Tower of London#2 in Best Things To Do in 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.
The majority of travelers say the Tower of London's high admission price and long lines are worth every pence. And some recent visitors strongly recommend attending the free tour put on by the Yeoman Warders.
The Tower of London is open Tuesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and Sunday and Monday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., though it closes an hour earlier November through February. Tickets for adults cost 26.80 pounds (about $38); entrance for children between the ages of 5 and 15 costs 12.70 pounds (about $18). Children younger than 5 get in for free. If you want to save some quid on admission, buy your tickets in advance on the Tower of London's website. If you have a London Pass, your entry is covered. Along with bathroom facilities and Wi-Fi access, the Tower of London also offers four eateries and several gift shops on-site. You'll find the Tower of London off the Tower Hill Tube stop.
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#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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