This list was born casually, to answer to a request a friend made us on what not to miss in London.
Why shouldn’t we share it with you all?
Buckingham Palace: The inimitable English royal residence from generations. Here the changing of the guard is a must-see, which usually takes place everyday at 11 am, 10 am on Sundays. In winter, though, it only takes place every other day, and never when it rains (so, knowing the English weather, it is mostly rare).
Trafalgar Square: In memory of Trafalgar battle, it has a characteristic ship in a bottle (huge compared to those we are used to see); the obelisk which represents the eye of the dragon that, according to the legend fought against Henry VII, and the Admiralty Arch, the huge arch gate that takes you directly to The Mall, the parade avenue which leads to Buckingham Palace. You can have a little fun searching for the nose on the arch: somewhere on the structure there’s a jag which looks exactly like a human nose!
Here the discussion is longer. London is filled with museums to visit, each more interesting or curious than the other.
The British Museum is one of the first to see, to go all around the world and history in three floors, and admission is free.
The National History Museum, is in my opinion one of the most beautiful (but remember to go early in the morning or you’ll have to wait hours and hours in a line), also here the entrance is free of charge and you can also book your tickets online. Next to it there’s the Science Museum, which you can jump without regrets.
Madame Tussaud’s, the world famous wax museum: let’s say it has to be seen because it’s a “must”, but for me the ticket costs too much (30 pounds, almost 40 € per person), and to me it is not worth all that money. There is a ticket which also includes the London Eye, and it costs £ 50 (discount price if you buy online), but … I were you I would only go to the London Eye.
Westminster Abbey, Big Ben and the Parliament: they are side by side, just opposite the London Eye, along the Thames. If you arrive with a walk from Buckingham Palace, you can also see Scotland Yard. You should hear Big Ben going off: every quarter of an hour the carillon sounds, and it chimes every hour, you can hear them up to 2 km away!
The Portobello Market, the largest antiques market in the world, and the market in Camden Town. I’ll go on and admit I was disappointed in Camden Market… I liked much more the surroundings, so… alternative-styled! And I recommend it, especially for the view of colorful buildings and their extravagant “sculptures”.
Tower Bridge, the famous symbol of London, but mostly what comes after it: the Tower of London, the old prison in which the crown jewels are held: it looks like a medieval village in the middle of the city, and there you can also find a statue of Julius Caesar!
Greenwich: It is not just a museum or a simple house with the meridian in its middle: there is a whole park to stroll around, the museum to see (where you can also touch the oldest piece of meteorite in the world), and the possibility to step and take a picture on the meridian 0,0.
Kyoto Garden: It is inside Holland Park, a charming zen garden, in true Japanese style, complete with wooden bridge, bamboo fountains, peacocks… but also Holland Park itself is lovely, there you can also find a playable chessboard with pieces tall as children!
If you can, one day you should go to Southend-on-Sea. You can take the C2C train from Tower Hill, it takes an hour or so, but it is a really nice place: you can eat the best fish & chips of England and walk on the longest pier in the world!