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The best things to do in
'The Big Smoke'

Language:   English

Currency: GBP

Sales Tax: 20%

Exchange Rate

London, ‘The Big Smoke,’ gets tens of millions of visitors yearly. It is consistently voted as the most popular tourist destination in the world. But why is London called the ‘Big Smoke’? The city gained the nickname from the air pollution levels around the city through much of the 19th and early 20th century. This was mostly due to the extensive use of coal for heating in the densely populated urban area. While air pollution in the city hasn’t been completely eradicated, the pollution levels are nowhere near what they used to be back then, so you can relax as you look forward to your trip.

London isn’t just the perfect destination for history and royal family buffs. It is also a great holiday destination for any car enthusiast looking for a great vacation. So, where should you visit while in 'The Big Smoke' on holiday?


Fish and Chips

Local Favorite: Fish and Chips

Fish and chips are synonymous with England, but London has long proclaimed itself as the creator of the country's national dish. Most fish and chip shops use haddock in their recipes, but cod is common too. The fish is deep-fat fried, giving it a crispy, flaky texture. Chunky chips (French fries to Americans) are combined with the meal. Oftentimes, it is served with heaping doses of salt and vinegar to add flavor. Fish and chip diehards will have a side of mushy peas with their order. Mushy peas are just what they sound like but taste better than you might expect. Fish and chips can be found at local takeaways or in pubs. If you have it in a pub, be sure to wash it down with a real English ale.

Some of the best things to do in London

Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace

If there is one destination you must see in London, and there are a lot of them, it is Buckingham Palace. The London residence to the Royal Family, Buckingham Palace is iconic and unforgettable.

The Royal Family and the sights dedicated to it generate over £500 million a year. Buckingham Palace is the chief reason people travel to the city when it comes to the Royal Family. The changing of the guard is a unique experience. It is an opportunity to see the pomp of the British elite. When the Royal Family is away in the summertime, visitors can tour the state rooms in the palace and get a taste of what life is like inside.

The palace is also centrally located in London, and it gives visitors the chance to get to other tourist attractions quickly. The parks nearby are perfect for strolling through, and playgrounds are nicely situated for families with children.

British Museum

British Museum

London probably has more than its fair share of excellent museums. You can count the Imperial War Museum, Tate, and the National Gallery as some of the notable ones, but the British Museum tops them all. Covering various fields of knowledge, the museum has over 60 galleries with artwork and other treasures from different parts of the world. These include the Egyptian sculpture gallery with different antiquities, with the notable inclusion of the bust of Ramesses II. Other popular parts of the museum include the Africa Galleries and the Roman Empire (the Wolfson Gallery). The museum is an absolute dream for history buffs, and given the 75,000 square meter size, you will probably need more than a day to see it all.

Tower Bridge

Tower Bridge

Built in 1894, the Tower Bridge is one of many landmarks that can claim to be the icon of the city. Given how many famous landmarks you can find in the city, there's little point in attempting to make a case either way. What is indisputable though, is that the bridge is one of the must-see attractions in the city.

It's one of many bridges that cross the River Thames, but given its age and unique design, it would be wrong for you to make a trip to the city and not visit the bridge. The iconic bridge towers will likely catch your attention even when viewed from a distance.

The bridge's proximity to the Tower of London makes it easy to visit multiple key attractions within a short distance. But it's not enough to take selfies from the streets around the bridge. You should seize the opportunity to walk over the bridge and take the available elevator or stairs to the top, where you can watch traffic across the bridge through the glass floor.

Tower of London

Tower of London

Originally built as a royal castle in 1078, the Tower of London has served various purposes over the years of its existence. These include an armory, treasury, location of the Royal Mint, public records office, and the home of the Crown Jewels. It was also infamously used as a prison between 1100 and 1952. That use appears to have overshadowed every other as it steals the headlines in many narratives about the landmark.

Conveniently located at the foot of the Tower Bridge, it is now recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and currently stands out as one of London’s (and the United Kingdom’s) most popular tourist attractions, with millions of annual visitors. Now surrounded by modern buildings, the Tower of London is hard to miss as it’s vastly different from most nearby buildings.

London Eye (Millennium Wheel)

London Eye (Millennium Wheel)

The 135-meter-high London Eye is the tallest cantilevered observation wheel in the UK and Europe. At the time of its opening in 2000, it was the tallest Ferris wheel in the world. However, it has since been surpassed by other observation wheels, including the High Roller in Las Vegas and the current tallest Ferris wheel, Ain Dubai.

Situated on the south bank of the River Thames, the large capsules (32 in all) with glass walls can each accommodate 25 people and offer passengers breathtaking panoramic views of the city. It's no wonder the wheel is the UK's most popular paid tourist attraction. It is one stop you must fit into your itinerary when visiting London.

Covent Garden

Covent Garden

Covent Garden is one of the must-visit locations in London. Enjoy the vibrant atmosphere of street entertainers, the historic market selling local wares, and, of course, your traditional London souvenirs. The place is also home to plenty of indoor shops and restaurants next to the market. Within walking distance from Leicester Square and other central London attractions such as the Royal Opera House, home to the royal ballet, Covent Garden is a great place to stop and grab lunch or perhaps a hearty brunch to prepare for a shopping spree.

Madame Tussauds

Madame Tussauds

F1 Arcade

One of London's newest F1-related attractions, the F1 Arcade brings the fun of racing simulators to the London nightlife scene. If you happen to be here for an F1 weekend, the venue even hosts race viewing alongside its usual activities. Whether you are a complete rookie to sim racing or know your way around a steering wheel, the staff ensures that everyone enjoys their F1 racing experience.

Mercedes-Benz World

Located about an hour’s drive from London is Weybridge, where you will find Mercedes-Benz World. From guided tours and play areas for the kids, there’s something here for all members of the family. Mercedes-Benz World has driving experiences ranging from track driving to 4x4 off-roading. Each one gives you the opportunity to sit in a Mercedes/AMG car and feel the adrenaline flow through your veins. Whether you want to go on an off-road experience or drive an AMG GT R for half a day, there is a package that will give you the chance to fulfill your desires.

London’s variety of museums, history and tourist attractions makes it a unique travel destination. Whether you are just looking for something to do on holiday or going specifically with car enthusiast destinations in mind, London is a perfect holiday spot.

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