8 Quintessential Sightseeing Spots in London, United Kingdom

No one will believe you’d been to The Big Smoke—that is, if you don’t, at least, have a picture in one of these top sightseeing spots in London, United Kingdom.

A street-level shot of Covent Garden.

This may sound new to those of you who haven’t seen it on TikTok: London is technically classified as a forest. That’s right! That’s mainly attributed to how the city has over eight million trees, making it the world’s largest urban forest according to UN’s standards. 

While these sightseeing spots in London, United Kingdom, might not be exclusively nature trails or green spaces, they can still provide a good level of visual detox amidst a highly urban landscape:

1. The British Museum

Home to over 13 million artifacts, the British Museum boasts one of the most comprehensive collections of antiquities in the world. Highlights include the Elgin Marbles from the Parthenon and the Rosetta Stone. If your flavor of sightseeing is one that spans two million years of human history, art, and culture, the best news is that entrance here is absolutely free. 

2. The Tower of London

The Tower of London has a very colorful history, having served as a royal residence, prison, and even execution site. Here, you’ll get to marvel at the Crown Jewels, join a Yeoman Warder tour, and learn about the tower’s gruesome past. A portion of the complex—the unmistakable White Tower—was built by William the Conqueror and is a good stop if you’d like to see a remarkable collection of royal armor. 

3. Buckingham Palace

Time to practice your curtsies, because you’ll get to experience the grandeur of the British monarchy at Buckingham Palace. The official London residence of King Charles III, this palace features the lavish State Rooms and generous displays of British pomp and pageantry. Just be sure to brush up on manners and etiquette, especially during the Changing of the Guard ceremony. And also, plan ahead as tickets can sell like pancakes!

Lavish interior of Buckingham Palace.

4. The Houses of Parliament and Big Ben

Much like other sightseeing spots in London, United Kingdom, the seat of British democracy at the Houses of Parliament features Gothic Revival architecture and historic chambers. It’s also the most up-close-and-personal you’ll get with the iconic Elizabeth Tower, a.k.a. Big Ben

5. The British Library

With over 170 million items, the British Library is a haven for knowledge seekers and visiting families who just love burying their faces in books. Highlights include the Magna Carta and an impressive collection of illuminated manuscripts. The library also hosts talks and temporary exhibitions, so be sure to check the website for upcoming events.

6. The Tate Modern

Okay, time for a palate cleanser. Now that you’ve been to historic sightseeing spots in London, United Kingdom, you may also need a dose of the contemporary. The Tate Modern, housed in a former power station on the South Bank, houses works by Picasso, Warhol, and Dali. It’s also home to thought-provoking installations, boasts stunning rooftop views, and has great proximity to other attractions like the London Eye.

Inside of a large library in London.

7. The Shard

The Shard, the tallest building in Western Europe, is perhaps one of the best spots to secure panoramic views of the city. Here, high-speed elevators take you to the observation decks on floors 68-72. Whatever point in the day you decide to visit, this is one of the sightseeing spots in London, United Kingdom, where you can also grab a bite or a drink.

8. Covent Garden

Lastly, Covent Garden, known for its street performers, boutique shops, and charming cafes, is another quintessential London stop. Browse the stalls at the historic market hall, catch a show at the Royal Opera House, or enjoy a meal at one of the many restaurants. It’s the place to be when you want to combine sightseeing with soaking up the local vibe. Just be sure to budget accordingly as there are endless delights here!

Unravel More Sightseeing Spots in London, United Kingdom, with ThisCityKnows

In a city brimming with culture beyond its own, there are far more sightseeing spots in London, United Kingdom, than our singular guide can handle! When exploring on foot, let your eyes wander, open your mind to quaint hidden gems, and be on the lookout for hidden gems hiding just around the corner.

Better yet, stay in the know with all things London—with ThisCityKnows. We publish guides on what to see, what to do, and where to go, wherever you are in the world. 

With that, we encourage you to discover the most memorable and quintessential sights in this storied city with ThisCityKnows!

Patty O.
Author: Patty O.

A city girl through and through, Patty has always planned her adventures in and around urban areas. Through her travel writing, she aims to make a compelling case for the global city as a place of endless discovery and satisfaction. Her goal is to detail how urban exploration can fulfill the desires of anyone and everyone, from cultural and culinary adventurers to historical and supernatural enthusiasts.

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