1. London is home to the world’s oldest zoo
London has many attractions for animal lovers, but did you know that it also has the world’s oldest zoo? The London Zoo opened in 1828 and has over 750 species of animals from all over the world. You can see lions, tigers, giraffes, penguins, and more in their natural habitats. You can also feed some of the animals, watch live shows, and take part in fun activities. Don’t miss the Reptile House, where Harry Potter spoke to a snake in the first movie.
2. London has more than 170 museums
If you want to learn something new, London is the place to be. The city has more than 170 museums that cover a wide range of topics, from history and art to science and culture. Some of the most famous ones are the British Museum, which has over eight million objects from ancient civilizations; the Natural History Museum, which has dinosaur skeletons, fossils, and a giant blue whale; and the Science Museum, which has interactive exhibits, games, and experiments. Many of them are free to enter and have special areas for kids.
3. London is the only city to host the Olympics three times
London is a city of sports and has hosted the Olympic Games three times: in 1908, 1948, and 2012. You can visit some of the venues and landmarks from the games, such as the Olympic Stadium, where the opening and closing ceremonies took place; the London Eye, which was lit up with different colours to represent each country; and the Tower Bridge, which had giant Olympic rings hanging from it. You can also try some of the sports that were featured in the games, such as cycling at the Velodrome, swimming at the Aquatics Centre, and archery at Lord’s Cricket Ground.
4. London has a secret underground city
Beneath the streets of London, there are miles of tunnels and chambers that were used for various purposes throughout history. Some of them were used as shelters during the World War II bombings, when thousands of people slept underground to escape the air raids. Some were used as secret headquarters for the government and the military, where important decisions were made and plans were drawn up. And some were used as storage for treasures and documents, such as the Crown Jewels and the Magna Carta. You can explore some of these hidden places on guided tours or by visiting museums like the Churchill War Rooms or the London Transport Museum.
5. London is full of legends and myths
London has a rich and mysterious history that has inspired many stories and legends over time. Some of them are about famous people who lived or visited London, such as King Arthur, who was said to have his castle at Tintagel; Robin Hood, who was said to have met King Richard I at Westminster Abbey; Sherlock Holmes, who was said to have solved many crimes from his flat at Baker Street; and Jack the Ripper, who was said to have terrorised Whitechapel in 1888. You can discover more about these legends by visiting places like the Tower of London, where many kings and queens were imprisoned and executed; Westminster Abbey, where many monarchs were crowned and buried; Baker Street, where you can find a museum dedicated to Sherlock Holmes; and Whitechapel, where you can join a walking tour that retraces the steps of Jack the Ripper.