London is undoubtedly one of the most famous tourist cities in the world. With famous attractions such as Buckingham Palace and Big Ben, renowned London hotels such as The Dorchester and The Savoy and world-celebrated restaurants such as Le Gavroche and The Ivy, the city is home to some of the most iconic tourist venues around today.
While these things are all recognised symbols of London, there are other lesser-known alternatives which are no less enthralling however.
Here, we look at 5 London attractions that perhaps aren’t held in the same esteem as some of the more notorious tourist London venues. Whilst they may not be as well-known, anyone visiting London for their 2011 holidays should be sure to check them out.
The Courtauld Gallery in the Strand is located in the 18th century Somerset House and its permanent collection offers visitors the chance to see a wide range of paintings.
With works dating from the early renaissance right through to the 20th century on display, a trip here could allow you to see pieces by master artists such as Vincent van Gogh, Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo.
There are also a number of temporary exhibitions, as well as lectures and other one-off events, so there is always bound to be something new for you to take in with each visit.
The Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Arts
If you’re keen to see pieces by contemporary – rather than classic- Italian artists you may want to take a trip to north London.
The Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art is the only museum in the UK that is entirely devoted to modern Italian art, so a trip here means you can see iconic pieces by Milanese painters Carlo Carra and Umberto Boccioni.
Giorgio de Chirico and Amedeo Modigliani are also among the artists whose work is on display at the Estorick Collection.
After you’ve had your fill of the exhibits, stop by the cafe for a drink and bite to eat, before purchasing some souvenirs in the gift shop.
If you plan on visiting the museum which is open every day between Wednesdays and Sundays, by tube you will need to get off at the Highbury and Islington stop on the Victoria Line.
For an insight into British culture, you may wish to visit Shoreditch. This part of London is home to the Geffrye Museum, which focuses on the development of interior design from the 1600s right through to modern day.
Located in an 18th century almshouse, the museum contains a number of period rooms which have been decorated to replicate design trends popular among the middle classes through various stages of history.
While entrance to the period rooms and gardens is free, you will need to pay for admission into the museum’s special exhibitions.
Gordon’s Wine Bar
Visiting London’s numerous museums can lead to working up quite a thirst. If that is the case, an option to quench that thirst is Gordon’s Wine Bar.
The Villiers Street establishment, close to the Embankment tube station, is thought to be oldest in London, so a trip here you could provide an illuminating insight into the city’s past.
While the bar itself was established in 1890, the building’s history dates back even further. In the 1680s it was the home of naval administrator Samuel Pepys.
Old Truman Brewery
Shopaholics will not be short of places to splash their cash in London, but if you’re looking for unique designer clothing head to the Old Truman Brewery near Brick Lane.
Each Sunday it hosts UpMarket, where fashion, crafts and a wide range of other goods are sold across 140 stalls. You can also buy handmade jewellery, often directly from the person who has made it!
There are also a number of market food stalls which sell a range of cuisines from across the world, ranging from paella to sushi.
London is home to so many hidden hotspots, you are sure to have fun uncovering everything that the capital has to offer.