11 Best Places to Visit in London

London is a lovely tourist attraction with lively nightlife scenes and a place with lots of historical significance and cultural values. Undoubtedly, one of the most striking things about this English city is the great cultural mix it has. On the other hand, if you travel in December you can enjoy the joy of the British capital during Christmas in London.

By visiting it you will meet people from many countries and you will enrich yourself considerably. It is worth mentioning that this feature of the city is one of the main reasons why today it is one of the most desired destinations for travelers from all over the world.

The list of places that you must visit is even longer with its main attractions being the British museum, and Buckingham place. If you decide to visit London or any other English city in winter, you should know that you are going to find, most likely, rain and even snow, although this last meteorological phenomenon is less frequent.

You rarely see snow in London. Only for one or two days it snows all winter. Even some travel agencies organize offers to travel to London at this time. London is something of a powerhouse when it comes to hotels. Boasting well over 100 thousand rooms within its city limits, the Old Smoke knows a thing or two about high-end accommodation. Some of the finest hotels in the world call London home, and many are as a part of the city as Big Ben’s chimes.

best things to do in London But there are just as many value options if you’d rather spend on other experiences. Remember, with public transport so readily available; it might be worth staying a little further from the city center to save a few pounds.

1. Columbia Road Flower Market

Hoxton and Shoreditch can be said to be just one and, although the younger ones have migrated to cheaper areas such as Dalston or Hackney Wick, Shoreditch is still the mother of all modernity.

Strolling along Brick Lane and Shoreditch is a journey through urban art - with works, among others, by Banksy - that has given a new life of color to the brick walls that abound in the neighborhood. Many well-known chains have hotels near Shoreditch for medium budgets. Finally, crossing Shoreditch High Street towards Calvert Ave you reach Boundary Gardens and Arnold Circus, a small circular public garden, our final destination.

2. Brick Lane

Brick Lane is the heart of the Bangladeshi community of London, and the curry and signs in Bengali coexist with the new modern premises, the graffiti, the vintage shops, the markets and the iconic tower of the Old Truman Brewery, which It was the largest brewery in London, now a cultural and leisure center.

3. Portobello Road

New York, Hong Kong and Dubai are three sanctuaries for compulsive buyers. London is the ideal place to go shopping.

From Mayfair luxury items and handmade Savile Row outfits to the most diverse things in Convent Garden or the markets of Portobello and Candem Town, passing through shopping centers such as Harrods or Westfield. We make special mention of Old Spitalfields Market, an enclave of antique shops, fashion, design stores and discos and restaurants that is fashionable.

The city of London is known for having numerous street markets far and wide and distributed on different days of the week. Any day you will have one to go to and from which to return with interesting memorabilia such as the taste of a delicious dessert or artisanal food.

If you like to go shopping while you travel England, London will fascinate you for its incredible variety. Walk in London to find exclusive stores of brands such as D'ior, Nike, Apple and many others as well as fabulous shopping centers where you can lose yourself without realizing it.

However, there is no doubt that one of the main activities of winter in London are the winter sales, which start the so-called Boxing Day. Boxing Day is for England, like the Black Friday is for the United States. The most suitable clothing if you are traveling to London in winter is warm clothing including scarf, fine sweater, cardigan, hat, waterproof shoes, rainwear and thermal underwear.

4. Battersea Park

Chelsea located in south central London on the north bank of the River Thames is much more than the neighborhood of a famous football club. Getting to see Stamford Bridge, the Chelsea Football Club stadium, is just one of many suggestions, along with shopping, gardens, museums and much more.

If you are a music lover, Cadogan Hall is an ideal place to visit. In addition to being the space that hosts the BBC Proms - a renowned classical music festival - it is also the headquarters of the famous Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. During your visit to Chelsea, do not miss the leafy park of Battersea Park, which is located on the south bank of the River Thames. To do this, cross the imposing Albert Bridge.

Chelsea is a great neighborhood in London for shopping, although prices may not be the friendliest. The variety and quality of the stores are guaranteed, so it's no wonder that Princess Kate Middleton has already been seen doing the shopping here. The artery with more offer is the King's Road, with shops for all tastes, from important brands such as Zara, Gerard Darel or Vivienne Westwood, fashionable, like Anthropologie.

And as it could not stop being, to our last suggestion goes to Stamford Bridge, the Chelsea Football Club stadium. Actually, the stadium is in Fulham, next to Chelsea. Sure you get the chants but it's part of the experience. Get over to Stamford Bridge and watch the former Champions of Europe play in their home grounds. Arsenal, playing at the Emirates play some beautiful football.

For many, one of the greatest natural treasures of London, the Chelsea Physic Garden is one of the oldest botanical gardens in the country, having been built by the London society of apothecaries of the time. A true oasis in the center of the English capital, which has more than 5000 edible and medicinal species. At its renowned coffee shop, Tangerine Dream Café, you can have lunch or a delicious tea at five o'clock.

Saatchi Gallery was created by Charles Saatchi, controversial ex-husband of the author of books and television cook shows by Nigella Lawson. This museum is a space of reference in regard to modern and contemporary art, with a program of exhibitions and activities very rich. The cherry of the cake? Admission is free.

The amount of museums that you can visit in London is impressive. In fact, from now only we tell you that you will not be able to see them all. For this reason, going with a clear idea of what you want to see in the city can be essential to make the most of your trip. In addition, the national museums of the United Kingdom are totally free.

5. Royal Opera House

This is one of the Christmas shows in London that you should not miss, either at the Royal Opera House by the Royal Ballet or at the London Coliseum theater. The museums in London schedule major exhibitions for winter. As in other museums in London, the entrance is free only to visit the permanent collection at venues such as Tate Modern and the National Gallery.

The most famous Christmas lights in London are those of Oxford Street and Regent Street (the two most important shopping streets of the city), but do not leave aside other smaller ones, such as Carnaby Street.

6. Shakespeare's Globe

Hope you didn't throw away your hat, it's time to go see theatre at it's finest, at Shakespeare's Globe! You will never see a finer performance of Macbeth or Romeo and Julliet. At the base of the stage is an area called "the pit" which held the "groundings" - for those that paid only a penny to stand and enjoy the art! It'll last 2 and a half hours with an interval. You'll come out near 10, perfect time for a bite.

7. St. Paul's Cathedral

St. Paul's is the focus church for ordinary Londoners, while Westminster Abbey is England's ceremonial church. The cathedral is the home church for the Anglican/Episcopalian diocese of London. After the Great Fire of London in 1666 it was totally rebuilt, and is generally agreed to be the finest building designed by Sir Christopher Wren.

Famous people buried there include King Aethelred, who was king over a thousand years ago, literary notables such as John Donne and Walter de la Mare, science pioneers like Alexander Fleming and Edward Palmer, national heroes such as Nelson and Wellington, painters such as Turner, Millais, Joshua Reynolds, and van Dyke, composers including Sullivan, Hubert Parry, and historical figures such as George Grey (of Earl Grey tea fame), Admiral Jellicoe, Wallsingham (Elizabeth I's chief spy), and Lutyens and Wren, among Britain's finest architects.

For these reasons, plus its fine music, world-famous choir, and having been the site of many great occasions, St Paul's is fondly loved by most Britons. It is an interesting building in its own right, even without the funeral carriages of Nelson and Wellington, which remain in the crypt. The Whispering Gallery is worth a visit, provided you are not afraid of heights and have good knees. To get the best from any visit, first watch a documentary on the building, as this will provide a lot of background.

8. Monument to the Great Fire of London

A visit to the Monument is also worth doing on the same day. It's about a mile away but again, you need good knees. It commemorates the Great Fire of London and has a hidden use. Sir Christopher Wren, who designed St. Paul's, also designed the monument. Don't forget to ask for your certificate if you climb to the top.

If you only have a day, start at the Tower of London and Tower Bridge, then the Monument, walk up to the Bank of England then head down Cheapside to St Paul's, first taking a detour right to visit the Guildhall (also site of London's Roman Amphitheatre). From St Paul's you can cross the Thames via the Millenium Bridge, to visit Tate Modern.

Turn left and you get to the reconstructed Shakespeares Globe, a replica Golden Hind (Francis Drakes ship), and end up in Borough Market, a great place for food. If thirsty, there are lots of pubs around, but if you can, pop into the Rake, a micro-Brewery selling very good craft beers.

9. Trafalgar Square

Trafalgar Square is worth visiting. Flanked by historic buildings, this impressive public plaza is quite literally in the centre of London. Just adjacent to Trafalgar Square is the point where all road distances from London are measured. There are fountains, the 51.5 m tall Nelson’s Column and four plinths. The fourth plinth in the north west corner of the square was intended to have a statue but there were insufficient funds.

After 150 years of debate on the fourth plinth’s use it now occasionally has temporary displays. Visit the Christmas tree in Trafalgar Square. The tree is an annual gift from the city of Oslo. A sign explains the reason. Enjoy feeding the pigeons from bird feed in paper cups supplied by street vendors. Trafalgar Square makes a base to explore the area.

A 10 minute walk takes you south to Parliament Square or north to Soho or east to Covent Garden or west to Buckingham Palace.

10. One Aldwych

This is another beautiful boutique hotel located in Convent Garden. It is close to the West end and it was originally the Morning post newspaper building which has now been redesigned. Basque cuisine which is the traditional cuisine of Basque Country is also available in this beautiful hotel’s restaurant named Eneko.

In a building that was formerly a newspaper office, this grand Edwardian building is now the favored spot for the fashion crowd looking for hotels during London Fashion Week (Somerset House is just across the road), as well as multitudes of visitors who look for an ease of access to the West End. With two restaurants, a hip bar right in the lobby, TVs in the luxury bathrooms and even underwater piped music in the glamorous pool. From the corner rooms, guests have views out over Waterloo Bridge and the river.

The Courtauld Gallery, situated just steps away from the hotel, has one of London’s best collections of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art and paintings outside France.

11. British Museum

London has an unparalleled wealth of museums and art galleries - not just the famous national collections but all over London, sometimes (literally) up a back street there are lots of specialist and local museums and galleries hiding away off the tourist trail.

The British Museum's collection of artifacts charting human civilization is one of the most extensive in the world and features the likes of the Rosetta Stone and the Elgin Marbles. You’ll need a few hours to explore every exhibit, but for those with historical inclinations, there are few museums better in the world. It was the first public museum on the planet, after all.

Unfortunately, the museum does drag some controversy along with it. The bulk of its collection was acquired over centuries of British colonization around the globe, prompting many to suggest that the artifacts presented in the museum should be returned to the country they were taken from. Wherever you stand on the subject, there is no denying how impressive the museum is.

If that doesn’t scratch your museum itch, check out the Tate Modern, the Natural History Museum, or the Science Museum.

10. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

Christmas at Kew show is held every year at Kew Gardens, the Royal Botanical Garden of West London. There you can enjoy a wonderful installation of colorful lights that transforms the place completely.

The luminous art invades the center of London with the Lumiere London festival of lights, an innovative proposal that invites Londoners and visitors to discover the city with a new light during a long weekend.
Kalyan Panja