What should I not say in London
TOP 10 sights in London
Is it even possible to write down the top 10 sights in London? After all, one attraction follows the next in the metropolis. We dared to undertake the difficult task for you!
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In addition to the venerable buildings such as Big Ben or Tower Bridge, very modern, spectacular attractions also make it onto our list of the best: the London Eye and The Shard are the two “youngest” sights of London.
Below you will find a video in which we show you the most popular places in the city that are not to be missed on a trip to London! Our secret favorite is the 10th attraction. Why? Because we cannot forget the breathtaking view over the city!
These are our top 10 sights in London
1. Big Ben - the famous clock tower in London
The Big Ben is one of the most famous landmarks and lists our top 10 London attractions. Located right next to the House of Parliament, the clock tower can be seen and heard in large parts of the British metropolis. Better upper: the bell.
Because actually the heaviest bell in the tower is called Big Ben, but the tower has been called Elizabeth Tower since 2012. The bell weighs 13.5 tons and its sound has meanwhile become so inscribed in the identity of the British that it is known as the “voice of Britain”.
But not only the thickest bell in the tower has something to say in London. Because in addition to ringing at the top of the hour, another unmistakable carillon can be heard every quarter of an hour - which connoisseurs can easily assign to Georg Friedrich Handel's aria "Messiah".
Big Ben is being renovated
Unfortunately, you cannot currently hear the famous carillon. The tower is expected to be restored until 2021 and is covered in scaffolding. The subways have visibly tilted Big Ben in recent years - the good piece is said to have tilted about a millimeter per year on average.
How Big Ben sounds, why Big Ben is called “Big Ben” and everything else you need to know about what is probably the most famous clock tower in the world can be found in our “Big Ben London Guide”.
Insider tip: For the best view of Big Ben, take a boat tour on the Thames!
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2. The London Eye - Ferris wheel on the Thames
The London Eye It has only been around since 2000, but it is already one of the most popular attractions in London. The Ferris Wheel, also known as the Millennium Wheel, has become a fixed star on the London skyline.
From the 32 glazed gondolas you have a spectacular view from a height of up to 135 meters - in any weather and with a 360-degree panoramic view.
Buy tickets online, skip the line
Be sure to buy the tickets beforehand - preferably with the option that you don't have to queue up on site. The first time we waited more than two hours because we underestimated the rush!
The Ferris wheel is our second place among the top 10 London attractions. Why? Because we are downright in love with the London Eye. On the one hand, it is right on the Thames, which is hard to beat in terms of location, and you can also discover many well-known spots on a trip with it.
And don't worry, a tour on the Ferris wheel is unlikely to put you in a dizzy state. The London Eye is traveling very slowly at just 0.26 m / s.
The new Loving London travel guide
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3. St. Paul's Cathedral - an architectural masterpiece
The majestic one St. Paul's Cathedral is one of the largest and most important cathedrals in the world. It is the scene of many important state ceremonies. Princess Diana already gave Prince Charles the yes-word in the Episcopal Church.
The imposing cathedral is located about 300 meters north of the Thames in The City district. Architecturally, the cathedral is an absolute masterpiece both inside and out - and therefore right at the forefront of our top 10 best sights in London.
Definitely go to the dome! The view is awesome!
Did you know that the cathedral that stands in London today is the second edition? St. Paul's Cathedral, like much of London, went up in the Great Fire of London in 1666 and burned down completely.
It wasn't until almost ten years later that reconstruction began under astronomer and architect Sir Christopher Wren, who made a significant contribution to the appearance of London today.
St. Paul's Cathedral is considered to be Wren's masterpiece - the whispering gallery on the first level alone is an acoustic experience. Londoners know what Wren did for their city. So it is not surprising that he is one of the great personalities who got their final resting place in the crypt under the church.
4. Camden Market - creative scene spot
The Camden Market is known as a sore thumb! The picture doesn't fit? It fits! Camden is one of the liveliest and most creative neighborhoods in London.
Not only can you immerse yourself in the street art pictures of some of the most renowned artists on the scene for hours, but you can also wander through the six markets in and around Camden High Street.
Clothing, jewelry, knick-knacks - many things are more alternative, some even extravagant, but always with the option of taking a special find home with you.
Camden is a hotspot for tourists and Londoners alike, half a million people happily come to the quarter on the weekends, making it an absolute London highlight, and not just for us.
Don't forget to visit the food market on the canal!
Camden is just fun! The zeitgeist is in the neighborhood and it is palpable and edible! Ha! Camden is, so to speak, on everyone's lips. There is an incredibly good range of street food in the district, which alone attracts a large number of visitors.
You can almost eat your way through the culinary arts of the whole world at the stands. Definitely have a look! If you want to find out more about the different markets and what is on offer there, just take another look at our Camden Market Detail article.
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5. Buckingham Palace - royal residence in London
Must not be missing from our top 10 London sights: The Buckingham Palace in London. The palace has been the official residence of the British monarchy since 1837.
The magnificent property was originally built as a town house for the 1st Duke of Buckingham and Normanby, John Sheffield. The building was later rebuilt and expanded until it officially became a royal residence with the coronation of Queen Victoria.
See Buckingham Palace from the inside
Yes, it is possible to see Buckingham Palace from the inside, but only for a short period during the summer. How to get tickets and why you shouldn't miss the Royal Changing of the Guard on your visit to London, you can read again in the detailed article about Buckingham Palace.
Today Buckingham Palace serves as the residence of Queen Elizabeth II and as a location for state receptions. It also houses the Queen’s Gallery, the Queen’s collection of paintings and the Royal Mews, the opulent fleet of vehicles used by the British monarchs.
And then of course there are also the famous bodyguards in their red and gold uniforms and bearskin hats, who sternly guard the royal family and actually belong in every proper London photo album.
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6. Westminster Abbey - 1000 years of history
The Westminster Abbey is one of the most visited churches in the world and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Westminster Abbey has a long history dating back to 1045 and has undergone a number of changes to this day.
In the building you can actually understand a bit of English architectural history, which began in the Romanesque style. Like St. Paul's Cathedral, Westminster Abbey is built in the shape of a cross, in memory of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Traditionally, the kings of England are crowned and buried in Westminster Abbey in the heart of London. The solemn coronation of Queen Elizabeth II took place here - but also the moving funeral of Lady Diana.
A visit to the majestic church is a must on a trip to London, which is why the church is number 6 of our top 10 sights in London
Insider tip: Visit the little cafe in Westminster Abbey!
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7. Tower Bridge in London - more than a bridge
The Tower bridge is next to Big Ben and Buckingham Palace one of the landmarks of London, one of the most beautiful bridges in the world and an absolute top 10 attraction in the British capital.
The 244-meter-long suspension and bascule bridge over the Thames was only built at the end of the 19th century and connects the districts of Tower Hamlets and Southwark. Incidentally, it was not conceived as a style-forming element in the cityscape, but because it simply couldn't be done without it.
In the 19th century, London was the place-to-be, and not just in the old world, i.e. Europe, but everywhere. At that time, London was the largest city on earth with more than six million inhabitants, which led to a traffic collapse.
For years not much went on the streets of the British capital besides chaos. Tower Bridge was inaugurated on June 30, 1894.
Fun fact: for a long time pedestrians had no access to the bridge. After it had developed into a magnet for prostitutes and pickpockets in its early years, the city put a stop to it, which it did not reopen until 1982.
Since then, you can walk across the bridge again, sometimes even over glass. This is really only recommended if you have no problem with height.
What else you need to know about Tower Bridge - from its history to interesting sightseeing tips - you can read in the detailed article.
Insider tip: Come here for sunset - the vibe is great!
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8. The Tower of London - home of the Crown Jewels
Tower of London
The Tower of London is the exact opposite of the London Eye - and that's what makes it so special: it is almost 1,000 years old! The Tower of London is one of the most famous forts in the world and one of four UNESCO World Heritage Sites in London.
Visit the ravens
Be sure to keep an eye out for the ravens when you visit. It is no coincidence that the birds are at home there. At least six of the animals must always live in the tower to protect the Empire, according to a superstition from the 17th century.
Throughout its history, the Tower of London has served as an arsenal, prison, execution site, zoo and jewel house. Exactly! The Tower of London is home to the British Crown Jewels.
The collection is probably the most valuable that can be marveled at in this world and also includes the magnificent crown that is used at the coronations.
Families will have a lot of fun at the Tower of London!
But not only the royal treasure can be visited, the Royal Armories exhibition with a lot of history on weapons and armor is also worth seeing.
What else you need to know about the Tower of London - from the exciting history to recommended tours - you can read in the detailed article.
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9. Piccadilly Circus - bustling center
Millions of people pass through the every week Piccadilly Circus. The square is one of the most popular meeting places in London.
There is always something going on here at any time of the day or night, making it one of the most exciting places in the city and definitely one of our top 10 sights.
Piccadilly Circus is actually nothing more than a large intersection that connects Regent Street, Shaftesbury Avenue, Coventry Street and Piccadilly.
Piccadilly Circus is the perfect starting point for shopping!
The Shaftsbury Memorial Fountain has its place in the center of the large round square. Piccadilly Circus is located in the heart of London and cannot be overlooked by its many huge billboards.
There is always something to discover at the circus, for example the London Pavilion. The London Pavilion was once a music hall, today you can shop there. The exciting thing about the building is its architecture, which is a mix of Renaissance, Baroque and Classicism.
And the Criterion Theater is also worth a flying visit, as the renowned theater impresses with its Art Deco furnishings. What else you can discover in Piccadilly Circus and the most important information about the famous square can be found in the detailed article - including shopping tips!
Insider tip: The billboards really come into their own at night!
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10. The Shard - vertical urban planning
Since 2013 you can marvel at London from a completely new perspective - from the tallest building in Western Europe. The Shard is a pyramid-shaped skyscraper in London's Southwark district and is considered the city's new landmark.
The extravagant building is 338 meters high, the viewing platform The View is at least 244 meters. The highlight of The Shard can be found on the 72nd floor, where you have a spectacular view of the city outdoors.
Sit by the window with a drink: London is at your feet!
The Shard is designed as a kind of vertical city that brings together different facets of social life. In addition to offices, there are also apartments, a shopping center, a hotel and no less than three exclusive restaurants in the building!
We are big fans of the Oblix. There is barbecued whatever it takes - but in an upscale style. Mmm, to weaken! But now to the nitty-gritty. Because it’s only really soft in our knees in the Atrium Bar - three floors high and a breathtaking view!
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Tricked! Here are two more top London attractions!
We just can't get enough of the city. Limiting our selection to a top 10 sights in London is therefore actually Kokolores - we're increasing! Here are two more highlights that you shouldn't miss in London.
Harrods - Eldorado for shopaholics
Harrods is an absolute place of pilgrimage for shopaholics, but not only a top 10 attraction in London for them.
The world-famous department store is located in Knightsbridge (South Kensington District) in central London. The first Harrods was founded in 1835 by Charles Henry Harrods.
Harrods has it all in the truest sense of the word. On an area of 90,000 square meters you will find the who's who from the fields of gastronomy, fashion, electronics, cosmetics and everything else you can think of, true to the motto "Omnia Omnibus Ubique - Everything for everyone everywhere".
But Harrods is not only predestined for spending money. The interior is also worth a look. The famous escalator alone, which transports you to ancient Egypt with sculptures and columns when you travel with it, is a highlight.
Plus, it's crazy who is part of the Walk of Fame exhibition on the second floor of the department store. In addition to countless autograph cards from famous personalities, you can also see a football boot from Cristiano Ronaldo and a leather hat from Prince.
Don't forget to visit the Food Hall!
And then of course there is the Food Hall! Our mouths are watering just to think of the restaurants and snack bars, chocolates and pastries.
What else there is to discover Harrods and where and why it might be worthwhile to take a tea time there, you can read in more detail in the Harrods detail article.
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Trafalgar Square - Public Art
TheTrafalgar Square is a large, central square in the middle of London. The square was named in memory of the Battle of Trafalgar, which was glorious for Great Britain and in which the British secured supremacy at sea in 1805.
Its aesthetics are shaped by many fountains, memorials and statues. Probably the most famous monument on the square is the Nelson's Column in honor of Admiral Horatio Nelsons, who died in the battle.
The special fourth pillar
Particularly exciting: a pedestal in Trafalgar Square is always good for a surprise. The base does not belong to any permanent statue and has been used for sculptures by contemporary artists since 1999.
How it came about and what special features you can also discover on and around, you can read in the detailed Trafalgar Square article.
A visit to the square can also be easily integrated into a nice day tour - maybe even by bike ?! Because, believe it or not, the British metropolis is a very easy place to pedal.
Insider tip: Be sure to visit the National Gallery too!
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Anyone who has ever been to the metropolis will surely recognize some of our top 10 sights in London! In our video we take you on a journey across the British capital!
Top 10 sights
Here you can find all top 10 sights + the two bonus tracks on one map:
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