With so much incredible history to behold in Europe, it can be challenging to create an itinerary for your upcoming trip vacationing in London.
If you're traveling to the city with historic sites in mind, here are five must-see attractions to move to the top of your list.
5 Historic Attractions to Check Out in London
1. The British Museum
Not only does this attraction rank as one of Britain's most lauded museums for its collection of timeless artifacts, the building itself is an architectural marvel. Inside its walls, you'll find ancient historic treasures numbering in the literal millions, including the Rosetta Stone, the Elgin Marbles, and the Lindow Man.
The British Museum is a half-day visit for most tourists according to US News and World Report, but those who truly want to experience the museum's depth should book an entire day. The best news for budget travelers? The British Museum is free (though a fee may apply for special exhibitions).
2. St. Paul's Cathedral
While the current cathedral on this site was built between 1675 and 1710, it has been home to four separate cathedrals since the first St. Paul's was built in 604. St. Paul's Cathedral is richly intertwined with Britain's history, perhaps most famously serving as the place where Prince Charles married Lady Diana Spencer. The cathedral also contains a crypt with the remains of some of the most pre-eminent British citizens, including Admiral Lord Nelson and the Duke of Wellington. Architecture fans will marvel at the cathedral's spectacular design by Sir Christopher Wren. St. Paul's Cathedral is open weekdays for guided tours. Admission costs £11 for adults, £10 for seniors, £8.50 for students, and £3.50 for children (you can also book online to fast-track the queue!).
3. Buckingham Palace
Perhaps the historic site most epitomizing London, Buckingham Place is the home of the iconic changing of the guards. This formal display of music and marching occurs daily at 11:30 a.m., regardless of weather. When the Queen is at her home in Scotland, visitors to this 1837 palace can tour the State Rooms, the Queen's Gallery, and the Royal Mews, as well as enjoy a traditional afternoon tea. While there's no charge to view the changing of the guards, tour tickets vary based on season.
4. Charles Dickens Museum
Literature and history intersect at this charming Victorian home named one of London's best historic attractions by Travel and Leisure. The Museum not only allows visitors a glimpse into the actual home where Dickens wrote Oliver Twist and Nicholas Nickleby, but also exhibits rare books, photographs, and memorabilia from the noted author's life and work. On the third Saturday of each month, the particularly festive can enjoy a Costumed Tour. Adult admission is £9.00, with special pricing for children, students, and seniors.
5. Tower of London
This UNESCO World Heritage site, located on the banks of the River Thames, is actually called Her Majesty's Royal Palace and Fortress of the Tower of London. This historic castle was built in 1066 by William the Conqueror as a symbol of Normandy's power, and it remains a matchless example of architecture from this period. It has also been the location of some of the most momentous events in British history, with close ties to the state for more than 1,000 years. One of the key draws of the Tower of London is the exhibition of the more than 24,000 gems collectively known as the Crown Jewels. Adult admission is £22.50 (book online to avoid the queue).
Travelers to London can ensure their entrance to these popular historic sites and potentially save money by purchasing tickets in advance.
These five sites will allow you to truly dive into Britain's rich history.