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London is a city that is known all around the world. But why?
What is London famous for?
As someone who has been to London many times and a resident of the UK, I feel like I know what London has to offer.
So here are 25 things that make London famous.
What is London famous for?
1. Big Ben
The first thing London is famous for is Big Ben. The iconic clock is known all around the world, or is it? Big Ben actually refers to the bell inside the clockface (which you can’t see from the outside) but nonetheless, the clock tower and Big Ben is known for its beautiful golden appearance along with its iconic chimes.
2. London Eye
Another iconic and famous landmark in London is of course the London Eye. This huge observation wheel is a staple in the London skyline and is included in all collages of the city. If you have heard of London, you most likely know about the London Eye. Did you know it’s possible to go on the London Eye? The view is outstanding. The only way to get a better view of London is by taking a London helicopter tour.
3. Buckingham Palace
Home of the British Monarch, King Charles III, Buckingham Palace is a popular tourist attraction in London. It attracts millions of visitors each year, and it’s possible to go into some of the rooms. Buckingham Palace has nearly 800 rooms! It’s definitely a reason why London is famous, it’s one of the most famous buildings in the whole world.
London is known for its great diversity and culture. London was the most ethnically diverse region in England and Wales and as a result, is home to 270 different nationalities. There are few places in the world as diverse as London, and this makes the culture extremely fascinating. It’s such a beautiful mix. The whole world combined in one city.
The London Underground, commonly known as the “Tube” is another reason why London is famous. The logo is instantly recognisable, and it’s the most common way to get around the city. It’s very crowded though, but you should definitely try it out during a trip to London. Taking the tube is a very unique experience.
6. Red buses
London’s red buses are one of my favourite things about the city. Although the modern buses are still red, the best ones are the retro, old-fashioned, red buses which you will see now and again in London. There are 9000 red buses and 20,000 bus stops in London, and you won’t go down a street without seeing one.
7. Piccadilly Circus
The huge advertising screens of Piccadilly Circus are known around the world. Aside from the screens, Piccadilly Circus is a famous area of London anyway, the Eros fountain which is located behind where this photo was taken, is a popular landmark to visit during a trip to London. I suppose you could say Piccadilly Circus is London’s version of Times Square.
8. West End
And speaking of similarities between New York and London, the West End is London’s version of Broadway. There are many many theatres here, all showing incredible musicals and other performances. You’re guaranteed to have an amazing show no matter which one you pick from. You can find most West End performances here.
9. Houses of Parliament
Attached to Big Ben is the Houses of Parliament, sometimes referred to as “Westminster” as its the name of the borough. The Houses of Parliament is the home of the British Government and is split into two houses: The House of Commons and the House of Lords. It’s possible to take a tour of the Houses of Parliament and see where the big decisions are made.
10. Downing Street
The British Prime Minister lives at 10 Downing Street and as such, Downing Street is another reason why London is famous. The iconic black door of 10 Downing Street has featured in hundreds and thousands of speeches, including some of the most famous in all of Britain’s history. If you visit London, you can’t get right to the door for obvious reasons, but you can look down the street past the gate and security and police.
11. Red Telephone Boxes
Another answer to “What is London famous for?” is its iconic red telephone boxes. These phone boxes feature in pretty much any show or movie which is set in London, but most famously in Doctor Who, although it is blue for the show. The red boxes are very popular photo opportunities for tourists visiting the city.
12. Paddington Bear
Paddington Bear was found by his family at Paddington Station in London (hence the name Paddington) after he ventured to London from Peru. There are lots of tributes to Paddington throughout London including at the station and my personal favourite in Leicester Square where he is sitting on a bench enjoying a marmalade sandwich.
The popular board game “Monopoly” is set in London for the British version which is commonly used worldwide. The game features properties at London’s most known streets and landmarks such as Piccadilly Circus and Trafalgar Square. The whole board is essentially made up of reasons why London is famous.
14. 300 Languages
As discussed in reason 4 why London is famous, London is an extremely diverse part of the world. Due to the great mix of nationalities, there is also a wide variety of languages spoken in London. There are nearly 300 languages spoken, in fact, which makes London the most linguistically diverse city in the world.
One of the most long-lasting sporting tournaments in the world, Wimbledon, at nearly 150 years old, takes place in London each year. The tournament is the world’s oldest tennis tournament and takes place each June/July in Wimbledon. Roger Federer is the most decorated player with 8 Wimbledon titles.
Did you know you can get a train from London to Paris, Brussels and other places in mainland Europe? The Eurostar is a train which runs under the English Channel. If you are interrailing, you can use your Interrail pass on Eurostar trains. The train takes just over 2 hours but being able to reach mainland Europe from London by train is incredible.
17. The Great Fire of London
The Great Fire of London in September 1666 is one of the most famous fires in history and is a story known by all Londoners and anyone in the UK. The fire wiped out nearly 14,000 houses and many of the key buildings in London at the time. As a result, most buildings in London are relatively modern. Meaning you won’t find many buildings more than 350 years old.
18. The Shard
Another building which makes London famous is the Shard. The 72-storey skyscraper is one of the most unique in the world– it’s instantly recognisable. The Shard is made up of offices, restaurants, hotel rooms and of course the viewing gallery which offers an amazing view over London. You do have to pay, but it’s a view worth paying for. Wow!
19. Royal Guards
Outside Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle and other places in London where the Royal Family stay, there are Royal Guards. Known for their red outfit and black bearskin hats. The guards are some of the most prestigious in the world, definitely some of the most famous. It’s pretty cool to see them in real life during a visit.
20. Trafalgar Square
Trafalgar Square is the most famous square in London. It’s home to the 4 lion statues which are known worldwide, as well as Nelson’s Column. The square has a fascinating history and it’s a very popular spot for people visiting London, even those seeing London in a day. There are also events here occasionally and it’s also a popular spot for protests as it’s so famous.
21. The Gherkin
Similar to the Shard, the Gherkin is a famous skyscraper making up the London skyline. The Gherkin is an office building and is home to many filming sets where many TV and radio shows are filmed. You can’t simply go in the Gherkin unfortunately, however, you can have a meal in the Helix restaurant on the top floor and enjoy the incredible views.
22. London Accent
One of the most recognisable things that makes London famous is the accent. Popularised by movies and TV shows, Mary Poppins for example, the Cockney accent is famous worldwide and is commonly imitated by saying “bo’le o’ wa’er” instead of “bottle of water”. It’s worth saying that the London accent doesn’t reflect the whole of England or the UK.
But complaining about the weather and snow in London for example, well, that does reflect the whole of the UK. Us Brits love talking about how cold it is and then how warm it is!
23. Capital of England and the UK
London is possibly most known for being the Capital City of England and the UK. The United Kingdom is made up of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and London is the Capital. That’s why the Houses of Parliament and Buckingham Palace is found in London. And yes- London is a city, some people question whether London is a city or country.
If you are a sports fan, you’re bound to be familiar with Wembley Stadium. It’s one of the most famous stadiums in the world and has hosted some of the best football (soccer) matches in history. Every year it hosts the FA Cup and League Cup finals, as well as all England international games. Most recently, it hosted the Euro 2020 finals.
25. Tower Bridge and the Tower of London
And last but by no means least, London is famous because of Tower Bridge and also the Tower of London. It’s a popular tourist attraction as you can see the Crown Jewels as well as many other incredible artefacts. Tower Bridge is also one of the most distinguishable bridges in the world, with its unique architecture.
What is London famous for: FAQ
Below are a number of questions related to “What is London famous for?” along with my answers.
The most famous thing in London is probably Big Ben. It’s included on all London postcards, magnets, t-shirts, you name it and it’ll have Big Ben on it. It’s estimated that 5 million people visit Big Ben each year, meaning it’s one of London’s most popular attractions.
London is a special city, it’s the most linguistically diverse city in the world, with 320 languages being spoken. London is also home to 170 different nationalities. This variety of languages and nationalities makes London a really diverse place where culture is celebrated and people from all around the world come together.
London is known as “The Big Smoke” because the city used to be filled with factories and industrial units, producing great amounts of smoke rising over the city. The nickname could also pay homage to the Great Fire of London in 1666.
London is best known for being the Capital City of England and the United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland). The Houses of Parliament, Buckingham Palace and Downing Street are 3 important political buildings in London.
What is London famous for: Conclusion
And there you have it, 25 answers to “What is London famous for?“
There are hundreds of reasons why London is famous and it would be impossible to list them all. It’s an incredible city and hopefully, you have learnt why it’s so well known.
If you are visiting London, I hope you have an amazing trip, it’s a city worth visiting for sure. Make sure you know how many days in London are enough, as well as plan what you want to do in advance so you can book things before they book out.
Have a great trip 🙂