From the architecture, the rich history, and the multiculture – what can’t you find in the home of royalty? Since I was born and brought up in London, having recently moved to Chicago, I now appreciate what a fabulous place London is to visit. Here’s a sneak peek at what’s in store and why London should be at the top of your list for your next travel plans.

Buckingham Palace [VIDEO]

We all read about castles and palaces in fairytales, how about seeing what was once the real-life abode of the Royal Family? Home to the British Monarch since 1837, Buckingham Palace now serves as the administrative headquarters of the Monarch.

Located in Westminster, a classy borough of London, the Palace consists of a staggering 775 rooms. Although it is primarily utilized for prestigious events, a portion of Buckingham Palace is open to guests every summer. That’s right, this summer you could enjoy the ambience of the rooms in which Queen Victoria once resided.

Hampton Court Palace

If you grew up in England, you’ll have a fairly good idea about who King Henry VIII was and how his desperation for a male heir led to his bewildering array of six wives. However, if you’re new to British history, you’ll love walking around this ancient home of the famous King, learning about Henry’s unfathomable life. Oh, and don’t miss the Hampton Court Gardens; dazzling views that will leave a lasting impression on the soul.

Chinatown

I know, British history is all well and good, but when it comes down to it, we all want good food.

So, if you’re wondering if London offers more than just architecture and history, the answer is an emphatic yes. What sets London apart from many cities is the combination of magnificent sites and a multicultural society.

Located adjacent to Leicester Square, the town awaits your presence at its numerous Chinese restaurants, bakeries, supermarkets, souvenir shops, and other Chinese-run businesses. All year round, and particularly on the eve of Chinese New Year, Chinatown promises to provide flavor in more ways than one.

Oxford Street

A surefire way to remember a city is via shopping during travel expeditions. Indeed, for some – shopping is food for the soul! If that’s you, Oxford Street is exactly what you need this year. Oxford Street is Europe’s most beloved shopping scene consisting of 300 shops, restaurants, café’s, and various other services. The street is approximately 1.2 miles long, running from Marble Arch to Tottenham Court Road. Not only is this the center of London’s shopping district, but the Christmas lights in this town are world famous since the tradition was first established in 1959.

Spending some time here, you will cherish the diversity of Europe’s busiest street, showcasing some of the most luxurious brands.

The Shard

To top it off, it would be fabulous if you could see it all in one shot. Well, here it is, the largest skyscraper in Europe, The Shard. This is the most beautiful addition to the London skyline, standing almost 310 meters tall and inaugurated on July 5th, 2012. Twice the height of any other building in the capital, it offers a 360-degree view for up to 40 miles. According to Irvene Seller, the developer and joint owner of The Shard, the vision was to create an architecturally striking vertical city, incorporating services, including; hotel, apartments, public gallery, residential, retail, restaurants, and offices operating 24 hours a day. The Shard’s proximity to London Bridge station is ideal. Not only is London Bridge station the 21st century transport system that is used by 75 million people, but it also makes travel an effortless experience for visitors.

These are just 5 select reasons why you shouldn’t be putting off that trip to the most renowned city in Europe, as well as one of the most famous cities in the world.