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If You Only Do 10 Things in London Make it These – In Order

I’ve lived in London for over 20 years, and over that time, I have had many visitors. These are the ten places that I most frequently recommend visiting in London, in order. I’ll finish with my nomination, for if you only visit one place in London, this is it. Whether you’re a history buff, a foodie, or simply in love with the idea of wandering through enchanting streets, London has something special just for you.

Let me know in the comments what you think, and your nomination for the must-visit place in London.

10. Brick Lane

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Brick Lane, a vibrant artery in the heart of London’s East End, is an absolute must-visit for any tourist craving an authentic slice of the city’s diverse cultural tapestry. Once known for its significant Bangladeshi community, Brick Lane has evolved into a melting pot of cultures, making it the go-to spot for some of the best curry houses in London.

But there is so much more on offer than just curry. The streets around Brick Lane are home to some of the most exciting street art in London. There are up and coming food concepts beyond curry like the Truman Brewery as well as vintage markets and much more.

9. St Paul’s

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St Paul’s Cathedral offers visitors a chance to immerse themselves in over 1,400 years of British history. Designed by Sir Christopher Wren and completed in 1710, its magnificent dome is an iconic feature of London. Explore the cathedral’s opulent interior, which houses exquisite mosaics, paintings, and the famous Whispering Gallery—where a whisper against its walls can be heard clearly on the opposite side, a marvel of acoustics. Don’t miss the view over London from the Golden Gallery.

8. The Painted Hall at the Royal Naval College

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The Painted Hall at the Old Royal Naval College in London, often described as the ‘Sistine Chapel of the UK,’ is an artistic masterpiece that should top any tourist’s must-see list. These Baroque artworks take you on a visual journey through Britain’s naval history and its impact on the world. The ceiling and wall decorations, created by Sir James Thornhill over 19 years, depict a vivid tableau of political change, scientific achievement, and cultural prosperity under the rule of William III and Mary II.

7. Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A)

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The Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) in London is a treasure trove for those passionate about art, design, and history. As the world’s largest museum of decorative arts and design, it houses a collection spanning over 5,000 years of human creativity. The museum’s vast and varied collection includes everything from ancient textiles and costumes to cutting-edge contemporary design. It also hosts fantastic ever-changing exhibitions.

6. Take the Uber Boat Down the Thames

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Forget the tube; Londoner’s favorite way to get around their city is the “Uber” boat. The Thames Clipper is sponsored by Uber and one of the cheaper ways to travel along the Thames. The route starts in Putney in West London and takes passengers along all the most scenic spots on the Thames all the way to Barking in the East.

5. Royal Observatory Greenwich

royal observatory greenwich
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The Royal Observatory is the Prime Meridian of the World. That means it is where longitude is measured, it is the divide between the western and eastern hemispheres, and it is where time is measured—when you see GMT, that means Greenwich Mean Time. Plus, there are loads of cool old telescopes, great stories about how all this was devised, and fantastic views of the city of London.

4. The Tower of London

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The Tower of London is one of London’s most popular tourist attractions for good reason. This UNESCO heritage has been a fortress, a royal palace, and a prison! And it’s the home of the Crown Jewels. The reason it made this list is its unique history, entertaining Yeoman tour guides and interesting events like poppies in the moat and restaging the death of Anne Boelyn.

3. Borough Market

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Borough Market is one of London’s oldest and largest markets and dates back to the 12th century – that makes it 1000 years old! It is still a working market, supplying locals and some of London’s top restaurants and it is also home to some of the best street food and restaurants in London, from Humble Crumble to Roast and so many in between. It has food at all price points, a fantastic atmosphere and it is super photogenic.

2. Churchill War Rooms

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This nearly got number one as I love it here so much. These rooms underneath Westminster are where the British government directed World War 2. They were top secret at the time. But most interesting when the last person left on August 15 1945 these rooms were left as they were and have been preserved.

Visiting the war rooms is like walking back in time and you can almost feel the tension that must have been so present during the war. Once you’ve gone traveled through time, head to the very modern Churchill Museum, which does a great job telling the story of this fascinating man using modern technology.

1. Westminster Abbey

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Westminster Abbey has been the coronation church since 1066 and 17 monarchs are buried here. It has been a religious site for over 1000 years and it is still where all of the most important events happen in the UK from the King’s recent coronation to William and Kate’s wedding to the funeral of Queen Elizabeth.

But it is not just about royals—the abbey is home to the oldest door in the UK and the largest ceiling in the UK. Isaac Newton, Stephen Hawking, and some of the other biggest names in science and literature are buried here. There’s a guy buried upright here, and for me, the highlight of the Abbey is the stunning Lady Chapel and its many beautiful flags.

There is nowhere else in the world like Westminster Abbey. Its history is amazing, and it is still where history is being created today. That is why if you only do one thing in London, it should be visiting the Abbey.

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