Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey
As one of London’s best-known monuments, the Palace of Westminster should be on every visitor’s tick-list. Its Gothic Revival building was rebuilt in 1834 after a devastating fire, which fortunately spared medieval Westminster Hall, the Jewel Tower, and the world-famous 315-foot-high clock tower, a.k.a. Big Ben. Tour the Queen’s Robing Room, where she dons the Imperial State Crown before the annual opening of Parliament, and the Abbey, the Hall’s elder neighbor (it’s 700 years old), which embodies British history from William the Conqueror’s 1066 coronation to the 1997 funeral of Princess Diana.
Insider Tip: Watch the House of Lords and House of Commons in action from the green leather chairs in the public galleries. Call ahead to avoid showing up during a recess period.