Essential London attractions for the time-starved traveler

photo by CC user ruben9 on Flickr

Have you been working hard lately? If so, good for you – it’s because of productive individuals such as yourself that incredible things happen or are produced on a daily basis.

However, even the busiest of bees need a rest every once in a while, so if you’re planning a city break to London in the coming months, keep in mind the following essential London attractions that you can’t afford to miss on a quick visit to one of the best cities in the world.

1) Buckingham Palace

Being the London home of Her Majesty The Queen, Buckingham Palace is a must visit landmark for those that have any sort of interest in the British Royal Family. Starting out life as a townhouse for the Duke of Buckingham in 1703, it was later retrofitted to serve as the London home of British monarchs starting in 1837 with Queen Victoria.

Tour groups can only go inside during the summer months, so if you are hoping to get anything more than a simple picture through the wrought-iron gates, plan your city break to London during the warmer months of the year.

2) Piccadilly Circus

Being one of London’s most vibrant social hubs, Piccadilly Circus is home to numerous restaurants, bars and nightclubs that will constitute the livelier aspects of your brief stay in London. In addition to this, the Shaftsbury memorial fountain, the Criterion Theatre (which is home to entertainment that will satisfy those with refined tastes), and the London Pavilion (which was a shopping arcade that currently acts as the London home of Ripley’s Believe Or Not!) also attract many visitors to this corner of the city.

3) Tower Bridge

Next to Big Ben, the Tower Bridge is one of London’s most iconic sights, stretching across the River Thames with an elegance that cannot be easily expressed in words. Aside from granting an old world air to an increasingly sophisticated city, it is also open to sightseers, granting outstanding views over the Thames at a height of 65 metres above the water, and a look at the massive engine rooms that used to power the hydraulics that open the bridge for tall ships that sail through at a regular pace even in the present day.

4) Tower of London

Sitting on the north side of the River Thames is the infamous Tower of London, which has had a checkered history ever since its creation following the Norman conquest in the 11th century. Shortly after its creation, one use that defined it in the minds of the English was that of a prison, a function that it retained until 1952. It also serves as the home of the Crown Jewels, a fact that helps to bring in countless tourists throughout the year.

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