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London

372 expert recommended attractions

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Tate Modern

Southwark 97 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

It’s impossible to ignore the hulking 1950s architecture of the Tate Modern, slap-bang in the middle of the most-walked part of the South Bank. — Afar Magazine

Within the gallery rooms are Rothko and Picasso, Mondrian and Delvaux in glorious relief to... stark surroundings. — Let's Go

200m of rectilinear façade bordering the River Thames, 4.2 million brown bricks, a chimney resembling a church tower and a former turbine hall evoking a cathedral nave. — Michelin Guide

Housed within a former power station on the south bank of the Thames, the gallery houses Tate Britain's existing collection of 20th-century modern art. There is also a fancy restaurant... — Condé Nast Traveler

Thanks to its industrial architecture, this powerhouse of modern art is awe-inspiring even before you enter. — Time Out

British Museum

Bloomsbury 95 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

This celebrated treasure house, filled with plunder of incalculable value and beauty from around the globe, occupies an immense, imposing neoclassical building in the heart of Bloomsbury. — Fodor's

Founded in 1753, it covers more than two million years of history from every continent, including the first known image of Christ, the oldest man-made tools on earth, and the Rosetta Stone. — Travel + Leisure

One of the single greatest museums in the world, the British Museum houses collections that date from the prehistoric to the modern—in sum, the works of mankind. — Concierge

Housed in one of Britain's architectural landmarks, the museum holds a collection of art and antiquities... spanning two million years of human history. — Condé Nast Traveler

If the museum has one central, unifying theme, it's to provide an overview of the development of human culture, illustrated with items from all of the world's major civilizations. — Frommer's

National Gallery

Trafalgar Square / Embankment 95 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

For the sheer skill of its display and arrangement, the National surpasses its counterparts. — Frommer's

Founded in 1824 to display a collection of just 36 paintings, today the National Gallery is home to more than 2,000 works. — Time Out

Standing proudly on the north side of Trafalgar Square, this is truly one of the world's supreme art collections, with more than 2,300 masterpieces on show. — Fodor's

When they say “National Gallery,” it’s not just code for “country’s coolest collection.” — Let's Go

With some 2300 European paintings on display, this is one of the richest art galleries in the world. — Lonely Planet

Natural History Museum

South Kensington 94 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

On its own, the architecture of the Natural History Museum is enough of a reason to walk through its doors one afternoon. The stunning archways and staircases create a grand backdrop to... — Afar Magazine

Both a research institution and a fabulous museum, the NHM opened in Alfred Waterhouse’s purpose-built Romanesque palazzo on the Cromwell Road in 1881. — Time Out

Beeline for the back of the museum to see the unrepeatable Cadogan Gallery: a collection of British treasures. — Let's Go

Built in 1881, the Natural History Museum is also a world-renowned research center and boasts as much historical significance as scientific: Specimens collected by Darwin can be still be... — goop

This colossal building is infused with the irrepressible Victorian spirit of collecting, cataloguing and interpreting the natural world. — Lonely Planet

Shakespeare's Globe Theatre

Southwark 94 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Admission includes the exhibition hall and guided tour of the theatre (departing every 15 to 30 minutes), faithfully reconstructed from oak beams, handmade bricks, lime plaster and thatch. — Lonely Planet

This spectacular theater is a replica of Shakespeare's open-roof, wood-and-thatch Globe Playhouse. — Fodor's

The centre's brief is to encourage the study and dramatic interpretation of Shakespeare's work. — Michelin Guide

A ticket to the exhibitions and tour... includes a 45min. walkthrough of the theater, chock full of anecdotes about bear-baiting, current productions, and the list of fire hazards. — Let's Go

The Bard's famous playhouse reconstructed. — Not For Tourists

Buckingham Palace

Westminster 93 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

It's rare to get a chance to see how the other half—well, other minute fraction—lives and works. — Fodor's

The queen's London pied-à-terre is not the most beautiful of palaces, but it's big. — Concierge

As the home of the Queen, the palace is usually closed to visitors, but you may view the interior for a brief period each summer while the Windsors are away on their holidays. — Time Out

The setting is glorious, sat between two great sweeping parks (Green and St. James's) at the end of an elegant tree-lined boulevard (The Mall). — Frommer's

From late July to early October, though, the royals head to Balmoral, and the State Rooms are opened to the public. — Let's Go

Geffrye Museum

London 93 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

If you'd like an overview of British interiors and lifestyles of the past 4 centuries, head to this museum, housed in a series of restored 18th-century almshouses. — Frommer's

A row of 18th-century almshouses in Shoreditch contain this excellent (free) museum of everyday life. — Concierge

Located in an almshouse (1712-1719) built by the Ironmongers' Company, the museum seeks to illustrate the daily life of the British middle classes from 16C to 20C by reconstructing interiors. — Michelin Guide

This series of beautiful 18th-century ivy-clad almshouses, with an extensive and well-presented herb garden, was first opened as a museum in 1914. — Lonely Planet

Pemberley, Satis House, Brideshead, Downton Abbey—all accounts of these fictional houses are accompanied with obsessively lavish descriptions of their furnishings (re: indicators of... — Let's Go

Tower of London

City of London 92 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Some might go to the Tower of London to catch sight of the Crown Jewels, while others hope for a glimpse of a harrowed ghost as well. — Travel + Leisure

Founded by William the Conqueror in 1066, this huge fortified palace-jail-treasury-arsenal is the source of some of the most-famous tourist photo ops in all of England. — Concierge

The unmissable Tower of London (actually a castle of 20-odd towers) offers a window on to a gruesome and quite compelling history. — Lonely Planet

The scene for many dramatic events during this country's history. — Condé Nast Traveler

Kings and Queens. Surprisingly insightful, annoyingly expensive. — Not For Tourists

National Portrait Gallery

Trafalgar Square / Embankment 92 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Founded in 1856, the National Portrait Gallery has since 1896 occupied a late-19C Italian Renaissance-style building neighbouring the National Gallery. — Michelin Guide

Explore portraits of famous citizens from Tudor Kings and Queens like King Henry VII in 1505 to the Bronte Sisters in 1834. — Travel + Leisure

The National Portrait Gallery is the Platonic ideal of Facebook. — Let's Go

Pictures have been chosen on the basis of who the subject is, not how well they've been captured by the artist. — Frommer's

Portraits don't have to be stuffy. The National Portrait Gallery has everything from oil paintings of stiff-backed royals to photos of soccer stars and gloriously unflattering political caricatures. — Time Out

Science Museum

South Kensington 92 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Covering all aspects of science, technology, and medicine, the Science Museum is the star of the trio of museums on Exhibition Road (the others are the V&A and the Natural History Museum). — Concierge

This, one of the three great South Kensington museums, stands next to the Natural History Museum in a far plainer building. — Fodor's

The country's pre-eminent museum of science, this is one of the capital's great interactive experiences, filled with buttons to press, levers to pull, and experiments to absorb you. — Frommer's

The Science Museum features seven floors of educational and entertaining exhibits, including the Apollo 10 command module and a flight simulator. — Time Out

With seven floors of interactive and educational exhibits, this scientifically spellbinding museum will mesmerise adults and children alike, covering everything from early technology to space travel. — Lonely Planet

Royal Albert Hall

South Kensington 92 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

In addition to being a great concert venue, the Royal Albert is also one of London’s great landmarks, and you don’t need a seat to enjoy it. — Frommer's

Best-known as the venue for the annual July–September BBC Promenade Concerts—the "Proms"—with bargain-price standing... tickets sold on the night of the concert. — Fodor's

Built in 1871, this huge, domed, red-brick amphitheatre, adorned with a frieze of Minton tiles, is Britain’s most famous concert venue and home to the BBC’s Promenade Concerts. — Lonely Planet

Built as a memorial to Queen Victoria's husband in 1871, the Royal Albert Hall's vast rotunda was once described by the monarch as looking like 'the British constitution'. — Time Out

One stunner of a music hall, inside and out. — Not For Tourists

Royal Botanic Gardens Kew

London 91 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Kew Gardens is a magnificent World Heritage Site covering 300 acres with over 30,000 species of plants. — Time Out

In 1759 botanists began rummaging around the world for specimens they could plant in the 3-hectare plot known as the Royal Botanic Gardens. — Lonely Planet

Combine a cultural legacy of landscaping and royal extravagance, and you get Kew Gardens—a sprawling Shangri-la only visited by the most thorough of tourists (even London locals don’t get... — Let's Go

It's essentially a vast scientific research center that also happens to be extraordinarily beautiful. — Frommer's

Victorian-era greenhouses and the sprawling grounds overflow with 33,000 species of flowers, plants, and trees (the world’s largest living collection). — Travel + Leisure

Tower Bridge

London 91 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

It's a low bridge equipped with two mighty 1,000-tonne (1,100 U.S.-ton) decks, technically known as bascules, which raise to let ships pass below. This happens around 900 times year. — Frommer's

Opened in 1894, this is the 'London Bridge' that wasn't sold to America. — Time Out

Despite its medieval, fairy-tale appearance, Britain's most iconic bridge was actually built at the tail end of the Victorian age, first opening to traffic in 1894. — Fodor's

London was a thriving port in 1894 when elegant Tower Bridge was built. Designed to be raised to allow ships to pass, electricity has now taken over from the original steam and hydaulic engines. — Lonely Planet

Built from 1886-1894 by Barrie and Jones, its total length reaches 805 m. — Michelin Guide

Wallace Collection

Marylebone 91 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Housed in a former estate home, the collection of Titian, Rembrandt, and Velázquez also features a vast amount of shiny knights’ armour. — Travel + Leisure

A treat along the lines of the Frick in New York, wherein the setting is as much of a draw as the art, the Wallace Collection is spread out over the 28 rooms of a gracious mansion in the West End. — Concierge

The largest private art collection, bequeathed to the nation in 1900, can be found in Hertford House, a beautiful private mansion in Marylebone. — Michelin Guide

Tucked inside a townhouse in Marylebone, this small but impressive collection boasts French and Dutch paintings, furniture, and decorative objects from the 15th-18th centuries. — Condé Nast Traveler

If Netflix were to suggest a museum to you based on your love of 18th-century French period pieces, art with a strong naked female lead, and themes that deal with the transience of life,... — Let's Go

Regent's Park

Regent's Park / Kings Cross 91 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Regent's Park in London lives up to its name and is quite royal, boasting rows of manicured flowers and plants. — Afar Magazine

While the Prince Regent (George IV) was a laudanum addict who amassed today’s equivalent of £50 million in debt, his legacy now lies in some of the most aesthetically pleasing spaces in... — Let's Go

Regent's Park is one of London's most popular open spaces, covering 410 acres in north-west London. — Time Out

Made up of 166 hectares and has a rose garden with more than 400 varieties of roses. — Condé Nast Traveler

The most elaborate and ordered of London’s many parks, this one was created around 1820 by John Nash, who planned to use it as an estate to build palaces for the aristocracy. — Lonely Planet

ZSL London Zoo

London 90 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

The Zoo, which opened to the public in 1847, covers 36 acres. — Time Out

These famous zoological gardens have come a long way since being established in 1828, with massive investment making conservation, education and breeding the name of the game. — Lonely Planet

Operated by the nonprofit Zoological Society of London, this was the new home of the Royal animals collection when it moved here from the Tower of London in 1828. — Fodor's

Founded in 1828, the zoo's mission is to successfully breed endangered species and undertake biological research on rare breeds. — Michelin Guide

When London Zoo -- one of the finest big city zoos in the world -- was founded back in 1820, it was purely for the purposes of scientific research. — Frommer's

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Museum of London

City of London 90 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Inside one of my favorite museums, you’ll discover 450,000 years of London history. Later in 2014, an exhibition on Sherlock Holmes (The Man Who Never Lived and Will Never Die) will send... — Travel + Leisure

Although the location is rather grim, in the center of a particularly unappealing roundabout in London's Barbican district, this museum is a joy. — Frommer's

The extraordinary Museum of London has objects, reconstructions, films, models and instructional resources allowing visitors of all ages to learn about London's history. — Michelin Guide

One of the capital’s best museums, this is a fascinating walk through the various incarnations of the city from Anglo-Saxon village to 21st-century metropolis. — Lonely Planet

If there's one place to absorb the history of London, from 450,000 BC to the present day, it's here. — Fodor's

Westminster Abbey

Westminster 90 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Nearly all important British church ceremonies take place here—including William and Kate’s wedding. — Let's Go

Westminster Abbey is a mixture of architectural styles, but considered the finest example of Early English Gothic (1190–1300). It's not merely a beautiful place of worship, though. — Lonely Planet

Built at Henry VII's behest in the early 16C, this magnificent chapel is a fine example of the Perpendicular style. The pillars support magnificent fan vaulting on projecting keystones... — Michelin Guide

William and Kate’s wedding brought a 21st-century focus to this 700-year-old abbey, which is built on the same spot as a Benedictine monastery enlarged by Edward the Confessor in the 1040s. — Afar Magazine

The Abbey is not just one of the finest examples of ecclesiastical architecture in Europe, it's also the shrine of the nation where monarchs are anointed before their God. — Frommer's

Houses of Parliament

Westminster 90 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

The Houses of Parliament's oldest part is 11th-century Westminster Hall, which is one of only a few sections that survived a catastrophic fire in 1834. — Lonely Planet

Step inside the Palace of Westminster and learn about the events and people who have shaped Britain today. — Travel + Leisure

Undoubtedly the most richly decorated chamber of the Palace of Westminster, the House of Lords bears witness to the exuberant neo-Gothic imagination of Pugin. — Michelin Guide

The image of the Palace of Westminster... and its clocktower known as Big Ben... has become an icon of icons. — Frommer's

The easiest time to get into the Commons is during an evening session—Parliament is still sitting if the top of the Clock Tower is illuminated. — Fodor's

Kenwood House

London 90 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Situated atop Hampstead Heath, this lakefront estate features a Neoclassical villa housing a collection of world-renowned paintings. — Travel + Leisure

We often walk up through the Hampstead Heath Woods to Kenwood, mostly to roam around the grounds and have a look at Henry Moore’s Two Piece Reclining Figure and Barbara Hepworth’s... — On the Grid

This magnificent neoclassical mansion stands at the northern end of the heath in a glorious sweep of landscaped gardens leading down to a picturesque lake. — Lonely Planet

A superb collection of 63 Old Master paintings, acquired during a remarkably astute four-year spending spree between 1897 and 1891. — Time Out

Kenwood House was built as a gentleman's country home and was later enlarged and decorated by Scottish architect Robert Adam, starting in 1764. — Frommer's

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    78 museums and galleries
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    61 places of historical interest
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