Big Ben in the Evening in London

London, a city full of rich history from medieval royalty to record breaking Olympics, is a must visit town for any traveler wishing to see royal palaces, literary geniuses mixed in with whimsical busses and rock icons.

Buckingham Palace in London

While movie stars may fascinate Americans, the Brits enjoy following their royalty. With thousands of years of history, the British Royalty are a staple in London’s landscape. Nowhere is this more apparent than at Buckingham Palace, home to Queen Elizabeth II. Plan ahead if you want to visit, as the Palace is only open to visitors eight weeks out of the year in August and September. If you’re not traveling during those months, you can still witness the ever-popular Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace. Enjoy the pageantry and splendor of the Queen’s guard in their distinguishable red coats and black flume hats.

Tower Bridge in London

Along the north bank of the Thames River finds many popular and historic attractions in London. Nearby Buckingham Palace, you’ll find the Tower of London, a royal palace and fortress. Best known for its use as a prison and executions, today the Tower of London is a popular tourist attraction. Contact a Luxe Travel Advisor about a private showing of the crown jewels and royal menagerie, sculptures representing over 280 animals. Around the corner from the Tower of London, is the Tower Bridge. Two huge towers support an elevated pedestrian walkway, while the lower road can be raised for passing ships. Sometimes confused with London Bridge, the Tower Bridge most recently displayed the Olympic Rings for the Summer 2012 Olympics held in London. Visit here at dusk for an amazing sunset over the Thames.

A short distance away, find the infamous clock tower known as Big Ben. An important icon of London, only residents of the UK can climb the clock tower. Non-residents are allowed to visit the adjoining House of Parliament. The House of Parliament tours through the old Westminster Palace, and has spectacular vaulted ceilings and impressive art throughout. Close by, the Westminster Abbey cathedral has served as home to every royal coronation since 1066. Many English authors are buried or memorialized here. As all three locations are next to each other, plan to spend a few hours here.

Along with St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, St. Paul’s Cathedral on the north side of the Thames ranks as one of the most beautiful in the world. Wrought iron gates, elaborate frescoes, important statues of dignitaries such as Churchill, and the magnificent organ are among the extraordinary sights and sounds of the Cathedral. Check the calendar for performances here by the English National Ballet or famous organists.

London Eye

The London Eye is truly a feast for the eyes. Standing over 440 feet high, this massive Ferris wheel provides visitors with an exceptional view of the city, all from an air-conditioned pod. Opened in 2000, the London Eye has quickly become a symbol of London, located along London’s South Bank. This unique wheel doesn’t need to stop to let passengers on and off due to its slow movement and a complete rotation takes about 30 minutes. On clear days, viewers can see Windsor Castle, to the north of London.

If England’s rock and roll scene is synonymous with The Beatles, then nothing is more synonymous with The Beatles than crossing London’s Abbey Road. John, Paul, George, and Ringo crossed this street on the cover of their Abbey Road album directly in front of Abbey Road studios. The busy road is located in Camden, nearby many of London’s other popular attractions such as the London Zoo or Kensington Gardens, home to the famous bronze statue of Peter Pan.

Theatre going in London dates back several hundred years. London theatres are perhaps best known for its most famous playwright, William Shakespeare. Shakespeare’s plays were often performed at Globe Theatre. While the original structure has since burned, the replica is an extraordinary likeness, from the thatched roof, vertical seating arrangements and thrust stage. Actors perform during the day, with no artificial lighting, recreating the experience from 400 years ago. For a more modern theatre event, the likes of which rival Broadway, head to London’s West End. Home to nearly 40 stages from large theatres at the Palladium, Apollo Victoria, and Drury Lane, to intimate and gorgeous theatres like the Donmar, Arts, and Fortune. Also in London, find three stages part of the Royal National Theatre. Each building is an architectural wonder and produces first-class performances.

Harrods in London

For the best in shopping, Harrods motto is “All Things for All People, Everywhere.” Find anything and everything you can think of in this 4½-acre department store, occupying just over a million square feet in the city’s East End. Shopping here dates back to the early 1800’s, when it was just a one-room grocery store founded by Henry Harrod. Over the years, the store grew in size and became ingrained as part London’s history. Find everything from a variety of chocolates to designs by Stella McCartney. Covent Garden in Westminster is also a popular shopping stop for Londoners. The Apple Market and Jubilee Market, located in Covent Garden, offer arts and crafts, antiques, house wares and more. Enjoy street musicians and actors as you stroll through designer boutiques, or enjoy tea at one of the outdoor cafés. London’s West End and Piccadilly Circus has everything from art, cafés, pubs, shops, and hotels. Piccadilly Street is a great place to people watch, souvenir shop and enjoy some fish n’ chips in one of the local pubs.

No other place in the world is it more fun to get around than on London’s legendary red double-decker busses. The busses are a convenient option to travel short distances in the city. The London Underground, otherwise known as the Tube, takes you anywhere you need to go in only a matter of minutes. Or travel with the most knowledgeable drivers in London in classic black Taxis.

When you’re ready to travel to lovely London, click here to chat now with a Luxe Travel specialist, or call 1-866-365-8747 for more information.