The London skyline is one of the most recognisable in the world and it has long been an iconic part of the city’s culture. The combination of buildings old and new makes the London skyline unique and different from other cities. It perfectly highlights the diverse architecture that’s on offer. However, if you are new to the city or are visiting for the first time you may not know which structures make up the skyline and what they are used for. Here are some of the most iconic:
The London Eye
The London Eye is a large Ferris wheel structure located on the Southbank, an easy location to get to from your hotel in Finsbury Square. The London Eye first opened on 31st December 1999, as a way to welcome in the new millennium and it has remained to be one of the top attractions in the city ever since. From The London Eye visitors can check out one of London’s best views from a glass pod.
Tower Bridge is one part of the London skyline that isn’t always visible and only at certain viewpoints will you catch a glimpse. As Tower Bridge is a lot lower to the ground than the other buildings, it is easily hidden amount surrounding structures. However, that hasn’t stopped it becoming one of the key elements of the iconic image.
The Gherkin, also known as 30 St. Mary Axe, is the bullet or gherkin shaped structure situated among the others on the skyline. It is not open to the public, but it is well worth checking out to see how modern architecture can fit seamlessly into a city as old as London.
The Shard is one of the tallest buildings in Europe and it is a popular tourist attraction as it offers a restaurant, bars and a viewing platform. So, many visitors head there to get one of best views in the city. When The Shard was completed in 2012 it was the tallest building in Europe, but it has now been knocked off the top spot by new skyscrapers built in Moscow. It does still remain to be the tallest building in the UK and the tallest building in Western Europe. You can visit The Shard throughout the year and it’s a great spot for dinner or drinks; there’s even an impressive hotel in the building.
Big Ben is featured in images and artwork of London throughout the world and therefore it’s easy to recognise, with most visitors to London knowing what it is the second they see the skyline. Opened in 1859, Big Ben is one of the older structures on the London skyline and it brings with it impressive architecture. However, many people assume that Big Ben refers to the clock tower but this isn’t the case, it actually refers to just the bell inside.
All of the buildings that are part of the London skyline are easy to access from The Montcalm Royal London House via public transport or public tours.