London Icons

From Big Ben to the red telephone box, find out which London icons real Londoners prefer and why.

London is home to some of the most famous and iconic attractions in the world – from Big Ben and the red telephone box, to black cabs and Tate Modern. With so many sights to choose from, we asked real Londoners to name their favourite London landmarks, and tell us why they think they're so special…

Tower Bridge

"It's a spectacular bridge built in the late Victorian era. Tower Bridge is truly magnificent! It's great to see the bridge open to let ships through, which happens more often than you'd think; around 900 times a year. Walking across the bridge, you see amazing views of London. It really gives you a sense of old London – for me, it's the ultimate London icon." Hugo, 40, Battersea

London Eye

"I love the big wheel at a fairground, so I think the London Eye is a fantastic way of getting a bird's eye view of the city. On a good day you can see for miles and miles – at the top, the whole of London is laid out for you, like a game of Monopoly. A friend hired a private capsule for her birthday, so we were up there with all of our mates, oohing and ahhing. It was fantastic!" Jenny, 47, Dalston

Covent Garden

"It's a bit of continental Europe right in the middle of London, with tables from restaurants and eateries spilling out onto the piazza. Covent Garden is also where you'll find London's best street performers, from singers belting out arias to mime artists performing crowd-pleasing stunts. Whenever my family comes to London, this is where I take them." Sanjay, 26, Neasden

Piccadilly Circus

"There's always a real buzz in Piccadilly Circus – the buildings are lit up with electric signs and there are always people around the Statue of Eros, waiting for friends. Piccadilly Circus leads you to Soho, Chinatown and Leicester Square, areas where you'll find restaurants, pubs, clubs, theatres and cinemas." Sam, 23, East Dulwich

St Paul's Cathedral

"I was a kid when I watched Charles and Diana's wedding on TV. I remember the 25-foot-long [7.6m] dress train trailing behind her as she walked into St Paul's – it looked so dramatic! I've been a fan of the cathedral ever since. You can walk around the whole of the ground floor, visit the crypt, and climb all 530 steps to the top of the dome." Liz, 38, Shepherd's Bush

Westminster Abbey

"Westminster Abbey is where every King and Queen has been crowned since 1066, and it's also the final resting place for many sovereigns, politicians and artists: it has to be one of London's greatest icons. I also love the choral concerts they hold here. Last Christmas Eve I went to Midnight Mass – it was amazing." Richard, 53, Walthamstow

Houses of Parliament

"The Houses of Parliament stand on the site of the old Palace of Westminster. It's a really stunning building: a real London icon. The clock tower is home to Big Ben (that's the bell, don't forget!). I took my son on a tour of Parliament during the summer and he loved it. We even climbed the stairs to the top of the clock tower and saw that famous bell." Chris, 45, Hammersmith

More Ideas

  • London's Big Ben

    The Houses of Parliament and its iconic clock tower are among London's most famous landmarks. Don't miss it!

  • Hen Weekends in London: Top 10 Ideas

    Great spots for a hen weekend or hen night in London, from luxury spas to chocolate tours, jewellery-making and the best bars

  • Harry Potter's London

    Enter a magical world of witchcraft and wizardry as you tour Harry Potter's London

Blog Posts

Read more on the visitlondon.com blog