London is the financial heart of Great Britain. Whether you’re interested in exploring London and it’s history, art, celebrity culture or the recent Diamond Jubilee celebration of Royal family, you’ll always find an alluring and spectacular sight here.
Tower of London
On the north bank of the river Thames, this medieval building was built by William the Conquerer in the 11th century. It is well known through history as a place of execution and imprisonment. It has also been used as an armory, a mint, an observatory and a royal residence. Now it is used as safe-deposit box for the priceless symbols of the British monarchy, the Crown Jewels . It includes the famous Indian Kohinoor diamond (317 carat) with the ‘Imperial State Crown’, the largest diamond – Cullinan I (530.4 carat – polished), a sapphire from the ring buried with Edward the Confessor and in total 2,868 diamonds, 273 pearls, 17 sapphires, 11 emeralds, and 5 rubies.
This is the oldest museum in the world (established in the 17th century) housing over 7 million exhibits ranging from prehistoric, medieval to modern times. It will take months to explore the museum thoroughly. Its collection includes the Egyptian mummies, the Rosetta stone (discovered in 1799, which enabled the decoding of Egyptian hieroglyphics), Aztec mosaic mask of the ‘Lindow Man’ (a 1st century unfortunate whose smashed head was found in a peat bog in 1984), the Parthenon Sculptures (also known as Elgin Marbles), etc. The crowning glory of the museum is the glass domed central hub, the largest covered public square in Europe.
The Buckingham Palace
This is the official residence of the Queen since Queen Victoria. It was built as the residence of Duke of Buckingham in 1702.The massive mansion has 775 rooms. Visitors can watch the patrol of the guards through the gates at the back of the palace. The changing of the guards in every alternate day is a very interesting thing to observe. The guards are brilliantly synchronized and once set, they never move from their place. On occasions, the Queen and the royal family members come out on the balcony to greet the crowd.
Westminster Abbey and Parliament House
It is a former Benedictine monastery and the tallest Gothic nave in England built in the 11th century by Edward the Confessor. It is seen around the world for both state funerals and weddings. Opposite to the Westminster Abbey, you will see the Westminster Palace, the Parliament House. It is 1,000 years old and houses the ‘Big Ben’ (whose time is regarded as the most accurate in the world).
This is a unique museum which has the wax figures of almost all international celebrities and stars from Barack Obama or the Queen to Paul McCartney or even Justin Bieber. It is a chance to see your favorite star’s replica just in front of your eyes.
Built to celebrate the millennium, this ferris wheel is the highest in the world (135 meters) that offers a spectacular view of the city. It’s now the most popular paid attraction in UK. Every year over 3.5 million people ride this. One rotation takes half an hour and on a clear day you will see up to 40 km.
Natural History Museum
It is the repository for the samples of Charles Darwin and Joseph Banks, Cook’s botanist. It hosts over 70 million exhibits. The main attractions are a life sized model of a blue whale and a T Rex dinosaur that moves and makes sounds.
With more than 12,000 animals of over 720 species, it is an incredible display – from giraffes, gorillas of Africa to Penguins of North Pole. You will be really spell-bound to see the ‘Butterfly Paradise’, where butterflies of hundreds of species will fly around you.