within the limited span of their visit. As such, it is important for them to get a proper guideline so that they can make the most of the short time at their disposal. Given below are a few suggestions regarding the must-see attractions of this mega-metropolis.

London Eye: Located on the South Bank of the River Thames in London, this giant Ferris wheel has a structure that is 443 feet tall and the wheel has a diameter of 394 feet. As such it provides spectacular bird’s-eye view of London from that height. It has been described as the world’s tallest cantilevered observation wheel by its operators, consisting of 32 capsules, with each one holding up to 25 people and taking 30 minutes for each rotation. These capsules can also be booked for different purposes such as for holding a private party or for romance on the private Cupid’s capsule that provides a bottle of champagne and a box of luxury chocolates. It is the most popular paid tourist attraction in the UK with over 3.75 million visitors annually. The sealed and air-conditioned ovoidal passenger capsules are attached to the external circumference of the wheel and rotated by electric motors. Each capsule weighs 10 tonnes and represents one of the London Boroughs and allows people to walk inside the capsule, although seating is provided.

Tower of London: This iconic, historic castle is located on the north bank of the River Thames in central London, lying within the London Borough of Tower hamlets and separated from the edge of the square mile by the open space called Tower Hill. It was built by William the Conqueror in 1078 and over the years it has been used for different purposes such as a prison from 1100 until 1952. Early in its history, it was a grand palace serving as a royal residence. It is basically a complex of several buildings set within two concentric rings of defensive walls and a moat. Its various roles in English history include its use as an armoury, a treasury, a menageries, the home of the Royal Mint, a public record office, and as the home of the Crown Jewels of England. The castle was also the prison of the Princes in the Tower. Its use as a prison peaked in the 16th and 17th centuries when it imprisoned many people who had fallen from grace such as Elizabeth I before she became queen, Sir Walter Raleigh and Elizabeth Throckmorton. It was also used as place of torture and for executions but only seven persons were executed within the Tower before the World Wars. Presently, it is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the country. The tower also holds different exhibitions, tours and other family-friendly activities and it offers a Yeoman Warder tour that will entertain you with tales of treachery, torture and passion about the Tower.

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British Museum: This world-renowned human history and culture museum opened to the public in 1759 and is home to a permanent collection of more than 8 million works of art and artefacts brought from all across the world and dating from prehistoric times down to the present. Its collection includes the famous the Rosetta Stone, the Parthenon sculptures and several mummies in the Ancient Egypt collection. It is free to enter and is ideal for people interested in history or in antiquities. It is one of the best museums in the world and has something to offer to people of all ages.

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Westminster Abbey: This Gothic Abbey church in the City of Westminster, London is located just west of the Palace of Westminster. It is 700 years old and is one of the most notable, religious buildings in the UK where all coronations of English and British monarchs have taken place ever since the coronation of William the Conqueror. It has also been the burial site for the monarchs. There have also been at least 16 royal weddings at the abbey since 1100, with two of them being of reigning monarchs. Tours of the abbey are available and you can also take an audio guide.

Buckingham Palace: The official London home of The Queen when she is in London, and the palace where Britain’s sovereigns have stayed since the mid-1800s, Buckingham Palace is also the administrative headquarters of the Monarch. It is located in the City of Westminster and it is the venue for state occasions and for royal hospitality. It consists of 775 rooms furnished with beautiful decorations and with bespoke furniture and art from the Royal Collection. You can take a tour of the palace and see its State Rooms and admire its grandiose environment. The garden of the palace is the largest private garden in London. Most visitors to London like to see the Changing of the Guards ceremony that takes place outside the palace and is a sight to watch.

Tower Bridge: This is a must-see Victorian bridge that crosses the River Thames and affords spectacular views of the city. You can take a tour of the Tower Bridge Exhibition and also see the glass pathway that provides beautiful views of the river below.

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