As a major European capital, not to mention as the beneficiary of royal patronage, London is the locus of a vibrant cultural scene. London attractions cover the full gamut of possible offerings, including performances, tours, and celebrations of many kinds.
With over 100 performing arts venues, you are likely to find something to your liking while you are in London. Among the London attractions in the realm of music, for example, the Proms — or more formally, the Henry Wood Promenade Concerts—is an yearly festival of fine music throughout the summer at the Royal Albert Hall. Both fine local musicians and international guests perform classics of the repertoire and new works. Ensembles such as the London Symphony Orchestra based at the Barbican and the London Philharmonic Orchestra based at Royal Festival Hall perform a yearly season of music. The BBC—British Broadcasting Corporation, has five orchestras, and each of the these orchestras has a resident group of singers, which is only the beginning of the immense array of vocal ensembles in London.
Theater and musical theater are another noted element of London attractions. The commercial theater district is in the West End, while repertory theater can be found at the National Theatre and Globe Theatre. The Fringe includes small theaters, mostly of the pub theater variety.
Among the 250 museums that are considered among the core of London attractions, are included the British Museum, the Natural History Museum, the Science Museum, and the Victoria and Albert Museum. More focused offerings can be found at, for example, the Bethnal Green Museum of Childhood, which features a collection of toys or the National Maritime Museum, which focuses on sailing, as well as the Design Museum, the Sherlock Holmes Museum, Madame Tussaud’s, the famous collection of waxworks, and the Tower of London. Art galleries are also found in abundance, including the National Gallery and the Tate Modern.
Beautiful gardens are another of the London attractions that form part of the city’s appeal. Kensington Gardens, Greenwich Park, Hampstead Heath and Chelsea Physic Gardens are examples of the possibilities. The spring and summer also brings several major flower shows, including the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show and the Chelsea Flower Show. Another type of garden that many visitors appreciate is the zoological garden, and the London Zoological Gardens are found in Regent’s Park.
Architecture is another noted feature that draws people to London. Churches and cathedrals by Sir Christopher Wren, Paddington Station, Trafalgar Square, Buckingham Palace, the Palace of Westminster where Parliament is housed, and the other palaces, and Covent Garden and other designs by Inigo Jones all are found worthy of viewing.
Districts of London that are enjoyable to visit include Soho, Regent Street, Picadilly Circus, Oxford Street, and the City and the Square Mile. Landmarks like Big Ben, the London Eye, and the Millennium Dome are also appealing.