London - Big ben and houses of parliament, UK

London, the capital of both England and the UK, is a city of towering skyscrapers, breathtaking monuments, and iconic cultural institutions.

But London offers so much more than meets the eye, with a fascinating history that dates back centuries. To help you make the most of your trip, we’ve compiled this list of our top attractions in the city. When you visit London after your Cathay Pacific flight, it is mandatory you at least consider the following.

1. Madame Tussaud’s

Madame Tussauds is one of London’s top tourist attractions and a must-visit during your trip to the capital. Here, you’ll find lifelike wax figures of celebrities, sports legends, historical figures and royals alike in an immersive museum setting.

Marie Tussaud founded the museum with her mother’s employer, Philippe Curtius. Later she tutored King Louis XVI’s sister and created models of many notable individuals.

Madame Tussaud’s is renowned for its immersive experience and hyper-realistic wax figures of famous faces. Here, visitors can take selfies with celebrities, exchange words with A-listers, or even rub shoulders with royalty!

2. The London Eye

Visitors to London must experience The London Eye, a towering 135 metre wheel that offers spectacular views of the city. Travelling one revolution takes 30 minutes and guests are sure to leave with unforgettable memories.

It has become one of the UK’s most beloved attractions, drawing over 3.5 million visitors annually. Its growth has allowed it to evolve from a novelty into an iconic landmark.

For 15 years, The London Eye has been a must-see tourist attraction in London – its location by the River Thames on South Bank makes it easy to spot and provides visitors with an opportunity to explore some of London’s most renowned landmarks.

In addition to general admission tickets, there are a selection of premium experiences available. These include the Champagne Experience, Private Pod and Cupid’s Capsule.

3. The Tower of London

The Tower of London is a royal fortress and iconic landmark in London, covering 12 acres with several defensive structures, walls and buildings. It provides an insightful look into London’s history as it has served various roles throughout the centuries.

London is also home to the Crown Jewels of England, a collection of royal ceremonial objects including the crown worn by Britain’s monarch.

There’s so much to see and explore here, so be sure to plan ahead and prioritize which parts you want to visit first. Planning ahead can help ensure the most out of your time!

The Tower is open to visitors year-round. However, it’s important to be aware that the main entrance line can become quite long during busy periods; thus, be sure to book one of our early entry tours for added convenience.

4. St Paul’s Cathedral

St Paul’s Cathedral, one of London’s iconic landmarks, is a must-see for any visitor. Constructed in English Baroque style by Sir Christopher Wren, the cathedral seamlessly blends innovation and tradition, its soaring dome standing proudly atop Ludgate Hill.

Wren’s masterpiece and national treasure, this church boasts stunning artwork from different periods. From Grinling Gibbons carvings in the quire to Henry Moore’s Madonna and Child sculpture and Victorian mosaics, its interior truly takes your breath away.

The cathedral also houses an intriguing crypt, housing famous tombs and featuring Oculus, an immersive film experience narrating the history of the building. Additionally, visitors can take a leisurely walk down its famous Whispering Gallery – where they can whisper from one side of the dome to the other.

5. Kew Gardens

Kew Gardens is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and top London attraction, boasting stunning botanical treasures spread across 300 acres. For those with an appreciation of nature, history or architecture alike, it’s the perfect destination.

Spring and summer are ideal times to visit, with blossoms and flowers in full bloom. Alternatively, head there during autumn for a more serene atmosphere.

The Arboretum is a must-visit destination in the garden, covering two thirds of the space with 14,000 trees. Here you can spot rare species like giant redwoods and ancient Japanese pagodas.

6. The Science Museum

The Science Museum is one of Europe’s foremost museums, situated on Exhibition Road in South Kensington. Here you’ll find iconic artefacts and award-winning exhibitions that celebrate scientific achievement.

One of London’s most family-friendly museums, London Zoo is ideal for families to visit. With plenty of interactive galleries and activities for everyone to enjoy, there’s something special here for everyone to discover.

In addition to free exhibits, the museum provides IMAX cinemas and virtual reality experiences, flight simulators and Wonderlab, as well as special events. Plus you’re welcome to bring in your own food; its large open space makes it ideal for picnics!

7. St James’s Park

St James’s Park is the oldest of London’s Royal Parks and it sits adjacent to Buckingham Palace. Named for a leper hospital that once stood here, Henry VIII used it as a deer park before building his own palace nearby in Whitehall.

The park is renowned for its picturesque flower beds and wild birds, which draw in visitors in droves. A resident colony of pelicans also draws a large following; staff feed them fresh fish between 2.30pm and 3 pm daily.

The lake is home to West Island and Duck Island, named for the large numbers of waterfowl that congregate around them. These islands also support various other species of wild bird like black swans and mute swans. Redesigned by horticultural architect John Nash in 19C, this park has remained one of London’s most romantic green spaces ever since.

8. The Natural History Museum

The Natural History Museum is one of London’s top tourist destinations, located in South Kensington area. Here, visitors can enjoy an array of galleries and attractions.

The museum is divided into four zones, and visitors can opt to explore each of them independently. On average, most people spend between three and four hours exploring each zone.

The Blue Zone boasts the world-renowned Dinosaurs gallery, boasting huge dinosaur bones such as the first ever discovered T-Rex. The Green Zone showcases different aspects of nature like marine invertebrates and fishes; while the Red Zone focuses on geology and volcanoes.

9. The British Museum

The British Museum is one of London’s top attractions. Established in 1753, this remarkable institution houses an unparalleled collection of artifacts that span two million years of human history.

The British Museum boasts over 8 million objects from around the globe, from ancient Egypt to modern art. A must-see for anyone interested in learning about history, culture and art, The British Museum should not be missed!

Spend weeks exploring The British Museum’s vast collection and still not see everything. That is why joining a guided tour is highly recommended – they’re often free and can save you a lot of time! During your tour, your guide will provide insightful context to each piece, ensuring you get the most out of your visit.

10. The National Gallery

The National Gallery, inspired by the Louvre in Paris, is one of London’s top attractions and boasts an extensive collection of art from around the globe. Here you’ll find works spanning from medieval times to contemporary paintings and sculptures.

At the National Gallery, there are four wings dedicated to different periods. The Sainsbury Wing specializes in Medieval and Early Renaissance artworks while North and West wings showcase works from High Renaissance and Baroque times.

The gallery showcases a number of iconic paintings by Van Gogh, Picasso and Monet. Additionally, it hosts regular special exhibitions and lectures that provide visitors with an in-depth understanding of the paintings in its collection.

By Amy