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  • Writer's pictureSasha C

Top 5 Places to visit as a tourist in London

Updated: Oct 9, 2022

Londoners, much like any folk who live in a tourist city, often neglect the attractions that attract people. It’s easy for a Londoner to say “Why would anyone need to visit the Houses of Parliament?” and then visit the Eiffel Tower when in Paris.

Unlike other blogs that may tell you obscure places to visit on your first trip – this blog post will give those spots you have in mind and list them in the Top 5 that you should visit on your first trip to London.

5. Buckingham Palace

This would probably be top on Londoner’s lists “Why would you visit?”, but we do understand the Queen is a big deal outside of the UK. I would tag this onto a walk around the beautiful Green Park close by, as well as a walk up the Mall. Whatever time of day, it’s packed with tourists outside the front gate – take your pictures then move on, as it can get overwhelming.

Nearest tube station:

Green Park: Victoria, Jubilee, Piccadilly Lines

St James’s Park: Circle, District Lines

4. Tower of London

Again, this will be a main attraction for a lot of people. Dating back to 1066, the castle is a surviving remnant of a bloody history in Britain. On the bank of the Thames, the surrounding area is full of fantastic architecture, such as nearby Tower Bridge, and has great tourist attractions too, such as the Yeoman Warders (who guard the castle and offer free tours), and the opulent Crown Jewels.

Nearest tube station:

Tower Hill: Circle, District Lines

Tower Gateway: DLR

3. St Paul’s Cathedral

For us, the most incredible building in London is St Paul’s. Not just of what it is, but also what it represents. Built between 1675 and 1710, devised by the famous Sir Christopher Wren, the architect of many famous London monuments after the Fire of London in 1666, St Paul’s is built on the same site as the previous church destroyed by the fire. During the WW2 blitz, Hitler’s main target was St Paul’s – to destroy it would destroy the soul of London. But it survived the war and remains an incredible, white-domed masterpiece surrounded by the glass towers of the City.

Even as a Londoner, I always love walking past and spend time looking at it. A ticket is £18, and I would thoroughly recommend it, as well as a trip up to the top of the Whispering Gallery.

Nearest tube station:

St Paul’s: Central Line

Mansion House: District, Circle Lines

City Thameslink: Thameslink train

2. South Bank

I was tempted to put this at the top spot – a very underrated thing to do in London, and it’s free, is to walk the South Bank. From Westminster Bridge across Central London to Tower Bridge, you can stroll it all with sweeping views of the city. There are great little coffee spots and street food stalls at Southbank market (Saturdays) by the National Theatre. A full range of eras hits you – from the Edwardian Baroque style County Hall by Westminster Bridge, to the brutalist architecture of the National Theatre, and the winding narrow streets by Borough Market, it’s a personal tour of London’s fascinating past. You can even make you way onto the beach from an open gate if you want to be by the Thames!

Nearest tube starting at Westminster Bridge:

Westminster (then cross the bridge towards Waterloo): Circle, District, Jubilee Lines

Waterloo: Jubilee, Bakerloo, Waterloo & City, Northern Lines & Trains

Nearest tube starting at Tower Bridge:

London Bridge: Northern, Jubilee Lines & Trains

1. Palace of Westminster

It had to be – one of the biggest tourist attractions in the world is the neo-gothic masterpiece that houses Britain’s government. It’s also sat beside the Thames for lovely views, as well as the magnificent Westminster Abbey which has seen countless coronations and British events since 1066. The gardens close by, such as Victoria Tower South Gardens and Parliament Square Garde

ns are homes to priceless statues of world leaders and sculptures of masterpieces. Guided tours of Parliament available on weekends but must book in advance.

And yes, Big Ben is also here, so there’s your Instagram post sorted!

Nearest tube:

Westminster: Circle, District, Jubilee Lines

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