Are you a city dweller who favours an urban escapade over a lengthy road trip or a leisurely day by the shore? Are you passionate about crafting travel guides and eager to visit all the renowned city spots as soon as you get off the plane or train? If so, then keep reading as we compile a list of essential top attractions in London for art, culture, and history enthusiasts like yourself.
The Tower of London
Constructed more than 900 years ago by William the Conqueror, the Tower of London is steeped in a rich and vibrant history. It stands as one of the world’s most renowned fortresses, having served as a royal palace, prison, armoury, and even a zoo. The Tower is home to Her Majesty’s Crown Jewels, which are on display for visitors, along with the famous Beefeaters who guard them and provide insights into the tower’s highlights. For information on opening and closing hours, please visit their website.
The Royal Airforce Museum
The Royal Air Force Museum tells the captivating story of aviation, from early biplanes to cutting-edge strike jets. This exceptional collection showcases over 100 aircraft, complemented by special exhibitions, films, artwork, engines, missiles, photographs, medals, and uniforms. It offers a delightful day out for the whole family and sheds light on the daring early aviators, wartime heroes, and ordinary men and women whose contributions have shaped the world we know today. The museum is open daily from 10 am to 6 pm, and admission and parking are free.
Victoria & Albert Museum
Boasting a permanent collection of over 4 million pieces, the Victoria and Albert Museum reigns as the world’s largest museum of decorative arts. It stands as one of London’s most captivating and diverse museums. Established in 1852 and situated at its current location since 1857, this incredible institution showcases artefacts spanning 3,000 years from the world’s richest cultures. The collection encompasses a staggering 4.5 million pieces, including paintings, photographs, jewellery, ceramics, and textiles.
Museum of London
Discover the captivating history of London, from its earliest times and Roman settlement to the modern era. Learn about our triumphs over wars, plagues, and fires that have propelled us to become one of the world’s greatest cities (although we might sound a tad biased here). The Museum of London is situated on the London Wall, near the Barbican Centre. Admission to the museum is free, and it welcomes visitors daily from 10 am to 5 pm.
Update: On 4 December 2022, the Museum of London closed its doors after almost half a century. It will reopen in 2026 in a new location ten-minute walk away in Smithfield Market—to be renamed the London Museum.
The National Gallery London
The National Gallery is located in Trafalgar Square and was founded in 1824. It houses an impressive collection of paintings (roughly 2,300 in total) dating from the 13th century to 1900. Entry to the main exhibitions is free and the paintings belong to the public. The collection housed by the National Gallery in London is one of the finest collections of Western European paintings in the world. At the National Gallery, you can see famous works of art such as Van Gogh’s Sunflowers and Van Eyck’s Arnolfini Portrait. It is one of the most visited attractions in London with over six million visitors passing through its doors each year.
Immerse yourself in centuries of history as you explore Westminster Abbey, home to an array of paintings, stained glass, textiles, and artefacts. This prestigious site also serves as the burial ground and commemoration area for some of England’s most significant historical figures. Situated on the grounds of a former Benedictine monastery, it was re-established as the Collegiate Church of St. Peter in Westminster by Queen Elizabeth I in 1560.
Synonymous with modern art, Tate Modern houses an impressive collection of contemporary artworks from 1900 to the present day. This renowned attraction draws an average of 5.7 million visitors annually. Art enthusiasts can marvel at international masterpieces and works by modern British artists. Not only is it famous for its artistic content, but also for the building itself—a former power station encompassing the size of Westminster Abbey. Don’t miss the breathtaking views of London from the top-floor viewing terrace. Best of all, the main collection offers free admission, so you can visit without spending a penny if you’re on a budget or seeking refuge from the rain.
Abbey Road Studios
Abbey Road Studios, located at 3 Abbey Road, St. John’s Wood, City of Westminster, holds a special place in music history. In the 1960s, it served as a venue for groundbreaking recording techniques adopted by The Beatles, Pink Floyd, The Hollies, Badfinger, and others. The iconic cover photo of The Beatles’ album Abbey Road was captured by Iain MacMillan outside the studios, turning the pedestrian zebra crossing into a pilgrimage site for Beatles fans from around the world. Whether you’re a Beatles fan or simply a music lover, a visit to Abbey Road Studios is a must.
The British Museum
Established in 1753, the British Museum presents a remarkable collection that spans over two million years of human history. Under one roof, you can explore treasures from various world cultures, showcased around the magnificent Great Court. The museum attracts up to 5.8 million visitors each year, who come to admire world-famous objects like the Rosetta Stone, Parthenon sculptures, and Egyptian mummies. Additionally, the museum offers special exhibitions, daily gallery tours, talks, and guided tours. Open daily from 10 am to 5 pm, entry is free.
If you are planning a trip to London, why not make it a complete experience and stay with us? The Crown London Hotel is conveniently located near Central London to explore all these must-see top attractions in London. You can easily explore these iconic places using the London Underground, taxis, or buses. After a day of exploration, return to comfortable rooms and indulge in mouth-watering food and flavorful drinks at The Crown Pub & Grill.