St. Paul's Cathedral#17 in Best Things To Do in London
Besides Westminster Abbey, St. Paul's Cathedral is arguably the second must-see church in London. With its imposing dome, one of the largest in the world, St. Paul's forms a predominant spot along London's skyline. It's also a survivor: Although an older incarnation burnt during the Great Fire of London, Sir Christopher Wren's dome (completed in 1711) survived numerous World War II bombings.
Though some reviewers are put off by the pricey admission, most recent travelers agreed that a peek inside is well worth the extra coin. To make the most of your visit, reviewers highly recommended climbing to the top of the dome to the Golden Gallery. You'll have to hike up 528 steps, but after catching your breath you'll enjoy far-reaching views of the River Thames, the Tate Modern, and Shakespeare's Globe theater. And once you've seen the top, head below ground to the crypt (the largest in Europe), which now houses a restaurant and cafe.
Similar to Westminster Abbey, you can bypass a fairly steep entry fee by attending a service. Various types of services take place throughout the week daily; check the website for hours. Sightseers can tour the cathedral Monday through Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., although tickets are last issued at 4 p.m. Adult tickets cost 18 pounds (about $25), students and seniors pay 16 pounds (about $23), while children (ages 6 to 17) pay 8 pounds (approximately $11). If you book online, however, you save 2 pounds and enjoy fast-track entry. If you have a London Pass, your entry is covered. The cost of admission grants visitors entry to the cathedral floor, crypt and the three galleries in the dome. You can find the cathedral off the St. Paul's Tube stop. If you're looking for a bit of historical background, you should consider signing up for one of London's top guided tours, many of which stop at the cathedral.
More Best Things To Do in London
#1 British Museum
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.
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