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Nothing says "London" more emphatically than the 318-foot tower housing the giant clock and its resounding bell known as Big Ben. The tolling of Big Ben is known throughout the world as the time signal of BBC radio.
Below it, stretching along the Thames, are the Houses of Parliament, seat of Britain's government for many centuries and once the site of the royal Westminster Palace occupied by William the Conqueror.
An added bonus is that many of the most popular places to visit are free.
One of Britain's most iconic buildings, Buckingham Palace is also the scene of London's most popular display of pomp and circumstance, the Changing of the Guard.
With priceless objects from Assyria, Babylonia, China, Europe, and elsewhere, it's hard to know where to begin.
But most tourists head first for the museum's most famous exhibits: the controversial Elgin Marbles from the Parthenon, the Rosetta Stone, the colossal bust of Ramesses II, the Egyptian mummies, and the spectacular hoard of 4th-century Roman silver known as the Mildenhall Treasure.
Other highlights include the famous Crown Jewels exhibition, the Beefeaters, the Royal Mint, and gruesome exhibits about the executions that took place on the grounds.Buckingham Palace was built in 1837 and has been the London residence of the Royal Family since Queen Victoria's accession.If you're wondering whether the Queen is in, look at the flagpole atop the building: if the royal standard is flying day and night, she's at home.Founded in 1852, the V&A covers close to 13 acres and contains 145 galleries spanning some 5,000 years of art and related artifacts.Exhibits include ceramics and glass, textiles and costumes, silver and jewelry, ironwork, sculpture, prints, and photos.