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3 Days in London: A Perfect 72 Hour London Itinerary

Last updated: May 28, 2024 - Written by Jessica Norah 162 Comments

London is one of the world’s largest and most exciting cities, offering visitors thousands of things to do, including museums, royal palaces, beautiful parks, historical sites, and world-class theatre.

With all these options, planning a trip to London can be a bit overwhelming, especially for first time visitors. We’ve put together a recommended 3 day London itinerary that will help you see the city’s highlights if you have at least 3 days in London.

Our suggested 3 day itinerary has you visiting all the city’s most famous attractions (e.g., Westminster Abbey, Windsor Castle, Tower of London) as well as some of the city’s lesser-known attractions.

In addition to the 3 day itinerary, we also provide tips on how to get around London, a map that plots out each day’s suggested itinerary, and tips on how to save money during your 3 days in London.

Buckingham Palace 3 Days in London 3 day London itinerary England

Table of Contents:

Planning Tips for 3 Days in London 

Before we share the 3 day London itinerary, we wanted to make sure you have all the planning information to make the most of your 3 days in London. So we first share information on how to get around London, how to save money on sightseeing, day trip recommendations, advice on where to stay, and further trip planning resources.

How to Get to London

London is well-connected to the rest of the world and easy to reach by plane or train. Most international visitors arrive by air.

London has six main airports, and you can get to London from almost any part of the world. If you are arriving from an international location outside Europe, Heathrow  is likely to be your arrival airport. For helping in getting into London from an airport, see our London airport guide  which covers transport options from all 6 airports.

If you are arriving by train, London is well-connected to train routes throughout the UK and Europe with a number of train stations in and around central London. Those planning to travel by train throughout the UK might want to see if a BritRail Pass might save you money, or another rail pass if traveling throughout Europe by train.

Those arriving from Scotland can check out our Edinburgh to London guide , and might want to consider taking an  overnight sleeper train .

If you are arriving from continental Europe by train or car, you’ll need to travel across the English Channel on the  EuroStar  train or take a ferry.

How to Get around London

London is best explored either on foot or by public transportation. Cabs and bike hires are also options.

London has a great public transportation network and most visitors spend at least some time traveling on it. This includes public bus, tram, and rail services (including “the Tube”) within the city. You can buy individual tickets for each ride, but many visitors get an Oyster Card  which allows you to travel on almost all the city’s public transit options and can save you time and money.

If you are considering an Oyster Card, you can read our full Oyster Card review . For more information and tips on getting around London, check out our detailed  public transport guide to London .

We do not recommend driving in London unless you are planning to stay on the outskirts of the city as driving and finding parking in central busy locations can be a nightmare. Parking is also expensive in many areas and there are congestion fees for driving in the city center.

If you are driving to London, I’d park your car when you arrive in the city and then use public transport to get around the city.

If you need to book a taxi in London, we recommend using minicabit to compare prices and make a booking.

Westminster Underground 3 Days in London 3 day London itinerary England

How to Save Money on Sightseeing in London

London can be an expensive destination for visitors and the costs of a trip here can quickly add up. There are a number of London discount passes you can purchase before your trip to help you save money (and time) at London’s most popular attractions and museums.

Our favorite London discount pass is the  London Pass which allows free entry into over 80 of London’s top attractions, including the Tower of London , Westminster Abbey, View from the Shard, Windsor Castle, St. Paul’s Cathedral, and many more.

The Pass also comes with a free hop-on, hop-off bus ticket, hop-on hop-off river boat, and additional discounts on food, shopping, theatre tickets, and tours. You can see a full list of attractions and benefits here .

We’ve used the London Pass on a number of visits and have written an in-depth London Pass review  which you can read to help determine if the London Pass would help you save money or time on your trip.

Although London can be expensive, it also has a number of fantastic free attractions including beautiful green parks, historic sites, and world-class museums like the British Museum, National Gallery, and Victoria & Albert Museum. Also be sure to check for special events and festivals that may be happening during your visit. 

Possible Day Trips from London

If you only have 3 days in London you certainly won’t need to leave the city for want of things to do. If this is your first visit, we actually would recommend spending the full 3 days in London as there is so much to see, do, eat, and take in! But we know that for many visitors, there is a must-see attraction outside of London that they want to see such as Stonehenge, Oxford, or the Warner Brothers Harry Potter Studio tour .

If there is something you really want to see in southern England and you only have the three days, then you can visit it as a day trip from London. For most places, you’ll have the option to see it as part of a guided tour, take public transit, arrange a private transfer, or rent a car and drive yourself.

We recommend taking public transit, joining a tour, or booking a private transfer to do a day tour from London. Unless you arrived by car or are planning to drive in the UK after your visit to London, we don’t really recommend having a car in central London as it can be a headache with the traffic, lack of parking, high overnight parking rates, and congestion charges.

Below are some popular London day trip options to consider:

  • Stonehenge – This ancient and mysterious stone circle is one of the most popular stops on a day trip from London. Most commonly done as a bus day trip, but you can also do it via public transit (train plus shuttle), rent a car, or book a private transfer. Read about our Stonehenge day trip experience here , which was a version of this tour  of Stonehenge, Bath, and the Cotswolds. A couple other suggestions for guided tours are this express half-day trip  to Stonehenge or this full day trip which includes inner stone access at Stonehenge and a stop in Bath.
  • WB Harry Potter Studio – Harry Potter fans will likely want to make time to visit the Warner Brothers Studio located outside the city in Leavesden where all of the Harry Potter films were filmed. The Harry Potter Studio Tour  (fee) includes loads of original sets, clothing, props, interactive exhibits, and a giant gift shop. You can get here from London via public transit (train plus shuttle) or by booking a tour or transfer. Tickets must be booked in advance. You can also  book a tour  from central London that will take you directly to and from the studio so you don’t have to take the train and shuttle. If you want to take a walking tour of the Harry Potter London filming sites consider this guided tour .
  • Oxford – Oxford is a compact and scenic historical city that is home to England’s oldest university. You can read our post about things to do in Oxford and how to plan your own Oxford day trip from London . It is easy to reach by train. If you are interested in a guided tour, you might consider this tour which visits Oxford plus the Cotswolds.
  • Highclere Castle  – Highclere Castle is the country house home of the Earl of Carnarvon, but it is better known as Downton Abbey from the hit British period TV series. The best way to get here is by car or by joining a tour. Here is a suggested guided tour option that includes a visit to Highclere Castle, Bampton (used as Downton village), and other Downton Abbey filming locations. Open seasonally so check opening dates before planning a visit.
  • Stratford-upon-Avon  – Stratford-upon-Avon is a picturesque Midlands market town that is best known as the birthplace of William Shakespeare and for its well-preserved Tudor buildings. Best ways to get here is by car, train, or guided tour. Here is a  guided tour option that includes a visit to Stratford-upon-Avon and the Cotswolds. See our guide to things to do in Stratford-upon-Avon here .

Where to Stay in London for 3 Days

If you are planning to do a visit that is similar to our suggested 3 day London itinerary, we’d recommend staying in central London to avoid added travel time. We’d suggest staying somewhere in the region between Kensington in the west and Canary Wharf in the east.

London has every type of accommodation option that you can imagine, from  inexpensive hostels  to self-catering  apartments  to 5-star  luxury hotels .

London is home to some really classic luxury hotels like  The Ritz ,  The Dorchester ,  Brown’s , and  The Savoy , but it also has a number of mid-range and budget friendly chains like  Holiday Inn Express ,  Travelodge ,  Best Western ,  Premier Inn , and  Ibis.

London is an expensive city so expect to pay a bit more than you might normally in less expensive destinations. But if you book in advance and compare prices, you should be able to find something that will fit most budgets.

To find the best rates on hotels in London, we recommend searching on Booking com or as in our experience these two sites tend to have the best prices and widest choice on both hotels and a range of apartments.

If you are looking for self-catering apartments or rooms, we recommend checking out Plum Guide . In our experience they offer some of the best options. See their listings for London here . There are also loads of other apartment booking sites  you can check.

Here are a few suggestions across budgets (lowest to highest):

  • The Walrus Bar and Hostel  – A well reviewed centrally located hostel, only a 15 minute walk from the Palace of Westminster (Big Ben) and Parliament Square.
  • SoHostel – Another well-reviewed hostel located just at the edge of Westminster, only a 15 minute walk from Trafalgar Square and the National Gallery.
  • Point A Hotel – This is a hotel within the well-priced Point A hotel range, and this one is well-reviewed and located in Westminster. A 17 minute walk to Parliament Square and Westminster Abbey. We’ve stayed here; rooms are tiny but clean and a great budget option.
  • Premier Inn – This well-rated mid-range 3-star option is located hotel is located near the Borough Market and London Bridge.
  • Hilton Tower Bridge – This well-rated hotel offers a good value for what it offers and is located within a short walk of Tower Bridge, London Bridge, and Borough Market.
  • The Resident Victoria Hotel – A centrally located 4-star hotel offering excellent value for money located near Buckingham Palace. We’ve stayed here; the lower priced rooms are small but the hotel is very well-located.
  • Lime Tree Hotel – A well reviewed boutique hotel, around nine minutes walk from London Victoria
  • Brown’s – If you are looking for a classic 5-star London luxury hotel, you can’t go wrong with Brown’s which provides intimate boutique luxury. It is the oldest hotel in London and is located in Mayfair within a 12 minute walk from Buckingham Palace.
  • The Savoy  – Another classic 5-star luxury hotel, this one much larger, located in central London. Less than 10 minute walk to Trafalgar Square and the National Gallery.

For many more options, see our complete guide to where to stay in London , which also has tips on what to look for and the different neighbourhoods in the city.

Lord Milner B&B London hotel 3 Day itinerary

Have More or Less than 3 Days in London?

If you have less than 3 days in London, we have also written a suggested guide to spending  1 day in London  as well as a  2 day London itinerary . We also have a guide to seeing the best of the city and its royal sites in a  one day London walking tour .

If you have more than 3 days, we also have a 6 day London itinerary  that should give you plenty of ideas of how to spend up to 1 week in London.

If you’re in London for longer than 1 week and want some advice, feel free to leave us a comment and we’re always happy to provide some suggestions based on what you enjoy doing and seeing.

Further Information & London Resources

We have written a lot about London on both of our travel blogs, so you can check out our  London articles on Finding the Universe  and our  London articles  on this blog for more info and to see where we’ve been.

For additional planning resources, the  city tourism website  and  Visit Great Britain  websites also offer tons of helpful information for visitors. If your travels are taking you beyond London, you can check out Laurence’s suggested  2-week UK itinerary  to get you started.

If you are looking for a London guidebook, we recommend either the latest Rick Steves guidebook or Lonely Planet guidebooks .

Most of our suggested itinerary has you walking and using the Tube, so we recommend picking up a decent walking map for London. We really like the London  laminated Streetwise map  (it also includes a central Underground Tube map), but you can also probably find a free paper map at your hotel or at a visitor center.

If you are looking for packing tips for your trip, check out our suggested  London packing list .

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3 Day London Itinerary: How to Spend 3 Days in London

Now, we’ll share our suggested 3-day London itinerary. Our itinerary is geared to the first-time visitor to London who has 3 days in London (or more), and is interested in visiting a number of historic and cultural attractions as well as some green spaces and scenic viewpoints.

As with all of our suggested itineraries, we recommend that you use this as a guide for your trip and tailor it to suit your individual interests, needs, and speed of travel. If you have any questions as you are planning your trip to London, please feel free to leave us a comment in the Comments section at the end of this post.

Be sure to check on the opening dates and hours for any must-see attractions before you set out as many attractions close for one day per week, or may be closed due to renovation or a special event.

For all attractions with an entrance fee, we’ve noted there is an entry fee by writing “(fee)” next to them. Since many visitors use the  London Pass , the attractions that are included on the London Pass are starred (*) denoting that passholders receive free entry so these attractions have “(fee*)” next to them. We do our best to keep this information updated, but things change so you may want to double-check fees and London Pass inclusions before your trip.

The map below shows the suggested walking routes for each of the three days in London with all major London itinerary locations noted. Click  here  or double click on the map below for a closer look and to see exact locations in Google maps:

3 days in London map London itinerary

London Itinerary Day 1 – Explore Westminster

We recommend starting your trip to London in Westminster as it is the geographical, cultural, and political center of the city. The City of Westminster is actually its own city within London! Here you’ll find some of London’s most iconic buildings, including Buckingham Palace, Palace of Westminster, and Westminster Abbey.

Many people enjoy taking a sightseeing bus or walking tour to get a good overview of a city before heading off to explore on their own. If this is you, I’d recommend doing it on your first day in London to get a good orientation.

  • If you like hop on hop off buses, the City Sightseeing bus covers many of London’s highlights. A  free sightseeing bus is included for those with a London Pass.
  • If you enjoy walking tours we can recommend  Take Walks which offers several tours in London as well as many other locations in Europe. We have used them several times and all their tours are well-rated.
  • If you are looking for a full day walking tour that will cover most of the highlights of Westminster, we recommend this one  or this one . Both cover many of the highlights including a visit to Tower of London , a Thames river cruise, and seeing the Changing of the Guard. You can read a full description of the full day London walking tour I did on my very first visit to London to get an idea of what these are like.
  • If you are looking for a half day tour, you might consider this 4 hour tour .
  • If you are a Harry Potter fan, consider a Harry Potter guided walking tour like this one
  • If you are looking for a private walking tour of London or a customized tour, we recommend checking out the London tours offered by Context Travel.

Our suggested Day 1 London itinerary starts and stops near Parliament Square, but you can begin it at any point along the route. Today’s route is walkable but you can also get around via public transit, taxi, or a sightseeing bus as well.

Parliament Square & Houses of Parliament

We’re going to start off our itinerary at Parliament Square which is a well known public square in Westminster that is easy to get to via public transport and is a stop on all the main sightseeing buses as well. Around the square you’ll also find the statues of a number of famous people, including Winston Churchill, Abraham Lincoln, Robert Peel, and Gandhi.

This popular square is surrounded by famous buildings, including Westminster Abbey, St. Margaret’s Church, the UK Supreme Court, and the Palace of Westminster. The Palace of Westminster, better known as the Houses of Parliament, is probably best known for its famous Big Ben bell which sits within the iconic golden Elizabeth Tower.

The large government building is named after the former medieval palace of the same name. A few sections of the medieval palace of Westminster still remain, including the 14th century  Jewel Tower  (fee*) which you can visit.

Although perhaps not a priority stop with only 3 days in London, the public can tour the  Houses of Parliament  (fee) on certain dates. Tours include visits to the Westminster Hall, St. Stephens Hall, Commons Chamber, and the Lords Chamber. UK residents can contact their local MP or a Member of the House of Lords to arrange a free tour. Otherwise, you can  book a tour ticket online  for a self-guided audio tour or guided tour. Tours must be booked in advance.

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Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey  (fee*) is one of the most famous and impressive churches in England. It dates back to 1245 and was mostly built in the Gothic style. Inside the church are tombs and memorials to a number of the most famous British people from the past 1,000 years, including royalty, scientists, aristocrats, and artists. It has also been used for all English and British coronations since William the Conqueror in 1066 as well as being the site of numerous royal weddings, including the 2011 wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton.

If you plan to visit Westminster Abbey be sure to leave extra time to get in and see everything as it is a popular place and it takes a while to explore. An audioguide is included and will help you make the most of your self-guided visit. You can skip the line and get fast track entry by booking your ticket online in advance here .

In summer 2018, the  Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Galleries  (fee) via the new Weston Tower of Westminster Abbey Tower was opened. The galleries house exhibits about the history of the abbey as well as a number of priceless artifacts. Admission to the Galleries is currently an extra £5.00 and you will receive a timed ticket since space is limited.

Guided tours of the main sections of the Abbey are also possible for a small extra fee (currently £5/person), check at arrival or on the Abbey website for tour times.

Churchill War Rooms

The  Churchill War Rooms (fee) is made up of two connected museums: the Cabinet War Rooms and the Churchill Museum. The Cabinet War Rooms allows visitors to explore the huge underground secret bunker where the majority of the World War 2 effort was directed from 1939 to 1945. An audioguide and interpretive exhibits help visitors understand the maze of underground rooms and what happened here.

The Churchill Museum is a large room dedicated to the life of Winston Churchill. It provides information on his life from his early years to his death in 1965, with a focus on his long political career. This is the most comprehensive museum I’ve ever visited on Churchill and our favorite site of the many  Winston Churchill sites in London . Book your tickets online in advance here .

For those with an interest in the London Blitz, we can also recommend the  London Churchill War Room tour  (save 10% off any Context tour using this link) by Context Travel which includes a guided visit to the Churchill War Rooms as well as a guided tour of parts of London related to the Blitz.

Those interested in military and war related history, should check out this list of London war museums and memorials .

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St. James’s Park

We now recommend walking through St. James’ Park in the direction of Buckingham Palace for a bit of greenery. The 50-acre park is one of the city’s 8 Royal Parks and is known for its famous pelican residents. There is a café located within the park if you need a tea or coffee break or a light lunch.

Near the park is the  The Guards Museum  (fee*) which tells the history of the British Army Guards regiments as well as St. James’s Palace , a 16th century palace that was once the main residence of the British monarch. Today the palace is still used as a residence for members of the British royal family (although not the monarch) and as a meeting place. The palace is not open to visitors.

Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace is the most famous palace in the UK and serves as the primary London residence for the reigning sovereign of the United Kingdom. The royal palace dates back to 1703 and was originally built as a townhouse for the Duke of Buckingham, but was later acquired by King George III. Queen Victoria was the first monarch to officially reside in the palace.

If you want to see the Changing of the Guard ceremony, you’ll need to skip either the morning visit to Westminster Abbey or the Churchill War Rooms (you can visit one later in the afternoon instead) to get to Buckingham Palace before 11am. The Changing of the Queen’s Guard ceremony takes place on most days at the forecourt of Buckingham Palace around 11am, and lasts about 45 minutes. If you want to see the Changing of the Guard ceremony, check the  schedule online  in advance (may be cancelled last minute due to weather or security issues) and show up early to get a good viewing spot.

If you want a spot to watch part of the Changing of the Guard with fewer people, you might consider watching from in front of Friary Court in front of St. James Palace (the Old Guard normally lines up and starts here). Another alternative is to watch the Changing of the The Queen’s Lifeguard (horse guards) at the  Horse Guards Parade .

Most visitors are happy to just get a look at the palace and perhaps see the Changing of the Guard, but you can also tour the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace (fee) in the summer (generally August and September only). You need to book tickets in advance if you want to tour the palace, you can get tickets here for a tour and self-guided tours include audioguides.

Even if you can’t visit the State Rooms of Buckingham Place, there are places on the palace grounds that are open to the public year round. At the  Royal Mews  (fee) you can see a large number of royal carriages and coaches, including the Diamond Jubilee State Coach. At the Queen’s Gallery  (fee*) you’ll find excellent art exhibitions from the royal collection which change regularly throughout the year.

Piccadilly Circus

We now recommend heading to Piccadilly Circus en route to Trafalgar Square. Piccadilly Circus  doesn’t have any clowns, but it is a famous circular road junction well-known for its neon signs and advertising. You’ll find the well-known Shaftesbury Memorial Fountain  here.

From here, it is a short walk to many of London’s West End theaters (head up Shaftesbury Avenue) or to London’s West End shopping area (follow Regent Street).

Trafalgar Square & the National Gallery

Trafalgar Square is one of the most popular public squares in London and is home to Nelson’s Column (a monument to Admiral Horatio Nelson) and London’s famous stone lion statues. The square also features performing street artists and contemporary art (a changing featured piece of art occupies the square’s Fourth Plinth ).

Here you’ll also find two of London top art museums, the  National Gallery  and the  National Portrait Gallery . We’ve spent a lot of time in both over the years and they include world-class art from artists such as Picasso, Turner, Titian, and Monet. If you love art, I’d plan to spend some time at one or both of these museums. Entry is free (special exhibitions may cost extra) at both museums although donations are greatly appreciated.

If you are traveling with kids, they may enjoy creating a brass rubbing they can take home with them at the nearby  London Brass Rubbing Centre (fee) located underground within St. Martin-in-the-Fields. Note that this isn’t always available, check the website for when you can do it.

Nelson's Column 3 Days in London 3 day London itinerary England

Now we recommend walking down Whitehall, which is the street running south from Trafalgar Square towards Parliament Square. Whitehall is so named for the Palace of Whitehall, a large medieval royal palace complex that stood here until it was destroyed by fire in 1698. It was the largest palace in the world at one time with over 1,500 rooms!

A small well-preserved section of the Whitehall palace complex, the  Banqueting Hall (fee), can still be visited today. The Banqueting House was designed by Inigo Jones and features a beautiful ceiling painted by Peter Paul Reubens.

Today Whitehall is still the center of the UK Government and you’ll pass a number of government buildings along your walk. You’ll also pass the  The Household Calvary Museum  (fee*), a small museum dedicated to the history of the Household Cavalry which is located in the 18th century stables of the Horse Guards. In the middle of the street, you’ll also see The Cenotaph , the UK’s national war memorial.

You’ll also pass by the entrance to Downing Street which is where the Prime Minister (at 10 Downing Street) and other UK government ministers reside. The street is gated and guarded, but you can peek through and should be able to get a glimpse 10 Downing Street, which is the headquarters of the UK government and official residence of the UK Prime Minister.

As you continue your walk, you’ll end back in Parliament Square where we started our day.

Westminster Bridge

Now we recommend walking across Parliament Square and onto Westminster Bridge. This bridge dates back to 1862 but there has been a bridge here since 1750. From the bridge, you’ll have a fantastic view back of the Houses of Parliament and the River Thames. You can then take a walk along the Thames or head off to dinner.

London Dungeon

If you still have time and stamina you might want to continue on across Westminster Bridge to where you’ll find several attractions located along the Thames, including the London Dungeon and the London Eye .

The  London Dungeon (fee*) is a popular interactive walkthrough attraction that uses costumed actors, special effects, and rides to share some of London’s darker and more gory history and provide some laughs and screams along the way.

The educational and historical part of the experience here is a bit questionable, but if you enjoy amusement parks and haunted houses, you’ll probably enjoy this. Not recommended for young children or those with a nervous disposition.

Next door to the London Dungeon are two family-oriented attractions, the Sea Life London Aquarium (fee*) and  DreamWorks Tours: Shrek’s Adventure (fee*).

If you are wanting to visit these attractions, they are also included on the London Pass.

The  London Eye (fee*) is Europe’s tallest observation wheel and a great place to get some nice views over London and the Thames. Visitors stand in large enclosed glass pods on this giant ferris wheel like attraction and it spins very slowly to give visitors expansive views. You can also add champagne to the experience or even get a private pod.

The London Eye is open late (depending on the time of year) making it a great last stop or even after dinner visit. Around sunset is a nice time to do this ride. Great in good weather, I’d skip if the weather is too bad as it will spoil the views.

You can save money (and time) by purchasing your tickets in advance. Online prices are usually much lower than if you buy at the ticket desk.

You can buy tickets for the London Eye from the official site here . It’s also included on the London Pass.

We also have a complete guide to visiting the London Eye here .

London Eye 3 days in London itinerary

London Itinerary Day 2 – City of London & Southwark

Today we recommend exploring the City of London. The City of London is another “city within a city” like Westminster. It is home to much of the city’s financial and banking services, and is also the oldest part of the city. This area was named “Londinium” by the Romans and you’ll find an interesting mix of the city’s oldest landmarks and most modern buildings here.

Across the River Thames from the City of London is the London Borough of Southwark. A number of top London attractions and landmarks can be found here including HMS Belfast, the Tate Modern, The Shard, Southwark Cathedral, the Imperial War Museum, and Borough Market.

You can get around and do this itinerary on foot, but you may want to take public transit to get from the Sky Garden to St. Paul’s Cathedral to save time. If you are planning to do a Thames river cruise, you may want to do it today after your visit to the Tower of London. 

Tower of London

The  Tower of London  (fee*) was first built by William the Conqueror in 1078 as a royal castle and defense tower. It was then expanded over the centuries and served many purposes, including a fortress, prison, armory, and Royal Mint. Today is it a UNESCO world heritage site and it is famous for serving as a prison and execution site of famous people like Queen Anne Boleyn and Lady Jane Grey, and for housing the Crown Jewels.

The Tower of London is definitely one of the most popular (and one of our favorite) attractions in London, so we recommend being there near opening time if you can. Once inside, we recommend visiting the Crown Jewels first as this part can get very crowded.

There is a lot of to see here but some of the highlights are the Crown Jewels, the White Tower, the Tower Green, and the tours given by the Beefeaters ( Yeoman Warders ). For more information, see our complete guide to visiting the Tower of London .

The Tower of London is included on the London Pass, or you can book tickets in advance here .

Tower of London Visiting the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in London

If you enjoy nice views, we recommend a stop at Sky Garden, London’s highest public garden. The terraced garden area is laid out over three storeys (level 35 to 37) and there is an observation deck, bar, and open air terrace.

Although the Sky Garden is technically a public garden and can be visited for free, we recommend booking a space in advance as they are often fully booked and can’t always accommodate walk-ins. Tickets are generally released each week and can be booked up to 2 weeks in advance. If the free slots are already booked out and you still want to visit and enjoy the views, you can generally still get in by making a restaurant reservation and eating at one of the several restaurants located here.

Nearby, we recommend stopping by to see The Monument , a 202 foot Doric column monument designed by Christopher Wren and Robert Hooke to commemorate the Great Fire of 1666 . The column stands approximately at the spot the fire started. Visitors can actually go inside (fee*) and climb the over 300 stairs to the viewing platform on top.

You can then walk to St. Paul’s (about 15 minutes) or take the Underground from The Monument stop to the St. Paul’s Cathedral stop.

St. Paul’s Cathedral

St. Paul’s Cathedral  (fee*) dates back to 1697 after the previous one was badly destroyed by the Great Fire of London in 1666. It was rebuilt by Christopher Wren in the English Baroque style, but a church dedicated to St. Paul has been on this site since the 7th century!

The dome of the cathedral is a recognizable feature of the London skyline and the church has long been seen as a symbol of the spirit of the British people, especially during World War II. The church is an active place of worship with regular Anglican services, and has been the site of a number of notable events including the wedding of Prince Charles and Diana, the state funeral of Winston Churchill, and Jubilee services for Queen Elizabeth II.

The church can be visited and tour and admission prices include an audioguide for a self-guided visited. Guided tours are often given throughout the day by church staff.

Visitors have the option to visit the main parts of the cathedral, the dome, and the crypt. There is often a line to visit the dome as only a certain number of visitors can climb the steps at a time, so allow extra time if you want to climb the dome to visit the Whispering Gallery and/or the Stone and Golden Galleries.

If you don’t have the London Pass (free entry included), we recommend booking your ticket online in advance to save money and to skip the ticket line.

Alternative: An alternative (or additional) attraction in the area that you may want to visit is the Museum of London . A great free museum that we’d highly recommend to anyone interested in the history of the city (note, closed until 2026).

Winston Churchill in London sites attractions England UK

Shakespeare’s Globe

Now we recommend heading across the Millennium Bridge, a steel pedestrian suspension bridge, to the other side of the Thames to see Shakespeare’s Globe (fee*).

This is of course not the original Globe Theatre (built in 1599) used by William Shakespeare, but it is as faithful of a modern construction as could be produced of the open-air theatre where Shakespeare staged many of his famous plays. The Globe is located near where the original would have stood. The original Globe Theatre stood about 200 meters away and you can go see the site and it is marked by a plaque.

The reconstruction of The Globe was the dream project of American actor/director Sam Wanamaker. If you want to see the inside of the theatre, you can visit the museum exhibition, learn how it was constructed, and do a guided tour of the open-air Globe where you get to see the stage and seating areas.

You can also enjoy open-air performances here in the summer or at the indoor candle-lit Jacobean style Sam Wanamaker Playhouse year-round. A great venue to see a Shakespeare play in London. Just be sure to book your performance ticket in advance.

Alternatives:  Other nearby attractions include the Tate Modern (free, charges for exhibitions*), HMS Belfast  (fee*), Southwark Cathedral (free, donations welcome), and  The Old Operating Theatre Museum  (fee*).

Borough Market

Borough Market is the best known and one of the oldest markets in the UK. It is believed that a market has been in this area since around 1014!

Today the market is filled with fresh produce, fresh meats and fish, baked goods, cheeses, flowers, wines, spices, and other food stuff. There are also cafes, demonstration kitchens, and restaurants that are part of the market as well as many food stalls selling ready-to-eat foods, including sandwiches and all kinds of street foods from Ethiopian wraps to Galloway beef stew to vegetarian pastries. This is a great place for a snack or meal!

If you are really interested in food, we’d recommend considering cutting out some of the other stops in the itinerary today and doing a food tour here, such as this one . A food tour will allow you to understand the history of Borough Market and allow you to sample and taste a wide selection of local products and dishes. For more on food tours, see our complete guide to the best food tours in London .

The market is normally open from 10am to 5pm and is closed on most Sundays during the year. Check the hours ahead of time when planning your day.

Borough Market 3 Days in London 3 day London itinerary England

London Bridge & Tower Bridge

From this area you can admire London’s two most famous bridges, London Bridge and Tower Bridge. Both are active road bridges over the River Thames that can be crossed by vehicles and pedestrians.

Given time, you probably only have time to admire them today, but both do have associated attractions if you want to visit them. You’ll also have a good view of HMS Belfast (fee) moored in the Thames, a WW2 era Royal Navy light cruiser that is now a popular tourist attraction.

London Bridge has existed in some form since Roman times, although the current one was built in the 1970’s. Next to London Bridge is the  The London Bridge Experience  (fee*) which tells the darker history of the London Bridge over time through the use of interactive exhibits and theater and is geared towards families and young adults that don’t mind a bit of a scare.

Tower Bridge is the more iconic bridge, although often mistakenly referred to as London Bridge. It is a Victorian bascule and suspension bridge built between 1886 and 1894, and is very photogenic with its iconic bridge towers.

If you want to learn more about the Tower Bridge (and have extra time) you can visit the  Tower Bridge Exhibition  (fee*) which covers the history of the bridge and allows access to the towers and walkways, including a glass walkway you can walk across that extends 138 feet above the Thames!

The Shard  is a modern pyramidal shaped skyscraper that is home to several restaurants, a hotel, offices, shops, and a viewing gallery. It was completed in 2012 and is currently the tallest building in Western Europe at 1,017 feet (309 meters) with 87 floors.

The viewing gallery, called The View from the Shard (fee*), is the highest public viewing gallery in London located on floors 68, 69, and 72. The building offers spectacular 360 degree views over central London and you can see just about all of the city’s major landmarks. On a clear day they say you can see up to 40 miles away, and it definitely offers the most expansive views over London we’ve every seen! Good views both during the day and the evening.

Now, The View at the Shard is fairly pricey (currently £37/person) for what it offers. So I’d carefully consider your visit here especially if you have already visited the London Eye and/or Sky Garden which both also offer good city views. If you do want to visit book your tickets online in advance for the best prices.

The View from the Shard is also included on the London Pass , so if you have one of these then it is definitely worth visiting.

Another way to enjoy the view is to head to the GONG Bar on Floor 21, and while not as high as the viewing platform, still offers sweeping views of the city for the price of a cocktail. This is a great spot to enjoy a before or after dinner drink. You can book ahead but they also take walk-ins at the bar. The Shard also has several other restaurants and bars, reservations recommended or required for meals.

View from the Shard 3 Days in London 3 day London itinerary England

West End Show

The West End is one of the most world-renown places in the world, along with New York City’s Broadway, for professional theatre. Over 30 theaters can be found in the West End offering a wide variety of musicals and plays. Here is a good list  of the theaters which also denotes the current main production being shown at each.

If you are wanting to go to a West End theater performance, you can book tickets in advance online before your trip (recommended if there is a specific performance you want to see) or try to find a deal once you are in London if you are flexible in what you see. Here are some  tips for buying theatre tickets,  and London Pass holders have access to  theater ticket discounts  on several West End shows.

But if theater and musicals are not your thing, there are a number of nighttime performances in London every day, from rock concerts to opera to films to comedy shows. For operas, symphonies, and classical music, you can find a list of upcoming performances here .

London also has a great nightlife scene with hundreds of bars, pubs, discos, and clubs. No matter what your taste, you are sure to find something of interest!

London Itinerary Day 3 – Kensington & Windsor Castle

So now you’ve seen some of the BIG highlights in London like Westminster Abbey, the Tower of London, Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, and the National Gallery. For your last day we’d suggest exploring a neighborhood like Kensington in the morning and then head to Windsor Castle in the afternoon.

Alternative London Neighborhood Options. We are going to recommend Kensington as the neighborhood to explore today, as we feel it offers something for every type of traveler and also has a large number of attractions, including several free museums. But if you are wondering about other neighborhood options we can also recommend Greenwich or Camden.

Each of these 3 neighborhoods are interesting and have a number of attractions and are worth a day of exploring. If you’d prefer to explore Greenwich or Camden, you can find a day itinerary for both of these neighborhoods as part of our suggested 6 day itinerary .

Or you can instead use this day to visit sites of interest to you that didn’t make it into our 3 day itinerary, such as the British Museum (free), Kew Gardens (fee*), the London Zoo (fee*) or a tour of the FC Chelsea stadium (fee*). Indulge in a particular passion or just enjoy a leisurely day of shopping or pub hopping.

Or head out of London for a day trip (see “Possible Day Trips from London” section at the beginning of the post for ideas) to visit popular sites in southern England such as Stonehenge or Oxford. It’s you last day, so spend it however you like!

You can get around Kensington today by foot, but you will need to take a train to reach Windsor Castle.

Kensington Palace

Kensington Palace (fee*) is a grand 17th century home that was first used as a royal residence by King William II and Queen Mary II. It continued to be used as a royal residence by a British monarch through the reign of King George II. Since then it been used as the residence and workplace of “minor royalty”, and is still an active working royal palace.

One of the people most associated with the palace is Queen Victoria although she never lived here as queen. Victoria was born at Kensington Palace and it was here that she learned that she was queen. Fittingly, outside of Kensington Palace is a large marble statue of Queen Victoria, designed by her daughter Princess Louise, that depicts her at the age of 18 in her coronation robes.

In more recent times, it has been the home and workplace of Princess Margaret, Prince Charles, Princess Diana, Prince William, and Prince Henry. It is still the official London residence of Prince William and Prince Henry and their wives, Princess Eugenie, and several other members of the Royal Family.

Despite it being a working royal palace, visitors are able to visit many of the rooms in the palace year round. There is a lot to see here and you can easily spent a few hours wandering around the warren of rooms. I would recommend taking a look at the different self-guided routes that the palace staff recommend and these are color coded and mapped out. The routes are based on different themes (e.g., Queen Victoria, King’s Apartments, Queen Victoria, royal fashion) so you can be sure to see the parts of most interest.

Note, the palace currently has a very popular Princess Diana fashion exhibition (entry is included with the palace ticket but expect additional lines for this exhibition). This has led to increased visitor numbers.

If you don’t have a London Pass I would recommend purchasing your ticket in advance here and if you do have a London Pass, I’d recommend arriving near opening time. I’d also recommend visiting on a weekday rather than a weekend if you can.

There is a  café here serving meals and refreshments, and also a garden worth exploring if you have time and the weather is good.

Kensington Palace 3 Days in London 3 day London itinerary England

Kensington Gardens

After visiting the palace, we recommend spending some time exploring the surrounding Kensington Gardens. The gardens are another one of London’s royal parks and covers 265 acres. It’s a beautiful green space and we recommend a little wander if the weather is nice.

Some of the highlights of the park are the two Serpentine Galleries (free contemporary art galleries), an ornamental water garden, the Albert Memorial, the Elphin Oak (carved hollow oak tree), and the Princess Diana Memorial Playground.  Food and drinks are also available at cafés in the park year round.

Probably the most striking memorial in the park is the Albert Memorial, a giant ornate memorial to Prince Albert who died of typhoid in 1861, leaving his wife Queen Victoria grief stricken. From the memorial, you’ll have a good view of the Royal Albert Hall.

Royal Albert Hall

The Royal Albert Hall (fee*) is the top performance venue in London and the hall hosts everything from classical concerts to rock bands to sporting events. The world-class concert hall was the idea of Prince Albert and was first opened in 1871. Everyone from the Beatles to Winston Churchill to Nine Inch Nails have made appearances or performed here, and each year it hosts the BBC Proms .

If you are heading off to Windsor Castle this afternoon, you may not have time go inside and can just admire it from the outside. But if you do have time, visitors can join a guided tour of the hall. Guided tours of the Royal Albert Hall help you understand the history of the concert hall and take you to see the auditorium, gallery, and the private suites of the Royal Family.

If you want to do a guided tour, we recommend booking these online in advance, as they are very popular and do sell out.

If you are looking for an evening entertainment option during your time in London, there is almost always something happening at the Royal Albert Hall. You can book a ticket online or stop by the Ticket Office.

Now we recommend deciding between a visit to Windsor Castle or spending the rest of the afternoon exploring more of Kensington.

Royal Albert Hall 3 Days in London 3 day London itinerary England

Afternoon Option #1:  Windsor Castle 

Windsor Castle  (fee*) is the oldest and largest inhabited castle in the world and still an active royal residence. It was originally built in the 11th century as a defensive motte-and-bailey castle by William the Conquerer and has been a royal residence since the reign of King Henry I. Today the castle is a favorite weekend home to Queen Elizabeth II, a place where state visits are often hosted, and a popular tourist attraction.

During most of the year, parts of Windsor Castle are open to the public. This includes the castle’s  magnificent State Rooms which were mostly designed and built in the 19th century. Other highlights include the Queen Mary’s Dolls’ House, the 15th-century St. George’s Chapel, and the Changing of the Guards ceremony (a much smaller version of the ceremony that takes place in front of Buckingham Palace). 

Most visits are self-guided and there is a good audioguide included with admission. You can also join offered guided tours at the castle, I’d check the website in advance for tour times. Note that the castle can get very busy, especially in the summer months. 

If you want to visit Windsor Castle, the afternoon is currently the recommended time as the castle gets very crowded in the morning. We’d recommend getting on a train to Windsor at least 3 hours before closing time (it varies by season so check the website) to ensure you have enough time to visit. We’d recommend allowing 1 hour to travel to the castle and at least 2 hours for the visit.

To get here you need to take a train out of London (about 1 hour ride each way). You cannot use your Oyster Card to travel to Windsor as it is outside London, so you will need to buy a rail ticket at the station. Paddington Station is a 25 minutes walk (or slightly shorter Tube ride) from either Kensington Palace or Royal Albert Hall.

Windsor Castle 3 Days in London 3 day London itinerary England

Afternoon Option #2: Afternoon Tea, V&A Museum, Shopping, & Hyde Park

If you decide to continue to explore Kensington, we recommend considering an afternoon tea break, visiting the V&A Museum (or one of the other free museums in Kensington), doing some shopping, and taking a stroll through Hyde Park. Check our guide for more things to do in Kensington .

Afternoon Tea in Kensington

The tradition of afternoon tea originated in the aristocratic homes of England in the 19th century, and there is no better place to have afternoon tea than in London. You’ll be spoiled for choice in London as there are thousands of places that serve tea from casual cafés where you can get a cuppa and a scone to luxury hotels offering a 3-tiered silver tray fancy afternoon tea experience.

If you are just looking for a casual tea, you’ll be able to find that at many cafés in this area. One suggestion is to break for tea within one of the cafés at the Victoria & Albert Museum , which include both opulent Victorian era rooms as well as casual outdoor courtyard spaces. Once a week, The Victoria & Albert Museum also serves a formal Victorian afternoon tea that recreates the afternoon tea experience of Queen Victoria, and for this one you do need to book in advance.

But if you want a more luxurious experience, you’ll want to make a reservation in advance. Luxury spots to enjoy afternoon tea in the Kensington area include The Berkeley and The Lanesborough . Also a few to consider in nearby Mayfair (west of Hyde Park) are The Ritz , The Dorchester , and Claridge’s .

We have oddly had a lot more afternoon teas in Paris (see our Paris afternoon tea guide ) than London so far. But we can suggest in this area that if you are looking for something a bit different, you might want to check out the fashion-inspired Prêt-à-Portea afternoon tea at The Berkeley. This fun and colorful tea is designed for those who love fashion and the tea menu changes each season along with the fashions on the catwalk.

Kensington fashion afternoon tea 3 Days in London 3 day London itinerary England

Victoria & Albert Museum

The Victoria & Albert Museum , often referred to as the V&A, is one of the world’s leading museums of art and design. The museum collection is extensive and items range from Chinese embroidery to John Constable paintings to Baroque furniture to Alexander McQueen gowns. It’s a must visit for anyone interested in art or design.

The museum is also known for hosting a lot of really interesting exhibitions which often attract a large number of visitors. The museum is also known for its current café and restaurant located within the beautiful Morris, Gamble and Poynter Rooms, which is the oldest museum café in the world.

Entry to see the permanent collection at the V&A is free. Some temporary exhibitions are also free but there is generally a fee to enter the major ones. If you have a London Pass, you get free entry into one of the paid exhibitions.

Alternatives: Kensington is home to several other well-known museums, including the   Science Museum  and the Natural History Museum . Both are free (donations appreciated) and both are good alternatives if you aren’t excited by the V&A. The Science Museum in particular is a great family-friendly option.

V & A Museum 3 Days in London 3 day London itinerary England


Now if you are in the mood for some shopping or just some window shopping, Kensington has some excellent shopping areas. The most concentrated areas are along King’s Road, Kensington High Street, and Sloane Street. You can find everything from more budget friendly international brands like Zara and H&M to high-end luxury department stores like Harrods and Harvey Nichols.

Harrod’s is one of the most famous luxury department stores in the world. It was founded by Charles Harrod in 1835 and grew to be the best known British department store in the world, being patronized by celebrities, politicians, royalty, and the British elite. Although in recent years it has been bought by the state of Qatar and has suffered from some bad press, it is still a luxury store worth checking out for those who enjoy shopping. Other department stores in this area are Harvey Nichols and the more traditional Peter Jones.

If you are more into antiques, you’ll want to head to Church Street where you’ll find a number of antique stores like Andrew Nebbett Antiques and Designs, Alfie’s Antique Market, The FM Gallery, and Church Street Antiques.

Hyde Park is yet another of London’s great Royal Parks, covering 350 acres. It used to also encompass Kensington Gardens, but the two are now divided by the Serpentine Lake and Carriage Drive. The park offers lots of tress, ornamental flower gardens, a large lake, walking and cycling paths, sport facilities, and a playground. 

Attractions with the park include The Serpentine Bridge, Holocaust Memorial, the Diana Memorial Fountain, Speaker’s Corner, and several war memorials. Located at the northwestern and southwestern corners of the park are the Wellington Arch and Marble Arch.

Each Sunday at Speakers’ Corner , located on the northeast edge of Hyde Park (near intersection of Marble Arch and Oxford Street), you can hear people give speeches and hold debates about a variety of topics in the name of free speech. The tradition dates back to the mid-1800’s and anyone can participate.

The park is a great place to get active as you can boat, cycle, play tennis, skate, ride horses, or even swim within the park. In the summer boating is popular and you can rent a rowing or pedal boat to enjoy the Serpentine Lake or you can take a ride on the solar-powered Solarshuttle. There are also a few places to grab coffee or have a meal, including lakeside dining.

Enjoy your final evening!

It is your last night in London so plan something you’ll enjoy and remember. This could be a nice dinner out, a pub crawl, attending a late night museum opening, a sunset River Thames cruise, a creepy Jack the Ripper tour , seeing an event at the Royal Albert Hall, a sporting event, a  classical music performance , or just relaxing after 3 busy days of sightseeing!

London at night 3 Days in London 3 day London itinerary England

Save Money on your 3 Days in London with the London Pass

We wanted to give you an example of the cost savings over 3 days in London if you were using a London Pass. The following calculations are based on the above itinerary although it doesn’t include every single attraction we suggested but includes what we believe is a realistic number for someone planning to actively sightsee based on the above itinerary.

Here is the cost savings for 3 days in London for 2 people using the London Pass.

So in the above example, visitors would have a cost savings of £112.8 per person for a total cost savings of £225.60 for 2 people. This is definitely a considerable savings on entry fees for three days of sightseeing!

Even if you change some of the attractions or take away a couple of them, you would still save money with a London Pass if doing a similar amount of sightseeing. In general, you need to visit an average of 2 to 3 higher priced attractions per day to save money with a 3 day London Pass.

We highly recommend that all visitors check out the London Pass, especially if it is your first visit to London. The pass covers free entry to over 90 attractions and museums, plus a number of discounts on tours, restaurants, souvenirs, and theater tickets. Not only will it save many visitors money, it can also save time as it provides fast track entry into certain busy sites.

You can check the latest prices and purchase the London Pass at the official website for the pass here . We also recommend checking prices on and GetYourGuide here as sometimes one will be better value than the other.

However the London Pass is not a good fit for all travelers, and if you are not sure if it is a good fit or not, read our  full review of the London Pass to help you decide if it is worth it. Our review breaks down the features, ways to purchase, how to calculate your cost savings, and more.

London Pass three days in London itinerary

There you have our suggested London itinerary on how to spend 3 days in London!

Planning a trip to London? Pin this article to Pinterest to read later:

Our 3 day London itinerary helps you see the highlights of London and helps you with planning your 3 days in London. Our itinerary includes London's most famous attractions (e.g., Tower of London, Windsor Castle) as well as some of the city's lesser known attractions. In addition to the 3 day itinerary, we also provide tips on how to get around London, a walking map, and money saving tips for your trip to London. #London #Londonitinerary #Londontravel #3daysinLondon #UK #travel #England

How many of these attractions would be on your London itinerary? If you’ve visited London, what were you favorite spots in London? If you have any questions about the itinerary or visiting London, just ask them in the comments below and as always we are happy to help!

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Jewel Post author

May 31, 2024 at 1:53 pm

Do you have any taxi recommendations for London to brighton?

Jessica & Laurence Norah Post author

May 31, 2024 at 3:01 pm

I would recommend checking out minicabit which is a popular UK taxi comparison site. It is used by hundreds of cab companies.

However, that drive takes about 2 hours so is going to be very expensive if you take a taxi or other type of private transfer. So I would also recommend considering public transit for such a long journey.

You will save time and money by taking a train to Brighton, the quickest trains only take about 1 hour. You can also take a bus which is cheaper but that will take about 3 hours. There are regular trains and buses/coaches between London and Brighton daily. If you are just going to Brighton for the day, I would choose the train as it is the fastest and most cost effective way to do a return day trip.

Hope that helps and just let us know if you have any question as you plan your trip to England!

Best, Jessica

Kai Parker Post author

March 28, 2024 at 2:50 am

London has always been a dream destination for me, and this city itinerary just sealed the deal! I can’t wait to immerse myself in the rich history, stunning architecture, and vibrant culture of this iconic city. Thanks for the inspiration, I’m definitely bookmarking this for my next adventure!

March 31, 2024 at 6:58 am

Glad you found our London itinerary to be an inspiration for your future trip to UK. Once you start your planning, feel free to ask us any questions about your trip!

Wishing you happy travels! Jessica

Michelle Post author

February 25, 2024 at 1:11 am

Hi There, the map above is AWESOME! Just wondering if there’s a list of the numbered points on the map, rather than having to comb through the information, like a quick reference? Thanks 🙂

February 26, 2024 at 12:46 pm

Hi Michelle,

I am so happy that our London map and 3 day London itinerary have been useful in planning your trip. So I think you are just referring to the image, but if you double click on the image or the link above it (look at the paragraph above it where it says click here) that will take you to the map I created within Google Maps so you can see all the points on the map that are numbered in the picture. Does that help?

But just note that you should definitely consider reading through each day of the itinerary as these are just suggested routes and places to visit and you should modify it per your own time and interests. You may not have time for everything on each day so best to know which places are must-sees for you and which you are OK just seeing from the outside and all that.

Hope that helps, and just let me know if you have any further questions as you plan your trip to London!

December 27, 2023 at 6:26 am

I thoroughly enjoyed reading your insightful 3-day London itinerary! Your detailed suggestions and personal experiences really add a genuine touch. I followed your recommendations and had a fantastic time exploring the city. I’d like to share an additional budget-friendly tip: consider staying at Serviced Apartments in London. My recent stay there was both comfortable and affordable, making it an ideal choice for anyone looking to make the most of their London trip without breaking the bank. Thanks again for your fantastic suggestions!

December 28, 2023 at 1:31 pm

So glad that you enjoyed you stay in London!! Thanks for taking the time to let us know that you found our itinerary and advice helpful in spending 3 days in London. And thanks for sharting your tip about having a good stay in a serviced apartment. I hope you get a chance to return to London again soon!

Alan Post author

August 22, 2023 at 3:22 am

just wanted to say a big thank you for all the work you put into this itinerary, we used it to plan our own 3 days in London, got the pass, had a wonderful time! your advice made our time much easier and less stressful!

August 23, 2023 at 12:47 pm

Thanks for taking the time to comment and glad you found our 3 day London itinerary helpful. Very happy to hear that you had such a wonderful trip to London!

Hapy travels, Jessica & Laurence

Mary Jo Lauscher Post author

July 31, 2023 at 1:15 pm

Hi there, I found your three day itinerary very helpful.

We are going to London at the end of September. My question is about getting advance tickets for any of the sites. If we plan on using the London Pass, how do I order advance tickets, make a reservation, or skip the line ticket, etc? I have not been able to find any information on that. Also with the London Pass can we use the Hop on hop off both days of the 2 day pass? Thanks for all your information, it was very helpful!

August 2, 2023 at 8:04 am

Hi Mary Jo,

Glad you are finding our 3 day London itinerary helpful in planning your upcoming trip. So if you decide to go with the London Pass, you do not need to make advanced reservations for most attractions. But you do need to book for most walking tours, bus tours, and other types of guided activities. You can find all the details for the attractions and tours that need to be reserved and how to do that on this page .

The hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus ticket included with the London Pass is only valid for 1 day (no matter the length of your pass). This is the same with the Thames boat cruise ticket.

For skip the line access, you can skip the ticket line for most attractions with the pass but you can’t skip the security lines. Your London Pass essentially acts as your ticket for most attractions. I don’t think since COVID that there have been many attractions that have a specific line for pass holders, but generally you get in the same line as those who have prebooked tickets.

For popular attractions not included on the London Pass, such as the London Eye , Churchill War Rooms, UK Parliament tours, Madame Tussauds , etc. then it is best to buy tickets in advance for these. I would check on any must-see attraction if reservations are recommended or required. But if you only have 2 days, I suspect that the London Pass will cover your admission fees for most attractions that you plan to visit.

For any attractions or tours that you want to do in London that recommend or require reservations (with or without the London Pass), I would start booking those soon if you have your dates set for next month.

Hope that helps and let me know if you have any questions as you plan your trip!

Katie Post author

July 6, 2023 at 11:32 pm

Hello! Your itinerary is awesome!! I was wondering if you could help me with mine for four days in London in November. Is it doable or too packed? What should I take out or add? Should I buy an Oyster card? What should we actually go in and see? We are most likely staying at the Hoxton Holborn, AMANO hotel, or Wilde Aparthotel. Any dinner recommendations or cocktail/ house music places? 🙂

Day 1: Friday On and off bus tour Buckingham Palace Churchill War room Big Ben Westminster Abbey Dinner dishoom Shoreditch neighborhood for dinner/drinks

Day 2: Saturday St Paul’s Cathedral Borough Market Tower bridge South bank river walk Tower of London Leadenhall Market Soccer game

Day 3 Sunday Walking Notting Hill Kensington Palace Hyde Park Bond Street Regent street/Park Camden Market Abbey Road Hampstead Heath

Bermondsey neighborhood to eat?

Day 4 National Gallery Seven dials market Tennis museum?

July 9, 2023 at 7:05 am

So Day 1, I think all that is doable. Doing HOHO bus, visiting the Churchill War Rooms and Westminster Abbey. Seeing Buckingham Palace and the Parliament/Big Ben from outside. Also lots of other things you can easily see in that area such as St. James Park, Parliament Square, Westminster Bridge, London Eye and National COVID memorial. Dishoom is a great restaurant to try for atypical Indian food, we love it and just be sure to make a reservation as they are often fully booked. Although I’d also recommend trying a typical British curry place at some point too if you want the typical British Indian experience. The closest Dishoom to you (if stay in Holborn area) is the location in Covent Garden as its within walking distance. But if you are wanting to go to Shoreditch that night, then there is a location there as well, just note you’ll be looking at a 30 minute Tube/bus ride each way. Shoreditch might make more sense on the day you plan to visit Tower of London and be in the City of London.

Day 2 – I’d probably start with the Tower of London in the morning as it is normally worse with crowds than St. Pauls Cathedral. So I’d reverse the order and go from the Tower of London then to Tower Bridge and Borough Market before heading over to St. Paul’s. You can have lunch at or near Borough Market. Leadenhall Market is nice but limited options there compared to Borough Market. I think it would be hard to fit in a soccer game today if you want to visit all those places unless there is an evening football game on that day, might be better to try to do on Day 4?

Day 3 – If Kensington Palace is the only place you really want to visit the inside of, I think this is doable. Just note if walking it is about a 1 hour or so walk from Kensington Gardens to Hampstead Heath (so may want to take public transit as well). So if wandering on a more relaxed day today except for the palace, I’d just priortize your day for what you really want to see most and if you don’t make it to everything, you won’t be disappointed. The other thing to note is that Bermondsey is very far from any of the places you are planning to visit this day.

Day 4 – This might be a good day to also include the British Museum, especially if staying nearby. Its free, donation only and you can book time online in advance. Also easy to visit in the same day as the National gallery and Seven Dials Market. For a tennis museum in London, I am guessing you mean Wimbeldon – this is doable but it is well oustide central London and will take you about an hour each way to visit so I would just be sure this is something you really want to see. You could try to do the soccer game this day instead perhaps? Or consider a West End play or musical?

In terms of timing, I would go back through your itinerary and just make sure the timings will work out when you check the opening times/days and how long you expect to spend at each one. So say you expect to spend 2 hours at Tower of London, 1.5 hours at Westminster Abbey, 1 hour Borough Market, etc. plus the amount of time you think it will realistically take you to get from one place to the other. I’d then build in a bit of extra time so you don’t feel rushed. That should help you decide if there is too much on any one day. You want to try to balance seeing all the must-see things on your list without feeling rushed and having a little down time to relax and make unexpected stops.

London has so many restaurants, cafes, cocktail bars – I would just think about where you are going to be/want to be and look for well-rated options nearby. It sounds like you are going to be staying in the Covent Garden area and there are lots of options there that would likely be within walking distance of where you are staying. For a cocktail bar with live house music (and also food), you might check out STEREO. If looking for a historic pub for a typical pub lunch or dinner, you could try Lamb & Flag in Covent Garden or Museum Tavern across from the British Museum. Just note that for meals, especially for dinner you’ll want to be sure to book a table in advance.

In terms of Oyster Card, you can read our Oyster Card review post here . Based on your itinerary, I would say you will be taking public transport quite a few times so you can either get Oyster Cards or use your credit cards if they are PIN & Chip ones. You would also probably save money with the London Pass , and you can order your Visitor Oyster Card with the pass if you want. For a London Pass, I’d probably do a 3-day pass and just be sure to fit anything in that you want to see included on the pass on the first 3 days, and stick to free or not included attractions on Day 4. But that would cover all the big attractions you have listed (Westminster Abbey, London Bridge, St. Paul’s, sightseeing bus, Kensington Palace, etc.) except for Churchill War Rooms which sadly is not currently on the pass.

Hope that helps and just let us know if you have further questions as you plan your trip to London.

Wishing you a wonderful trip! Jessica

katie Post author

July 12, 2023 at 6:34 pm

Thank you so much for the info!! What restaurant would you suggest for a traditional curry? Also out of my day 1 and day 2? Which do you think I should visit vs just see? Anything overrated? Are the markets worth it? Anything more local that I should include?

July 13, 2023 at 4:11 am

You’re very welcome, happy to help.

You can find good Indian curry places all over London, Brick Lane is famous for them but I’d just go some place that is convenient. I’d just check reviews or ask a local person of best curry place nearby. Chicken tikka masala is probably one of the most classic British Indian dishes and one of the most popular dishes eaten in the UK (of all foods!), but there are lots of popular curries. Indian curry is one of the most popular takeaway foods in the UK.

For Days 1 and 2, I would recommend visiting all the places you want to see (see my prior comments on each day). The places you listed are some of the most popular places to visit and all are worth visiting. But of course it depends on your specific interests, time, and budget.

Leadenhall Market is OK – it’s a beautiful setting (I think most tourists come here for the Harry Potter connection as it was used a filming location) and there are several places to eat here. But if you are looking for more of an actual fresh food market, then Borough Market has both fresh food/produce stalls as well as prepared food stalls and restaurants. So I would recommend Borough Market over Leadenhall but they are both different. You can walk through either fairly quickly (although Borough Markets gets really busy around lunch time) so if on your way, they are easy enough to visit but if you want to try food or buy food, I’d recommend Borough Market over Leadenhall.

I would just build your itinerary based on what you are most interested in seeing and doing. Just make sure to allow yourself enough time and build in some flexibility.

Hope that helps! Jessica

TF Post author

June 27, 2023 at 4:41 am

Hello there! Just finished reading your article on the “3 Days in London” itinerary, your detailed itinerary and insightful recommendations have truly sparked my wanderlust.

Thank you for putting together such a comprehensive and well-thought-out itinerary. Your passion for travel and your love for London shine through in your writing, making it an enjoyable and informative read. I can’t wait to plan my own trip to London using your recommendations. Keep up the great work, and I’ll be eagerly following your future travel adventures!

June 28, 2023 at 7:58 am

You’re very welcome, glad you enjoyed reading our London itinerary, and just let us know if you have any questions as you plan your trip to London!

Happy travels, Jessica

Lyn Fields Post author

May 26, 2023 at 6:08 am

LOVE all this info about London. We will be following the three day walking tour. We would like to have high tea/afternoon tea on Day 2. Do you have a recommendation for a location that would be in the vicinity of our Day 2 itinerary?

June 2, 2023 at 4:28 am

So glad that you are finding our London itinerary and info helpful!

So in terms of afternoon tea options in that area, you have a lot of them. Fortnum and Mason at the Royal Exchange would be a good bet in the City of London. Others in that area you might check out are The Four Seasons Hotel at Ten Trinity Square, The Ned, and the Rosewood Hotel. Another option could be the Helix Restaurant at The Gherkin for a more contemporary setting with a city view. But pretty much any nice hotel in that area serves afternoon tea (although some only on weekends) and you can also find more informal and less pricey afternoon tea options at cafes and such in the area (one is Cafe Rouge near St. Paul’s Cathedral). Just be sure to check dates and times, and make sure location makes sense with your schedule. And be sure to book your time in advance.

Enjoy! Jessica

Henry Cris Post author

February 5, 2023 at 7:05 pm

Amazing tips on London travelling. Hoping to visit here soon. And really liked your article about London. It will help me a lot on visiting here. Thanks for sharing.

February 13, 2023 at 7:24 am

Thanks for taking the time to comment, and so glad to hear our article was helpful to you! Wishing you a great trip to London and just let us know if you have any questions as youplan your visit to London.

Amy Bull Post author

January 7, 2023 at 9:22 pm

Hi J & L, I have read your advice for many cities we visit and it is WONDERFUL! I am actually going this week and we are celebrating a 60th birthday. I wanted to know if you recommended a few restaurants that are note worthy of a memorable birthday dinner for two. Maybe with a view or great environment? I want to make the entire day memorable and his biggest request is to see Stonehenge. Any thoughts would be very helpful! Thank you so much for sharing your experiences! Amy

January 11, 2023 at 1:03 am

So happy to hear that you have found our travel blogs helpful in planning your travels to various cities!

So for London, I don’t have any specific recommendations as it would depend a lot on budget, type of food, part of London, etc. There are just so many restaurants you could choose. Some thoughts might be to go to one of the old historic pubs for a pub lunch or dinner one day. For something fancy, the 5-star hotels (Savoy, Dorchester, Grosvenor Hotel, Claridge’s, Browns’, Ritz, etc.) all have very nice restaurants & bars and some of the top rated ones in the city. In terms of views, that is much harder but you could consider a restaurant near the top of The Shard as there are a few restaurants and bars there with great views over central London, and the nicer ones would make a good potential b-day dinner spot. Another option is the Sky Garden which has a restaurant. Or you might consider a restaurant along Thames with nice view of river. Anyway, hope that gives you some options and ideas to research.

For Stonehenge, it really depends if you are planning to drive yourself, take public transit, or join a guided tour from London? We’ve done all three at one point or another. Laurence has written a guide to visiting Stonehenge that might be helpful. Last visit, once we arrived, we took the free Stonehenge shuttle to the end to walk to the site, and then walked back through the field using the little map there to see some of the other prehistoric remains on walk back through fields. There is also a good visitor centre/museum that is worth spending some time to learn more.

If your husband is specifically interested in stone circles and prehistoric stone sights, Avebury might be a good secondary stop which is nearby and much less crowded (you can walk up and touch stones). There are also lots of other prehistoric sites in the region. Other places that people might combine on a day trip to Stonehenge are Oxford, Salisbury, or Bath. But I would just be careful to not pack in too much, especially if traveling on your own as it can make for a long day. But if doing a day tour, then at least you are not doing the driving. The only drawback to a guided tour is to make sure you will have a enough time in the places you visit for what you want to see/do.

Hope that helps, and just let me know if you have more questions as you plan your specific bday trip! Jessica

Florence Post author

November 1, 2022 at 8:15 pm

Hi Jessica & Laurence, This is Florence and i am making my 1st trip to the UK soon. May i know what’s the best site that i can look at for booking of train tickets in advance for travelling within UK? Apprecaite any advise. Thank yo.

November 2, 2022 at 7:04 am

Hi Florence,

So I am assuming you are meaning for travel outside of London? As within London itself, you don’t need to book in advance for the public transit Underground trains, buses, etc.

There is National Rail website which is the official UK train website which has info on the trains in England, Wales, and Scotland. But since there is not actual national rail service operator (but several independent operators), there are a number of website operators where you can book trains online in the UK so you can also go directly to the train service website (LNER, ScotRail, Avanti, Lumo, NI Railways etc.). The local operator will depend on where you are going in the country.

One convenient website to compare times and prices you can book on a website like Trainline . This is what we normally use for convenience to book online and they also have a mobile app.

You can also of course buy and book tickets in person at the actual train stations but we recommend booking in advance if you can for any longer journeys. You are often not guaranteed seats if you don’t book in advance on many trains. It depends on the company but tickets are often available to purchase 90 days in advance.

Another good website for figuring out how to get from one place to another and general travel info and connections (also works for buses and such) is the Traveline Info website . It is a very helpful website.

Anyway, hope that helps get you started. If you have any specific questions about booking train tickets in the UK, just let us know.

November 3, 2022 at 2:58 am

Great! Thanks Jessica. I will look into it and will inquire again if I have any other questions with my travel plans. Have a great day!

Bart Post author

October 3, 2022 at 12:53 am

Top tip if you’re visiting Borough Market… don’t venture there on a Saturday. It’s crazy busy, rammed full of people from very Early on! Visiting during the week is a far more pleasant & leisurely affair – you won’t feel like you’re being rushed off of your feet.

October 3, 2022 at 7:09 am

Thanks for sharing your tip for visiting Bourough Market in London – it is definitely busier on the weekends. But it is also the most lively so it can still be interesting to visit on the weekends if that is when you plan to visit, but you do have to expect the crowds and be more patient than on weekdays.

Also on Saturdays is usually opens earlier (8am) so going near opening time is a great way to enjoy the market on Saturday.

Shelley Post author

September 20, 2022 at 11:29 am

Hello! I love your 3-day itinerary and plan to use most all of it. Is there link where I can download it? Maybe I missed it but I am trying to work smarter, not harder and am copying and pasting a ton. Thanks in advance!

September 21, 2022 at 4:16 am

Hi Shelley,

Glad you are finding our London itinerary helpful for your trip. Is there a reason you need to copy it? We’d recommend just using it directly from the website for best functionality.

But you can also print or download it as a PDF file for offline personal use as long as you are a newsletter subscriber (it is free and easy to sign up). Once signed up you can then click on the Printer icon on the sidebar or at the end of the article.

Hope that helps and just let us know if you have any questions as you plan your trip to Lonon!

Bright A Post author

September 15, 2022 at 12:04 pm

Great tips to hear from you for 3 days itinerary. You blog is awesome to read also to explore London within the days. Thanks!

September 16, 2022 at 4:01 am

Hello Bright,

Thanks for letting us know our London itinerary is helpful.

Obviously if planning to visit London in the next few days, things are a bit crazy because of the Queen’s passing and upcoming funeral. So be sure to check opening dates/times and closures. Many businesses and attractions will be closed on Monday for the funeral.

Wishing you a great trip to London! Jessica

Suzie Post author

July 15, 2022 at 1:52 pm

Wow so glad I stumbled across your blog . So informative. I will be visiting London this July and am taking a lot of tips from your blog . For shopping , what would you recommend? Any outlets where I can get a good deal on bags ? Thanks so much

July 18, 2022 at 5:51 am

Glad you are finding our London articles on our travel blogs helpful in planing your upcoming trip.

In terms of shopping in London, Oxford Street is probably the best known shopping street. Also Regents Street, Bond Street, Mayfair area, Knightbridge area (Harrods). So lots of shopping opportunities, but not sure about great outlet stores in the city or where to get a good deal. London is generally an expensive city so we find shopping is often less expensive elsewhere. But you can often get good deals if you shop the sales and pay attention to discounts. It just depends on your budget and the types of stores you are prefer.

Bicester Village is a shopping outlet located near Oxford (about 1.5 hours from London) which has a lot of outlet stores all together and is a popular place for shopping for tourists. So that might be a place for your to consider.

Hope that helps, and just let me know if you have any other questions as you plan your trip to London!

tuhina roy Post author

June 27, 2022 at 11:56 pm

wow…great info….wud be visiting in Oct’22….might add perfect fit for me at one glance/place…have been asking so many people around for last one month abt London n places to visit n here its given in such a nice n informative way….wonderful:-)….thanx much for collating these kind of info for people like us who r visiting from other countries….thanx again

June 28, 2022 at 10:41 am

You are very welcome, and so glad to hear that you are finding our London itinerary helpful! If you have 3 days in London, this should definitely give you some good ideas of where you might want to visit on your trip.

But if you have any questions as you plan your trip about things to do in London or elsewhere in the UK, just ask us and we are happy to try to give advice.

Rebecca Post author

June 12, 2022 at 5:34 am

Jessica & Laurence, We just returned from an awesome visit to London and we used your recommended 3 day itinerary. Thank you SO MUCH for your work in preparing the itinerary. All of the information you provide from the London Pass, Oyster Card, the description of places to visit and how to get there helped our visit to go smoothly. We didn’t waste too much time looking for things or figuring out how to get there and we were able to fit in everything we wanted to do! Having the London Pass helped us avoid lines, plus everything was already paid. The Oyster Card was also a huge benefit because we didn’t have to keep buying tickets. THANK YOU! Rebecca

June 12, 2022 at 6:11 am

Hi Rebecca,

So happy that you had such a great trip to London! And we are happy that our tips and advice were helpful in planning your trip.

Yes, I think that if you have limited time on a trip, you want to plan ahead and do what you can so that you can spend as much time as possible doing things and visiting places rather than having to plan and figure things out on the go.

Thanks for taking the time to comment and let us know about your trip. We always love hearing that our advice was helpful!

shelly v Post author

April 27, 2022 at 8:12 pm

Hello Jessica, Wow! Thank you for all the valuable info in your planning tips and itineraries. We are traveling to London and Paris this June. It is our first visit and traveling with teenage daughters so are focused on the most iconic sites. Based upon your 3-Day Itinerary for London, we have selected our “Must-See” London List ( most likely the minimum time to tour the area for each site since I’ll be traveling with teenagers). – Explore Westminster: Buckingham Palace w changing of guard; Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square, Westminster Bridge, Westminster Abbey – City of London: Tower of London, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Borough Market, London Bridge & Tower Bridge, – Windsor Castle & Kensington: Windsor Castle, Kensington Palace, Royal Albert Hall, Shopping at Harrod’s

1) Based upon our Must-see list, will the 3-day London Pass cover the attractions we plan to visit? 2) We are staying close to Earl’s Court Station – do you recommend we also purchase the Travelcard? 3) Since we arrive 6/9 midday into London (after overnight flight), what might you recommend for day 1 itinerary?

April 28, 2022 at 9:27 am

Thanks very much!

So based on your itinerary we have the following feedback if you are trying to visit them all in 3 days:

– For Westminister: Make sure you check Westminster Abbey opening dates and hours. It is closed on Sundays to visitors and for certain occasions/holidays so you’d want to make sure to schedule around any closures if you want to visit here. – For City of London sites: I would probably choose to do either the London Bridge OR Tower Bridge experience. I think otherwise you’ll be rushed for time as the Tower of London, in particular, can take a while to visit. But you can of course see both from the outside without paying but as far as doing the full attractions on them, I’d probably do one or the other. – For Windsor & Kensington – Because you will need to travel out to Windsor, this could be a lot to fit into one day, but depends of course on how long you spend at each place. For the Royal Albert Hall, the tours are only given at certain hours so you may want to make sure that will fit in with your day. – Note that it looks like you are planning to visit a few days after the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee (June 5th) so we expect things will be busier than usual during this general period. Although luckily you are arriving after the Jubilee weekend itself when things will be super busy and hard to visit I think. It may make sense to book timed tickets directly for some attractions that have limited capacity such as Windsor Castle, Kensington Palace, and Royal Albert Hall so you are guaranteed entry within a certain time period.

1 – Yes, the 3-day London Pass will cover all the paid attractions you plan to visit, which are Westminster Abbey, Tower of London, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Tower Bridge Exhibition, London Bridge experience, Windsor Castle, Kensington Palace, Royal Albert Hall. If you were to pay adult (16+) entry to all those it would cost around £178, whereas a 3-day adult London pass is normally £123. However, as noted above, you may not have time to do everything on your list so keep that in mind. The price saving will also depend on the age of your daughters, if they are under 16, then they can use a child pass so I would do those cost-savings separately. If you plan to take the sightseeing bus at any time during your visit, that would also add to the cost savings.

2 – You are definitely going to use public transport during your time in London, so will need a travel card. Bundling the travel card will save you some time and is convenient, although it costs the same as buying a Visitor Oyster Card separately. It’s really just for convenience, there’s no saving or extra cost to buying it with the London Pass. You can see more about getting around London here.

3 – For your first day, it sounds like you will just have probably a half day once checking in at hotel. I am guessing this is not a day you plan to use the London Pass? If not, I’d recommend maybe the British Museum and/or London Eye, both of which are not included on the pass. You’ll likely be pretty tired so I wouldn’t plan too much that first day.

April 9, 2022 at 5:07 pm

Hi Jessica, The information you provide in the 3 days itinerary is amazing, so detailed and informative! We will be getting off a cruise in London on a Friday and will stay until Monday.

We have reservations at Point A Hotel in Paddington. What would you recommend for transportation from the port to our hotel? We’ve already purchased the 4 day London Pass and Visitor Oyster card. Is our hotel near public transportation? It looked like it when we checked, but would like to verify. What would you recommend for getting to the airport on Tuesday morning? We need to arrive at the airport at 6:00 A.M. Transportation begins at 5:00 A.M. Is it feasible to use the public transportation and arrive to the airport on time? Our Oyster Card will be expired so we’ll need to pay for the transportation to the airport.

On Day 2 you recommend the river cruise right after visiting the Tower of London in the morning. If we do that, will we have time to visit the other sites recommended for that day? Might it be better to take the cruise in the evening? I looked at the times and it looks like it runs later on weekends, but stops in the afternoon during the week. Am I reading that right? Is the Thames River Cruise the same as the Uber Boat by Thames River that’s included in the London Pass?

If I download the London Pass app on my phone prior to the trip, will I use data as I access it while in London?

April 10, 2022 at 6:35 am

First, glad you are finding our London itinerary helpful in planning your upcoming trip! Sounds like you have already got a lot of your trip planned.

Yes, the Point A Hotel (a good budget option) is near a lot of public transit options. You have Underground stations (e.g, Edgware and Paddington), bus stops, a train station (Paddington), and the Heathrow Express service (at Paddington) all under a 10 minute walk from your hotel. So you should not have any issues accessing public transit.

For getting to the airport, probably the best option, if flying out of Heathrow (I assume you are flying out of Heathrow? there are 6 airports around London) would be to do the TfL Rail train from Paddington Station to the airport. It takes about 30-40 minutes. I would just double check the timetable for your specific date to make sure it works for when you need to leave.

You should be able to still use your Oyster Card by just adding some credit to it if you have used up your prepaid credit (you can do it at the machines at the stations) as the Oyster Cards do not expire. Or you can buy tickets at the station or in advance online.

Other options would be to take the Heathrow Express (a bit faster but more expensive) or the Underground/Tube (but you would have to change stations).

Yes, we do mention taking the boat after visiting the Tower of London just because it is very convenient to do so there as there is a boat pier just next to where you exit the Tower of London. But you can of course do it later in the day from elsewhere along its route. It can be a good late afternoon or evening activity as it keeps running after many of the other attractions close. But just make sure that you will be near one of the piers where you can use the London Pass (you can only start a journey from 4 of the piers). And yes, there are a few options for taking Thames River Cruises but the one included with the London Pass is now called the Uber Boat by Thames Clippers. So you want to make sure to get on that one.

I think you may be reading the timetables wrong on the boat schedule as that doesn’t sound correct as I think the boats run until 10pm/11pm all week. Some of the boats don’t run as much on weekends, especially the routes focused on commuters, but the more tourist-oriented routes generally run regularly all week. I would double check the schedule and specifically look at the times for the 4 stations where you could start your journey with the London Pass. The boats are normally about every 20 to 30 minutes. You can choose how long you want to stay on the boat as there are regular stops and you can do hop-on, hop-off if you wish.

In terms of how much you can do, it will just depend on which places you intend to visit and for how long, and which you just plan to stop and see during your day. The Tower of London for instance will likely take up all or most of your morning. I would not plan for more than 3 big visits per day. So you may need to pick and choose and prioritize certain attractions over others. I would write down which places you want to visit, how long you think you’ll spend at each, and the time it takes to get between them to get a good idea of what is feasible. Everyone goes at their own pace. You also want to work in some flexibility and free time so you aren’t too rushed and also leave a little time for getting lost/waiting in lines, etc.

If you download the London Pass app and install it prior to your trip, you should then not need to use any data to access the app on your phone. You just need data to download it and set it up. The only reason it would need data would be if the app needed an update. We also recommend downloading your QR code to a separate local place on your phone so you will have access even if you can’t open the app for any reason. We also recommend printing the QR code and London Pass # so you also have a paper copy you can use to access sites in case your phone battery dies or something.

Anyway, hope all that helps and makes sense! Happy to answer further questions as you plan your trip to London.

April 15, 2022 at 10:53 am

Thank you so much for taking the time to provide thorough answers to all of my questions! You are an amazing wealth of information! Rebecca

April 15, 2022 at 11:20 am

You’re very welcome and just let us know if you have further questions as you plan your trip to London!

April 29, 2022 at 12:13 pm

Hi Jessica, I’m trying to finalize our plans for our trip to London. We’ll be getting off a NCL cruise. What do you suggest is the best transportation option for getting from the port to our hotel, Point A Hotel in Paddington? We’ve purchased the Oyster Card. Thank you, Rebecca

April 30, 2022 at 4:29 am

It depends on where specifically your cruise ends, where is the cruise terminal? You say the cruise goes to London but does it actually end in London itself?

Most cruises end in either Dover or Southhampton, and if that is the case, you would need to catch a train from either to London. For a journey to London from either of these cities, you would need to pay for your train tickets separately (can’t use Oyster Card) since that journey would be well outside of greater London. Then once in London, if you are not arriving into Paddington station, you would probably want to get the Tube to your hotel and you can use your Oyster Card for that. Or you can of course take a taxi if you have a lot of luggage.

May 1, 2022 at 3:30 pm

Trish Post author

April 8, 2022 at 9:40 am

Thank you for your article on visiting London! I’m doing research for a trip I’m planning in early 2023. My question is, are there any of the locations you mention that could be unsafe for an older lady traveling alone? Or any special tips for me related to this?

April 8, 2022 at 10:37 am

London is considered a pretty safe city in general for travelers. I’ve generally felt safe when in London, even in the “less nice” neighborhoods. So I would not worry too much about it when visiting London.

However, as with any large city, there are pickpockets and thieves, and you should always use normal caution (e.g., not carrying large amounts of cash, securing your valuables so difficult to pickpocket, being aware of your surroundings, trust your gut). Most crimes against tourists are opportunity ones where a theif will steal someone’s wallet, smartphone, or purse. Thefts and muggings tend to take place in London’s busiest tourists areas, including Westminister, Camden, and Kensington.

And of course, more serious things do happen (we were in London during the 2017 London Bridge incident for instance) but these are unusual. Violent crimes against tourists are pretty rare in London (and the UK in general).

The only thing I would say other than regular safety advice would be to be more cautious if walking around the city at night after dark, such as after dinner or after leaving an evening West End play or something. But it is generally pretty easy to stay in well-lit main streets and around other people. If you need to go a longer distance, you can always take a taxi/minicab/Uber or get a bus instead of walking. Also a good idea to have your route and transport planned out in advance before leaving the attraction/restaurant/hotel.

If it’s late at night (after 10pm), particularly on Friday and Saturday evenings, I tend to avoid the Tube. It’s not necessarily unsafe but a lot of drunk people tend to be riding on these evenings and it can be more unpleasant.

In terms of planning your time, our suggested London itinerary is pretty geared to someone trying to do a lot each day. But if you like to go at a slower pace, I’d just recommend planning a bit less each day so you have plenty of time to enjoy each attraction and get from one place to the other.

Hope that helps, and feel free to reach out if you have further questions as you plan your London trip!

tatiana Post author

March 2, 2022 at 12:21 pm

HI. I saw the London Pass includes a walking tour, any reviews on this tour?

March 3, 2022 at 2:49 am

Hi Tatiana,

Yes, the two general London walking tours: 3 hour Palaces and Parliament Tour and then the 5-hour 30+ London Sights Tour are newer additions to the London Pass. We haven’t done either of those tours or taken any tours yet with the company that runs those two tours but the company has a 5-star rating on Google. The tours are pretty similar to ones we have taken in London with other companies and seem like they would both be good intro tours to London.

Just note that the tours don’t include entry into any attractions. If choosing one of them, I would choose the 3-hour tour as 5 hours is pretty long without visiting any attractions. But both of them have very good reviews online.

If you decide to take any of the walking/bus/bike tours with the London Pass, just be sure to make your reservation in advance once you have your Pass. I believe that all the guided tours required advanced bookings.

Marina Teramond Post author

February 11, 2022 at 3:09 am

I can subscribe to everything mentioned about London because it is truly an incredible place with its unique atmosphere and I think that if you have an opportunity, this city should be in your list of places which you plan to visit. It is so cool that you devoted your article to a detailed plan for implementing a trip to London. I really like this idea to cover London for three days because if you plan it in a smart and thoughtful way, you will be able to spend this time eventfully and it will be enough for you to observe wonderful landscapes there. Your plan seems so elaborate and convenient in all respects because it provides you with a great deal of opportunities. I think that it is important to put exploring Westminster first because it is a real calling card of this city and it has its own individuality at the same time, being truly unique. I also want to visit Trafalgar Square because I think that it perfectly conveys the vibe of London.

February 11, 2022 at 9:35 pm

Glad you are finding our 3 day London itinerary helpful in planning your trip. You will want to tailor it to your interests, pace, mobility, time, etc. but this should be a good starting point for what you might want to see on a first time visit with 3 days to visit London. Just let us know if you have any specific questions as you plan your trip!

Kitkat Post author

February 5, 2022 at 1:42 pm

So glad I found this article! I live in UK and my family is visiting soon but was having a hard time planning on what to see in London. This is perfect! Although I would like to ask, roughly how long or how many hours does the daily itinerary last? As I have to factor in touring with a child and a 60 year old. 🙂

February 6, 2022 at 5:28 am

Glad you are finding our 3 day London itinerary helpful in planning things to do with visiting family. For each day, we list a lot of potential places you could see and things to do; however, you would want to pick and choose what is of the most interest. We give some of the main sights as well as alternatives. The itineraries are definitely designed with those packing in a lot for a full day from after breakfast in morning to about dinner time, but you can adjust to suit your own pace and interests.

I would say visiting 3 major sights per day is going to be plenty with children but you could also see additional things along the way (without taking the time to go inside and visit). I’d try to estimate amount of time you’d want to spend at each and plan day accordingly with plenty of time for breaks and plenty of time to get in between each place, depending on how far away. Most of the places we list each day are within a reasonable walking distance from one another, but it will depend on everyone’s physical mobility.

Since you have a child visiting, I’d maybe pick at least one place that would be particularly fun for him or her. Depending on age and interests, this could be a place like the London Dungeon (not for young children), Sea Life, London Eye, Shrek’s Adventure, Tower of London, London Zoo, Science Museum, etc.

Some places you could easily spend a few hours (such as the Tower of London or National Gallery) whereas another place you may only be interested in a brief visit. If you have London Passes , this can save you a lot of money if visiting several places. We used them when we had family visiting over the summer and they were great. Note that a few places in London (including free museums) require reservations due to COVID-19 precautions so be sure to check in advance if reservations or time slots are needed to visit.

Our 6 day London itinerary may also be helpful as it includes a couple more areas of London you may want to explore in addition or instead, depending on how long your family is staying.

Hope that helps, and just let me know if you have further questions. Wishing your family a fun visit to London!

elena gilbert Post author

December 28, 2021 at 9:22 pm

Amazing blog on visiting London, really interesting I loved reading it.

December 29, 2021 at 8:12 am

Glad you enjoyed our London itinerary and hope you found it helpful. Do let us know if you have any questions if you are planning a trip to London!

Vicki Copeland Post author

October 2, 2021 at 5:08 pm

Hi Cats- This is a fantastic travel site! Thank you so much. There are 2 of us headed to London for 3 days and your itinerary is perfect! I think we should definitely get the London Pass. Being that we are going in October, do you think there will be fewer people already booked for the places that are currently selling tickets for specific times? I’m guessing that even if we have a pass, if the time we arrive is booked we will have to wait? We are so looking forward to some pints and Shepard’s pie!

Laurence Post author

October 3, 2021 at 1:55 am

London is a busy city year round but there should be fewer visitors in October. A lot of tourist attractions have not been very busy this year due to Covid and travel restrictions. We last used the London Pass in late August and never had any long waits when we visited (including Tower of London & Westminister Abbey) but it does just depend as some have security checks. So just be sure to book those places that require it and you should be OK. But I would leave a little extra time in your itinerary just in case.

Note that most of London’s free museums currently also require pre-booking a time slot due to COVID to ensure entry so be sure to check in advance.

Wishing you safe & happy travels to London! Laurence

Elena Post author

September 24, 2021 at 4:18 am

Amazing blog about London, really interesting and very informative!

September 26, 2021 at 6:03 am

Glad you enjoyed our suggested 3 day London itinerary! Just let us know if you have any questions if you are planning a trip to London.

vertoe Post author

August 26, 2021 at 4:21 am

Thank you for this amazing itinerary on 3 days to spend in London. London is a beautiful place to visit .

August 29, 2021 at 3:58 am

Thanks Vertoe, glad you enjoyed our London itinerary and had a good visit to the city! We were just back in London ourselves just yesterday and spent 3 days there – so much do there!

Johani Ponce Post author

August 19, 2021 at 6:49 am

I am planning to go to London next year. Very good guide

August 20, 2021 at 4:55 am

Thanks for taking the time to let us know that you enjoyed our London itinerary. Just let us know if you have any questions as you plan your trip to London for next year!

Vertoe Post author

March 25, 2021 at 5:52 am

Wow what an amazing London itinerary and list of things to do! Thanks for sharing this valuebale information.

March 25, 2021 at 8:44 am

Thanks very much, and just let us know if you have any questions if you are planning a trip to London!

GG Post author

January 19, 2021 at 4:00 am

This was so useful in planning my first trip to London! Thank you so much.

January 23, 2021 at 8:31 am

You’re welcome GG, just let us know if you have any questions as you plan your trip to London!

Raleigh Truitt Post author

September 17, 2020 at 9:12 am

Will you publish a fold-up plasticized (rain-proof) version of your 3-day London guide? I could use one.

September 20, 2020 at 5:34 am

Hi Raleigh,

Glad you like our 3 day London itinerary. We do not have any published guides (waterproof or otherwise) of our itineraries but you are welcome to print (and laminate!) it. Just let me know if you have any questions as you plan your trip to London.

Vernon Post author

April 15, 2020 at 10:22 pm

Great blog, very helpful! If you’re visiting Europe and would like to stop over in London, but only have a 3 days to spare this blog get you covered it contains all the information.

April 16, 2020 at 5:24 am

Glad you found our 3 day London itinerary helpful and wishing you safe and happy travels!

Lia Post author

February 26, 2020 at 2:30 pm

Hello, Me and my mom are going to travel to London next week, we arrive on the 4th at about 3pm and we leave on the 7th at about the same time, so that means we have 2 full days and 2 half days…we have a lot things we want to do but we are kinda short on time and we need to stay with a budget…This time, I’m really lost and it has been really difficult to plan this trip….Do you have any tips or suggestions for our trip? Thank you ^-^

February 27, 2020 at 5:13 am

It really depends on what you want to do, your budget, and where you are staying in London. But I would recommend considering getting a London Pass or London Explorer Pass if many of the places you want to visit are included on those passes. They can help save you money and also help you organize your time – the London Pass also includes a sightseeing bus and boat tour you can do.

I’d make a list of the places you really want to see and can realistically see in the time you have and then group them together by where they are in London. The half-days are going to make it harder to plan around, especially if you are arriving into London via the airport as most places will be closing by the time you get in so I’d focus on the evening only activities that night (London Eye, theatre shoes, late night museum openings) so you don’t feel rushed.

I would also focus on some of the many free and low-cost attractions in London – many of London’s best museums have free entry (donation only) and there are of course the parks, gardens, and you can do your own walking tours of neighborhoods of interest.

If dining out is not a must-do, you can definitely save money in London on food and drink by picking up sandwiches, salads, snacks, etc. on the go rather than dining in. Grocery stores, Marks & Spencer, Greggs, Pret a Manger, fast food, etc. Museum cafeterias can also be great places to stop and eat that are normally good value without taking up too much time (if you are there already). It can also save you time, especially in the day, if you are trying to see a lot in one day.

Hope that helps and wishing you a great trip! Jessica

Karen Gilbert Post author

February 8, 2020 at 8:23 pm

Good Morning My friend and i will be in London (first time) on 14th April departing 18th April from Gatwick to South Australia. I have looked at so many things and have got myself very confused. We woud like to see Buckingham Palace, Changing of the Guard, the Mews, Kensington Palce, Tower of London, Windsor Castle, Westminster Abbey, Parliment Houses, Harrods and Portobella Markets and a cruise on the Thames. Is this realistic??We have a hop on hop off bus ticket for the 15th only. Is it worth getting the London Pass or would it be better to pay as we go in case our wants exceed our endurance. We are both in our 60’s. We dont want to do too much walking (ie a complete walking tour)but we can manage some walking. Should we get an oyster Card? we are staying at Hyde Park Executive Apartments which is close to a train station and bus line i understand. Any help you can give 2 older ladies would be appreciated very much.

February 9, 2020 at 5:38 am

I would look at how much time you have from arrival to when you need to depart London for Gatwick airport. Do you have 4 full days for instance? 3.5 days?

Then I’d break down the places you want to see by day and think about how much time you wan to spend at each. For instance do you plan to tour Westminster Abbey or do you just want to see the outside of it? Most things are not time specific except for things like the Changing of the Guard so you will want to take that into account when planning our your days.

For the busiest places, like Tower of London you’ll want to try to get there first thing in the morning to make the most of your visit.

Given the number of places you want to see, I would suggest that you’d probably save money with a 3 day London Pass. The London Pass allows you to be flexible as it sounds like you don’t want to pre-purchase your tickets for attractions in advance? So then the pass would be ideal if you plan to visit several places on it.

The Oyster Card can also make transport easier for you if you plan to use the public transit and you can also use it to get to and from the airport.

The apartments it looks like you are staying are near some metro and bus stops. The Paddington train station is about a 15 minute walk away. However, if you are flying into Gatwick Airport, you might be better off staying near Victoria Station in London as the bus and train connections to and from Gatwick are better to Victoria train station. But you can of course just transfer and change trains to get there as well.

Veronica Webster Post author

January 28, 2020 at 11:17 am

Hi Jessica, I love your blog!! My husband and I are travelling in March to London-Paris-Amsterdam and your blog has been very useful. Very well organized, the information is fantastic. Here gomy questions. Based on your 3 days itinerary we have planned the London part. My “problem” seems to be fitting Saint Paul’s Cathedral in a more efficient way, on day 2, as we also plan to take the river cruise that day. I’m breaking down the draft so maybe you have some suggestions

Day 1, we arrive 10:50 am in London, we are giving ourselves like 2-2:30 hours to arrive to hour hotel (customs, picking up Oyster card, London pass, etc), our hotel is very close to Saint Pancras station (5 minutes walk, on Argyle square). As it will be the afternoon, we’re trying things not included in the London Pass. If we make it to he museum well, if not we will just take time to walk around and enjoy the evening by Picadelly Circus.

Day 1 Arrival Hotel British Museum Picadelly Circus

Day 2 (we start the London Pass) HopOnOff (we actually use it as transportation to Westminster) Parliament Square Westminster Abbey Big Ben ( I know it’s under renovation, just watch) Churchill War Rooms Trafalgar Square Buckingham palace

Day 3 Tower of London Tower Bridge/London Bridge (we walk to St Paul’s and views of bridges) St Paul’s Cathedral (here we would use the tube to go back to almost where we started to take the cruise) Cruise Tower of London-Westminster Westminster Bridge to London Eye London Eye

Day 4 Kensington Palace Hyde Park Harrods

Thank you very much!! Veronica

January 29, 2020 at 6:34 am

Hi Veronica,

Yes, I would probably leave yourself 3 hours for everything just to be on the safe side for everything as it is hard to predict time it takes for security etc. and you don’t want to feel rushed on your first day.

Day 1 – The British Museum is a great place to visit and entry is by donation only and there is so much to see that you could spend most of the day here if you wanted. From there you could also wander around the Covent Garden area and go to Picadilly Circus. If you don’t get to Picadilly Circus your first night, it is very close to Trafalgar Square on your second day so easy to fit in there between Trafalgar and Buckingham Palace. Day 2 – Looks good, yes, I think they’ve uncovered Big Ben finally (it was under wraps for a while) but it is still under construction. But you will see it from as soon as you step off the bus into Parliament Square. You’ll also see it from Westminster Bridge which you cross to get to London Eye on Day 3 which is our favorite view of the Houses of Parliament. I am guessing you are going by Buckingham Palace just for the view, correct? The palace is not open to the public in March but you can visit the next door Queen’s Gallery (royal art gallery) and the Royal Mews (royal carriages). Both are included with your London Pass if you have extra time that day. Day 3 – I think St. Paul’s is fine as you have it and it is only about a 30 minute walk between the two sites if you go along the river and it is a nice walk along the Thames (provided weather isn’t too bad!). Just note that the London Eye is not included as part of the London Pass so you’ll want to buy tickets for that separately. Day 4 – Looks good. If you are staying near St. Pancreas train station, you are a fairly short walk away from the Eurostar station if you are taking the train from London to Paris.

If you are still planning your Paris part, this suggested 3 day itinerary may be helpful.

Hope that helps and wishing you a great trip to London, Paris, & Amsterdam!

Leslie Post author

December 1, 2019 at 5:25 am

Thank you so much for your 3 day itinerary! I visited London for the first time in October and only had 3 days; I followed your itinerary almost exactly (with just a few slight variations). London seemed a little overwhelming as I was planning my trip and your itinerary made it so easy to figure out how to organize and spend my time. I was able to see all of the highlights I wanted to without feeling rushed. It turned out to be one of the best trips I’ve ever taken!

December 1, 2019 at 6:28 am

Hi Leslie, So happy to hear that you had a great trip to London and that our 3 day London itinerary was helpful in planning your trip. Thanks for letting us know! Feel free to share any highlights from your own trip or tips for future readers visiting London as I know a lot of other visitors only have a few days to explore. Best, Jessica

December 2, 2019 at 2:30 pm

I think the highlight of my trip was the morning spent in Kensington; walking through Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens, touring Kensington Palace, then walking by Royal Albert Hall and on to the History Museum. One thing I did that was not on your itinerary was take the Thames Clipper (you can use your Oyster card) from the Tower of London to Greenwich. I enjoyed walking around Greenwich, visiting the market and a pub there, and of course see the Royal Observatory and standing on the Prime Meridian!

December 3, 2019 at 9:38 am

So glad you enjoyed Kensington so much. Yes, it is nice a nice area of London to wander around and there is a lot to do and see while still being fairly relaxing with lots of green spaces and free museums.

We enjoy Greenwich too, especially the historical sites and market! We have it as part of our 6 day London itinerary but not on our 3 day one. But yes for those wanting to take a Thames river cruise, to any destination, the Tower of London is a great place to do it as the boat stops just a short walk from the Tower.

So glad you had a great trip and thanks so much for sharing some of your favorite places and tips!!

Trevor Hall Post author

September 25, 2019 at 7:10 am

I’m glad London has great transportation that I can take all around the city. My wife and I are taking our kids to the UK soon to make some fun memories. I’ll try to incorporate public transportation into our plans.

September 26, 2019 at 12:55 pm

Yes, it is very easy to get around London using public transportation and you can check out this guide to London public transit for some more information and tips. You can explore just about all of London using a combination of public transportation and walking. Best, Jessica

Sanjay Kadam Post author

September 7, 2019 at 8:17 pm

Dear Team, Excellent information provided for visiting London. I am sure with such descriptive and in-depth study of spending 3 days in London anyone as per his/her budget can explore London . it will be much more easier and convenient to a first time traveler. Thanks and keep up the good work.

September 8, 2019 at 2:24 am

Hi Sanjay, Thanks for taking the time to comment, and glad it was useful to you. Wishing you a wonderful trip to London! Jessica

Taryn Hristova Post author

August 27, 2019 at 5:55 am

Thanks for this awesome article! My daughter and I just spent three days in London earlier this month and your itinerary was a lifesaver! We used it as ours. We did a ton of walking and feel like we packed so much in. Thank you so much for all of your research and advice 🙂

August 27, 2019 at 6:10 am

So glad you had a great visit to London and thanks for letting us know that our itinerary was helpful in planning your visit!

John William Post author

August 26, 2019 at 9:49 am

nice article, thanks for sharing.

August 26, 2019 at 11:33 am

Hi John, Thanks for letting us know you enjoyed it! Wishing you a great trip to London, Jessica

Tiffany Bui Post author

August 12, 2019 at 10:46 am

My friend and I are going to London Sept 14-18. We’ll arrive at Heathrow airport noon the 14th and travel to Paris morning the 18th from St Pancras station. We already got 3 days London Pass (mobile). Which London transportation pass do you recommend for our stay?

August 12, 2019 at 11:34 am

Hi Tiffany,

For your time in London, I’d recommend the Oyster Card if you are looking for a transport card. You can read our Oyster Card guide for more info – you can purchase it in advance (the Visitor Oyster Card which can be purchased here ) or get one once in London.

For tips on using the public transit in London, you can read this London public transport guide .

For your trip to Paris, you’ll want to book your EuroStar tickets in advance for the train if you haven’t done so already.

Hope that helps, and wishing you a great trip to London & Paris!

Tiffy B Post author

August 12, 2019 at 1:04 pm

Thank you so much for the prompt response and all the helpful tips. I really appreciate your work. May you and Laurence be blessed in everything that you do!

Have a wonderful week!

August 9, 2019 at 3:58 pm

Great itinerary, thank you so much for your recommendation. I’m going to buy 3 days pass and how should I best fit Hop on hop off bus and the river cruise to this itinerary?

August 10, 2019 at 2:47 am

Glad you are planning to use our London itinerary. You can modify the itinerary as you wish but we would suggust maybe doing the sightseeing bus on the first day you arrive to get an overview of the city (rather than so much to get from place to place) by taking one of the routes. This can be a nice way to get an overview of a part of the city. But you can take a look at the routes and see what will make the most sense for you as it could work on other days as well.

We recommend doing the Thames River cruise on Day 2, perhaps after a morning visit to the Tower of London. There is a stop located near the Tower. You can also check out Day 2 suggestions as part of our 6 day itinerary as we have the Thames cruise included as part of it.

Simone Post author

August 6, 2019 at 5:38 am

Hey Laurence and Jessica, Thanks for the content, it has helped me a lot to craft the best route for my short-visiting.

August 7, 2019 at 5:44 am

Hi Simone, You’re very welcome and wishing you a great trip to London. Best, Jessica & Laurence

Claudel P Post author

June 11, 2019 at 8:57 am

Great post! We will be heading to London for 5 full days during Thanksgiving this year.. so I am loving reading on your 3 and 6 day posts! Will there be christmas decorations or christmas markets during this time (november 27-december 2). if so, do you know where and what we should hit? We love Christmas! Have you seen either plays: Harry potter & cursed child, wicked, or matilda? which would you recommend?

Thank you so so much! I’m sure I’ll have more questions once I continue reading 🙂

June 11, 2019 at 10:14 am

Hi Claudel,

Glad you are finding our London posts helpful in planning your trip.

Some Christmas decorations should be up by the beginning of December, especially in the stores. Some of the larger Christmas markets also start around this time. One of the biggest is the Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park and it is expected to begin in late November so you should be able to catch that which has Christmas market, decorations, ice skating, rides, circus shows, etc, but it is a bit early for exact dates for most of these so I’d check a bit closer to your trip. You can see the official website for the Winter Wonderland here .

I have personally seen Wicked and enjoyed it but not the other two, but all have really good reviews. I doubt you’d be disappointed with any of them and I would go for the one that is of most interest to you. Or if you are on a bit of a budget, you can see if you can get discount tickets for any of the shows once in London. If you are getting a London Pass, then Wicked is currently one of the shows that pass users are eligible for discounted tickets, you can see more about this here .

Note that the Harry Potter & Cursed Child is a long two-part show (either both shows on same day or 2 over 2 days) and tickets often sell out well in advance, and you are very unlikely to get a discount for that show. So if that one is your fave, I’d book it in advance to guarantee a seat.

If you enjoy Harry Potter, Laurence has a Harry Potter filming location in London guide that you might enjoy, as well as a guide to the Warner Brothers Harry Potter Studio Tour .

Olga castillo Post author

May 29, 2019 at 12:49 pm

Great tips and great 3 day pass information.

On the London pass does that include theater tickets? Any recommendations for a nice pub for lunch and for a good place for fish n chips. Also if you can help me out or give me some suggestions. I purchased London eye tickets for the wrong date, now it seems that I can’t change therefore will lose my money what can I do please help. Also can we wear shorts and go into the churches and the museums? Please advice if all possible. O. Castillo Miami Fl

May 29, 2019 at 2:23 pm

Glad you finding our London itinerary helpful in planning your upcoming trip. Sure happy to try to answer your question.

– The London Pass does not include free theater tickets, but it gives you up to 50% off on certain shows so you can purchase theater tickets at a discounted rates through their concierge service with your Pass. For example, there is usually 4-5 shows discounted (e.g., Aladdin, Thriller Live) and the discounts are usually between 20 to 50% off the normal ticket price. You can see more about this here . -BTW, I assumed above you were referring to West End performance theater, not movie theaters / cinemas as the London Pass does allow free entry to see films in a few area Curzon movie theaters right now. You can see those listed under the included attractions.

-There are LOTS of good pubs in London and many also serve fish and chips so you can get both at the same place in many cases. I’m not an expert on good fish n chips, but I would just do a search online depending on where you are and you’ll find lots of recommendations. The Clarence in Whitehill (Westminster) is a long-standing central pub where many Prime Minsters have had a pint including Winston Churchill. One popular spot for fish n chips is Ben’s Traditional Fish & Chips. But as I said, there are lots and lots of pubs, you’ll run into them everywhere as you walk around.

-For London Eye tickets, I can’t really help with that. You will need to call or email the London Eye or ticket seller where you purchased the tickets to see if they can change the date for you. Where did you purchase them?

-Appropriate shorts (e.g., not too short) should be OK in London. Most of the churches in London are active places of worship and so you should dress respectfully and act as you would in churches in your own country. You are asked to dress respectfully and modestly (e.g., avoid wearing things like skimpy tank tops, midriff baring tops, really short shorts/skirts) and for men to remove hat upon entry, etc.

-Note that if you are from Miami you might find London a bit chilly depending on the weather when you visit, as it can be cool and rainy even in the summer at times (or it can be pretty hot). So be sure to check the weather before your trip and make sure you bring some clothes for layering.

Stanley Post author

May 18, 2019 at 8:58 pm

Hi Jessica,

We, a party of 4 adults and 6 teenagers, will be in London this December. First arrival on the 18th, then off to Europe the next day, and back to London for a few days from the 31st to the 2nd

My questions are:

1. Would moving around London (mainly using tube, HIHO, and walking) during New Year’s eve and New Year’s day itself be congested, meaning we may have to scale down on the number of places that we plan to visit?

2. Will the attractions be open on New Year’s day?

3. For the above reasons, and to avoid the crowd, we are actually considering the option of taking a day trip to Bicester Village on New Year’s eve for some shopping. But, can you advise if we would have problems returning to London due to overcrowding on the trains and tube?

May 19, 2019 at 3:42 am

Hi Stanley,

Sounds like a fun family trip to Europe.

1. Yes, things will likely be congested on New Year’s Eve, especially towards evening as many people will be heading off to eat, celebrate, and party. So expect it to be busy and the Tube may not be the best place to be later in the evening (e.g., plenty of loud drunk people). But New Year’s Day shouldn’t be too bad as most people in the UK are off work and sleeping in as it’s a public holiday.

2. Some attractions will be closed on New Year’s Eve and/or New Year’s Day so I would be sure to double check the ones you plan to visit to be sure they are open. Some may just have reduced hours. But you should still find plenty to do in London on these days as many attractions stay open.

3. Bicester Village is definitely an option and I think it only closes on Christmas. You can get there by train or you can book one of the dedicated shuttle buses that goes back and forth from central London to Bicester Village if worried about the trains/Tube. It is a very popular destination with the Chinese and other international tourists so it will likely still be busy but not more busy than usual. Other non-shopping options is to book a day tour to some place like Stonehenge, Stratford-upon-Avon, Kent, Cambridge, the Cotswolds, etc. Since you have such a large group, a private tour is likely to be less expensive than joining a group tour and most private tours will pick you up and drop you off at your hotel so you don’t need to worry about transportation.

May 19, 2019 at 9:15 pm

Many thanks for the speedy response and useful tips, much appreciated.

Warmest Regards,

Vicki Baker Post author

May 17, 2019 at 6:51 am

So informative. Thanks so much. I have planned our UK trip from your suggestions. What SIM card for my cell phone do you recommend for the UK. We are coming from Canada.

May 17, 2019 at 7:33 am

Hi Vicki, Glad you are finding our London itinerary and other UK content helpful. For a SIM card, perhaps the easiest is going to be the Three SIM card , which you can pick up at the airports in booths or once in London. Then you can just add data to it as required, and they come with unlimited texts and minutes. Three is our provider here in the UK.

Another to consider is the SIMS and SiM stickers by KnowRoaming which is a Canadian company and you could get one before your trip. We’ve used them as well before.

But you can read more about these and other options for getting online and staying in touch internationally in this article .

May 17, 2019 at 7:56 am

Thank you Jessica for the quick response. Will look up the article you suggested. Great help. Keep up the good work!

May 17, 2019 at 9:03 am

Hi Vicki, Glad it was helpful and just leave Laurence (my husband who wrote the article about SIM cards, hotspots, etc.) a comment if you have further questions as he is more of an expert on UK SIMs 🙂 Wishing you a wonderful time in the UK. Jessica

Tim Riley Post author

April 5, 2019 at 10:10 am

Wonderful web site. We are going to be in London 2 days prior to a Princess Cruise around the British isles. There are 8 of us, ranging in age form 62-82. We arrive Heathrow, June 4 @ 6:45am and will be staying 2 nights 6/4 & 6/5) at the Grange Tower Bridge Hotel. Boarding the ship on Thursday, June 6. Would like your suggestion of how best to make the most of 2 these days.

Thanks for your time.

April 5, 2019 at 1:04 pm

Your hotel is well suited for exploring the central highlights of London. I would recommend doing Day 1 and Day 2 of this itinerary. And then I’d recommend taking a few things out and slowing it down since you’ll be traveling in a bigger group. Getting a 2 day London Pass can help as it will allow you to bypass ticket lines at many attractions.

I’d also recommend asking everyone for 1 or 2 must-see things to do or see in London and see if you can incorporate at least one thing everyone really wants to do. Hopefully most will fall within the main highlights (Tower of London, Buckingham Place, etc.) of the itinerary, but may also include changing the itinerary a bit to visit the British Museum, going to a particular shop, or making sure to stop for a fish and chips pub lunch or going to a West End performance.

It may also make sense for a group of this size to split into 2 if there are differences in interests (e.g., one wants to spend the day in museums and one wants to go shopping).

If you have any specific questions about how to modify the itinerary, let me know!

Ken Post author

March 25, 2019 at 10:09 pm

Hi Jessica, we are planning 4 and half days in London and then 3 days and nights starting in Bath and Cotswold. Any suggestions on a mid range hotel/ bed and breakfasts . We are taking a train to Bath and I’m asking for help on the transportation to the Cotswolds area, places to stay for 3 nights,tours and rentals car to get around. Thanks in advance, Ken

March 26, 2019 at 11:29 am

I’d book your train ticket in advance to Bath to save money and also ensure a seat reservation. You can see schedule here .

For exploring the Cotswolds, you can either explore on your own by car or you can take a half day or full day tour from Bath. So if you stay within walking distance of central historic Bath (e.g. Roman baths) you could probably do it without a car if you wanted and rely on public buses and day tours. Or you can rent a car in Bath but you don’t really need a car to explore Bath itself as the highlights are located within walking distance of each other.

If you rent a car, there are a few agencies in Bath including Europcar and Enterprise, we normally use Enterprise, you can check prices here . Just note you need to take a short bus or taxi ride from central Bath to many of the car rental agencies, including Enterprise, as most are a little outside the city center.

For activities and day trips from Bath, I’d check out this list . Some good day trips might be Stonehenge, Cotswolds, Oxford, Bristol, Cheddar Gorge, but I’d recommend spending one day just exploring Bath itself.

We haven’t personally stayed in Bath overnight so I don’t have any personal recs, but there are a number of mid-range hotel and B&B options, I’d just pick something near the city center. Some to check out might be Annabelle’s Guest House , Henrietta House , or The Rising Sun Inn .

Menaka Post author

March 18, 2019 at 5:06 pm

hi Jessica This is super awesome…all your blogs have helped me tremendously in planning my itinerary. Would greatly appreciate your inputs on a few of my questions below: 1- as part of the London pass, I believe we get one day of HOHO bus and River Thames cruise option. Assuming the 24 hour clock for HOHO starts the moment we take the bus but do we also have to take the River Thames cruise within that 24 hours or can we do it any time within the 3 days of London Pass validity? 2- how did use the HOHO option with the 3 day pass itinerary? 3- we want to do the stonehenge, bath and windsor day trip as a part of a tour so I’m assuming the admission fee to Windsor would be a waste for us? 4- we are a party of 6, 2 kids (5 and 9) and 4 adults (2 over 60)- how family friendly would you consider the 3 day itinerary, also considering, we will be jet lagging first couple of days. We are staying a total of 6 days in London and 3 in Edinburgh- London 4 days, Edinburgh 3 days and London 2 days.

Your thoughts are much appreciated.

thanks Menaka

March 18, 2019 at 6:05 pm

1. The HOHO bus ticket is good for 1 full day, so not for 24 hours. Just for one full operating day of the sightseeing bus to whenever the bus service begins to when it ends. The HOHO River Thames cruise is good for 24 hours, and I would probably do this a different day than you are using the bus ticket. 2. You can use the HOHO bus anytime/day you want, but I’d probably do it the first day so you can listen to the commentary and learn more about the city and sightsee from the bus before you start visiting a lot of places. If you are feeling tired the first day from jet lag, this can also be a nice break from walking. Since our itinerary is designed for walking, you don’t really need the bus or public transit too much to get around so you can also use it more to just sightsee than to get from place to place, but it is up to you. 3. For the day trip, yes, the price of the entry fee for Windsor is probably included in your tour cost. I’d try to do the day tour on a day when you don’t have the London Pass if you have days when the pass is not going to be valid. 4. With 2 younger kids and a group of 6 people, it is going to take you longer and you’ll need more breaks. So I’d cut out a little bit from each day or just take it at a relaxed pace and do what you can each day, without trying to rush too much. Maybe just set priorities to make sure that everyone in the group gets to visit their top attraction. I’d get some info from everyone what their must-see thing to do in London is so you know it ahead of time and can make sure you can fit it in.

Elaine Post author

February 24, 2019 at 8:54 am

Hi Jessica and Laurence, My friend and I are traveling to London and Paris from 4/19 (land at 9am) – 4/26 (leave at 6:40 pm) . My son is studying abroad in Bologna and will be meeting us in London for the weekend. We are in London from 4/19-4/23 but are going on a day trip to Highclere Castle on 4/22. What days’ itinerary would you suggest for Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Sunday is Easter so hope that doesn’t impact our stay too much. We were planning on attending Mass(Covent Garden) around 9ish that morning then continuing on from there. We are staying at the Doubletree Hilton – Victoria. Thank you, Elaine

February 24, 2019 at 10:15 am

I think our suggested 3 Day itinerary will work for you since you essentially have 3 full days with one day going to Highclere Castle. I’d just check on the opening dates for each attractions you want to visit. Some may be closed (or have reduced hours) for Easter Sunday. Many attractions are closed certain days (Westminster Abbey closes on Sunday) so I would just plan as you would any other trip. If you plan to follow our itinerary (at least loosely), I’d recommend considering the London Pass.

Covent Garden is a good area as you are within walking distance (or short ride) from several good attractions including St. Paul’s Cathedral, London Transport Museum, The National Gallery, and the West End theatres.

At Highclere Castle be sure to take time to stroll the gardens and visit the museum – the focus of the visit here has become on Downton Abbey but I think the true life story of the family is more interesting.

I would expect that London will be busier than usual that weekend as many people, locals and tourists, will be enjoying a long weekend in the city. But it should not be as busy as summertime.

For Paris, it looks like you may have at least 2 full days there. Here is a suggested 2 day Paris itinerary that may be helpful.

Hope that helps, and let us know if you have any specific questions as you continue planning your trip to London!

Cindy Post author

January 13, 2019 at 1:05 pm

I am researching my first trip to London. I think that our flight will come in around 11:00 am. Is this too late to start with the day 1 itinerary? Is there something else that you would recommend for this day?

January 13, 2019 at 3:22 pm

Hi Cindy, If your flights lands around 11am and then you go through security, baggage claim, travel into London, and check into your hotel to leave your luggage, you’ll probably have about half the day left. So you could probably fit in part of the day’s itinerary, but you won’t be able to do it all.

I would suggest just picking one big attraction that you want to visit and head there after you get into London and drop off your luggage, perhaps in Westminster. Then after your visit you can see how much time you have left. I’d do some walking around and visit one or two of the attractions that are open later hours, such as the London Eye and the the Shard or you can do a tour such as the Jack the Ripper tour or get tickets for a West End show. Some of the museums also are open late one night of the week (Fridays is a popular day) so you can check that as well.

Hope that helps, Jessica

Cindy Dunlap Post author

May 6, 2019 at 3:01 pm

Hi Jessica, I think this was my post to you from January. Now that I have solidified my itinerary a little more, it raises more questions. You were so good with your last reply I am reaching out to you again. We land at Heathrow at 10:10am on May 12th, with transportation to our hotel in Bloomsberry already covered. Should we purchase our Oyster Pass at the airport? We will be in London May 12th, 13th, 14th, then Paris on the 15th for a one day visit. (Already have tickets for EuroStar) Back in London 16th with a 1:15 Harry Potter Tour and 17th with an afternoon tour of Stonehenge. We fly back home at noon on Saturday the 18th. We are planning to get a two day London Pass since my understanding is they have to be used on consecutive days. Should we pick up the pass at their Center? We love your 3 day itinerary but how can we tweak it to fit our schedule, any suggestions? Also, we want to do the London Eye, any idea as to when would be best time to squeeze it into our time in London? So much to see so little time???? Any help you can give would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance, Cindy

May 7, 2019 at 1:11 pm

Hi Cindy, Yes, I think getting the Oyster Card at the airport make sense and then you can start using it right away. Otherwise you can purchase the Oyster Card at just about any Underground station (the standard one, not the Visitor one).

Yes, the London Pass has to be used during consecutive days so it does sound like you would want the 2 day London Pass. I would then to try to visit all the main attractions you want to visit covered by the London Pass on those 2 days. You can often save money by purchasing the London Pass online and then you could pick it up in central London. Otherwise, you can purchase it at the Heathrow airport Information Center, but the lines here can sometimes be a bit long.

If you like the itinerary and you only have 2 days, I would just do Day 1 and Day 2 of the itinerary as that covers most of the central highlights of London. The London Eye is already included as a suggestion for something to do in the evening of Day 1. Since the London Eye is not included on the London Pass, it is good to do in evening when other attractions are closed. It is also nice for sunset views and is open late.

Grace lee Post author

October 17, 2018 at 5:46 pm

Wow! I can’t believe how helpful this site is! You’re amazing. We will be in london in June for about 5 full days and will follow your 3 day itinerary. We want to explore Cotswolds area. Is there a way to do it without a tour guide? Sounds like it’s not an easy area to visit on your own? We will rely on public transportation. Any suggestions please? Thank you! Sincerely, Grace from Chicago

October 18, 2018 at 12:19 pm

Public transport is generally very good in the UK, particularly England, but it is not the best in the Cotswolds area. You can take a train to get there but a train will not get you around efficiently. There are several bus companies that operate within the area but you can spend a lot of time waiting and changing buses to see the main towns with tourist appeal unless you only want to stop in one or two of them. It is doable though to see the area by bus, and best if you have 2 days from London to explore just so you have adequate time to really explore. If you decide to do public transit, I’d recommend taking a train to Oxford and then taking buses from there.

But probably the two best ways to explore the area, especially as a day trip or overnight trip from London, are by renting a car or taking a guided bus tour (or private tour). If you are only doing a day trip, it is probably not worth renting a car unless you have a bit more time. Taking an escorted tour of the Cotswolds is very time efficient as you don’t have to worry about driving or parking, can visit several villages in one day, and they will take you to some of the most scenic and popular spots.

Check out our article on visiting Blenheim Palace and the Cotswolds , as it goes over the various options in how to get to Oxford and the Cotswolds from London (car, train, bus, guided tour, self drive). It can also help you decide what villages and attractions you may want to visit on a day trip.

Hopefully that helps, and just let us know if you have any further questions as you plan your trip to London!

Julie Post author

October 17, 2018 at 12:00 am

Hello I will be arriving at Gatwick airport next month. It is my first trip to London and I am very excited! Can I know where can I buy the London oyster card and London pass in Gatwick airport? Will the shop be opened? Also how much to rent a wifi router there? My arrival time is 5am. I will need the card to go to St Pancras station. Thanks in advance!

October 17, 2018 at 1:23 pm

Sounds like an exciting trip to London!

You can buy the London Pass at Gatwick Airport at the travel concierge and reservations desks. I don’t know for certain their hours, but it says here that there are 2 and both open at 4:00am. I would call in advance just to double check their times and what they have available if you need to purchase something there and you can find all the phone details here:

But I would actually recommend buying the London Pass online in advance if you can. It is currently on sale so it will save you a little money – you can then have it delivered to your home (for a shipping fee) or pick it up once in London (for free).

If you are planning to get a Visitor Oyster Card , you need to purchase it in advance. You can purchase it alone or in combination with the London Pass.

The regular Oyster Card can be purchased at the concierge desks in Gatwick North Terminal or Gatwick South Terminal or at the Gatwick Airport train station (or most Underground stations once in London).

I am not sure about mobile WiFi hotspots, but you can certainly rent them if you need to. If you can’t rent one in the airport (or they seem too pricey), you can certainly rent them once you get into London. Here is a guide to getting online while traveling that might be helpful. But you might also look into options before your trip. Prices generally range from about $7 to $12 per day depending on the company.

Hope this helps and do let us know if you have more questions as you plan your trip to London!

October 19, 2018 at 10:35 pm

Hi Jessica, thank you for your quick reply. 🙂 Could you let me know if our itinerary (first week of Nov) is feasible? We do not want to wear ourselves out, yet do not wish to miss out on any interesting sights.

DAY 1 (5pm onwards) – Watch a musical. Which do you recommend? And any tips on getting a cheaper tic? I have watched The Wicked, Lion King, Phantom of the Opera and the Les Miserables at my hometown. Would love to watch one that I have not seen before in London itself!!

DAY 2 – 1) Free & easy day trip to Stonehenge. Love to see the magnificent wonders of nature! Is it the most convenient way to go by the tube? Can I just use the Oyster card?

2) Leicester Square to see the Christmas lights (heard it will be up already?)

DAY 3 – 1) Sky Garden, 2) Imperial War Museum, 3) Westminister Abbey, 4) Churchill War Rooms, 5) Thames River Boat Cruise @Westminister Pier, 6) London Eye.

DAY 4 – 1) St. Paul’s Cathedral, 2) Tower of London, 3) Tower Bridge, 4) Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, 5) Borough Market, 6) View From The Shard.

DAY 5 – 1) Kensington Palace, 2) Windsor Castle.

DAY 6 (Need to leave for Gatwick around 6 – 7pm) – 1) British Museum, 2) London Zoo.

I am thinking to get a 3 days London Pass to use from Days 2 ~ 4. Is the free transport to Windsor Castle still valid on Day 5, after the 3 days?

We are also keen in the following: Is it possible to squeeze into the above?

1. Mudchute City Farm (If we go for this, should we skip London Zoo?) 2. Chinatown 3. Museum of Brands, Packaging & Advertising 4. Brick Lane visit 5. Big Ben (Is it under renovation?) 6. B Bakery Afternoon Tea Bus Tour

We are also on a tight budget as have spent most on the airfare and accommodation. It would be great if you can recommend any affordable and nice places to eat, shop (for souvenirs, snacks, etc) or apps that can use to get discounts? Is UK Groupon good for tourists? Our budget is around 20 pounds/pax for lunch and dinner.

Thank you in advance!

October 21, 2018 at 9:33 am

There are a lot of musicals (and plays) always playing in London – you’ve seen some good ones, some other popular ones include Kinky Boots, Book of Mormon, Aladdin, Matilda, Mamma Mia, Thriller, Hamilton, and School of Rock.

If you are flexible about the performance you see, a good way to save money is to check in at the TKTS booth in Leicester Square which offers half-price and discounted theatre tickets or you can go directly to a theatre’s box office on the day for cheap standby tickets and returns. But you can also save money often by booking online (just be sure to book with a reputable ticket seller). You can also get discounted theater tickets with the London Pass (performances change but currently includes Thriller, Kinky Boots, and Aladdin) as well and you can see more about that here .

If you want to go to Stonehenge, you will need to book train tickets (and then take a shuttle) or book a bus trip. Stonehenge is far from London so you cannot use your Oyster Card or take the Tube. You can read all about that in our Stonehenge day trip post. I’d recommend booking a day tour for the most convenient option.

Day 3 – This will be a busy day and a bit spread out. I’d start early and perhaps consider starting at either Westminster Abbey or Churchill War Rooms as those are the busiest 2 attractions. Or start really early at Sky Garden (breakfast or coffee) so you can get to one of the others by opening time.

Day 4 – Tower of London gets very busy, so you may want to go there first. St. Paul’s is also busy but absorbs crowds a bit better. Just a thought.

The London Pass will definitely save you money on your time in London if you do all the above. I’d consider the 6 Day London Pass (especially since it is currently on sale) as I think it will be worth it as you’ll save money on entrances to Windsor Castle, Kensington Palace, and the travel to Windsor and back. Otherwise you will need to pay for these entrances and the travel.

I would probably not try to squeeze much more into your itinerary as it is already pretty full. If you find yourself with extra time, it is always good to know what else is around you but I would maybe not try to do too much more. Having some time to relax and enjoy just wandering around and enjoying a pub lunch is always nice 😉 Big Ben is under renovation and is not expected to reopen to the public for tours until 2021.

Some budget tips: London Pass will save you money on attractions and theatre tickets. Grab sandwiches and snacks from places like Boots or Marks & Spencers during the day – most UK grocery stores and convenience stores offer grab-and-go meals deals around £10 which include sandwich or pasta, side or snack, and drink. Compare menus for sit-down meals before you sit down – traditional pub meals usually offer a good value in London as well as ethnic food spots like Indian, Thai, and Pakistani. London has great Indian food! I have not used Groupon in the UK but it is here.

October 24, 2018 at 12:21 am

Noted on your tips.

If I buy a 3 days London Pass, do I have to activate the HOHO bus and transport to/from Windsor Castle during the same 3 days? Or can they be used outside of the 3 days?

Also what is the current theatre 1 for 1 promotion on the Visitor Oyster card? I read up online and it seems that the train play (can’t remember the name) has finished? Does it offer discount for Aladdin and the other plays that you mentioned?

If not, would it better if I just buy a standard Oyster Card at Gatwick airport’s concierge counter upon arrival? Is it for sale there? I emailed them but no response.

Where are the places that I can get affordable souvenirs and snacks?

October 25, 2018 at 12:51 pm

Yes, you do need to get and use the HOHO ticket while your London Pass is valid, you use your London Pass to get a same-day ticket to get on the bus. It is the same for Windsor Castle as if the person checks your London Pass date and it is expired they won’t let you though the gates (they are manned by a staff member). So for your itinerary, I’d recommend the 6 day pass as it will probably be a better value than the 4 for what you want to do.

For the discounts with the Visitor Oyster Card, you can see them here . They change regularly so not sure which theater tickets are currently on offer. For the London Pass, you can see the discounted tickets on offer here (currently includes Aladdin).

The Oyster Cards are essentially the same but the Visitor Oyster Card provides discounts so it is normally the pick for most visitors. But if you don’t plan to use any of the discounts, then either will work exactly the same. Just remember the Visitor Oyster Card would need to be purchased before your arrival to London.

As noted before, there are several locations you can purchase the regular Oyster Card at Gatwick. If you need to get a hold of the airport concierge counter, I’d recommend calling them rather than email them. The phone number to both desks is on the page I sent earlier.

For discounts on passes and cards, you won’t find them in person, only online. So if the London Pass is on sale, I’d definitely recommend buying it online. The London Pass has fairly regular sales online. As far as I know there are not sales on the Oyster Card as it is a transport pass.

A good area for budget souvenirs is actually where you pick up the London Pass (if you buy it online, and don’t have it mailed) around Leicester Square as there are several shops there. But it depends on what you are looking for as you’ll see souvenir places all around as you travel in London. Snacks can be found all over – grocery stores like Boots, Sainsburys, Aldi, Tesco, etc. all have affordable snacks.

Wishing you a great trip to London!

Sulastri Gunawan Post author

October 14, 2018 at 7:33 am

We’re interested to follow your 3 days itinerary and buy a London Pass for 4 people. Please advise which 3 stars hotel should I stay which is close to the HOHO bus so we can save transport cost.

Many thanks and best regards, Lastri

October 14, 2018 at 2:37 pm

Hi Sulastri,

Glad you found our 3 days in London post helpful in planning your trip itinerary 😉 In terms of hotels in the 3 star range a few to check out are Premier Inn (located near the Borough Market and London Bridge), Hilton Tower Bridge (within walking distance of Tower Bridge, London Bridge, and Borough Market) and Nadler Victoria Hotel (a 4-star near Buckingham Palace). All are centrally located and within a 10 minute walk of a HOHO bus stop – all work well with the itinerary and will minimize the amount of public transport (or taxis) you’ll need to take.

Those should give you some good places to start, but you have loads of lodging options in London near bus stops as the buses stop near almost all of the major centrally located tourist attractions.

sergio Post author

October 10, 2018 at 10:58 pm

This itinerary is amazing. The best one I’ve seen while researching my London trip next week. Is there a way to get this in a PDF or hard copy so I can keep it with me while on the road? Or should I just print it from my web browser. I feel like it may get too cluttered that way. Thanks!

October 12, 2018 at 7:28 pm

Hi Sergio, So happy you found our 3 day London itinerary so helpful in planning your trip! We don’t have a great way to get a PDF of our content at this time, but since a lot of people have asked over the past year, we are trying to come up with a solution soon.

But can definitely print it if you wish and the best way to do that might be to scroll to the bottom of the post and then find the “Share this Post” social icons. If you then click on the “More” button, you’ll find a print option.

Wishing you a wonderful trip to London! Jessica

Karen Post author

October 10, 2018 at 9:50 am

Hi, We will be visiting London October 25-28. I am having a hard time deciding on how to plan out our days. We arrive October 25th at 10:00 am from Los Angeles. I would like to do some sightseeing that afternoon. What would you recommend doing that day? Th next day we will try to see a lot!! Then on the 27th I would like to go to Windsor and if you have other recommendations I would greatly appreciate it. Do you think we should book any tours? Sorry for all the questions. It’s difficult to cram so much in a short time. I appreciate your help. I love your site!! Its been very helpful.

October 10, 2018 at 10:53 am

I would recommend following the Day 1 suggested itinerary on your first afternoon in London. Since you will have a later start, you won’t be able to go inside too many places, so prioritize any of the sites you want to visit the interiors, but there is lots to see by just following the walking tour. Then on Day 2, I’d start at Tower of London if you want to visit there. On Day 2, you can also go back and visit anything on Day 1 that you missed and prioritize the places you really want to see/visit. Then Day 3 you can follow the Day 3 itinerary as it includes Windsor.

Since it sounds like you have about 3 full days, I’d just modify the 3 day London itinerary into how it fits your time in London and interests. The more you plan ahead, the more you’ll be able to see. Just make sure to leave in some flexibility so you are not too rushed and have some time to explore and enjoy!

Let me know if you have questions as you put together your itinerary.

Anais Hernandez Post author

October 1, 2018 at 5:42 pm

My brother and I will be spending 3 full days in London in November. After sooooo many reading of London itinerary, this one is the most complex. I feel it covers everything and most importantly at my pace. Love it! Well done!

October 3, 2018 at 8:31 pm

Hi Anais, Thank you so much for taking the time to leave us a comment and thanks so much for the kind words. We are so happy that you found our 3 day London itinerary helpful for planning your trip to London. We wish you and your brother a wonderful 3 days in London. Please let us know if you have any questions as you plan your trip – we will be back in London in November ourselves for a week 😉 Best, Jessica

Hugh Post author

August 25, 2018 at 4:49 am

Hi Jessica & Laurence,

Simply wow….!!! Your efforts are really appreciable, this is an amazing itinerary for spending 3 days in London. I love all the images that you have shared. Thanks for sharing this!

August 25, 2018 at 5:45 am

Thanks Hugh, thanks for taking the time to comment and wishing you a great trip to London! ~ Jessica

Rio Post author

August 25, 2018 at 4:00 am

This is a great itinerary. As a native Brit I only visited the Tower of London last year and still have yet to visit The Churchill War Rooms (it was closed the last time I was there). I used to visit London several times a year as I had family living there at the time and we would rarely do any tourist attractions. It’s only in the last few years that I’ve actually managed to properly explore our Capital.

August 25, 2018 at 5:43 am

Hi Rio, Glad you enjoyed our London itinerary and hopefully you get a chance to visit some more attractions on your next trip. It is so true that we often don’t properly explore our own home. My husband lived in central London for a few years, and only went to a few of the major tourist attractions while he was there. Now, with me, he’s been to just about all the highlights over the past few years 😉 Best, Jessica

Rob+Ann Post author

August 21, 2018 at 8:55 pm

We’ll definitely be using both this itinerary and the London Pass on our next visit. Sadly, we have yet to actually dedicate a trip to explore the city properly! Fixing that is high on our list. Thanks for all of the ideas and details – pinning this one for later! Only thing is, so much to see we’ll have to repeat several times. At least, that’s our plan! 🙂

August 23, 2018 at 5:40 am

Hi Rob & Ann, Hope you get a chance to visit soon and the London Pass is definitely a great way to explore the city. Yes, there is so much to do in London that it can take a few visits to do all the things you might want to do. We visit at least once a year and always leave with things we want to see next time 😉 Best, Jessica

Seana Turner Post author

August 20, 2018 at 6:10 am

The last time we were in London I was surprised at how crowded it was. It had been awhile since I’d been there, and I found it pretty packed. If I were to go back, I’d love the side trips. I’ve never done any of them. I would love seeing Highclere Castle and the Harry Potter world. I wonder what I would think of Stonehenge, but hey, why not? I love the detail of all of your posts.

August 20, 2018 at 6:29 am

Hi Seana, Yes, London is just one of those cities that is busy and popular year round – it can particularly be busy in the summer months. We tend to visit in the autumn, winter, or Spring although you can get some amazing weather in summer. Day trips are pretty easy to take from London and we’ve done all three of those ones and really enjoyed them – I am not even a huge Harry Potter fan but the Harry Potter Studio is still really interesting and well done. Best, Jessica

Anna Post author

August 19, 2018 at 7:43 am

London is such an awesome city and what a great itineary! I´ve spent a month there for my masters thesis 6 years ago and really wanted to go back to do more of the sightseeing ever since! Especially the day trips like Stonehenge or Oxford!

August 19, 2018 at 11:11 am

Hi Anna, Thanks, and hope you get a chance to return to London to do some of the day trips and explore more of the country. Stonehenge and Oxford are both great places to visit in England – we particularly really love Oxford. Best, Jessica

Michael Post author

August 19, 2018 at 3:26 am

Wow what an extensive list of things to do! WE live in London and are meant to be planning 3 days here for our friends later this year. I think I might just send them the link to this and then spend my afternoon in the pub!? Thanks for sharing!

August 19, 2018 at 4:59 am

Hi Michael, So you can just print the 3 day London itinerary, have them buy a London Pass, and meet up with them after their sightseeing in the evening for drinks and dinners – all sorted 😉 It can be hard to show people around a popular destination, I used to live near San Francisco and we now are in Edinburgh (Laurence used to live in London as well) and most people want to go do/see many of the same things but how many times do you really want to ride the cable cars or visit Edinburgh Castle. Enjoy your friends’ visit to London and hope this helps you a bit in your planning! Best, Jessica

Wendy Maes Post author

August 18, 2018 at 7:00 am

It’s been 16 yers since I was in London, but next month I am finally going back with my BFF. This itinerary is perfect! I am going to pin it to use it next month.

August 18, 2018 at 7:59 am

Hi Wendy, Thanks for pinning and so happy to hear you are getting a chance to visit London again next month. I hope you have a wonderful time and glad our London itinerary came at such a great time – enjoy your vacation in London! Best, Jessica

California Globetrotter Post author

August 17, 2018 at 7:20 pm

We thoroughly enjoyed using the London Pass and would highly recommend it again! And probably get it again on a future return to do more! So convenient, and it’s so nice to be able to visit as many locations as you wish without any limits, unlike Nashville.

August 18, 2018 at 7:47 am

Hi Lolo, Yes, the London Pass is one of our favorite city discount passes and we’ve used it a few times now. It would definitely save you money (and time) if spending three days in London and visiting many of the places on this itinerary. It along with the Paris Museum Pass are our two favorite city passes we’ve used.

There is a limit with the London Pass (there is a maximum purse value) but it is pretty high so very few travelers would be able to visit enough places to max is out, and we’ve never heard from anyone about this being an issue. Best, Jessica

Cynthia Post author

August 17, 2018 at 6:41 pm

This is a great itinerary! I was in London for 5 days a few years ago. My favorites were the National Gallery, the British Museum, and the Tate Modern. Also went to a couple other museums can’t remember names of! One had pre-Raphaelite art. Wonderful collections. The Tower of London and other iconic sights were faves as well. I liked seeing the sparkly jewels. 😉

August 18, 2018 at 7:41 am

Hi Cynthia,

Thanks, yes, London has some amazing museums and art galleries and you could easily spend 3 full days just visiting them! Sounds like you visited a number of great ones. Umm, for the pre-Raphaelite art, it may have been The Tate (not the Tate Modern) but it could have been one of several museums. Yes, the Tower of London and the Crown Jewels is always a popular favorite 😉 Best, Jessica

Anda Post author

August 17, 2018 at 6:15 pm

London is one of my favorite travel destinations. We’ve spent a week there a few years ago, but my sweet memories started to fade. I think it’s time for another trip. Your 3-day itinerary gave me the idea to add London to our trip to Italy this fall.

August 18, 2018 at 7:36 am

Hi Anda, Ours too! Although I didn’t have a very good impression of London on my first day there, it was raining, windy, and there was tons of some sort of debris in the air that kept blowing into our faces. One of our first stops was also visa related which didn’t add to the appeal. But I’ve come to really love the city and there is just so much to do there, which is a good thing since is it one of the places we visit the most 😉 Hope you get a chance to stop in London in the fall. Best, Jessica

Katherine Post author

August 17, 2018 at 2:35 pm

I lived in London for a few years, and the best thing about it is that you’re never done seeing everything there. There’s always something new and different to check out, and your London itinerary is an awesome first taste! I miss it so much 🙂

August 18, 2018 at 7:34 am

Hi Katherine, I hope you get a chance to get back to London soon 😉 Laurence also used to live in London but saw very few tourist attractions while in London so he enjoys returning with me and seeing all the museums, historical attractions, etc. We’re excited to head back for a week in November! Jessica

Anisa Post author

August 17, 2018 at 1:46 pm

I have spent a fair amount of time in London but I still have so many things I want to see! I need to go to the Churchill War Rooms and do the tour of the Houses of Parliament. I still need to go to the Sky Garden too, but I never plan enough in advance.

August 18, 2018 at 7:31 am

Hi Anisa, Both the Houses of Parliament and Churchill War Rooms are great sites in London and both are easy to visit on the same day as they are a short walk from one another, but you do need to plan ahead for the Parliament. There are also some similar threads between them that make them good stops for the same day. We’ve visited the War Rooms twice, once with a guide and once without and found it interesting both times. Best, Jessica

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The Mindful Traveller

The Mindful Traveller

Eco Travel Blog & Photography

3 Perfect Days in London: Complete Itinerary

4 August 2023 · In: City Guide , London , UK

big ben

Welcome to London, the  buzzing capital of England . From the iconic Buckingham Palace to the captivating National Museum and the stunning London Bridge, this 3-day itinerary is  perfect for first-time visitors  or a  long weekend getaway  with friends. It will show you all the  unique things to do  and walk you through everything you need to know to make the most of your English city break.

Whether you are into  royal history and art  or looking for a fun time with a stop at some of the  best shops and pubs , London is the place for you! 

Home to  many attractions and historic landmarks , the capital of England and the UK is one of the best cities to visit in Europe and offers a perfect blend of traditional and modern, making it the ideal place for a deeper insight into  British culture .

Walk in the footsteps of royalty at  Kensington Palace , enjoy a 360-degree panorama over the capital from the London Eye , watch the  Change of the Guard  at Buckingham Palace and stop by  Covent Garden  for a shopping spree. There is so much to do!

Are you excited? Keep reading this  city guide  to discover the  perfect 3-day itinerary  covering the top things to do and enjoy your vacation stress-free – and without rushing. You will also find  practical eco-friendly tips  for  responsible travel  at the end. Enjoy!

Disclosure : Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning that at no additional cost to you, we will receive a commission if you click through and make a purchase. For more information,  read our full affiliate disclosure .

7- London Eye

7- the shard, 7- the british museum, overview: how to see london in 3 days, day 1 – westminster.

  • Palace of Westminster
  • Westminster Abbey
  • St James’s Park
  • Buckingham Palace
  • Piccadilly Circus
  • Trafalgar Square

Day 2 – The City of London

  • Tower Bridge
  • Tower of London
  • St. Paul’s Cathedral
  • Tate Modern
  • Shakespeare’s Globe
  • Borough Market

Day 3 – Kensington

  • Kensington Palace
  • Natural History Museum
  • Victoria & Albert Museum
  • Oxford Street
  • Covent Garden
  • The British Museum

london uk

London 3-day itinerary – Map

Click on the top left of the map to display the list of stops and locations.

Detailed itinerary: 3 days in London

This London guide covers all the best things to do and see in 3 days and is perfect for travelling with family, friends or as a couple, whether it is your first time in the city or you have been there before.

On the other hand, remember that this itinerary is only a guide with recommendations . You can spend more days in the English capital or add other stops to your trip.

READ MORE: 10 Eco-Friendly & Fun Things to Do in London

london 3 day itinerary

1- Palace of Westminster & Big Ben

Your 3-day London getaway begins with the  Palace of Westminster  and the   well-known  Big Ben , the most famous clock in the world and an iconic tourist attraction you should not miss! 

Also known as the Houses of Parliament, you will find the Palace of Westminster on the north bank of the River Thames in the City of Westminster. It is the perfect place for a  first insight into British culture and history . 

Start by  walking over Westminster Bridge  and the banks of the Thames for fantastic views of the clock and buildings, and do not forget your camera. 

You can then  join a guided or private tour  to visit the Palace of Westminster (including the House of Commons and the House of Lords) for a  better overview of British democracy . With the help of your local guide, you will learn about the history of the building (and the country) and walk in the footsteps of  historical figures  such as Winston Churchill.


2- Westminster Abbey

Not far from the Palace of Westminster, you will find another  emblematic and unmissable landmark : Westminster Abbey. This  Royal church  offers daily services for all and is a  UNESCO World Heritage Site  home to the most significant collection of giant sculptures in Britain.

Since 1066, this stunning Abbey has  hosted the coronations  of every British Monarch, including Queen Victoria and Elizabeth II. It is also the  resting place  of many great monarchs, artists, scientists and politicians.

Whether or not you are a history buff or a fan of British royal heritage, this iconic church is  worth the visit . 

Step through its doors to explore over a  thousand years of history , marvel at the breathtaking  Gothic architecture  and discover the  Coronation Chair , the oldest piece of furniture in the country still in use for its original purpose. 

How long does a visit to Westminster Abbey take? Visiting Westminster Abbey takes around 2 to 3 hours as there is so much history and heritage to discover. Of course, you can spend less time there if you wish.

Can I go to a service? Yes, Westminster Abbey is an active place of worship where all are welcome to attend the daily services for free. There are also a few particular services throughout the year, but you might need to book your tickets in advance.

3- St. James’s Park

You continue your discovery of London with a  peaceful stroll through St. James’s Park , the  oldest Royal Park  at the heart of the capital offering 57 acres of green space and home to  The Mall  and  Horse Guards Parade .

Lined with renowned landmarks such as  Buckingham Palace  and  Clarence House , the park provides a quiet space amidst the hustle and bustle of the city. 

Enjoy fantastic views over the lake from the  Blue Bridge , admire the beautiful  Tiffany Fountain  and stop at  St James’s Café  for a well-deserved break. 

Once rejuvenated,  walk towards Buckingham Palace along The Mall , a processional route that witnessed many historic parades over the years.

4- Buckingham Palace

It is time to discover the  most iconic attraction in Britain  (and arguably in the world): Buckingham Palace. The  official royal residence  and administrative headquarters of the Monarch is a must-see for any traveller visiting London. 

Spend time  admiring this stunning monument  and  join a guided tour  to get a deeper insight into the life of the Royal Family and learn more about the history of the palace and its traditions.

Once inside, you will have the chance to  explore the 19 State Rooms  and discover sumptuous apartments and splendid ornaments. You will also uncover some of the most  outstanding jewels of the Royal Collection , including paintings by Rembrandt, Rubens and Canaletto. 

In addition, do not miss the  Changing of the Gard , a popular free event taking place outside Buckingham Palace on specific days from 10:45, lasting around 45 minutes. So make sure to plan your visit accordingly and arrive early to secure a good spot! 

How long does it take to tour Buckingham Palace? A tour of Buckingham Palace takes between 2h and 2h30. Of course, guided tour times may be different, so check beforehand with your provider.


5- piccadilly circus.

It is time to head to Piccadilly Circus, a  famous   road junction and public space  built in 1819, where many locals and tourists choose to meet due to its privileged  central location  close to important  leisure and shopping areas .

This square is one of the  liveliest areas  in London and one of the main places to  go out partying  with many bars and clubs – perfect for any traveller enjoying the nightlife.

In addition, Piccadilly Circus offers a variety of  cinemas, theatres, shops and restaurants , including famous traditional English pubs.

And, of course, do not forget to sit by the notable  statue of Eros  and take photos in front of the  iconic advertising screens !

6- Trafalgar Square & The National Gallery

Continue your walk toward the east to arrive at Trafalgar Square, a  public square showcasing some of the top attractions  in London, from renowned galleries and historic buildings to statues and monuments.

Once in the square, admire  Nelson’s Column , take a photo with one of the famous  lion statues , relax by the two stunning  fountains , find the four  pedestals  in the corners of the square and do not miss the  police box .

And, of course, one of the must-do activities in Trafalgar Square is the  National Gallery , an art museum housing a remarkable collection of over 2,300 paintings from the Middle Ages to the 20th century.

The best way to explore this fascinating museum is by  joining a guided tour  to uncover famous artworks and learn more about the European art world.

You end your first day in London with the London Eye, the  tallest Ferris wheel in Europe  and one of the most  popular tourist attractions  in the UK, offering  panoramic views  from 135 meters above the Thames.

Hop in one of its  glass pods  and enjoy a stunning  360-degree panorama  where you can spot the  most iconic landmarks  and top highlights, including Big Ben, Buckingham Palace and St Paul’s Cathedral. 

The wheel offers an ideal opportunity to  slow down  and watch life unfolding beneath you. It is also a perfect place to  watch a beautiful sunset  over the capital and admire the twinkling lights after dark. 


How long does it take to go around the London Eye? A rotation in one of its capsules takes around 30 minutes and gives you a unique perspective of London. If you are in a hurry or do not want to wait, buy a fast-track entry ticket to skip the queues.

1- Tower Bridge

You start your second day in London with one of the  most famous and recognisable landmarks  in the capital: Tower Bridge.

This  spectacular bridge  is a must-visit on your 3-day itinerary, especially if you love taking photos, and a unique attraction with plenty to do, including  walking over the glass walkway  and exploring the  Victorian Engine Rooms .

Enjoy  scenic city views  from the glass floors and high-level walkways 42 metres above the River Thames. You can also try to plan your visit with the  Bridge Lift  to see the roadway rise beneath your feet.

Another highlight of the site is the  Victorian Engine Rooms,  where you can learn more about the lives of people who operated the bridge, with a  permanent exhibition  showcasing their stories.

How long is the visit to the Tower Bridge? Visiting the Tower Bridge takes approximately 1 hour, giving you plenty of time to explore the Bridge’s Towers, Walkways and Engine Rooms.

2- Tower of London

Just next to Tower Bridge, you will find the timeless Tower of London, a  historic castle  and  famous fortress  on the north bank of the River Thames filled with culture and heritage.

Plan your visit to this iconic  UNESCO World Heritage site  to discover unique tales and stories and uncover over 1,000 years of its history as a  royal palace, armoury and prison . 

You will also have the chance to meet the  Yeoman Warders  (also known as Beefeaters), spot one of the  ravens  (guardians of the Tower) and marvel at the  Crown Jewels , a priceless symbol of the British Monarchy containing the most significant collection of crown jewels.

You guessed it, the Tower of London is a fantastic place to  learn more about British history . 

3- St. Paul’s Cathedral

Take time to wander along the River Thames and stop at St. Paul’s Cathedral on your journey, a  17th-century Anglican cathedral  with its  iconic dome , one of the largest in the world.

The cathedral is still an  active place of worship  today and is also one of the top sightseeing attractions in London, as an  architectural masterpiece . 

So, if you have time, join a guided tour to learn more about the cathedral and its  art, history and religious significance .

You will step inside its doors to explore its floor filled with  paintings and mosaics , venture into the  Crypt  to view the tombs and memorials of world-famous figures and climb its  three galleries  to enjoy  panoramic views  from the top of the dome.

Can I go to a service? Yes, St. Paul’s Cathedral welcomes all to attend the daily services for free. There are also a few particular services throughout the year, but you might need to book your tickets in advance.

4- Tate Modern

Head south and cross the River Thames to explore the Tate Modern, a  free art gallery  home to the national collection of  international modern and contemporary art .

This  inspiring art museum  is housed in the former  Bankside Power Station  on the banks of the Thames, where Turbine Hall runs the length of the entire building. 

And since the museum is free, why not add it to your bucket list? You will uncover  paintings, sculptures and more  made by famous artists from all over the world. Plus, it is a  great thing to do on a rainy day ! 

Plan a visit by yourself or join a guided tour and take the time to admire  fascinating artworks by renowned artists  such as Cézanne, Matisse, Picasso, Dali and Warhol.


5- Shakespeare’s Globe

Not far from the Tate Modern, on the south bank of the River Thames, you will find the Shakespeare’s Globe, a  world-renowned performing art venue  and a  reconstruction of the Globe Theatre , an Elizabethan playhouse for which  William Shakespeare  wrote his plays.

Join a  guided tour  of the Globe Theatre auditorium to  step back into 400 years of history , where your guide will bring tales to life and illustrate how the site remains a significant venue today.

The tour runs  each day and throughout the year  – but check out the  website  beforehand to make sure it is not closed for rehearsals and performances. I also recommend you  book your ticket online . 

6- Borough Market

You continue your stroll along the Thames to arrive at the  Borough Market , a  historic market hall  and one of the largest and  oldest food markets in London , dating back to at least the 12th century.

This buzzing market is a haven for  foodie lovers ! It features  high-quality food  and  sustainable products  and is the perfect place to connect with locals. 

From  British specialities  to  international delights  such as artisanal chocolate truffles, Indian street food and raclette, there is something for every tastebud.

And if the Borough Market is a fantastic place to buy sustainably, it is also an ideal place to eat responsibly! You will find  plenty of delicious restaurants , from fresh pasta to Middle Eastern cuisine and cosy Sunday lunch.


Here you are, your last stop of the day! Cross the road to access  the Shard , an  impressive skyscraper  designed by the Italian architect Renzo Piano and a must-do activity for its  incredible views ! 

The  View from The Shard  allows you to reach the viewing platforms at levels 68 and 69 and experience a unique  360-degree panorama  over London. 

If you feel adventurous, you can also head up to the  Skydeck  on level 72, an  open-air platform  providing breathtaking views.

From the top of this iconic vertical building, you will be able to spot some of the  top landmarks , such as Tower Bridge, Big Ben, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre and St Paul’s Cathedral.

And for a memorable experience, try to  visit the viewing platform at sunset . It is a great thing to do if you are a couple looking for a romantic evening – that is what I did with my partner. We also had a glass of champagne with our ticket. 

1- Kensington Palace

You begin your last day in London with Kensington Palace, a  working Royal residence  with  great historical importance , shaped by generations of royal women from Queen Mary to Victoria and Diana, Princess of Wales.

Join a guided tour to  explore the birthplace of Queen Victoria  and the home to young royals for over 300 years, and walk in the footsteps of royalty as you discover the  sumptuous state apartments  such as the King’s State Apartments and Queen’s State Apartments, which will shine a light on the lives of its royal residents.

And if you are more of an art lover, enjoy the  stunning work of architect and painter William Kent  in the Cupola Room and King’s Grand Staircase, and admire the dazzling  examples of 18th-century court dresses and artworks  from the Royal Collection.

2- The Natural History Museum

A 3-day London itinerary could not be complete without its Natural History Museum, a  fascinating museum  exhibiting a vast range of specimens from various segments of natural history, with over  80 million objects spanning 4.5 billion years . 

No better place to delve into the history and past of our beautiful planet Earth! And a  must-do attraction for families with children , as you will find inside many activities and interactive exhibits. 

Some of the  best things to see  in the Natural History Museum are the giant blue whale skeleton in Hintze Hall, the fossils in the famous Dinosaurs gallery and meteorites from outer space.

And since the museum is home to  over 20 galleries and 4 areas , it might be best to plan your visit in advance and choose one zone to focus on based on your preferences and interests.

Is the Natural History Museum free? Yes, the Natural History Museum is free to visit, but some temporary exhibitions and events might require an admission fee, so check out the website in advance. It might also be best to book your ticket online to skip the queue, especially in busy seasons.

3- Victoria and Albert Museum

Right next to the Natural History Museum, you will come across the Victoria and Albert Museum, the  largest museum of applied arts, decorative arts and design , housing a permanent collection of over 2.27 million objects.

Founded in 1852 and named after Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, the V&A is a fascinating place to explore, where you will find worldwide examples of  architecture, painting, sculpture, fashion, textiles, ceramics and jewellery .

The museum also hosts many  exhibitions  and  shows about fashion designers and cultural trends , including displays celebrating Christian Dior, Tim Walker and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.


Is the Victoria and Albert Museum free? Yes, the Victoria and Albert Museum is free to visit, but some temporary exhibitions and events might require an admission fee, so check out the website in advance.

4- Hyde Park

Head north to reach the renowned  Hyde Park , a  historic Royal park  with a  350-acre stretch of green land  home to a large lake, cafés and sports facilities.

The park is a fantastic place to  wander, relax or enjoy a picnic  surrounded by nature, away from the noise of the city! 

On your journey through the park, take time to admire the  Diana Memorial Fountain  and stop by the  Speakers’ Corner , a historic site of public protest, speeches and debates.

And throughout the year, Hyde Park also hosts many  significant festivals and events , including  Winter Wonderland , a large annual Christmas event featuring a buzzing market, ice rink and giant observation wheel.

5- Oxford Street

Shopping enthusiasts,  Oxford Street  is the place for you! On your way to Covent Garden, walk through this iconic road, the  busiest shopping street in Europe,  and stop by your favourite boutiques. 

With  over 90 stores , from fashion and beauty to technology and homewares, it offers 1.5 miles of non-stop shopping, making it the  ultimate shopper paradise .

No matter your style and budget,  you will find something for you  – or your family! 

And if you are more of a foodie lover, enjoy a selection of  over 500 restaurants  all within walking distance, whatever the time of day. 

6- Covent Garden

It is time to discover one of my favourite areas in London,  Covent Garden , a  shopping and entertainment hub  based on an elegant and car-free square renowned for its  luxury fashion, beauty stores and award-winning restaurants and theatres .

This  lively and must-see destination  will appeal to all travellers, whether you are into shopping, nightlife, art, history or culture. Stop by the  Royal Opera House , watch street performers outside the 17th-century  St. Paul’s Church  or visit the  London Transport Museum  home vintage vehicles.

Here are some  top things to do & see  in Covent Garden:

  • Wander through the iconic Apple Market
  • Uncover the little Neal’s Yard gem
  • See a show at the Royal Opera House
  • Visit the London Transport Museum 
  • Eat at some of the best restaurants
  • Walk around Jubilee Market 

Your 3-day London itinerary ends at the British Museum, a  famous public museum dedicated to human history, art and culture , where you can travel from Ancient Greece and Egypt to Africa and China through  over 60 free galleries.

Home to a collection covering  2 million years of history , this fascinating museum documents the  story of human culture  from its beginnings to the present day.

Step inside the  largest and oldest museums  in the UK and explore its  cultural treasures , ancient and modern, including relics from Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome, such as  Egyptian mummies , the  Rosetta Stone  and  Parthenon Sculptures .

And alongside the extensive permanent collection, you will find  frequent exhibits  focusing on people, places and stories from the past and critical themes of the present and future. Check out the  website  before you visit to see what is on! 

If you have more time…

If you have more time or would like to personalise your 3-day itinerary, here are some other places and landmarks I recommend :

  • Notting Hill
  • Camden Town
  • Windsor Castle
  • Regent’s Park
  • Tate Britain

Top day trips from London

How to get to london.

The best way to get to London will depend on where you come from and your budget, but there are many options to reach the capital. 

One of the quickest ways to get to London is by plane . London has multiple international airports connected to the main cities in the world. Please, try to prioritise direct flights to reduce your carbon footprint – if flying is the only option. Once at the airport, you can easily take the bus, subway or taxi to reach the city centre. 

One of the most eco-friendly ways to get to London is by train . London benefits from an extensive railway hub linking to the major European cities, including the Eurostar, connecting you to Paris in no time. 

Finally,  the most affordable option is to take the coach . It is a great way to get to London if you are exploring Europe on a budget, but it can take longer. You will also find different types of coaches depending on how they cross the sea – by ferry or Eurotunnel. 

london 3 day itinerary

How to get around London

Once in London, you will find many options for getting around the capital. 

The best way (eco-friendly too) to travel around London is on foot . The city is vast, so I suggest you focus on one area each day to have the main attractions within walking distance of each other. 

That is what I tried to do for this 3-day guide, so you can easily explore the capital on foot, even on a short day trip or weekend getaway. Plus, it is the perfect way to see the best sights whilst exercising!

Walking will allow you to soak up the wonderful local atmosphere and find hidden gems you might otherwise miss. 

The second best option to get around London is by public transport . The English capital has a reliable and efficient transportation network that will take you anywhere in no time. It is one of the quickest ways to travel around the city, but it can get quite expensive, so check out the passes available beforehand if you plan to use the subway and bus a lot.

The last and fun option is to travel around London by bike . It is a fantastic way to get around the city whilst reducing your carbon footprint! However, I recommend being careful of the cars and traffic if you are exploring the capital with children.

And, of course,  London taxis  are also an option if you would like a private ride to a specific location or from/to the airport – but not the most cost-efficient way to get around + do not forget to carry cash.

london 3 day itinerary

Shop the printable travel itinerary

Create your dream city break & live a unique experience in London!

printable travel itinerary

Where to stay in London

Are you looking for the best place to stay in London for 3 days? Here is an overview of the top neighbourhoods in the English capital:

  • Covent Garden : the best neighbourhood  for first-timers  due to its central location and access to the main attractions and landmarks, including Trafalgar Square, Big Ben and Buckingham Palace.
  • South Bank : the best area to stay in London  for families  due to its excellent location near the city centre and all the child-friendly activities it offers, from London Eye to SEA LIFE.
  • Camden : the best place to stay in London to soak up the   bohemian and  local vibes , known for its famous market and live music scene. It is also a great area to stay in  for budget travellers ! 
  • Soho : the best district  for   nightlife , vibrant atmosphere and trendy shops. This energetic hub is perfect for living the best of the English capital and connecting with locals.
  • Notting Hill : with its charming atmosphere and pastel buildings, it is the best area to stay in London  for couples  looking for a romantic getaway. The neighbourhood is also great  for food lovers . 

london 3 day itinerary

Best time to visit London

The best time to visit London is in  late   spring (May-June)  and  early   autumn (September-October)  when the weather is nice and sunny, but the city is not overcrowded, perfect for sightseeing.

Summer and Christmas are the busiest seasons  for tourists and the most expensive times to visit London, so keep that in mind. 

If you are travelling  on a budget , January and February would be the best options, but be ready for the cold and rain. 

london 3 day itinerary

London Pass: what you need to know

The London Pass is a  package of digital sightseeing credits  giving you access to  over 90 attractions, tours and museums .

Thanks to the pass, you will save money whilst enjoying the  top things to do and see  in the capital. Choose the duration, download it to your phone and scan it at the entrance to each attraction.

You will be able to access a selection of the  best highlights and landmarks , including the Tower of London, Westminster Abbey, Windsor Castle, Kensington Palace and more.


london 3 day itinerary

Tips for reducing your eco-impact in London

Sustainable travel  means exploring the world whilst being aware of your surroundings and having a positive social, environmental and economic impact on the places you visit.

Being a responsible traveller in London is possible! Here are some  eco-friendly travel tips  for reducing your carbon footprint:

  • Use the train to reach the English capital . London is incredibly well-connected by train to the rest of the world, so prioritise travelling this way to lower your carbon impact.
  • If you need to take the plane, book direct flights  (which require less fuel than indirect flights)  and  offset your carbon footprint . But, do not use carbon offsetting as a complete solution. Combine it with other sustainable practices, like avoiding single-use plastic on the plane and mindfully packing your suitcase for your green city break. 
  • Select an eco-friendly accommodation . It is not always easy to determine whether a hotel has eco-conscious practices, but try to look on their website for green credentials and ask questions. You can also use  Bookdifferent  or  Ecobnb  to help you decide.
  • Once there, use public transport . London has an efficient public transport network that can take you anywhere easily and fast. Another way to get around sustainably is on foot. But if walking is too tiring, use the bike! The capital is ideal for cycling around at your own pace.
  • Eat at local restaurants  that use produce from the area and emphasise organic and sustainability. It will contribute to the local economy and reduce your carbon footprint by supporting restaurants where food does not come from long distances.
  • Always respect the local heritage . Treat people and their surroundings with respect. Sustainable travel is not only about the environment but also about the local communities. So, always be respectful, smile and talk to the locals.

More inspiration for your green vacation:

  • Best Travel Apps for Exploring Sustainably
  • 15 Travel Books to Inspire Your Next Eco-Adventure
  • Best Ecotourism Activities Around the World

Eco-friendly gear you might love:

  • 10 Best Sustainable Backpacks for Travel & Hiking
  • 10 Best Reusable & Eco-Friendly Travel Mugs
  • 8 Best Filtered Water Bottles for Travel & Hiking

Check out  this page  for more inspiration on eco-friendly products & gear.

sustainable travel checklist

London travel planning guide

🚑 Should I buy travel insurance to travel to London? Yes, buying insurance is always valuable when travelling abroad. Enjoy your city break in London stress-free with one of my favourite providers,  Nomad Insurance .

💧 Can you drink the water in London? Yes, tap water is safe to drink all over London. However, I also recommend travelling with the  UltraPress Purifier Bottle , a lightweight filtered water bottle perfect for reducing plastic and staying hydrated.

🚗 Is it easy to rent a car in London? Yes, renting a car in London is easy and is a great way to explore the English countryside freely. I recommend booking yours with  – they offer a variety of operators for all budgets.

🏨 How to book accommodation in London? The best way to book your accommodation in London is with  – my favourite platform to compare and reserve places to stay each night, from affordable guesthouses to luxury hotels.

✈️ What is the best site to buy a flight to London? I recommend booking your plane with  Skyscanner . It has been my favourite platform for years, as it allows me to book the cheapest flights whilst lowering my carbon emissions.

3 days in London – FAQ

Yes, 3 days are enough to discover London and enjoy its top sights and attractions. It will allow you to explore its fascinating landmarks and museums and soak up the local culture. However, I also recommend spending more time in the capital if possible, as there is so much to do and see.

Yes, London is quite expensive, so plan your trip in advance and budget accordingly. If you want to save money, explore the capital on foot, eat at local markets and use the London Pass to save on its attractions. Thankfully, most museums and galleries are free, so take advantage!

The London Pass is a package of digital sightseeing credits giving you access to over 90 attractions, tours and museums. Choose the duration, download it to your phone and scan it at the entrance to each attraction.

The best months to visit London are in late spring (May-June) and early autumn (September-October) when the weather is nice and sunny, but the city is not overcrowded, perfect for sightseeing.

london 3 day itinerary

And you, have you ever visited London or would you like to go one day?  Let me know in the comments below!

With love ♡ Lucie

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A 10-Day London and Edinburgh Itinerary

Make the most of your time in the UK with this 10-day London and Edinburgh itinerary. You’ll see all the best sights and get a taste of history, culture, and life in the UK. This trip is not to be missed!

Couple near the London Bridge on the Thames River enjoying their London and Edinburgh itinerary

My dad always told us that when we all grew up and got married, he wanted to take his adult children and their spouses to Hawaii. My dad passed away before my youngest brother got married, so we never got to fulfill his dream. Shortly after his death, my mom decided that she wanted to do it anyway—but to London instead! And she asked me to plan a 10-day London and Edinburgh itinerary. After getting input from the 13 of us (my mom, her 6 kids, and our spouses) on what everyone wanted to do, I came up with the following 10-day London and Edinburgh itinerary. And it did not disappoint! This was seriously one of the most memorable and amazing trips I’ve ever taken.

Day 1: London sights

We arrived in London at 7 am local time. Yes we were tired, but we didn’t want to waste any time! (In my opinion, the best way to get over jet lag is to just adapt to local time by staying up during daylight hours in your new location and going to bed early that first night.)

After getting settled in our Airbnb and going grocery shopping, we set off to explore! We purchased a 5-attraction London Explorer pass, which made it easy to visit the attractions we wanted to see. With 20+ attractions to choose from, there was something for everyone!

Buckingham Palace

You can’t come to London and not visit Buckingham Palace! Although we missed the changing of the guard, we still got to see the palace and the grounds and the guards marching back and forth in those big furry hats.

Westminster Abbey

Next we hit Westminster Abbey and took the guided tour (included in our London Explorer pass). We learned all about the history of the abbey and the British monarchy. The architecture of the abbey is incredible!

Westminster Abbey

Thames River cruise

We passed Big Ben on our way to the Thames River, where we took a river cruise (also included in the London Explorer pass). Our guide pointed out all the sights along the Thames, and explained their significance. We really enjoyed seeing the famous skylines from the river!

Borough Market

We ended the day at Borough Market, a large market selling all sorts of local foods. It was delicious and easy to try a sampling of a variety of English foods.

Man enjoying a snack at Borough Market as part of a London and Edinburgh itinerary

Day 2: Warner Bros Studio

Being the Harry Potter fans that most of my siblings and I are, we had to spend a day at the Warner Bros Studio. They provide a shuttle to the studio from several stops around London. We learned all about special effects, saw the costumes and sets used in the movies, and of course, drank butterbeer and pumpkin juice. Yum!

Woman pushing a cart into a brick wall at Platform 9 3/4 at Warner Bros Studios in London.

It was so fascinating to see the details of the costumes and sets, but my favorite part was learning the secrets of how they did the special effects. Here’s a cool video about some highlights—including Matt flying on a broom!

That night we ate at a traditional English pub, St. George’s Tavern. The fish n chips were excellent!

Day 3: London sights

Double-decker bus tour.

We started off the day with a double-decker bus tour around the city (included in the London Explorer pass). I loved this because we were able to see things and learn about stuff that we otherwise would not have if we’d just taken the subway to the destinations we wanted to visit. You could get on and off the bus whenever you wanted too, so we stopped at the following places along the route.

Our first stop was Kings Cross Station, because I wanted to see Platform 9 ¾. To be honest, Platform 9 3/4 was a little disappointing (they have a better version at the WB studio), but the station was fun to see.

St. Paul’s Cathedral

Next we stopped at St. Paul’s Cathedral. I was seriously BLOWN AWAY! I loved everything about St. Paul’s, and it was a highlight of London for me.  A definite must-do. Both inside and outside were gorgeous. We went to a Sunday service, and the acoustics inside were just incredible! I loved hearing the choir and looking up at the immaculate ceiling. They also have guided tours you can take when there aren’t services going on. And the grounds are beautiful. You can even channel your inner Mary Poppins on the famous steps in front of the cathedral.

Couple outside of St. Paul's Cathedral enjoying their London and Edinburgh itinerary

Tower of London

We hopped back on the bus and got off at the Tower of London. It’s not really a tower, but a fortress and prison. We learned all about the history, the ravens, and the crown jewels from our awesome guide, Beefeater Dave. (The prison guards were called beefeaters back in the day.) After our tour, we got to go in and see the famed crown jewels. I enjoyed hearing about all the coronation traditions and seeing the incredible crowns and other items on display.

London Bridge

From there, we went over to the London Bridge (included in the explorer pass), and learned all about this architectural gem. You can even go way up over the bridge to the glass bottom observatory. To be honest, walking on the glass floor that high up kinda freaked me out, but it was still cool!

Woman on glass observatory at the London Bridge as part of a London and Edinburgh itinerary

We had planned for our last stop to be the London Eye, but when we arrived the line had been cut off because it was so late and there were so many people already in line. I was super disappointed, however some of my siblings were able to go and said it was amazing!

Baby at the London Eye as part of a London and Edinburgh itinerary

Day 4: Windsor, Bath, and Stonehenge

We took a day trip out to Windsor castle, Bath, and Stonehenge. Our tour from International Friends Day Trips was awesome! They do smaller group tours (they only do groups of 10-15), so we were the only ones in our van and we had the BEST guide. They made it so easy and enjoyable, and we learned so much about each location. Our guide went above and beyond and talked to us about local culture and politics, etc., which we found so interesting.


For example, we went right when the whole Brexit thing was happening, so she told us all about it. She also told us the different ways locals prefer to top their scones and toasts (some do jam then cream, and others prefer cream then jam).


Windsor Castle was gorgeous and we even got to see the staff preparing for Princess Eugenie’s wedding.

Windsor Castle, part of a London and Edinburgh itinerary

Day 5: Oxford/Ilston on the Hill

Since two of my brothers are major fans of JRR Tolkien and CS Lewis, they requested that we visit Oxford. We took a day trip out to Oxford and did a guided walking tour from a local Oxford student. While I didn’t think Oxford would be super interesting, this charming town proved me wrong! We learned all about the university and the different colleges. Our guide even told us interesting facts and stories about those famous authors. We ate lunch at the local Eagle and Child pub where Tolkien and Lewis came to meet up with their writer friends and discuss their writing. The food was delicious, and the sticky toffee pudding was to die for!

Group enjoying lunch at the Eagle and Child pub in Oxford

Legend has it that when CS Lewis came out of the doors of the church on the Oxford campus, he saw a door with a lion and a fawn on it and looked to his right and saw a lamppost. And the idea for The Chronicles of Narnia was born! So of course we had to visit that church and see for ourselves. For other travel-inspiring books , check out our favorites here !

Chronicles of Narnia inspired sights in Oxford

The local museum featured a really cool Tolkien exhibit that included some of his original manuscripts and drawings. We even saw original, illustrated letters that Tolkien had written to his children from Santa. Honestly, I wished we would have had more time in Oxford.

Ilston on the Hill

Later that day we visited a small town called Ilston on the Hill. My mom had been doing some family history and discovered that many of our ancestors came from this place. (This was actually the reason my mom wanted to come to London in the first place—to see the places where our ancestors came from.)

Man doing a gravestone rubbing at Ilston on the Hill cemetery

We visited the local church where many of our ancestors were christened, married, and buried. After talking with a local, we even got to go inside and look around and see the church’s 200 year old Bible! Honestly, this was a really special part of our trip. If you have the opportunity to visit the places your ancestors came from, I highly recommend it!

200 year old Bible at the Ilston on the Hill church

Day 6: London sights

Since we are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints , we wanted to visit our church’s London Temple while we were there. We hired a driver to take us out to the suburbs where the temple is located. It was a beautiful drive and so fun to see some of the country. (I highly recommend hiring a driver if you can. It was so nice not to have to worry about directions or traffic, etc in a foreign country.) We had a wonderful time at the temple, and I especially loved the beautiful grounds.

London LDS temple

If you want to stay in London, I’d suggest visiting the Shakespeare’s Globe Theater, the Churchill War Rooms, and/or Kensington Palace. Or, you could go out to Greenwich (home to the Meridian Line at the Royal Observatory, Cutty Sark, and the National Maritime Museum). All of these attractions (minus Kensington) are included in the Explorer Pass.

After our morning at the temple, we indulged in afternoon tea at the Hotel Café Royal. I love going to afternoon tea! It’s a British tradition that should not be missed. They serve several different kinds of tea (including herbal), scones, sandwiches, and pastries. You think this might be a snack, but it’s a full-on meal! So we definitely left with full bellies!

A group enjoying afternoon tea as part of their London and Edinburgh itinerary

After tea, we saw Hamilton at the Victoria Palace Theater. There are several theaters in the West End that feature the best of Broadway! Hamilton was AMAZING! As I’m sure all the shows are that London has to offer.

Victoria Palace Theater in London

Day 7: Train to Edinburgh

As much as I wished we would have had more time in London, we took a train to Edinburgh to finish out our trip. I loved riding through the countryside and seeing the beauty of the landscapes and the small towns we passed through.

Castle in the English countryside

Upon arriving in Edinburgh and getting checked into our hotel, we enjoyed dinner at The Tower Restaurant. The Tower features fine dining on the top floor of the National Museum of Scotland. This was the BEST meal! Seriously, I think this was the best steak I’ve ever had in my life. We even tried haggis there and it wasn’t gross. And the views from the roof were incredible.

Steak and potatoes at the Tower Restaurant in Edinburgh

Day 8: Loch Lomond, Stirling Castle, and Trossachs National Park

We had originally wanted to visit Loch Ness, but we discovered that Loch Lomond was supposedly prettier and closer. And had a song inspired by it! So we hired a driver to take us out to the loch. We used Kilted Piper Tours , and Graeme, our driver and guide, was incredible!

Man feeling the water at Loch Lomond as part of a London and Edinburgh itinerary

This was probably my favorite day of our whole trip. Stirling Castle was interesting, and the Scottish landscapes of Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park were just gorgeous. Graeme even played the bagpipes for us and the highlight was when he let us have a turn!

Man playing the bagpipes at Loch Lomond

Day 9: Kirkton of Glenisla

Another line of our ancestors come from the small Scottish town of Kirkton of Glenisla. We knew there was a home in Glenisla that my 3 rd great grandfather, John Robertson, had lived in as a child with his family before they immigrated to the US. And we wanted to find it! So we set out on a bit of a wild goose hunt because we didn’t know exactly where it was.

Robertson brothers

We saw the schoolhouse and the church in town where my ancestors went, and scoured the graveyard for our ancestors’ headstones. The local Glenisla pub, where we enjoyed lunch, had the best steak pie! Graeme drove us around again, and he was just as determined as we were to find the house. After much searching, we finally found it and were so excited!

Family in front of the Faulds of Derry home in Kirkton of Glenisla

The cute couple who lived there let us in and look around and told us about the history of the home. It really was a neat experience. I was even able to find some Robertson tartan souvenirs to bring home and wear proudly!

Man holding Robertson tartan tie

If you don’t have ancestors from anywhere near Edinburgh, you can skip the day trip and spend an extra day in Edinburgh—there’s plenty to do! Although the countryside is beautiful!

Day 10: Edinburgh

We enjoyed simply walking around Edinburgh and basking in the architecture and culture. Sounds of bagpipes echoed from outside of one of the churches and we just stopped to listen for a while. We also visited the National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh Castle, the Royal Mile, and Princes Street Gardens.

Couple enjoying the Scottish countryside as part of a London and Edinburgh itinerary

There is so much history and beauty to enjoy in Edinburgh! One of our favorites included an old cannon called Mons Meg. We loved this because Meg is my mom’s name!

Scottish cannons

And don’t miss the cranachan—a traditional Scottish dessert with berries and cream. Yum!

Scottish countryside

As a recap, here’s the basic 10-day London and Edinburgh itinerary

Day 1: Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, Thames River Cruise, Borough Market Day 2: Warner Bros Studios Day 3: Double-decker bus tour, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Tower of London, Tower Bridge, London Eye Day 4: Day trip to Stonehenge, Bath, & Windsor Day 5: Day trip to Oxford Day 6: Temple, afternoon tea, Broadway show Day 7: Train to Edinburgh Day 8: Day trip to Loch Lomond, Stirling Castle, Trossachs National Park Day 9: Day trip to Glenisla or stay in Edinburgh Day 10: National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh Castle, Royal Mile, Princes Street Gardens

Group in hired van to experience their London and Edinburgh itinerary

Yes it’s a lot, but it’s worth it! This was one of my favorite trips I’ve ever been on. This 10-day London and Edinburgh itinerary made some of our favorite memories of all time! What questions do you have about London or Edinburgh?

Note: I only recommend products that I love and would use myself. This post may contain a few affiliate links. When you purchase something through a link on this site, we may earn a small commission (at no additional cost to you). See our full disclosure here . Thank you for supporting our family!

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11 thoughts on “ A 10-Day London and Edinburgh Itinerary ”

Wonderful itinerary! These are two of my favorite cities. When my sisters, niece, mom and I did this tour, we added a couple of days in Dublin, Ireland as well! Edinburgh is my favorite city in the world.

We wanted to do Ireland as well, but not enough time! Hopefully we can go back and see Ireland too!

This is so inspiring! SO many places that I would LOVE to explore as I am Scottish too!

It really was so neat to see the places where our ancestors came from!

Visiting London and Edinburgh is definitely on the list! We have spent a brief time in London, but not with the kids, and definitely not long enough to explore everything it has to offer.

Oh! London is on bucket list now Edinburg too!

I was surprised at how much I loved Scotland. I definitely want to go back!

Wow, this really is the perfect itinerary! I’d love to experience all the things you’ve listed here. London and Edinburgh are definitely on my list; I just don’t know how I’m ever going to do everything! This makes is seem like it’s manageable. Someday!

Right??!! I don’t know how I’m ever going to get everywhere on my list! But I just keep chipping away a little at a time and hope that someday I’ll get everywhere!

We’ve been to London so would love to take these day trips! And love that you can just hop on a train to Edinburgh! Great guide and pics!

Wow, this is the most amazing trip ever! I want to go and do all of this!

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London, England   Travel Guide

Courtesy of Doug Armand | Getty Images

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34 Best Things to Do in London, England

Whether you're keen to brush up on your history knowledge at the Tower of London , tour the home of the monarchy at Buckingham Palace or check out one of the city's many art galleries, London isn't short on things to do. Thespians will

  • All Things To Do
  • 1-Day Itinerary
  • 2-Day Itinerary
  • 3-Day Itinerary

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Buckingham Palace Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace, King Charles III's London home, is open for touring (except for the king's private quarters, of course) from July to October. On the tour, you'll have access to the 19 State Rooms where the king and members of the royal family host guests for state, ceremonial and official affairs. Opulently accented with chandeliers, candelabras, paintings by Van Dyck and Canaletto, and exquisite English and French furniture, these rooms display some of the most magnificent pieces from the Royal Collection. Along with the grand interiors, the State Rooms, where kings and queens have entertained guests on both official and ceremonial occasions, are also a witness to history. Those who followed the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton closely will recognize the Throne Room, which served as the backdrop for the pair's official wedding photographs.

For tours in the summer, recent travelers suggested taking advantage of the multimedia guide (included with admission and available in multiple languages), so that you hear a detailed history of each room at your own pace. The palace advises you set aside at least two hours to see the State Rooms (and that you wear comfortable shoes), while recent travelers advised that you use the facilities prior to the start of the tour; there are no public restrooms available until you reach the garden. Except in the Garden Café, no food or drinks (except bottled water) are permitted in the palace.

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Tower of London Tower of London

Although its exterior might be grim and even unimpressive (especially when compared to stately  Buckingham Palace ), the Tower of London's interior is always bustling with activity. Despite its name, the large complex has a long history as a palace, a fortress and a prison. Each exhibition and activity here explores this history.

If you're enchanted with the monarchy, don't miss the famous crown jewels exhibition. Among the items you'll see is the Imperial State Crown – which is still worn by the queen for each State Opening of Parliament – and the Sovereign's Sceptre with Cross. In 2020, Prince of Wales' Investiture Coronet joined the display in the Jewel House. For an oral history, take an entertaining tour led by the Yeoman Warders (tower guards). During the hourlong excursion (included in your admission ticket), the guards will regale you with tales of the tower's bloody past. The White Tower is one of the world's most famous castles and a recognizable London landmark. Inside, you'll find the 350-year-old exhibition, "Line of Kings," which includes suits of armor worn by Henry VIII, Charles I, and James II. Keep an eye out for the Tower's famous ravens, who are said to guard the structure.

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Houses of Parliament Houses of Parliament

Step through halls where history was made time and again by visiting the British Parliament. Guided and self-guided tours (which come highly recommended by recent travelers) take visitors through multiple areas of the building, including Westminster Hall (the oldest building on the Parliamentary estate, which is more than 900 years old), the House of Commons Chamber and the House of Lords. If you're not interested in perusing the corridors that make up the U.K.'s governing body, many travelers say that simply admiring the iconic structure's impressive exterior is enough, and an absolute must-do for anyone visiting London. 

If you're one of many looking to snap your own photo of one of the most photographed buildings in the world, the best vantage point is from Westminster Bridge. But if you want a truly smashing shot, head on over to Lambeth Bridge or the Golden Jubilee Bridges on the South Bank for a view of Parliament and the London Eye together. Keep in mind that Westminster Bridge connects two of the city's most popular attractions ( London Eye  and Parliament), and as a result is almost always very crowded.

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Westminster Abbey Westminster Abbey

This medieval church, graced by many royal weddings and coronations, offers a magnificent peek at London's far-reaching history. Westminster Abbey is generally busy – and the staff keeps you moving at a pretty swift pace – so do a little research ahead of time to avoid missing your personal must-sees. For instance, if you're a bibliophile, consider a visit to the Poets' Corner. This is the final resting place of famed authors Geoffrey Chaucer, Charles Dickens and Rudyard Kipling, among others. If you're fascinated by all the intrigue surrounding the British royalty, you might like to visit the shared tomb of enemies and half sisters Elizabeth I and Mary Tudor.

If you prefer to see the abbey at your own pace, but still want a little guidance on the history you're encountering, take advantage of the multimedia guides, which are included in the price of admission and available in 14 languages. Alternatively, you can take a guided tour (led by the abbey's vergers) and see special places inaccessible to the public, including the tomb containing Saint Edward the Confessor. If you decide to take this tour, you'll pay 10 pounds (around $14) on top of the general admission price.

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British Museum British Museum free

The British Museum is both an architectural beauty and a trove of some of the world's most noted antiquities. In fact, many travelers say it's the best museum in all of London. What's more, it's free to visit. From the Rosetta Stone to the Parthenon Sculptures to Mesopotamian objects, the British Museum is a history buff's dream containing artifacts in the millions. The immense collection can make an initial museum visit seem overwhelming: Pick the exhibits that most interest you, and plan return trips if you feel so inclined.

If you want a little help navigating the museum's exhibits – the approximately 80,000 objects on display out of its collection totaling 8 million items – consider tagging along on a guided tour. Several, including the daily eye-opener tours and the LBGTQ-themed "Desire, Love, Identity" tour and Friday evening spotlight tours are free. You can also book an "Around the World in 60 Minutes" tour for 14 pounds (around $20). Audio guides, which cost 7 pounds (about $10), are also available to rent daily.

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Covent Garden Covent Garden free

Though called a garden, Covent Garden isn't all about plants and flowers. Rather, it's a piazza and a collection of urban streets boasting numerous upscale stores as well as bars, restaurants, art installations and more. In other words, it's a bustling neighborhood within London's West End. Shops range from famous trademarks like Ralph Lauren and Mulberry to independent brands. In addition to conventional shops and boutiques, Covent Garden has a covered market area where vendors sell everything from antiques to crafts. Similarly, dining options range from foodie destinations like Sushi Samba and Balthazar to casual pubs. Given Covent Garden's open-air orientation, there are appropriately more than 1,000 seats for al fresco dining.

Covent Garden is also home to the Royal Opera House. Even if you're unable (or disinclined) to see an opera, you can tour the lavishly appointed Royal Opera House. Architecture-enthusiasts find the building, especially its glass atrium, stunning and the tours informative. General admission tickets are 19 pounds (about $24) for adults and 16.75 pounds (about $21) for anyone younger than 16. (Check the opera house’s website for dates and times.)

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Piccadilly Circus Piccadilly Circus free

U.S. News Insider Tip: Wander over to nearby Chinatown to sample its slew of Asian restaurants and bubble tea shops, and continue on into Soho for some of the city's best LGBT-friendly bars. – Laura French

Regularly compared to  New York 's  Times Square , Piccadilly Circus is the meeting place of five busy roads and is the center of London's hustle and bustle. Whether it's people on their way to work in the morning, shoppers en route to the chain store-lined Oxford Street (just a few blocks north) or lively club and bar hoppers passing through at night, Piccadilly is always thrumming with activity. 

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West End Theatre District West End Theatre District

U.S. News Insider Tip:  For a fun night out, buy tickets for a showing of Agatha Christie's "The Mousetrap," which is the longest-running play in history. – Nicola Wood, Senior Editor

Catching a show in London's West End theater district is just as necessary as watching a play on  Broadway  during a trip to  New York City . The quality is some of the best in the U.K., and the constant mix of new and classic productions with local and world-renowned talent (think: Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Angela Lansbury, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Benedict Cumberbatch) excites both visitors and locals alike. Even if you don't consider yourself much of a theater devotee, recent travelers said the atmosphere, specifically near the lively Leicester Square, where many of the theaters are concentrated, is worth a late-night wander.

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Hyde Park & Kensington Gardens Hyde Park & Kensington Gardens free

U.S. News Insider Tip: A short stroll from Hyde Park Corner will take you to The Grenadier – a tiny pub hidden down a cobbled alley. It opened in 1818 as an officers' mess and now serves beers and classic pub fare in atmospheric, wood-strewn surroundings. – Laura French

Just north of the Royal Albert Hall and northwest of Buckingham Palace  sit Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens: a stretch of green bisected by West Carriage Drive. Hyde Park was once the recreational stomping grounds for King Henry VIII, but now this 350-acre swath of land is open to the public and a must-visit for travelers looking for a relaxing moment away from the city's hustle and bustle. Among Hyde Park's meandering foot and bike paths and flourishing flora and fauna, you'll find a few standout attractions that are worth exploring. Watch the swans and boats glide over the serene Serpentine Lake (or rent a vessel yourself), visit the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain or stop by the Speakers' Corner, a site for public speeches and debates since the 19th century (previously used by George Orwell and Vladimir Lenin, among others). For the sporting set, Hyde Park has tennis courts, football pitches (remember: football means soccer here) and a horse-riding arena.  

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The London Eye The London Eye

The London Eye (the giant Ferris wheel found in many London panoramas) is on the River Thames and meant to deliver great views – not a thrilling ride. It circles around slowly, offering an unbeatable bird's-eye perspective of London's South Bank. However, those with a fear of heights should beware: When you're more than 400 feet high, the 360-degree views can be a bit disconcerting.

While some travelers say the London Eye is an absolute must-do, others found the experience to be overrated. Some recent travelers said the lines were too long (upward of a couple hours) and the ticket prices too high. However, many others were amazed by the views, especially  Parliament  and  Buckingham Palace . Visitors were keen to note that this ride is not a fast one, with the average rotation of the wheel at least 30 minutes long. You can also combine a ride on the London Eye with a guided boat tour.

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Trafalgar Square Trafalgar Square free

For nearly 200 years, Trafalgar square has been a London institution. Flanked by the National Gallery , the square features two fountains, several busts and bronze lions at the base of Nelson's Column. The column, which honors Admiral Horatio Nelson for his success at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805, stands 16 feet tall. At its base, bronze panels detail some of Nelson's battles and the two lions are there to protect the monument.

Recent travelers appreciated this famous London locale, noting that it's a great spot for photos and people-watching. However, know that aside from the National Gallery and surrounding shops and restaurants, there isn't much to do at the square itself.

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St. Paul's Cathedral St. Paul's Cathedral

St. Paul's Cathedral is arguably the second must-see church in London (the first, of course, being Westminster Abbey ). With its imposing dome – one of the largest in the world – St. Paul's forms a predominant spot along London's skyline. It's also a survivor: Although an older incarnation burnt during the Great Fire of London in 1666, the current dome (designed by Sir Christopher Wren and officially completed in 1711) survived numerous World War II bombings.

To make the most of your visit, reviewers highly recommended climbing to the top of the dome to the Golden Gallery. You'll have to hike up 528 steps, but after catching your breath you'll enjoy far-reaching views of the River Thames, the  Tate Modern , and Shakespeare's Globe . And once you've seen the top, head below ground to the crypt (the largest in Europe), where the tombs of notable figures such as Lord Nelson and the Duke of Wellington as well as Wren are housed. Though some reviewers are put off by the pricey admission, most agree that a peek inside is well worth the extra coin.

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Natural History Museum Natural History Museum free

U.S. News Insider Tip: Before or after your visit, head next door to the Science Museum to browse interactive exhibits and live science shows, and catch a film at the IMAX, one of the UK's biggest screens (entry to the museum itself is free, though some exhibitions are extra). – Laura French

Located in South Kensington, this museum brims with data from 70,000 different species (from animals to tiny protozoa) and exhibits showcasing everything from dinosaur bones to simulated earthquakes. The Natural History Museum is also a favorite among families, so you'll find it crawling with kids.

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St. James's Park St. James's Park free

One of London's eight Royal Parks, St. James's Park is nearly 57 acres. It's surrounded by three palaces: its namesake St. James’s Palace, Westminster (now the Houses of Parliament ) and Buckingham Palace . The park's semi-circular flower beds – the Memorial Gardens – which sit beside Buckingham are one of its major attractions. The park is flanked one side by the Mall, a route for royal processions that bisects the gardens and on another by the Horse Guards Parade, a parade ground where the annual Trooping the Colour is held. Other notable buildings nearby include No. 10 Downing Street (the Prime Minister's residence) and the Churchill War Rooms . The park also features a portion of the 7-mile Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Walk and provides habitat for various animal species, including foxes and ducks as well as its famed pelicans. Additionally, runners race through St. James's park as the final leg of the annual London Marathon.

Visitors invariably find the park to be quite stunning and well-maintained. It’s deemed an excellent place for walking while admiring the many historical structures nearby.

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National Gallery National Gallery free

Sitting in Trafalgar Square, London's National Gallery features a labyrinth interior so large that it requires a color-coded map to navigate. The museum features paintings in the Western European tradition from the 13th to early 20th centuries, including Italian Renaissance masterpieces and French Impressionist works. Among its 2,300 in-house pieces, visitors will find famed paintings, such as Botticelli's "Venus and Mars," Rembrandt’s “Self Portrait at the Age of 34” and Van Gogh's "Sunflowers." 

Recent visitors loved the variety of paintings at the National Gallery, saying that travelers may need more than a day to get a glimpse at all the masterpieces that grace its never-ending halls. They also commend the gallery's cafe.

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Borough Market Borough Market free

U.S. News Insider Tip: Across from Borough Market sits the Old Operating Theatre Museum & Herb Garrett: a tiny museum housed in an 18th-century attic of that's the oldest surviving operating theatre (think: operating room) in Europe. It displays intriguing artifacts about the gruesome medical practices of the past. – Laura French

The food-focused Borough Market is effectively three markets in one (with restaurants, bars and shops interspersed throughout). Three Crown Square features large producers and merchants while Green Market has smaller, specialty ones. You'll find everything from cheese to wine to pastries to produce. Borough Market Kitchen provides a platform for street-food vendors. The roughly 1,000-year-old market regularly hosts cooking demonstrations and classes.

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Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter

U.S. News Insider Tip:  Pick an early tour time and explore slowly. There is so much to see that you may miss small details if you go too quickly. And don't worry about time. Once you're inside, you can stay as long as you like (well, until closing). – Marisa Méndez, Senior Editor

Located at the studios where all eight of the "Harry Potter" films were produced, this is a must for anyone wanting to learn more about the Wizarding World. Visitors can view original film sets – from the Great Hall to Gringotts, Diagon Alley to the Gryffindor Common Room – with hundreds of original props and costumes to browse. Glimpse the model used for Hogwarts Castle, learn about Hagrid's animatronic head, visit Platform 9 ¾ and board the Hogwarts Express; this is a comprehensive, interactive tour for the whole family that's well worth adding to your London bucket list.

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Windsor Castle Windsor Castle

Home to more than 40 British monarchs and in use since the 11th century, Windsor Castle is a spectacular daytrip from London. Visitors can wander the elaborate state rooms, observe the famous Changing the Guard and admire the many artworks and collectibles on display. Should time allow, take a stroll along the Long Walk: a nearly 3-mile-long tree-lined road that is part of the castle's park. Though you'll find a cafe and souvenir shop on-site, Windsor (the town) offers a bevy of dining and shopping options.

Though always crowded, a visit to Windsor should not be missed. Time and again, travelers say that it is a wonderful place to see while in London, and many were repeat visitors. Additionally, travelers with mobility issues said they had little trouble exploring the castle.

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Shakespeare's Globe Shakespeare's Globe

U.S. News Insider Tip: If you're able, opt for a standing ticket at the performance. You'll get a more authentic experience, plus your proximity to the actors lets you admire their facial expressions and costumes. – Marisa Méndez, Senior Editor

This is not the Globe Theatre of Shakespeare's time. The original Globe Theatre – which staged Shakespeare's plays and where the Bard wrote "Twelfth Night," "King Lear," and several others – opened in 1599 and burned down in 1613. The second Globe was erected in 1614 but was then torn down in 1644, after all theaters where shuttered by Parliament. The current incarnation – referred to as the Globe Theatre by its staff – has been in operation since 1997 and it is a celebrated performing arts venue dedicated to staging the Bard's plays. In a nod to its much older namesake, today's open-air theater has a thatched roof – the only one in the city – that does not cover the central yard. Seating is in the round. Or, for a truly memorable experience, you can choose to stand in the yard just below the stage to watch a performance (as many did in Shakespeare's time).  

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Royal Albert Hall Royal Albert Hall

U.S. News Insider Tip: Come in December to see Carols at the Royal Albert Hall; it's a spectacular, sing-along show guaranteed to get you in the festive spirit. – Laura French

Royal Albert Hall is a concert hall where musicians of all genres perform. It also hosts special non-concert events, including sporting events and dance performances. The building's famed 20,000-square-foot iron roof was the largest unsupported dome in the world when it was installed in 1869 (two years before the hall officially opened). An 800-foot long, 5,200-square-foot mosaic frieze dubbed "The Triumph of Arts and Letters" encircles the structure's exterior. The hall can accommodate 5,900 people.

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Victoria and Albert Museum Victoria and Albert Museum free

The palatial Victoria & Albert Museum, named in honor of the 19th-century royal couple, is known more commonly in its shortened form – the V&A. Located in South Kensington, this free museum is a compendium of applied art across a number of genres, disciplines and time periods. The collections are arranged by categories, such as sculptures, Chinese artifacts, and so on, making it slightly easier to navigate this mammoth museum. Among the permanent collections, the V&A also offers diverse temporary exhibitions and free weekly public lectures.

Recent travelers praised the variety and sheer enormity of the art offered here. Many described its permanent collection as surprise around every corner. If you've only set aside a few hours to tour the museum, consult the building's map before you go; a map will help you plan a route of the collections you'd like to see and maximize your visit.

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Tower Bridge Tower Bridge free

Along with Parliament and Big Ben, Tower Bridge is London's next must-see architectural marvel, not to mention the most famous bridge that crosses the Thames. Construction on the bridge started in 1886, which means it's practically modern by London standards, but Tower Bridge stands out for its stunning detail and moveable roadways that lift up when large ships need to pass through. The views from the bridge are an added bonus. From the elevated sidewalks visitors get a prime view of the  Tower of London ,  St. Paul's Cathedral's iconic dome, the London Eye and The Monument.

If you're interested in viewing the city from a higher vantage point (about 137 feet above the Thames), consider a visit inside Tower Bridge, during which you go to the top of the bridge – equipped with a glass floor – as well as to the bottom to the engine rooms. However, recent visitors say that those who are afraid of heights might want to forgo walking across the glass floor.

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Hampton Court Palace Hampton Court Palace

Hampton Court Palace, which Henry VIII acquired in the 1520s and subsequently expanded, features the Grand Hall (with Anne Boleyn's coat of arms carved in the ceiling and antique tapestries on the walls) and the largest kitchens in Tudor England (capable of producing 800 meals a day). Its grounds include 60 acres of formal gardens complete with the oldest surviving hedge maze in the country as well as the largest grape vine in the world.

Past visitors observe that there’s a lot to see and that the huge palace necessitates a lot of walking. They also recommend the audio tour, which is included in the ticket price. The gardens are frequently singled out as worthy of attention.

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Regent's Canal Regent's Canal free

Meandering just shy of 9 miles from Paddington in the west to the Limehouse Basin in the east, this charming river walk offers an idyllic escape from the bustle of the city. It passes several postcard-pretty spots, including Little Venice, where quaint cafes, pubs and restaurants sit on the waterfront; Regent's Park, one of London's most popular green spaces and the home of London Zoo; and Camden Lock, famous for its markets, street food stalls and antique shops. You'll also get to see the East End, including trendy Dalston, Victoria Park (home to a farmers market every Sunday) and Mile End.

There's history behind it, too; the canal opened in the early 19th century to transport coal, building materials and other goods from northern industrial cities to King's Cross – a long-standing center for trade – and operated for more than 140 years.

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Camden Market Camden Market free

Londoners and out-of-towners alike enjoy spending a morning (or afternoon) at the Camden Market. Camden Market is actually multiple markets spread out in the neighborhood of Camden. It sprawls with more than 1,000 stalls, shops, bars and cafes carrying close to everything, from furniture to food and lots of fashion. Looking for cheap graphic T-shirts and dresses? Head over to the first set of Camden Market stalls located closest to the Tube station. If you're looking for more of a mix of items, walk over the bridge to the lock market, situated on the peaceful Camden Lock. You'll find stalls filled with antiques, clothing, souvenirs and a variety of food stalls. Food on offer ranges from traditional fish and chips to Middle Eastern fare, hot dogs and Portuguese tarts. This area gives way to the long and winding stables market, consisting of vendors selling vintage home decor, leather goods and clothing.

It's easy to get lost in this market, but with all it has to offer, including cool restaurants and bars tucked between nooks and crannies, visitors agree it's also very fun. The only grievance travelers had concerned the massive crowds that form during the weekend. If you don't want to be shopping amidst wall-to-wall people, consider visiting during the week. Even if you're not intent on shopping, many visitors recommend the market for its diverse food stalls. You can find the Camden Market off of the Camden Town, or Chalk Farm Tube stops, as well as the Camden Road Overground stop. Bus routes nos. 24, 214, 274 and 393 also stop in the area.

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Tate Modern Tate Modern free

Located on the South Bank along the Thames, the Tate Modern is part of a group of four museums (all named Tate) which house the 70,000 artworks that comprise the national collection of British art. As its name suggest, this Tate holds the more contemporary-style pieces than its three other counterparts, making it more of a hit or miss among travelers. Dalí and Picasso, as well as many British artists, are represented inside this repurposed power plant – but you'll find the works are scattered. Art is grouped by theme rather than by artist.

Recent visitors said if you're a fan of contemporary and modern art, you'll enjoy the Tate Modern. If you're partial to antiquities or the more traditional works of art, you'll probably be better served at the  British Museum  or the  National Gallery . Art aside, the eateries located within the museum may be enough of a reason for travelers to visit. Both the Espresso Bar and Kitchen and Bar at Tate Modern afford stunning views of  St. Paul's Cathedral , which is situated on the other side of the river. At the very least, take a stroll along the Thames to view the museum's impressive exterior.

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Greenwich Greenwich free

U.S. News Insider Tip: Skip the tube and hop on an Uber Boat to arrive in Greenwich by water – they depart from various stops along the Thames, including Tower Bridge, London Bridge, Westminster and the London Eye, with single fares from £5.20. – Laura French

Sitting southeast of central London, Greenwich is a great daytrip within city limits and well worth the trek. Greenwich's claim to fame is undoubtedly the Royal Observatory, where the prime meridian bisects the institution and travelers can stand on both the eastern and western hemispheres. Other favorite museums and attractions include the Greenwich Market, the Cutty Sark, the National Maritime Museum and the Greenwich Market. 

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Madame Tussauds London Madame Tussauds London

Famous for its waxworks, this was the first Madame Tussauds museum in the world, established in 1884 on Marylebone Road to display works by French sculptor Marie Tussaud. During the French Revolution, Tussaud was forced craft works of executed nobles – including King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette – to prove she was loyal to the crown. Following the end of the revolution, she left France and traveled to Britain, bringing the waxworks with her, in the early 1800s. Today, the museum upholds the waxwork tradition, with more than 150 realistic-looking figures displayed across 11 zones – from Leonardo DiCaprio to Lady Gaga, Brad Pitt to Harry Styles and Barack Obama to King Charles III.

Recent visitors were impressed and said they enjoyed exploring the different themed areas – from "Star Wars" to "Marvel" – as well as the new Chamber of Horrors room, which explores London's historic criminals. The taxi-themed ride and Marvel 4D show were also a hit, and many recommended it for families, especially those with teenagers. Several commented that lines can be long, even with pre-booked tickets, and it can get crowded inside.

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Up at The O2 Up at The O2

U.S. News Insider Tip: Go early in the morning for crisp air and fewer crowds. Afterwards, head southwest to Greenwich for some food and shopping at Greenwich Market. – Marisa Méndez, Senior Editor

Climb over the roof of The O2 – London's arena for major musical and sporting events – for unparalleled views of the city. The Olympic Park and Canary Wharf are among the sights observable from the 170-foot apex. Excursions generally take about 90 minutes, with an hour of walking that travelers typically find rewarding.

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Portobello Road Market Portobello Road Market free

Locals and tourists alike tend to adore Portobello Road Market. Located in the posh Notting Hill neighborhood (made famous by the Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts movie of the same name), the market stretches down the long Portobello Road, which is considered to be the area's high street (or main street). The market is filled with hundreds of merchants of all kinds selling a variety of common flea market items including antiques, art, jewelry, clothing and food. But what stands out about Portobello Market (aside from its adorably colorful location) is its collection of antiques and quintessentially English items. In just a few blocks, visitors can find a wellie shop, scores of vintage tea sets, quality London souvenirs and Banksy recreations. The market is also billed as being the largest antiques market in the world. If you have a penchant for fashion, the best sampling is found at the end of the market near the Ladbroke Grove Tube stop. There, visitors will not only find the greatest concentration of locals but a great selection of vintage attire as well.

Recent visitors loved Portobello Market for its lively atmosphere, wide selection of items and cheap food stalls. Although many lauded the quality found at the food stalls, some urged visitors to check out nearby restaurants, as many serve exceptional British and international fare. Others also advised visitors to pay close attention to their belongings. Portobello Market is not only very crowded, but concentrated on a narrow street, creating an easy opportunity for pickpockets to strike. 

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The London Dungeon The London Dungeon

Delve into London's macabre past at this interactive attraction, which explores the history of Jack the Ripper, Guy Fawkes, Sweeney Todd and other criminals through live actors, exhibits and rides. Smell, see and hear the city of yesteryear as you wander through the underground vaults of County Hall on the South Bank, exploring a darker side to this bustling city.

Travelers said the London Dungeon was a great way to get a glimpse into the history of the city and were impressed with the quality of acting and special effects. Many enjoyed the rides and other surprises, although some noted it can be frightening for younger children (a minimum age of 12 is recommended). Some also said it was expensive, but discounts are available when tickets are combined with entry to nearby attractions, including Madame Tussauds and the London Eye.

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London Transport Museum London Transport Museum

Step inside the London Transport Museum to explore the history of getting around London. Exhibits detail the first London Underground, how the city expanded, Victorian-era transport and much more. Plus, there are multiple hands-on exhibits to keep young ones entertained.

Overall, travelers were pleased with their visits to the museum and found the history fascinating. Others note it's very family-friendly, so you should expect tons of kids during a visit (unless you visit in the late afternoon, when the museum says it's a bit quieter). 

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The Wallace Collection The Wallace Collection free

The collection here includes works by renowned artists such as Titian, Velazquez and Van Dyck as well as various medieval and Renaissance objects. The collection was assembled in the 18th and 19th centuries by the Marquesses of Hertford and Sir Richard Wallace and then donated to Great Britain. The permanent collection centers on European paintings from the 14th to 18th centuries and includes notable French paintings and decorative arts from the 18th century. Special exhibits tend to focus on individual artists, such as Frans Hals and Peter Paul Rubens. Before going to see the fine and decorative arts on display in person, you can explore more than 400 items using a free digital guide available from the museum's website .

Art lovers generally find much to enjoy here, and many suggest it merits repeat visits. Some opine that the signs could provide more information about the items on view.

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Churchill War Rooms Churchill War Rooms

The Churchill War Rooms are the underground bunker that Prime Minister Winston Churchill and his war cabinet used to shelter from bomb raids and plot their steps during World War II. The maze-like corridors tell the story of this volatile time period, centering on the larger-than-life leader that Churchill was.

Travelers describe the Churchill War Rooms as fascinating, and more than one traveler calls it a favorite London attraction. Some say that the rooms are much bigger than they had imagined and that people tend to spend a lot of time soaking in the exhibits and information. Others say that the exhibits have a strange layout, which can lead to confusion when trying to follow the sequence of events. Additionally, this popular spot gets crowded, so most museumgoers recommend that visitors get to the Churchill War Rooms early to avoid a long wait.

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My Travels in London

One of my absolute favorite things to  do is travel. I love the feeling of discovering a new place, seeing new faces, meeting new friends, and diving into the local way of life. While abroad in Spain last year, I had the opportunity to go to London, a city I’ve always dreamed about visiting. In London, a had a great time with my best friend Ashley and our host, my sorority sister, Genesis. Here’s some of my favorite London sites:

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Ultimate Beginner’s Guide To London: A 5D4N Itinerary Of What To See & Eat In This Capital City

Marissa Mir

Ahh … London. My love for this city has grown with every visit and while I’m by no means a Londoner just yet, I’ve spent a solid year exploring this exciting capital of the United Kingdom.

london skyline primrose hill

There are so many new things to do all the time that it’s just impossible to cover everything in one visit. If you’re planning your first-ever trip to London, I’m here to help you cover the basics with this 5D4N itinerary for gung-ho travellers .

And even if you’re already a serial repeat-visitor like me, you might still find something you haven’t ticked off the list yet. Either way, pack some comfy shoes and a seize-the-day attitude.

I crafted this itinerary with a Wednesday-to-Sunday trip in mind to make full use of the weekend, but you can customise it however you please. You ready?

Getting Around

Once you land at the airport (I’m guessing Heathrow), you can easily find your way to central London by either taking the normal Tube a.k.a MRT (longer journey time but only approx. £3.10 each way), or by getting a Heathrow express train (very fast, One-way ticket; £22 – £25 , Return ticket ;  £37 ).

Whatever you decide, it’s pretty straightforward to find out how to get tickets when you’re at the airport. If you’re taking the Tube, get an Oyster Card (which is essentially an EZ-Link card) and top it up since you’ll need it to ride the London Underground, or see what Tube travel passes are available.

If you plan on having access to mobile data, download an app called Citymapper  (this isn’t an ad, it’s just really useful!) which will make your life super easy. It also works in Singapore and basically gives you detailed routes, live bus timings, train timings etc. in getting from point A to point B.

— Day  1 (Shopping) —

1. oxford street/ regent street/ marble arch.

Now that that’s out of the way… SHOPPING! Taking into account jet-lag, time spent finding your accommodation and general travel lethargy, you’ll probably want to take it easy on the first day, so go about some own-time-own-target shopping.

Hit up Oxford Circus, Regent Street and the Marble Arch area for pretty much every brand under the sun, and don’t forget a stop at Primark.

Primark: 499 – 517 Oxford St, Mayfair, London W1K 7DA | Opening Hours: 8am – 10pm (Mon – Sat), 11.30am – 6pm (Sun) | Website

2. Afternoon Tea at Sketch (Mayfair)

Afternoon tea is a must when you visit London (scones!) and while you’ll be spoilt for choice, I recommend treating yourself to the one at Sketch because the restaurant is just so beautiful. Reservations are very important, so check out the website before your trip.

The Gallery in Sketch where afternoon tea is served is decked out with quirky artwork by David Shrigley and makes for a very Instagrammable experience. Oh, and don’t forget to visit the toilets before you leave (trust me).

Prices: Afternoon tea sets start from £59 per person

Sketch (The Gallery): 9 Conduit St, Mayfair, London W1S 2XG | Tel: +44 20 7659 4500 | Opening Hours (Afternoon Tea): 11.30am – 4.30pm (Daily) | Reservations | Website

Harrods is a classic stop on any London itinerary and a shopper’s paradise. The upscale department store is known for its variety and home brand offerings, with an elegant interior and store design.

Wander the food halls and sample quality ingredients or splurge on that designer handbag you’ve wanted for the past five years.

Harrods: 87 – 135 Brompton Road, Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7XL | Tel: +44 20 7730 1234 | Opening Hours: 10am – 9pm (Mon – Sat), 11.30am – 6pm (Sun) | Website

4. Dinner at Burger & Lobster (Harvey Nichols, Knightsbridge)

Once you’ve had your fill of Harrods, it’s time to tick off another London staple. Head next door to Harvey Nichols (another department store) but go straight to the fifth floor and get ready for some lobster at Burger & Lobster .

Prices have increased over the years so it’s not that value-for-money anymore, but the Original Lobster (Steamed) (£31) still hits the spot with the delicious lemon garlic butter sauce.

Burger & Lobster (Harvey Nichols): 109 – 125 Knightsbridge, Level 5 Harvey Nichols, London, SW1X 7RJ | Opening Hours: 12noon – 10.30pm (Mon – Sat), 12noon – 10pm (Sun) | Website

5. Cocktails at Mr Fogg’s Residence

Your eyes will probably be heavy by now, but if you can keep yourself going past dinner, squeeze in a stop at Mr Fogg’s Residence for a nightcap. Themed after Jules Verne’s ‘Around The World In 80 Days’, the bar itself will transport you into a different world altogether.

The whimsical cocktails here were inspired by fictional adventurer Phileas J. Fogg’s travels around the world. Rep’ Singapore by ordering the  Jungle Flora (£14) which was created as a nod to our little red dot.

Mr Fogg’s Residence: 15 Bruton Lane, Mayfair, London W1J 6JD | Tel: +44 20 7036 0608 | Opening Hours: 4pm – 2am (Mon – Fri), 1.30pm – 2am (Sat), 3pm – 12midnight (Sun) | Website

— Day 2 (Sightseeing) —

6. breakfast picnic in hyde park.

Given your inevitable jet-lag, you’ll probably be up bright and early the next day. Make the most of your British morning by getting breakfast and chilling in Hyde Park . I recommend getting takeaway from Pret a Manger (a cafe chain that you’ll pretty much see everywhere ).

Even if you’re there in the colder months, just wrap up warm and you can still slowly stroll through the park with a hot cuppa and a bagel.

Pret a Manger: Outlets

7. Hop-On/Hop-Off Bus Tour from Hyde Park Corner

Day Two is all about sightseeing, so once you get your breakfast and some chill-time in, prepare for a busy day. London is home to sooo many iconic sights, and unless you’re visiting for 10 days, you’ve got to be strategic about what you actually want to see.

Your best bet would be to get a day ticket for a hop-on/hop-off sightseeing bus tour. There are many companies offering tours, but I recommend Big Bus Tours because they offer a ‘RED Tour’ that gets you around most of the main sights for a first-timer.

The first bus leaves from Hyde Park Corner at 8.30am, and you can just buy tickets from the guide at the bus or online in advance (save 10%). Try to score a seat at the top!

Prices: 1 Day (Bus-only) tour starts from £34 (online price)

Big Bus Tours: Website

8. Trafalgar Square

You’re on a hop-on/hop-off bus so you can get on and get off as many times as you like from the official bus stops (look at the map given to you) for however long your ticket lasts.

Like I said, have a think about what’s worth getting off to explore further, or what you’re happy to just see from the bus. Trafalgar Square is a good example of a stop you can see from the bus and then decide to return to if you have time over the next few days.

Trafalgar Square: London WC2N 5DN

9. Coca-Cola London Eye

The famous London Eye (now known as the Coca-Cola London Eye ), is an iconic part of the London skyline and worth a visit if you fancy paying for a bird’s eye view of the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben.

It’s right next to the River Thames and if you know in advance that you want to ride this Ferris wheel, get tickets online.

Prices: Standard ticket online starts from £27

Coca-Cola London Eye: Lambeth, London SE1 7PB | Opening Hours | Website

10. St Paul’s Cathedral

St Paul’s Cathedral is a beautiful structure that’s worth a visit if you’re the kind of person who likes marvelling at church architecture and history.

It’s been around for more than 1,400 years and has been built and rebuilt five times! Visitors are welcome but it’s still a church, so be mindful of visiting hours and decorum.

Prices: Online admission rates start from £17

St Paul’s Cathedral: London EC4M 8AD | Opening Hours: 8.30am – 4.30pm (Mon – Sat, Last entry at 4pm), Open on Sundays for worship only | Website

11. Tower Bridge & Tower of London

Loads of people mistake Tower Bridge for London Bridge (the latter is much less impressive) and it’s worth getting off here to get a good picture or explore the bridge itself (yes you can go in and up for a fee).

The Big Bus stops at the Tower of London and Tower Bridge is right next to it. The Tower of London is a historic castle, former prison and former grand palace that used to be surrounded by a moat. It’s now open to the public and also houses the Crown Jewels.

Prices: Online ticket for Tower Bridge is £8.70; Tickets for Tower Of London start from £22.70

Tower Bridge: Tower Bridge Rd, London SE1 2UP | Opening Hours & Website

Tower of London: St Katharine’s & Wapping, London EC3N 4AB | Opening Hours: 9am – 4.30pm (Tue – Sat), 10am – 4.30pm (Sun & Mon) | Website

12. Lunch at Coppa Club (Tower Bridge)

If you’ve gotten off the bus to explore the Tower of London/Tower Bridge area, stop by the Insta-worthy Coppa Club for lunch. The restaurant has become known for its Paradise Pods (Summer)/ Igloos (Winter), and bookings for a seat in those sell out months in advance.

Still, normal seating is available right next to the pods where you’ll be able to get a great picture and a view of The Shard. Walk-ins can sometimes also score a seat in the pods/igloos so try your luck!

Coppa Club (Tower Bridge): 3 Three Quays Walk, Lower Thames Street, London EC3R 6AH | Tel: +44 20 8016 9227 | Opening Hours: 7.30am – 11pm (Mon – Thu), 7.30am – 12midnight (Fri), 9am – 12midnight (Sat), 9am – 10.30pm (Sun) | Website

13. Big Ben, Houses of Parliament, Westminister Abbey

Interested in British politics? Then a stop at the Houses of Parliament is a must. Visits are allowed but remember to check the opening hours. You’ll also be able to see Big Ben , the famous clocktower, which is currently undergoing refurbishment* so it’s sadly surrounded by scaffolding.

Still, the Westminister area and pier is worth exploring and you’ll get a great view of the London Eye from this side.

*Note: Big Ben and the Elizabeth Tower tours are suspended due to refurbishment. They are scheduled to resume in 2021.

Houses of Parliament & Big Ben: Westminster, London, SW1A 0AA | Opening Hours & Website

Westminister Abbey: 20 Dean’s Yard, London, SW1P 3PA | Opening Hours & Website

14. Buckingham Palace & The Royal Mews

Everyone wants to go to London to meet the Queen and while that’s probably not going to happen, you can see where she lives (in a non-creepy way). Buckingham Palace tops the list of very-touristy-things-to-do-in-London and is worthy of a hop off the bus.

You can even enter certain parts of it and watch the changing of the guard.  Or you can visit The Royal Mews beside the palace where the royal carriages are kept, and where one of the finest working stables in existence operates.

Buckingham Palace: Westminster, London SW1A 1AA | Visit – The State Rooms | Visit – The Queen’s Gallery |  Visit – The Royal Mews

15. Dinner & Drinks at Duck & Waffle (Heron Tower)

After a super long day of sightseeing, you’ve earned yourself a good meal with a view to remember. Head back to your hotel to freshen up and don’t worry about taking your time, because Duck & Waffle is open 24-hours every day.

Situated on the 40th floor of the Heron Tower, the restaurant offers sweeping views of the city, and you can take it all in because of the floor-to-ceiling windows.

Book a visit at sunset and order the Duck & Waffle (£18) which is a delicious medley of crispy duck leg confit, fried duck egg and mustard maple syrup over waffles. Stay on for drinks because the cocktails are equally yummy.

Duck & Waffle: Heron Tower, 110 Bishopsgate, London EC2N 4AY | Tel: +44 20 3640 7310 | Opening Hours: 24 Hours (Daily) | Website

— Day 3 (Museum & Musical) —

16. brunch/nibbles at borough market.

If you go to London for the first time and you don’t go to Borough Market … you’re missing out. One of the oldest and largest markets in London, I recommend getting there early to sample some really fresh produce.

The oysters from Richard Haward’s Oysters are to-die-for as well as the coffee from Monmouth Coffee.

Borough Market: 8 Southwark Street, London SE1 1TL | Opening Hours: 10am – 5pm (Mon – Thu), 10am – 6pm (Fri), 8am – 5pm (Sat), Closed on Sun | Website

17. Lunch at Padella (Borough Market)

The key word at Borough Market is to “sample”, because you’ll want to leave room for some pasta from Padella . It’s a small restaurant located at the edge of Borough Market, serving up affordable and delicious handmade pasta.

There’s always a queue, but it moves pretty quickly so just hang in there. When ordering, don’t miss out on the  Pappardelle with 8 Hours Dexter Beef Shin Ragu (£10) and the Pici Cacio & Pepe (£6.50) .

Padella: 6 Southwark Street, London SE1 1TQ | Opening Hours: 12noon – 3.45pm & 5pm – 10pm (Mon – Sat), 12noon – 3.45pm & 5pm – 9pm (Sun) | Website

18. View Of The Shard From Sky Garden (Walkie Talkie Building, Free Entry With Booking)

This next stop is still pretty unknown to Singaporeans – did you know that you can get an awesome view of The Shard (the tallest building in London) FOR FREE from a “Gardens by the Bay”-type setting?

The Sky Garden is on the 43rd floor of the ‘Walkie Talkie’ building and offers 360-degree views of London.

It’s free to enter but you’ll need to book a visit online in advance. There are several eateries housed in the garden as well so you can always have a meal or coffee while admiring the view and the indoor greenery.

Sky Garden: 20 Fenchurch Street, London EC3M 8AF | Opening Hours (Public Ticketed Visits): 10am – 6pm (Mon – Fri), 11am – 9pm (Sat & Sun) | Book free visit | Website

19. National History Museum/ Tate Modern/ British Museum (All Free Entry)

Another thing that London is known for is its museums. There are quite a few to choose from, so I recommend just picking the one that will interest you most and save the others for your next visit.

The Natural History Museum , Tate Modern and British Museum have all stood out to me, and are also all free to enter (for general exhibits).

National History Museum:  Cromwell Rd, Kensington, London SW7 5BD | Opening Hours & Website

Tate Modern: Bankside, London SE1 9TG  | Opening Hours & Website

British Museum: Great Russell St, Bloomsbury, London WC1B 3DG | Opening Hours & Website

20. Covent Garden

Covent Garden is always bustling with activity and tourists and it’s no surprise since there’s quite a bit to do here.

From a variety of shops, to markets, restaurants and random opera singing in the basement… it’s worth spending a bit of time taking it all in. Oh, and there’s also a Shake Shack .

Covent Garden: The Market Bldg, 41, London WC2E 8RF | Website

21. Dinner at Flat Iron (Covent Garden)

If you can tear yourself away from Shake Shack and save some space for dinner, head to the nearby Flat Iron for an affordable meal – by London standards anyway.

Flat Iron serves up £11 steaks that are grilled to perfection and has become a successful chain in London. Only the Covent Garden outlet gives out free salted caramel ice cream after your meal though, so… you know what to do.

Flat Iron (Covent Garden): 17 – 18 Henrietta Street, London, United Kingdom WC2E 8QH | Opening Hours: 12noon – 12midnight (Mon – Sat), 12noon – 11.30pm (Sun) | Website

22. Musical & Drinks

No virgin London trip is complete without a musical and you’re in the best place to watch one. There are so many to choose from, but my recommendations would have to be: The Book Of Mormon, Wicked, The Lion King and Kinky Boots .

Try to get cheaper tickets in Leicester Square (you’ll see many shops offering discounts) but just make sure you don’t end up with an obstructed view. Every theatre has a bar so get there early for a bevvy .

London Musicals: Schedules & Tickets

— Day 4 (Markets & Central London) —

23. portobello road market (notting hill).

Start your weekend bright and early by travelling to Notting Hill to check out Portobello Road Market . It’s the world’s largest antiques market and you’ll find loads of the stalls literally by the road.

The main market day here is Saturday, so that’s when you’ll find the most variety of stuff. There are also a few quaint cafes where you can have breakfast ( GAIL’s Bakery , Lowry & Baker ) or if you fancy a cupcake, stop by The Hummingbird Bakery .

Portobello Road Market: 306 Portobello Road, London W10 5TA | Opening Hours: 9am – 7pm (Sat), Other Days  | Website

24. Pretty Pastel/Colourful Houses (Notting Hill)

Since you’re in the area, Notting Hill is also known for its beautiful pastel and colourful houses. In fact, a scene from the movie ‘Love Actually’ was actually filmed here.

Try to look for it ( *hint St Luke’s Mews hint* ) and get a photo for the ‘gram !

25. Camden Town & Market

Camden Town is like a whole different world in London; the streets are lined with shops selling everything from souvenirs to punk-rock and gothic outfits.

There are a few markets in the area and the main one ( Camden Market ) is home to many stalls selling food from all over the globe. If you’re up for a crazy shopping experience when you’re there, stop by Cyberdog  (fair warning).

Camden Market: Camden Lock Place, London, Nw1 8AF | Opening Hours: 10am – Late (Daily) | Website

26. Lunch at The Cheese Bar  (Camden)

If you can’t decide what to have and love everything cheese-related, have lunch at The Cheese Bar . The super-melty Mozzarella Sticks (£7) make for a great Boomerang and if you visit in winter, you won’t want to miss the fondue.

The Cheese Bar (Camden): Unit 93 – 94 Camden Stables, Camden Town, Chalk Farm Road, London, United Kingdom NW1 8AP | Opening Hours: 12noon – 10pm (Mon – Fri), 11am – 10pm (Sat), 11am – 8pm (Sun) | Website

27. Piccadilly Circus

From Camden, make your way back to central London and experience the crowds at Piccadilly Circus . Sit on the steps of the Shaftesbury Memorial Fountain and watch a nearby busker while soaking in all the magical city vibes.

Just remember to watch your stuff as this capital isn’t immune to pickpockets (same goes for any busy area).

Shaftesbury Memorial Fountain: Piccadilly Circus, London W1J 9HS

28. Leicester Square

If you only stopped by Leicester Square to get discounted musical tickets, head back to explore the many shops. There’s a four-storey M&M’s World store that’ll make any chocolate-lover go crazy!

Leicester Square: London, WC2H 7LU |  Website

29. Chinatown

Yes, you just came from an Asian country but trust me, wandering the streets of London’s Chinatown is still pretty enjoyable. It’s right next to Leicester Square and naturally, you’ll find lots of amazing Chinese food to be had.

Save space for dinner though and just grab a small snack if you’re hungry – Bubblewrap does delicious Hong Kong waffles that you’ll want to share so you don’t spoil your appetite.

Bubblewrap: 24 Wardour Street Chinatown London, W1D 6QJ | Opening Hours & Website

30. Dinner at Dishoom (Carnaby)

Why save space for dinner? Because you need to squeeze Dishoom into your itinerary. The Bombay-inspired chain has become a hit amongst Londoners, serving up palatable Indian-Irani food that’s great to share.

All the outlets are beautifully designed and decorated, but you should head to the one in Carnaby so you can check out the area after. Reservations are highly recommended (but only allowed if you’re >6 pax), so go early unless you don’t mind waiting.

Whatever you do, order the House Black Daal (£6.20) with some Roomali Roti (£2.90) .

Dishoom (Carnaby): 22 Kingly Street, Soho, London W1B 5QB | Tel: +44 20 7420 9322 | Opening Hours: 8am – 11pm (Mon – Thu), 8am – 12midnight (Fri), 9am – 12midnight (Sat), 9am – 11pm (Sun) | Website

31. Drinks in Carnaby/ Soho/ Fitzrovia

Carnaby Street is a popular shopping street in Soho, but you need to visit purely because of the street decorations and how pretty everything is when lit up at night.

You’ll find many places in Soho as well to get a cocktail after dinner, or you can head to Berners Tavern in The London Edition hotel (Fitzrovia) for a fancy drink in a fancy setting.

Berners Tavern: London Edition Hotel, 10 Berners St, Fitzrovia, London W1T 3NP | Tel: +44 20 7908 7979 | Opening Hours & Website

— Day 5 (Sunday Roast & Shoreditch) —

32. columbia road flower market.

Want to feel like a London local? Wake up early on a Sunday and find your way to Columbia Road Flower Market (Citymapper to the rescue!).

The market is only open on Sundays and is a sight to behold, filled with rows and rows of plants and flowers looking for a home.

While you probably shouldn’t buy anything green to bring back, you can still soak in the atmosphere and pop into one of the many neighbouring shops selling quaint knick-knacks and vintage clothes.

Columbia Road Flower Market: Columbia Road, London E2 7RG | Opening Hours: 8am – 3pm (Only open on Sundays) | Website

33. Sunday Roast Lunch at Marksman Public House

Bet you were wondering when I was going to get to the Sunday Roast. If you go to Columbia Road Flower Market, it’s a short walk to Marksman Public House , a Victorian pub selling one of the best Sunday Roasts in the city.

The menu changes occasionally, but the Sunday Roast Lunch is always featured and you can get that and a starter for £29 (two-course) or throw in dessert as well for £33 (three-course) . Reservations are highly recommended.

Marksman Public House: 254 Hackney Road, London E2 7SJ | Tel: +44 20 7739 7393 | Opening Hours: 12noon – 4pm (Sun) | Reservations |  Website

34. Old Spitalfields Market

Since you’re already in Hackney, walk off your roast lunch and pop by the Old Spitalfields Market in Shoreditch.

I’m guessing you’ll be full by this point but you could always get an artisanal brownie or shop vintage at one of the many stalls set up.

Old Spitalfields Market: 16 Horner Square, London E1 6EW | Opening Hours: 9am – 5.30pm (Mon – Fri), 11am – 5pm (Sat), 9am – 5pm (Sun) | Website

35. Afternoon Snack at Poppie’s Fish & Chips (Spitalfields)

If all that walking and browsing has made you a bit peckish ( #yolobecauseholiday ), stop by Poppie’s Fish & Chips for the best of a British classic.

Popular amongst tourists, the Fish & Chips here is pretty consistent and while not exactly cheap ( £12.20 for Cod/Haddock ), the portion is huge and can easily feed two not-so-hungry people.

Poppie’s Fish & Chips (Spitalfields): 6 – 8 Hanbury Street, London E1 6QR | Tel: +44 20 7247 0892 | Opening Hours: 11am – 11pm (Mon – Thu), 11am – 11.30pm (Fri & Sat), 11am – 10.30pm (Sun) | Website

36. Vintage Shopping at Brick Lane

If you’ve heard of London, you’ve probably heard of Brick Lane . Located a short walk from the Old Spitalfields Market, this area is worth a visit, especially if you’re looking for more of a cool-London-street-vibe.

Lined with vintage shops, quaint cafes, bookshops and curry houses, Brick Lane will make for a chill Sunday stroll as you wind down your holiday.

Brick Lane Sunday Market: 91 Brick Lane, London E1 6QR | Opening Hours: 10am – 6pm | Website

37. Hot Chocolate from Dark Sugars

As you walk along Brick Lane, you’ll probably spot a shop called Dark Sugars selling wooden bowls of artisanal chocolate. This chocolate heaven has also been hailed for whipping up what’s apparently “the best hot chocolate in London”.

I guess you’ll only know if you try it for yourself, and at £4 – £5.50 a cup, you’ll get your money’s worth because it’s topped with an abundance of chocolate shavings. Hello, diabetes.

Dark Sugars Cocoa House: 124 – 126 Brick Lane, London, E1 6RU | Opening Hours: 10am – 10pm (Daily) | Website

38. Take Away Dinner at Beigel Bake

Okay, I think we can establish that your Sunday is basically going to be spent eating. If you’re in Brick Lane, it would be such a waste not to drop by Beigel Bake for an affordable Salt Beef Bagel (£4.50) .

The Jewish bakery serves up this hearty “sandwich” 24/7, and I’d get one to go if I were you.

Beigel Bake: 159 Brick Lane, London E1 6SB | Tel: +44 20 7729 0616 | Opening Hours: Open 24/7 |  Website

39. Drinks at Queen of Hoxton Rooftop Bar

It’s sad whenever a holiday comes to an end, but you can go out with a bang and knock back a few at a cool rooftop bar.

The Queen of Hoxton is in the area and beckons with fun, themed decor and a buzzing atmosphere amidst some London skyscrapers.

Queen of Hoxton: 1 Curtain Road, London EC2A 3JX | Opening Hours: 4pm – 12midnight (Mon – Wed), 4pm – 2am (Thu – Sat), 2pm – 10pm (Sun) | Website

40. Sunset Stroll along Southbank

If you have time, race to catch the sunset from Southbank where the city is extra pretty when bathed in an orange glow. Take one last look at the skyline and say goodbye till next time, because you’ve only just scratched the surface.

Southbank Centre: Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London, SE1 8XX

— Bonus Recommendation —

41. warner bros. studios tour london – the making of harry potter.

AND YOU THOUGHT IT WAS OVER. No friends and fellow wizards, I did not forget the wonderful world of Harry Potter.

The  Warner Bros. Studios Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter just would not fit into a 5D4N itinerary (and let’s face it, some muggles may not be keen), but if you have another day to spare, you must go!

Hop on a train (not Tube) to Watford Junction and follow the signs to the tour where you can visit the Great Hall, walk through Diagon Alley and drink Butterbeer.  The latest addition, Gringotts Wizarding Bank, is opening 6 April 2019, so brooms at the ready everyone?

Warner Bros. Studios Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter: Studio Tour Drive, Leavesden WD25 7LR | Opening Hours: 9.30am – 10pm (Mon – Fri), 8.30am – 10pm (Sat & Sun) | Website

Written By Marissa Mir

I got 99 problems and wondering what to eat for lunch is 98 of them.

Video thumbnail

Good Year Seafood Village: Serving Malaysian-style zi char like assam seabass, marmite chicken & lobster porridge for 17 years

Fujiwara tofu shop malaysia: hidden cafe has black tofu & arcade racing for initial d anime fans, 10 best batam resorts & hotels for a short escape, dapur hassan – singapore national football team’s goalkeeper’s stall in tampines attracts fans from china, jiang cantonese tapas restaurant & bar: hidden gem serving xo carrot cake & lunch sets like luncheon meat instant noodles from $6.80, new in town: fortuna singapore — sg’s 1st sicilian-neapolitan restaurant lands in tanjong pagar.



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