Big Ben, or the Great Bell of the Great Clock of Westminster, is still one of London's most popular tourist attractions and has sat at the heart of the city since 1834. Nearly 3 million people visited the monument before COVID, which is what most people think of when they imagine London - but it is just a clock, right? So have you ever wondered why Big Ben is so popular?
The beating heart of the city
Before I talk about the best thing about seeing Big Ben - its location, I will tell you more about the clock tower itself. At 96 metres tall, it really stands out in the cityscape, and Big Ben is definitely one of the most recognizable and iconic London landmarks. You can go inside the tall tower, although you will have to climb up 334 small steps that spiral up the inside. No flip-flops are allowed, and if you suffer from vertigo, you might want to check somewhere else out.
When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford - Samuel Johnson
The real reason to visit Big Ben is for everything around and next to it. When you walk along the streets around Westminster (the name of this part of the city), you can not help but be blown away by the powerful and impressive buildings. This was the heart of the British Empire, and you can really see how they wanted to create intimidating architecture. You will feel it, I promise!
Big Ben, LondonWestminster, London SW1A 0AA, UK
You can visit somewhere like the London Dungeons (very scary and creepy) on the southern bank of the Thames, and then walk over Westminster Bridge and be greeted by the wide face of the Houses of Parliament and the rising bell tower of Big Ben. The Westminster underground stop is also right next to the area, so it is very easy to get to. Westminster is full of some of the city's grandest and most special buildings, and Portcullis House, the Palace of Westminster and Westminster Abbey are all within 200 m of Big Ben.
Westminster Abbey, LondonWestminster Abbey, Westminster, London SW1P 3PA, UK
The London DungeonThe Queen's Walk, London SE1 7PB, UK
Due to the importance of the surrounding area, it is a great place to see really impressive statues and monuments. You can find beautiful representations of Oliver Cromwell, George V, Queen Boudicca and 300 more artistic and historical pieces.
Less than ideal...
The only real drawback to visiting Big Ben is just how busy and full of tourists this part of London can be. It is undoubtedly one of the most popular attractions, and well worth seeing, but be aware that there is an endless amount of shops selling useless little items, just like in any touristy city.
But well worth it!
I love this part of London, and you can feel some of Westminster's history and sense of importance. I hope I have answered the question "Why is Big Ben in London so Popular?" and you want to check out this part of the UK. There is history, politics, lots of good (but expensive) restaurants and plenty of things to see and do. London can be intense, but it is an experience that most people do not forget!
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