A few hours from Eurostar or by plane, London is the perfect destination for a city break weekend. Its atmosphere, both British and crazy, is what makes it so charming! For a weekend shopping with friends, a cultural getaway with your family or a romantic getaway, any occasion is a good opportunity to visit London again and again, even over only 2 or 3 days… Here are some of the highlights! Follow the guide!
#1 visits to London: London Eye
The London Eye, literally the eye of London, is one of the most popular attractions. This huge wheel overlooks the Thames by 135 metres. It was built on the banks of the Thames, opposite Westminster Palace in 2000 to celebrate the new millennium. Today, it is the best view of the capital. Come aboard one of the capsules, which can accommodate up to 25 people, and discover London like never. The tour lasts half an hour so don’t forget your camera! The price of the London Eye is a little expensive, but it is worth it, if the weather is clear. If the fog is there, forget it! You couldn’t see anything.
#2 visits to London: Tour of London
The Tower of London is a fortress that is very close to Tower Bridge, one of the city’s landmarks. It was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988. For the record, the Tower of London was built by William the Conqueror in 1078 to protect the city from the Norman invasion. Beautifully preserved, it is visited today for its sumptuous collection of Crown jewels and armour. If you are a history buff or if you are visiting London with your children, take a guide in a period costume! He will tell you all the legends and anecdotes about this fortress.
#3 visits to London: Big Ben
What would London be without its famous Big Ben? This is what we call the Westminster Palace clock, but it was originally the affectionate nickname that Londoners gave to the huge bell of the Clock Tower. Big Ben makes his melody reason every 15 minutes. Big Ben is therefore part of Westminster Palace, also known as the Houses of Parliament. It is the seat of the Parliament of England and is the venue for many official ceremonies. Access to the palace is only possible during the two summer months.
#4 visits to London: Tower Bridge
Here is another monument that is an emblem of the British capital that can be found on all postcards! Tower Bridge is the gigantic weighbridge that spans the Thames. It consists of two towers connected by a central road that opens to allow boats to pass through. It was built in the 19th century during the rise of commercial, river and economic activity in London. Today, you can admire it from the banks of the Thames but you can also enter the engine room or walk on the upper walkway. Nice views of London!
#5 visits to London: British Museum
It is the most beautiful museum in London and one of the richest in the world. This museum, which looks like a Roman temple, houses a fabulous collection of Roman, Greek, prehistoric and especially Egyptian antiquities! It includes magnificent witnesses of the past such as the real Rosetta Stone which helped Champollion to decipher hieroglyphics, sarcophagi, reconstructions of Greek temples or Roman frescoes… In short, young and old will find their pleasure. Ah and one important thing: admission is free!
#6 visits to London: Tate Modern
The Tate Modern is the museum of contemporary and modern art. Located on the banks of the Thames, the museum moved into the buildings of a former power station in the 1940s in 2000. We will not be able to describe the collections to you because the exhibitions change very often. It is up to you to consult the museum’s agenda. Her little sister is the Tate Britain, on the other side of London. The Tate Britain houses a collection of paintings and sculptures by great masters such as Bacon, Mondrian and Turner.
#7 visits to London: Hyde Park
London is full of parks and green spaces but the largest remains Hyde Park with its 142 hectares of lawn, woods and lakes. In the 17th century, it was Henry VIII’s favourite hunting ground. Hyde Park welcomes many sportsmen and women and offers many activities such as tennis, rollerblading, horse riding, swimming in Lake Serpentine, volleyball… On Sundays, it is the perfect place for a Sunday picnic with your family. The park is so large that you won’t feel like you’re in town and you may see squirrels or foxes on your walk! Nice to take a break from your shopping day, isn’t it?
#8 visits to London: Notting Hill
Yes, this neighbourhood doesn’t only exist in the Julia Roberts movie! Notting Hill is a charming district in North West London. No department stores, monuments… You will find charming pastel-coloured houses, original little shops, café terraces and a flea market not to be missed! This is the Portobello Road market that takes place every Saturday. You can snake through the stalls of antiques, clothes, antique jewellery… So rather than looking for your Hugh Grant, open your eyes and enjoy!
#9 visits to London: Greenwich
Greenwich is a district in south-east London. The district has the appearance of a village with its shops, cobbled streets, restaurants and markets. It also includes Greenwich Park, which was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997 and will host horseback riding and pentathlon events at the London 2012 Olympic Games. Located on a hill, from the park, you can admire a magnificent view of the city and its docklands. On the visitor side, you can visit the Old Royal Naval College or the National Maritime Museum to learn about London’s maritime history or the Royal Observatory, which defines the Greenwich meridian and universal time.
#10 visits to London: Science Museum
As its name suggests, it is a science museum. Admission is free. In a totally interactive and fun way, you will discover all the scientific advances of our History. Here, the watchword is to touch, experiment, activate, type and discover! It is an ideal visit for the whole family. Young and old will be able to share some 2000 activities, and even experiment with 3D with IMAX cinema or the virtual reality simulator.
Conclusion: a weekend of 2-3 days of visits to London
London has a lot to offer and guarantees a good time on the spot. If you are not satisfied, London has many restaurants. Good food is not the country’s reputation; however, you will find very good restaurants in London. If you want more, why not come and live in London?