Seeing London just one time should be on the to do list of any person who likes to see the world. If you are traveling to London for the first time, you are probably wondering how much time you need in London. You have to realise that London is huge and there is no way to see everything in just a few days or even a few weeks… So don’t come to London thinking that you can see it all in just one or two days. For first-time visitors I recommend to spend at least 3-4 days in London. This should give you sufficient time to get acquainted with the city, see the main landmarks, and visit a few attractions. Also, don’t try to see ‘everything’. This is simply not possible and will leave you tired and frustrated. Plan to visit no more than two or three bigger attractions every day and leave some time for unexpected discoveries.
Another great Thames-side attraction, Hampton Court is one of Europe’s most famous palaces. Its Great Hall dates from Henry VIII’s time (two of his six wives supposedly haunt the palace), and it’s where Elizabeth I learned of the defeat of the Spanish Armada. Other interesting features include the Clock Court with its fascinating astronomical clock dating from 1540, the State Apartments with their Haunted Gallery, the Chapel, the King’s Apartments, and the Tudor tennis court. The gardens are also worth visiting – especially in mid-May when in full bloom – and include the Privy Garden, the Pond Garden, the Elizabethan Knot Garden, the Broad Walk, an area known as the Wilderness, and of course, the palace’s famous Maze.
Hyde Park is possibly the most famous park in London, and it is one of the largest. The park has historical significance, having hosted a number of demonstrations and protests including protests by the Suffragettes. The park’s famous Speaker’s Corner is still occupied by debates, protests, and performance artists every week. The park is home to several memorial features, as well as two bodies of water, the most famous being the Serpentine. Here you can go paddle-boating, see a number of swans, and take in a breath of fresh air in the center of the city. A must-visit.
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Trafalgar Square is situated in Westminster and is considered one of the biggest in London. The square was named after the battle of Trafalgar, a victory over the French fleet by Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson. Today, the square features some of the most popular attractions in London and has been a place for many protests, demonstrations, and large-scale events. Wander around the square to find the famous Trafalgar Square lions or snap a selfie with one of the bronze statues in each corner. The North-East part of the square is home to the fabulous St Martin-in-the-Fields church. Cost: Entry to Trafalgar Square is free.
The Millennium Bridge is a pedestrian bridge that was built across the River Thames at the beginning of the millennium. The name of the bridge was derived from the time of its construction. This pedestrian bridge stretches across for a total of 1,066 feet and links two famous London landmarks, the Tate Modern and St Paul’s Cathedral. A stroll along the bridge is a great way to enjoy the fresh air and get amazing photographs of some of the most famous landmarks and attractions in London.
How could you miss one of the capital’s most iconic areas? Come and marvel at Nelson’s Column and the four huge lion statues. Feeding the pigeons is now discouraged (due to the spread of diseases), so please don’t bring them any treats. On the north side of Trafalgar Square, you can visit the National Gallery and just around the corner on St. Martin’s Lane is the National Portrait Gallery. Both have free permanent displays and regular special exhibitions. Trafalgar Square was designed by John Nash in the 1820s and constructed in the 1830s. It is both a tourist attraction and the main focus for political demonstrations. Look out for the George Washington Statue and the World’s Smallest Police Box, as well as the London Nose.