Taylor Studniski loves visiting London without ever stepping foot inside a building.
That’s because the city’s most impressive views are from the outside.
Ever since her first trip, Taylor Studniski has been enamored by the city’s history and culture. But it was London’s architecture that truly took the Dallas, TX, residents’ breath away. London’s skyline is a unique mix of historic and modern. Old and new sit side-by-side, offering glimpses of the city’s past, present, and future. London’s landmarks truly offer something for everyone.
For those hoping to hop across the pond to experience this for themselves, Taylor Studniski shares seven awe-inspiring architecture that any anglophile will appreciate.
30 St. Mary Axe
This building is called “Gherkin,” which is English slang for a pickle. But, rest assured, 30 St. Mary Axe is much cooler than this nickname implies. The commercial building stands 41 floors tall in the heart of London’s financial district. In 2003, it won the prestigious Emporis Skyscraper Award, which honors excellence in architectural design and functionality.
Aside from being one of London’s most iconic structures, the London Eye is also one of the city’s most visited attractions. Also known as the “Millennium Wheel,” it offers panoramic views of the River Thames. Featuring a bar and a 4-D cinema, the London Eye is described as the world’s tallest cantilevered observation wheel.
The royal mansion opened in 1899 and was once home to Queen Victoria and Princess Diana. Today, it is the current residence of several generations of Dukes, Duchesses, Princes, and Princesses. The staterooms are open to the public, granting access to paintings and other objects from the Royal Collection. As a fashion enthusiast, Taylor Studniski recommends perusing the Royal Ceremonial Dress Collection, which is displayed here.
Don’t let the name fool you. Although the work inside City Hall may sound boring, the building itself is interesting. Opening in 2002, the structure is easily recognizable because of it’s unique bulbous shape. This design optimizes energy performance by reducing direct sunlight exposure. It claims to be a fully sustainable and virtually pollution-free building.
The Globe Theatre
Shakespeare’s second theater was erected in 1644 but destroyed to make room for more housing. Fortunately, what stands in its place now is a faithful reconstruction. The current Elizabethan playhouse opened in 1997.
When he designed The Shard, Renzo Piano’s inspiration was to create a “vertical” city. And he delivers. With 72 floors, The Shard is the U.K.’s tallest building and the seventh-tallest in all of Europe. The top floor has an observation deck that gives it the city’s highest public viewing point, edging out the London Eye. The Shard also contains a hotel, offices, multiple restaurants, and a viewing gallery.
You don’t have to be a world traveler to recognize Westminster Abbey. The large, Gothic church serves as England’s coronation church and burial site for the English elite. Since 1100, it has hosted 16 royal weddings. Seeing it from the exterior is breathtaking enough. If you do venture inside, Taylor Studniski encourages you to take in the historic oil and wall paintings. These line England’s oldest altarpiece.