London has something for everyone. It is a big city with a lot of life and possibilities. Below you can read descriptions of different sights and maybe you find something for your own tour.
London is one of the greatest cities of the world. It is the biggest city in Europe and it is situated in the south-east of Britain. London has a population of about 8,000,000 but not all of them are real Londoners. People come to the capital from many different countries. As a result, you can hear almost 300 languages.
My mother and I went to London in 2013. We stayed there for about six weeks. The part of London that we lived in was called Grove Park and from there we took the train into the city centre.
Accommodation in the city centre is expensive. It is often a better idea to stay a bit outside. Moreover, it is also more quiet and relaxing.
You could also stay with a host family. We used the Internet website https://www.homestay.com/de to book a room with a nice hostess in London. It was nice to live in a private house and we could also cook there.
Another good option in London is walking. We sometimes walked five hours a day. You can see a lot that you miss when you are only on the main streets.
We usually started our day at Trafalgar Square. Trafalgar Square is a big square in the middle of London and near Charing Cross Station, where we got off the train. It is a monument for the Battle of Trafalgar. In that famous battle, Britain won against Napoleon and France. There are big lion statues that you can climb.
One day we walked past the square. There was a football match on TV and many football fans met there. When we came back in the evening, the square was very dirty. Rubbish everywhere! And the worst thing of all: they had put washing powder into the fountain. Look and compare the pictures of before and afterwards.
Changing the Guard: London’s guards are very famous all around the world. They are soldiers who guard the Queen and the royal family. They parade the streets. This is something very special to see. You can look up the times by clicking here. Be sure to go there very early. A lot of people want to see the guards and it is always very full. The ceremony takes place directly in front of Buckingham Palace.
Buckingham Palace is one of the most famous sights in London. It is the residence of the King or Queen of the United Kingdom. The area of the palace is called Westminster. In 2013 when we went to London, Prince George was born. All London was crazy about this little royal baby. Most of the British still love their royals. In summer, if the Queen is away for the holiday, it is sometimes possible to go inside the palace.
The palace became the most important royal place in 1837. In front of it you see the Victoria Memorial, created in 1911. Buckingham Palace was bombed many times during World War II, but most of it still survives until today.
Another famous sight of London is Westminster Abbey. It is a very large abbey church. The main style is Gothic, as you can see in the windows. Traditionally, the kings and queens of the United Kingdom have been crowned and buried here. What is more, the royal family also usually marries here. In 2011, the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton took place here.
The prices to get into the abbey are quite high. A tip is to go to an even song in the evening. That is a usual church service, sometimes choirs also sing there, and you may go in for free. Take a look at the services on their website: http://www.westminster-abbey.org/. It works best when you don’t look too much like a tourist.
They are the centre of British politics. Inside the buildings, the House of Commons and the House of Lords meet to discuss laws and politics in general. It is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Well, … that’s not quite correct. Most people call the tower Big Ben, but Big Ben is in fact only the nickname of the bell that is inside tower. There is a big clock that you can see from many places in the city. The tower has become a famous symbol for London and is on blankets, cups, and many other souvenirs.
One of the oldest buildings in London is the Tower. The Tower has a long history: It was built by William the Conqueror in 1078. It was not only a palace, but also a prison where many people died and lost their heads.
You can always see some black ravens around the towers. A legend says that the kingdom will fall if the ravens leave the tower. The guards at the Tower of London are called “Beefeaters”. Don’t forget to have a look at the Crown Jewels when you visit the Tower of London!
Another tourist attraction is the London Eye. This is one of the highest Ferris wheels (135 metres high). It is near the River Thames. A ride takes about half an hour. From the top of it you have a wonderful view of London.
Britain’s most famous architect, Sir Christopher Wren, built St. Paul’s Cathedral. It took 35 years to build it. St. Paul’s Cathedral has the second largest dome in the world. Only the one of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome is larger. You can climb the impressive dome from where you get a beautiful view over London.
There is also the world-famous Whispering Gallery inside St. Paul’s Cathedral. When you whisper some words against the wall, another person on the other side of the dome can understand you.
Piccadilly Circus is a very busy meeting place and tourist attraction because of the cinemas, theatres, nightclubs and pubs. The place is also famous for its shopping areas and advertisements and neon signs.
Are you interested in theatre? In London there are many famous theatres. One of them is Shakespeare’s Globe in which you can see plays by Shakespeare. William Shakespeare is the most famous British writer. He lived from around 1564 to 1616 and was born in Stratford-upon-Avon. We don’t know a lot about his life beside that.
Theatres and musicals: If you are more interested in modern theatre, there is also something for you in London. There are many big theatres which show musicals. We went to see ‘Mamma Mia’ and it was really good. You can try to get cheaper tickets for the performances at Leicester Square.
Shopping in London: Some people prefer to go shopping in London. There are many special shops and also streets full of exclusive clothes. However, shopping in London is definitely not cheap. One famous street for shopping is Oxford Street.
Another big street is Regent Street.
Two of the most famous shops in London are Harrod’s and Hamley’s. Harrod’s is a big department store where you can get almost everything from food to clothes or jewellery. Hamley’s is a huge shop for children where you can buy all kinds of games and toys.
The Southbank is full of life. It’s a part of London with many attractions, pubs, and special places where you can just enjoy the life of London. It is the perfect place to be on a warm summer night.
It’s also interesting during the day. Here you can see Francis Drake’s ship, the Golden Hinde. He was a famous pirate.
London by night: Don’t miss London by night! It is fascinating to see the nightlife of London. Along the Thames there is a lot to see and sometimes there are also free events in summer. The lights are bright and there are surprises around every corner. So don’t go to sleep too soon!
Even though we stayed there for six weeks, there is still a lot that we haven’t seen. Of course, we enjoyed going back home, but we decided to come back some day. London is absolutely fantastic!
- Capital city of England and the United Kingdom
- Largest city in Britain and in Europe
- Situated in the southeast of England
- The world’s first underground system, the ’Tube’
- The River Thames flows through London
- Population over 8 million
- People of different nationalities and cultures – people from all over the world
- People there speak more than 300 different languages
- Excellent underground system: The first underground railway of the world (the “Tube”), but more than half of the system is not underground.
- Double-decker buses: A great way to see the important sights of London is from the top of a double-decker bus.
- Traditional black taxis: Today there are not only black taxis but taxis in many different colours.
- Train system
During our stay in London we also went to a language school for two weeks. Our choice was the Edgware Academy. The school is really recommendable. We enjoyed our lessons very much and learnt interesting new things there.
To visit their website, click here.