If you were to ask any Londoner what they think of the city, they will probably just throw a few incomprehensible curses your way, muttering something about “hellhole” and “all my life”, and shamble away with their hands in their pockets. But the truth is, as depressing and horrible as some areas of London can be, especially for a native, you owe it to yourself to see this incredible city in all its glory up close at least once in your life. This historic city, the seat of power of entire empires for hundreds of years, is a melting pot of ethnicities, cultures, social classes, and so much more. London truly is a megapolis by every definition of the word, both in size and population, legacy and variety, and while it may not be the best place to permanently live in, at least according to its residents, a few weeks are worth it here. So to give you a solid start, we have highlighted some of London’s most iconic landmarks and destinations that should go right into your itinerary.

Restaurants

Let’s start with some fantastic candidates to please your tastebuds. Though the whole world agrees that the English themselves make some of the worst dishes on the planet, London has marvelous restaurants with dishes from all around the world. Do you like the spicy intensity of Indian food, like biryani and samosa? There are dozens of superb Indian restaurants all over London, like in Kensington for example. Or perhaps you prefer the very finest Polish dishes? No problem, just try https://mamuska.net/ and head to the heart of Southbank, right on the doorstep of Waterloo and Westminster, to treat your tastebuds to some of the finest dishes you can find. Now one thing to remember is that although there are hundreds, if not thousands, of restaurants all over London, just walking into random ones is probably not the best idea, as not all are created equal. So it is best to do some research and inform yourself about the best food places in your vicinity, what the reviews say, and what their overall reputation is, before making a decision. 

Essential London Escapes: Iconic Landmarks and Culinary Discoveries

Big Ben

The first iconic landmark on the list is Big Ben, the massive clock tower that rises high above the cityscape, which, by the way, is actually the name of the bell. The actual tower is called Elizabeth Tower. Not only is it one of the many historical and popular spots to visit in the city, it is right in the center of London, which means numerous other tourist attractions and landmarks are practically within walking distance. The clock tower looks incredible in the daytime, but at night, when the four clock faces light up and glisten and glow against the backdrop of the London skyline, that is when it feels truly magical, like a scene right out of Jane Austen or Harry Potter, if you will. 

London Eye

Few spots are more emblematic of London than the London Eye, adorning postcards, stamps (back when letters were still a thing), keyrings, pillows, and phone cases. In short, if you go to London and do not visit the London Eye, have you ever been to London? The observation wheel on the South Bank of the River Thames is, admittedly, a very touristy spot, but the views you can soak in from the top of it can make memories you will remember your whole life. Also, the area around the London Eye is great too, where you can find the Southbank Summer and Christmas markets and street performers, and just go for a relaxing stroll along the river. The nearby Hungerford Bridge also offers one of the most gorgeous sunset views of the city, if you are up for a little detour. It is understandable not wanting to mingle with the masses of tourists at the same place, but again, if there is one tourist attraction you should try and see, it is the London Eye. 

Tower of London

Grim, haunted, dark, a tragic past. Many words can be used to describe the Tower of London, and few are pretty. Steeped in historic blackness, this notorious castle was once the site of many prisoners’ unfortunate torture and executions, including the murder of two young English princes at the behest of their own families. For 800 years, it was the last destination for many unfortunate souls. Perhaps not the most cheery spot for sightseeing, the Tower of London is nonetheless deeply compelling, especially for anyone interested in history, and it is home to the crown jewels. Many have claimed that the Tower of London is haunted by many ghosts due to its bloody history, so if you are interested in the paranormal at all, who knows? You might just get the best fright of your life. To make the atmosphere even more delightfully spooky, ravens are kept at the tower—at least six of them, in fact, at all times. 

Buckingham Palace

How do you visit London and not visit Buckingham Palace? Hopefully not a question you will ever have to answer, as you have to go see it, especially as it is right in the center of the city, within walking distance of many other landmarks, including Hyde Park, which you should also absolutely take a stroll through. If you come to Buckingham Palace at the right time, you can see the change of guard, which is an event in itself, watching these ridiculously disciplined and earnest-looking men take up their guard posts in uniforms that should look funny but somehow feel imposing through the men inside them. The British monarchy has its seat and administrative headquarters here, in the palace in the City of Westminster, a whole district of special locations and atmosphere itself. Honestly, a whole week of just touring Westminster might still not be enough to see everything there is to see.

London is one of the most popular destinations in the world for a reason. It is a long list of incredible and iconic landmarks you have to see. Hopefully, you now have noted a few of them down.

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