Admiring London just one time should be on the goal list of any traveler’s. For centuries the hub of Britain’s naval power, Greenwich is best known to tourists as the home of Cutty Sark, the last of the 19th-century tea clippers that sailed between Britain and China. The ship is adjacent to the Discover Greenwich Visitor Centre, with its exhibits showcasing more than 500 years of maritime history, and the Palladian mansion known as Queen’s House. The impressive collections of the National Maritime Museum, the largest of its kind in the world, illustrate the history of the Royal Navy. One of the most unusual things to do in London is standing with one foot in each hemisphere, astride the Meridian Line in the Meridian Building in the Royal Observatory.
The revitalized Docklands across the river has been transformed into an international place of business and recreation, filled with some of London’s smartest new restaurants. The excellent Museum of London Docklands, in the old Georgian warehouses, brings to life the river, port, and its people from Roman times to the present through hands-on displays that are especially interesting for children.
A trip to London isn’t complete without a visit to the iconic London Eye. Originally constructed to celebrate the millennium, the Eye is a giant ferris wheel offering gorgeous views across the city. At night, the wheel is lit up in seasonal colors and is the centerpiece of London’s annual New Year’s fireworks display.
You can share one of the spacious pods with other keen visitors, or splurge on a private pod for you and someone special. Team your visit to the Eye with a trip to the adjacent London Aquarium to see aquatic creatures from around the world, including jellyfish, seahorses and crocodiles.
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The London Eye is a gigantic Ferris wheel located on the south bank of the River Thames. It was completed at the beginning of the 2000s, which is why it bears the nickname The Millennium Wheel. The wheel stands tall at 443 feet and has a diameter of 120 meters. A complete wheel turn takes about 30 minutes and the capsules provide visitors with a stunning 360? view of London. It’s recorded as the world’s tallest Ferris wheel and is a true beauty at night when it comes alive with bright neon colours. Tourists are entertained with a glass of royal champagne as they enjoy a sweet ride.
Opening times for the London Eye vary throughout the year and booking in advance is strongly recommended.
The lovely 41-storey steel and glass skyscraper known as “The Gherkin” was built in 2004 and is one of the most impressive modern structures in the London metropolis. This building is famous for its cigar shape design and is located in the heart of the London finance centre. The topmost floor of The Gherkin is an open hall with a conical dome. A view from its peak would be incredible, but unfortunately, this building is not open to the public. However, although it’s not open to the public, the exterior view is spectacular.
How could you miss one of the capital’s most iconic areas? Come and marvel at Nelson’s Column and the four huge lion statues. Feeding the pigeons is now discouraged (due to the spread of diseases), so please don’t bring them any treats.
On the north side of Trafalgar Square, you can visit the National Gallery and just around the corner on St. Martin’s Lane is the National Portrait Gallery. Both have free permanent displays and regular special exhibitions.
Trafalgar Square was designed by John Nash in the 1820s and constructed in the 1830s. It is both a tourist attraction and the main focus for political demonstrations. Look out for the George Washington Statue and the World’s Smallest Police Box, as well as the London Nose.