Best 18 Most Visited Tourist Attraction in the UK

most visited tourist attraction in the uk

Are you planning your next trip to the UK and wondering which tourist attractions to visit? Look no further as we have compiled a list of the UK’s top 18 most visited tourist attractions. There’s something for everyone on this list, from popular museums like the Victoria and Albert Museum, Science Museum, and National Portrait Gallery to iconic landmarks like the Tower of London and the Houses of Parliament. We’ve also included lesser-known attractions like Horniman Museums and Gardens and Riverside Museum that are worth visiting. So pack your bags and get ready to explore the best of what the UK has to offer.

Top 18 Most Visited Tourist Attractions in the UK

These top 18 attractions offer visitors a chance to explore the centuries-old history and cultural treasures while experiencing modern-day England at its finest.

1. Victoria and Albert Museum

Victoria and Albert Museum

The Victoria and Albert Museum is a treasure trove of human creativity, housing the world’s largest decorative arts and design collection. With over 2.3 million objects spanning many years, it’s no surprise that this museum is a must-visit attraction in the UK. Each gallery showcases unique and fascinating pieces, from ancient sculptures to cutting-edge contemporary installations. Visitors can explore the museum’s vast collections through exhibitions and events and participate in guided tours or educational programs for all ages to learn more about art and design. The Victoria and Albert Museum truly offers something for everyone, making it an essential stop on any trip to the UK.

2. Science Museum

Science Museum

The Science Museum is a popular destination in London that offers an exciting and interactive way to explore the history of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. With its hands-on exhibits and collections of scientific artefacts, the museum provides visitors with an engaging experience that they won’t forget. From learning about the latest advances in robotics to discovering the wonders of space travel, there’s something for everyone at the Science Museum.

In addition to its permanent displays, the museum also hosts temporary exhibitions and special events throughout the year. Visitors can attend talks and workshops by leading scientists and experts, participate in fun team building activities for all ages, and explore new areas of science through immersive experiences. Best of all, admission to the Science Museum is free, making it a perfect destination for families on a budget.

3. Tower of London

Tower of London

The Tower of London is a historical marvel that has stood the test of time. Its existence dates back to the 13th century, and it has since served as a royal palace, fortress, armoury, and even a prison. The Tower attracts millions of visitors each year who come to see the Crown Jewels, explore the White Tower, and learn about its gruesome past. From beheadings to ghost sightings, the Tower is steeped in fascinating history that captivates all who visit. Additionally, visitors can take guided tours or indulge in interactive experiences to understand this iconic landmark’s rich history.

4. Southbank Centre

Southbank Centre

Located in central London, the Southbank Centre is a cultural destination offering visitors various experiences. Its iconic Brutalist architecture and scenic riverside location make it a popular spot for tourists and locals alike. The Centre’s diverse events and performances span music, art, literature, and dance, making it an ideal destination to explore various cultural offerings.

5. Royal Museums Greenwich

Royal Museums Greenwich

The Royal Museums Greenwich is a must-visit destination for history buffs and maritime enthusiasts. With an impressive collection of four museums, it offers a fascinating insight into the world of maritime exploration and astronomy. The museums showcase interactive exhibits that cater to all ages, from children to adults. The National Maritime Museum boasts the largest collection of its kind in the world while offering exhibitions on topics such as Antarctica exploration and pirates’ life. Visitors can also explore historic ships like the Cutty Sark, built in 1869 and one of the last surviving tea clippers.

6. Chester Zoo

Chester Zoo

Chester Zoo is one of the most visited tourist attractions in the UK, with good reason. The zoo allows visitors to see over 25,000 animals from more than 500 species worldwide. Chester Zoo has something for everyone, from elephants to tigers and everything in between. Additionally, the zoo is committed to conservation efforts and operates a number of breeding programs for endangered species.

Visitors can enjoy a variety of exhibits and experiences at Chester Zoo, including behind-the-scenes tours and animal encounters. These interactive experiences give visitors unique opportunities to learn about animal behaviour and care directly from the experts who work with them daily. For those interested in learning more about conservation efforts, the zoo also offers a range of educational programs for both children and adults. Whether you’re looking for a fun day out with family or friends or want to learn more about animal conservation efforts, Chester Zoo is not to be missed when visiting the UK.

7. Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle is a must-visit destination for anyone travelling to Scotland. This historic fortress dates back to the 12th century and has played a significant role in Scottish history and culture. Despite being a popular tourist attraction, Edinburgh Castle still serves as an active military base today. Visitors can explore exhibits that showcase the castle’s history, including the Scottish Crown Jewels and the Stone of Destiny. The castle’s stunning architecture and panoramic views are sure to leave you in awe. In addition to its rich history, Edinburgh Castle also hosts various events throughout the year, including military parades and concerts. Witnessing the famous One O’Clock Gun ceremony, where a cannon is fired every day at 1 pm, is a unique experience that cannot be missed.

8. St Paul’s Cathedral

St Paul's Cathedral

St. Paul’s Cathedral is a treasure trove of history and art, making it a must-visit attraction in London. Climbing to the top of the cathedral’s dome offers breathtaking views of the city skyline. The beauty of the interior is equally stunning, with intricate carvings, sculptures, and stained glass windows that are sure to leave you in awe.

St. Paul’s Cathedral offers a glimpse into its rich past and continues to play an essential role in modern-day London as an active church where visitors can attend services or concerts. The crypt houses notable figures such as Admiral Lord Nelson and the Duke of Wellington, while guided tours provide insight into the cathedral’s intriguing history and remarkable architecture. Don’t miss out on visiting this iconic landmark during your trip to London!

9. Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is one of London’s most iconic tourist attractions. The abbey has been the site of coronations and royal weddings for centuries, making it an essential destination for history enthusiasts. Along with its rich history, visitors can also explore stunning stained glass windows and intricate carvings that adorn the abbey’s interior. One of the most notable features of Westminster Abbey is its beautiful gardens, which are perfect for a peaceful stroll on a sunny day. Guided tours are available to learn about the architecture and history of this magnificent building, and visitors can attend daily services or special events such as concerts or lectures. Visiting Westminster Abbey should undoubtedly feature on every traveller’s itinerary while exploring London’s historical heritage.

10. British Library

British Library

The British Library is a must-visit attraction for book lovers and history buffs alike. With over 170 million items, the library’s collection is the largest in the world by the number of items catalogued. Its treasures include original manuscripts from some of the most famous authors in history, including Jane Austen and Charles Dickens. The library’s public exhibitions and events showcase some of its most unique holdings, making it not just a repository for knowledge but also a destination for those seeking an immersive experience.

Visitors to the British Library can explore its vast collections and learn about its rich history through guided tours. In addition, researchers and scholars from around the world can take advantage of the library’s range of services, including access to rare materials and specialized reading rooms. Whether you’re interested in literature, maps, or music, there’s something for everyone at the British Library.

11. Riverside Museum

Riverside Museum

Situated in Glasgow, the Riverside Museum is a must-visit attraction for transportation enthusiasts. This museum of transport and travel boasts an extensive collection of over 3,000 objects related to transportation, including cars, trains, trams, and even a Tall Ship. The exhibits are interactive, allowing visitors to experience hands-on activities throughout the museum.

One unique feature of the Riverside Museum is its architecture. Designed by Zaha Hadid Architects, the building has a distinctive wave-like structure that has garnered several awards for its design and exhibitions. As you stroll through the galleries, take note of how the exhibits are arranged thematically rather than chronologically. This unique approach makes it easier to appreciate how transportation has evolved over time and its impact on society.

12. National Museum Royal Navy

National Museum Royal Navy

The National Museum Royal Navy is a fascinating attraction showcasing the UK’s rich maritime history. Among other things, visitors can explore exhibits on shipbuilding, navigation, and naval warfare. The museum houses historic ships such as the HMS Victory and HMS Caroline, which have played a significant role in British naval history. Interactive exhibits and hands-on activities make the museum engaging for all ages.

The National Museum Royal Navy offers an immersive experience for anyone interested in British naval history. It provides a unique opportunity to learn about the various aspects of life at sea and the development of naval technology over time. If you’re looking for an educational yet enjoyable experience, this museum is definitely worth visiting during your trip to the UK.

13. Old Royal Naval College

Old Royal Naval College

The Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich, London, is a testament to the rich maritime history of the UK. Originally built as a hospital for sailors in the seventeenth century, it later served as a naval college. The stunning neoclassical buildings offer visitors an opportunity to explore and learn about the site’s history through guided tours and exhibits. One of the must-see attractions within the Old Royal Naval College is the Painted Hall, a masterpiece of baroque art that leaves visitors awestruck.

The site offers various events and activities, including concerts and outdoor movie screenings, providing a unique experience for everyone. The Old Royal Naval College is also recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its historical significance and architectural marvels. A visit here is not only an educational tour but also an unforgettable experience of discovering British heritage.

14. Houses of Parliament

Houses of Parliament

The Houses of Parliament, also known as the Palace of Westminster, is an iconic symbol of British politics. As a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most visited tourist attractions in the UK, it offers visitors a glimpse into the history and inner workings of British democracy. Guided tours of the building provide insight into the political process and allow visitors to explore both the House of Commons and the House of Lords. The famous clock tower, Big Ben, is also located within the Houses of Parliament, adding to its allure. Whether you’re interested in history, politics or simply wish to take in stunning architecture, visiting this iconic landmark is a must-see during your stay in London.

15. Horniman Museums and Gardens

Horniman Museums and Gardens

The Horniman Museum and Gardens offer an excellent opportunity to explore world cultures, natural history, and music. The museum boasts a collection of over 350,000 objects that showcase the diversity of the world’s cultures. Visitors can marvel at the displays of musical instruments from around the globe and learn about their origins and significance. The natural history exhibits offer a fascinating insight into evolutionary biology with interactive displays and taxidermy specimens.

Apart from the indoor exhibits, visitors can also stroll through the beautiful gardens that offer stunning views of London’s skyline. The Horniman Aquarium is home to an impressive range of marine life, including jellyfish and seahorses, making it a popular attraction among kids. Don’t forget to check out the famous Horniman Walrus exhibit, which has become synonymous with the museum. Overall, the Horniman Museums and Gardens are a must-visit for anyone interested in exploring diverse cultures and natural history while enjoying a beautiful garden setting.

16. Royal Academy of Arts

Royal Academy of Arts

The Royal Academy of Arts is a hub for contemporary art enthusiasts located in the heart of London. Founded in 1768, the academy has a rich history and boasts over a thousand members who are artists. With its vast collection of paintings, sculptures, drawings, and prints from different eras, this attraction offers something for everyone. The exhibitions showcase some of the best works of contemporary art and draw crowds worldwide. Visitors can also attend lectures, workshops, and other events organized by the academy throughout the year. A visit to the Royal Academy of Arts will surely leave you inspired and awed by the incredible talent on display.

National Portrait Gallery

The National Portrait Gallery in London houses an impressive collection of portraits of historically significant British figures, from the Tudor era to the present day. The gallery provides visitors with a glimpse into the lives and accomplishments of notable individuals such as Queen Elizabeth I, William Shakespeare, and Sir Winston Churchill. It’s a unique opportunity for visitors to see iconic images up close and personal.

In addition to its permanent exhibits, the National Portrait Gallery hosts numerous temporary exhibitions throughout the year focusing on different themes, movements or artists. Visitors can attend lectures, workshops, and other events organized by the gallery, making for a memorable experience that enriches their knowledge of British history and art. Best of all, many of these exhibits are free to attend. The National Portrait Gallery is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in art, history, or both.

18. ZSL London Zoo

ZSL London Zoo

ZSL London Zoo is a must-visit tourist attraction in the UK for animal lovers of all ages. With over 750 species of animals, including rare and endangered species, it is one of the oldest and most popular zoos in the world. The zoo offers visitors a range of exhibits to explore, from Penguin Beach to Gorilla Kingdom and Tiger Territory. With educational programs and events for visitors of all ages, ZSL London Zoo is a fun day out and an opportunity to learn about conservation efforts and animal habitats. Located in the heart of Regent’s Park, the zoo is easily accessible by public transportation, making it a convenient destination for those visiting London.


The UK is a traveller’s paradise, rich in history, culture, and breathtaking natural landscapes. From museums to zoos and gardens to historical monuments, the top 18 most visited tourist attractions in the UK offer something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for family-friendly outings or solo adventures, these places are sure to leave you captivated by their beauty and charm. So pack your bags, grab your camera, and set out on an unforgettable journey across the United Kingdom. Ready to start exploring? Check out our comprehensive guide on the best tourist attractions in the UK.

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