London is one of the most enchanting and historically rich cities in the world. It is not surprising that it is one of the world’s most visited cities. There are several free attractions in London like the National Gallery, British Museum, Natural History Museum, etc. There are, however, other attractions where a ticket needs to be bought to visit them. The most visited paid attractions in the city are mentioned below:
9. Tower Of London -
This historic castle is the most visited paid attractions in London. It is located on the northern bank of the Thames River. The ancient castle was built in 1066. Its White Tower from where its name is derived was constructed in 1078 by William the Conqueror. The Tower of London is a complex of buildings that are surrounded by two protective walls and a moat. It was built to serve as the residence of the royals as well as a prison. The castle played a vital role in the history of England for centuries. It was besieged several times in the past. Controlling it was regarded as a significant step to controlling the country. Presently, the Tower of London serves as a museum of historical attractions that is open to the public. The Crown Jewels of England are displayed here. The Tower of London was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988.
8. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew Gardens -
It is an internationally famed botanic education and research institution. On July 2003, the UN designated the Kew Gardens as a World Heritage Site. The Kew, located in southwest London, hosts 40 historically important buildings. It has a collection of over 40,000 plant species. The library of the Kew Gardens has more than 750,000 volumes with thousands of illustrations of plants.
7. St Paul’s Cathedral -
The St Paul’s Cathedral is London’s third most visited paid attraction. It is an Anglican cathedral that sits on the Ludgate Hill, the city’s highest point. The present cathedral was built in the late 17th century at the site of an ancient church. The dome of the cathedral is an important feature of London’s skyline. For a period of time from 1710 to 1967, the St Paul’s Cathedral functioned as London’s tallest building. Presently, it is an operating church with regular prayer services. Tourists are charged an entry fee but the worshippers are permitted inside for free.
6. Royal Academy Of Arts -
This art institution is located in the Burlington House of Piccadilly. It is a privately funded art institution managed by eminent architects and artists. It serves the purpose of promoting the visual arts with the help of exhibitions, debates, and educational programs. The organization was established in 1768 by King George III.
5. ZSL London Zoo -
Established in 1828, the London Zoo is the world’s oldest scientific zoo. It was founded with the aim of conducting zoological research. Animals from the menagerie at the Tower of London were transferred to this zoo. Later, public entry was allowed in 1847. Today, it is the fifth most visited paid tourist attraction in London. The zoo houses 20,166 individual animals representing 698 species. Exotic species like lions, tigers, and gorillas can be observed here.
4. Westminster Abbey -
This a Gothic abbey church located in London near the Palace of Westminster. It has served as the coronation and burial site of the country’s monarchs for centuries. A number of royal weddings have also been hosted here. According to historical reports, a church was established at the site in the 7th century. The construction of the church seen today, however, started in 1245. It was commissioned by the then-monarch of England, King Henry III.
3. Palace of Westminster -
The two houses of the Parliament of the UK, the House of Commons and the House of Lords, meet at this venue. It is located on the Thames River’s north bank. Initially, the 11th-century palace served as the residence of the Kings of England. However, a raging fire in 1512 damaged most parts of the building. After renovations were made, the site acted as the seat of the English Parliament. Later, another fire engulfed the palace in 1834. Reconstructions turned it into the beautiful building that we see today. The Palace of Westminster is an important hub of political activity in the UK. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most visited paid attractions in London.
2. Shakespeare’s Globe -
This complex houses the reconstruction of the Globe Theater, a playhouse associated with the legendary playwright, William Shakespeare. The complex is located on the Thames’ southern bank. The original theater that was built in 1599 was demolished in 1644. Although the replica found today has been created to resemble the original theater as closely as possible, the seating capacity is only 1400 as compared to the original theatre’s 3000. The Shakespeare’s Globe is about 740 ft away from the site of the original theater. It is now open to the public who can purchase tickets to attend the plays held here. Other buildings like an indoor theater, a studio complex, and exhibition area, etc., are also located within the complex.
1. Tower Bridge Exhibition -
The Tower Bridge is one of the most iconic symbols of London. It was built between 1886 and 1894 over the River Thames near the Tower of London. The Tower Bridge Exhibition is hosted in the Victorian engine rooms, the twin towers of the bridge, and the walkways. The history of the Tower Bridge is exhibited in the form of films, photos, and other types of displays. It is the tenth most visited paid attraction in London.
The Most Popular Paid Attractions In London
|Rank||Attraction||Number of visits in 1000’s in 2016|
|1||Tower of London||2741|
|2||Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew Gardens||1829|
|3||St Paul’s Cathedral||1519|
|4||Royal Academy of Arts||1286|
|5||ZSL London Zoo||1211|
|7||Houses of Parliament||990|
|9||Tower Bridge Exhibition||828|
About the Author
Oishimaya is an Indian native, currently residing in Kolkata. She has earned her Ph.D. degree and is presently engaged in full-time freelance writing and editing. She is an avid reader and travel enthusiast and is sensitively aware of her surroundings, both locally and globally. She loves mingling with people of eclectic cultures and also participates in activities concerning wildlife conservation.
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