London is flooded with exciting sights, cultural experiences, food from all corners of the world, nightlife and all the other life has to offer. The city is among the most visited destinations, and a preferred city break among many Norwegians. For us, it is easy to get to the world metropolis, with frequent flights from several cities, and short flight times.
According to DigoPaul, the capital of England has about 8.7 million inhabitants, but is visited by another 15-16 million tourists per year. Many people associate the city with fantastic shopping opportunities, something you notice especially before Christmas. London is a safe city that is easy to fall in love with. A city break here does not have to cost the whole world either. The hotel offer includes everything from the most luxurious, to cheap family hotels and hostels. The same goes for London’s rich selection of dining options. The best experiences are often free, while many other sights are more than worth the entrance fee.
Ten popular attractions in London:
Big Ben (actually called “Elizabeth Tower”) is the large bell tower at the north end of Westminster Castle, and a landmark most people recognize. You have definitely seen the tower in one or more films and TV shows, which has made Big Ben the most iconic scene of film production in London. Unfortunately, you do not get into the bell tower as a tourist, but you will find a number of exciting, guided tours that include Big Ben. If you take the trip on your own, we recommend that you do it after dark. The darkness and the illuminated facades have something mysterious and seductive about them, and allow the thoughts and imagination to easily slip into some of the scary stories that often include Big Ben. By the way, The London Eye is close by, for those who feel the lack of access to the top of the bell tower,
The London Eye
With its 135 meters, London’s Eye is one of the world’s tallest Ferris wheels (held the record until 2006). Originally, the wheel was to stand for only five years, before moving and setting up somewhere else. The popularity exceeded everyone’s expectations, and The London Eye is now a permanent attraction for both natives and tourists. After a few rounds in bird’s eye view, you have seen London in all its glory. The tickets are not among the cheapest, but still worth every penny. If you wish, you will find great deals that include meals, river cruises and visits to other attractions in the area. For the romantics, a visit to the Ferris wheel in the evening is recommended, while during the day it is of course best if you want to see as much of the capital as possible.
The Science Museum
Every year, 3.3 million people visit the Technical Museum in London. England has throughout the ages been a pioneer in technological development, and the museum provides a very good reflection of this. In total, you will find over 300,000 objects in The Science Museum, such as locomotives, all types of aircraft, cars, motorcycles and much more. The museum also houses an IMAX 3D cinema, where impressive documentaries are shown about everything that is relevant in nature, science and technological development. The museum is as exciting for adults as it is for children.
You can not travel to London without visiting Buckingham Palace, the residence of the monarch of England at any given time. The castle was first built in 1703, but has been rebuilt a number of times since then. You will hardly meet the queen, but the change of guard outside is worth taking with you. The Queen’s Guard is well-drilled and holds an impressive show in front of the castle, every day at 11:30 in the summer, and every other day in the winter.
Covent Garden is located in London’s West End. Here you can get lost among a myriad of exciting restaurants, bars and shopping opportunities, surrounded by impressive architecture and ancient history. Included in the purchase are the London Transport Museum, The Royal Opera, Somerset House and the market itself. The Covent Garden Markets are actually three separate squares, and each one offers specialties and gems within its own category. If you are looking for delicious crafts, perfume, soaps, leather, jewelry, antiques and such things, this is the place for you.
Tower of London
The Tower of London is Her Majesty’s official palace and castle, located along the banks of the Thames, in the heart of the city. The Tower has a rich history and was considered very important for London’s defense. Within the walls, the crown jewels and other valuable goods were stored, which naturally attracted some attention from invading hordes. The crown jewels are probably what attracts the most visitors, but the attraction also offers a lot of other exciting things. Among other things, you can take part in role-playing games, both as a defender of the castle and as an attacker, go on various guided tours, or just relax in the historic surroundings.
Football match in London
Balløya’s capital houses no less than 13 clubs that play in England’s top divisions. It is not always as easy to get tickets to the big games, but it is worth the effort, even if you are not interested in football. The biggest demand is for the home games of Arsenal (Emirates Stadium), Chelsea (Stamford Bridge) and Tottenham (White Hart Lane), in addition to international matches and cup finals at Wembley Stadium. If your favorite team is from out of town, you may see them play in one of the many other professional clubs’ stadiums.
Madame Tussauds London
At Madame Tussaud’s wax cabinet, you will meet both Lady Gaga and Luke Skywalker, almost in person. Madame contains 14 interactive sections, and over 300 impressive wax figures. Here you can somehow-mix yourself with all sorts of tricks, pomp and splendor, without having to be dazzled, dumb and stuttering by the celebrities’ charisma. The demand can be great during the busiest tourist season, and it pays to book in advance (it also saves you money).
The Royal Albert Hall
You legendary concert hall in South Kensington has been the stage for all kinds of productions. Our own Åge Aleksandersen has actually performed at The Royal Albert Hall, and shares with it an honor that is otherwise reserved for stars and top orchestras from around the world. It is also not only music that can be enjoyed from one of the 5,500 seats in the hall, but also special film screenings, circus, theater and children’s performances. Should definitely be booked in advance, almost no matter what is on the program.
If you need a break from the hectic city life of London, Primrose Hill is a lovely place to relax. The park is centrally located in the city and offers you great views, whilst you have London Zoo and Regents Park Gardens close by. The small hill is a popular place to have a nice picnic, unless one of the many eateries in Regents Park tempts more. Bring along the oak tree planted in 1864, 300 years after Shakespeare’s birth, as well as the stone with the famous words of William Blake, one of England’s greatest poets and painters. Freely translated, it says something like this – “I have a conversation with our spiritual sun. I met him on Primrose Hill ”.