A 2-Day Itinerary for History Buffs in London

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In general, history buffs know that London is one of the greatest European cities to visit to satisfy that hunger for knowledge. It doesn't matter if you're in town for a week or a weekend – you can still absorb a great deal of history in London.

Day 1

Welcome to London! First things first, check into your room at The Montcalm Hotel London City, leave your bags on the bed, and pull out a map to start plotting your route.

Tower of London

Head over to the Tower of London in the morning to begin your two-day adventure.

The historic tower dates back to 1078, was built by William the Conqueror and became a symbol of oppression by the new ruling elite of London. Afterwards, the castle became a prison in 1100 until 1952. Surprised?

Throughout history, the tower has been besieged quite a few times – controlling the Tower of London indicated who controlled the country. Keen to learn more? Visit the Tower of London and enjoy a guided tour for a more detailed history of the structure.

Even if you aren’t interested in history, The Tower of London offers a great view from all angles and allows you to see Tower Bridge, a fantastic Victorian masterpiece. After you've explored the Tower of London, head over to the historic heart of London to check out the neighbourhood of Westminster.

Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey is a must-see.

Benedictine monks founded the Abbey back in 960AD and today, it’s still a place of worship. This gothic church in London is the traditional place of coronation for British royalty. It used to be a cathedral in 1540, but in 1560 it changed and became a church to the sovereign.

Westminster Abbey has morning prayers and evensong in the evenings. Everyone is welcome, and the services are all free of charge. What’s more, the Abbey has a fantastic view, and over 300 fascinating objects to feast your eyes on.

Big Ben

Check out Big Ben after Westminster Abbey. The great clock was completed in 1895 and is officially known as the Elizabeth Tower's Bell.

The tower is undergoing renovations which began in 2017 and is expected to be finished in 2021. Nevertheless, it's a sight to see, and a must if you're in London to soak up the city’s long history.

For your reference, the purpose of the construction is to renovate and repair the tower, as the last time this was carried out was the early 80's. While you may not be able to experience Big Ben in all its glory while it’s under construction, if you find London City Hotel Deals, it’s worth two trips – one now, and another in 2021.

Buckingham Palace

No trip to London is complete without a trip to Buckingham Palace, the Queen’s official London residence. The palace features a regular Changing the Guard ceremony, for those interested in catching a glimpse of this piece of history.

Explore the staterooms that are open to visitors for 10 weeks throughout the summer, and select dates during spring and winter. Popular highlights are the white drawing room, throne room, picture gallery, ballroom, grand staircase, and the royal garden.

Palace of Westminster

The history of the Palace of Westminster spans over 900 years. It is the meeting place of the House of Commons and House of Lords and the two Houses of Parliament. It’s situated perfectly right by the River Thames.

The exterior of the Palace of Westminster is recognised as one of the most visited tourist attractions in London and may also be one of the most photographed. While there is no access to the interior, the exterior is enough to satisfy your history cravings.

Day 2

Good morning!

Yesterday was a day of historical monuments and royal greatness. Now, on your second day, you will attend museums, culminating in a short visit to the Royal Albert Hall and finally, Kensington Palace.

Natural History Museum

The Natural History Museum houses a vast collection of artefacts just waiting to be discovered by curious visitors. Collections range from dinosaurs, Joseph Banks, oceans, space and sustainability.

The museum also has tours, allowing you to get up close to specimens like Archie, the giant squid. Book a tour in advance to ensure that you get a spot.

Afterwards, head over to the Victoria and Albert Museum for world-class decorative history. Of course, you don’t have to. Only go if you feel like there's enough time, and if you have enough energy. After all, there's power in not over-doing it on your holiday. You should be able to thoroughly enjoy every single moment, not rush from one place to another.

Royal Albert Hall

The Royal Albert Hall is a very short trek from the Natural History Museum and they have regular free-to-enter exhibitions of their series of photography. They also have guided tours with a focus on architecture, a classical music tour and general venue tour.

Queen Victoria opened it in 1871 and it is now where greats like The Beatles and Ed Sheeran have performed. It is also a location that has hosted legends like Winston Churchill, Muhammad Ali and the Dalai Lama.

Kensington Palace

End your day with a visit to Kensington Palace. It's the office and London residence of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, among other royalty. The historic parts of the palace are open to the public, making it a great way to end your historic visit to London.

The beautiful grounds have statues, ponds, fountains and gardens that will make you wish you could extend your trip. Maybe you can! Simply check into one of the hotels in Shoreditch and stay just a little longer… at least for afternoon tea.

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