London is an electrifying mix of old and new. Check out our whirlwind 59 seconds in London tour and learn a little more about some of the highlights.
Sounds of the underground
The London Underground, also known as the Tube, is one of the easiest ways to get around the city. But it’s also great fun. As you navigate the Underground, keep an eye out for poetry and art on your journey. Or explore forgotten parts of the network on the Hidden London tour.
Soak it all in from the London Eye
Riding high on the London Eye is one of the best ways to orientate yourself with all the sights of this sprawling city. Book online to make sure you get a spot on this popular attraction, or even spring for a private pod for an exclusive viewing experience.
Looking up at Canary Wharf’s iconic skyscrapers will take your breath away. If you’re a fan of contemporary architecture, there are few more impressive places than this. It has five of the United Kingdom’s 10 tallest buildings, including One Canada Square and the Landmark PInnacle. Check into Novotel London Canary Wharf and stay in the UK’s tallest hotel.
360 degree views
For more awesome views, head to The Shard. Dramatically piercing the London cityscape, this glistening 72-storey structure boasts some of the hippest restaurants and bars in the city. And, of course, the viewing gallery is an absolute must for cityscape lovers.
Want to get lost in a jungle? Then head to the Sky Garden, London’s highest public garden. Also known as the Walkie Talkie, this skyscraper houses an immaculately landscaped garden full of drought resistant Mediterranean and African plants.
Follow in the footsteps of the dinosaurs
Children and adults delight in exploring the Natural History Museum. Step inside the intricately decorated exterior and marvel at the huge blue whale skeleton suspended from the vaulted central hall. Walk through this ornate building and take in awe-inspiring exhibitions – the dinosaur ones are particularly special.
Two million years of history
The collection at the British Museum is truly amazing. From the dawn of human history to the present day, this carefully curated collection has thousands of treasures to uncover. Egyptian artefacts, Renaissance masterpieces, elaborate Roman glasswork and much more lie within. Admission is free, although there may be a charge for entry to special exhibitions.
Arguably the most famous and influential playwright of all time, William Shakespeare is also one of London’s most notable former residents. From cafes to comedy clubs, many places in the capital bear his name. If you’re a theatre fan, make the pilgrimage to the incredible Elizabethan replica theatre Shakespeare’s Globe to see exciting reproductions of iconic plays.
Camden Market is one of the most fun places to shop in London. With over 1,000 shops and stalls, you can pick up everything from a vegan burger to a unique work of art. As popular with locals as it is with visitors, you never know quite what you’ll find during your Camden Market shopping trip.
Shoreditch is known as one of the coolest parts of the city. A magnet for arty and creative people, this area is full-to-bursting with exciting nightlife and eclectic eateries. It’s also a must-visit area if you want to hit the vintage shops or stock up on vinyl.
Hip to be Trafalgar Square
Designed in 1830, Trafalgar Square is home to statues and monuments commemorating famous people from Nelson’s Column to George Washington. However, on the Fourth Plinth, things get a little bit more modern thanks to public art commissions. These temporary exhibitions tackle diverse subjects from drone surveillance to trans rights.
The Tower of London is somewhere everyone should go to at least once. Get dazzled by the largest diamond in the world when you check out the crown jewels. Join a free tour run by one of the Tower’s loyal Yeoman Warders, also known as Beefeaters. See spectacular collections of shining armour, the infamous Bloody Tower and much more.
Hear Big Ben chime
The sound of Big Ben is one of the most quintessentially London things you’ll ever hear. Housed in the Elizabeth Tower, you can hear it chime every 15 minutes. This is such a special sight (and sound) that the Great Clock of Westminster is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Pop in to see the King
Well, maybe you won’t actually get to see King Charles. But a trip to take a look at Buckingham Palace, the King’s official London residence, is certainly worth adding to your list. Whether you just take a peak in the opulent gates or you opt for a private tour, Buckingham Palace is a sight to behold.
Royalty laid to rest
Originally founded in 960 as a Catholic monastery for Benedictine Monks, Westminster Abbey is now one of the key Anglican churches. It’s been the location for 39 coronations and is the final resting place for 17 monarchs. As well as that, Sir Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin and Charles Dickens are also buried in the Abbey.
Awe-inspiring St. Paul’s
Situated at the top of the highest point of the City of London, St. Paul’s Cathedral is a magnificent building. It’s where Prince Charles and Princess Diana tied the knot and has featured in Hollywood blockbusters like Harry Potter. Step inside and marvel at the second largest dome in Europe, exceptional frescos, intricate mosaics and many more works of art.
Visit aerlingus.com to book your London adventure today