London is known for being one of the world’s top culture capitals. Those who are visiting London for a short break can enjoy the musicals, which have a very good reputation, but there are many other things that can be enjoyed during a longer break, including museums, art galleries, and even world-famous carnivals. If you are planning a trip to London in the near future, keep reading for some great ideas on what to do when out and about in the city.
1. West End
The West End is the cultural centre of London. There, you will find numerous theatres and museums, clubs, bars, and restaurants. World-famous musicals, such asThe Phantom of the Opera, The Lion King, and Lord of the Rings, have been performed there and, as a result, the West End is often referred to as London’s Broadway.
The Royal Opera House was built in 1858 and even today parts of the original building are still intact. The Opera House was partially destroyed several times. However, it was always rebuilt and restored. Another famous theatre is Royal Albert Hall, where the annual event “Last Night of the Proms” is held. Another place worth a visit is the famous Globe Theatre in Bankside. It was modelled after the original Shakespeare Theatre. Plays are only performed there during the summer, however, since the original Globe Theatre structure did not have a roof and no electricity was installed.
2. Notting Hill
Notting Hill is famous for the world’s largest carnival celebrations outside of Rio. Up to 1.5 million people visit the city for the Notting Hill Carnival every year, making it the most attended annual event in Europe. The carnival celebration is a multicultural event, which is highly influenced by African American and Caribbean cultures.
The popularity of Notting Hill rose after the Hollywood movie Notting Hill, starring Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant, came out in movie theatres all over the world. It’s worth watching if you want to see quite a bit of the area.
When Londoners are asked about Camden, the most popular reply is, “Camden is different.” In fact, it is different, cool,and extraordinary. The Camden Lock Market is located in the centre of the city and it is there that different nationalities and all kinds of people come together. You can get antique and modern accessories next to punk and designer fashion. You can also visit bars and exotic shops. Camden appears to be a different world, where extremely different people can exist peacefully together.
4. Museums and Galleries
If you are in interested in museums, you will be in your element when you see the exhibitions on offer.
- British Museum
The British Museum displays an interesting collection of Egyptian mummies and artefacts. For example, you can see the Rosetta Stone.
- Victoria and Albert Museum
The Victoria and Albert Museum opened its doors the first time for the international exhibition in 1851. Today, the collection of engravings and designs is the largest one worldwide.
- The Science Museum and National History Museum
The Science Museum gives you interesting information about the development of research and technology. The most famous exhibit of the museum is the telescope of Galileo Galilei. The Natural History Museum is located right next to the Science Museum. There, you can see dinosaur skeletons, among other exhibits. Both are sure to be a hit with kids!
- National Gallery
The National Gallery is located at Trafalgar Square. Today, it is one of the most popular art museums in the world. It displays more than 2,000 works from the 13th to the 19th centuries. Close to the National Gallery is the National Portrait Gallery, where you can see more than 9,000 portraits. The artists of these paintings are unimportant; only the person displayed is significant.
- Tate Gallery of Modern Art
The youngest and biggest museum worldwide for modern art is the Tate Gallery of Modern Art, which is located on the south bank of the Thames in the former Bankside Power Station. Since 2000, famous artists with lots of influence have displayed their modern works of art there.
- Imperial War Museum and HMS Belfast
The Imperial War Museum is one of the most important war museums in the world. It mainly displays exhibits from the two World Wars. Some smaller exhibitions are about the Vietnam War or the Falkland War, as a couple examples. Attached to the Imperial War Museum is the HMS Belfast, a British warship from the Second World War. The 187-meter long ship played a key role during the invasion of Normandy, the destruction of German battleships, and was still active in the post war era. Since 1971, it has been used as a museum ship, which you can visit or book for events.
- Madame Tussaud’s
The most famous museum in London is Madame Tussaud’s wax figure museum. The wax sculptures of famous celebrities, politicians, and athletes can be visited there. If you always wanted to get in touch with famous people, you shouldn’t miss the opportunity to see your stars in real size and take pictures with them. You may want to look into purchasing a fast pass ticket, however, as the queues can be really long, especially on weekends and school holidays.