Big Ben with Parliament, London, England
Posted Apr 28, 2015
Like all the great cities of the world London has something to offer each and every visitor. While it would take a lifetime to see and do everything the city is renowned for, a day trip as part of a European cruise is just enough time to take in some of London's most famous sights.
Buckingham Palace, in all its splendor, is one of the world's few remaining fully functioning royal palaces. Some of the palace serves as the official London residence of British sovereignty, but the marvelous State Rooms — where The Queen and Royal Family gather to receive their guests — are open to the public as part of a tour of the palace. On your way in or out, or if you're simply strolling by, witness the timeless Changing of the Guard ceremony — a living reminder of the rich traditions of England. Book a city drive excursion that includes a stop at Buckingham Palace.
The most recent addition to the list of London's must-see sights is the London Eye. Open since 2000, the London Eye — then known as the Millennium Wheel — is perched on the gorgeous South Bank of the Thames. The stunning view from the top offers visitors a chance to take in the entire city. From the spire of the Shard to the hands of Big Ben, urban gazers are reminded of why London has remained among the world's premiere cities for centuries.
Tower of London
Once a sight of grim repute, a visit to the Tower of London now provides an excellent opportunity to brush up on history while taking a European cruise. Over the Tower's 900-year history it has served as a royal palace, armory, and even a zoo. Visitors can even behold the Royal Family's priceless Crown Jewels, which remain powerful symbols of the Monarchy.
Since it was completed over 150 years ago, Big Ben has been a cultural icon. From the classic movie "Peter Pan" to songs by The Who, it has been portrayed in movies, television, books, and songs, and has come to quintessentially represent London in the hearts and minds of people the world over. Whether just stopping by for a picture or hearing the bells in the distance while walking along the Thames, Big Ben can't be missed.
Sometimes the best things in life truly are free. Like the Smithsonian in Washington DC, the British Museum doesn't charge an admission fee. This opulent building exhibits works stretching from some of man's most ancient creations to modern marvels and everything in between. Must-see exhibits from the permanent collection include the Rosetta Stone, Parthenon sculptures, Samurai armor, and the Easter Island statue Hoa Hakananai'a.
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