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The Classic First Timer Top 5 Things to in London
London is Europe's most visited city, attracting over 14 million international visitors per year. The list of iconic monuments, museums and open spaces is endless. We debated long and hard over what should be on this list. It was not easy, but we had to start somewhere, so we started with the famous!
1. Big Ben & Houses of Parliament
What is the image that immediately comes to most people's minds when we talk about London? The Houses of Parliament and Elizabeth Tower, commonly called Big Ben. Located in Westminster, close to other iconic landmarks, the parliament is open to both UK and international visitors to attend debates, watch committee hearings or take a tour inside the buildings. A tour of Elisabeth Tower, however, can only be booked by UK residents.
2. London Eye
On the South Bank side of the River Thames, you can see London Eye, the giant ferris wheel with 135 metres (443 ft). Also known as the Millennium Wheel, it has won 25 awards for design, innovation, engineering & tourism. An amazing and very popular way to take in the views of London from above.
3. Tower of London
Also located by the riverside, but more to the east side of the city, this historic castle has played a prominent role in English history. The Tower of London is actually a number of towers and other buildings, with the first one (White Tower) being built in 1078. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it has served as an armoury, a treasury, a menagerie, the home of the Royal Mint, a public records office, and the home of the Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom.
4. Buckingham Palace
The Buckingham Palace is the official residence and the principal workplace of the monarchy of the UK; the centrepiece of Britain's constitutional monarchy. It houses the offices of those who support the day-to-day activities and duties of The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh and their immediate family. Although in use for many official events and receptions held by The Queen, the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace are open to visitors every year.
5. British Museum
Established 262 years ago, the British Museum is a must see when you visit London. Dedicated to ancient and living cultures, its permanent collection is one of the largest and most comprehensive in existence, spanning two million years of human history. It is housed in one of Britain's architectural landmarks and the access is free, just like in most of the museums in London.