Westminster Abbey#5 in Best Things To Do in London
This medieval church, graced by many royal weddings and coronations, offers a magnificent peek at London's far-reaching history. Westminster Abbey is pretty much always busy – and the staff keeps you moving at a pretty swift pace – so do a little research ahead of time to avoid missing your personal must-sees. For instance, if you're a bibliophile, consider a visit to the Poets' Corner. This is the final resting place of famed authors Geoffrey Chaucer, Charles Dickens and Rudyard Kipling, among others. If you're fascinated by all the intrigue surrounding the British royalty, you might like to visit the shared tomb of enemies and half-sisters Elizabeth I and Mary Tudor.
If you prefer to see the abbey at your own pace, but still want a little guidance on the history you're encountering, take advantage of the free audio guides online. Alternatively, you can take a 90-minute Verger-led tour and see the Shrine (containing the tomb of Saint Edward the Confessor), the Royal Tombs, Poets' Corner, the Cloisters and the Nave. If you decide to take this tour, there is an extra 5 pound (around $7.30) charge added to your original admission price.
Although most travelers agree that Westminster Abbey is indeed a must-see attraction, some lament the high admission price and overwhelming crowds. Keep in mind, photos are not allowed (to many travelers' chagrin). Westminster Abbey is usually open to visitors Monday through Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., though you should check the abbey's calendar for any scheduled closings before you plan your tour. Admission for adults costs 22 pounds (about $28.75), while children between the ages of 6 and 16 pay 9 pounds (about $11.80). You'll save a few pounds if you purchase your tickets in advance online. If you have a London Pass, your entrance fee is covered. The closest Tube stops are Westminster, on the Jubilee, District and Circle lines, and St. James's Park, on the District and Circle lines. For more information about tour times and admission prices, visit the Westminster Abbey website.
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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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