38 Famous London Landmarks
London is a great city to visit. There are many landmarks in London that you can see and enjoy during your stay in the English capital. From Big Ben, the London Eye and the halls of the Palace of Westminster, London is full of amazing monuments to explore.
38 Famous London Landmarks
Famous London Landmarks To See Before You Die
1- Westminster Abbey
Westminster Abbey is one of London’s most famous landmarks.
This beautiful church was founded in 960 as a Benedictine abbey and has seen many important events take place since then, including the coronation of King Henry VIII in 150-something (I can’t remember exactly when) and William Shakespeare’s funeral.
As well as being a religious site, Westminster Abbey also hosts concerts, recitals and lectures by some very interesting people!
It was built on Thorney Island in what originated as a Benedictine monastery founded by King Edward the Confessor around 1050 AD. The present building dates to 1245 when Henry III rebuilt it after an earlier Norman work had been devastated by fire (a not uncommon occurrence!).
It became known for its Gothic style with pointed arches that accentuate height over width – so much so that this form came to be called “the new” or gothic revival architecture at some point.
There are guided tours available but you don’t necessarily need to go on these if there isn’t anything specific that you’re interested in seeing – it is pretty easy to find your own way around this sprawling building.
The admission fee does not include audio guides so be prepared.
2- Buckingham Palace
One of the world’s most famous tourist attractions, Buckingham Palace is situated in a picturesque setting with Central London behind it. Originally built as a townhouse for King George III and Queen Charlotte back in 1761, this monarchical landmark has been expanded to accommodate an ever-growing family over the centuries (and even into the present day).
I have always loved visiting this palace because there are so many things you can do here! You can explore its rooms by joining one of the guided tours or just poke your nose around yourself – either way, there is plenty to see.
The best rooms in Buckingham Palace are the State Rooms. I recommend visiting these on a guided tour as you can get the most out of it this way and learn about the history of each room too.
The best thing to do at Buckingham Palace is going up The Grand Staircase, which was designed by William Kent in 1732 for King George II’s wife Queen Caroline, then join one of the tours to explore its rooms or poke your nose around yourself!
I have always loved visiting this palace because there are so many things you can do here! You can explore its rooms by joining one of the guided tours or just peek your nose around – either way, there is plenty to see. Queens Elizabeth still lives in Buckingham Palace.
3- Tower of London
The Tower of London is another London landmark worth a visit. If you’re in London for more than one day, I recommend visiting the Tower of London as it has so many things to see and do!
The tower was originally built by William The Conqueror who needed an impregnable place from which he could dominate his new kingdom.
Today, the Tower is home to ravens; there are currently six resident birds – three pairs called ‘Charles’, ‘Edgar’ and two unnamed females! It’s also home to the crown jewels.
There’s also a beautiful Chapel Royal inside where Queen Elizabeth II married Prince Philip on 20 November 1947 after their engagement announcement on Monday 11th October 1946.
4- Houses of Parliament
The Houses of Parliament building is an iconic landmark in London. It’s been the scene of many important events over the years, including Charles I being tried and executed outside its doors; Winston Churchill giving his famous ‘We will fight them on our beaches!’ speech inside, or Edward VIII abdicating from the throne in 1936!
The architecture was designed by Sir Charles Barry to be a grand statement for democracy. It replaced Westminster Hall which had become too small but was also where King Henry III died as he watched melons being unloaded from a barge that dislodged one of the beams holding up the roof.
The Houses of Parliament are home not only to British Members MPs who make decisions about how their country should work, it’s also home to some interesting statues like
5- Westminster Abbey
The reason you should visit Westminster Abbey is first that it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and secondly, its vast nave and iconic west towers are the perfect places to capture an awe-inspiring photo.
The abbey also has some of the most ornate carvings in all of England on its walls – like this one from 1667 depicting King Charles I being beheaded.
Many royal couples were married at Westminster Abbey including King George VI and Queen Elizabeth the day before they became King and Queen. Princess Diana and Prince Charles also had their wedding here.
The famous people buried at Westminster Abbey include William Shakespeare (actor), Isaac Newton (mathematician) Lord Nelson(naval strategist) Winston Churchill (Prime Minister). Queen Victoria (ruler).
The last two monarchs have been laid to rest elsewhere but they lived there during their reigns. It’s not just famous people who have been buried there either: those include Edward Henry Palmer (a prolific 19th-century sculptor), Clement.
6- Trafalgar Square
There are many landmarks in Trafalgar Square that are famous, such as the National Gallery, Nelson’s Column and a large public statue of King George IV on horseback.
The fountain in Trafalgar Square is a popular meeting point. It is a centrepiece of the square with four bronze sculptures depicting Neptune, Amphitrite, Triton and Salacia. The sculptures are stunning and part of the history of the city.
Trafalgar Square was created in 1832 and the name is derived from a naval battle in 1805 when Admiral Lord Nelson was killed.
7- The National Gallery
The National Gallery has a collection of over 2500 paintings including works by Leonardo da Vinci (painter), Michelangelo Buonarotti (artist) and Pablo Picasso among others.
Other highlights include Mona Lisa – one of the most famous paintings in the world and Rembrandt’s Jacob Blessing his Sons which shows three sons kneeling before their aged father to receive his blessing. It has also recently started displaying some modern artworks so don’t be surprised.
8- Big Ben
Everyone in the world has seen a photo of Big Ben, which is one of the most iconic landmarks in London and has featured on banknotes, stamps and even Olympic medals.
The clock tower called Big Ben was built over 25 years ago to replace an earlier version which had been destroyed by fire – it’s still working as a timepiece today!
It’s worth making sure you visit this landmark at least once during your stay but make sure that when you do go up into its bell chamber (the floor above the ground) there are no school groups visiting as they usually take up much of the space with their noisy chatter.
Big Ben isn’t just about tourists; famous people often come here to pay homage too, for example, Nelson Mandela did so. If you could choose one thing about London that defines what makes it so special and iconic then make it Big Ben.
9- Palace of Westminster
Connected to Big Ben is the Palace of Westminster also known as the Houses of Parliament. This is a national treasure which you will be able to explore when the buildings are open. This landmark is that it’s not just one building but two, and they were built separately in six different phases!
It was designed after the Westminster Palace of medieval times and has been used for all sorts of things from coronations to executions.
During WWII bombs were dropped on both sections causing enormous damage so if you want to see how much has been renovated since then head over there soon as work won’t finish until 2023 at the earliest – what with Brexit coming up too.
Famous people who have made an appearance at the Palace of Westminster include Charles Dickens, Queen Victoria and Winston Churchill; visitors today might spot some politicians working away.
Tour the Palace of Westminster to the famous Commons Chamber, the House of Lords and Westminster Hall.
You can also visit the Queen’s Robing Room where she gets dressed for State occasions. I’ve always wanted to see that!
The Palace of Westminster is open Monday to Friday from 9:30 but it’s closed on weekends. Big Ben, Buckingham Palace and Tower Bridge are nearby.
10- St Paul’s Cathedral
The beautiful architecture of St Paul’s Cathedral graces the London skyline with its lovely architecture.
It was built in 1758 and is also home to a library. St Paul’s Cathedral has been the site of famous weddings, for example, Charles Darwin and Emma Wedgewood in 1839.
It’s worth going inside the cathedral as well but be warned that it can take some time depending on how many people are coming or leaving at any given moment!
The walk up from street level will give you views over London too so turn your back to St Paul’s Cathedral and enjoy them while they last!
The internal design of St Paul’s Cathedral is a drawcard for visitors. Some highlights include the statues of saints, the reredos and the stained glass windows.
The Nelson Monument, a monument to Admiral Horatio Nelson, is in St Paul’s Cathedral.
Historic London Landmarks To Visit With The Grand Kids
11- Tower Bridge
The famous Tower Bridge is another important architectural landmark in London. Built in 1894, this bridge was designed to be able to open up for ships going under it and has become a symbol of London with its two high towers on either side of the River Thames.
This is one landmark you might want to keep your camera close by as some spectacular photos can be taken from Tower Bridge – or even see if there are any art exhibitions on display when visiting!
Other things to see when visiting Tower Bridge include the Tower of London and the HMS Belfast. Tower Bridge (built in 1894) has become a symbol of London with its two high towers on both banks of the Thames which can be seen from anywhere within Central London or even see if there are any art exhibitions on display when visiting!
Other things to see when visiting Tower Bridge include The Tower Of London and HMHS Belfast.”
12- London Bridge
Don’t confuse London Bridge with Tower Bridge. London Bridge is also very beautiful with its four arches and Gothic architecture. The original historic London Bridge was sold to an American businessman.
13- Royal Albert Hall
Royal Albert Hall is an unusual building and concert hall that has been around for a long time. The concert hall is located at the end of Kensington Gore. Types of performances you can see at Royal Albert Hall are classical music, pop concerts, and ballet.
14- The Gherkin
There’s also a controversial tower that will fascinate you is the Gherkin. This building has been ranked as one of the best skyscrapers worldwide by experts. It stands at 180 metres tall and is a gleaming skyscraper o the skyline.
15- British Museum
If you love museums, the British Museum is not only a fantastic place to visit but it’s also a famous London landmark to see. The museum is located in Bloomsbury Square and has a lot of treasures it displays, including decorative arts, historic artefacts and other cool displays.
16- London Eye
The iconic British landmark, the London Eye, you can see from all over Central London if you’re looking for it. It’s not hard to find as this huge Ferris wheel holds great popularity with locals and tourists alike!
This ride on the London Eye will take your breath away with its beautiful views of the city while you spin around at an amazing speed that makes even vertigo seem like no big deal.
You’ll be enthralled by how beautiful the world looks below when viewed from up here so high above ground level!
The London Eye is definitely a modern landmark of London see.
The London Eye dominates views of southeast England from all directions. It was designed by architects David Marks with Julia Barfield as their associate architect, engineering firm Ove Arup & Partners (who had previously collaborated on the Sydney Opera House) and construction firms Taylor Woodrow Construction Limited, Sir Robert McAlpine Limited and Laing O’Rourke Joint Venture Apart from being a prominent tourist attraction, this giant observation wheel also plays host to corporate events like advertising campaigns or product launches.
17- Piccadilly Circus
Erected in 1819, the statue of Eros is a symbol for Piccadilly Circus that was designed by Sir Alfred Gilbert. This statue has been one of London’s most famous attractions ever since it became erected but back then there was not much to be seen at this intersection other than shops and theatres.
In 1909, however, electric advertising hoardings were added which made these vertical signs even more popular with pedestrians walking through the area. The name “Piccadilly” originates from a street called Pick’dy Alley located on the fringes of Soho where people would go drink around or pickpockets could flourish without being noticed too quickly!
18 – National Maritime Museum
The National Maritime Museum celebrates the glory of the British Empire through its displays of paintings, models and artefacts. The museum’s motto is “The Sea Remembers”, reminding visitors of the sea-based trade that was once so important to London.
19- Tate Modern
Another museum that is a London landmark is the Tate Modern. This is because it has been the UK’s most popular modern art gallery since it opened in 2000. The Tate Modern is not just an art museum – often performances are staged and there is a cinema, restaurant and bookshop on-site to keep visitors entertained for hours!
20- Hyde Park
For those seeking some green space away from historic buildings, there are few better places than Hyde Park with its lake and picnic areas. Take a walk to clear your head or feed the swans in the lake. The Serpentine Gallery is in the park and is an art gallery with a changing programme of exhibitions.
21- Barbican Centre
Another of the more popular landmarks in London is the Barbican Centre, which attracts crowds of locals and visitors. The Barbican Centre is home to a theatre, cinemas, dance studios and art exhibitions.
The Centre was designed by the modernist architect Sir Richard Rogers in 1972 as one of the first high-rise buildings built in London after World War II. The building’s design is a concrete frame with bronze-clad external surfaces which are shaped to form deep horizontal pleats or folds (reminiscent of drapery) on its façade that articulate different functions within it.
Today, it forms an imposing landmark at the northern end of central London near Aldwych tube station – towards St Paul’s Cathedral from Trafalgar Square.”
22- Hampton Court Palace
Hampton Court Palace is a famous landmark that was home to one of England’s most well-known kings. The palace and surrounding gardens occupy a riverside location just west of Kingston upon Thames, southwest London.
Hampton Court Palace has been the set for several films including “Scrooge” (1951), which featured Alastair Sim as Jacob Marley in its opening sequence; “The Madness Of King George III” (1994) with Nigel Hawthorne; and Mike Newell’s production of Jane Austen’s novel “Sense And Sensibility” starring Emma Thompson, Kate Winslet, Hugh Grant, Alan Rickman and Greg Wise.
It now serves mainly as an exhibition space but manages also to offer visitors glimpses into the lives of the English royal family over the centuries.
The palace was designed by architect John Webb and built in stages from 16th to 18th century”.
23- London Transport Museum
Engineering types will not want to miss the London Transport Museum, which has a fascinating display of how the London underground was built. The museum is also home to a splendid collection of vintage cars.
The museum offers a comprehensive journey through the history of London’s public transport, from horse-drawn carriages to buses and trams. It also has some fascinating galleries about engineering on land and underground, including how tunnels are constructed deep beneath the city”.
24- Imperial War Museum
Another historic landmark in London is the Imperial War Museum, which is located in Lambeth, south of the River Thames. Here you will find a world-class museum with exhibitions about conflict and its consequences from 1914 to the present day”.
The museum’s military exhibitions has recreations of WWI trenches, the Blitz and displays of tanks and planes.
25- Victoria Memorial
The Victoria memorial is right next to Buckingham Palace on Queen Anne’s Gate at a busy intersection that once marked the boundary between Belgravia and Pimlico.
It was unveiled by King Edward VII in 1911 as a monument to his mother; he also took great interest in its design.
The building itself consists of an elevated colonnade surmounted by Stonehenge-like pillars.
26- Kensington Palace
One of the reasons Kensington Palace is famous is because it is the birthplace of Diana, Princess of Wales.
Kensington Palace was designed by Christopher Wren who also designed Covent Garden.
Besides being a royal residence, it houses portraits by Sir Joshua Reynolds and Thomas Gainsborough. Members of the royal family who live here include Prince and Princess Michael of Kent, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, Lord Nicholas Windsor.
27- Battersea Powerstation
Battersea Powerstation serves the purpose of both a decommissioned and operational power station.
It was designed by the architects Ernő Goldfinger, Renton Howard Wood and William Curtis Green in 1953, built between 1954-68 on the south bank of the River Thames. It has been converted into offices with ground-floor retail units for small businesses to rent out space inside.
The building made trhe list as a Grade II building on 24 April 2015.
28- Globe Theatre
This theatre first opened in 1599, before being destroyed by fire only two months later. Shakespeare’s company rebuilt their playhouse within six years using timber salvaged from nearby Southwark Cathedral (initially called The New Globe). It’s a landmark building in England’s capital that has stood the test of time.
29- Natural History Museum
London’s Natural History Museum is a fantastic museum that has evolved as scientific knowledge expanded. It was founded in 1881 by the noted Victorian scientist, Sir Henry Cole and his brother John Edward Gray.
Displays you can see in the natural history museum include a giant squid, a diplodocus skeleton and the preserved remains of an ancient Ginkgo tree. The Natural History Museum of London is also home to the world’s most complete Stegosaurus skeleton.
30- Harry Potter Attraction
Experience the magic behind the Harry Potter series at the Harry Potter attraction in Warner Bros Studio. Visit Hogwart’s Great Hall, the Forbidden and board the Hogwarts Express from Platform 9 ¾.
This modern London landmark is where all the Harry Potter films were made and you can do a studio tour to see how the magic was created.
31- Queen Elizabeth Park
Olympic Park is also home to the largest sports arena in Europe and is now used for major events such as concerts by famous artists like Taylor Swift, U-KISS and Keith Urban.
The venue also hosts international sporting events including English Premier League Soccer matches from Arsenal FC and Tottenham Hotspur FC.
The arena was originally known as The Olympic Stadium as it hosted the opening and closing of the London 2012 Games as well as the athletics events and Paralympics.
After the games, the park was transformed into Queen Elizabeth Park. The stadium is now home of the West Ham United Football Club and can seat 54,000.
32- London Dungeon
One of London’s most popular tourist attractions! Deciding on what time you go will depend on your interest level: there are three levels – varying degrees of scariness or just buy a ticket with unlimited entry during that day (extra cost).
You can visit medieval times where you will be witness to some gruesome torture scenes. Skull Island features two thrilling rides.
33- BBC Television Centre
The old BBC studios has been broadcasting to the nation from 1960 and where many popular British shows were recorded, including Fawlty Towers and Doctor Who.
The building was sold in 2012 and the BBC moved to a new broadcast centre, BBC Broadcasting House where you can visit. Things to do in the new centre in White City includes having a meal in a restaurant or a drink in a bar and watching a movie at the Electric Cinema. The centre is also home to the contemporary Soho House Hotel.
34- Admiralty Arch
Admiralty Arch is an beautiful building with grand arches.
It was built in 1910 by King Edward IIV in memory of his mother, Queen Victoria.
In 2015, Admiralty Arch was transformed into the £100 million Armani hotel and sits in central London’s The Mall.
35- Marble Arch
Marble Arch is another historic monument in London.
Designed by John Nash, it’s located near Speaker’s Corner.
The arch is made of carrara marble.
36- ArcelorMittal Orbit
A modern-day London twisting red monument, the ArcelorMittal Orbit has stunning views over London from its platforms. The thrilling Orbit slide ride is not for the faint-hearted as it has 12 turns and a tight corkscrew turn that ends in a heart-stopping 50-metre (164 foot) freefall.
38- Her Majesty’s Theatre
Her Majesty’s Theatre is one of two West End theatres, with the other being The Palace. It has seen some musical performances from stars such as Kanye West and Lady Gaga.
How many famous landmarks are in London?
There are hundreds of famous landmarks in London, from well-known monuments to more obscure statues and buildings. In a historic city such as London, there are simply too many landmarks to count.
What are 3 famous landmarks?
Three famous landmarks in London are Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey and Big Ben. There are also dozens more landmarks in London that are famous around the world.
What are famous landmarks in the UK?
Many of the UK’s famous landmarks are in London but there are also plenty more across the land to see.