Sightseeing guide for London
Royal Academy of Arts
The Royal Academy of Arts was established on 1768 and is the oldest art foundation in Britain. In the permanent collection of the Royal Academy of Arts, a work of art by each previous and existing member of the Academy is included. Such artists are Reynolds, Constable, Turner, Michaelangelo and many more. The only sculpture of the latter as well as a perfect replica of Leonardo da Vinci's "Last Supper" are also housed in the Academy. The temporary exhibitions that are often here, are very famous, especially the one held in the summer, which is organised for 200 years now and hosts over 1200 works of art by established and new painters, sculptors and architects.
A former power station, the building housing today's Tate Modern hosts Britain's most respectable contemporary art. Temporary exhibitions by top artists such as Rachel Whiteread, Frida Kahlo, Martin Kippenberger, Mark Rothko and Kandinsky are often held here. Thanks to its location next to the river Thames, its restaurant offers an excellent view and an enjoyable lunch.
Tate Britain hosts the largest british art collection from the 16th to the 20th century. Masterpieces from Hogarth, Gainsborough, Constable, Millais, Burne-Jones, whistler, Sargent, Sickert, Hepworth and Bacon can be admired.
The National Gallery hosts works of art from mainly from western European artists. Van Gogh, Leonardo da Vinci, Cezanne, Constable, Caravaggio, Canaletto, Titian and Stubbs are some of the artists whose work is exhibited in the Gallery.
National Portrait Gallery
Home to a vast collection of portraits of British men and women such as William Shakespeare and Rudyard Kipling, as well as Kings and Queens, the National Portrait Gallery is a very interesting museum to visit. It also has a photographic collection.
Somerset House hosts three important collections which are "The Courtauld Institute of Art" that contains old masters pieces, impressionist and post-impressionist paintings, "The Gilbert Collection" that features over 800 pieces of decorative art, and "The Hermitage Rooms" that host exhibitions from The State Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg.
Founded in 1753 from the collections of Sir Hans Sloane, the British Museum is one of the greatest museums of the world, showing the works of man from prehistoric to modern times with collections drawn from the whole world. Famous masterpieces include the Rosetta Stone, sculptures from the Parthenon, the Sutton Hoo and Mildenhall treasures and the Portland Vase.
Natural History Museum
Among the highlights of this museum are the "Dinosaurs" which is an ultimate dinosaur exhibition, "Creepy-Crawlies" that will definitely put you into thoughts, "Human Biology" a most exciting and interesting department about our nature, "Ecology" and "Mammals" hosting the blue whale. There is also a section where you can have a simulation of an earthquake!
British Airways London Eye
This is the world's largest observation wheel that offers a spectacular view to whole London in about 30 minutes. This is an offer of British airways to the city of London and consists of 32 booths with a capacity of 25 persons.
Victoria and Albert Museum
The Victoria and Albert museum hosts ceramics, furniture, fashion, glass, jewelery, metalwork, photographs, sculpture, textiles and paintings from over 3000 years now from countries from all over the world. Highlights include the national collection of paintings by Constable, the largest collection of Italian Renaissance sculpture outside Italy and the stunning British Galleries, illustrating the history of Britain through the country's art and design.
Tower of London
The Tower of London is one of the world's most famous palaces. It has been a place of terror for more than 900 years due to the fact that anyone threatening the monarchy was held or even tortured on the grounds of this tower. Nowadays, you can admire the Crown Jewels museum, the White Tower and even the stained Tower, whose name comes from the mysterious murder of two young princes. In the White Tower, armory and weapon collections are housed whereas in the Crown Jewels museum, scepters, crowns, tiaras, swords from the royal court members and the royal family.
St. Paul's Cathedral
This cathedral has been home to many important events of British history, such as the funeral of Winston Churchil, the wedding of prince Charles to princess Diana and many more. It has a beautiful interior following the baroque style and breathes a sense of calmness.
The Westminster Abbey is the place where many graves of important people of Britain are located and the setting for every coronation since 1066. Approximately, 3300 people are said to have been buried in the church, including Chaucer, Newton, Laurence Olivier and Charles Dickens. Stunning Gothic architecture, the fascinating literary history represented by Poets' Corner, the artistic talent that went into the statues, murals, paintings and tombs, and the fantastic stained glass, combine to make Westminster Abbey the most enduringly stunning of London' s churches and a treasure trove of royal history.
Kensigton Palace has been home of Queen Victoria and princess Diana. Among its exhibitions you can also admire the royal costumes designed for formal evnets for Queen Victoria and princess Diana. Almost all royal chambers are approachable by visitors as well as the Orangerie and the sunken Gardens, designed to host spectacular events.
This is England's most famous royal palace and the official residence of Queen Elizabeth II. Visitors can admire some of the more unusual gifts received by the current Queen, including drawings by Salvador Dali, an embroidered silk scarf from Nelson Mandela and a grove of maple trees. The rooms include paintings by Rembrandt, Rubens, Canaletto, Vermeer and Poussin, sculptures by Canova, exquisite examples of Sevres porcelain, and some of the finest English and French furniture in the world.
The Houses of Parliament
The Houses of Parliament houses, as the word indicates, the two seats of parliament, the Commons and the Lords. Sir Charles Barry was the architect for the gothic building that has become a familiar landmark today, including the Clock Tower that houses Big Ben, the bell that chimes on the hour, and is home to the largest clock face in the country.