From Buckingham Palace and Westminster Abbey to the west, to The Tower of London and St. Paul's Cathedral to the east, it seems like no matter where you turn, there's bound to be some kind of London landmark lying just ahead of you.
Whether you're hoping to explore as many landmarks as possible during your short visit to London, or even if you're worried about missing out on one of the many fascinating landmarks London has to offer, here are some tips to visiting landmarks in London:
Luckily the majority of London landmarks are bunched together so you can easily visit a handful of them in one day, or even a few hours.
The most famous royal London landmarks like Buckingham Palace, The Mall and Westminster Abbey are all located within walking distance from each other, and St. James's Palace, the Horse Guards Parade, the Churchill War Rooms and 10 Downing Street are in the area as well. While you're in Westminster, you can easily walk across Westminster Bridge from Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament directly to The London Eye, which are three of the most iconic landmarks London has to offer.
Venturing into the Soho area, tourists can easily stroll around places like Piccadilly Circus, Covent Garden, Trafalgar Square and Leicester Square in an afternoon, and also walk to St.-Martin-in-the-Fields, Chinatown, Somerset House and the Royal Courts of Justice.
The City of London is home to both historic and modern landmarks (like The Gherkin, Temple Church, St. Paul's Cathedral, The Monument to the Great Fire of London, the Royal Exchange, the Tower Bridge and The Tower of London), and you can easily walk to Shakespeare's Globe across the Millennium Bridge, or The Shard from the Tower Bridge as well.
Some landmarks like Kew Palace, Canary Wharf and The O2 are located far away from the bulk of London's landmarks, but well worth the visit if you have the time to venture out of central London.
Of course the cost of entering each London landmark varies depending on which one you want to visit. Landmarks like Westminster Abbey and The Tower of London tend to be the most expensive, and can cost anywhere from £20 to £25 for adults, or between £9 and £17 for seniors and students.
If you're on a budget, you'll be happy to know that landmarks like The Royal Exchange and St.-Martin-In-The-Fields are free to enter, and the majority of London landmarks offer free admission for children under the ages of five, or even for teenagers under the ages of 16. Some landmarks usually have discounted tickets for group or family bookings, and some places like Somerset House and Kew Palace offer free guided tours as well.
Also, if you plan on visiting a variety of London landmarks, you may want to invest in joint tickets so you can visit a handful of places for a fraction of the cost. (If you plan on visiting The Monument as well as the Tower Bridge, for example, you can purchase a joint ticket so you can see both landmarks for a discounted price). Also, if you sign up for 1-Year-Pass from the Royal Collection Trust, you can get unlimited entry into landmarks like The Tower of London, Kensington Palace and Kew Palace for 12 months.
Normally the majority of the landmarks in London have opening hours which are extended during the summer season, and shortened during the winter season. Most are closed from December 24th to 26th each year, and some may close and/or have extended hours for holidays like half term, Easter and New Years', so you may want to check their official website before you visit. (The London Eye, for example, stays open later for special holidays like Valentine's Day, Christmas Eve, New Year's Eve and New Year's Day).
Some London landmarks are only open to the public during the summer months (like Buckingham Palace, Clarence House and the Globe Theatre), while others aren't even open to the public at all (like 10 Downing Street and St. James's Palace).
There are even London landmarks you can stroll around any time of the day or night, like Chinatown, Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square, Leicester Square, Covent Garden and the Millennium Bridge, but be aware that local businesses may not be open during the wee hours of the morning, or very late at night.
No matter which London landmark you plan on visiting, it's always a good idea to book your tickets online beforehand. Although some price differences may be 10% cheaper online (like for The London Eye), landmarks like The Shard can cost as much as £100 if you buy tickets at the door, while they normally cost around £25 when booked online beforehand.
Please note that some landmarks in London may be difficult to visit with young children or people with mobility issues (like if you want to climb to the top of the Monument to the Great Fire of London), and some places may not even allow young children in at all (like the Globe Theatre).
If you're visiting a royal London landmark like the Temple Church or St. Paul's Cathedral, or even a political landmark like the Royal Courts of Justice and the Houses of Parliament, it's highly recommended that you dress respectfully for your visit, especially if you plan on sitting in on a church service or court hearing.
And no matter which London landmark you plan on visiting, it's always a good idea to wear comfortable walking shoes, and bring a raincoat, sweater or umbrella, just in case it rains; (this is London, after all!)