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Top Ten Places to See in Central London

Top Ten Places to See in Central London

There are lots of things to see and do in London. You’ll probably already know what you want to see, but in case you’re stuck for inspiration check out this list full of handy info about London’s top sights.


1. Buckingham Palace. It’s the Queen’s main residence, and when the flag is flying, it means she is at home. The gardens are also huge! If you book a tour, you can actually go inside the palace – it’s open in August and September, when the Royal family are off on their holidays. You see the State rooms, which are used for entertainments, public functions and banquets.


2. The Houses of Parliament and Big Ben are possibly the most famous landmarks along the River Thames. If you write to your local MP, you can go and view a debate in the House of Commons, where all the elected Members of Parliament sit. If you don’t fancy doing that, you can go on a tour, but you have to book in advance – for UK residents, you can get a free tour when Parliament is in session, but when they go on their summer break both UK residents and international visitors can pay for a tour.


3. The London Eye. This used to be the top spot for visitors to get a bird’s eye view of the city, until the Shard’s viewing platform opened recently. However, it’s still a fun and interactive way to see the city, and the London Eye itself has become something of an icon. A ride on the London Eye takes half an hour, plus about half an hour’s queueing.


4. Hyde Park. It’s one of London’s largest parks, and it is divided in two by the pretty stretch of water in the middle called the Serpentine and Long Water. It’s a great place for Londoners to breathe a bit of fresh air, and to take a picnic and relax. The park is steeped in history, and has existed since 1536. It’s also the site of many events, like the Great Exhibition in 1851, and more recently the BBC Proms in the Park.


5. The British Museum. The British Museum is home to many world famous treasures, like the Parthenon Marbles, the Rosetta Stone, and some really freaky mummies. You’ll also find lots of other cool stuff from ancient Greek and Roman times, up until the present day.


6. The Victoria and Albert Museum. Even if you don’t like museums that much, the Victoria and Albert is definitely worth visiting. Its collection is hugely different from the British Museum, as it’s a mishmash of bits of furniture, clothing, paintings and design. It tells the story of how everyday people like you and me lived their lives, and how popular culture at the time filtered down to ordinary folk.


7. The South Bank. As well as the National Theatre and Royal Festival Hall, the South Bank near Waterloo has lots of restaurants, shops and sometimes markets where you can buy food and items from all over the world. 


8. Piccadilly Circus and Regent Street. Piccadilly Circus is kind of like London’s version of Times Square, with those big and flashy adverts in the corner. It also leads on to Regent Street, which is a shopping street with lots of upmarket and fancy shops. Regent Street is also home to Hamley’s, possibly the world’s most famous toy store.


9. Oxford Street. Here are the more affordable clothes shops, and Oxford Street has branches of Primark, New Look, Topshop and some other European chain stores. It also has one of the UK’s only Forever 21s, which is almost the American version of Primark.


10. Camden Market. If you prefer a more unique style, then Camden Market is the place for you. It’s a big of a pop culture icon, and although many of the clothes come from the same factory, you can find lots of little gems. It also has food from all around the world – from Italy to Argentina, and from Ethopia to Pakistan. There really is something for everyone.


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