Many Americans choose London as one of their first destinations abroad.
While the majority of Americans no longer claim English ancestry...
There is no doubt that the history of the United States is closely tied to England.
Combine that with the fact that you don't have to deal with a foreign language, and it's an appealing destination.
If you're not an American or a native English speaker, this grand old city still is a great place to visit.
There are so many things to see there that you might find it hard to choose. Here are a few of the sights we think you shouldn't miss.
One of the most iconic things to see is Big Ben.... but you won't really SEE Big Ben.
That is the nickname for the Great Bell, as it's officially known.
The smaller bells chime "Westminster Quarters" on the quarter hours... a little tune you're probably familiar with.
(We have a clock at home that rings the Westminster Quarters... I love it.)
The Great Bell - Big Ben - chimes the hour.
Most tourists are referring to the tower and clock
when they say Big Ben, and of course, that's what you want to see.
The tower is at the corner of the Palace of Westminster -- the Parliament building -- right next to the Westminster Bridge.
Walk the Westminster Bridge over the River Thames to get a photo back at the Parliament Building and clock tower from that angle.
That could be the cheapest thing you do in all of London. It's an expensive city.
Have you ever watched BBC news and seen the Members of Parliament banging on that podium? You can see it on the tour.
It’s across the street and through Parliament Square from the Palace of Westminster.
This historic church is the place where England's Kings and Queens have been crowned and buried for centuries.
There are tombs of some of those Kings and Queens, and also about 3000 tombs of famous people in history.
Wander around and find their names along the walls and under stone slabs in the floor.
It's a combination Castle Fortress, Palace and prison.
Find where Henry the VIII did away with a couple of his wives.
See the crown jewels. The Beefeaters who give the tours make history come alive.
Learn why they love the ravens in the Tower of London and why no one wants them to leave.
That's the giant ferris wheel across from Big Ben. You can be sealed in one of its gondolas and take an hour or so to slowly rise over the city for a sky-high view, but it’s expensive.
We haven't done that yet.
We think you'll get a bigger dose of English reality if you walk the streets and find a cute little pub to have a pint and some pub grub.... and for less money at that!
(See if you can find some MacEwan's Ale... It's our favorite brew because it's our namesake.)
Another palace that calls to most tourists is Buckingham Palace.
You can watch the Changing of the Guard for free...
But buy a ticket when the Queen isn't in residence, and you can tour the palace.
Who wouldn't want to
see where the Queen lives?
Take a cruise on the Thames down to Greenwich and see the Prime Meridian...
You know GMT... Greenwich Mean Time....
Time schedules always say you're so much before or behind GMT. Well, this is what you're before or behind!
And do what everyone does... take your picture standing right on the line.
If you want to cut your expenses, head for the museums. Most of those are free, see what else you can see for free in town.
There is just no shortage of things to see in London.
The trick is to figure out how much time you have, and decide what's important for YOU to see.
It's your trip after all.