If you’re in the spirit of adventure, then exploring London is one that you’ll enjoy and live to remember. London is famous for being a bustling metropolitan city with its beautiful range of cafeterias, galleries, and landmarks. The capital of Britain has plenty to offer all types of travelers for some fun memories.
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What Is London Famous For?
London is known for its varied neighborhoods and vibrant scenes that transform between day and night. Its rich history of royalty, arts, politics, architecture, and science is equally interesting and diverse. With these arrays of characteristics and statuses, there are plenty of activities to discover more about what London is famous for.
Landmarks London Is Famous For
There are plenty of attractions in the metropolitan capital, there are just a prominent few from the extensive list of famous landmarks in London.
Tower Of London
The Tower of London was built as far back as the year 1078, making it one of the oldest buildings in London’s history. Although old, it matches interestingly with the modern skyscrapers of The City on the London skyline.
Apart from being the home of the Crown Jewels of England and hosting people from Elizabeth 1 to the Kray twins according to history, it also has the Norman Conquest, a prison, and a torture chamber. The Tower of London stands as a good representation of just how old the city’s history is.
A visit to this iconic structure is one of the best things to do in London.
A visit to London Eye offers a beautiful view of London city. It is also known as the Millennium Wheel and although a recent monument, it has been long unveiled on New Year’s Eve 1999.
Notwithstanding, It is still regarded as one of London’s most recent additions. The London Eye is one of the most popular and visited attractions that London is famous for.
Buckingham Palace is best known for being the home of the Royal Family since 1837. It was built in 1705 by George IV, who desired to upgrade it from the dainty three-story Buckingham House to the magnificent Palace.
Whilst you cannot visit all of the palace itself, parts of it like the state rooms and gardens are open seasonally. You may even visit the Royal Mews to see the horses and one of the finest stables for the royals.
Furthermore, every morning, you can watch the Changing of the Guard ceremony. They wear the characteristic red uniform and black bearskin hats.
Big Ben is a historic monument dating back to 1843. The prominent clocktower is beside the Houses of Parliament.
One of the fun facts about London that a lot of people only find out when they visit is that Big Ben is not the name of the tower. It is actually the name of the bell that strikes on the hour at the Elizabeth Tower building.
Nonetheless, that is the name that has stuck and became what London is known for. Be sure to visit and learn more about the history of this prominent attraction.
Other Attractions London Famous For
The Windsor Castle was built in 1070, making it the oldest castle in the world that is still actively in use.
The first royal to be associated with the fortification was William the Conqueror, who used the land as a hunting ground. However, the first royal to live in the castle was King Henry. Over 40 monarchs have since inhabited the grand residence.
Be sure to explore the castle’s most famous attractions, such as St George’s Chapel, and unique artworks.
Although the castle is located further outside London in Windsor, there are convenient day tours that take you there, in addition to other famous destinations like Stonehenge and Bath.
Westminster Abbey is a structure that has kept alive the memories of the country’s relationship with the Christian Church since the origins of England. This has made it one of the oldest attractions London is famous for.
It was founded as early as 960AD and has from then hosted coronations and royal weddings. It had multiple transformations, but as it stands today was renovated in 1269. The medieval architecture was approved by Henry III.
The Church of England is famous for countless reasons. Over the years, it has seen many burials such as Charles Dickens, Darwin, and Sir Isaac Newton. King Edward the Confessor was just the first of over 30 royals to be buried here.
Additionally, it is a Coronation Church, where most recently the coronation of King Charles III and Camila was held.
Taking Westminster Bridge to Westminster Abbey might bring you across famous people from London as a lot of people have attested to coming across celebrities on that route.
The Shard in London is the tallest building in the United Kingdom and the sixth tallest building in Europe. It is at the forefront of London’s skyline developments, housing the city’s most luxurious apartments, offices, bars, and restaurants.
In 2012, Shard decided to allow visitors to its observation deck on the top floor to experience the beautiful view of the City of London while enjoying a luxurious environment and a well-served meal.
A tour inside The Shard will get you to appreciate the revolution in design and architecture that London is famous for.
SEA LIFE is an aquarium found in Central London, near all of the classic attractions such as Big Ben, The London Eye, and The Thames River. Once you enter Country Hall, you can find it on the ground floor.
Overall, there are 14 categorized zones, meaning something is interesting on offer for everyone. For example, the stars of The Polar Adventure are slender Gentoo Penguins, whilst Ocean Invaders feature the translucent Moon Jellyfish. Additionally, you can find sharks, octopuses, and replicas of the greatest marine animals in the world.
Although this is a no-brainer activity for kids, it is also an incredibly fun destination for adults as well. You can get tickets online to save on queueing time.
As this is a popular attraction, note that there is also a cost-saving bundle combining the aquarium with the London Eye and Madame Tussauds.
London Dungeons, despite their spooky name, are not a prison. They are an interactive experience in the County Hall building, where you can find live performances of history told entertainingly.
The stories include notorious characters like the murderer Jack the Ripper, Guy Fawkes who planned to blow up parliament, and some scary monarchs. Major events that shaped Britain also include The Black Plague and The Great Fire Of London.
Furthermore, teenagers may enjoy the Escape Room, working as a team to solve puzzles. It is a more fun and immersive way to learn about the legends and stories of past history.
St. Paul’s Cathedral
St Paul’s Cathedral is an early 18th-century Renaissance and Baroque building, known for its towering columns, pointed arches, and classic dome. It is made of Portland stone, which allows for intricate carvings as well as soft off-white color.
The cathedral is the seat of the Bishop of London. It stands as another beautiful attraction visited by many London tourists, towering over the skyline on the highest point in London City.
The impressive building was constructed during the city-wide project that focused on rebuilding the city after the 1666 Great Fire of London. It was executed by the famous Sir Christopher Wren as one of his projects.
Furthermore, the charming Anglican Cathedral has been home to many famous events such as the wedding of Princess Diana and Prince Charles. Likewise, the funeral of Winston Churchill happened here.
St. Paul’s Cathedral is well known not only because of its historical value but also for its religious value and architectural beauty.
Parks & Gardens London Is Known For
Hyde Park is the largest royal park in London. It is not only famous for being London’s largest and centrally located park, but It’s also popular for its interesting and famous Speaker’s Corner.
Speaker’s Corner is where people are allowed to make stand-up speeches on different topics freely to the passers-by, some of who may stop to listen and debate while other uninterested people keep walking.
The topic of these speeches can be a personal manifesto, contemporary political issues, and so on. This quirk area of the park will make your visit to Hyde Park more than interesting.
Kew Gardens will get you to fall in love with nature over and over again. It is a serene garden London is famous for. The beautiful green space is known to house not just the largest botanical collections but also the most diverse ones in the world.
Kew Gardens was opened in 1759 and has given people who needed to escape the hustle and bustle of the city centre a place of nature to relax. You also get to discover history while appreciating the beauty of nature.
Kensington Palace and Gardens
Kensington Palace is located in the majestic Kensington Gardens. It is the home of the Prince and Princess of Wales.
Originally, the structure was bought by King William III because of the fresh air and beautiful scenery. Many famous things have happened at the palace, such as the birth of Queen Victoria.
The palace has an extremely interesting history, such as claims that it is haunted by previous personnel. This is further amplified by the fact it is considered unlucky, being the home of royals who suffered smallpox, miscarriages, and drowning.
There are eight Royal Parks in London, most of which are found in the central part, just like The Regent’s Park and Primrose Hill.
Colloquially known as Regent’s Park, the green pervades over 400 acres of land. It boasts its bandstand where musicians play, as well as a theatre for concerts and other performances.
The park itself is made up of five smaller gardens. The best known is Avenue Gardens, famed for its elegant cherry blossoms and vibrant tulips.
Sports Venues London Is Famous For
Chelsea Football Stadium
Perhaps the most impressive thing that England is known for is its football clubs. Despite the rivalry between teams, you can acknowledge the dedication no matter which club you support.
In West London, you will find the Chelsea Football Stadium, also known as Stamford Bridge.
Although the biggest Premier League stadium is Old Trafford, the home of Manchester United, Stamford Bridge has an outstanding capacity of over 40,000. If you can’t catch a home game, there are always tours and also a blue and white museum! It’s an incredible experience looking behind the scenes and tracing the steps of legends.
The O2 Arena is one of the top 10 largest venues in the world by volume. It is located in Greenwich, South-East London. The versatility of its stadium has no doubt contributed to its popularity, as tickets range from music concerts to sporting events.
Bands like The Spice Girls sold out the arena within 38 seconds, making them the most famous show. Other celebrities to sell out The O2 include The Rolling Stones and Beyonce.
One of the most exciting activities to do here other than a concert or event, is to climb the roof of the arena! Yes, you read that right. For the adventurous, you are rewarded with a thrilling experience alongside some unbeatable views.
The Emirates Stadium is the fifth largest in England, home to Arsenal Football Club. It has been this way since 2006 when it was constructed. However, the club has existed since 1886.
The stadium, located in Holloway, is easily accessible, especially by the London Underground via the Piccadilly Line. Even if you are not catching a game, be sure to take a tour of the stadium; it’s a dream come true for many football fans.
In addition to Arsenal, the venue has seen international matches such as the Brazil national team. Other than football, rugby has also taken place here.
Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
The Tottenham Hotspur Stadium is the largest in London, found in North London. The billion-pound project was eventually finished in 2019, becoming the home of Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur. Before this, their home stadium was White Hart Lane for over a century.
Spurs’ Stadium has an overwhelming capacity of 62,850. It boasts the famous gold cockerel mascot, a front row extremely close to the pitch, and an impressive renewable policy. Altogether, these touches create a warm, familiar atmosphere.
Similar to some of the prominent stadiums, you can also take a tour of the iconic areas such as the changing rooms and manager dugout. What’s more insane here is that you can actually go on an exhilarating skywalk ON TOP of the stadium. Definitely one for thrill seekers!
London is a place of diverse talents ranging from arts to music and of course, sports. Most of these activities are performed at Wembley Stadium. This makes it one of the most major attractions London is known for.
Wembley has hosted some of the world’s biggest music artists with their fans and also some of the biggest sporting stars and their different football teams. It is considered the home of the English national football team.
This means that visiting Wembley stadium as a football or music fan will give you not just entertainment but also great memories to cherish for life.
Galleries And Theatres London Is Famous For
William Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre
If there is one artistic thing that London is known for, it has to be theatre. William Shakespeare made his fortune and fame in London and he left a great footprint on the capital. He became well known as he wrote plays for the Queen, and the King and then went ahead to build his legendary theatre; The Globe.
This theatre has once been ravaged by fire in 1613 and got rebuilt, only to be shut down again during the Civil War. 1997 marked its new unveiling where Shakespeare’s plays are watched by literary lovers, thespians, and explorers to appreciate.
Therefore, if you belong to any of these categories of art lovers, prepare to get your mind blown as you visit William Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre.
The Tate art galleries are in four different parts of the UK. Tate Modern is one of the four and the most popular. The other 3 are Tate Britain, Tate Liverpool and Tate St Ives.
London is known for its design, beautiful art, and culture, and the Tate Modern’s iconic tower provides incredible access to experience this. Apart from its tower that overlooks the River Thames for a beautiful view, it also has an ever-changing array of exhibits inside.
Visiting The Tate Modern offers you a selection of the world’s best British and international contemporary art. Best of all? It is free admission!
The Saatchi Gallery was founded by Charles Saatchi in 1985, making it modern and chic. The gallery showcases contemporary art, created to provide a fresh perspective and inspire new minds. Later, it began operating as a charity for the younger generation of artists and aid them to succeed.
Pieces range from abstract to graffiti and fine art. Many mediums are also used. Famous artists include Andy Warhol, Cindy Sherman, and Gavin Turk.
History, Culture And Traditions London Is Famous For
Harry Potter And Films
Harry Potter is a novel and movie adaptation written by British author J.K. Rowling about a wizard and his magician friends. The globally acclaimed and recognized franchise is particularly prominent in major UK cities like London and Edinburgh since they are related to the story or its origins in one way or another.
Taking inspiration from this, the immensely popular Harry Potter Warner Bros. Studio Tour is a nostalgic combination of sets, props, and costumes that were once used all over England and Wales. As a result, the beloved franchise was born.
During the tour, you can revisit key locations such as Platform 9 ¾ as well as discover objects such as the Nimbus 2000 broomstick. If you are interested in art, you will likely be enticed by the life-size creatures and intricate models.
Needless to say, there are also Harry Potter themed walking tours which are super fun and entertaining. Best of all, they also include visits to some of the iconic sites in London.
Jack The Ripper
Jack The Ripper is the nickname for the prolific serial killer who claimed the lives of at least five victims. In 1888, he caused a ripple of uncertainty in Whitechapel, London as the police and residents feared for their lives. To this day, his identity remains unknown.
The name comes from a letter that was sent to the police department, signed by Jack the Ripper, basking in his supposed accomplishment. Attached to it was the kidney of one of the victims as proof.
The popular Jack The Ripper Walking Tour explores Brick Lane, Christ Church, and more stops related to the anonymous murderer.
Stonehenge is found on Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire, easily accessible by train from Central London. The monument continues to be one of the greatest mysteries in the world. Much conflict arises from its origin, believed to be circa 3000 BC, and who constructed it.
Essentially, Stonehenge is an archeological site, originally consisting of 82 sarsen stones. They make up structures such as the Trilithon Horseshoe, Sarsen Circle, and peripheral shapes. Unfortunately, many stones have been moved, stolen, or demolished.
This is one of the most famous sites in England, so it is recommended to get your tickets beforehand to save time.
If you plan on visiting some of these sites that are outside London, take advantage of the day tours available. It’s way more convenient and hassle-free without having to plan. A Stonehenge Tour can also include Windsor Castle and the charming city of Bath.
The River Thames has had an integral role in the history of the city. Being the longest river in England spanning nine counties, it has acted as the glue that has held its residents together.
For example, the Frost Fair beginning in the early 1600s and lasting two centuries was an ice-skating festival. Due to the adverse weather conditions, the river would freeze over, and all kinds of festive sports were available. Similarly, The Doggett’s Coat and Badge is a boat race that has operated for over 300 years.
In addition, the modification of the sewage system has meant that multiple species of fish now call the River Thames their home. This timeline demonstrates the commitment and passion which has transformed the river for good.
The most popular activity on River Thames is obviously a scenic river cruise! It’s one of the cliche yet must-do things in London. Best of all, you can even just use the cruise as a transport from one district to another.
For those who want to really soak in the vibes, there are always options with food; from lunch to dinner cruises; and get this – even afternoon tea or evening snacks with a glass of Bubbly. That’s how iconic this landmark and activity is.
Pearly Kings And Queens Harvest Festival
This popular London pearly tradition happens every September where you’ll see pearly kings and queens descend on Guildhall for the annual Harvest. It is one of the festivals London is known for.
This tradition originated amongst the market traders who are known as costermongers in the 19th century. It was discovered by Henry Croft, a rat catcher and street cleaner who got the festival idea from the flashy style of the coster kings and queens during the Victorian era.
He made his suit in mother-of-pearl shiny buttons and went about to collect money for charity. This philanthropic act in no time inspired the coster royalty. They decided to join his humanitarian cause as pearly kings and queens, which gave birth to this interesting tradition.
Yearly Sheep Drive Across London Bridge
London Bridge in the past, was just a bridge crossing for sheeps, as that was the only route to get them to the city market.
Now, every September, it becomes an interesting sight to behold as you’ll see the ‘freemen’ of the City of London driving a herd of sheep across the bridge. The event is now held to promote the wool industry.
This is an event where you’ll see and meet a lot of Londoners in the agriculture and livestock sector. In addition to the famous ‘London bridge is falling down’ song, this annual sheep drive is another thing London Bridge is famous for.
Bankside Twelfth Night
London is known for the Bankside Twelfth Night end-of-Christmas ceremony which happens every January. This ceremony marks the traditional beginning of the Twelfth Night celebrations and the end of the Christmas period.
In this ceremony, you’ll see a man shrouded in an ivy suit rowing a boat that emerges from the River Thames. He is accompanied by a merry posse who wishes the crowd at the Bankside ‘Wassail’ meaning ‘Good Health.’
At this event, you’ll also come across Mummers who perform ‘wild verse and boisterous action’ traditional play. This also features folklore characters like Old ‘Oss, Clever Legs, and Turkey Sniper.
Peter Pan Cup
A popular way the Serpentine Swimming Club spend their Christmas morning is by heading off to Hyde Park for the Peter Pan Cup at the time some other folks are heading to church for mass.
This explains how invested they are in taking to cold water for a 100-yard swimming race.
This festival was inaugurated in the year 1864 but got named in 1903. If you are a lover of frosty temperatures then visit Hyde Park for the Peter Pan Cup festival.
Guy Fawkes Night
Every 5th of November marks Guy Fawkes Night when bonfires are lit in the UK and effigies in the shape of a man (representing Guy Fawkes) go up in flames.
London is known for this tradition because of the plot to blow up the Palace of Westminster on 5th November 1605, organized by Guy Fawkes. He and his team of Catholic cronies plotted to carry out their plan of blowing up the Palace of Westminster during the State Opening of Parliament.
They planned to kill Protestant King James I of England and Ireland and crown his daughter so that she can sympathize with the distressed Catholics. The incident has introduced a sense of patriotism into Britons reminding them not to behave like Guy.
Seating around bonfires with the fireworks illuminating the night sky is a great way for you to make memories while touring London.
One of the cultures generally known about the British is their love for tea and a perfect teacup. If you want to find out how true this is, try passing through London streets and visiting any of their cafés for tea (well, because they all sell tea).
You would be impressed with the kinds of tea cups you’ll see. It seems every Briton has a different idea of what a perfect cup should look like but you can decide your favorite from the different perfect cups when in London.
Ravens At The Tower Of London
If you visit the Tower of London today, you’ll notice a minimum of six ravens. These ravens are kept there by the order of King Charles II.
It is rumored that he was warned by the courtier that the lack of ravens at the Tower of London might lead to the crumble of the British Monarchy and the country will fail. Therefore, you’ll never get to the Tower of London and see it deserted by ravens.
Food London Is Famous For
Fish And Chips
Whichever part of London you find yourself in, you are sure to experience a tasty treat of authenticity wherever you decide to sit for a fish and chips meal.
This is one of the favorite London famous food made by frying a boiled egg surrounded with pork meat and coated in breadcrumbs. It’s a classic London traditional snack that can be gotten anywhere, be it at gas stations or food stalls.
Full English Breakfast
This meal in its full course consists of sausage, baked beans, bacon, tomato, fried egg, fried slice, and a big slice of black pudding. It’s a meal that the UK is known for during the Industrial Revolution. If you’re wondering what food to get you through a full day of travel, grab a fulfilling English breakfast.
Luxury Brands London Is Known For
When it comes to luxury, London is at the top of the game. Several restaurants, hotels and boutique showcase this luxury with grace. One of them is London’s famous luxury hotel named
The Savoy has been in existence for 130 years. You might run into a celebrity or two when you’re there. It is often visited by famous people from London because The Savoy is known for long-standing hospitality excellence.
Here is a place where rest and good food are guaranteed which means whether you’ve decided to be at the hotel for a stay or just to visit the restaurant, you will be provided quality service.
This is one of London’s most famous brands that has been in the business of selling luxury since the 1800s. Harrods is classy and therefore on the pricey side.
Its unmatched exclusivity has also made it a place some famous people from London enjoy dining at. Don’t be shocked to run into your favorite celebrity.
Luxury goods, status symbol legendary green bags, food courts, and stunning architecture in all exclusivity are what Harold offers that have made them a globally recognized brand.
Harrods is an institution London is known for not just for its fame but because it also speaks London’s history and this has continuously drawn in notable customers.
Discovering More Things London Is Famous For
London is a city with plenty of history and culture. Each of these traditions plays an important role in the life of Londoners and is something that makes this city unique. There are still many things that London is famous for that await your discovery. If you’re planning on visiting soon, be sure to experience some of these cultures and events yourself.