British Museum#1 in Best Things To Do in London
The British Museum is both an architectural beauty and a trove of some of the world's most noted antiquities. In fact, many travelers it's the best museum in all of London. What's more, it's free to visit. From the Rosetta Stone to the Elgin Marbles to the Lindow Man, the British Museum is a history buff's dream containing artifacts in the millions. The immense collection can make an initial museum visit seem overwhelming: Pick the exhibits that most interest you, and plan return trips if you feel so inclined.
If you want a little help navigating the museum's 8 million objects, consider tagging along on a guided tour. Several, including the daily eye-opener tours and weekly lunchtime gallery talks and Friday evening spotlight tours are free. You can also book a highlights and special early morning tour for 14 pounds (around $20) and 30 pounds (less than $45), respectively. Audio guides, which cost 7 pounds (less than $10), are also available to rent daily.
Recent travelers were in awe of the museum's vast exhibits, advising future travelers set aside several hours to really do it justice. Even if you don't consider yourself an amateur historian, you'll still want to stop by – the museum truly has something for everyone, according to past visitors.
The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. from Saturday till Thursday, but stays open until 8:30 p.m. on Fridays. Though admission is free, access to some exhibitions will cost you. You'll find a gift shop and three eateries on-site, including a quick-service cafe and casual pizzeria, as well as the more formal Great Court Restaurant. The British Museum is accessible from the Tottenham Court Road, Holborn, Goodge Street and Russell Square Tube stops. More than a dozen bus routes also stop near the museum. For more information, visit the British Museum's website.
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#2 Tower of London
Although its exterior might be grim and even unimpressive (especially when compared to stately Buckingham Palace), the Tower of London's interior is always bustling with activity. The tower, which actually comprises multiple towers – 12 of which can be explored by the public – offers something for everyone. If you're enchanted with the history of the monarch, don't miss the famous crown jewels exhibition. Among the items you'll see is the Imperial State Crown – which is still worn by the queen for each State Opening of Parliament – and the Sovereign's Sceptre with Cross. If you have more than an hour to spend here, take an entertaining tour led by the Yeoman Warders (tower guards). During the hour-long excursion (included in your admission ticket), the guards will regale you with tales of the tower's bloody past. Lastly, don't forget to visit the White Tower, an iconic symbol of London's heritage and one of the world's most famous castles. Inside, you'll find the 350-year-old exhibition, "Line of Kings," along with artifacts from Henry VIII, Charles I and James II.
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