London is full of things to see and do; from famous attractions such as the London Eye, the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben, the Tower of London and the Tate Modern; to great shopping opportunities; to wide open urban green spaces and much, much more.
Read on for inspiration and handy tips on the unmissable places to visit while you're in London. Many attractions on this list are to free to enter; another great reason to fall in love with London.
One of the biggest and finest museums in the world, the British Museum is home to some of the most treasured historical artefacts in existence. The extensive exhibition include the Rosetta Stone, Assyrian treasures, the Egyptian mummies and the museum's spectacular, light-filled Great Court. A new restaurant has recently been opened in the Great Court; an ideal spot for afternoon tea under the magnificent roof. There are also free tours and guides to take advantage of at the museum.
With more than 300 wax figures, the Marvel Super Heroes 4D movie experience and Spirit of London Taxi Ride, there's plenty to entertain at Madame Tussauds London. The uncannily lifelike wax figures of famous (and infamous) individuals from throughout history are, of course, the highlight, with everyone from Johnny Depp and One Direction to The Queen and Muhammad Ali making an appearance.
The Tower of London is one of the most famous fortified buildings in the world. It's also a mysterious place full of dark secrets, strange stories and historic relics. Here you can admire the priceless Crown Jewels, explore the Medieval Palace, visit the infamous Bloody Tower, and go on a tour with a Yeoman Warder to learn about the many executions that took place here.
Spread over 350 acres, Hyde Park is a green haven in the centre of London. The park is home to 4,000 trees, a large lake, a meadow and ornamental flower gardens, not to mention a bustling programme of activities and events including horse riding, skating, cycling, swimming and boating. Highlights to look out for include the Serpentine Bridge, Joy of Life fountain, Achilles statue, Diana Memorial Fountain and Speaker's Corner.
The Natural History Museum houses hundreds of amazing exhibits from the natural world in one of London's most beautiful landmark buildings. Highlights include the popular Dinosaurs gallery, the model blue whale, the Cocoon specimen centre and special events and debates in the Darwin Centre’s high-tech Attenborough Studio, including a chance to meet the scientists.
The 17th century St Paul's Cathedral on Ludgate Hill in the City of London is one of the city's most iconic buildings. It was designed by the illustrious Sir Christopher Wren and it was the highest building in London until as late as 1962. Use the touch-screen multimedia guides, or take a guided tour, to learn about the famous interior or, if you're feeling fit, climb up to the Whispering Gallery (to try out the acoustics) and on towards the golden Gallery at the top of the dome where you'll be rewarded with amazing views across London. You can also descend into the crypt where you'll find memorials of heroes such as Admiral Lord Nelson.
Shakespeare's Globe Theatre is a reconstruction of the original open-air theatre on the banks of the river Thames, where the playwright, William Shakespeare, first staged many of his famous plays such as Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, and Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Located just a few hundred yards from its original site, today's Globe Theatre stages classic and modern interpretations of Shakespeare's work as well as brand-new plays. And at just £5 for a standing ticket, you can't lose! The exhibition has audio guides available in English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, and Japanese. There are expert guided tours as well every 30 minutes.
Located next to the London Eye along the South Bank, the SEA LIFE London Aquarium has one of Europe’s largest collections of global marine life covering more than 500 species, 14 themed areas and two million litres of water. The exhibition includes favourites such as seahorses, octopus, zebra sharks and clown fish. It's also an interactive experience so you can feed the stingrays, see the sharks' feeding time, watch diving displays and go 'under the sea' in the glass tunnel walkway.