5 Unmissable London Sights


London is the best city in the world! But visiting London can also be overwhelming simply because there is so much to do and to see. You could spend a lifetime visiting London and you still wouldn’t see it all. If you’re visiting London for the first time and you’re only spending a day or two there don’t be temped to find that cool bookstore you saw on Instagram or that cute cat café you pinned on Pinterest just because you think you’re too cool to do tourist attractions. There’s a good reason everyone takes a photo at Westminster Bridge with Big Ben in the background. Why? Because it’s the symbol of London. Yes, you can visit that new hipster brunch place your best friend went to or go on that street art tour everyone’s raving about the next time you’re in London but if you miss seeing Big Ben or Tower Bridge you’ll regret it. So, what do you want to remember your trip by? By visiting a UNESCO World Heritage Site (Tower of London) or …?

Do visit the well-known tourist attractions and cultural and historical landmarks on your first visit to London and leave the trendy new places for your next visit especially if you’ve only got a day or two to enjoy London.

Here’s the list of 5 Unmissable London Sights

1. Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament

Big Ben, London

Did you know that Big Ben is actually the name of the giant bell inside the clock tower? The real name of this clock tower is Elizabeth’s tower nowadays but its name used to be St Stephen’s tower.
The current Westminster palace aka the Houses of Parliament was built in 1870. You can visit it if you book a guided tour (for more information click here ).

2. Tower Bridge

Tower Bridge

Walk across the Tower Bridge and take hundreds of photos of it. It’s very Instagram worthy!:) If you’re lucky you’ll see it raised to let the ship pass under it. Moreover, if you want to learn about the bridge mechanics or walk on the glass floor 42 m above the Thames visit the Tower Bridge Exhibition.

3. Tower of London

Tower of London

During the history the Tower of London has been a fortress, a royal palace and a prison. Nowadays a tourist attraction as well as the home of the Crown Jewels. The oldest part of this UNESCO site is the White Tower which was built for William I (the Conqueror) in the eleventh century. You can admire it from the outside or buy a ticket and visit it. For more information click here.

4. St Paul’s cathedral

St Paul's, London

St Paul’s cathedral is an architectural masterpiece of Christopher Wren and the largest church in London. Unfortunately you have to pay to get in and admire its beautiful interior unless you are attending a church service. You can also enjoy wonderful views of the City of London from St Paul’s enormous dome.

5. Buckingham palace

Buckingham palace, London

Built originally as a town house for the first Duke of Buckingham in 1705. The British Queen resides here now, enough said. You can watch the Changing of the Guard ceremony for free (each morning) or visit the palace itself during summer (for a fee).

So that’s my 5 unmissable London sights’ list! Be sure then to visit these places first on your trip to London! After that, if you’ve got enough time left you can head to the newly opened Ferrero-Rocher pop-up café, for example 🙂

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83 thoughts

  1. Great list Tanja. I love how into London you are and these are certainly some of the key, iconic sights. A visit to Trafalgar Square to see Nelson’s Column is another popular sight I’d add. Here’s always a great atmosphere there too. Thanks for linking #citytripping

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I definitely think that Tower Bridge is unmissable. So beautiful, just next to Tower of London, plus you can walk over the bridge then wander down the Thames on the south side. Lovely! #citytripping

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You have so beautiful photos here, Tanja! I miss London. Yes, I’ve seen these sites but I’d love to go back for more. #WeekendTravelInspiration

    Liked by 1 person

  4. London really is bursting with must see landmarks isn’t it?! I revisited in 2015 after a long time and was surprised at just how much I loved the city and how sights like St Pauls and Westminster were still able to wow me. Did manage to miss London Tower though, oops! #wkendtravelinspiration

    Liked by 1 person

  5. We took our (then) teenagers to London quite a few years ago and we each picked something that we wanted to visit over our 5 day period there. It worked out very well! My pick was Westminster Abbey and it was definitely my favorite part of the trip – we also visited Big Ben, the London Eye, Churchill’s War Rooms and had fish n chips. All worth doing!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I’ve been watching the Tudors for the last month or so and the Tower of London was the scene of a lot of bad stuff. I’d be fascinated to see it one day and think about the history that took place here.
    Being a London fan I hope you’ve seen that series Tanja? If not you should give it a watch.

    Frank (bbqboy)

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Definitely agree with all of these, Tanja! It’s so hard with London as there are so many amazing sites. If I was to add to this list, I’d say The Globe, Borough Market, Covent Garden/sevendials/Neal’s Yard, and of course Hyde Park. It’s too hard to pick!!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. So, I was totally that person who took her husband to London and only showed him one of these! When we went on his first trip to London, it was my 5th, so I went to all of my favorite off-the-beaten-path places instead of these major places. We did go to the Tower of London, but forgot to see Westminster Abbey, Parliament, Buckingham Palace, the London Eye, and even Big Ben. Oops! I’ll definitely plan differently the next time we return.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Been to them all, and if you have, too, why not expand a bit.
    Go to Covent Garden for the market and for the stand-ups.
    Go to Camden Town for the “hippie” market and great concerts (in the evening)
    And – one place which for sure is forgotten – go to Royal Albert Hall. You will never forget what a great experience a visit to the RAH is.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Totally agree. I would be so sad if I went to London and didn’t see these sights. (Of course, I’ve been to Paris 3 times now and still haven’t seen all of the famed sights!) I might have to sneak in that brunch place or cute cat cafe while I’m there, though. It’s kind of fun saying “I went to BIG CITY and saw this little unknown obscure place from the internet that’s really cool.” It’s all about balance, I think. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Agreed! I went to London for about a week in October and I hit up all of these except Buckingham Palace :O I fully intend to go back soon, so that’ll be first on my list!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. You’ve hit the London “greats”, definitely. There is such iconic architecture here. You really need to do these to feel you’ve “done” London.

    Liked by 1 person

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