Photo: Parliament, Big Ben, and the London Eye along the Thames

The London Eye gives riders bird's-eye views of Big Ben and Parliament.

Photograph by Srijit Nath, My Shot

The capital of the United Kingdom and its most populous city, London is a cultural, political, and financial hub. The city is preparing to host the Summer Olympics in 2012. An extensive public transportation system makes it easy to get around. Visit the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben. Also be sure to check out the original Madame Tussauds Wax Museum, which opened over 200 years ago.

Where to Play

For breathtaking views of the city, take a ride on the London Eye over the River Thames. You can see St. Paul’s Cathedral, Buckingham Palace, and Westminster Abbey. In Central London next to the Vauxhall Bridge, check out the headquarters of MI6, the British Secret Intelligence Service. Look from the street, though, because no visitors are allowed. While in central London, take a break and kick back on the lawn at Hyde Park. Interested in flight? Head to the Royal Air Force Museum, where you can see World War I bombers and find out what it feel like to fly in the Eurofighter flight simulator.

At Day’s End

Coram’s Fields is a great place in the city to either relax or burn off any leftover energy. There are slides, open lawns for picnicking and playing sports, sandpits, a mini petting zoo, and more. No adult is allowed in the playground without a child. The park is open until 7 p.m. in summer and until dusk in winter.

Details

Check out National Geographic's ultimate guide to London.

Based on articles from National Geographic Traveler and compiled by Stephanie Robichaux

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