The Top 10 Most Visited Tourist Sites in the UK
London is one of the world´s top tourist destinations, attracting some 30 million visitors every year. Due to the volume of tourists that pass through London, all of the United Kingdom´s most frequently visited tourist sites are located in London!
With five major airports in the greater London area and a wide variety of London flights available, Britain´s top tourist attractions are easily accessible. Cheap London flights and many free museums and galleries mean that these attractions are not only accessible but also affordable! According to data gathered by the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions, the 10 most frequently visited tourist sites in the United Kingdom are as follows:
- The British Museum is a fantastic museum with no admission charge and an impressive display of artifacts from over 2 million years of human history. Museum highlights include the original Rosetta Stone, an extensive collection of mummies, the Royal Tombs of Ur, and the Parthenon.
- Tate Modern is another free attraction, with the exception of some special exhibits which have a nominal admission fee. This gallery features international modern art representing all major movements from Fauvism onward. The permanent collection includes works by artists like Picasso, Dalí, Pollack, Lichtenstein, Miro, Warhol, and Matisse, just to name a few!
- The National Gallery is yet another one of London’s free art museums. The extensive permanent collection brags one of the most impressive collections of European paintings in the world and in particular, of western European paintings. Works by masters like da Vinci, Goya, Velazquez, Monet, Renoir, van Gogh, and Rembrandt are just a few of the museum highlights.
- London’s Natural History Museum is also completely free! Not only is it a museum featuring life and earth specimens from as much as 70 million years ago, but it is also a leading research center, specializing in taxonomy, conservation, and species identification. The aptly nicknamed cathedral of nature houses an impressive collection of dinosaur skeletons and some of Darwin´s original specimens.
- The Science Museum is one of the three museums on Exhibition Road in the London neighborhood of South Kensington. Also completely free, the Science Museum offers a little of everything, from photography to astronomy and biochemistry. Interactive exhibits, shows, and demonstrations make it a remarkably kid-friendly.
- The V & A Museum, formally called the Victoria and Albert Museum, is another free museum located on Exhibition Row in South Kensington. As the largest museum of decorative arts and design in the world, it is home to over 4.5 million objects. The comprehensive collection includes ceramics, silver, ironwork , textiles, photography, sculpture, and costumes from different time periods and from all over the world.
- The National Maritime Museum is perhaps the largest museum of its kind in the world. It is also a free museum, though some temporary exhibits have admissions charges. This massive museum explores Britain’s history with the sea. Visitors can practice steering a ship, fire cannon or see the uniform Nelson was wearing at the Battle of Trafalgar.
- Tower of London is the top tourist site in the United Kingdom that charges an admissions fee. This historic castle has played a prominent role in London’s history, serving many functions over the years, such as housing the Crown Jewels and the Royal Mint, and serving as both a prison and a royal residence.
- St. Paul’s Cathedral is located at the highest point in London, and its iconic dome is a prominent feature of London’s skyline. Visitors can climb up the dome, visit the crypt, learn about St. Paul’s history through a film, and of course, enjoy the cathedral’s spectacular interior.
- The National Portrait Gallery displays a collection of portraits of Britons occupying prominent places in British history. Interesting paintings and informative posters bring Britain’s history alive at this free London attraction.
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