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Things to see and do in London

When it comes to things to see and do in London, you won’t be short on choices. From museums choc-full of cultural treasures to venues pumping out live music, there is a slice of life to suit everyone.

Popular attractions in London

The British Museum

Explore the biggest and most popular museum in the UK

Good for
  • Archaeological museums
  • Sightseeing
  • Art museums
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The British Museum is one of the oldest and biggest collections of historical items and documents in the world. The museum first opened to the public in 1759 on the site in the Bloomsbury area of London it still uses to this day. It now boasts around 8 million works from across the globe.

Split into 8 departments and dozens of galleries, it can take quite a long time to see all of the permanent exhibitions. Fortunately, entrance is free, making it easy to break up your visit to the British Museum over a number of days.

Hotel prices near The British Museum

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$171
4 stars
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$247
5 stars
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$387
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Tower of London

See the Crown Jewels at the Tower of London

Good for
  • History museums
  • Military museums
  • Unesco world heritage
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The Tower of London is one of the more iconic historical attractions in the city. Since it was first built in 1078, it's played various important roles in British history. It's been a royal palace, a fortress, a prison, a zoo, the home of the Royal Mint, and, in more recent years, home of the Crown Jewels of England.

Still protected by the famous Beefeaters and various legends surrounding the resident ravens, The Tower of London is now a fascinating museum to the history and folklore of Britain. A family-friendly attraction, despite its sometimes gruesome past, the Tower is a must-visit in London.

Hotel prices near Tower of London

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$213
4 stars
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$174
5 stars
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$275
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Big Ben

See one of the world's most famous clocks

Good for
  • Sightseeing
  • Tower
  • Top attractions
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Big Ben is one of the star attractions of the Westminster area of London. The 315-ft tower at the northern end of the Houses of Parliament is topped with four 23-ft-wide faces, which have kept pretty good time almost continuously since they started ticking in 1859. The historical mechanism of the clock is so accurate that it has remained within a second of the correct time, according to advanced atomic clocks.

While the tower itself is often called "Big Ben", its actual name is "Elizabeth Tower", after Queen Elizabeth II. The largest of the five bells is the true Ben.

Hotel prices near Big Ben

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$167
4 stars
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$266
5 stars
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$494
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Tower Bridge

Cross one of the most iconic bridges in London

Good for
  • Sightseeing
  • Bridge
  • Top attractions
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Tower Bridge is among the most iconic structures in London thanks to its long history and distinctive design. Opened in 1894, it's often incorrectly believed to have taken its name from the two main bridge towers. In fact, the name comes from the Tower of London, which is right by the northern end of the bridge.

With the modernization of the mechanism used to lift the main span of the bridge for river traffic, the towers, former engine rooms, and the high-level walkway now contain a fascinating exhibition, showing how and why the bridge was first built.

Hotel prices near Tower Bridge

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$149
4 stars
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$203
5 stars
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$289
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Westminster Abbey

Visit the graves of Britain's most famous historical figures

Good for
  • Sightseeing
  • Church
  • Unesco world heritage
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Westminster Abbey has played a pivotal role in British history for centuries. Every monarch of the nation has been crowned here since 1066, with many of them being laid to rest here when their reign ended. Other notable graves include those of Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, and The Unknown Warrior.

The imposing building is technically not an abbey, but has the unique status of "Royal Peculiar" of the Church of England. It's still an active church, with regular services, but is also among the most popular attractions in London. An audio guide is available and takes about an hour to highlight the many fascinating features.

Hotel prices near Westminster Abbey

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$158
4 stars
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$245
5 stars
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$494
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Camden Lock Market

Find great bargains and unique souvenirs at Camden Lock Market

Good for
  • Sightseeing
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Camden Lock Market is the star attraction of the trendy Camden Town, just north of the city center. Startling life in the 1970s in an old timber yard as an arts and crafts market, it has expanded into a thriving daily market spanning several streets and even entering nearby buildings.

Ranked among the most popular London attractions, the market is perhaps best known for its diverse offerings, ranging from a deli market, antiques, and vintage clothes to pop-up yoga, street performances and homeware from around the globe. The market is open every day of the year except Christmas Day.

Hotel prices near Camden Lock Market

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$32
3 stars
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$140
4 stars
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$658
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Buckingham Palace

Visit the Queen of England's London home

Good for
  • Sightseeing
  • Palace
  • Top attractions
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Buckingham Palace, in the City of Westminster, is the main home address of the Queen of England. The royal palace and The Mall - the long road leading from Trafalgar Square - are focal points of British culture, seeing countless parades and ceremonies. When it isn't a special occasion, the Changing of the Queen's Guard in the palace forecourt is a popular attraction.

Built in 1703, a small selection of the palace's 775 rooms are opened to the public for August and September each year. This includes the Queen's Gallery, where you can view some of the works of art from the Royal Collection.

Hotel prices near Buckingham Palace

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$142
4 stars
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$278
5 stars
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$531
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Coca-Cola London Eye

See the city center from the famous Ferris wheel

Good for
  • Sightseeing
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The London Eye was built as part of London's many celebrations of the new millennium in 2000. It's among the tallest Ferris wheels in the world, carrying you an impressive 443 ft up. From the top of the wheel, each of the 32 glass capsules offers stunning views across Westminster and the heart of London, including the Houses of Parliament, Horse Guards Parade, and Buckingham Palace.

A ride on the London Eye takes about 30 minutes. However, it's a popular attraction and has a capacity of 25 people per capsule, so you can find yourself waiting in line for some time beforehand.

Hotel prices near Coca-Cola London Eye

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$205
4 stars
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$241
5 stars
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$479
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Royal Observatory

Stand on the Greenwich Meridien at the Royal Observatory

Good for
  • Sightseeing
  • Museums
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The Royal Observatory was built in 1676, making it one of the oldest astronomy institutions in the world. It's also the origin of the prime meridian - the line from which all time zones are measured - and gave its name to Greenwich Mean Time. Being in the middle of the city, it's no longer a functioning observatory, but remains a fascinating museum of astronomy, navigation, and timekeeping.

The observatory, along with the nearby Cutty Sark and National Maritime Museum, give excellent examples of how a study of the stars has numerous real-world applications. It's a great family attraction and a pleasant escape from the bustle of central London.

Hotel prices near Royal Observatory

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$137
4 stars
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$144
5 stars
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$182
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Imperial War Museum

Learn more about Britain's role in the world wars

Good for
  • Sightseeing
  • Art museums
  • Military museums
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The Imperial War Museum is an exciting family attraction, particularly for those with an interest in military history. The main branch of the museum is found on Lambeth Road, but there are 2 other branches in London, including HMS Belfast - a WWII-era light cruiser docked near Tower Bridge.

The Imperial War Museum was founded to record the civilian and military efforts and hardships suffered during the First World War. It exhibits these along with further sections dedicated to the Second World War and other conflicts, with a wide variety of artefacts, vehicles, documents, and stories.

Hotel prices near Imperial War Museum

3 stars
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$139
4 stars
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$219
5 stars
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$293
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