Famous London Landmarks That You Can’t Miss


Discover the most famous London landmarks. This iconic city has some amazing buildings and monuments. Keep reading to familiarise yourself with this mixture of historic and ultra-modern landmarks in the British capital.

London is one of the most important and most beautiful cities in the world. Every year, around 30 million tourists visit the UK’s largest city and capital. What attracts so many people? These tourists come to see some of the famous landmarks in London.

There are so many iconic landmarks in London that talking about every single one of them would be a ginormous task. If you just close your eyes, you will already think about a few of them. Read on to find some of the most famous landmarks in London that you can’t miss when visiting the city.

This article will be updated often since the city is ever changing and all of a sudden, a new iconic London landmark could be built. So, let’s get to it.

1- Famous London Landmarks: London Eye

Built as one of the new London landmarks for the turn of the century, this 135-metre tall Ferris wheel quickly became one of London’s most famous landmarks.

Located by the River Thames, close to Westminster Bridge, it’s an iconic landmark in London. When riding the London Eye, you will enjoy unrivalled 360-degree views of London.

From there, you’ll be able to see other famous London landmarks, such as Tower Bridge, The Shard, Trafalgar Square, The Houses of Parliament and Waterloo Station, to name a few.

The London Eye is one of the most famous landmarks in London and is among the most visited attractions in the UK

To ride on one of the capsules in the London Eye, you have to buy a ticket. You can buy it there then, joining the giant queues to buy and to ride.

Alternatively, you can buy your ticket online, which also allows you to jump the queue.

This other ticket allows you to ride on the London Eye and ride on a vintage bus that takes you around to see other famous landmarks in London.

If you’re going to The London Eye by tube, find out the nearest stations to the London Eye here.

2- Tower Bridge, One of The Most Popular Landmarks in London

Tower Bridge is one of those famous London landmarks you’ve seen in films, TV series and many inspirational Instagram posts. If you’re lucky, you may even watch the drawbridge lift to allow for larger ships to pass.

Tower Bridge is one of the most famous monuments in London

Built between 1886 and 1894, Tower Bridge is much newer than it looks. You can enjoy great views of the bridge from many different angles: you can cross it on foot, see it from the water, by taking one of London’s speedboats or going on a river cruise (see here for details), or just stand by the river and enjoy a classic view of the bridge with its towers.

Tower Bridge is hailed as one of the most famous monuments in London, as well as one of London’s top architectural landmarks. But surprisingly, it wasn’t very popular when it was completed. Back then, its design was considered too pretentious.

Today, it’s one of London’s most famous tourist attractions, with around 40,000 people crossing it every day.

3- Trafalgar Square, London’s Most Central Square

Trying to expand its influence in Europe, Napoleon invaded a number of countries in the early 19th century. In 1805, Britain defeated Napoleon’s troops at the Battle of Trafalgar, keeping itself free from invasion and establishing itself as a naval power at the time.

Trafalgar Square is considered the geographic centre of London

Trafalgar Square is the geographic centre and an iconic London landmark. The square has several monuments and fountains, including Nelson’s column, a homage to Admiral Horatio Nelson, who died while successfully leading his troops to victory.

When visiting Trafalgar Square, you can also visit other famous London landmarks such as the National Gallery, The National Portrait Gallery and the Church of St Martins-on-the-Field.

4- Hyde Park, The Largest Park in London

Covering an area of 350 acres, Hyde Park is one of the most famous places in London. This piece of land was acquired by King Charles in 1536 and turned into a hunting ground.

Today, Hyde Park is one of those London landmarks where locals and tourists alike come to enjoy some peace and calm surrounded by trees, gardens and lots of squirrels.

During the summer, Hyde Park hosts several events and even large music festivals. In winter, it’s home to the popular Winter Wonderland Christmas Market. The park has several gardens, including the popular Rose Garden, a large lake where you can rent a boat and lots and lots of green areas for a picnic.

One of the main reference points is the Marble Arch, located at the northeastern corner of Hyde Park, at the end of Oxford Street.

The park is also surrounded by some of the poshest neighbourhoods in London, including Kensington, South Kensington, Mayfair and Belgravia.

5- The Tower of London – Top Historic Landmarks in London

The Tower of London is located right by the River Thames and Tower Bridge. It’s one of the most famous London landmarks, built in the beginning of the 11th century.  With a thousand years of history, there’s a lot to talk about the Tower of London.

It has been a royal residence, a zoo, a fortress and a prison. Before becoming England’s monarch, Queen Elizabeth I was imprisoned here.

Guy Fawkes, the one of the  5th November, was tortured here until he confessed to the plot at the beginning of the 17th century.

Today, it’s possible to visit this iconic London landmark and see some old traditions that still survive.

One of them is the presence of the Yeoman Warders (or Beefeaters), considered the country’s most powerful soldiers. They guard the most precious of the Queen’s Crown Jewels, which are kept here.

It’s really worth visiting the Tower of London and going on a tour guided by a Beefeater. You can get your tickets to the Tower of London here.

6- The Shard – Newest London Landmarks

Standing at 1,016ft (310 metres), The Shard is the second tallest building in Europe (outside Russia). Since 2021, the tallest building is Varso Tower, only one foot (35cm) taller than The Shard.

The building’s actual name of the building is The London Bridge Tower. Construction was completed in 2012 and since then it became one of the new major landmarks in London.

This business tower is home to some major companies, three high-end restaurants and a luxury hotel (Shangri-La The Shard).

The Shard is one of the most iconic buildings in London and can be seen from most of Central London.

If you want to take the perfect picture with the building in the background, go to St Katherine’s Docks, where you can photograph the River Thames, Tower Bridge and The Shard, all together.

It’s also possible to visit the tallest landmark in London. Visitors can enjoy 360-degree views of the city from the country’s tallest viewing platform, called The View from The Shard.

Located on floors 69 and 72, the views of the city are second to none. The queue/line to get to the top of London are long. You can buy your ticket here and skip the line. If you have a London Pass, you can use it here.

Read Also: The Best Golf Courses In and Around London

7- The Gherkin – Most Iconic Buildings in London

Officially called “30 St Mary Axe”, The Gherkin is one of the newest London landmarks, completed in 2004.

This office tower located in The City (the financial district) got its nickname because of its shape, which resembles that of a gherkin (pickled cucumber).

The Gherkin stands out between the highrises in The City

When visiting The City, the building can be seen from pretty much anywhere. The area, with its many highrise buildings, is a great place to get some great shots of a part of London that is not as famous as its historic areas.

Unfortunately it’s not possible to visit The Gherkin on an actual tour. But if you want to have a glimpse of what it’s like inside, you can eat in one of its luxury restaurants. If that’s not for you, don’t miss the chance of visiting the area and seeing one of the most iconic buildings in London from up close.

Read Also: Differences Between The US and The UK

8- The British Museum, One of The Most Famous London Museums

The British Museum is one of the most famous and iconic landmarks in London. Completed in 1753, the museum was opened to the public in 1759.

One of its main feats is that it’s the largest museum in the country.

The iconic interior of the British Museum

The museum has around 8 million pieces and artifacts, including Egyptian mummies, Greek and Roman artifacts and even the famous Rosetta Stone.

The British Museum is also the oldest museum in the world and is a magnificent architectural landmark in London. The best thing is that entry to the British Museum is completely free of charge.

Read Also: The Best Georgian Food in London

9- The Royal Observatory, Another Well-Known London Landmark

You will remember that, in the days of the great navigations, sailors and scientists realised they needed another way to measure location and distance when on the high seas.

Until then, they could only use coordinates based on the equator and the Tropics of Cancer (to the north) and Capricorn (to the south).

That’s when they created the imaginary Meridien of Greenwich, which would divide the world from north to south, separating it into east and west.

The Greenwich Observatory is one of those famous London landmarks that will bring you back to schooltime (in an interesting way).

Located in the Borough of Greenwich, south of the River Thames, the observatory is one of the most fun landmarks in London.

There, you’ll learn the basics about astronomy, the planets, the era of the great navigations and be able to pose for a picture with one foot east and another west of the Meridien of Greenwich.

Greenwich Observatory is located within the 184-acre (74.5-hectare) Greenwich Park. From there, you’ll also have great views over the city, with the modern highrises of Canary Wharf in the background.

You can buy your entry ticket to the observatory here. The London Pass is also valid here – see prices here.

The neighbourhood itself is a lovely place to spend the day. You can go for a walk around the beautiful and picturesque Greenwich Village (as it’s commonly known) with its many cafes and pubs, visit the local market, and visit the Cutty Sark (also in the London Pass), a ship-cum-museum that is really worth visiting.

You can also buy a  Royal Museums Greenwich Day Pass, which will give you access to the Royal Observatory, Cutty Sark’s main deck and the National Maritime Museum, another iconic London landmark really worth visiting.

See Also: How To Get From Dublin Airport To The City Centre

10- Covent Garden Market, One of the Most Famous Places in London

When visiting some famous places in London, you will inevitably come to Covent Garden Market. This is one of the most popular tourist attractions in London and rightly so.

Covent Garden is one of the most popular places in Central London

What used to be an old fruit and vegetable market, today comprises shops and stalls selling jewellery, handmade artifacts, handicrafts and some of most up-and-coming fashion designers.

This popular London landmark also has restaurants, cafes and a nice rooftop where you can have a drink while enjoying the view and the buzz of the surrounding streets downstairs.

What really makes Covent Garden Market such an iconic landmark in London is that it’s a place that attracts many artists.

Every day you can hear opera singers singing some famous popular song or an aria.

The surrounding streets are also filled with performers that attract large crowds. The whole area is very buzzy and lively.

Nearby you can also find the Royal Opera House, an Apple store, as well as many theatres showing some of the best spectacles in the world.

11- Natural History Museum, Among the Most Iconic London Landmarks

The National History Museum is one of three national museums located on Exhibition Rd in London’s South Kensington area. This iconic London landmark was built in the late 19th century.

The beautiful exterior of the Natural History Museum

The building itself is an architectural landmark in its own right. The interior has a main hall which is also an amazing piece of architecture.

Hanging from the ceiling, you can see the skeleton of a blue whale. Up until 2017, there was the skeleton of a dinosaur.

The Natural History Museum is home to around 80 million items comprising botany, entomology, palaeontology, mineralogy and zoology.

It also has its own research centre and even some specimens collected by Charles Darwin himself.

Entry to the Natural History Museum is free, but there’s an admission charge to some permanent exhibits and events.

12- The Houses of Parliament and Big Ben

The Palace of Westminster got its name because of the nearby Westminster Abbey. But it’s better known as The Houses of Parliament since that’s where the House of Commons and The House of Lords are located.

It is by far the most famous landmark in London. The Palace of Westminster was built in the Gothic Revival style and was an inspiration for the design of the Parliament of Budapest, in Hungary. It was built between 1840-1870, following a great fire that destroyed the original building a few years earlier.

The Big Ben – officially Elizabeth Tower – is by far the most famous clocktower in the world. It is for London what the Eiffel Tower is for Paris.

This 96-metre clocktower was built in 1854. The clock’s chimes are an important part of the New Year’s celebrations in London.

You can visit Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament on this combined tour, so learn the ins and outs of these two iconic London landmarks on the same day.

13- Buckingham Palace, The Most Iconic Landmark in London

Buckingham Palace is a true London icon. The official residence of the royal family in London is one of those places that every tourist should visit at least once in their life.

Visiting Buckingham Palace is a must for any first-time visitor

The building was completed in 1853, after 150 years of construction. One of the most iconic features in the palace interior is its giant bronze staircase.

With 775 rooms, mostly heads of state and high-ranking diplomats have the privilege to visit the palace.

The exception is during the summer months when Buckingham Palace opens its doors to receive visitors. There are usually some specific exhibitions during this period.

Most people, however, are happy to just pose outside the giant ornate and have a glimpse of the gardens from outside. The bronze and marble Victoria Memorial is an important monument located right outside the gates.

Visitors to Buckingham Palace shouldn’t miss out on the change of the guards. This ceremony in which the Queen’s guard swaps their positions attracts thousands of tourists, so make sure to arrive early to have a good view.

These are only some of the top London landmarks, but there are many other iconic monuments in London that you can see when visiting the city.



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