As a first time tourist in London, thank goodness I had some help to guide me through all the sights! There is an abundant amount of places to see, and they are all worth your time. We managed to narrow down our top ten spots to see for your first time. Bring your camera because these all are Instagram worthy and will be sure to make your trip a memorable one!
– Top 10 Spots to Visit While You’re in London, England –
1. The Shard
This 95 story sky scraper in Southwark, London is the 4th tallest building in Europe and the 96th tallest in the world! It takes 1st place as being the tallest building in Western Europe. The views are astounding, allowing you to take in the London Bridge Tower, West, East, and North London as far as the eye can see. You can enjoy the experience with a glass of champagne or your choice of drink from the bar on the viewing deck. This is surprising affordable for the experience you receive. You can get discounts for advanced booking and they are currently offering an “Autumn Saver” pass. The VGB squad decided to experience this view at sunset and it was one of my favorite moments of the trip.
2. London Eye
A giant Ferris wheel on the South Bank of the River Thames! This landmark lights up beautifully at night and you can’t miss it. It is 443 feet tall and offers more breathtaking views of London including Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, and the London Bridge.
3. Tower Bridge
A box girder bridge built from concrete and steel doesn’t seem exciting, but it is an iconic must see landmark for London. It is beautifully lit at night and stands as the center point of London for me. It is a great backdrop for your Instagram pictures.
4. Westminster Abbey, Parliament Square, Big Ben, St. Margaret’s Church
I am obsessed with the Windsor family and walking through where the Duke of Cambridge and Catherine “Kate” Middleton got married was the best experience I had while in London. St. Margaret’s Church, Big Ben, and Parliament Square are all in the same vicinity. That is why I grouped these together as one! The architecture is beautiful, the most impressive I have ever seen in my life. I could have spent all day every day there taking in the sights of these 4 must stop spots.
5. Primrose Hill/Notting Hill
Care for a spot of tea, flower shopping, or taking in the adorable bright pastel colored houses in England? If so, Primrose and Notting Hill are the perfect gems in England. The houses are painted the most adorable fun colors which really pops against the old cobblestone streets. If I lived in London, I would stop at one of the local restaurants by a flower shop, drink tea at a table on a patio, and write every day! It’s like you are in a day dream walking these streets and taking in the quaint neighborhood.
6. Abbey Road Studios
Beatles fan? Who isn’t?! For your iconic walk across the infamous zebra crossing, where the Beatles shot their eleventh studio album Abbey Road in 1969, be sure to stop here. The recording sessions in this studio were the last in which all four Beatles participated. Be careful as this is an open road and locals don’t necessarily have the time to stop while you take a photo.
7. Hyde Park
The largest of the four Royal Parks that form a chain from the entrance of Kensington Palace to Buckingham Palace. The park is 350 beautiful acres and it stays open year round. The park was established by Henry VIII in 1536 after he took the land from Westminster Abbey. It opened to the public in 1637 and has been updated many times since then. Hyde Park marks the place of many duels including The Great Exhibition. Walk along the historic park and enjoy the atmosphere around you.
A quirky afternoon tea spot that transforms into a cocktail lounge every night, Sketch will be sure to put a smile on your face. It is an India Mahdavi designed space with pink tulip seats, brass table lamps, David Shringley sketches along the walls, and has an eclectic tea menu. When I walked in here, I had no idea where I was or how to comprehend all the quirkiness. You are immersed into a world within a world that has so much attention to detail, you can’t help but appreciate it. This may sound weird, but go to the bathroom while you are there. I promise you, the giant bathroom pods and rainbow ceiling tiles will blow your mind. Yes, I said bathroom pods! Eccentric and different, be sure to make a reservation because this place is not a secret and everyone wants to experience it!
9. Buckingham Palace
Located in the city of Westminster, Buckingham Palace is the London residence and administrative headquarters of the reigning monarch. It is quite gorgeous and surreal. I always imagined as one of the Royals family residences, it would be in a more private area. Maybe another residence because this one is in the heart of London. Be sure to try and check out the changing of the guard if you can.
Pro Tip- There are always a lot of people around so go early in the morning if you want a picture before you have a hundred strangers standing in the background. A bonus…outside the Palace’s main gates is the The Victoria Memorial constructed by architect Sir Aston Webb.
10. St. Paul’s Cathedral
The cathedral sits on Ludgate Hill at the highest point of the City of London. You can see this gem from the London Eye or up close and personal. It is one of the most famous and recognized sights of London because of the dome which is framed by spires of Wren’s City churches. St. Paul’s is the second largest church building in the United Kingdom. It is a working church with hourly prayer and daily services. There is a tourist fee but there isn’t a charge for worshippers.
London has so many sights and places that it can be a bit overwhelming when you initially get there. We hope our list helped you narrow it down for your visit. I honestly don’t believe you could go wrong no matter where you decide to visit because it is beautiful with every turn of your head. We hope you have a lovely time and share your adventures with us on Instagram @Verbalgoldblog!