Did you know that 27 million people travel to London every year, making it one of the most traveled to city in Europe? London was established by the Romans and has thrived over centuries, it is known for its amazing history, the diverse landscapes, and some of the most exceptional cultures on the planet. Along with all this, it has all the elements a solo traveler looks for.
As a matter of fact, traveling alone gives you a chance to fully indulge yourself and explore new things. In respect to this, London is an interesting place to explore, every district has its own unique neighborhood and at every turn you can find something new to see and do.
This city has some of the world’s finest art museums, entertainment aspects, shopping centers, dining opportunities, and history that it’s impossible to be caught up in ennui while strolling through the streets of London.Although London has a plethora of things to explore solo, there are certain places that demand to be visited.
Here, we have worked out some places that find a place in that list. Whether London is in your bucket list or not, this information is bound to make you love the city more.
1. Tower of London
The Tower of London or the White Tower is known as one of the oldest and famous castles in the world. It is a 900-year-old castle in central London, famous for housing the crown jewels and having, at some point of time many famous prisoners. The old castle has served various purposes including a royal residence, an armory, a records office and a barrack for troops.
The Tower of London is located in St Katharine’s & Wapping, London EC3N 4AB, UK. You can reach your destination by different modes of public transport such as the Tube, bus or cab, from Tuesday to Saturday between 9 am and 5:30 pm and from Sunday to Monday between 10 am and 5:30 pm. The cost of entry is between $38-40.
For the people who are interested in the history of the monarch, there is a famous crown jewel exhibition, the tour of which is led by the Yeoman Warders – the towers guards who will regale you with tales about the tower’s bloody past. Another exhibition is the approximately 350-year-old exhibition, “Line of Kings,” with artifacts from Henry VIII, Charles I and James II.
In the end, the White Tower, considered an iconic symbol of London’s heritage where you can get the best of the historical diversity, is the place to be.
2. Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace was built in 1703 as Buckingham house. It has a staggering 775 rooms including 92 office, 52 royal, and guest bedrooms, 19 staterooms and 78 bathrooms. It is a beautiful example of the British monarch palace. More than 50,000 visitors visit the Buckingham Palace each year.
Queen Victoria, was the first British monarch who used Buckingham Palace as her official residence. Now it is the London home of Queen Elizabeth II. Buckingham Palace is one of the most popular tourist places here, especially since many parts of the palace are open for them to explore, except the queen’s private quarters.
Buckingham Palace is located in Westminster, London SW1A 1AA, UK. You can reach via the Tube; bus nos. 11, 211, C1 and C10 stops on Buckingham Palace Road. The palace is open during 9:30 a.m.-6:30-7:30 p.m. from late July-late October. A visitor’s pass will cost you $34-40.
The palace is considered to be one of the most outstanding pieces from the Royal architecture with amazing interior elements such as paintings by Rembrandt. Besides, the palace is opulently accented with chandeliers, candelabra and attractive English and French furniture which make this palace a delight for visitors. You can even take an audio guide so that you carry the detailed history along with you while exploring its various rooms.
If enormous architectures seem to beckon you, do not ignore a huge wave from the Buckingham Palace.
3. Westminster Abbey
The Westminster Abbey is a magnificent piece of art belonging to the era between the 13th and 16th centuries. It has witnessed various joyous royal occasions such as royal weddings, Coronation and other royal events. Westminster Abbey is a renowned work of architecture throughout the world ans is a classic example of the Gothic architecture style.
Westminster Abbey is located on 20 Deans Yd, Westminster, London SW1P 3PA, UK. The best way to reach is via the Tube (nearest stop: Westminster and St. James’ Park). The architecture is open from Mon-Sat 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m and the visitor passes can be obtained for $28-30.
If you are a book lover, you must visit the poet’s corner: it is the final resting place of famous authors such as Charles Dickens, Rudyard Kipling, and Geoffrey Chaucer. On the other hand, if you have an interest in the British royalty, you may like to visit the shared Royal Tomb of enemies and half-sisters Elizabeth I and Mary Tudor. Don’t forget to take the free audio guide as a companion of history which will also let you explore Westminster Abbey at your own pace.
There is hardly any other place pregnant with history and culture than the Westminster Abbey. If history is getting under your skin, pay a visit.
4. Piccadilly Circus
Piccadilly Circus attracts over 100 million people every year and is known as one of the most famous road intersections in the world. With the unique architecture surrounding it, the iconic advertisements that adorn the buildings, and the statue of Eros in the middle it is another place that is a must visit.
Piccadilly Circus is enclosed by main tourist places with the likes of the Shaftesbury Memorial, Criterion Theatre and London Pavilion. You can explore the Circus any time and it’s free!
Piccadilly Circus is a confluence of restaurants, shopping spots, and nightlife; making it an ideal destination during the hours of dusk when neon lights of the billboards are reflected off the surface of Edwardian-era buildings and the Eros statue.
If you love spending the hours when the sun sinks into the horizon at a happening place, Pick-a-(spot here)-daily.
5. Hyde Park & Kensington Gardens
Hyde Park was established by King Henry VIII in 1536 to fulfill his royal passion for hunting. The park covers 350 acres of center London which include 275 acres of the Kensington Gardens. Earlier, Kensington Gardens was a part of the Hyde Park before Queen Caroline separated them by raising The Serpentine and the Long Water.
Hyde Park & Kensington Gardens is located in London W2 2UH, UK. The place is well connected with Tube stations – Lancaster Gate, Marble Arch, Hyde Park Corner, and Knightsbridge. Hyde Park can be visited between 5 a.m. and midnight and Kensington Gardens from 6 a.m.- dusk. You can visit them daily without any entrance fee, it’s free!
After hustle-travelling, it’s a good place for relaxing in greenery. The Princess Diana Memorial Playground, here, is the major part of Kensington Gardens. The playground was constructed in the memory of late Princess Diana. Then, there is the Speakers’ Corner – a place where debates and public speeches take place. The list of attractions is endless at Hyde Park with activities to do such as cycling, boating, open-water swimming, and horse riding.
If you love shuffling between relaxation and amusement or if you love any of the two, Hyde Park has a place for you. Rush for it!
6. National Gallery
The National Gallery was established when the British government arrived with 38 paintings from the estate of the merchant, John Julius Angerstein (1735–1823), with the first ever collection being exhibited on 10 May 1824. This gallery was designed by architects Robert Venturi and William Wilkins and in 1838 was opened to the public.
The National Gallery is situated in the Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 5DN, UK and can be reached by train – the nearest Tube stops are the Charing Cross and Leicester Square; and bus routes include nos. 3, 6, 9, 11, 13, 15, 23, 24, 87, 91, 139 and 176 stop at Trafalgar Square. The gallery is open from Saturday to Thursday from 10 am to 6 pm and on Friday from 10 am to 6 pm. Even this place doesn’t charge you for a visit.
If you are an art aficionado, this place is a hub of 13th to 19th traditional European paintings including French Impressionist works and Italian Renaissance masterpieces, which to be honest you cannot see in a single day in this never-ending hall. We would also recommend that you visit the gallery cafe to have a bite to eat and relax.
7. West End Theatre District
In London, the first public playhouse, known as “The Theatre” was established in 1576, which was shut down by the Puritans in 1642, along with every other theatre. During the period of Restoration in 1660, the theatres were renewed and are currently open to the public by the name of the West End Theatre District.
The district is located in the heart of the West End of London. The tube is the most convenient way to reach – the nearest stops are Leicester Square and Charing Cross. You can visit Monday through Saturday from 10 am to 7 pm and Sunday from 11 am to 4:30 pm. Showtimes and tickets differ according to performance and seating.
Your London trip can’t be complete if you did not go for a show at London’s West End Theatre District. It is an amalgamation of classic and new productions by world-renowned and local artists. Apart from the theatre, you can enjoy the liveliness near Leicester Square.
There is nothing better than witnessing live theatre in this world. If this statement sounds peaceful in your mind, head for the Theatre District right away.
8. Tower Bridge
The Tower Bridge is one of the most famous landmarks in London, known for its bascule and suspension bridge on River Thames. It was crafted in 1886, history has it that 50 designs were submitted for it and it took 8 years to select one before the construction finally began in 1886 to be completed in 1894. The Tower Bridge consisting of two towers belonging to the Victorian Gothic style is a result of hard-work by 5 construction companies and 432 workers. After rigorous planning and architecture, it was finally opened on 30th June 1894.
Tower Bridge is located at Tower Bridge Rd, London SE1 2UP, UK. You can easily reach here by different modes of public transport such as train or bus route nos. 15, 42, 78,100 and RV1. The bridge is open to visitors 24/7 but the exhibition hours are seasonal with a cost of around $12-13.
The best part of Tower Bridge exhibition is viewing the city from a height of 137 feet; they will usher you to the top of the bridge furnished with glass flooring as well as to the bottom which is home to the engine rooms.
The bridge is your ideal destination having not only a history to lure you but also giving you the view of the city landscape.
9. The London Eye
Known as the Millennium Wheel as well, The London Eye is never not going to make it to this list.
In late 1993, two architects Julia Barfield and David Marks proposed their idea for the design of a millennium landmark for London to The Architecture Foundation, being unfazed by the rejection, they decided to pursue the idea by establishing their own company. After about 15-16 months, they were able to turn it into reality.
The London Bridge is situated at Lambeth, London SE1 7PB, UK and is well connected by the Waterloo Tube stop. With the cost of a ride being $38-40, it is exceptional for sightseeing while towering above the city.
It is basically a giant Ferris wheel which is located on the bank of the river Thames, revolving slowly, taking you to a breathtaking height of 400 feet it gives you panoramic view of the city, particularly the Parliament, Big Ben, and the Buckingham Palace.
If you are not scared of inexplicably high elevation, there is no reason not to visit the London Eye.
10. The Jack the Ripper Tour With Ripper Vision
Jack the Ripper tour is based on a series of unsolved crimes of London. Jack the Ripper is said to be a serial killer who killed and mutilated five women within a mile of each other from 7th August to 10th September 1888. Even after countless investigations and evidence, the killer’s identity and motive are still not clear. It remains one of the most infamous and unresolved mysteries in the world.
This tour is offered in 77-82 Whitechapel High St. London E1 7QX, the UK every day from 2.30 pm to 7.30 pm with a cost of around $16-17. Exit 3 of the Aldgate East Tube station gives you the geographical access to the tour.
Matter-of-factly, in London, you can find a variety of Jack the Ripper tours but this tour stands out since the tour guide carries projectors that transmit 5-6 feet pictures on the walls of the buildings that line the exact same path in Whitechapel that Jack the Ripper is believed to have walked. The tour is guided by experts of storytelling alongside the local theatrical community.
For people who have had a thing for detective fiction and non-fiction, this tour is composed of plenty of mysteries to keep you riveted.
11. Portobello Road Market
Earlier, during the 18th -19th century Portobello Road Market was a country path lane known as Green lane, which later it took its name from porto bello farm located on golborne road, in the town of Porto Bello. This market now has a collection of unique antiques, items apart from that the market have a variety of items such as food, art, jewelry and clothing.
Located on 306 Portobello Rd, London W10 5TA, UK, it is only there on Saturdays because that is the day when the Portobello Road turns into a full street market being open from 9 am to 7 pm
With the lively atmosphere of the market, having food stalls and restaurants nearby it is a good place for shopping or roaming around. Here, you will not only find the greatest concentration of locals but a great selection of vintage attire as well.
Traveling solo is an enriching experience; the British history and royalty perfectly complement the appetite for exploration. We are sure this travel guide will be a worthy addition to your luggage.
Additionally, thousands of students find luring opportunities abroad and choose to stay back and work at the destination of their dreams. If you are one of those, London might have lured you so much after reading this blog that you would wish to settle down in England. Fret not on the question of work permit because we have your back. For all your work visa related queries, you might want to read Post Study Work Visa.
Here’s wishing you a happy journey and a great stay in London!
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