The Victoria and Albert Museum celebrates the rich culture of a bygone era. It includes around 2.27 million objects including ceramics, fashion, furniture, glass, metalwork, paintings, photographs, prints, sculpture and textiles. Collections from as far as East Asia, South and Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Egypt are housed in the V&A Museum. One can explore the world's most comprehensive holding of post-classical European sculpture. The museum frequently holds exhibitions of its collections. And what's more, you could even shop for books, stationery, gifts and jewelry at the museum. After working up an appetite, head to the V&A Cafe for a bite.
The British Museum is one of London's top tourist attractions, as well as a major scholarly resource. Its collection was bequeathed to the nation in 1753, and the museum's distinctive Greek Revival structure was constructed during the 19th Century. The collection expanded massively during the heyday of the British Empire, leading to the museum's reputation for acquiring from sources all over the globe, leaving it with over 8 million objects. The displays cover about 5.5 hectares (14 acres) making it impossible to see everything in one visit. The famous Rosetta Stone, Assyrian Reliefs, Parthenon Marbles and the vast Egyptian collection are a few of the British Museum's most well-known exhibits.
The National Gallery is a magnificent Georgian edifice on the northern side of Trafalgar Square that houses a massive collection of Western European art. Started in 1838, you can find the works of master Leonardo Da Vinci in the Sainsbury wing of the gallery, alongside Botticelli and Bellini. The west wing contains works by Titian, Michelangelo and Raphael, the north wing contains works by Rubens, Rembrandt and Caravaggio, and the east wing contains works by Seurat, Canaletto, Degas and Monet. A portable audio guide is available in six different languages.
Explore the natural history of the planet Earth, from the prehistoric era to the present day, at one of London's most visited museums. In 1881, the Natural History Museum moved to its present venue. Designed by Alfred Water house, this building is now one of London's most beautiful and recognized museums. The halls house more than 300 years worth of collections, with over 80 million specimens. Broadly divided into Life and Earth galleries, the museum provides much more than can be seen in a day, and your feet will get tired before your brain does. Let your kids run wild among dinosaur skeletons, erupting volcanoes and life-size constructs of blue whales - it's unlikely they'll ever forget their first visit here.
Designed by Sir Horace Jones and opened in 1894, Tower Bridge is one of London's most recognizable landmarks. This famous monument is built on the River Thames and overlooks the iconic Tower of London. Due to the volume of river traffic in the 19th Century, the Tower Bridge was designed to have twin bascules that could be raised. One of the most fascinating features of the bridge is the Victorian-era engine room that houses the coal-powered motors used to raise the bridge lifts. The two towers, the North Tower and South Tower, are open to visitors. There is a glass-covered enclosed walkway that runs between the two that offers a bird's-eye view of vibrant city life.
Covent Garden is a historic district that is famous for its street performers, shops, restaurants, bars and theaters. The most well known attraction in the area is the Royal Opera House. Before it became the capital’s premiere destination for entertainment and leisure, Covent Garden served as the largest fruit and vegetable market in England. Currently, the Apple, East Colonnade and Jubilee markets are held in the piazza area. Visitors can browse through antiques, artwork, jewelry and clothing that can be found among the market stalls.
Standing in the heart of the buzzing Trafalgar Square, Nelson's Column is undoubtedly one of the most iconic monuments of London. Constructed in the year 1843, Nelson's Column commemorates the death of Admiral Horatio Lord Nelson. French fleet were defeated at the hands of Lord Nelson during Battle of Trafalgar fought in the year 1805. The sculpture rests on a large Corinthian capital. According to legend, this statue was made of Royal George's bronze guns. Royal George was a mighty warship. The bronze casts portray Nelson's triumphs at Copenhagen battle, Nile battle and Cape St Vincent battle.
Trafalgar Square embraces the past and the present of the city in a single sweep, forming the vibrant core of Westminster. The public square hosts a lively milieu of events throughout the year and features the magnificent National Gallery and National Portrait Gallery along its hem. Trafalgar Square was named thus to commemorate the Battle of Trafalgar of 1805, an event that marks the fall of the French naval fleet, securing Britain from invasion. A column with a statue of Admiral Horatio Nelson at the summit is the centerpiece of the square, honoring the man responsible for this momentous victory. At the base of the column is the renowned Landseer Lions, flanked by babbling fountains. Renovations in 2003 removed traffic lanes to make room for a sizable staircase, connecting the National Portrait Gallery to the square. A beating heart of the neighborhood, Trafalgar Square is forever bustling with tourists making their way to the galleries and locals passing through.
British Optical Association Museum is one of the oldest museums of its genre in the world. Inaugurated in 1901, the museum has almost 16,000 collectibles on display which describes the history of Ophthalmology. They have a huge collection of visual aids, spectacles, rare catalogs and other equipment's used in the field of optics. The museum is managed by the British Optical Association.
Dedicated to visual arts, the Mall Galleries in London aims to provide a platform to local and emerging artists as well as showcase works of renowned artists. The venue consists of three galleries, a bookshop and a cafe and is also the center of the Federation of British Artists, a national charity. The leading art societies that form the FBA host their annual exhibition at the Mall Galleries.
Built in the early 1700s and retaining most of its original characteristics, this beautifully restored Georgian building is the only surviving residence of Benjamin Franklin. Serving as his home during the 16 years he spent in London as a mediator, it is essentially the first U.S. embassy. Designed to be a historical experience, the Benjamin Franklin house is now a museum and educational institution. State of the art lighting and projection technology recreate the fascinating life and discoveries of this politician, inventor, scientist, and philosopher, while the Student Science Centre offers a hands on look at Franklin's London based discoveries. Opened on Ben's 300th birthday in 2006 and just steps from Trafalgar Square, this is a wonderful variation from traditional museums and well worth the stop.