Some people call it “The Old Smoke,” others know it as the “America of Europe”, either way, the city of London is in one word: magical. London is full of history, everything from The Royal Family and historical churches, to numerous Olympic events. London can be an overwhelming location for a first time visitor, which is why we created the perfect guide to make sure you enjoy everything that the city has to offer. From the food to the sites, here’s our list of highlights that cannot be missed.
Buckingham Palace: The place where Queen Elizabeth takes her slumbers, but also the place where you can go see the Changing of the Guards. The ceremony takes place daily during the months of April to July. During the ceremony, one regiment takes over from another and lasts about 45 minutes. At the palace, you can also tour the state rooms during September and October.
Hyde Park: One of London’s finest landscapes, covering over 350 acres. In the 1800’s Hyde Park became a venue for national celebrations, and is a beautiful place to rent lawn chairs and relax on a beautiful day in London.
Tower of London: An old prison/dungeon/torture chamber, but looks basically like all the other buildings. The Tower of London is the official place for Her Majesty’s Royal Palace and Fortress and home to the Crown Jewels. It is located on the bank of the Thames River in central London. The Crown Jewels of London are an assembly of 142 historical ceremonial objects, including the regalia and vestments of kings and queens worn during their coronations.
London Bridge: The bridge, located between central London and Southwark, on the River Thames. The newly reconstructed bridge was opened by Queen Elizabeth II on March 17, 1973. The bridge was also home to the Olympic rings during the 2012 Summer Olympic Games.
Tate Modern Museum: This museum is perfect for those who love modern art (did we mention it’s free?) Not a London essential if you’re in a time crunch, but well worth it. The exhibitions include, Conceptual Art in Britain 1964-1979; Painting with Light Art and Photography from the Pre-Raphalites to the Modern Age; and the Pablo Brostein: Historical Dances in an Antique Setting.
Kensington Palace: Who doesn’t aspire to have a life like the Royal Family? Kensington Palace is the home of Will and Kate. Not only can you get a tour of the palace, but you can see Princess Diana’s dress collection, an exploration of Queen Victoria’s life, the Queen’s state apartments, and the Palace Gardens. Sold.
London Parliament: Not only is the Parliament building one of the most beautiful constructions in central London, but it also examines what the London government is doing. The House of Commons and House of Lords both play important roles in Parliament’s work.
Camden Market: Camden is the hipster part of London. Home to multiple flea markets, shops, and great food. Camden is a must see for anyone who is looking to find an “out of the box” venture while in London.
Big Ben: Big Ben is one of London’s most iconic and must-see attractions. Big Ben first rang across Westminster on May 31,1859. Go see Big Ben after touring through Parliament. *Little Known Fact- Big Ben is not the name of the clock tower, but the name of the bell that rings inside*
Westminister Abbey: Home to more than a thousand years of history, Westminster Abbey has been the coronation church since 1066 and is the final resting place of 17 monarchs. A house of treasured paintings, stained glass, pavements, textiles, and other artifacts.
The London Eye: Great ferris wheel that allows you to see all of London, definitely worth it.
Abbey Road: If you love The Beatles, then Abbey Road is a must hit spot. Located right across the street from Apple Records Studio, cross the infamous road and take your picture (as long as a car doesn’t honk at you first)!
Social Eating House: Located in SOHO, this restaurant will bring you good vibes, great shareable dishes, and killer cocktails.
Dinings: The trendiest food your tastebuds will ever try.
Well Dressed: Good lunch place to make your own salad creations.
Yo Sushi: Go here for delicious and affordable conveyer belt sushi.
Night Life: A quick guide to some of our favorite night life: Pharmacy, Caffe de Paris, O Bar, Attica and Zoobar.
Covent garden: Great boutique shopping Great vintage stores.
Portobello Market: Cool and hip shopping finds.
London is an amazing place with a ton of versatility and culture, so it really has something for everyone. Head over to StyleLend.com to see all the items you could rent for a holiday in the UK.