The UK is a popular tourist destination in Europe thanks to its many attractions. You may have heard about destinations like Buckingham Palace and Tower Bridge. Interestingly, many other places in the country draw more tourists than them.

UK Tourist Visa

To visit as a tourist, you need a UK Standard Visitor Visa which allows you to stay in the country for up to 6 months. However, if you’re an EU, EEA, or Swiss national, you don’t need a visa for a short stay in the UK. You don’t also need a visa if you’re from the US, Canada, or Australia.

There are other countries too that don’t require visas, you can verify if you need one on the Home Office website. If you need one, the primary requirement is that you have enough funds to sponsor your trip.

If you plan on coming to the UK as a tourist, it’s ideal to plan else you get overwhelmed. Where you visit and what you do should depend on your budget. There are budget-friendly things you can do and if you prefer sightseeing, here are the top 5 tourist attractions in the UK you don’t want to miss.

1.   The British Museum

The British Museum is the number 1 tourist attraction in the UK – and among the most popular ones in the world. Over 5 million people visit the museum per year and it’s the 3rd most visited museum in the world. The museum is home to more than 7 million objects, with objects from every continent.

It’s easy to locate artefacts and follow their origin as they are grouped accordingly. Notably, after the Egyptian Museum in Egypt’s capital, Cairo, the British Museum has the most remarkable ancient Egyptian artefacts collection in the world. There’s also the Great Court in the middle of the Museum which houses the British Library’s largest reading room.

2.   Tate Modern

In 2018, the Tate Modern, a Museum in London, was the number 1 tourist attraction in the UK. While it lost that position to the British Museum, it still receives millions of visitors per year. Unlike the British Museum, you’ll find more modern and contemporary items in the Tate Modern – hence the name “Modern”.

Most items in the museum aren’t older than 1900. The galleries feature famous artworks like the Whaam! by Roy Lichtenstein and The Three Dancers by Pablo Picasso. If you’re on a low budget, you can explore the Permanent Collection for free.

3.   National Gallery

The National Gallery features artworks and paintings from over 700 years ago. It’s free to visit the gallery although fewer visitors are allowed; you will need to book a ticket in advance. You can join guided tours, group tours, or go on a self-guided tour using the mobile app.

In the National Gallery, you’ll find paintings of renowned historical artists like Leonardo da Vinci, Botticelli, Turner, Rembrandt, Gainsborough, Renoir, and Van Gogh. There’s an exclusive exhibition of works by Joaquí­n Sorolla. While entry is free, you’ll pay to partake in events and special exhibitions. The gallery is open from 10 am to 6 pm every day except Fridays when it closes by 9 pm.

4.   V&A Museum 

The world’s largest museum of applied arts, design and decorative arts is in the UK; it’s the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. As you may have guessed, the museum is named after Queen Victoria and Prince Albert – the ruling monarchs when the museum was opened in 1852.

The V&A Museum’s permanent collection has 2.3 million items ranging from sculpture to painting, architecture, jewelry, fashion, and ceramics to highlight a few. It’s a vast museum so if you’re visiting, you should be ready to spend the day. Visiting the museum is free and there are shops where you can purchase mementos.

5.   Science Museum

No science and technology museum in Europe attracts as many tourists as the UK’s Science Museum. With over 150,000 science-related objects, an average of 3.3 million people visit this museum every year. It’s the most popular out of the 5 museums that make up the Science Museum Group (SMG).

Entry into the Science Museum is free and there are fun things you can do. For example, you can watch lightning strikes and experience space. There’s a real piece of the Moon in the museum.


Written by Olusegun Akinfenwa

The leading team of Corporate Immigration Lawyers

Image Source, Sabrina Mazzeo,

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