Top 10 Must-See Attractions in London

VOICE OVER: Ashley Bowman WRITTEN BY: Michael Wynands
This is the Big Smoke, where reminders of the city's long history can be found around every corner. Welcome to MojoTravels, and today we'll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Must-See Attractions in London. For this list, we'll be looking at some of the most iconic, popular and historically relevant attractions that everyone should visit when passing through London.

#London #Attractions #Travel
Top 10 Must-See Attractions in London

Welcome to the Big Smoke, where reminders of the city’s long history can be

found around every corner. Welcome to MojoTravels, and today we’ll be counting

down our picks for the Top 10 Must-See Attractions in London.

For this list, we’ll be looking at some of the most iconic, popular and historically

relevant attractions that everyone should visit when passing through London.

#10: National Gallery

Museums are always fantastic tourist destinations, and London is home to some absolutely phenomenal ones that even the most laissez-faire traveler won’t be able to help but appreciate. The National Gallery is one such institution. This iconic art

museum is located in the famous Trafalgar Square and just the building alone is

worth the trip. A formidable and masterfully designed structure, it’s home to over 2000 works of art, including pieces by household names like Leonardo Da Vinci,

Vincent Van Gogh, Rembrandt and Renoir. Given that it’s a true repository of European art from throughout history, it’s little wonder that the National

Gallery welcomes over 5.5 million visitors every year, making it one of the most

popular attractions in the entire country.

#9: Hyde Park

Located in Central London, Hyde Park covers 350 acres of land. Given its

impressive size, beautiful design and location within a major metropolis, it tends

to earn a lot of comparisons to New York City’s Central Park. But really… that

feels like a disservice to Hyde Park’s long and storied history. In its earliest form,

it served as the private hunting grounds of King Henry VIII. Much later, in 1851, it was home to the The Great Exhibition in the Crystal Palace. So yeah… it’s got history. And nowadays, everywhere you look, there are testaments to that storied past. Stroll amongst its towering trees, appreciate the various monuments, or check out the speaker’s corner, a historic spot intended for public oration, dating back to the Victorian era.

#8: British Museum

Another museum already? Call us stuffy if you want, but London seriously

delivers when it comes to educational institutions dedicated to arts, culture and

history. The single most popular tourist attraction in the entire country, with over

Close to six million visitors annually, it has more than earned the attention of the masses. Millions of fascinating art objects are spread across dozens of galleries, ranging far and wide in subject and era, from antiquity to modernity. Some of the most popular must-see attractions include the Rosetta Stone, which was crucial to understanding the written language of ancient Egypt, and the Sutton Hoo Ship Burial relics.

#7: London Eye

As much as we love the rich history on display in London, it’s also very, very much a

modern city, with attractions to match. The London Eye is a massive

observational Ferris wheel that reaches a staggering 443 feet into the air, offering

breathtaking views of the city and many of its most recognizable attractions. At

£37 per adult when you book ahead, and £40 day of, it’s by no means a cheap

experience, but considering the entire ride lasts about 30 minutes (a lifetime

compared to conventional Ferris wheels), and the technology that went into its

design, you’re actually getting a pretty good deal. It’s a once in a lifetime

experience in the truest sense, and well-worth your visit.

#6: Trafalgar Square

We noted Trafalgar Square when talking about the National Gallery, but this iconic space in Westminster is far more than just a means to an end - it’s an important piece of London’s story. The square itself, in its current form, only dates back to 1840, but the location’s historical importance goes all the way back to the 13th century when it was home to the King’s Mews. Over the years since its inauguration as a public space, Trafalgar Square has been seen by many as the beating heart of London, a place of public gatherings both celebratory and otherwise. Named to

commemorate the Battle of Trafalgar, it’s the site of important statues and

monuments, and is ringed by numerous buildings or architectural significance,

including St Martin-in-the-Fields.

#5: The Victoria and Albert Museum

Last but most certainly not least of the museums that we’re recommending today

is the V&A, which is dedicated to the decorative arts and sculpture, as well as

design in general. The largest museum of its kind in the city, it covers a wide range of

materials, from ancient furniture and rugs to the distinctive fashions of bygone

cultures. For anyone who finds traditional art or historical artifacts a little dull, the

modern importance of this museum is sure to appeal - contemporary fashion and

design are always looking backwards for inspiration after all! Of course, this

museum’s temporary exhibits also tend to be more modern in their concerns,

with retrospectives on contemporary fashion icons and designers, as well as

investigations into the trends of the current design world.

#4: St Paul’s Cathedral

Built in the late 17th century, on the site of another St Paul’s (which dated all the

way back to 604 AD), Christopher Wren’s iconic landmark of the London skyline is among the city’s most symbolic. If the dome reminds you of St. Peter’s Cathedral in the Vatican City, you’re not wrong - it was heavily influenced by the latter structure in

terms of design and grandeur. By all means, considering the terrifying

bombardment that London was subjected to during the Second World War, it’s a

miracle that St. Paul’s Cathedral survived. But survive the Blitz it did, and with

minimal structural damage to boot. From that day forward, it has stood as a

symbol of the city’s strength and ability to weather tragedy of all sorts. So walk

through its hallowed doors, marvel at the architecture, take in the breathtaking

view from the Golden Gallery and try out the whispering gallery with its sound-

bouncing effects.

#3: Tower of London

At only 89 feet in height, this castle is admittedly not very tall by modern tower standards. But what this structure lacks in stature, it more than makes up for in terms of historical significance. The tower from which it derives its name was completed

all the way back in 1078, under the orders of William the Conqueror. Since then

it’s been progressively expanded and used for a multitude of purposes. How

many buildings can you name that have served as both a royal residence and a

prison over the years? Okay, now how about a zoo? This Castle has really been

through it and all and somehow is still standing. Take a free guided for a closer

look at this relic of a building and its many little details, and to learn some of the

most interesting chapters from its colorful history.

#2: Big Ben, Palace of Westminster & Westminster Abbey

Don’t you love it when a bunch of must-see attractions all happen to be within a

stone’s throw of each other? It makes seeing the sights all that much easier and

efficient, allowing you to really maximize your time in a city. In London, three of the most essential attractions stand so very near to each other. Big Ben requires little introduction, but does warrant clarification. The clock tower itself, the Elizabeth Tower, is technically part of the Palace of Westminster - which is also known as the Houses of Parliament. As for the name Big Ben, that technically refers to the bell in the tower. Sadly, tours inside the tower are not offered. You can tour the Houses of Parliament however, as well as neighbouring World Heritage Site Westminster Abbey, and both make for memorable London experiences.

#1: Buckingham Palace

Arguably the single most famous residence and palace of any royal family in the world, past or present, Buckingham Palace is an absolute must-visit for anyone traveling to London. The original modest structure was completed in 1703, but the impressive building is much the result of multiple subsequent expansions.Here’s a tip: If the Queen is home during your visit, you’ll be able to tell from the flag that’s being flown. The Royal Standard means she’s in, the Union flag means she’s away. If she is away, before you get too disappointed, this is actually an opportunity for you to see the magnificent State Rooms. Also, be sure to time your visit with the world-renowned changing of the guard!