Frequent Flier: Top 10 London tourist attractions
Ready for take-off? This week Frequent Flier is heading across the pond. London is one of our favorite cities. With so much to see and do, great places to shop and cozy pubs to stop into for a pint, it's a wonder we ever get back on the plane to come home. With the 2012 Summer Games in London just around the corner, we thought we’d share some of the top tourist spots in the city to give you a taste of what it has to offer.
Ready for take-off? This week Frequent Flier is heading across the pond. London is one of our favorite cities. With so much to see and do, great places to shop and cozy pubs to stop into for a pint, it's a wonder we ever get back on the plane to come home. With the 2012 Summer Games in London just around the corner, we thought we'd share some of the top tourist spots in the city to give you a taste of what it has to offer.
Tower of London
St. Paul's Cathedral
Built between 1675 and 1710, St. Paul's Cathedral is must on any visit to London. First up: Climb the iconic dome. First you'll get to the Whispering Gallery, named for its unique acoustics (a whisper on one side can be heard 100 feet away!). Keep climbing and you'll find the Golden Gallery (only 271 more steps), where your climb will be rewarded with fantastic panoramic views of London.
From ceramics and jewelry to metalwork, paintings and sculpture, the V&A is home to artifacts from around the world. If you're not sure where to start, do what we did and join a daily free introductory tour to get a better idea of what's available and where you want to spend your time among the extensive displays.
Covent Garden is one of our top must-stop spots in London — with good reason. From speciality shops and cute cafes to great bars, restaurants and people watching, it's not hard to spend hours wandering, shopping, snacking and sipping. Street performers abound and events take place daily so you'll always find something to see. Don't forget to check out the Real Food Market (Thursday to Saturday) teeming with delectable food stalls.
Boasting an incredible eight million objects in its collection the British Museum is one of the most interesting places you'll visit while you're in London. Founded in 1753, the fascinating collection spans more than two million years of human history. Highlights include an Easter Island statue, the Rosetta Stone, Parthenon sculptures and the Mummy of Katabet, one of the most-studied Egyptian mummies. Love the Bard? Starting July 19 (until Nov. 25), you can check out a major exhibition on the world of Shakespeare.
Regents Park and
One of our favorite places to fit in a jog in London, Regent's Park, (a whopping 410 acres), was designed in 1811 and features stunning rose gardens. The park is also the largest outdoor sports area in London with spots for football, softball, rugby and cricket. The diverse outdoor space is also home to the London Zoo, the Open Air Theatre (see performances until early September), bandstands and a boating lake. Bonus: The view from the top of Primrose Hill is one of the best in the city and not to be missed. Bring your camera.
No visit to London is complete without saying hello to Big Ben, one of the city's most well-known and recognizable attractions. Big Ben actually refers to the giant bell inside the clock tower, which weighs more than 13 tons. Other fun facts to note: the tower comes in at 315 feet tall, the minute hands are nearly 14 feet long and the numbers measure approximately 24 inches in length. Photo op: The clock tower looks especially photo-worthy at night when the four clock faces are illuminated.
Pack your bags and join us next time when we take a trip to gorgeous Antigua, Guatemala.