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Royal Observatory Greenwich, London

4.0
#12 of 142 in Historic Sites in London
Architectural Building Historic Site
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At Royal Observatory Greenwich, see where the world established 0 degrees longitude. More than just the home of the prime meridian, the observatory serves as a museum containing artifacts from its time as a center for the study of navigation. Keep an eye out for the world's first marine chronometers and the UK's largest refracting telescope, which was made in 1893. The observatory also puts on art exhibits with maritime and astronomy themes, and hosts a 120-seat planetarium. Make sure you bring your camera, as you'll have views of London's Canary Wharf from here. Using our international travel planner, London attractions like Royal Observatory Greenwich can form part of a personalized travel itinerary.
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Where to stay in London

Many of London's main attractions are spread out, so nearby public transportation is key. There is no downtown area as such in London, and some of the least expensive hotels have more convenient access to tourist sites than the costlier ones. For a quintessential London experience, consider staying in the West End. This part of town offers excellent theaters, historical sites, and eating and shopping options for every taste. Lodging won’t be cheap, but you’ll have the colorful variety of London life right at your doorstep. Look at Notting Hill or Chelsea for charming and less expensive boutique hotels and B&Bs.
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4.4
  • Greenwich, on the edge of London is a lovely place with many nice bars, and restaurants. The Royal Observatory and college are well worth the visit and if you start from a river cruise be prepared for...  more »
  • This was a bit of a hike up a hill and we were a little disappointed with the visit, I think we were expecting a little more. It was OK but we would not return. Long queue to cross the time zones.  more »
  • My goal for the visit was to take pictures of the Prime Meridian and be "at two places at once". Like the other reviewers, it was a bit of a climb to reach the observatory but what a view of London it...  more »
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  • The Observatory is situated in a park with some of the best views in the city (beats the London Eye by a million) and the place is steeped in history. Love space/are interested in the early astronomical beginnings? Come here! The exhibits are well maintained and the audio guide helps you paint a clear picture of the significance of this place. You will definitely not be regretting spending a couple hours here if the weather's pleasant.
  • Observatory was well worth the visit (and the price of a ticket). Great display of historical clocks and nice story of navigation techniques developed with time. Also briefly displaying the actual scientists who worked here; maybe just scratching the surface from a scientific point of view, but pretty interesting and enlightening nonetheless. The view outside on top of the hill is superb and the park itself is very nice too!
  • The boat ride there is nice but it gets downhill from there and fast. The royal observatory barely scratch it's scientific nature. A lot of great minds were involved with science there but it doesn't tell you about it. It wasn't only about clocks and navigation. It changed the scientific world but you won't see anything about that or it's just a quick mention. Seriously avoid it if you want to go there for science or history. It would have be nice to have copies of scientific notes or developement models for clocks. A timeline of inventions and their creators would have been so interesting. Contribution by time period and person of interest too. Has their child or wife inspired them and how? How other scientific mind as well? I have far more question after then before. It does have a nice view and it's nice place for picnic though. So you have that
  • My gosh. Can you Speak nicely to me. Which it's not my fault that you can't find my group from your system! Be patients which I don't mind you need assistance for doing the system. Can't believe this is first time I've been treated like this. during 5years . To The man who's works in tickets desk . Apparently the lady next to me had better service.
  • This is definitely something to see! I went for my husband during our long weekend in London. The park surrounding the observatory is beautiful, but there is a bit of a climb to reach the observatory. However, I really enjoyed so many displayed and learning about the progression of navigation, time keeping devices, telescopes, etc. We did get pictures of the prime meridian, but since see went in the afternoon it was packed with people. I definitely recommend making this a morning exhibit to visit when it's less crowded.