Best of London: Tourist Locations
The Tower of London
If you have a chance I would definitely visit the Tower of London. There’s lots of amazing history behind the building including many executions. King Henry VIII beheaded his second wife, Anne Boleyn at the Traitor’s Gate in the Tower of London. The castle was used as a prison for traitors, spies, and other criminals well into the 20th century. The crown jewels are also housed here (I would go see those first as the line to get in can get very long as the day goes on). Give yourself a good amount of time to explore this beautiful castle right in the middle of the City of London.
The perfect place for music junkies! Take a walk across Abbey Road and pose for your very own album cover or grab a sharpie and sign the wall outside of Abbey Road Studio. Be sure to check out the gift shop--they have lots of great gifts for the Beatles lover in your life. Unfortunately you cannot go into the studio though because it is a working recording studio where lots of amazing artists still go to record.
Probably the number one tourist destination in London. No trip is complete without a quick visit to say hi to the Queen! If you’re in London from July to the end of September I would highly recommend buying a ticket to tour Buckingham Palace. The Palace opens it’s doors to the public during these months every year while the Queen is living in one of her other homes. A few days a week you can also see the changing of the guard--so cool if you have never seen it!
The Victoria & Albert Museum
This Victoria & Albert Museum is located in South Kensington and named for Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. It holds the world’s largest collection of decorative arts. It is currently running an exhibit honoring one of the world’s most celebrated fashion houses, Dior. The Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams exhibit is absolutely incredible and showcases some of the most amazing designs I’ve ever seen. The museum has free entry, however this specific portion exhibit does require a ticket (I would suggest buying tickets way ahead of time). The exhibit runs until July so be sure to check it out if you’re in London!
This is basically the Rainbow Row of London. The houses are an array of beautiful pastel colors--the perfect spot for a quick photo (or if you’re like me a photo shoot).
Carnaby Street/Oxford Street/Regent Street
All great areas for shopping. Carnaby street has more boutique-like shops, whereas the other two streets are more commercial shopping. There’s a great shop on Carnaby street that sells some beautiful prints of London and other cities. My favorite stores on the other two streets are Stradivarius and Topshop. I also recommend checking out the Anthropologie while you’re there. Most of the clothing and brands they carry in the store on Regent street are exclusive to Europe and some are carried only in London. My favorite red coat that I wear all the time is from a designer that is only sold in London Anthropologie stores.
Covent Garden is filled with great food and shopping. I love strolling around here on a nice warm night and grabbing a pint at one of the local pubs. This has been one of my favorite areas ever since I first visited London for a week in May/June 2017.
As someone who is obsessed with the royal family I just had to come here the first time we visited. Standing in the place where William and Kate said their vows was so cool! Since its completion in 1090, Westminster Abbey has hosted every royal coronation since William the Conquerer, except for Edward V and Edward VIII. This building is also the final resting place for many amazing minds, most recently Steven Hawking.
This is a beautiful spot right along the River Thames and I especially love it when the weather is nice. There’s some great outdoor dining spots on the bank with a great view of Tower Bridge! One of my favorite brunch places is located in this area (I’ll share more about that in my post next week).
One of the most amazing luxury department stores in the world. They carry just about all the major fashion brands and the staff is extremely knowledgeable about the products. I just about die every time I walk onto the shoe floor--I have yet to convince my mom that a $1,000 pair of heels is practical for a college student though. If you have any tips on how to do so please comment below haha! I would definitely recommend taking a stroll around Harrod’s.
Come back next week for Best of London: Restaurants!!