There are many reasons why you might want to visit London. With a history that dates back to Roman times, this two-thousand-year-old city is the perfect blend of old and new, but when your budget forces you to choose only one vacation destination, is London worth visiting?
With its historical landmarks, beautiful architecture, stunning fashion statements, diverse theater districts, and many attractions, London is a vacation destination that offers something for everyone.
Continue reading as we explore some of the reasons why everyone should visit London at least once in their life and what to avoid while you are there.
7 Things That Make London Worth Visiting
Whether you’re a history buff, a fashionista, or just want to explore a beautiful city, London should be on your travel list. Let’s take a look at some of the things that make London worth visiting.
London Is Brimming with History
In the year 43 CE, Roman troops built a small settlement they named Londinium, and thus London was founded. If you are the type of person whose idea of fun is visiting a city full of history and ancient charm, London should be on your list of places to visit; and you won’t have to look far to find architectural wonders proudly displaying the rich history of this two-thousand-year-old city.
Some noteworthy sites to visit while in London include, but are not limited to:
- Buckingham Palace
- Barbican Estate and Centre
- St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel
- The London Tower
- The Globe Theatre
- Big Ben
- Drapers’ Hall
- Benjamin Franklin House
- The London Bridge
- Royal Albert Hall
- The British Library
- Highgate Cemetery
- The Jewel Tower
London Has an Amazing Thater Scene
Like most cities, London has an amazing theater scene, but not all cities offer tourists a glimpse into what it might have been like to watch a Shakespeare play during the Tudor period.
The Globe Theater, which is a close reconstruction of what the original Elizabethan playhouse would have looked like, offers just that to visitors. Guided tours start at £10 for children, £17 for adults, and £46 for families. Play tickets will run you a bit more but are not as expensive as you might imagine. For example, tickets to see King Lear at the Globe Theater this summer (2022) will cost anywhere between £25 and £62 pounds, which is a small price to pay to travel back in time for the evening.
If Shakespeare is not your idea of a fun time, you can choose from various musicals, plays, or other works in London’s West End Theatreland district.
There Are Accommodations for Everyone
Although London is home to some of the most extravagant hotels in the world, think Claridges (which Audrey Hepburn used to call home) or The Savory (which just recently underwent a $100 million renovation), it also features many wonderful options that are much nicer to your wallet.
Whether you are looking for a romantic bed-and-breakfast to cozy up with your significant other or a family-friendly hotel with room to spread out, London has accommodations for everyone and every budget.
It Is Home to Some of The World’s Best Museums
Currently, London is home to over 150 museums, ranging from small historical houses to large gallery-type museums. Regardless of who you are and what you love, you are bound to find a museum to get lost in a while in London. The best part? Most of them are completely free to explore.
Some of London’s most popular museums include:
- The V&A – is a seven-floor museum that displays more than two million pieces of art, furniture, sculptures, paintings, jewelry, glasswork, and much, much more.
- The British Museum – this beautiful museum was the first national museum to share its collection with the public.
- The Natural History Museum – this amazing gem is home to over 80 million plants, rock, fossil, animal, and mineral pieces. It also features an animatronic dinosaur, so you know the kids will love it!
- The Science Museum – this seven-floor museum was founded in 1857 and featured many hands-on and interactive exhibits.
- The Transportation Museum – if you are a fan of all transportation-related things, you will love this vast collection of old vehicles, maps, and signs.
The Locals Are Warm and Friendly
Unlike some places, where the locals are standoffish, London residents are friendly and eager to help in any way that they can. And although there are some rugged areas of town (like most cities), London is a safe place for tourists. However, don’t be surprised when the pubs start filling up at the end of the workday.
There Is No Shortage of Shopping Centers
Although you probably won’t go shopping alone, knowing that there are many shopping centers to choose from is a nice bonus. From the designer boutiques on New Bond Street to the booths in one of the many London markets, you will surely find something in your price range.
It Is Full of Fashion
Among the historic landmarks of London, there is a more modern beauty to be found, and that is London’s fashion scene. In fact, some of the biggest names in fashion saw the beginning of their career start in London. It is quite common to see people dressed to impress here in this iconic city, and it might be a fun time to let your inner fashionista shine.
Mistakes to Avoid When Visiting London
If you do decide that London is worth the visit, be sure to avoid these common mistakes.
Eating in Leicester Square
Leicester Square is well known for its theatreland and film premiers, but because it’s such a bustling tourist attraction, it can be quite expensive to eat in the area, and the quality of food is often under par. Tourists should instead try to visit smaller, less popular eateries, where they will find home-cooked meals for half the price. A good rule of thumb, ask the locals where they eat.
Paying For Views
It can be tempting to want to jump on the London Eye or visit the Shard to enjoy the spectacular views that London has to offer. However, instead of paying for an overcrowded attraction, tourists should instead seek out areas where they can enjoy the view for free. These areas include:
- Alexandra Park
- One New Change
- Parliament Hill
- Royal Greenwich Observatory
- Sky Garden
- Tate Modern
Staying Outside the City
London hotels can be costly, and people are often tempted to stay outside of the city to save a few dollars. However, you might quickly realize that the money you saved on your accommodation is nothing compared to the price of transportation to and from the city. Make sure to consider travel when choosing where to stay.
Additionally, people often underestimate the “walking distance” between tourist attractions. When planning your stay, it might be worth checking the route you plan to take on MapQuest to find out exactly how many miles you can expect to walk.
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