Seeing London just one time should be on the to do list of any traveler’s. Staying in one area for the majority of your vacation? You may want to consider renting a home instead of camping out in the cheapest hotel room you can find. Chances are, you’ll be able to find a vacation rental that perfectly suits your needs, and may even be cheaper, in the long run, than staying in a hotel. Most UK vacation rentals average from $50-150 a night, and come fully furnished with all the essentials. Save a great deal on food by cooking from the comfort of your own home-away-from-home.
Ranking among the top art museums in the world, London’s National Gallery represents an almost complete survey of European painting from 1260 until 1920. The museum’s greatest strengths are in its collections of Dutch Masters and Italian Schools of the 15th and 16th centuries. Among its highlights are a cartoon (preliminary sketch) of the Madonna and Child by Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo’s The Entombment, Botticelli’s Venus and Mars, van Gogh’s Sunflowers, and The Water-Lily Pond by Monet. The Victoria and Albert Museum (aka the V&A) is part of a South Kensington-based group of museums that includes the Natural History Museum and Science Museum. Founded in 1852, the V&A covers close to 13 acres and contains 145 galleries spanning some 5,000 years of art and related artifacts. Exhibits include ceramics and glass, textiles and costumes, silver and jewelry, ironwork, sculpture, prints, and photos.
Westminster is considered the political hub of London and is home to the Houses of Parliament and the world-famous Big Ben. Big Ben is the name of the bell housed within the iconic clock tower, and it still chimes every hour. You can also find Westminster Abbey here, which is open to the public most days. Whilst visiting these landmarks, be sure to rest your feet in Parliament Square which features statues of important political individuals including Nelson Mandela and Winston Churchill.
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The London Eye is a gigantic Ferris wheel located on the south bank of the River Thames. It was completed at the beginning of the 2000s, which is why it bears the nickname The Millennium Wheel. The wheel stands tall at 443 feet and has a diameter of 120 meters. A complete wheel turn takes about 30 minutes and the capsules provide visitors with a stunning 360? view of London. It’s recorded as the world’s tallest Ferris wheel and is a true beauty at night when it comes alive with bright neon colours. Tourists are entertained with a glass of royal champagne as they enjoy a sweet ride. Opening times for the London Eye vary throughout the year and booking in advance is strongly recommended.
The Shard, also referred to as the “Shard of Glass”, is the tallest skyscraper in London and Western Europe. It stands out from any other building in the London metropolis, soaring 310 metres into the sky and made up of 72 outstanding storeys (with the spire at the top it reaches for 95 storeys). The Shard is home to apartments, a hotel, offices, a retail arcade, and restaurants and bars. The topmost floor of this magnificent building gives you a truly unforgettable panoramic view of the city below. From across the river at night, tourists can get a different view of The Shard as it glows with beauty.
How could you miss one of the capital’s most iconic areas? Come and marvel at Nelson’s Column and the four huge lion statues. Feeding the pigeons is now discouraged (due to the spread of diseases), so please don’t bring them any treats. On the north side of Trafalgar Square, you can visit the National Gallery and just around the corner on St. Martin’s Lane is the National Portrait Gallery. Both have free permanent displays and regular special exhibitions. Trafalgar Square was designed by John Nash in the 1820s and constructed in the 1830s. It is both a tourist attraction and the main focus for political demonstrations. Look out for the George Washington Statue and the World’s Smallest Police Box, as well as the London Nose.