Emily’s Recommended Must Sees in London

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  1. London Eye – Also known as the Millennium Wheel, is London’s largest Ferris wheel and it’s located on the South Bank of the Thames River.  If you want beautiful panoramic views of London this is the way to go.  I recommend going a little before sunset so you can see jaw dropping views of London before it gets dark.
  2. Buckingham Palace – You will want to go here at a time where they have a changing of the guards ceremony, otherwise there’s not much to see.  During the changing of the guards the band will play a few songs to make the transition go smoother.  If you don’t want to deal with the large crowds you can also see changing of the guards at St James’s Palace or Wellington Barrack.  The truly spectacular thing about the guards is they are required to stand there all day and not allowed to pay other people any attention.  Just imagine how much restraint they’d have to maintain if they really REALLY had to go to the bathroom.
  3. Victoria & Albert Museum – This is the worlds largest museum of decorative arts and design with a permanent collection totaling in over 4.5 million objects.  This was probably my favorite museum in London because of the fashion collection, but there is much more than fashion there.  Take a look at their website to view all they house and, as an added bonus, this museum is free to go to.
  4. Science Museum – Also free and located across the street from the Victoria & Albert Museum is the Science Museum.  This is good museum for kids.  Me, my sister, and my aunt enjoyed revisiting our childhood and used their simulators.  Their simulators showed what you would look like as a male, a baby, and as an elderly person.  There, of course is much more at the museum, but we were limited on time and that was the highlight of the museum for us.  (Note: This was written before snapchat had this on their app.)
  5. Hyde Park – This is one of the largest parks in central London and also one of my top recommended must sees in London, if not for any other reason than to escape the busy streets of London.  Some of its best features include the Diana, princess of Wales Memorial, Speakers Corner, Italian Fountains, and my personal favorite the Peter Pan Statue.  If it’s summer you can dip your feet into the Princess Diana Memorial to refresh yourself.  Give yourself at least a couple hours to relax and enjoy the park.
  6. Thames River Cruise – Give your feet a rest and pre-schedule a Thames River Cruise on your trip.  Sit back, relax, and enjoy the comical commentary from the River Cruise tour guide.

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    Closest picture I have to Westminster Abbey
  7. Westminster Abbey – My number one recommended must see in London is Westminster Abbey, a large mainly Gothic church in the City of Westminster.  It is one of the most notable religious buildings in the United Kingdom and is the traditional place of coronation and burial site for English and British monarchs.  Grab an audio-guide here as they will tell you some interesting stories about the monarchs buried here.  This along with the London Eye, will most likely be among your most priciest stops.100_0305
  8. Tower of London – Have children?  They will probably enjoy this stop the most because what’s not to like about the crown jewels, the White Tower (houses the glorious Royal Armouries collections), and stories and places of where queens were beheaded.  Now children will enjoy, but just be careful about what stories you tell them.  When you leave the Tower of London, don’t forget to take a peak at the London Bridge as there is a really good view from there.100_0294
  9. Shakespeare’s Globe – A theatre geeks dream.  Who needs a tour when you can witness the magic of Shakespeare’s plays in his own theatre live?  We were lucky enough to witness Shakespeare around the Globe in honor of London hosting the 2012 olympics.  Our show was “Alls Well that Ends Well” in the Indian language and style.  Luckily, they did have subtitles during the performance on a teleprompter so we weren’t totally clueless.  Check the website for information on what’s currently playing, what’s coming up, and to order tickets to a show.
  10. British Museum – One the world’s oldest museums.  It’s collections are so vast that only a fraction of them can be seen on display for the public at any time.  Some of the tops sees at this museum include mummies, the Rosetta Stone, and Lindow Man.  The best part is this museum is free to go to and it has great architectural details once you get inside to the main part of the building.100_0284
  11. National Gallery – The art gallery museum of London.  Make sure you do NOT take any pictures here, even if it’s of the inside architecture of the building, because you will get in trouble…like me.  😦  This was my first large art museum and it had me in awe because of the paintings by masters like Giotto, Van Gough, Monet, and Piero della Francesca.  They also have free audio guides and tours to help you make the most of this museum.  Plus, you guessed it, this museum is also FREE!
  12. Shopping – On any European adventure you always have to include shopping.  Try H & M or Dorothy Perkins for the young and Harrod’s and/or Harvey Nicks for everyone.
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