15 Best Monuments in London

London Travel

1. Big Ben

Big Ben is a historic landmark in London and has become one of the major and most easily recognisable landmarks of the city. The name "Big Ben" is the name for the clock in Elizabeth's Tower - the tallest tower in the Palace of Westminster. The clock weighs an impressive 13 tons. It is a must-see on your four days in London itinerary.

This historical monument was built in 1843 as an addition to the Palace of Westminster after the old building was destroyed by a fire in 1834. The idea to construct Big Ben was that of Charles Barry, but the design itself was created by the architect Augustus Pugin.

2. Buckingham Palace

Queen Elizabeth II is probably one of the most powerful and well-known women in the world. Buckingham Palace is the official residence of the Queen and is itself one of the major landmarks in London, England. Construction of Buckingham Palace began in 1703 and was completed in 1853 in the neoclassical architectural style.

For a royal day out in London, you'll, of course, have to pay a visit to Buckingham Palace. It is one of the most historic royal palaces still open today with 775 rooms, including 19 State Rooms and 78 bathrooms.

3. Westminster Abbey

Touring the mystical cathedrals and abbeys of London and the country is a must-do experience in England. The construction of the current Westminster Abbey began in 1245 by Henry III, and since then, it has become England's main religious building.

Westminster Abbey receives more than a million visitors annually, making it one of the most famous landmarks in London. The Abbey is a World Heritage Site and has been the location for royal occasions since 1066, including 16 royal weddings.

It is also where all of the British monarchs have been crowned - all the way from the time of William the Conqueror (except for Edward V and Edward VIII).

4. Tower Bridge

Tower Bridge is one of the tourist attractions you can't afford to miss because it is one of the famous monuments in London. It was built between 1886 and 1894. The Bridge is one of the most-visited landmarks globally with more than 40,000 people using it daily.

One everyday activity done by tourists who visit the Tower Bridge for the first time is to walk across it while taking pictures along the way. The Bridge spoils you with a fantastic view of the River Thames.

If you are lucky enough, you might even get the opportunity to witness the lifting of the drawbridge when a large ship passes through it. Visiting the Tower Bridge introduces you to its history and provides you with beautiful panoramas of London.

5. The British Museum

The first thing you need to know about the British Museum is that it is the largest museum in England and also the oldest public museum in the world. It was established in 1753 with its first collection being that of the Irish Scientist Sir Hans Sloane.

The Museum was opened to the public in 1759. It boasts of having collections of art from various parts of the world, including a collection of Roman, European, Etruscan, Middle Eastern and European galleries.

When you visit the British Museum for the first time, you will realise that the museum itself is a work of art. With its Greek Revival architectural style, the museum has a way of impressing its visitors.

No entry fee is required before you enter, which makes it even more worth a visit. Visiting the British Museum allows you to view some of the best art pieces in the world.

6. Tower of London

The White Tower, popularly known as the Tower of London, is definitely one of the must-see historical landmarks in London. It was constructed almost 1000 years ago in 1097, and this old monument has been used as an execution site, prison, and royal residence.

The walls of the Tower of London are rich in history, making it one of the most-visited English landmarks in the city. Aside from the history lessons taught by the Tower, there are many other activities and sites for you to do and see once inside the walls.

If you love history, especially European landmarks and history, I recommend you visit the Tower of London. The White Tower is actually the oldest structure in London.

7. St. Paul's Cathedral

St. Paul's Cathedral's construction started in 1675 and ended in 1710 by Sir Christopher Wren. It was designed in the baroque-architectural style. The same architect was in charge of the London Bridge and the Houses of Parliament.

St. Paul's has been used as the location for many important events. For example, the wedding between Prince Charles and Diana in 1981 was held here, including the funeral of Winston Churchill and Margaret Thatcher.

Entering the cathedral introduces you to the eight scenes of the life of St. Paul, as painted by Thornhill, with the Nave being the large central part of the church. The cathedral has 257 steps which lead to the Whispering Gallery.

8. Palace of Westminster

The Palace of Westminster is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. At the same time, it is the heart of British Politics. The Houses of Parliament, or the Westminster Palace, is designed in the gothic-architectural style. It is the meeting place for the two Houses of Parliament, the House of Lords and the House of Commons.

The current palace was built in 1847 after a fire destroyed the original building. Attractions like Westminster Hall, Central Lobby, The Lords Chamber, and The Commons Chamber are some of the reasons why people visit the palace.

Westminster Hall is the oldest hall you can find in the palace. The Central Lobby is the official meeting area for the Members of Parliament.

9. Natural History Museum.

The Natural History Museum in London is one of the most impressive buildings in the city. It is home to more than 70 million objects, with at least thousands of items added each year. This makes the museum one of the largest collections of natural history in the world.

The museum was founded in 1754, with the collections provided by Sir Hans Sloane. Sir Hans Sloane was the same man responsible for establishing the British Museum. He later realised that the natural history collection at the British Museum was not impressive enough, so he decided to fund a second one.

10. London Eye.

The London Eye opened in December 1999, with official rides beginning in 2000. This is one of the more modern tourist attractions in London. You can locate the famous landmark in the heart of London, opposite the Palace of Westminster and Westminster Abbey.

Looking at the London Eye for the first time, you might think it is just one large Ferris Wheel, but it is actually an Observation Wheel.

One reason I recommend The London Eye to people is the fact that it allows you to view the city at a continuously changing 360-degree angle. Since the wheel is above the River Thames, you get the chance to see more than five landmarks of London as the wheel goes around.

11. 30 St Mary Axe (The Gherkin)

30 St Mary Axe, popularly known by the locals as "The Gherkin," is one of the must-see famous buildings in London.

The Gherkin is a skyscraper that was completed in December 2003 but was not opened until April 2004. The building has been covered with 24,000 square metres of glass to make it look as if it were an egg. It measures a height of 180 metres, with 41 floors containing offices, a restaurant and a cocktail bar.

12. The Shard.

The Shard is one of the masterpieces of the architect Renzo Piano. Ever since the Shard opened in February 2013, the beautiful skyscraper has been a site that many visitors travelling to London want to see.

The Shard stands at the height of 309.6 metres, making it the tallest building in the United Kingdom and the sixth-tallest building in all of Europe. When you are in London, there are only a handful of places that offer you with decent views of the city, and the Shard is one of them.

The 72-floor building comprises of wall-to-wall glass and gives you a 360-degree view of London. Even though this is obvious, it is the main reason why people go to see the building in the first place.

13. Piccadilly Circus.

Piccadilly Circus is a highly recognisable London landmark known for its bright neon displays. The electronic boards that cover nearby buildings flash a range of advertisements 24/7. To enjoy them the most, head to Piccadilly Circus in the evening.

You’ll also find the Shaftesbury Memorial Fountain here, also known as the Eros statue. The fountain, with a statue of a winged archer, is a great London photo-op spot.

Having enjoyed the advertisements and displays, you can easily access many other popular areas from Piccadilly Circus. These areas include Leicester Square, Regent Street, and the rest of Piccadilly.

14. Portobello Road Market.

Portobello Road Market is a well-known street market found in Notting Hill. This pretty area of the city is filled with pastel-coloured houses and tree-lined streets.

Having taken lots of pictures of this cute part of town, you can check out the market! The main market days are Friday and Saturday, and stalls cover one kilometre of the street. You’ll find everything here from books and antiques to unique clothes and accessories.

There are many excellent shops along the market route, plus multiple food stalls selling various tasty goods.

15. Covent Garden.

When visiting London, a trip to Covent Garden is a must! In fact, you’ll probably find yourself returning to this bustling area a few times during your stay.

Found in London’s West End, Covent Garden is a predominantly pedestrian-only area full of great shopping, fun bars, and incredible dining. You’re also likely to spot a few interesting street performers as you wander around.

Having explored the many luxury and independent shops, you can also catch a performance at the nearby Royal Opera House.

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Conclusion

London is a busy city with many things to do during the day or at night. Even during the night, the city is alive with people enjoying themselves by going to the bar with friends or simply going for a walk.

If you read this whole London travel guide that includes many exciting London attractions to visit, you should have found some perfect places to add to your next London bucket list or itinerary.

 

 

 

 

 


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