Don’t Miss These 20 Best London Landmarks

Ah, London! The cosmopolitan city that effortlessly blends tradition, history and a dash of modernity.

Planning a visit to London for the first time? Wondering what are the best London landmarks to visit? I’ve got you covered!

The most famous places in London include the iconic Big Ben, the majestic Tower Bridge and the Red Phone Box. This article is not about London’s hidden gems, rather this is about the best landmarks in London you don’t want to miss seeing!

Consider this your ultimate list of the famous London monuments and tips for visiting each one to help plan your itinerary.

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Tips for Visiting These Famous London Landmarks

When planning my trip to London from Paris by train I used Google Maps to flag the landmarks I wanted to visit.

You can do the same. I’ve provided the address for each landmark—begin by pinning your favourites, and voila! I’ve arranged them geographically, so start from the left and progress across the city on the map.

Here’s another helpful planning tip. Almost all of these London landmarks require advance online booking. Not only can it save you money with many offering discounts, but it also spares you from waiting in long lines at the ticket office. Just click on the “Visiting information” box, and it will lead you directly to the landmark’s homepage.

Learn from my mistake. No. 10 Downing Street, the famed address with its shiny black door to the British Prime Minister’s residence, is no longer accessible to the public. Skip this London landmark.

Another notable absence from this list isn’t exactly a landmark, but it’s worth considering—take a visit to the ever-charming Notting Hill.

Oh, and curious about the better city to visit – London or Paris? I had fun comparing these iconic cities.  

If you liked this article, why not join my mailing list where you will receive exclusive travel tips, news, inspiration and freebies? Every new subscriber will receive a Free 30 Bucket List Places in Europe.

20 Best London Landmarks

1. Kensington Palace

Kensington Palace a landmark in London

Kensington Palace is one of the best historical landmarks of London England.

Constructed in 1605, this palace, renowned as the birthplace of Queen Victoria, has been a residence for numerous members of the royal family. Notably, Diana, Princess of Wales, and subsequently her son Prince William of Wales and Catherine resided here, although they have since relocated.

As equally lovely, you can tour the grounds and gardens for free. My favourite is the beautiful Sunken Garden, featuring the statue of Diana, Princess of Wales, the tribute that was unveiled for what would have been her 60th birthday in 2021.

This beautiful tribute garden can be viewed during opening hours only and is not to be missed. Add this to enjoying a Royal high tea at the Pavilion, this was a highlight of my London trip!

2. Hyde Park

Kenisington Palace with statue and gardens is one of the best landmarks in london

Escape the city crowds and noise and leisurely explore the must-visit Hyde Park, one of London’s eight Royal Parks and a premier green space globally.

Spanning 350 acres, the park features landmarks like the Princess Diana Memorial, a charming rose garden, and The Serpentine, a favourite open-water swimming spot.

With a rich history tied to freedom of speech, Speaker’s Corner offers a fascinating glimpse into contemporary discourse. Don’t forget a picnic to unwind by the water or rent a row boat.

Visiting Information

📍London W8 4PX
🚇Nearest tube station: High Street Kensington or Queensway
🕙Open public space
⏳1.5 hours+
⏭️Tip: Come here in the evening to watch the sunset over London

3. Royal Albert Hall

round theatre with dome is a famous London landmarks

The iconic Royal Albert Hall is one of the top historical buildings opened by Queen Victoria in 1871. This historic London landmark is now a popular concert hall hosting more than 300 events.

Wouldn’t it be grand to visit London and also see a performance by one of your favourite artists? Be sure to check out who might be playing while you are in the city. 

4. Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace is a london landmark

Buckingham Palace is recognized around the world as the former home of the late Queen Elizabeth II, and now King Charles III. It has served as the official London residence for the sovereign since 1837.

The best way to arrive at this most famous London landmark is to walk The Mall. The red surfaced road from Trafalgar Square to Buckingham Palace. Try to visit on Sundays when it’s closed to traffic and you have the road all to yourself.

5. Trafalgar Square

London landmark and museum with pillers

The lively Trafalgar Square is one of the most popular and busy squares and monuments in London. Many public events take place on this square that’s lined with some of London’s top attractions, like the National Gallery and historic statues and London monuments.

This is a great starting point that leads you to Buckingham Palace

Visiting information

📍London WC2N 5DN
🚇Nearest tube station: Charing Cross
🕙Public outdoor space
⏳Less than 1 hour
🌟Highlights: fountain, lion statues and Nelson’s column

6. Westminster Bridge

The Westminster Bridge from 1862 is the oldest and most famous spanning over the River Thames.

The best photo op of this bridge, Big Ben, and the Palace of Westminster is BEFORE you cross the bridge to visit those landmarks.

Visiting information

📍London SW1A 0AA
🚇Nearest tube station: Westminster
🕙Open public space
⏳15 minutes+

7. Big Ben and the Palace of Westminster

London Landmark- big ben tower, and bridge

Big Ben is one of the most iconic London famous landmarks you’ll find in the city. It’s like the Eiffel Tower of Paris.

This famous bell tower is known by its nickname, however, it’s called the Elizabeth Tower, which sits on the Palace of Westminster.

The Palace of Westminster is commonly referred to as the Houses of Parliament.

Non-UK residents take a guided tour when Parliament is not in session to learn more about British history.

8. Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey a large cathedral and one of the famous places in London

Westminster Abbey sometimes referred to as the Royal Church, is where coronations and royal weddings have taken place for over 1,000 years ago. As well, it’s where 17 British monarchs are buried, and 3,000 other notable British figureheads.

This UNESCO World Heritage site is one of the places to visit in London which is open daily to the public for services.

The entry times are variable, and unfortunately, the day I was there, it was closed for tours.

9. Covent Garden

Covent Gardens with flower market is one of the famous places in London

Visiting Covent Garden is an experience for the senses. Eat, drink and shop across 9 streets and a historic square to discover one of the best things to do in London.

Some of London’s best pubs, cafes, and restaurants can be found here, like Monmouth Kitchen, Balthazar, and Eve Bar. Then there’s the shopping with a great mix of boutiques and known brands and designers. 

Visiting information

📍London, SW8 5BH
🚇Nearest tube station: Covent Garden
🕙Open public place
⏳1 hour
🌟Highlights: On Mondays, the arcade features an antiques and collectables market, while between Tuesday and Sunday clothing, jewellery, arts and crafts are sold. 

10. The London Eye

london eye ferris wheel is one of the best landmarks in london

Take a ride on Europe’s tallest cantilevered observation wheel called the London Eye or Millennium Wheel.

This giant Ferris wheel is considered one of the top attractions of London and there’s no better way to see those London historical landmarks from up above.

11. The Shard

Take the elevator up to the 72nd floor of The Shard for stunning panoramic views of London.

This modern skyscraper on the Thames houses offices, apartments, and a hotel. The best way to enjoy your time here is to indulge in dining or cocktails at The Shard’s various restaurants and bars, including the Sky Lounge in the Shangri-La hotel, offering modern British and northern Chinese cuisine.

12. Piccadilly Circus

What to see in London is most definitely Piccadilly Circus. This is one of the most famous road intersections, just what you might find in New York City.

As one of the top attractions in London, it features unique architecture surrounding it, like the London Pavilion and Criterion Theatre, and the Shaftesbury Memorial fountain.

The iconic advertisements adorn the buildings just like what you might see in Times Square NYC. 

Visiting information

📍London W1J 9LL
🚇Nearest tube station: Piccadilly Circus
🕙Open public space
⏳Less than 1 hour
🌟Highlights: connecting notable streets nearby are Regent Street, Shaftesbury Avenue, Leicester Square

13. Shakespeare Globe Theatre

shakespeare's globe theatre is one of best london landmarks

Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre is a replica of the original playhouse (called the Elizabethan Globe) where the famous playwright wrote plays.

Explore the theatre, take a guided tour, or better yet, watch a range of William Shakespeare’s most famous plays.

14. Millenium Bridge

Millennial bridge over Thames River is famous London landmark

Walk across the steel suspension bridge officially known as the London Millennium Footbridge. Harry Potter fans will recognize this modern-looking bridge as the Brockdale Bridge.

Early risers will be able to capture it at sunrise and with far fewer people. This route is best to combine with Borough Market to Shakespeare Globe to London Eye to St. Paul’s Cathedral. 

Visiting information

📍Thames Embankment, London
🚇Nearest tube station: Blackfriars
🕙Open public space
⏳15 – 30 minutes
🌟Highlights: make the most of the incredible views as you cross the bridge

15. St. Paul’s Cathedral

cathedral in London is famous london landmark

St. Paul’s Cathedral is one of the most famous cathedrals in the world.

The towering dome of this London landmark is one of the most iconic symbols of London, right after Big Ben.

Designed by Sir Christopher Wren, Britain’s preeminent architect of the 17th century, this cathedral represents the fifth church to grace this historical site. Although the present structure dates back to the 17th and 18th centuries, the legacy of churches on this location traces its origins to as early as 604 AD.

A great way to view this is coming from Millennium Bridge.

16. The Gherkin

London Landmark called the Gherkin shaped like a gherkin

The Mary Axe, London, has been nicknamed “the Gherkin” well because it’s shaped like a giant pickle. This postmodern skyscraper can be found in the financial district of London.

To gain access to The Gherkin, the best way is to make a reservation at Searcy’s, the restaurant and bar situated on the tower’s upper levels. Searcy’s comprises the Helix restaurant and the Iris bar. Or, you can also see it from the Thames River city skyline.

17. Tower Bridge

tower bridge in london at early sunrise is one of the most famous landmarks in london

Dating back to 1894, the Tower Bridge is another one of the best London landmarks that can’t be missed.

Tower Bridge, uniquely recognized as a suspension and ‘bascule’ bridge, is moveable, with two sides opening to accommodate taller river traffic. As London’s sole bascule bridge, it was among the first worldwide to adopt hydraulic power.

19. Borough Market

Borough Market in London with food booths is famous london landmarks

Foodie or not, you can’t help but love the city’s favourite London market.

Close to London Bridge, the lively Borough Market dating back to 1756 features a large covered area, plus spreads out into a smaller maze of streets that surround it.

It’s one of the best activities in London, especially on an empty stomach. It features every type of food vendor you can imagine. Fresh fish, meats and deli, bakery & pastries, ethnic food from all over the world and wine bars and coffee shops. Bring your appetite!

Visiting information

📍8 Southwark Street, London, SE1 1TL
🚇Nearest tube station: London Bridge
🕙Monday to Thursday 10:00 – 17:00, Friday 10:00 – 18:00, Saturday 08:00 – 17:00, Sunday 09:00 – 15:00
⏳1+ hours

20. Red Phone Box

red phone booth one of the landmarks in london

The iconic red telephone box, or what we North Americans would refer to as a “booth” is one of the most recognizable London symbols.

You can’t travel to London without taking at least one photo. Here are the best spots with famous landmarks of London in the background:

  • 📍Parliament Square opposite Big Ben
  • 📍Victoria Embankment opposite the London Eye
  • 📍Covent Garden Market
  • 📍Broad Court near Covent Garden Market
  • 📍St. Paul’s Cathedral
  • 📍New Bond Street opposite Cartier

London Trip Planning Resources

🛩️What’s the best site to buy my flight to London?

For the best flight deals, I recommend using Expedia. As one of the world’s premier full-service online travel brands, they provide the broadest range of vacation packages and flights.

🚑Should I buy travel insurance for my trip to England?

Absolutely! Unless you’re already insured. If not, isn’t peace of mind during your travels worth it in case of any unforeseen events? I highly recommend SafetyWing, starting at just $1.50 a day!

🏨What’s the best way to book my accommodations in London?

I rely on for hotels. If you prefer a homely atmosphere without the added Airbnb fees, explore VRBO. For an exclusive, boutique experience, consider Plum Guide.

Additionally, I suggest using my curated list of the finest London boutique hotels and stylish holiday rentals in London.

🎟️What’s the best way to book excursions in London?

My go-to is Get Your Guide. They not only provide top-rated experiences but also guarantee the lowest prices with no booking fees. Save time, pre-book your tickets, and enjoy flexibility with easy cancellation up to 24 hours before.

Additionally, I suggest using my curated list of the best private London tours.

🗺️Do you provide customized travel planning services?

Absolutely! Allow me to plan your trip! I provide personalized trip planning tailored to your budget, travel interests, and preferences. Explore my Custom Travel Planning services for more information.

As a Holidaymaker

Without a doubt, there are endless famous places in London dotted all over the city.

Hopefully, this list of the landmarks in London is helpful for your itinerary planning. 

If you liked this article, why not join my mailing list where you will receive exclusive travel tips, news, inspiration and freebies? Every new subscriber will receive a Free 30 Bucket List Places in Europe.