Step onto the bustling city streets of London and you’ll soon be swept up by the buzzing city. The capital of the UK offers world-class tourism, with everything from foodie escapes to postcard moment sightseeing, history and even natural spaces.

Make sure you don’t miss out on the best London landmarks with this essential travel guide.

1. The London Eye

Soaring to 135m high, this ferris wheel is a cut above your average fairground attraction. You can take a seat or stroll around one of 32 pods, with 35 enchanting minutes to admire a bird’s eye view of the Thames and London skyline.

London Landmarks and Attractions

No need to stand in the queue, get your own private view straight from your room at the Marriott Hotel

2. The Shard

Opened in 2013, The Shard might be a newer kid on London’s block, but towering at 309m, the epic glass building ensures it gets noticed. You can climb to the top and admire the panoramic views of London, or sip Champagne in one of several chic restaurants.

London Landmarks and Attractions

Fancy swimming in the Shard? Check out the rooms and the pool at the Shangri-La Hotel !

3. St Paul’s Cathedral

After St. Peter’s Basilica Peter in Rome and the Cathedral of Lourdes, St Paul’s Cathedral is the third largest cathedral in the world. Its characteristic feature is a dome that stretches an enormous 50m in diameter, so get your camera ready. You’ll find this religious landmark in the heart of London’s city district.

London Landmarks and Attractions

Cant get enough of St Paul’s? You can wake up to beautiful views of the Cathedral here –  Grange St Paul’s Hotel 

4. Tower Bridge

Often recalled as one of the most distinctive bridges in London, no bucket list of London landmarks is complete without Tower Bridge. A Victorian drawbridge that reaches over the Thames, you can walk through a glass tunnel that connects the two towers. It’s not just about getting from one side to the other though: this glass tunnel offers some of the best views of the city, so make time to stop and soak it up.

London Landmarks and Attractions

With a view that never gets old, why not relax on your own private balcony overlooking the Thames – Shad Thames private homes 

5. Trafalgar Square

This square is in the centre of London and is often used as a meeting place for concerts on New Year’s Eve and other celebrations. With a 55m column of Admiral Nelson, commemorating his victory at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805, and lion fountains, it’s instantly recognisable and not one to be missed.

London Landmarks and Attractions

Want to stay in the heart of Trafalgar Square, with the option to have a cocktail in the roof top bar? Check out Hotel The Trafalgar

6. The Tower of London

The Tower of London is a defense and palace building of British monarchs. It also houses a darker history from its time being used as a prison. To this day, the Yeomen Warders and their families continue to inhabit the tower. This is living history at its best.

London Landmarks and Attractions

Escape the hustle and bustle of the city at the Qbic Hotel and unwind in an artistic and funky atmosphere.

7. Natural History Museum

Speaking of history, the Natural History Museum is the landmark every budding historian or curious child will love. It’s free to get into this ancient world of botany, zoology, paleontology and entomology and your mind will be occupied for hours.

London Landmarks and Attractions

After spending the day in the Museum why not explore the vibrant colours and style at the The Exhibitionist Hotel 

8. Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace is the official residence of Queen Elizabeth II and the architectural symbol of the United Kingdom. It also happens to be the largest royal palace in the world! You’ll enjoy excellent views from The Mall – the iconic, tree-lined approach to Buckingham Palace.

Tip: In August and September, when the Queen is outside London, you can even look around the inside of Buckingham Palace!

London Landmarks and Attractions

Didn’t get your invite to stay in Buckingham Palace? You can still feel like royalty and stay right next door at the 41 Hotel 

9. The British Museum

The British Museum is one of the world’s largest museums. With a collection of over seven million exhibits relating to ancient history, the term something for everyone really does ring true here…

London Landmarks and Attractions

Enlighten your senses at  The Ampersand Hotel 

10. Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament

Big Ben is a neo-Gothic clock tower, and is part of Westminster Palace and the seat of the British Parliament. The oldest part of the tower dates back to the eleventh century. Visit Big Ben and you’ll also see the House of Commons and House of Lords from outside. Where better for ticking London landmarks off your bucket list?

Not every London landmark will be so close, though. Make sure you’re clued up to the cheapest and best ways to travel around the city with this guide.

London Landmarks and Attractions

Never miss tea time again while listening to the chimes of Big Ben from the center of it all here. Corinthia Hotel 

11. Westminster Abbey

This abbey boasts a seriously important royal connection in England. It’s the place each King and Queen comes for their coronation, as they take the throne and become reigning monarch. It’s one of the most important Anglican temples, not to mention impossibly beautiful, so take a look.

Retire back to your comfortable escape from the hustle and bustle of the city at the Sofitel Hotel 

12. Hyde Park

Londoners use Hyde Park as a meeting point for many a social occasion, and it’s easy to see why. As one of the largest and most famous royal parks in London, you’ll be surprised at how much this park can offer. From dedicated events and concerts, to cafes, cycling and horse riding, there are a whole host of activities to enjoy. Let’s not forget the iconic Serpentine, where you can try your hand at boating or, if you’re brave, venture in for a swim…

London Landmarks and Attractions

Too many G&T’s in the Park? Well you can sleep it in comfort while overlooking Hyde Park here 🙂  The Park Tower Knightsbridge 

13. Piccadilly Circus

The West End deserves a visit in its own right, thanks to its hip and exciting theatre and entertainment offerings. But you’ll also find Piccadilly Circus here, too. This is the square and intersection of some of London’s main streets with an enormous electronic advertising board. The bright city lights are on show here.

London Landmarks and Attractions

Escape into another dimension full of comfort, decorations and one heck of an atmosphere at W Hotel 

14. Covent Garden

Covent Garden is the home to London’s artists and creatives. This place is officially known as a field for street entertainment. The main attraction of Covent Garden is the market in the middle of the gardens. You’ll be able to browse for hours, before sitting down in a chic cafe for coffee or a late lunch.

London Landmarks and Attractions

Escape the never ending swarm of tourists, and enjoy your own private slice of covent garden at the Covent Garden Hotel 

15. Tate Modern

This museum of contemporary art is considered one of the most important in the world next to MoMa in New York. If you love all things art, culture and cutting edge, this is the gallery to be at.

London Landmarks and Attractions

After exploring the modern work in the Tate, why not have a rest in this modern and chic hotel The LaLit London ?

16. The National Gallery

Alternatively, try The National Gallery fif your tastes are more traditional. This art gallery is located at Trafalgar Square, so think of it as a dual-centre attraction. Inside, you’ll find paintings of many famous artists from the years 1250-1900. Highlights include Leonardo da Vinci, Rembrandt, and Van Gogh. It’s an art lovers paradise and, even better, it’s free for visitors.

London Landmarks and Attractions

Feel like you traveled back in time here ! Book a room at the Hotel The Savoy! 

17. London Zoo

London Zoo is the third oldest zoo in the world. Originally, the zoo was established for scientific purposes, but later was opened to the public. At present there are more than six hundred species of animals at the zoo, so allow an entire day to explore the exhibits.

London Landmarks and Attractions

If you listen closely you may still be able to hear the animals at Apartment Onefinestay 

18. Portobello Road Market

This huge flea market is considered one of the largest antique markets of its kind in the world. It takes place every Saturday and shopping here is an experience you’ll take away with you. You will find old, valuable jewellery, precious antiques, London souvenirs and furniture all for sale, but sometimes hidden gems require a rummage to be discovered.

London Landmarks and Attractions

Feel like your in the movie Notting Hill by skipping the hotels and staying in this funky apartment at which is just 500meters from the famous Portabello Road markets – Funky apartment Portobello Market 

19. Borough Market

This market hall is near London Bridge and is the oldest British market, having been around since the Middle Ages. Like Covent Garden and Portobello Road, it’s an essential experience for any visit to London.

London Landmarks and Attractions

Just a great place to relax after a day out in London and navigating the busy Borough market – Hilton Hotel 

20. Harrods

One of the most exclusive shopping centres in the world, step into Harrods and you’ll walk in the footsteps of London’s elite. The Gallery is housed in a seven-storey building, offering purchasers a luxury shopping experience from a covetable, carefully curated collection of products.

London Landmarks and Attractions

Feel like royalty, and enjoy splendid views of Hyde Park, and the temptations of shopping at Harrods at Mandarin Oriental Hotel 

Now you know the 20 London landmarks you simply have to see, but have you planned your travel yet? Here are your options for getting to London – both from abroad and within the UK. Enjoy your next visit to the UK’s capital city!

Which London landmarks are you most excited to see and why?

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34 COMMENTS

  1. The day I will be in London I can’t miss to visit “The London Eye” because it offers a great panoramic of the city and “Tower Bridge” of course!
    I can imagine myself around all these beauties (hope without rain lol) 🙂

  2. What a lovely post. I went to London years ago as a teen and I saw some of these places but there is so much more that I would see now if I go today. I know I will see it with a different view and I think I’d appreciate it much more today. Great pics!

  3. I loved your concise review of the attractions you mentioned. We just returned from London and I’m sad to say we missed a few of the great attractions you mentioned. I guess that just means that we have to go back again!

  4. You have listed almost all of my favorite Londen sites. It’s made me a little home sick haha. Oh, what I’d give for a stroll round borough market on a Saturday filling up on samples ;). Great list for anyone new to London!

  5. Great article, made even better by your awesome photos! Seriously, you make London look like it’s sunny all the time! 😉 Okay, maybe not sunny, but at least beautiful. I’ve been to London several times and seen most of these spots already, but I always seem to make it back to England once a year and see another corner of the city on the Thames. The one I’m looking forward to seeing actually is the Natural History Museum, so thanks for your including it in your list, that photo is stunning! I want to go just to see it!

  6. I must admit when I lived in London a few years back, I didn’t really like the atmosphere – too money and image oriented for me. But I did love the architecture, both old and new, the history of creating those fantastic museum buildings – from the light floating into the Natural History Museum to the breeziness of the British Museum’s Atrium to the audaciousness of putting the Tate Modern into that old power station. It’s something that seems uniquely London. Thank you for sharing & reminding me of this!

    Happy continued travels!
    C

  7. Oh my goodness, so much to see in London. I feel like I knew there was a lot, but when you see it all listed out like this, you realize just what it has to offer. London is on my bucket list, and I absolutely cannot wait to go and see & experience some of these places myself. Great list!

  8. There’s a few on this list that I’ve yet to visit, but now that I’m working in the city I’m going to have to take the time to finish this list! Great post!

  9. What a kick ass list!

    I haven’t been back to London in ages, and I can’t wait to get back.

    It was fun to read through your list, and enjoy the memories that it evoked!

  10. Great article here. I really like how you put the places to stay near by each attraction. The Shard seems like a must do. Piccadilly and portobello market are on my list now. Of course Big Ben and the palace as well. The zoo could be really interesting as well.

  11. I’m a real London fan – I travel there to research my books. There are so many quirky and amazing places to visit, a traveller would never have the time. Suggest getting an Oyster card (travel) and make yourself an intinerary before you go, plus check the area you’re staying for food and eating out. Many hotels have booklets that provide vouchers for money off on certain of them. Take good walking shoes – I always get footsore! One of the street tour companies is a must first time.

  12. We just returned from a summer trip to London, and I am happy to say that we checked most of these items off of our list. I missed Covenant Gardens, so maybe next time. I especially loved the Tower of London and The British Museum.

  13. London is such a happening city in the tourist circuit and for all the good reasons. I usually prefer to avoid the crowd and go offbeat in search of experiences during my travel. But with London, I would love to do the right opposite. There is a special charm associated with everything in the city and if there is one place I wouldn’t mind being a typical tourist, It would be London.

  14. I love London- particularly the Fitzrovia district, Camden market & the historic landmarks like Westminster Abbey… it is truly a city that has everything!

    Well written post.

  15. That was a very comprehensive list of places to visit, especially if it’s your first time in London! The Shard is quite pricey, but definitely worth climbing to the top to enjoy the views of London. I went to the British Museum recently during one of my frequent visits to London and it was absolutely fascinating, you can spend days in there!

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