The Tower of London
The Tower of London is almost a thousand years old and is home to the crown jewels. Make sure to plan ahead and get tickets to the Ceremony of the Keys, a 700 year long tradition of locking up the Tower at night. Tickets are free but you’ll need to get them 6-8 weeks in advance. Because the Tower of London is a hot tourist spot, lines are hours long. To avoid the long lines, buy tickets at any Tower Hill tube station. With your tickets in hand you can bypass the line and walk right in.
Buckingham Palace is probably London’s most famous building, and still a working Palace and home to the Queen. If you go in the summer months when the Queen is in Scotland you can get a tour of the staterooms. Buckingham Palace is also where the famous “Changing of the Guards” takes place. You can see this every day at 11:30am.
The Palace of Westminster
The Palace of Westminster and what is now the Houses of Parliament features the famous clock tower Big Ben, which chimes every 15 minutes. If you think of any postcard from London, you’ll recognize the Palace of Westminster and Big Ben. It contains the House of Commons and the House of Lords. While there you can see the Parliament in action by making an appointment ahead of time. The building itself is a masterpiece in its own right. Big Ben and the House of Parliament is one of the top attractions in London.
Westminster Abbey is a cathedral used by the Royals for funerals, coronations, and weddings. It is considered to be the nation’s cathedral. Its architecture is breathtaking and its history is astounding. Poet’s Corner pays tribute to Shakespeare, Chaucer, Dickens, T.S. Eliot, and several others, some of which are buried there. Also here, is the tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Famous Royals like Queen Elizabeth I is entombed here as well as Edward the Confessor.