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Home » Europe » United Kingdom » England » London

WEEKEND in London – 48 Hour Guide (2024)

London is without a doubt one of the best places in the whole world to spend a weekend! It boasts some of the most iconic architecture in Europe as well as world-class theatre, sport, shopping and music. Basically there’s so much stuff going on that a single weekend in London is not enough and you’re guaranteed to return!

One bonus of spending a weekend in London is that many of the best attractions are free! So, despite the hefty exchange rate of the pound, a London weekend can be very reasonably priced.

With so many indoor activities on offer, it’s actually a fantastic city to visit year-round so don’t let the infamous British weather put you off. The museums are some of the best in the world housing global artifacts and technologically driven research. Public transport in London is also great   so you can easily get to all of London’s iconic landmarks in a single weekend!

Whether you’re a theatre-goer, a sports fan, a foodie or a raging partier, there’s lots to love about London.

weekend travel london

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Insider Tips for an AMAZING Weekend in London

London nightlife guide, london food guide, sporting events in london, weekend cultural entertainment in london- music/concerts/theatre, london weekend travel faqs.

These tips will help you enjoy London at its best and help you avoid any unnecessary headaches, struggles or concerns. In this guide, we’ll look at the best hostels in London , what to do in London and how to find the best food in London!

Know Where to Stay in London

With only a weekend to spare, you’ll want to stay somewhere in central London in order to minimize travel time. London’s a large city, and some of the best things to do in London are spread out. It is therefore worth taking a look at the various different neighborhoods and working out which one is best for travelers with little time!

Covent Garden is possibly the ideal neighborhood for first-timers in the city. It’s close to some of the top London attractions, with a great dining and cultural scene. Public transport goes everywhere from here, and you can comfortably spend the day walking around.

Another great place to stay in is Soho particularly if you’re into London’s party scene.

If you do want to save some cash while travelling in a big group, you can find many cute cottages in London ‘s outskirts areas that are close to transport links to the city center.

Our Favorite Airbnb – Private room in central location

Private room in central location

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This massive room is great for travellers who visit London for the first time. The apartment is located in central Leicester Square. There are lots of great places, cafes, and restaurants around. You’ll also get free breakfast every morning. The main bathroom is shared, however, you’ll have a private toilet. If you’ve seen enough of the city, you can enjoy the free Netflix and Amazon Prime Video on your TV.

Our Favorite Budget Hotel – The Z Hotel Shoreditch

The Z Hotel Shoreditch, London

The Z Hotel Shoreditch is our favorite budget hotel in London!

  • Quaint, boutique hotel with handcrafted beds
  • Located in the hip, heart of London
  • Great amenities and buffet breakfast available

This treasure is a quaint, lovely little hotel, reminiscent of 18th century London, set in a perfect location! The staff are great, and the beds are comfortable. The breakfasts, at a small extra cost, are incredible, and there’s unlimited coffee available to fuel your busy weekend. Basically have everything you need and more!

Our Favorite Splurge Hotel – Montcalm Royal London House

Montcalm Royal London House

Montcalm Royal London House is our favorite splurge hotel in London!

  • Spectacular views over the city, with rooftop bar
  • Restaurants, bars, spa and indoor swimming pool
  • Luxurious rooms with 24-hour room service and concierge

With large rooms and all the amenities you can dream of, this 5-star luxury hotel combines modern luxury with old-school class. It’s terrific for couples and the views over London are perfect. The staff is helpful and friendly, and the food is some of the best in the city. 

Our Favorite Hostel – Meininger London Hyde Park

Meininger London Hyde Park

Meininger London Hyde Park is our favorite hostel in London!

  • Great location with easy access to public transport
  • Vibrant, colorful and clean rooms
  • Fun, comfortable general spaces

Located right next to Hyde Park, this hostel is perfect for those looking for something well-priced and comfortable. If you are looking to meet people then get yourself a drink in the bar or lounge and make some friends! The staff are friendly and helpful, and the vibrant rooms are clean with comfortable beds.

weekend travel london

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Know How to Get Around in London

Getting around London is easy, despite the city’s size. Many of the attractions are close together, and walking between them allows you to get a real feel for the city! However,  there are also many public transport options should you need them.

You can catch the London Underground, the tram link, busses, railway, river services or the overground. With so many options, you’re able to get anywhere you want from wherever you are, fast.

Transport is quite expensive in London. It is a good idea to take some time to check if it’s going to prove cheaper to buy single tickets, or a weekend ticket, depending on your London itinerary . 

London Underground

If you’re spending most of your time walking around and occasionally catching a tram or train then single tickets are probably your best bet. If on the other hand your itinerary means you’ll be needing a lot of transport get an Oyster Card ; an Oyster card allows you to load money onto it, and use it on all of the public transport systems.

The bright red London busses are iconic and are a great way to get around and explore London . The trains are incredibly efficient, but if you try to catch one during peak hours (between 8 and 9 am, and 4 and 6 pm), you’ll be packed like sardines against impatient strangers.

London Nightlife Guide

London has some amazing nightlife options!

Despite a number of high-profile club closures, London still has some of the best nightlife in the world. Check out these awesome options for some inspiration.

Piccadilly Circus

  • Go pub-hopping until the early hours of the morning (many stay open until 4 am on weekends)
  • Guaranteed great night out with some of London’s best nightspots and a vibrant atmosphere
  • You can also go to an after dark museum, musical, or casino, for great alternatives to clubbing

Iconic enough during the night and day, Piccadilly Circus is an absolute must-see at night time! Neon lights contrast with historical buildings, and everyone is having a great time. For bar hopping, visit Irish-themed bar Waxy O’Connor’s, and Graphic, a gin palace with great DJ’s every weekend. For glitz and wild dancing, go to Cafe de Paris.

  • A historic hub of London’s famous entertainment scene throughout the ages. 
  • Bars, pubs and clubs line the street, catering to an incredibly wide variety of party styles
  • Explore some of the area’s flamboyount gay bars or circus-themed clubs, like Cirque le Soir, for something totally out of the ordinary (but don’t bring your Mother!)

Soho is certainly one of the best nightlife scenes in London, if not the world! With a rich history and a diversity of clubs to match, you are bound to have a brilliant time. Ronnie Scott’s has some of the world’s top jazz and blues musicians performing in its basement club and other great options are Swift and the gay pub Admiral Duncan.

  • Enjoy lively bohemian nightlife and night markets for something different
  • Great place to find live music, quirky bars, and some very unusual people
  • A long history of counterculture entertainment and alternative rock make for a night unlike any you’ll find elsewhere

Camden is a more offbeat but equally vibrant London nightlife destination. Leading the alternative rock & Indie scene, you’ll find great music and unique hair-styles in abundance here. For an old-school rock club experience, go to KOKO or Underworld. For a unique combination of the night market, club and casino, try out Electric Ballroom.

London Food

British food has a pretty bad reputation which is both undeserved and outdated. As you will see for yourself, London actually has one of the most diverse, cutting-edge culinary scenes in the world. Not only that, but you can find any type of cuisine in London, because it is so multi-culural and diverse. With so much to choose from at these stops, you’ll want to eat everything! And maybe you should…

Sunday UpMarket at Brick Lane

  • A very different kind of Sunday Roast, with both street vendors and classic pubs like the Old Truman Brewery to dine with
  • Great organic food options and authentic international cuisines
  • Vendors let you try tasters, so you can taste everything before you decide on one option

Be sure to arrive with an empty stomach as you’re going to want all the space you can get! Here you can find traditional ethnic foods from across the globe, and quaint craft and vintage stalls to explore while you eat. A lively market with a fun vibe, this is the perfect place for adventurous foodies.

Camden Market

  • Not only for the night-time crowd, Camden is also one of London’s best foodie scenes
  • Camden’s famous market features an eclectic mix of cuisines from around the world
  • Prices range from street food to gourmet, and you can find a taste of everything to either eat on the spot or take home. I recommend trying the Indian Paneer burger.

Truly, there is something to quench every craving and curiosity in Camden Market! Leading the race in vegan innovations is Nora and Nama, and providing delightfully meaty options to the punks and alternatives, is Roadkill. Come to Camden Market to try tonnes of food and stroll through the market, admiring the weird and wonderful wares on offer.

Bob Bob Ricard

  • Iconic Soho restaurant serving delicious British-Russian cuisine and amazing cocktails
  • Dining takes place in luxurious old-school booths with Art Deco style
  • Every booth has a ‘press for champagne’ button, which is  the absolute epitome of British class

With a dress code of ‘elegant’, uniformed staff and art-deco surrounds, this restaurant is a one of a kind foodie stop! This luxury dining experience needs to be booked well in advance  but it is well worth it. Try either their Russian specialties or local favorites, and be sure to enjoy the glamor and great atmosphere.

London’s The Rubens at the Palace Hotel

  • Iconic spot for afternoon tea , overlooking Buckingham Palace
  • A quintessential afternoon activity for those who like to live a little lavishly
  • Enjoy the best scones with clotted cream and jam in the city!

No London trip would be complete without taking time out for some afternoon tea, and the four-star hotel, The Rubens at the Palace Hotel, is one of the best places to enjoy this as it’s upper class and elegant, making for a fine afternoon affair. It’s also super romantic, if you’re travelling as a couple.

In England, Afternoon Tea is not just a term for drinking tea in the afternoon. It is usually accompanied by sandwiches, cakes, macarons, scones with clotted cream and jam, plus of course, tea. It can be a little pricey, but totally worth it – plus you actually get a ton of food, so it could count as a late lunch or early dinner.

Sporting Events in London

With famous stadiums hosting popular British sports, there’s some great choices for sport lovers. 

See a Game at Wembley Stadium

  • England’s national Football team is one of the most famous in the world – if you can, watch a match at the famous Wembley Stadium
  • The venue for many memorable events, it’s incredible just to see Wembley stadium, never mind watching a match in it
  • Wembley stages sports events and live performances every weekend with teams and performers from around the world.

There are several other football stadiums across London so be sure to pick up a ticket and come cheer on your favorite team!. You can even plan your London visit around your favorite sport and team! Just check out Wembley Stadium events .

Play Tennis at Regents Park

  • Enjoy a game or two of tennis on beautiful courts across from a London park
  • One of England’s few great pay-and-play tennis centers where you can book with minimal advance
  • Fun, great exercise and perfect for couples, families, and friends

While you can’t play at the private Wimbledon arena, Regents Park is the next best thing for tennis enthusiasts!

Play England’s most elegant and popular sport on this lovely public field. You can book a drop-in session a day in advance. And of course, equipment is available to rent or buy, if you didn’t bring your own.

(Note – In the UK tennis is largely confined to the months of May – August when the weather is fair)

Try Flying Trapeze at Gorilla Circus

  • Try something new and learn to fly trapeze in a two-hour lesson
  • It’s a great outdoor activity and an opportunity to learn something new while you take a break from the stadiums
  • Fun and great for all ages, it’ll get your blood pumping and you’ll leave with a sense of achievement

Do something a little different! You’ll find them at Kensington Gardens and Regents Park, so you’ll have great views while you fly through the air., This sport is a great way to soak up the sun if you are lucky enough to visit during the summer season.

weekend travel london

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London entertainment

Musical theatre and talent-filled plays are popular pastimes in London! Join the locals, and watch something incredible.

The O2 Academy, Brixton

  • You can find the perfect performance at one of London’s leading music venues, nightclubs, and theatres
  • Raised floor so everyone has a great view, and experiences fantastic acoustics
  • Beautiful architecture and incredible live acts every weekend make it a very worthwhile stop

For some of the best international bands and coolest gigs, book a spot at the O2 Academy! The slope of the venue accommodates everyone, and the vibe is always brilliant. The Academy caters to all music tastes, as well as comedy, so be sure to check what’s on and book in advance before your weekend in London.

Apollo Victoria Theatre

  • Beautiful old theatre with lots of character and beautiful decor
  • Lovely campy fun, with bar service to your seat if requested, binoculars provided
  • Great international acts every weekend (and during the week) – like the long-running musical Wicked

Opening as a cinema in 1930, the Apollo has a rich and interesting history in entertainment. With vibrant art-deco architecture and decor, there’s much to see without even watching a performance! But that’s not to say you shouldn’t – the musicals performed here are legendary, and there’s no better place to watch them than here.

English National Opera

  • Experience something truly grand with a visit to the opera in one of London’s oldest theatres
  • Modern versions of classic operas make them accessible to a wide audience, in English
  • Enjoy performances bringing to life stories you’ve known since childhood, with incredibly talented casts and beautiful acoustics!

For another different experience (London is full of them), watch a show at the ornate and classic London Coliseum. One of London’s most luxurious theatres, it opened in 1904 and continues to awe its audiences today. The English National Opera brings classic opera to the modern audience. Experience London at its finest!

West End Theatre

  • Enjoy a variety of musical and stage performances in several theatres in the West End.
  • Family friendly shows and matinee performances available.
  • One of the most popular attractions in this wonderful city!

For anyone wanting to see a show in London, the West End in Covent Garden district is the place to be. Covent Garden has 38 theatres, from family-friendly musicals such as The Lion King, to timeless classics like Les Miserables, or popular rock numbers such as We Will Rock You. There is a show for everyone in Covent Garden.

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11 Other Awesome Things to do in London This Weekend

There is so much more on offer in London! If you have more time, then try to squeeze in as many of these amazing attractions and landmarks as you can.

#1 – Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace

When visiting London, I guess you have to see Buckingham Palace! Home to the British Queen, the palace is massive, opulent and beautiful. Be sure to come and watch the changing of the Guard at 11am to experience a long-standing, British royal tradition.

You can also explore the palace if you have more time, with either a guide or audio guide to learn more about the palace’s curious history . There’s quite a collection of artifacts and gifts from foreign dignitaries acquired over the centuries!

Arguably the most important landmark in England and a national treasure, this is a must-see.

#2 – National Gallery

National Gallery London

Whatever your preferences, visiting the National Gallery will be one of the best things you do on your weekend in London! The gallery houses England’s great collection of art from the 13th to the 19th century.

They have most of the artworks you learned about in school, and it is an absolutely magnificent experience to be able to see so many masterpieces in one day. As an added bonus, it’s also free!

You can spend hours here without getting bored marvelling at the changes in art through the centuries.

#3 – Hop on the London Eye

London Eye

This giant Ferris Wheel is Europe’s biggest, and one of England’s most popular tourist stops! Take a ride on it to see a brilliant view over London and the Thames river, or just take a photo with it.

The best way to see the city and all your favorite stops, you’ll have 30 minutes up in the air which is plenty. The surprisingly large and roomy capsule moves around, so you can get all the perfect angles from your seat, or you can walk around!

It’s open daily from 10 am to 9:30 pm. e suggest you book early as it’s an extremely popular attraction.

Just across the river, you’ll find Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament. If you’re ever struggling for London weekend ideas, you’ll find plenty to do around this area.

#4 – Oxford Street

Oxford Street London

The biggest shopping street in the world, Oxford Street is a must-see when you’re spending a weekend in London! Go window-shopping, or find those brands you’ve always wanted to try on. It’s a shopaholic’s dream, but great fun for everyone.

Aside from shopping, the street is enjoyable for its beautiful architecture with a few modern buildings contrasting beautifully with the many old ones. There are also a few theatres and pubs.

Find something to snack on while you walk, and take in all the happy people and the activity. Our advice is to visit in the morning or late afternoon to avoid rush hour as it can get packed. This is one of the most popular things to do in London .

#5 – St Paul’s Cathedral

St Pauls Cathedral London

This immense, colorfully decorated cathedral is an important British site and one of the best places to visit in London . Built in 1666 after a fire destroyed its predecessor, the working Cathedral is an architectural marvel.

Visit one of the daily services, or with a tour, it’s five levels to experience the unique acoustics of the Whispering Gallery, and the panoramic views over London. The cathedral has staged many historic, state occasions, including royal weddings and the funeral of Sir Winston Churchill!

The church has a peaceful atmosphere that sets it apart from much of London. Be advised that there are a few areas you cannot explore though.

Book your full St Paul’s Cathedral tour here.

Wombats City Hostel Vienna - The Naschmarkt

The Z Hotel – Shoreditch

Located in the trendy Shorditch district, this hostel offers top-notch accommodation right in the heart of the city.

  • 24 Hour Reception
  • Laundry Facilities

#6 – Leicester Square

Leicester Square London

Laid out in 1670, the pedestrian square is a cultural hub. One of the best parts of London’s West End, there’s something great for everyone including unique restaurants, vibrant musical theatres, and family fun. Stroll through the brightly lit streets at night to get the best of Leicester Square!

There are always street performers and a great vibe.. Whether you watch a play here, have dinner at one of the charming eateries, or just walk through the streets, it’s a great place to be in central London. Do be mindful of pickpockets and keep your wits about you.

#7 – Kensington Museums: Natural History Museum, Science Museum, Victoria and Allbert Museum

London Natural History Museum

Discover scientific discoveries, classic artist pieces, and rich historical exhibitions and research at the incredible museums in Kensington. And, they are all free! For those even vaguely interested in nature, science or history, this is an amazing opportunity to learn more about life.

My personal favourite is the Natural History Museum. The most interesting exhibit you’ll find in the Natural History Museum is the dinosaurs exhibit (with real skeletons and facts galore), plus a life-size robot dinosaur! There are also exhibitions about human evolution and space exploration.

There are also lots of really cool night-time options for weekend trips, like a silent disco, murder mystery, or sleepover inside the museum! These are, of course, adults only (over 18) allowed.

Plus, for any royal lovers, Kensington Palace is just down the road, making Kensington a hot spot to visit for a weekend in London.

#8 – Take a Cruise on the Thames

Take a Cruise on the Thames

Cruising down the Thames is one of the best ways to see London’s sights! You can choose between different types of cruises, but our favorite is the hop-on-hop-off day pass from South Bank. This is simply the best way to fit it around your own schedule, allowing you to stop at any of the landmarks you see.

On the tour you’ll see Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, Greenwich, Tate Modern, the London Eye, London Bridge and Tower Bridge, and for Harry Potter Fans, the Millenium Bridge. All from the water!

Enjoy lively commentary, and a relaxing sightseeing experience. Be sure to bring your camera and a raincoat.

Book Your Thames River Cruise here!

#9 – The British Museum

British Museum London

This national museum exhibits over two million years of human history and culture! It holds world-famous ancient artefacts, such as  Egyptian mummies, and the Rosetta Stone.

With so much to see here, be sure to set aside a good few hours, and definitely wear comfortable shoes. The exhibits are extensive and educational, with a wealth of antiquities from around the world.

There’s nothing like seeing it in person to bring human history to life.

#10 – Tower Bridge

London Tower Bridge

Tower Bridge is one of London’s best-loved icons! The beautiful suspension bridge is a feat of Victorian engineering, with great views of London. Stroll along its pedestrian sides and marvel at the castle-like turrets.

This one is perfect for Instagram so get someone to take a photo of you at this iconic London landmark. You can also take the stairs or a lift to the top of a bridge tower where you’ll walk on glass floors and watch the action below you! You can join a tour to learn more about the bridge, or you can do it yourself.

#11 – Walk around Movie Sets in Notting Hill

Notting Hill has been the backdrop to many blockbuster movies, Bridge Jones, Love Actually, Paddington and of course, Notting Hill.

It’s also where you can pick up some sweet vintage items in the boutique stores and market stalls of Portobello road.

As you walk around Notting Hill, you are walking around the streets where the record labels live, giving birth to London rock Legends such as Jimi Hendrix, the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Sex Pistols, and Pink Floyd. Just a short distance away in St John’s Wood, you’ll find the iconic zebra crossing that became a Beatles album cover.

If you’re a fan of pop culture, you’ll love Notting Hill. Plus, you’ll get some cool shots here for your social media.

London Weekend Travel FAQs

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about visiting London. If you know where you’re going and what you’re doing, it’s a great city to explore. But it can be a bit much for people who have no game plan! So check out these helpful FAQs.

What should I pack for a weekend in London?

– A sturdy raincoat and a warm jacket . London can get chilly and rainy all year round, and when you wake up you never know how the day will end. Yes, it may be bulky but a good thing to pack for your London weekend is some protection from the elements! – Comfortable walking shoes . This may seem like an obvious one, but many people visiting the great city focus on style over comfort. However, when you’re walking around and moving between some of London’s top attractions, you’ll want your feet to feel cozy and comfortable. Ditch those blisters! – A camera! If you have one, be sure to bring your camera along with you on your London weekend. The city is so full of beautiful and historic sights, you won’t want to miss an opportunity to capture them. And there are many friendly people you can ask to take a quick photo of you and your favorite landmarks. – Check out our packing list for London for more info about how to pack.

Can I get an apartment in London for the weekend?

You certainly can!  London is an expensive city  to live in and many of its residents rent out their homes over the weekend or during the week to make rent. So if you book early (preferably a few months in advance), you can find a place in the center of the city for a good price! There are also loads of  London bed and brekies  available if that’s more your scene! Apartments often feel more private, comfortable and ‘homey’ than a hotel. So if you’re looking for a party atmosphere or new friends from around the world, definitely find a hostel or laid-back hotel. But if you’re into your personal space, then an apartment is great! For families in particular, an apartment is ideal London accommodation. You can find one with a washing machine, a proper kitchen and multiple beds. This can help minimise eating costs y and is certainly less stressful than at a hotel not specifically kitted out for children and families.

Is London safe for a weekend trip?

London is considered reasonably safe  for all genders and cultures. That ‘reasonably’ is due to its being a typical large city with the usual crime issues. Stay alert for scams aimed at tourists such as selling fake tickets to different landmarks. Always make sure your ticket is from a trusted and well-known source! Pickpockets are also quite common and usually work in very busy places. So while you’re exploring popular landmarks, make sure your belongings are safe and insight or underhand. You can comfortably walk around busy areas at night, with the same considerations around pickpockets. Violent crime is a rare concern in London and as long as you take the usual city precautions mentioned here, you’ll have a great, safe trip!

Don’t Forget Your London Travel Insurance

ALWAYS sort out your backpacker insurance before your trip. There’s plenty to choose from in that department, but a good place to start is Safety Wing .

They offer month-to-month payments, no lock-in contracts, and require absolutely no itineraries: that’s the exact kind of insurance long-term travellers and digital nomads need.

weekend travel london

SafetyWing is cheap, easy, and admin-free: just sign up lickety-split so you can get back to it!

Click the button below to learn more about SafetyWing’s setup or read our insider review for the full tasty scoop.

Final Thoughts on a Great Weekend in London

While more time in this great city would be excellent, even spending a weekend in London will leave you with a mind full of memories and a big smile for weeks. There are just so many cultural and historical hubs, and great fun for everyone of all interests and ages. You cannot go wrong!

Be sure to book accommodation in the city center, and work out you favorite way to get around! Like with everything else in London, you have a wealth of choice.

So, find a cheap flight to London with your friends, or plot the perfect solo trip. With our London weekend ideas, you’ll be able to fill up your time with whatever your heart desires!

(Psssst –  If you’re planning a weekend in London as part of a wider England or the United Kingdom trip, then be sure to check out our backpacking UK travel guide .)

London-Cityscape

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weekend travel london

Sophie Steinebach

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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 Hotels.com 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 .

Tower Bridge 3 Days in London 3 day London itinerary England

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.

Palace of Westminster 3 Days in London 3 day London itinerary England

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 .

weekend travel london

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

Harrod’s

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: https://www.gatwickairport.com/at-the-airport/shopping-eating/shops/airport-concierge/

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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3 Days in London: The Perfect Weekend Itinerary

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London Weekend Itinerary

Londoners will tell you that their city is the best city in the world. They’re not wrong because, in many ways, London is the center of the world (or the center of the UK, at least). The sense of pride in the United Kingdom’s capital is visible at every turn, and you’re guaranteed to be swept up with Union Jack fever as you watch the Changing of the Guard outside Buckingham Palace.

Delve into the often brutal past of the Tower of London, explore the regal and religious history of Westminster Abbey and St Paul’s Cathedral, and then spend hours perusing the exhibits of the British Museum. And once you’ve visited all the traditional London sights, that’s when the fun really begins. Spend your evenings watching musicals and stage plays in the West End, or head over to Camden Town for a night of gigs, live music, and craft beers. 

There’s so much to do in the United Kingdom’s capital. From the iconic chimes of Big Ben to the lofty heights of The Shard, a few days is never enough to explore the sights of London. This is a city that you can return to time and time again and still barely scrape the surface, but our 3-day London itinerary will set you up to see the best sights if it’s your first time in the city! 

If you’re still deciding where to stay then make sure to check out our article on the  best boutique hotels in London !

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase or booking through one of our links we may earn a small commission (don’t worry, it’s at no extra cost to you).

How to Spend a Weekend in London, England

London weekend itinerary – day 1 .

3 Days in London Weekend Itinerary: Hyde Park

Your weekend in London begins leisurely, with a surprisingly serene stroll through the greenery of Hyde Park. This is one of several “Royal Parks” in London, and the area was originally set aside as a hunting reserve by Henry VIII back in the 16th century. This is also your chance to take in a little fresh air before your day really begins because from here on in it’s going to be non-stop!

3 Days in London Itinerary: Hyde Park

Day 1 of your 3 days in London will see you visiting some of London’s most iconic landmarks, with your itinerary centered around royal sights like Buckingham Palace and Westminster, where the Houses of Parliament are found. Before that, though, walk through Hyde Park and visit the Serpentine, an impressive area of open water that’s popular among swimmers. 

Kensington Gardens

London 3 Day Itinerary Weekend Guide: Kensington Gardens

From here, you can head on over to Kensington Gardens, another royal parkland that’s adjacent to Hyde Park. Within Kensington Gardens you’ll find Kensington Palace, a royal residence that dates back to the 17th century. 

3 Days in London Weekend Itinerary: Kensington Gardens

The palace was commissioned by King William III and Mary II in the late 17th century, and it remains the current residence of many of the royal family (including William and Kate, the Prince and Princess of Wales). If you’re here early, then you’ll have time for a quick tour of the stately rooms, but you’ll need to be ready to move on at 11:00 am for the first big event of the day.

Wellington Arch

Weekend in London: Wellington Arch

You’ll need to hurry on over to Wellington Arch, which marks the entrance and exit to Hyde Park in the southeastern corner. This will bring you to Buckingham Palace, where you should be right on time to watch the Changing of the Guard Ceremony at 11:30 am (double check this time on the Changing of the Guard website , as it can sometimes change). 

Buckingham Palace

Weekend in London 3 Days Itinerary: Buckingham Palace

Full of pageantry and pomp, this colorful tradition sees the King’s soldiers marching along the Mall before ceremonially taking over duties from the old guard stationed at Buckingham Palace. Once the ceremony is over, take in the view of Buckingham Palace from the front gates. This is the King’s official residence, and unfortunately, you can’t go inside. If the Royal Standard is flying, though, this means the King is home!

Westminster

Weekend in London: Westminster

Turn around, walk down The Mall, then through St James Park until you reach Westminster. Now you’ll see more famous landmarks, as this is the location of Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, and the Houses of Parliament. 

Westminster Abbey

3 Days in London Itinerary: Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey is where all of England’s monarchs have been crowned since 1066, while the Houses of Parliament is where the government debates and passes its laws. You’ll have time to take a tour of one or the other, so choose wisely.

London 3 Day Itinerary Weekend Guide: Westminster Abbey

Before or after the tour, you should take the opportunity for a traditional London lunch on your first day in the city. Westminster is home to a plethora of traditional pubs, many of which have been serving patrons for centuries. 

British Fish and Chips

3 Days in London Weekend Itinerary: British Fish and Chips

We recommend a pit stop at the Two Chairmen , which has been serving ales and pies for over 200 years. Alternatively, pop into the Laughing Halibut , where you’ll find Westminster’s finest servings of traditional British fish and chips.

Churchill War Rooms

Weekend in London 3 Days Itinerary: Churchill War Rooms

After lunch, you’ll be going underground, but not where you might be expecting. Hidden away below Westminster is the Churchill War Rooms , a unique attraction that’s preserved the subterranean shelters where the British government operated during the Second World War.

3 Days in London Itinerary: Churchill War Rooms

Venture underground, and you can explore the tunnels and bunkers where Winston Churchill made pivotal decisions that saved Britain from defeat by the armies of Nazi Germany. 

River Thames

Weekend in London 3 Days Itinerary: River Thames

Emerge again into the sunlight, and walk down toward the banks of the River Thames. Here you’ll find Westminster Bridge, while on the other side of the river is the London Eye .

London 3 Day Itinerary Weekend Guide: River Thames

Rising to a height of 135 meters (443 feet), this is Europe’s tallest revolving observation wheel, and you’ll love the panoramic views awaiting you as your glass pod ever so slowly makes its revolution. 

London Dungeon

3 Days in London Itinerary: London Dungeon

By now, we’re sure you’re going to be exhausted. But if you’re up for one more attraction, then you can journey inside the London Dungeon , where a theatrical, gory, and very dramatic look at medieval torture awaits you (it’s like a medieval Disneyland!). 

Trafalgar Square

3 Days in London Weekend Itinerary: Trafalgar Square

If that’s not for you, then cross back over the River Thames and head on over to Trafalgar Square. Here you’ll find the Trafalgar Square Lions and Nelson’s Column, as well as the National Gallery . 

Weekend in London: Trafalgar Square

Trafalgar Square is within walking distance of Covent Garden and Leicester Square , both of which are teeming with bars and restaurants.

Leicester Square (with Flat Iron and The Petersham)

3 Days in London Itinerary: Leicester Square

This evening, we recommend visiting Flat Iron , a restaurant known for its steaks; The Frenchie , for high-end Parisian fare in a London setting; or The Petersham , for elegant Italian-inspired dishes prepared using seasonal ingredients from the British countryside. 

3 Days in London Weekend Itinerary: Flat Iron

London Weekend Itinerary – Day 2 

Your 3-day London vacation continues with an action-packed itinerary merging history with contemporary culture. You’ll be looking forward to a great day of sightseeing, eating, and cultural events as you explore Tower Hamlets, the City of London, and Southwark.

Tower of London

3 Days in London Itinerary: Tower of London

The day begins at the Tower of London , which you’ll find overlooking the River Thames in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. This mighty fortress sits on Tower Hill, and we recommend taking a tour (led by the famous “Beefeaters” who guard the tower) to learn more about the bloody and barbarous history that’s occurred within its walls. 

3 Days in London Weekend Itinerary: Tower of London

The Tower of London’s original keep (the White Tower) was built on the orders of William the Conqueror, who invaded England in 1066. Over the next centuries, the Tower of London became not just a symbol of royal authority but a place where traitors would meet a grizzly end. The Tower of London is home to the royal Crown Jewels, which you can see in all their glory in the “Jewell House.”

Tower Bridge

3 Days in London Itinerary: Tower Bridge

From the Tower of London, you’ll now walk over Tower Bridge, which you’ll instantly recognize as one of the city’s most iconic landmarks. Built in the late 19th century, the bridge is not only elegantly ornate but a marvelous example of Victorian engineering.

Weekend in London 3 Days Itinerary: Tower Bridge

You can see more by booking tickets to the upper walkways, where you’ll have spectacular views across the Thames and get an insider look at the Victorian engine rooms that raise and lower the bridge for passing boats. 

3 Days in London Weekend Itinerary: The Shard

You’ll then follow Queen’s Walk along the Southbank of the River Thames, passing the domineering form of HMS Belfast (an old navy destroyer turned museum that’s moored in the Thames) before turning inland to visit The Shard . Take the elevator to the top floor of this monstrously tall skyscraper, where you’ll have incredible vistas from the observation deck of London’s tallest building.

Borough Market

Weekend in London 3 Days Itinerary: Borough Market

We expect you’re getting peckish. Good, because your next stop is Borough Market . Located in Southwark, the market has been in action for a thousand years.

3 Days in London Itinerary: Borough Market

There’s no letting up today, and you’ll be spoiled for choice as you browse through the food stalls. Fish and chips, mac and cheese, Sri Lankan curries, and Malaysian laksa – you name it, you’ll find it at Borough Market. 

Monument to the Great Fire of London

3 Days in London Weekend Itinerary: Monument to the Great Fire of London

Suitably replenished, cross over London Bridge to get back to the other side of the River Thames. Now you’re in the historical City of London, a one-square-mile area that was originally built up by the Romans. 

Weekend in London 3 Days Itinerary: Monument to the Great Fire of London

Leadenhall Market

Weekend in London: Leadenhall Market

There’s much to see this afternoon, including the Monument to the Great Fire of London , the overgrown ruins of St Dunstan in the East, the beautiful indoor greenery of “Sky Garden,” and the majestic architecture of Leadenhall Market (the inspiration for Harry Potter ‘s Diagon Alley).

St Paul’s Cathedral

Weekend in London 3 Days Itinerary: St Paul's Cathedral

Finally, make your way to St Paul’s Cathedral , where you can take a tour of London’s most important religious building. 

Weekend in London: St Paul's Cathedral

Go back to your hotel and freshen up, then catch the Tube over to Camden Town, where you can spend an evening touring through pubs and listening to live music. There are some great, casual restaurants to kick things off, including The Cheese Bar and Burger and Beyond . 

London Weekend Itinerary – Day 3

Homemade jalapeño cornbread.

3 Days in London Itinerary: Homemade Jalapeno Cornbread

Your 3-day trip to London ends with another jam-packed itinerary. Day 3 is all about the museums, and you’ll want to start with a big, big breakfast at the Brompton Food Market , where the homemade jalapeño cornbread is almost as great as the breakfast burrito. 

Natural History Museum

Weekend in London 3 Days Itinerary: Natural History Museum

The Brompton Food Market is just a short stroll away from the Natural History Museum , which will be your first sightseeing stop of the day. The museum is home to one of the finest collections of natural history in the world, and with a history dating back to the 1700s, you can find a wealth of specimens collected by famous naturalists, including Charles Darwin.

3 Days in London Weekend Itinerary: Natural History Museum

It’s estimated that there are some 80 million items in the care of the Natural History Museum, so you’ve no chance of seeing them all even in a lifetime! You will see a comprehensive selection of exhibits displayed across the galleries, which are divided into five sections based on zoology, botany, entomology, mineralogy, and paleontology. This means there will be animals, plants, bugs, minerals, and dinosaurs. 

The Natural History Museum is located on Exhibition Road, which you’ll find is also home to two other excellent London museums. Once you’ve had your fair fill of dinosaur fossils and meteorites, you can visit either the Science Museum or the Victoria and Albert Museum . 

Science Museum

3 Days in London Itinerary: Science Museum

The Science Museum needs very little introduction. It’s dedicated to all things scientific, and with an impressive array of hands-on exhibitions to get stuck into, it’s a great place to take kids. The Victoria and Albert Museum is a little different. The “V&A” dates back to 1853, and it’s dedicated to art and design. 

Victoria and Albert Museum

3 Days in London Weekend Itinerary: Victoria and Albert Museum

This broad remit means that the museum is home to upwards of 2 million items collected from different communities, eras, and locations across the world. You’ll find Roman sculptures, African art, and ancient jewelry. You’ll also find galleries dedicated to photography, textiles, and furniture. It’s this diversity that really makes the Victoria and Albert Museum fascinating.

Weekend in London: Harrods

Next, walk over to nearby Knightsbridge, where you can enjoy a very classy lunch break at Harrods . This is London’s iconic department store, and it’s where the rich and famous shop for everything from groceries to winter clothing.

Weekend in London 3 Days Itinerary: Harrods

The food court at Harrods is superb (if pricey), and you can enjoy a spot of caviar and a glass of champagne to fortify you for the afternoon.

The British Museum

3 Days in London Itinerary: The British Museum

Jump on the London Underground and make your way over to Russell Square, where your next stop of the day is The British Museum . This is one of the world’s most famous museums, with an extensive collection numbering upwards of 8 million objects. The museum was founded in 1753, making it one of the oldest museums in the world. 

The British Museum is extensive. It attempts to tell the story of human history, tracing it back thousands of years to the dawn of civilization. You’ll see archeological finds dating back to the ancient Sumerians, including the world’s first examples of a written alphabet. 

London 3 Day Itinerary Weekend Guide: The British Museum

There are ancient Egyptian mummies and sarcophagi, Greek statues and Roman mosaics, and Viking armor and medieval weapons. It’s worth taking a short tour if you don’t want to miss bucket list exhibits like the Rosetta Stone and Elgin Marbles. 

Somerset House

3 Days in London Weekend Itinerary: Somerset House

From the British Museum, you can wander south toward the Strand, where you’ll see fantastic works of architecture, including Somerset House and the Savoy .

Weekend in London: Savoy

Then it’s just a short stroll to Covent Garden , where you’ll find boutique shops and street performers in one of London’s loveliest districts.

Book a Room at The Savoy

Covent Garden

3 Days in London Itinerary: Covent Garden

Then look out for famous streets like St Martin’s Lane and Shaftesbury Avenue as you make your way to Chinatown for a taste of the city’s multicultural makeup.

Soon enough, you’ll have reached Leicester Square, the glitzy, glamorous location where movies premiere and stars are born. Head to the box office, where you can pick up last-minute tickets for whichever West End shows are on special that night. With your evening sorted, It’s time for a pre-show dinner.

London 3 Day Itinerary Weekend Guide: Covent Garden

You’re in the right place because the West End is a veritable smorgasbord of restaurants. One of our favorites is Dishoom , a unique Indian-inspired restaurant offering a taste of Mumbai in London. Other options include The Garden at Corinthia, Scully St James’s , or St Martin’s House .

What to do if you have more than 3 days in London

We can’t stress this enough, but in 72 hours, you’ll just be scratching the surface of what there is to do and see in London. If you’ve got longer to spend, then perfect, because there’s much more to see in and around the capital:

Take a Harry Potter Studio Tour:

Weekend in London: Harry Potter Studio Tour

If you’re a huge Harry Potter fan, then you have to make the pilgrimage to the Warner Bros Studios in Hertfordshire. The on-set filming locations and props have been masterfully preserved, offering one of the greatest cinema experiences in the UK. Join an organized tour from London, which includes transport to and from the studios. 

Weekend in London 3 Days Itinerary: Harry Potter Studio Tour

Marvel at Windsor Castle:

3 Days in London Itinerary: Windsor Castle

You’ve seen Buckingham Palace, so now it’s time to visit Windsor Castle . Located in Windsor, on the outskirts of London, this magnificent royal castle is almost a thousand years old. It’s also one of the royal family’s official residences. 

3 Days in London Weekend Itinerary: Windsor Castle

Take a River Thames Cruise:

Weekend in London 3 Days Itinerary: River Thames Cruise

Take a sightseeing cruise along the mighty River Thames as you enjoy the city’s magnificent skyline from the water. If you’re in a romantic mood, you could even treat your partner to an evening dinner cruise.

Weekend in London: River Thames Cruise

Explore Greenwich:

3 Days in London Itinerary: Greenwich

One of London’s most fascinating districts is Greenwich, which you’ll find by following the Thames west. Visit markets, landscaped royal parks, the Cutty Sark, and see the Meridian Line, where Greenwich Meantime officially begins. 

See the Deer at Richmond Park:

London 3 Day Itinerary Weekend Guide: Richmond Park

London’s largest royal park is located in the London Borough of Richmond, where you’ll find a vast herd of deer roaming through woods and fields. It’s a beautiful place where you can escape the city, and also closely situated to Hampton Court Palace , the famous residence of King Henry VIII. 

3 Days in London Weekend Itinerary: Richmond Park

Getting around London

Getting Around London, England: The Perfect Weekend Itinerary

London is one of the largest cities in the world. With an urban area that sprawls across much of southeast England , it’s easy to get lost if you’ve never been to the city before. Luckily, though, London has one of the best connected public transport systems in the world, so with a little planning, it’s also easy to get around. 

We’ve tried to ensure that our London itinerary below is planned for minimal transit times between sights, and you’ll be able to walk between many of the attractions each day, or you’ll be just a few stops away on the “Tube” (officially, it’s called the London Underground). Grab yourself a Tube map as soon as you land because you’ll be using London’s iconic metro system a lot during your stay.

London has several airports you could find yourself flying into. The major transit hub is London Heathrow Airport, where many international flights arrive and depart. London Heathrow Airport is connected by bus to London Victoria station or by train and tube to major train stations, including London Paddington, which is the terminus of the rapid Heathrow Express service. 

London Gatwick Airport is further out but also serves many international flights. The Gatwick Express takes you from the airport direct to London Victoria Station.

Within London, public transport is integrated and divided into different zones. You can tap on and off with a credit or debit card when you’re using the bus, underground or overground rail network. 

This keeps things simple, and you’ll be charged at the end of a day based on how many journeys you’ve made and which zones you’ve crossed (a cap is put in place, so you’ll never pay more than the cost of a “day ticket” no matter how much you travel that day). Alternatively, you can purchase tickets using the machines or ticket booths available at stations.

There are also several other public transport lines, including several ferries, a cable car that crosses the River Thames (Emirates Skyline), and the Docklands Light Rail, a driverless train that heads to places like Canary Wharf and the London Excel Arena. The latest addition to the expansive public transport network is the recently opened Elizabeth Line, a cross-city underground line named in honor of the recently deceased Queen. 

Driving in London isn’t recommended, not least because of the traffic, but because of the congestion charges you’ll need to pay. Ride-hailing apps like Uber and Bolt work everywhere, while the famous London taxis (Black Cabs) should be ridden at least once during your stay, even if they are expensive! 

We hope you enjoy your weekend trip to London! Should we add something else to our 3-day London itinerary? Let us know in the comments.

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London Weekend Itinerary

Richard is an award-winning travel writer based in Southwest England who’s addicted to traveling off the beaten track. He’s traveled to 75 countries and counting in search of intriguing stories, unusual destinations, and cultural curiosities. Richard loves traveling the long way round over land and sea, and you’ll find him visiting quirky micronations and breakaway territories as often as he’s found lounging on a beach (which is a lot). When he’s not writing for BBC Travel, National Geographic, or Lonely Planet, you can find Richard writing for the Wandering Wheatleys or updating his off-beat travel blog, Travel Tramp.

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How to spend a perfect weekend in London

Jun 14, 2019 • 2 min read

The London Eye is lit up red, the Thames is at low tide, and in the background, the Palace of Westminster is lit up against a moody sky

River Thames and the London skyline at night Tony C French / Getty Images

London has a ridiculous number of sights, activities and events to enjoy. You can’t possibly cram it all in to a short visit, so it's best not to try. Instead, take it one neighbourhood at a time. If you just have a weekend to spend in this fantastic city, follow Lonely Planet’s guide to making it perfect.

The London Eye is lit up red, the Thames is at low tide and in the background, the Palace of Westminster is lit up against a moody sky

Start your day in Trafalgar Sq , gaze upwards at Nelson standing on his column and downwards along Whitehall to the Houses of Parliament , then head straight to the National Gallery , which holds a huge collection of European art. Pause for lunch at Portrait on the top floor of the gallery.

Stroll down towards the Thames, crossing at Hungerford Bridge, before taking a ride on the London Eye (book ahead online). Walk the South Bank  – home to Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre and the National Theatre – enjoying the buskers performing along the riverside and the skateboarders practising under Queen Elizabeth Hall. Tate Modern , a former power station, is home to a huge modern art collection. The views of the city from the 10th floor are spectacular, particularly of the Millennium Bridge across to St Paul’s Cathedral .

Take a tour of Shakespeare’s Globe or head straight for drinks and dinner in Borough Market near London Bridge. Try Arabica Bar & Kitchen for modern Middle Eastern sharing dishes, or join the people waiting patiently for a seat at popular pasta restaurant Padella .

The Square Mile is the finance centre of London, and also home to the Tower of London . Meet the ravens and have a chat with the Beefeaters before going in to the Jewel House to admire the spectacular Crown Jewels. When you’re done with the Tower, take a moment to admire the icon that is Tower Bridge , either from the riverside or on a visit that takes you up to a glass floor, 42m above the Thames. Stop for a pub lunch at The Ship .

The central hall of the British Museum in London is a large round white space flooded with light from the glass ceiling

Back to the West End we go, either on the tube or by bus, allowing you to see more of the city. Go to the British Museum and follow the object trails or hire an audio guide to help you get the most out of this collection of world treasures and culture.

Stop by the Museum Tavern for a well-earned drink. An evening in Soho, Chinatown or Leicester Sq beckons. Here you can find any kind of food, drink or entertainment to suit your mood. If it’s theatre you’re after, try your luck for last-minute tickets at the booths in Leicester Sq.

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How to Spend the Perfect Weekend in London Itinerary

  • England / Europe / In the City / London

Visiting London for the first time? Here’s the perfect 2-3 day weekend in London itinerary.

London has been calling us (from their red phone booths) for some time now. So, we packed our bags to check out one UK’s oldest cities for a long weekend. From Big Ben to Westminster Abbey, London’s historical attractions are endless, and there is always something to see, do, and eat.

the perfect weekend in london itinerary

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Last Updated: March 29, 2024

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  • Best Things to Do in London

More Things to Do in London

  • Map of the Best Things to Do
  • What to Eat in London
  • Where to Stay

Essential Tips

Planning checklist, 11 best things to do in london for your first visit.

With the Go City London Pass , we had the opportunity to check out a few popular attractions, as well as some other points of interest that were recommended to us by the Go City team.

We organized our days based on area. Here are a few things you shouldn’t miss when visiting London.

london for the weekend

Weekend in London itinerary Day 1

For our 3 day weekend in London, we picked what to do each day based on what was nearby in each area.

1. Take a Picture with Big Ben

London SW1A 0AA, UK, map

Speaking of icons, everyone knows what Big Ben is, even if you’ve never been to London. Even though it’s currently closed for renovations and restorations, you can still stop by and snap a quick photo with Big Ben. The Houses of Parliament , a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is attached to the clock tower. It is currently still open for tours.

It’s a 10-minute walk from Westminster Abbey if you want to knock out a couple of places simultaneously.

Local Tip: Best photo spot is under Westminster Bridge, which leads right up to Big Ben. Arrive before sunrise to avoid the crowds.

famous clock in london + the best weekend in london itinerary

2. Westminster Abbey →

Dean’s Yard, London SW1P 3PA, UK, map

Westminster Abbey was our favorite attraction, hands down. It is steeped in centuries of history and has significantly shaped the British monarchy, religion, and culture. It has been the site of numerous royal weddings, coronations, and burials, including that of British monarchs and other notable figures throughout history.

We enjoyed the self-guided audio tour, which provides visitors with detailed information about the site’s history, architecture, and notable features. Check out key areas, such as the Poets’ Corner, the Coronation Chair, and the Royal Tombs.

Local Tip: Entry is free if you’re attending Sunday service, but they do not provide tours during this time.

westminster abbey tours

3. Buckingham Palace →

London SW1A 1AA, UK, map

It’s a longer stroll to Buckingham Palace from Westminster Abbey, but you can walk through Hyde Park on the way. Buckingham Palace attracts millions of visitors annually and holds endless cultural and symbolic importance. It’s a must-visit destination for tourists from around the world. Check out the Changing of the Guard ceremony and admire the architectural splendor.

To get the best picture of Buckingham Palace, you can head to the Victoria Memorial, located in front of the palace. It offers a great vantage point for capturing the grandeur of the palace’s façade.

Local Tip: The Changing of the Guard ceremony typically occurs daily during the summer months (April to July) and on alternate days for the rest of the year. Be sure to check the official website for the most up-to-date schedule. The ceremony usually starts at around 11:00 AM and lasts approximately 45 minutes. Arrive early to secure a good viewing spot!

buckingham palace changing of the guard

4. Kensington Palace

Kensington Gardens, London W8 4PX, UK, map

Glimmering golden gates, opulent State Rooms, and stories of Queen Victoria’s birthplace are just a few things you can’t miss at Kensington Palace. Don’t miss your chance to visit the historic King’s State Apartments and the Queen’s State Apartments.

They’ve been meticulously restored to their former glory, providing a glimpse into the luxurious lifestyles of past monarchs. The historic Sunken Garden, where Diana, the Princess of Wales Memorial Statue stands, also can’t be missed.

Pro Tip: Get there early to avoid huge crowds, especially on weekend days. We made reservations to tour the palace when it opened.

visit kensington palace

Weekend in London itinerary Day 2

We started day 2 of our long weekend in London at Tower Bridge. After the bridge, we checked out the Tower of London at one end of the bridge and Borough Market at the other end. Finally, we ended the day with a Thames River Cruise.

5. Tower Bridge

Tower Bridge Rd, London SE1 2UP, UK, map

We relished the hike up the 206 steps and the magnificent views of the River Thames. Tower Bridge is such an iconic symbol of London. Once you reach the top, walk across the glass floor walkways where you can capture great photos of London’s skyline and learn about the engineers who designed the historic structure.

Naturally, we wanted to get some shots with the bridge. Here are a couple of our favorite photo spots:

  • The Queens Walk is the most popular place to take photos with the Tower Bridge as your backdrop.
  • More London Riverside –  this metropolitan area gets crowded, so go early morning if you don’t want anyone else in your photos.

Local Tip: Plan to visit the Tower of London since it’s nearby.

tower bridge london + the perfect weekend in london itinerary

6. Tower of London →

London EC3N 4AB, UK, map

See the Crown Jewels at the Tower of London , a 900-year-old castle and fortress. It was pretty neat to see the crowns, scepters, orbs, and other regalia used in royal ceremonies by the monarchs.

Pro Tip: Consider joining one of the Yeoman Warder guided tours, which your admission includes. Their knowledgeable guides share fascinating stories about the Tower’s history.

tower of london visit

7. Borough Market

London SE1 9AL, UK, map

Where all of your gastronomic dreams become a reality, from farm-fresh produce to yummy street food, your taste buds will rejoice after eating through one of London’s oldest markets. We loved the freshly shucked oysters at Richard Haward Oysters and the piping hot paella from Bomba. I wanted to carry an entire cheese wheel from Kappacasein.

Local Tip: Most food stalls are outdoors, so dress accordingly.

See More: 25 Best Markets in the World to Put On Your Bucket List

borough market in london + best weekend in london itinerary

8. Thames River Cruise →

Westminster Pier, London SW1A 2JH, United Kingdom, map

Embark on a Thames River Cruise with City Cruises of London and immerse yourself in the beauty and history of the city from a unique perspective. We loved the panoramic views of London’s renowned landmarks, such as Tower Bridge and the iconic Big Ben. Throughout the cruise, knowledgeable guides provide fun facts and stories about the landmarks you pass along the way.

City Cruises offers a variety of cruise options to suit your preferences. If you have more time, consider partaking in an afternoon tea or romantic dinner cruise.

Pro Tip: Try to secure a seat on the open-air deck for the best photo opps and unobstructed views.

See More: What You Need To Know Before Your First Douro River Cruise

city cruises london

Weekend in London itinerary Day 3

Because it is a trek to get out to Watford, you want to plan for a pickup and transportation. You will spend half the day here. We returned to London, did some shopping, and ended the long day with delicious food and desserts in London’s Chinatown.

9. Warner Brothers Studio Tour →

Studio Tour Dr, Leavesden, Watford WD25 7LR, United Kingdom, map

The Harry Potter Warner Bros. Studio Tour offers an enchanting and immersive experience for fans of the Wizarding World. Step onto actual film sets and see behind-the-scenes secrets on how they created the iconic film series. The detailed costumes, original film sets, and interactive exhibits utterly blew us away.

Their food court serves up film favorites (think Butter Beer, Hogwarts-themed burgers, and chocolate frogs) and afternoon tea. Check out the very extensive shop where you can purchase a customized wand on your way out. You’ll easily spend half a day here!

Pro Tip: Be sure to book early in advance since they only sell a limited number of tickets daily. Don’t forget to schedule ample time for travel as it’s not in Central London.

london warner bros harry potter tour

10. Check Out Iconic Shopping

87-135 Brompton Rd, London SW1X 7XL, UK, map

London is renowned for its quintessential shopping streets that offer a wide range of fashion, luxury brands, department stores, and unique boutiques. Here are some of the most famous shopping streets in London:

  • Oxford Street: Located in the heart of London, Oxford Street is one of the busiest shopping streets in the world. It stretches over a mile and is home to numerous flagship stores.
  • Regent Street: Just a short walk from Oxford Street, Regent Street is known for its historic architecture and a mix of upscale boutiques and department stores.
  • Bond Street: Bond Street is synonymous with luxury shopping in London. This exclusive street is home to high-end fashion boutiques, prestigious jewelry stores, and renowned art galleries.
  • Harrods on Brompton Road: Slow clap A London shopping icon. Even if you’re just window shopping at this historic department store, we recommend buying a delicious pastry from one of their many cafes.

Local Tip: Take advantage of the famous Christmas light displays that decorate these streets during the holidays.

best shopping areas in london

11. Eat Around Chinatown

Gerrard Pl, London W1D 5QJ, UK, map

I would move to London’s Chinatown for the food! Luckily (or not), our hotel was just a couple of metro stops away from Chinatown, and we ate there every day of our trip.

Be sure to get authentic soup dumplings from Dumplings’ Legend, fresh pineapple buns from The Eight, and Peking duck from The Duck and Rice. Wash everything down with a cold bubble tea at my all-time boba shop, Happy Lemon.

Local Tip: Venture beyond the main streets and explore the side alleys, shops, and hidden gems. These lesser-known restaurants provide a unique dining experience away from the crowds and serve authentic Chinese food.

chinatown gate london

Map of the Best Things to Do in London

If we planned for more time, I wish we got to visit neighborhoods like Notting Hill and Cambridge as well as these things to do in London.

  • Have Traditional Afternoon Tea
  • British Museum
  • Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre
  • The London Eye
  • St. Paul’s Cathedral
  • The Beatles Museum (Liverpool)
  • The Seven Stars, London’s Oldest Pub

london eye champagne experience + best weekend in london itinerary

Best Places to Eat in London

Here are a few places we tried and loved:

  • Dishoom (Various Locations) $$ – At dinner, a limited number of reservations are available for parties of six or more guests. You’ll most likely be waiting in a long line, so prepare in advance. If you’re lucky, they’ll serve you some of their famous chai while you wait. Haidilao Hot Pot $$ – Josh isn’t the biggest fan of hot pot, but he claims Haidilao is the best he’s ever had. We don’t have a location at home, so this place was beyond our expectations. They also provide snacks and drinks in the waiting area. Come hungry.
  • Cafe TPT $$ – Known for authentic Hong Kong street food such as beef ho fun and minced pork hot pot. If you’re feeling adventurous, we recommend the lemongrass soft-shell crab.  
  • Evelyn’s Table $$ – A Michelin-star restaurant led by Head Chef James Goodyear. Think intimate tasting menu with 18th-century pub vibes.  

best places to eat in chinatown london

Best Places to Stay in London

  • Book what you want to do in advance. Because London is such a popular destination for so many, we missed out on some things, like Afternoon Tea, because they were already fully booked.
  • You don’t have to tip here, like most countries outside the US, but if you feel inclined, you can round up to the nearest Pound or tip 10-12% of your bill total.
  • Purchase the London Pass for the metro system, bus, and more. You can also use your tap to pay international credit card and pay as you go, but it will cap off at around £8 per day. See more details here . 
  • Always wear layers , pack an umbrella or raincoat, and wear comfy shoes. You’ll be walking plenty. London is known for its rainy and cloudy weather.
  • The UK uses a type G plug for most appliances, so bring a universal adapter for your electronics.
  • Be mindful of the traffic flow as drivers in the UK drive on the left side. Exercise caution and pay attention to the signs at crosswalks and bus stops.
  • Pickpockets are common in London, especially in crowded areas, tourist spots, and on public transportation. Check your surroundings and avoid distractions like using your phone excessively or wearing headphones that might limit your awareness.
  • Get a Go City London Pass to check out multiple attractions. The pass gives you access to over 90 popular attractions, including several on our list, at a fraction of the cost.
  • Get comprehensive insurance for your trip.
  • Download these helpful language apps .
  • Find a great deal on London hotels .
  • Arrange a rental car for your trip.
  • Book a tour for your visit.
  • Get airport lounge access .
  • Buy a travel charger to keep your devices charged.
  • Get a new backpack for your trip.
  • Buy a London travel guide .
  • Pack the appropriate shoes for your trip.
  • Don’t forget your in-flight essentials .
  • Get a London Pass to save money on attractions.

Which of these things to do in London are on your travel bucket list? Anything else you would add to a weekend in London itinerary?

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things to see in london england + the perfect weekend in london itinerary

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“Discovery consists not of seeking new lands but in seeing with new eyes ” – M. Proust

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Josh + Macy

Josh and Macy are creative southern kids who love exploring local and international cultures. They’ve long believed that traveling is about getting out of your comfort zone and trying new things. They are currently based out of Atlanta.

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A girl in red with tower bridge in background

Weekend In London: An Epic 3 Days In London Itinerary

January 16, 2024 //  by  Follow Me Away //   Leave a Comment

Are you looking for how to spend 3 days in London? If so, I have you covered with this epic itinerary!

Let me be your London trip planner and take the guesswork out of how to spend 3 days in London! I love spending weekends in London and think it is the perfect amount of time to explore all the city has to offer. From world-class museums, attractions, and landmarks to high-tea and public parks, there is so much to see in this city!

You might be asking what a weekend in London will cost. That depends on your personal preference. But, unlike in other major cities in Europe, many of the museums are free of charge to enter!

I have a guide for everything you need to know about planning a trip to London and the best times to visit! I love visiting during the holiday period when everything is decorated [go in November to avoid crowds], and find late [or very early] summer another period I enjoy when the weather is warm and there are fewer crowds!

A girl in red hat and pink dress standing along the Thames overlooking the Tower Bridge at Sunset

3 Day Weekend In London Itinerary 

It is my experience that most flights from the US arrive early in the morning in London; for day 1 of your three days, they will start on arrival! Be sure to pack comfy walking shoes, as your first day will be jam-packed with exploring the best of London.

Stop 1 Tower of London and Tower Bridge 9:00 am

On your first day in London, stop 1 will be the Tower of London and Tower Bridge. Located outside the burn area of the Great Fire of London, this 9th-century castle, built by William the Conqueror, was spared from devastation. Explore over 1000 years of history, see crown jewels, and walk back in history.!

Next, walk across the iconic Tower Bridge. Book tickets to travel back in time as you explore the inside of the bridge. Explore the Victorian engine rooms, or climb 42 meters above ground on a glass walkway where you can take in views of the city! I suggest this for first-time visitors!

Insider Tip: To get amazing views of the Tower Bridge, you will want to head to London Bridge to catch the best views!

Here are multiple tours that I personally suggest! Each is different, so look at which matches your interest!

Click here to book : London: Tower of London and Tower Bridge Early-Access Tour

Click here to book :  London: Tower of London and Crown Jewels Exhibition Ticket

Click here to book: London: Tower Bridge Entry Ticket

weekend travel london

Stop 2:  Leadenhall Market, 10:30 am 

With 3 days in London, you have to visit a market! The Leadenhall Market dates back to 1321 and is part of Roman London! Here, you will find shops and restaurants. Even if you are not hungry, stop in to view this historical building!

I like to grab a pasty at French bakery Aux Merveilleux de Fred and coffee at Danish coffee spot Hagen to keep me going until lunch. There are tons of options to choose from!

weekend travel london

Stop 3: Sky Garden 11:00 am

Perfect for year-round visits, as it is indoor with floor-to-ceiling windows on the 42nd floor with views over central London. It feels as if you are in a botanical garden in the sky, one of the best free things to do in London for 3 days!

Insider tip: You MUST reserve your entry in advance! The window opens shortly before you are set to visit, so make sure to do this in advance of your trip! It is free but you MUST reserve in advance!

The view off the rooftop of the Sky Garden with views over central London is one of the free things to do in 3 days in London

Stop 4: St. Paul Cathedral 12 pm

Jump on the Central Line at Bank Station and ride 3 minutes to St. Paul, where your next stop is St. Paul Cathedral. As this is a place of worship, visitors must pay to go inside. I like viewing the church from outside on my walk along the Thames. You can visit indoors, as well as the dome for views of the city.

The white exterior of St. Paul cathedral

Stop 5: Millenium Bridge 12:15 pm

From St Paul’s Cathedral, walk down Peter’s Hill towards the glass Millennium Bridge. Here you will be crossing the Thames, where you can also get a view of Tower Bridge.

Insider tip: This was a Harry Potter filming location!

Walk high above the city on the Millenium bridge connecting st. paul cathedral to the tate modern musum

Stop 6: Shakespeare Globe 12:30 pm

For theater lovers looking for what to do with 3 days in London, make sure you visit Shakespeare Globe Theatre. You will get to see how plays were performed in open-air spaces during Shakespeare’s times.

This realistic reconstructed Elizabethan playhouse was originally built in 1599 and destroyed by the great fire of London in 1666. This “new” theater opened in 1997, and during summer plays are performed here!

Click here to See More : Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre Guided Tour & Experience

the Shakespeare globe is a must-see on 3 days in London the wood and white exterior is a replica of playhouse

Stop 7 Borough Market – Lunch 1:30 pm

On your first afternoon in London, you must grab lunch in the Borough Market! Taste all the iconic British dishes, along with other culinary treats! For those who are overwhelmed, take a tour that will guide you on all the best foods in the market!

This central London market is open every day but Monday from 10 am to 5 pm . Built in the 1700s this market has a rich history of passageways and cobblestone streets that transformed into a foodie destination with over 1000 vendors.

Some favorite vendor choices:

  • Brindisa – chorizo roll
  • Gujarati Rasoi   – Vegetarian Indian
  • Kappacasein – grilled raclette (cheese)
  • Ginger Pig – sausage roll
  • Black Pig – sandwiches
  • Padella – pasta
  • Arabica – Middle Eastern food
  • Bao Borogh – bao buns
  • Mallow – 100 % plant-based
  • Wright Oyster House – oysters

Click here to Boo k : London: Borough Market Flavors of London Food Tour

Click here to Book: London: Borough Market Foodie Walking Tour with Tastings

the lively borough market where you can find tons of people trying differnt foods

Stop 8: Tate Modern 3 pm

The Tate Modern is just a 15-minute walk from Borough Market! The first museum on your 3-day weekend in London itinerary is the Tate Modern. Did I mention the best part? The museum is free (please note that paid admission is required for special exhibits)! This art gallery is home to one of the largest collections of modern and contemporary art post-1900s worldwide.

The museum is open daily from 10 am to 6 pm. See works from Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Marcel Duchamp, Jackson Pollock, Salvador Dali, Andy Warhol, and David Hockney.

  • Don’t miss the viewing platform on the rooftop
  • I love to grab a cup of tea during wintertime in the Tate Caffe
  • Popular Yayoi Kusama:  Infinity Mirror Room only runs until April 2024 (£10)

Click here to book : London: Tate Modern Official Guided Tour with Art Expert

The exterior of the Tate Modern a free museum in London from across the Thames river

Stop 9: National Gallery 4:30 pm

From the Tate Modern, walk across Millenium Bridge to Blackfriars underground and take the District line to the Embarkment. It is then a 10-minute walk to the National Gallery, open until 6 pm. Just so you know, admission is free, but timed tickets are required!

I love a quick visit to this museum to see works of art by my favorite artist Monet. Also featured are Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Jan van Eyck,  and the over 2600 paintings in the collection!

For those who want to try a high tea, why not book a National Gallery Guided Tour and Afternoon Tea ! 

Click here to book : London: National Gallery Self-Guided Audio Tour in English

Click here to Book: London: National Gallery Guided Tour and Afternoon Tea

Click here to Book : London: Explore the National Gallery with an Art Expert

The exterior of the National Gallery with reflecting pond at sunset.

Stop 10: Trafalgar Square 5:30

Trafalgar Square is one of the public squares in central London you must see on your 3 days in London. Museums and shops surround this buzzing area and are also home to Nelson’s Column statue and a fountain!

Named in 1830, the public square has been a gathering place for Londoners and visitors alike. It was transformed into a pedestrian area in 2003.

Trafalgar square with its statues and fountains is a pedestrian-only area in London

Stop 11: Covent Garden and Dinner 6 pm

You will always find me exploring Covent Garden, especially on a London long weekend itinerary!  This area is comprised of 17 cross streets, a historic piazza, a Royal Opera House, Apple Market, and home to tons of shopping and restaurants. You can’t miss Neal’s Yard and Neal’s Street one of the prettiest streets with cafes.

I find the history so interesting; it was the first urban planned area of London and after the Great Fire of 1666 it was opened as London’s largest market! It was not until the 1980s that it was saved from demolition and renovated as Europe’s first shopping center.

I suggest wandering around for a bit before stopping at a restaurant that catches your eye. After if you are not too tired, grab a cocktail at a bar. This area comes alive after dark.

the colorful homes in Neals Yard of Coveent Garden are brick and brightly colored windows with ivy a must-see on your 3 days in London

Day 2 

On Day 2 of your 3 days in London weekend trip, you will explore the iconic sights, and attractions such as the London Eye, parks, museums, high tea, a boat ride on the Thames, and a play! This is another packed day to make the most of your trip!

Stop 1: Big Ben 9 am 

After breakfast, the first stop on day 2 of your 3 days in London itinerary is Big Ben. While Big Ben is the name of the bell inside the clock tower, this iconic London landmark is part of the House of Parliament.

Those interested in going inside Big Ben (climbing 334 spiral steps) must book their tickets several months in advance on the UK Parliament website! I always just marvel at the architecture from the grassy area below! It just reopened in 2023 after a 3-year renovation period!

The iconic clocktower known as BIg Ben and the Parliament building with the river and a red London bus passing by

Stop 2: West Minister Abbey 9:30 am

West Minister Abbey is the royal church of London and a must of things to see in London in 3 days built in 1066, it has been the home of British royal coronations and weddings! 

I find the Gothic architecture stunning, and always marvel at the coronation chair the oldest piece of furniture in the entire country! Please remember this is a place of worship so dress appropriately and be respectful!

Click here to book :  London: Westminster Abbey, Big Ben & Buckingham Palace Tour

Click here to book :  London: Westminster Abbey Entrance Ticket

The Gothic Architecture of West Minister Abby

Stop 3: Changing of the guard 10:00 am

You can’t come to London and not catch the changing of the guards. My favorite “hidden gem” spot to see the changing of the guard is off of Whitehall at the Royal Horse Guards . Stand to the left or right-hand side of the building to be just steps away from the changing of the guard. 

I highly recommend putting this stop on your itinerary for London in 3 days, as it is truly amazing the watch!

  • Remember, do not get too close or touch the horses or guards!
  • January to April, and August to December the changing of the guard happens on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday at 10:45 am.
  • During Summer (May to July) happens daily at 10:45 am
  • Book a tour to take the guesswork out of seeing Changing of Guard

Click here to book : London: Westminster and Changing of the Guard Tour

The British guards in the iconic red and black dress with hats at the changing of the guard ceremony

Stop 4: London Eye 11:30 am

On Day 2, of your London trip itinerary will bring you to the iconic London Eye. This attraction showcased an aerial view of London from one of the tallest observation wheels in the world! There is a reason there is always a line, and why it needs to be on your 3 days in London itinerary. While expensive, I very much enjoy going especially when visiting London with friends who have never been!

On a clear day, you can see 360-degree views of the city including famous landmarks like Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, and Tower Bridge. 

  • Book the FAST TRACK option to skip waiting in line!
  • I always like to book the second time to cut down on time spent in line ( visit 11 am to 5:45 pm daily) 

Click here to book : London: The London Eye Entry Ticket 

Click here to book: London: London Eye and Madame Tussauds Combo Ticket

The iconic London Eye towering over the city of London

Stop 5:  Churchill War Room 12 pm

As a history lover, the Churchill War Rooms is one of my favorite London museums. A visit here will allow you to step back in time to WWII, which housed the underground command center of the British government. 

  • Included in your London Pass, book your tickets in ADVANCE
  • Open daily from 9:30 am to 6 pm
  • Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 9 am taking a special behind-the-scenes secret room tour (I learned SO MUCH!)

Click here to book : London: Walking Tour and Churchill War Rooms Entry

Inside the churchill war rooms the map room was instrumental in WWii

Stop 6: Lunch 1 pm

I suggest eating a light lunch, as later on you enjoy high tea. I like to pop into Tesco for a grab-and-go meal deal to enjoy while walking through the park.(Check out our guide to London Grocery stores ) But, if you want to sit down and enjoy a meal head to the Two Chairmen pub . The food and service here is excellent. Try the steak and ale pie, vintage cheddar mac, or fish and chips with peas!

Fish and Chips with mushy peas a London lunch staple

Stop 7: St. James Park 1:15 pm

One of my favorite things about central London is the parks! If traveling during summer, or spring, why not have a picnic in the park? Strolling in the gorgeous parks is one of my favorite activities on short London trips!

St. James ranks as one of my favorites as it leads to Buckingham Palace. This stunning park has manicured shrubs, gardens, ponds, and more! For those traveling with children, there is an amazing playground here. Even during winter , it is magical.

One of the largest parks in London St James has grassy areas, gardens, pond and more

Stop 8: Buckingham Palace 1:45 pm

Buckingham Palace is on EVERY London bucket list and needs to be on yours. Most visitors only ever take pictures from outside the gate with the guards, but, I highly recommend you book tickets to see the INSIDE of Buckingham Palace.

  • Book tickets to see the Royal State Room – see the royal collection of artwork
  • Check the official Buckingham Palace website for tour options

Buckingham palace in the summertime with the flower gardens and cotton candy sky

Stop 9: High Tea at the Drawing Room 3:30 pm

One of the first things I do when planning a trip to London is book my high-tea reservation. I am already salivating thinking about the scones and clotted cream. The place I return to trip after trip is high tea in the Drawing room at Rocco Forte Hotel.

I love grabbing tea in the wood-paneled room with a fireplace and mural ceiling make the perfect backdrop to enjoy traditional tea service. While high tea is pricy, I think it is worth the splurge! I suggest choosing the seasonal tea made only for tea service! You can choose from a traditional, plant-based base or children’s tea menu, and add on a glass of champagne!

Other Amazing Places to Enjoy High-Tea I recommend during an afternoon in London:

  • The iconic Ritz hotel
  •  Langham and Savoy hotels also have delicious traditional high tea
  • For family-friendly themed tea I suggest Science Tea at the Ampersand Hotel
  • Shakespeare theme high tea at the Globe Theatre

High tea service with gold tiered trays with flowered tea cups and. silver pots with scones is one of the things to do in 3 days in London

Stop 10: Uber Boat by Thames Clipper 5:30 pm

I think one of the unique vantage points to see any city is from the water. If looking at what to do with 3 days in London, why not take a trip down the Thames River ( included with a London Pass)? 

  • The boat leaves every 10-20 minutes from 10 am to 6 pm
  • 19 piers to board from
  • Admire iconic London sights from the water
  • Climate-controlled cabins and outdoor seating 

Click here to book : London: Uber Boat by Thames Clippers Single River Ticket

a boat in the Thames River sailing towards Tower Bridge

Stop 10: Show in West End + Drinks 6:30 pm

One of my favorite ways to spend an evening out on a weekend getaway to London is by seeing a play in the West End. Tons of shows are performed, and I have seen everything from Mamma Mia, Wicked, Book of Mormon, Hamilton, Phantom of the Opera, and Les Miserables. If it is in your budget, and you love theater, go see a play in London!

If you are looking to save money, there is a TKTS discount ticket booth in Leicester Square for same-day show tickets!

After the show, I like to grab drinks to cap off the night . Some of my favorite bars are below! The perfect ending for night two of your 3-day itinerary for London!

  • Connaught Bar – the old fashion here is perfect
  • Elementary – walk-in only with communal table perfect for Solo travelers
  • A Bar with Shapes for name
  • Swift – one of the few you can make reservations at

The London West End at night , town in buzzing

My favorite way to spend a Sunday ( Day 3 of your weekend trip to London) is by starting in Nottinghill for a leisurely breakfast and stroll! Then hit a pub for Sunday Roast and visit a museum or two!

Stop 1: Notting Hill 8:30 am

I find Notting Hill to be one of the prettiest areas of London, perfect for a Sunday morning stroll. You can not go wrong with any of the local spots, depending on what you are in the mood for! I especially find the coffee in this area to be amazing!

After breakfast, stroll along and see the colorful homes in Notting Hill one of the most Instagrammble spots in London , or head to Portobello Road Market. For book lovers, pop into the numerous bookstores ( I love to browse and bring home a book each trip).

a girl in a pink skirt standing in front of the colorful homes in nottinghil

Stop 2: Hop-on hop-off tour 10 am

After spending 3 days in London, your feet are sure to need a break. I love the option of taking a hop-on-hop-off bus tour (included with your London Pass). On this tour, sit back, relax, and listen to the audio guide’s history tour of the city.  

The bus stops at over 36 attractions throughout London on 3 different routes. I love this option, as you can hop off at any stop that piques your interest, or explore a new area or part of London that looks cool!

  • The Red Route tour is every 10 minutes from 8:30 am to 4 pm and takes 150 minutes
  • The Green Route is every 20 minutes from 8:55 am to 3:55 pm and takes 35 minutes
  • The Blue Route runs every 20 minutes from 8:30 am to 6:30 pm and takes 1 hour

Click here to book : London: Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing-Tour

Click here to book : London: Tootbus London Discovery Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour

Jump on red hop on hop off bs tour in London with iconic red phone booth and opera building

Stop 3: Pub for Sunday Roast 12:30 pm

Eating Sunday Roast at an English Pub is a must on any London itinerary for 3 days! It is a hearty traditional British meal of roasted meat with potatoes, Yorkshire pudding, stuffing, and vegetables! A must-try in my book, and it pairs very well with a pint! 

Stop by any pub that looks good, or is on a best-of list, and cozy up for some traditional British food. If it is your first time in London, I would spend a few minutes researching some pubs you want to visit!

The perfect way to spend your last afternoon on your 3 days in London!

A Sunday Roast has roast meat, puff pastry, and potatoes with a sauce

Stop 4: Option A Cable Car 2:00 pm

I recently took the train out to Canary Wharf/ O2 Arena to take the IFS Cloud Cable Car and it was a highlight of my itinerary for London! You have two options, either catch the cable car from North Greenwich or the Royal Victoria side of the river. There is also an option for a round-trip, although I thought one-way was plenty! We used our oyster cards to purchase tickets.

As the cable car ascends into the air, you will get gorgeous views of the O2 Arena, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, and London skyline! I did this during the day but I think sunset would also be perfect!

For those who are looking for something more adventurous why not try the Dare Skywalk at Tottenham Stadium? This is something unique to those looking at what to do for a weekend in London! Where you will suit up and climb the roof for an urban adventure over London! I can’t wait to try this on my next trip.

Click here to book : London: Uber Boat by Thames Clippers and Cable Car Ticket

Click here to book: London: Take on the Skywalk at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium

The cable car above the 02 area in the docklands area of london

Stop 4 : Option B Historic Pubs Walking Tour 2 pm

For those who are not interested in taking a Cable Car or adventure on a Stadium roof, why not add a Historic pub walking tour to your list of things to do in London over a weekend? 

This tour starts at 2 pm and explores the best pubs in Central London on this 2-mile walk that lasts 3 hours!

Click here to book : London: Historic Pubs of Central London Walking Tour

Click here to book : London: Royal Historic Pubs Walking Tour

A traditional English pub with dark blue and gold along with green shrubs

Stop 5: Old Royal Naval College 4 pm

Across the River from Canary Wharf you will find the Old Royal Navy College open daily until 5 pm. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is included for those with the London Pass. 

My favorite part of this museum is that you can’t miss the magnificent painted hall. Designed in the 18th century this Baroque hall features over 200 images on the ceiling and walls depicting English royalty. It recently reopened in 2019 after a years-long conservation project!

Click here to book : London: Painted Hall and Tour of Old Royal Naval College

the stunning painted hall in the Old Royal Naval college has over 200 paintings on walls and ceiling

Stop 6: Dinner in Chinatown 5:30 pm

On the last stop of your 3-day Weekend London trip, you will head to the Chinatown neighborhood. You will know you have arrived when you pass under one of the 4 ornate gates. This vibrant neighborhood is the perfect spot to wander and find dinner! 

After dinner, I love to get dessert and try the pineapple buns, custard pastries, and ice cream or bubble tea!

  • Dumpling Legend – for dumplings and dim sum
  • Cafe TPT – Street food in a restaurant setting
  • Good Fried Chicken – grab-and-go popcorn chicken
  • Four Seasons – roast duck and crispy pork

One of the 4 ornate Gates that let you know you are entering Chinatown

Where To Stay on your London itinerary 

Check out my complete guide to where to stay in London for more options! 

Kimpton Fitzroy London

I find the Kimpton Fitzroy to be one of the most architecturally stunning hotels in London. Located in Bloomsbury, this hotel is within walking distance of Covent Garden. The stunning mosaic tile floors and fresco-painted walls of the common areas are in contrast to the rooms which are white and calming. Grab a drink or enjoy tea at the lobby bar Fitz. A great centrally located hotel for your London weekend trip!

the bedroom at the Kimpton Fitzroy bedrrom with calming colors and pops of artwork

NoMad London

For those looking at where to stay in London and want a luxurious stay, the NoMad Hotel in London. Located in Covent Garden is another hotel I keep returning to. The rooms feature wood floors, plush bedding, custom artwork, and ample space! The hotel has a restaurant inside a glass atrium, a lobby bar, and a restaurant. I love relaxing in the library after a day of exploring London.

A bedroom with claw foot bathrub and art work at the Nomad London

The Hoxton, Southwak

One of my favorite boutique hotel brands in London is the Hoxton. There are 4 locations in London however, this one is South of the Thames River in Blackfriars and is within walking distance of almost all the major attractions. The hotel is bright and lively with plants located throughout the lobby. The rooms are have concrete ceilings and very cozy! Each comes with free coffee, water, and tea! Plus there is a rooftop restaurant and the lobby bar serves up amazing cocktails.

The bedroom at Kimpton with large windows and table and warm and inviting large space

Where to Eat During Your 3 Days in London

Dishroom .

I strongly believe that some of the best food in London is Indian, and my favorite is Dishroom. They serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They also have a vegan menu!

I love ordering the dish room chicken tikka, vegetable samosas, the house chat, and the jackfruit biryani with a side of garlic naan. They also serve delicious cocktails!

Hobson’s Fish and Chips

Every London travel itinerary should include eating the best fish and chips, a London staple.  This family-run restaurant sources fish directly from the Billingsgate fish market, and potatoes grown in the UK. And for all my gluten-free travellers they have a delicious gluten-free batter. Plus, if you are Vegan my best friend said the banana blossom vegan fish was quite tasty!

I always opt for the Haddock over cod, and add on an order of mushy peas.

There is a reason Padella is on every best restaurant list. The pasta at this Borough Market staple. The dishes are “tasting” size, so I always suggest ordering several and sharing. Try dishes like tagliarini with dried chilis and garlic, fettuccine with mascarpone and lemon, agnolotti with pumpkin and sage butte, and pappardelle with dexter beef ragu.

Beware the restaurant does not take reservations and is quite small but the wait is worth it! A must-eat with 3 nights in London for dinner.

an Indian sampler platter with a variety of dishes with naan bread and other dishes

Getting To And Around London 

London is a very easy city to navigate once you understand public transportation. If traveling to London by air, there are 6 major airports, however, the two most popular for international flights are London Heathrow ( LHR) and Gatwick ( LGW) . For those traveling from other European cities, Luton (LTN), London City (LCY), and Stansted (STN)  are other popular airports.

While London St Pancras is the Eurostar terminal for those arriving by train from Paris and Brussels.

Now, for getting around London, I highly suggest taking public transportation . 

  • You can use your credit card to tap for lower fares throughout the tube ( underground – look for the red and white circle).
  •  London is broken into zones 1 to 6, with central London as zones 1-2. There are rush hour peak fares in the morning and evenings. 
  • The overground ( orange circle)
  • Train service from Gatwick ( regular train and Gatwick Express), same with Heathrow (underground or Heathrow Express)
  • Bus (cheapest option at under $2 ride)
  • Iconic London Black taxi ( MUST do once!) and Uber
  • Walking is very easy 

Look for the red circle underground sign like the one under Big Ben

Insider Tips For Your First Trip To London 

Oyster Card

For those traveling to London for a weekend, invest in an Oyster Card. It will save you so much money on metro rides, plus they cap the daily rides at just over £8! And for those with children, kids under 11 ride free with an Adult! The card does cost £5 to activate but you will save more than that in just one day!

One of my favorite free things to do in London is the Sky Garden! You MUST book your tickets 3 weeks in advance! You will be awarded a stunning view over London and it won’t cost you anything!

  Look the opposite way when crossing streets

Remember, in London, they drive on the opposite side of the road, which means when you cross the street you will need to look the opposite way (don’t worry they have reminders on the street for you!) 

Pack an umbrella

I always make sure to pack a little travel umbrella when traveling to London! Take it from me there is nothing worse than being caught in a rainstorm, or your hotel not having enough umbrellas. Be prepared so you can make the most of your weekend in London.

a rainy day in London with people holding umbrellas

London Pass

Many travelers overlook what I think is one of the biggest money and time savers, the London Pass. Choose from 1, 2, 3…day pass!  If you buy The London Pass it gives you advanced reservations to over 80 attractions, hop-on hop-off bus tours, guided walking tours, Thames Clipper boat rides, museums, and more on your 3 days in London itinerary!  I think the ability to skip lines and have advanced reservations makes purchasing the London Pass a no-brainer!

I opt to add the London Pass with an Oyster card when purchasing!

Visit Markets for Lunch

One of my top tips is to visit one of the many markets in London for Lunch. A few of my favorites are Borough, Maltby, Mercato, Camden, and Pop Brixton. Especially if traveling with friends, or family everyone can find exactly what they want to eat, or you can do as I do and sample a variety of dishes!

Take advantage of Free Museums

If you are looking to travel to London on a budget, visit the over 20 free museums in London . Choose from museums such as the British Museum and Library, Science Museum, Natural History Museum ( try the high tea here if traveling with kids), Museum of London ( one of my favorites), National Gallery, Tate Modern, and More!

Visiting the free museum in London can be a huge money saver for those on a tighter budget!

Check the Exchange Rate

I remember a time not too long ago when exchanging US Dollars for British Pounds you were losing 40% of your money. I always like to check exchange rates so that I can budget accordingly and know what things cost!

An assortment of British sterling pound bills

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27 Best Things to Do in London

27 Best Things to Do in London From Vintage Markets to Art Museums

London: the city that has anything and everything you could possibly want in a vibrant, world-class capital. Your only real problem is working out what you can miss. With over 170 museums, 3,000 parks, 3,500 pubs and an ever-changing number of restaurants, there’s almost too much to see, do and eat—even for a life-long Londoner.

Truly, the city is too large, and too rich in options, for you to get to it all in one visit; you'll have to make some hard choices. Which incredible food or clothing-market to browse? Tate Modern or the British Museum? Where should you pick for a perfect, full-English breakfast? Where's the best afternoon tea ? How do you pick from all the abundant pubs ? And don't get us started here on the best restaurants . Thankfully, our locally led list of the best things to do in London is here to help you decide—just don’t try to do it all in one day.

Read our complete London travel guide here .

This gallery has been updated with new information since its original publish date.

Tower of London with river in front

Tower of London Arrow

Built by William the Conqueror in 1066, this uncompromising slab of a building has been many things—including the site where Henry VIII ordered the execution of two of his wives. Now the Tower is most famous as the home of the Crown Jewels. Come, take a tour from one of the Beefeaters (offered every half hour), and gawp at the sparkling and the frightening alike.

A garden.

Kew Gardens Arrow

A spectacular 500 acre garden in west London, Kew boasts one of the biggest and most diverse botanical collections in the whole world. There’s been a botanic garden here since the 18th century when it was a royal palace; today it’s not only a UNESCO World Heritage site with over a whopping 50,000 plants, it’s also just a really lovely place to visit. You can spend a whole day gently wandering along the winding paths through the lawns, trees, lake, Japanese garden, rhododendron dell, rose garden and kid’s play area, as well as popping in and out of the grand glasshouses. It’s a calming and tranquil place (as long as you avoid the playground on a school holiday) but you can also learn plenty about plants along the way.

Tate Modern interior

Tate Modern Arrow

This former oil-fired power station sits smugly in the center of the South Bank, knowing that you’re interested in what’s going on inside. It’s filled to the rafters with paintings and sculptures by the likes of Picasso, Dali, Warhol, and Rothko, all set off perfectly by that gritty industrial interior. It’s rare that any exhibition at Tate Modern is awaited with anything less than bated breath, whether they’re the paid shows across the mid-levels of the institution or the vast and clever commissions to take over the massive space that is the Turbine Hall. You’re pretty much bound to be blown away. 

People walking in front of Shakespeare's Globe Theatre in London

Shakespeare’s Globe Arrow

In London, every building and street has history. And Shakespeare's Globe, although a reconstruction of the original Globe Theatre—where many of William Shakespeare's plays were first staged and which burned down in 1613 during a performance of 'Henry VIII'—is no exception. The theater was rebuilt not far from its original site, using construction methods and materials as close to the original as possible, and to watch a performance here is to step back in time with the Royal Shakespeare Company.

All Our Stories flags by designer Bethany Williams in Coal Drops Yard King's Cross

Coal Drops Yard Arrow

Ever since the Eurostar undersea rail link between Paris and London rolled into Kings Cross St. Pancras station, the formerly down-and-out neighborhood of Kings Cross has experienced a total transformation. Abandoned railway land with disused gas tanks now has been turned into new offices, shopping areas, fountains, apartments, green spaces, and more. There are posh supermarkets in converted train sheds, the coveted Central St. Martins London School of Art and Fashion, artisan restaurants like Hicce, and trendy ice cream shops like Ruby Violet. Granary Square, north of the station and surrounded by restored warehouses, has a 1,000-jet fountain that's great for kids, as well as canal-side, amphitheater-style seating. There’s also the gorgeous revamped Camley Street Natural Park, which is packed with stunning wildflowers and urban biodiversity. Google is building their London headquarters here, an office complex that is supposed to be so state-of-the-art it will reinvent everything we know about workplaces. Add starchitect Thomas Heatherwick's stunningly designed Coal Drops Yard, former coal sheds that are now a super desirable luxury shopping and eating indoor and outdoor destination space, and you no doubt want to hang out at this development in what was once a dark and dusty neighborhood.

Southbank London ferris wheel

South Bank Arrow

The South Bank is one of the London’s best bits. Generally located between the Westminster and London bridges, it offers about two-miles of excellent, largely state-funded arts and entertainment venues alongside breezy, traffic-free views of a succession of city landmarks (Big Ben, St. Paul's, the Tower of London) that lie on the north bank. No wonder it attracts over 14 million people per year. If you have limited time in the capital, South Bank is great because it has everything, including a selection of good restaurants and street food offerings.

Victoria  Albert Museum London

Victoria and Albert Museum Arrow

South Kensington’s V&A is one of the world’s largest art and design museums, and it's arguably London’s most glamorous. (Just the building itself is well worth the visit: a glorious red-brick palace filled with sculptural details, extravagant tiling, and frescos.) The collection is helpfully broken down into topics—fashion, theatre, furniture, architecture—and all are comprehensive, usually spanning several hundred (if not thousand) years. Don’t expect to tackle more than one or two galleries per visit, and do check out the seasonal exhibition. The collection is helpfully broken down into topics such as fashion, jewelry, theater and performance, furniture, architecture, ceramics etc and all are comprehensive, usually spanning several hundred (if not thousand) years. Don’t expect to tackle more than one or two galleries per visit.

An interior of a cafe.

E Pellicci Arrow

Chances are there will be a queue for this beloved British ‘greasy spoon’ cafe. The Pellicci family has been feeding east Londoners since 1900 and still make some of the best fry ups in town. Stepping inside is like entering a time warp: there’s beautiful ornate art deco wooden paneling, stained glass windows, formica tables and a huge steaming tea urn. In fact, it’s such an icon that English heritage has awarded it grade-II listed status. It’s lively, chaotic, and always great fun. Whatever food you choose, always order a cup of strong "builder’s" tea. There’s coffee, milkshakes, beer, wine, and even limoncello on the menu but nothing goes better with a breakfast than a perfectly brewed cuppa.

Sir John Soanes Museum London Exhibit

Sir John Soane's Museum Arrow

This is, without a doubt, the city’s most atmospheric museum, packed to the rafters with hundreds of interesting and impressive artworks and artifacts. The collection is pretty much whatever took Sir John Soane's eye, positioned in the place it looked best—so don’t go looking for order. Instead, go curious, as the walls give way to secret rooms the unobservant might miss. It's not the unknown it once was though, so unless you go first thing in the morning you'll probably have to wait in line.

Columbia Road Flower Market london

Columbia Road Flower Market Arrow

Weekly on Sundays, Columbia Road in East London's hip Shoreditch/Hackney neighborhood, transforms into a multicolored frenzy of stalls and flowers. This otherwise unassuming East End street is transformed into a swath of magnificent plant life, the air fragrant with blooms and the shouts of historic London's famous Cockney stallholders. It's as eccentric as it gets around here. You'll hear rushed deals and offers for a 'tenner' or 'fiver' (ten or five pounds) and because everything is so fresh, it's all gotta be gone by 2 p.m. 

An interior of a museum.

Dennis Severs' House Arrow

Fancy a trip back through time? Just around the corner from buzzy Spitalfields Market, there’s a beautiful old four story house in Spitalfields that is essentially a wonderful time warp. Eccentric American Dennis Severs bought the crumbling derelict building in 1979 and turned the whole thing into an amazing work of art, evocatively recreating the home life of different generations of a Huguenot family living from 1724 to 1919 (and living there himself at the same time!). Severs died in 1999 but the house is perfectly preserved and is one of the most incredible museums in London. This is quite a niche museum: one for history fans, interior enthusiasts and those into theatrical spaces, but truly anyone visiting will be instantly immersed into the bewitching experience. There’s only a small number of people allowed in at one time and everyone is respectfully tip-toeing around peering into chamber pots and studying the ghostly paintings.

Fortnum  Mason Tea London

Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon at Fortnum & Mason Arrow

This historic spot for afternoon tea has been an upper crust British favorite since it began importing leaves from Asia in 1707. It's no wonder the beloved tearoom was reopened in 2012 by the Queen after a sensitive refit. The room retains a fittingly regal affect, decorated in the store’s trademark eau de nil (take that, Tiffany). There’s often a pianist tinkling away in the corner of the airy elegant room in the afternoon. The tea itself will leave even the most discerning of tea snobs with their mouths open. There are 50 different blends and tea sommeliers to help you chose which one is for you.

An elevated view looking westwards of the London Skyline with St Paul's Cathedral at dusk

St. Paul's Cathedral Arrow

One of the most famous cathedrals in the world, St. Paul's (finished in 1708) is the masterpiece of architect Sir Christopher Wren, and its towering dome is probably second on the definitive list of symbols of London after Big Ben. It's awe-inspiring, magical yet somber and reflective, a place for prayer whether you're religious or not. 

Gallery view of David Hockney The Arrival of Spring Normandy 2020

Royal Academy of Arts Arrow

The Royal Academy of Arts, or the R.A., as it's more fondly known, has been around for 250 years run by artists, and is home to an incredible collection of global art. The R.A.'s collection is vast, including sculpture, drawing, painting and architecture. There are numerous classic works on show as well as themed exhibitions from the collection, and varied and regular temporary shows that sell out quickly. Annually there is the annual Summer Exhibition featuring plenty of new work from up and coming R.A. students and alumni, and major icons in the art world; it's well worth seeing. You can come for a short visit and still get plenty out of the R.A.—the buildings themselves are worth checking out alone if you like seeing 19th-century and modern 21st-century architecture blended together.

An exterior of a department store.

Liberty London Arrow

This is truly one of the most beautiful shops in London. A Grade II-listed boutique department store with an iconic mock-tudor façade constructed from the timbers of two ships, it’s well worth a visit for the shop itself. Founded by Arthur Lasenby Liberty in 1875 who wanted an emporium to show off the treasures from his travels, today the wood-paneled light-filled atriums and cozy side rooms are stuffed full of goodies, new and old. It’s atmospheric, eclectic and unlike any other department store we’ve ever visited. A visit to the store must include a peruse of the impressive fabric department: the rolls and rolls of colorful, intricate and fabulous prints that will make you wish you’d paid more attention in home economics. If sewing isn’t your thing, you can get ready-made bags, cushions, bedding and even chess boards adorned with the delicate Liberty patterns.

The Shard london

The Shard Arrow

Western Europe's tallest building at 309.6 metres, or 1,016 feet, high, The Shard houses London's first Shangri-la hotel , private apartments, offices and three high-end restaurants—Aqua Shard, Hutong and Oblix. All good reasons to visit of course but arguably the main one is the viewing gallery aka The View. Located on floors 68-72 and 244 meters above London, you have an unobstructed 360-degree, 40-mile view across the city.

Adam ChanlerBerat in “Amlie A New Musical” at Center Theatre GroupAhmanson Theatre.

West End Theatreland Arrow

London's answer to New York's Broadway cuts across a swathe of the West End of the city in Covent Garden, Soho, and Picadilly.  From Shakespeare to contemporary comedies and dramas like Hamilton, as well as countless famous musicals of old and many new, London's West End has it all. Who doesn't want to feel again the infectious glee of musical theatre choreography and the sweating happiness of curtain calls. With the shows coming back after a long closure due to coronavirus, the Criterion Theater is offering a wonderfully quirky musical version of Amelie—the popular French movie of the same name—for more affordable prices than the big-name shows.

The National Gallery London Museum

National Gallery Arrow

Set in London’s busiest open space, Trafalgar Square, this is the grandmother of galleries with more than 2,300 paintings spanning the 13th to the 19th centuries: Heavyweights include Van Gogh’s Sunflowers, Velazquez's Rokeby Venus, and Constable’s six-foot long The Hay Wain . It gets packed at weekends, but its so large that you can usually find a quiet corner. You can download an audio tour covering the museum's highlights, but you can also curate your own by selecting the paintings you want to see before you arrive. The seasonal exhibitions are the only ones you’ll pay for, and as you'd expect, most are spectacular ranging from Lucian Freud to Titian.

Borough Market London

Borough Market Arrow

The food hound's favorite London market (and the city's most atmospheric) occupies a sprawling site near London Bridge, both in a large covered area and spreading into the smaller maze of streets that surround it. Records show there’s been a market here since 1276 when it apparently caused traffic jams on London Bridge. What’s on offer? Gourmet goodies run the gamut and you’d be hard pressed not to find something you can’t get enough of and simply spend all day stuffing your face.

Highgate Cemetery london

Highgate Cemetery Arrow

A graveyard is always a somber place, but Highgate is also a celebratory one. You’ll recognize parts of it if you’ve seen Francis Ford Coppola’s ‘Dracula,’ and you'll find the final resting place of writers like George Eliot and Douglas Adams, science pioneers like Michael Faraday and pop culture icons like George Michael (although his grave isn't named as such;  his Panayiotou family plot is in the West Cemetery next to Lucien Freud). And believe it or not, for somewhere with so many legendary men and women buried in it, Highgate Cemetery is one of the least visited of London’s landmarks. But those who come do it for both the ghostly mystery of the place itself, as well as the celebrity dead.

British Museum London

British Museum Arrow

You could spend several lifetimes in the British Museum, Britain’s largest museum, without running out of artifacts to ponder. The collection is one of the largest in the world, arranged by location (Ancient Egypt, Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Greece and Rome), and the list of big hitters includes the Rosetta Stone and other finds from Ancient Egypt, Asia and the Middle East. Come early on a weekday for a less crowded experience, pick one gallery and stick to it, or go for a guided “eye-opener” tour.

Views of Kenwood House at Hampstead Heath

Hampstead Heath Arrow

Forget the perfect lawns of London's Royal Parks, Hampstead Heath, the vast and, in places wonderfully overgrown, tract of countryside just north of the rock ‘n’ roll neighborhood of Camden Town is the wild heart of the city and an undisputed highlight, so much so it's said to have inspired CS Lewis’s Narnia. The Heath covers 791 acres of woodland, playing fields, swimming ponds and meadows of tall grass perfect both for picnickers and couples in search of privacy. It’s truly beautiful.

This image may contain Human Person Wheel Machine Transportation Vehicle Motorcycle Footwear Shoe and Clothing

Portobello Market Arrow

Running through the center of the ever-fashionable Notting Hill neighborhood in West London, Portobello Road is know for everything from sixties models, photographers, artists and rockstars to rows of antiques stalls, hip pubs and Hugh Grant, but what we’re talking about is Portobello Market when the street is closed off Friday to Sunday and packed with people from far and wide. It’s that famous. Portobello is actually several markets rolled into one: There are antique and bric-a-brac shops, loads of food stalls and further up next to the Portebello Green arcade, emerging designers and vintage clothing shops.

The Serpentine Bridge connecting Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens

Hyde Park Arrow

Hyde Park is big. At one and a half miles long and a mile or so wide, it's one of London's largest Royal Parks, originally appropriated from the monks at Westminster Abbey by Henry VIII to hunt deer, but now the sort of space where anything goes. Think gangs of roller-bladers on the paths, mad swimmers and chill boaters in the Serpentine Lake, rowdy protestors at Speaker’s Corner and kids aplenty riding horses and tipping their toes into the Diana Memorial Fountain.

tayyabs curry london

Tayyabs Arrow

Most nights you’ll be waiting for at least half an hour before entering this famous, BYOB Punjabi diner in Whitechapel. Tayyabs is loud (and no one’s on a romantic date) but what you’re there for are the sizzling plates of meat. The main attraction is the lamb chops, served up spicy and marinated in a kadai masala with coriander, sliced onions, and chillies, and everything must be paired with freshly baked rotis, parathas, and naans. It’s a great spot for meat eaters and large groups looking for an affordable way to dine on exceptional Punjabi food.

General View of Churchill's Bedroom at Churchill War Rooms.

Churchill War Rooms Arrow

This underground lair, just around the corner from 10 Downing Street, is where Churchill spent endless hours plotting Allied victory during the Second World War. Come for the Map Room, which looks exactly as it did when the members of the War Cabinet abandoned it at the end of the war, and the Transatlantic Telephone Room, where Churchill had secret conversations with U.S. officials. Entry is currently timed so you won't be crowded, and there are some pandemic restrictions still in place in terms of social distancing, but it's easy to get around and see everything. The audio guide comes with your ticket and provides an extra insight into the operations that went on during the war, including sounds and speeches of the time. The museum is also fully wheelchair accessible.

The neon light facade at London jazz institution Ronnie Scott's

Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club Arrow

Nightlife institutions are institutions for a reason. And Ronnie Scott's, Soho’s premier jazz venue on Frith Street, never, ever disappoints. One rule: book your ticket in advance. Ronnie's is a concert venue, generally hosts two sittings a night—everyone from Nina Simone to Pharaoh Sanders has played here—and gigs get booked out quickly by tourists, aficionados and fellow musicians. You can, however, usually get into Ronnie’s Bar, a smaller more dance oriented venue upstairs, without advance notice, as well as into the 'late late' shows. The place itself is everything a jazz venue should be: dark, loud and enticing, romantic even, and so very Soho—you’ll probably feel like drinking whisky but Champagne always goes down better. When the music ends, and you fall out buzzing into the street, finish up with a bite at the legendary late-night favorite Bar Italia across the road. It’s just what's done.

weekend travel london

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The Travel Hack

How to plan a perfect weekend in London

By: Author Monica

Categories Travel Tips , UK

How to plan a perfect weekend in London

London is one of my favourite places in the world for a city break. There’s just so much to do and with each visit you can discover a different side to the city that you didn’t even know existed.

But with so much to do in London it can be difficult to plan a weekend there. How do you squeeze so much into a 2 day trip? London is also HUGE so if you’re not careful you could spend a lot of your time travelling across the city from one place to the next.

I recently spent 2 days in London and many of you commented on how much I managed to do in such a short trip. To be honest, I couldn’t believe how much Elle and I managed to squeeze in too! Being familiar with the city obviously helped but I was also really organized with our itinerary. I have some tips up my sleeve to help you plan the perfect weekend in London and make the most out of a short break there.

The Travel Hack at Southbank Skatepark

#1 List everything you want to do

I’d recommend dividing your list into three:

  • Traditional and iconic things
  • Unusual and quirky things
  • Places you want to eat

(There are some ideas for things to see, do and eat further down)

#2. Plot all of these activities into Google Maps

Drop a pin on the locations of all the things you’d like to do. This will make it easier to see which activities you can group together so you spend less time and money travelling.

#3. Book a centrally located hotel

I know you can get bargain hotels and bigger Airbnb properties when you stay further out of the city, but when you’re short on time you don’t want to be too far away.

You’ll end up spending a lot of time and money travelling in and out of the city. And the further outside of London you are, the slower the trains are and the less frequently they run.

If you’re visiting London for a week then I’d definitely recommend staying a little further out but when you only have a weekend I’d stay central.

#4. Take the tube

Many first-time visitors avoid the tube because they find it confusing and too busy. But once you’ve got your head around it the tube is the quickest, easiest and cheapest way to navigate London.

If you have a contactless debit card you can use that to get through the gates – making it even easier!

#5. Or use Uber

For the few occasions where a taxi would be better than the tube use Uber rather than a black cab. Black cabs are ridiculously overpriced and notorious for taking tourists on ‘detours’ around London that will result in an even heftier fee.

I know you shouldn’t tar all black cab drivers with the same brush but, you know, be careful!

Top Tip: You can use Elle’s Uber promo code to get £10 for new customers: gxf9o

Elle Croft in Ldonon

Things to see, do and eat in London

Traditional and iconic things to do in london.

London is the best city in the world for traditional and iconic things to do but lot of these attractions can be very expensive so look out for money saving offers. Great Northern and Thameslink trains currently have a 2 for 1 spring offer with 2 for 1 tickets on most of the main attractions like the London Eye, the Tower of London, London Bridge etc.

Visit the Natural History Museum

Arguably one of the best museums in the world, the Natural History Museum is a labyrinth of natural exhibitions. And the best thing is, entry is free! There are special exhibitions on that you do need to pay for but you don’t need to pay to see the majority of attractions.

Top Tip: Get there early or late in the afternoon! The doors open at 10am and queues will be snaking around the garden by 9.30am – especially during weekends and school holidays.

Ride the London Eye

It’s a real touristy things to do but it’s also fun to see London from a different perspective.

Top Tip: This is only worth it if you have nice weather otherwise it’s all grey skies and murky views.

Visit Buckingham Palace

It’s unlikely you’re going to spot Queen Liz but you will have the chance to see some the incredible State Rooms inside the palace.

St Paul’s Cathedral

St Paul’s is my favourite building in London – make sure you admire it from the inside and out.

Go shopping in Covent Garden

For cute boutiques, designer stores and cool bars, Covent Garden is the place to be.

Have a picnic in Hyde Park

When the sun comes out Londoners flock to the city’s green spaces with a football and a picnic. Hyde Park is one of the city’s most famous and beautiful parks and there’s a great atmosphere in the summer.

Have afternoon tea

There are so many options for afternoon tea in London. Hotels, cafes and restaurants pull out all the stops for this British tradition of tea, cakes, scones and miniature sandwiches. Hotels are usually the best option for the fanciest afternoon teas and cake shops often have a cheaper alternative. Some will be traditional, some are themed and some are boozy but they all include lashings of cake and bottomless teapots. Check out Poppy Loves for some afternoon tea inspiration.

Elle Croft at Duck and Waffle

Unusual and quirky things to do in London

Secret cinema.

If you’re lucky enough to be in London when Secret Cinema is on then you can’t miss the chance to experience one of the most unique experiences of your life. Secret Cinema is where you don’t just watch a film, you become part of it. Actors immerse you in the film as you dive into a giant film set where the lines between fiction and reality are blurred.

Tickets for Secret Cinema are expensive but I can promise you it’s worth every single penny.

Outdoor Cinemas

London has a great selection of outdoor cinema screenings. Some are in iconic locations like Trafalgar Square or Somerset House and others are more intimate in small parks. My local park in Wimbledon used to host one in the rose garden and it was gorgeous.

Take a blanket and a comfy cushion or deck chair to stay warm and comfy throughout the film.

Check out Time Out for a lot of the outdoor cinema listings.

The trend for live escape rooms has spread to London and clueQuest offers a range of exciting and challenging games. There are currently three games and you can play the game in teams of two-five. If you ever dreamt of going on an escape room game show then you can’t miss this!

Take a look at my clueQuest review .

Curious London has a great selection of unusual things to do in London. There are loads of awesome things suggested in the under £25 section!

Where to eat and drink in London

Suggesting places to eat and drink in London is a near impossible task as there are so many options and restaurants come and go so quickly.

Pop-ups – Try a pop-up restaurant for something quirky and unusual. TimeOut London is a great place to keep up to date with the latest openings.

Markets – There are lots of markets where you’ll be blown away by the choice of food and drink. Borough Market is one of the biggest and most famous and many foodie markets are seasonal.

Fancy meals – If you’re looking for something fancy then check out Angie Silver’s blog, Silverspoon London . Angie reviews some of London’s best restaurants so she’s a great resource!

Spotted by Locals App – I mention this app a lot because it’s a great way to find local recommendations for restaurants and bars. I find that Googling something like ‘best bars in London’ will bring up a list of tourist traps so local recommendations are always the best.

How to plan the perfect weekend in London

Do you have any more suggestions for planning a perfect weekend in London?

If you’d like some more ideas for a short getaway, check out our 52 weekend away ideas.

Wednesday 12th of February 2020

Reading your article in 2020 and still helpful. Thanks for the great content.

Sajjan Dharel

Friday 22nd of March 2019

I have got offer from my friend for 2 weeks visit to London at the end of 2019. Definitely, I will be looking for these places.Thanks for your help.

Monday 5th of September 2016

Where did that wonderful looking food (waffle/meat/cheese dish) come from? I'm in London for a while and it looks so good I'd love to try it!

TheTravelHack

Wednesday 7th of September 2016

That's from Duck and Waffle - I 100% recommend a visit, it's amazing! There's more info here - https://thetravelhack.com/uk/londons-best-restaurants-with-a-view/ and here - https://thetravelhack.com/uk/a-perfect-2-days-in-london/

London's best restaurants with a view

Tuesday 23rd of August 2016

[…] around sunset or sunrise? Monica and Elle went for breakfast and the views were incredible. See here for more pics and their […]

George baker

Tuesday 31st of May 2016

Never seen such a detailed post on traveling in London anywhere. Super detailed. And best of luck traveling with your baby.

Greta's Travels

London 2-Day Itinerary: 25+ Epic Things To Do In London In 2 Days

Posted on Last updated: April 21, 2024

Having lived in London for 9 years I never thought I’d write about it in my blog from a travellers point of view.

But despite considering myself a Londoner I’m not actually a local, and I enjoy a touristy sightseeing day in London as much as anyone.

I get a lot of questions from people that want to visit London in a weekend, so this London 2-day itinerary focuses on all the best things you can do in London in 2 days.

It’s a packed itinerary with lots of walking, but for anyone wishing to maximise their time in the British capital, this guide has all the information you need to make the most of your 2 days in London.

So without further ado, let’s dive in and plan the perfect two days in London!

  • 1.1 Oxford Street
  • 1.2 Piccadilly Circus
  • 1.3 Leicester Square 
  • 1.4 Covent Garden
  • 1.5 Trafalgar Square
  • 1.6 Westminster Abbey, Houses of Parliament & Big Ben
  • 1.7 London Eye
  • 1.8 Borough Market
  • 1.9 The Shard
  • 1.10 Tower Bridge
  • 1.11 Tower of London
  • 1.12 Sky Garden
  • 2.1 Portobello Market
  • 2.2 Notting Hill
  • 2.3 Hyde Park
  • 2.4 South Kensington & the museums
  • 2.5 Harrods
  • 2.6 Buckingham Palace
  • 3.1 Shoreditch
  • 3.2 Camden Town & Market
  • 3.3 Chinatown
  • 3.5 Afternoon tea bus tour
  • 3.6 British Museum
  • 3.7 Go for a showboat dinner cruise
  • 3.8 See a musical!
  • 3.9 Regents Park
  • 3.10 St Pauls Cathedral
  • 3.11 Do a Harry Potter walking tour
  • 3.12 Visit the Harry Potter Warner Bros Studios
  • 4.1 What to pack for two days in London
  • 4.2.1 Budget accommodation
  • 4.2.2 Mid-range accommodation
  • 4.2.3 Luxury accommodation
  • 4.3.1 Street food
  • 4.3.2 Eat on the go
  • 4.3.3 Chain restaurants
  • 4.3.4 Fancy or Michelin-starred restaurants
  • 4.4 Do you need travel insurance for 2 days in London?
  • 4.5 How to get into London
  • 4.6 How to get around London

Reflections of St Paul's Cathedral at One New Change in London, UK

Reflections of St Paul’s Cathedral at One New Change in London, UK

Essentials to book before you read on!

Best tours in London

River Thames Sightseeing Cruise

Magical London: Harry Potter Walking Tour

Classic Afternoon Tea Bus Tour

Best hotels in London

Budget: Wombat’s City Hostel London

Mid-range: Hilton London Angel Islington

Luxury: St Pancras Renaissance Hotel

Get 5% off your travel insurance here!

London 2 day itineary: Day 1

Oxford street.

We’re starting day one of our  2-day London itinerary at the famous Oxford Street. You want to start your day here fairly early because as time goes on it will get considerably busier.

By considerably busier I mean basically hell on earth for anyone that hates crowds like me.

So get there nice and sharp in the morning and you’ll be able to do some high street shopping without having to queue hours for a changing room.

Red buses in Oxford Street, London

Red buses in Oxford Street, London

Piccadilly Circus

From Oxford Street you can walk to Oxford Circus, down Regent Street and to the popular Piccadilly Circus. This is London’s equivalent of Times Square in New York.

With the big bright advertising billboards, multiple road crossings, street buskers and crowds it’s quite the sight.

An alternative road you can take is the colourful Carnaby Street, it’s just parallel to Regent Street and while it’s always busy, it’s completely pedestrian so it’s a bit more pleasant to walk along.

Exploring Regent Street in London, UK

Exploring Regent Street in London, UK

Leicester Square 

From Piccadilly Circus it’s a very short walk over to Leicester Square. Leicester Square is that place you always see on TV when they do movie premieres in London.

There are a number of very cool cinemas here but if you’re only in London for 2 days, you probably don’t want to spend a couple hours of your time locked up in a dark room.

There are loads of quick takeaway food places in Leicester Square but they will most likely be over priced and not that great.

Covent Garden

Covent Garden is a short 5-minute walk away from Leicester Square and one of the most famous spots in London.

The central covered area of Covent Garden, known as the Apple Market, is full of cool shops, bars and restaurants, and also a few touristy but quirky market stalls.

The Apple Market in Covent Garden at Christmas

The Apple Market in Covent Garden at Christmas

Trafalgar Square

After Covent Garden you can walk down to Trafalgar Square where you can visit the National Gallery. Entry to museums in London is generally always free, you only pay for the exhibitions that are on at that specific time.

If like me you’re not a museum person (I’ll admit I’ve only been inside the National Gallery once) Trafalgar Square is still a nice and famous spot of London that you can admire, and from there walk on to your next stop.

Westminster Abbey, Houses of Parliament & Big Ben

From Trafalgar Square it’s a short walk down to the river, where you will see two of the most iconic London sights.

Big Ben is under restructuring works at the moment, but you can still visit Westminster Abby and the Houses of Parliament.

Click here to purchase your entrance to Westminster Abbey!

The most photographed phone box in London, UK

The iconic red phone box, red bus and Big Ben in the background (even if he’s under construction)

Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, a must see in your London 2 day itinerary

The Houses of Parliament and Big Ben under reconstruction works

Just across the river you will see the London Eye, it’s hard to miss. In 9 years of living in London I have only been up the London Eye once, but I can say it’s really something.

Yes it’s super touristy, but the view is incredible. You get amazing 360 views over the Thames River, Houses of Parliament and Big Ben on one side, and St Paul’s Cathedral, Tower Bridge and the Shard on the other.

It’s one of the most famous attractions in London, so the queue can get huge. I 100% recommend purchasing tickets online beforehand , so that you can skip the queue.

After all, if you only have two days in London, you don’t want to waste them queuing around!

Click here to purchase your London Eye Fast Track ticket!

View over Westminster from the London Eye

View over Westminster from the London Eye

Borough Market

After seeing the London Eye I suggest walking all along the river to Borough Market.

You could also take the tube from Waterloo to London Bridge, which would save you some time, but the walk along South Bank is one of the most beautiful spots in London in my opinion.

Especially if you’re visiting London in summer or on a sunny day, walking along the Thames and seeing the skyline of London is pretty epic.

You will see some main landmarks along this walk including the Tate Modern, Shakespeare’s Globe and Millennium Bridge.

Millennium Bridge, one of the must see spots if you have only 2 days in London

Millennium Bridge in London, with St Paul’s Cathedral in the background

Borough Market is a great place to try some of London’s famous street food. There are tons of different stalls that sell food from all over the world.

It’s the perfect place to stop for a quick lunch on the go without wasting hours sitting down at a restaurant and waiting to be served.

One of the fresh fruit and vegetables stalls at Borough Market, London

One of the fresh fruit and vegetables stalls at Borough Market, London

Just next to Borough Market is the Shard, a skyscraper with 95 floors and one of the best views over London.

There is a viewing platform on the 70 th floor, the tickets cost between 24 GBP and 32 GBP depending on how far in advance you book them.

However, there are a couple bars in the Shard just a couple floors below that you can access for free.

Cocktails are around 15 – 20 GBP which is expensive, but considering you’re at the highest bar in London, it could be much worst.

I’d recommend going to the bar instead of the viewing platform since you end up paying a similar price, but at least you get a drink while you enjoy the view.

If a cocktail doesn’t fit your travel plans, book your ticket to The Shard viewing deck here!

The view over London from the Shard

The view over London from the Shard

Tower Bridge

From the Shard it’s a short walk across More London Place to reach Tower Bridge.

If you’re visiting in summer they usually have a Mexican food truck down next to the river with sun bed chairs, and they often have shows on in The Scoop (the round theatre-like area along the river).

From along the river you can walk right up to Tower Bridge and then you’ll see a set of stairs that you have to walk up to cross the river.

Prime sunset spot over Tower Bridge and the Thames

Prime sunset spot over Tower Bridge and the Thames

Tower of London

This is where I admit that I haven’t actually visited the Tower of London yet.

I’ve walked past the Tower of London numerous times, been on river cruises that set off from Tower Pier (a lot of university student clubs do that), even been ice skating at the Tower of London, but I’ve never been inside.

If you want to see the Crown Jewels and learn more about the Tower of London you will have to go inside, however if you’re happy with just seeing it walking around it is enough.

Click here to book a visit to the Tower of London & Crown Jewels Exhibition!

Tower Bridge and the Tower of London at golden hour

Tower Bridge and the Tower of London at golden hour

You’re probably thinking these are quite a lot of things to do in one day so don’t worry, we have arrived at the last stop of this London itinerary.

From Tower of London it’s less than a 10-minute walk to Sky Garden. Similarly to the Shard Sky Garden also has epic views over London, just from the opposite side of the river.

Access is always free but if you visit during the day you have to book a ticket beforehand with specific time slot, after 6PM you can visit on a free walk-in basis but there is a fairly strict smart casual dress code.

Drinks are fairly pricey at the bars in Sky Garden but once again, considering the venue it could be much worst.

I recommend trying to get here for sunset since watching the sun go down over London, turning everything golden, and then the skyline slowly lighting up is pretty magical.

View over the rooftops of London from Sky Garden

View over the roofs of London from Sky Garden

I’ve embedded below a map of this walking itinerary, or you can click here to open it in Google Maps. As you can see this big long list of things to do only adds up to about two hours of walking time.

Obviously it depends on how long you decide to spend in every location.

Whether you want to go on a crazy shopping spree on Oxford Street or spend hours inside the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square, but roughly speaking the above itinerary can be done in one day and would make for a perfect start to your 2 days in London.

London 2 day itinerary: Day 2

I hope you’re not knackered by yesterday’s activities, because you have another full day of excitement awaits!

Portobello Market

For your second day in London we’re moving away a bit from the hustle and bustle of central London and starting our day in Portobello.

Portobello is a lovely area of London with cute colourful houses and a popular market.  The market and shops in Portobello sell all sorts of cool vintage things but also the standard street food and touristy souvenirs.

The coloured houses of Portobello Road, London

The coloured houses of Portobello Road, London

Notting Hill

Portobello is just around the corner from the beautiful white houses of Notting Hill.

There isn’t one specific spot that you must see; it’s just a beautiful area of London that you can walk around for a bit and admire the Victorian architecture of these  beautiful London streets .

If you want, you can also join a guided walking tour of Notting Hill . It’s a great way to make sure you see all the prettiest spots, with a local guide teaching you about the history of the area.

Click here to book your Notting Hill walking tour!

The beautiful white houses of Notting Hill, London

The beautiful white houses of Notting Hill, London

After Notting Hill you will arrive at Hyde Park, London’s most famous and biggest park (in central London anyway). If you’re visiting in summer or on a sunny day you will find crowds of Londoners basking in the sun.

Even in winter it’s a very peaceful area and you can enjoy the beauty of it walking around Kensington Palace and the Serpentine.

Click here to book your visit to Kensington Palace in Hyde Park

South Kensington & the museums

Just make sure that you’re crossing the park in the right direction so that when you pop out on the other side you’re right next to South Kensington and all the museums.

Walk past the Royal Albert Hall (a pretty stunning building in itself) and you’ll reach the Natural History Museum, the Science Museum and the Victoria & Albert Museum.

They’re all very different in style and seeing all the exhibitions inside all of the museums would take days.

The Royal Albert Hall, London

The Royal Albert Hall, London

Unfortunately you only have 2 days in London but its still worth popping inside one or two of the museums depending on your interests. I’m a personal fan of the Natural History Museum and their dinosaur display.

Entry to the permanent exhibitions is free anyway you can just go in and wander around for a bit without feeling like you have to see everything in one go since you paid a ticket for it (or is that just me?)

If you’re visiting London at Christmas they always put up a beautiful ice rink at the Natural History Museum where you can try ice-skating.

The Natural History Museum in London from outside

The Natural History Museum in London from outside

Once you’re done exploring the museums it’s time to walk on to the famous Harrods.

Harrods is a huge department store founded in 1824 where they sell all sorts of things. One thing to note is that Harrods is very expensive.

While I wouldn’t recommend buying anything there I still think it’s a pretty cool place to see and wander around for a bit, especially if it’s your first time in London and you only have two days.

Buckingham Palace

From Harrods you can walk through Green Park and arrive at Buckingham Palace in less than 20 minutes. Buckingham Palace is the London residence and administrative headquarters of the royal family.

If you time your visit right you might also be able to see the change of the guard outside the Buckingham Palace gates.

You can also visit the State Rooms of Buckingham Palace . If you’re interested in history and the Royal Family, it’s a very fun and interesting visit!

Book your visit to Buckingham Palace here!

Buckingham Palace in London - a must see if you only have 2 days in London

My first and last trip to Buckingham Palace in 7 years of living in London

That’s all the walking I’ve got in store for you today, wasn’t that bad was it? I’ve included the map with walking itinerary below or click here to see it on Google Maps.

It’s around 1.5 hours of walking but depending on how long you want to spend inside the museums or shopping inside Harrods, it can take up the whole day.

Cool things to do in London not included in this London 2 day itinerary 

As I previously mentioned the British capital is pretty huge and seeing all of London in two days isn’t very realistic.

There are some areas of London that I personally love but haven’t included in my London 2-day itinerary since they’re not considered the main tourist attractions and landmarks.

However, if for example you want to see some markets and aren’t interested in museums you can skip South Kensington and visit the quirky Shoreditch or Camden instead.

Most of these areas are very popular in evenings so you can always visit them after the itineraries I wrote above.

Shoreditch is the hipster and artsy area of London. There are tons of cool bars, restaurants, pubs, clubs and shops all over the neighbourhood.

It’s a cool area to wander around during the day to explore the vintage and design shops and colourful graffiti, but it’s especially popular in evenings. The nightlife in Shoreditch never disappoints.

A very Shoreditch donut shop with colourful graffiti facade

A very Shoreditch donut shop with colourful graffiti facade

Camden Town & Market

Camden was the hipster and edgy area of London before Shoreditch become popular.

There’s a big market with lots of street food, clothes, jewellery, vintage things, home decor, souvenirs and pretty much anything you can think of being sold there.

It used to be the rebel punk area (to give you a better idea, Amy Winehouse used to live in Camden) and even today there are still tons of tattoo and piercing parlours.

It’s become a bit more touristy and less edgy in recent years but is still a cool area to walk around.

The market is closed in evenings but there are loads of bars, pubs and clubs and there is a lively nightlife so you can always visit Camden in evenings.

Camden Market in London, UK

Camden Market in London, UK

Chinatown in London is actually just next to Leicester Square, but I chose not to include it in my London 2-day itinerary as it takes time to explore it properly and it wouldn’t have fit in the day 1 schedule.

Also the best part of Chinatown is the food so I recommend going around dinnertime to try one of the many Chinese restaurants.

Exploring Chinatown in London

Exploring Chinatown in London

Soho is another neighbourhood very close to Chinatown and Leicester Square that I chose not to cover in your day 1 itinerary.

It’s a vibrant and very cool area to explore but you can do so in the evening, discovering all the cool dining and nightlife options.

Afternoon tea bus tour

Afternoon tea is a very British tradition consisting of savoury sandwiches, cakes, scones and obviously, lots of tea.

There are loads of places that do very good afternoon teas in London but inevitably will take up a large chunk of your day (if you’re a fast eater like me, you might not love afternoon tea, it’s one of those things you’re supposed to take slow and enjoy the experience…)

If you only have two days in London a good solution is doing an afternoon tea bus tour . This allows you to enjoy the experience while also touring around London and seeing all the main tourist highlights.

Click here to book your spot on a B Bakery afternoon tea bus tour!

Getting ready for our afternoon tea bus tour in London

Getting ready for our afternoon tea bus tour in London

Our afternoon tea selection on the B Bakery bus tour

Our afternoon tea selection on the B Bakery bus tour

British Museum

The British Museum didn’t feature on my essential London 2-day itinerary since it’s not quite along the walking routes I’d planned out.

However it’s not too far don’t worry, it’s in central London less than a 10-minute walk away from Oxford Street. Entry is free and there are loads of cool things you can see like Rosetta’s stone and more.

Go for a showboat dinner cruise

If you want to spend a bit of a different evening enjoying good food and touring around London, you should definitely do a dinner showboat cruise .

As you might have guessed from the name, this is a cruise along the Thames where you will be served dinner as live music and singing takes place.

We enjoyed a lovely 4-course dinner while admiring the view over main sights of London, such as the London Eye, St Paul’s, Tower Bridge and Greenwich.

It combines good food with sightseeing and live music, the perfect evening out in London!

Click here to book your showboat dinner cruise!

Enjoying my 4-course meal during the showboat dinner cruise

Enjoying my 4-course meal during the showboat dinner cruise

See a musical!

The West End of London is famous for its theatres and musicals. If you have the time I would highly recommend trying to squeeze in watching a show in your London 2-day itinerary.

Over the past 7 years I’ve been to see The Lion King, Aladdin, Wicked, Billy Elliot and The Phantom of the Opera and they were all pretty amazing. There are tons of shows I still haven’t seen myself!

Regents Park

Regents Park is smaller than Hyde Park and a bit more of a local hangout spot. On one of the park you will find Primrose Hill, where all the Londoners go hang out and have picnics on sunny summer days.

View over Regents Park and the London skyline from Primrose Hill

View over Regents Park and the London skyline from Primrose Hill

St Pauls Cathedral

St Pauls Cathedral should have probably featured much higher on my list of things to see in London in two days, however I chose not to include it before since you will be seeing plenty of it even without actually visiting it.

As you walk along the river and from all the viewpoints you will be able to see the dome of St Pauls towering over the roofs of London.

If you have time you can go see the inside of the cathedral but if not, no harm done (in 7 years I don’t think I’ve ever been inside myself)

Click here to book a fast track ticket to St Paul’s Cathedral

St Paul's Cathedral in London, UK

St Paul’s Cathedral in London, UK

Do a Harry Potter walking tour

If you’re a Harry Potter fan, you have to do this. I didn’t list it in my main 2-day London itinerary because I realise not everyone is as Harry Potter obsessed as I am, but it’s definitely worth doing.

It will allow you to not only see all the Harry Potter filming locations in London , but you’ll also learn some fun facts about the movies. It will go past some of the main London landmarks, so you will still see a lot of London.

If you follow my guide, you can easily visit all the filming spots alone, but I personally think it’s more fun to do a guided tour . Sharing the experience with other Potter-heads will make it all the more fun!

Click here to book your Harry Potter walking tour!

Platform 9 and 3/4 in London King's Cross station

Platform 9 and 3/4 in London King’s Cross station

Visit the Harry Potter Warner Bros Studios

This is another activity that is definitely worth mentioning, but given not everyone is a Harry Potter fan, I didn’t want to include it in my main London 2-day itinerary.

Whether you’re a family with children, or a group of millennials who grew up reading the books and watching the Harry Potter movies, the Harry Potter studio tour is great fun.

Even though it spoils the magic a little bit, seeing how the movies are made is really interesting. Plus you can stock up on butter beer, chocolate frogs and fun Harry Potter gadgets!

It’s outside London and planning your transfer there can be a bit complicated, which is why I recommend booking this tour , since it includes both entrance to the studios and transfer there.

Click here to purchase your Harry Potter Warner Bros Tour with Transfer from London!

Me in 2015 visiting the Harry Potter Warner Bros Studios

Me in 2015 visiting the Harry Potter Warner Bros Studios

Logistical tips for your weekend in London

What to pack for two days in london.

Not that there is a shortage of shops in London where you can buy things if you were to forget anything, however there are a couple essentials things that you might want to bring with you for your two days in London.

Umbrella : Yes, laugh as much as you want, but the stereotypes of the British capital are unfortunately largely true. It rains a lot here.

You don’t want to be caught out in the rain so it’s just easier to always carry one of those tiny foldable umbrellas with you.

Power bank : After all if you’re going to be walking around all day, you won’t have time to sit down and charge your phone!

Also you will need your phone to check Google Maps and that you’re headed in the right direction, or what time things close.

Comfortable walking shoes : My London 2-day itinerary has a lot of walking involved, so you wan to make sure you to do so in comfortable trainers to avoid having painful feet at the end of the day.

St Pancras Renaissance Hotel in London, UK

St Pancras Renaissance Hotel in London, UK

Where to stay in London

Despite living in London over the years I’ve stayed in a number of hotels throughout London, whether with family when they came to visit (and couldn’t fit in my tiny student halls room) or more recently with blog collaborations and I can recommend some hotels in London for every budget.

However more than a specific hotel I can suggest areas of London where you can stay .

If you only have two days in London you will want to stay very central or you will waste time travelling around, if you go a bit further out make sure to be within 5 minutes walking distance to a tube station.

Personally I would recommend staying either in Camden, Angel or even more central around Holborn and Bank.

Click here to see the latest prices and availability for accommodation in London!

Leadenhall Market in London, UK

Leadenhall Market in London, UK

Budget accommodation

There are tons of hostels in London. I’ve never personally stayed in one but have heard great things of Wombats .

There are also loads of hotel chains with numerous properties around London like Holiday Inn or the Travelodge that are more affordable than independent hotels.

The more central ones are a bit more expensive but usually still offer good value for money.

Mid-range accommodation

Just like there are budget chain hostels and hotels, there are also a number of mid-range chains you can go for like Hilton or Marriott spread all over London.

My parents stayed at the Hilton in Angel back when I used to live in the area and loved it, Angel is also a great area to stay as its a bit outside the tourist chaos of London but still within easy reach of all the main attractions.

These options are a bit fancier than the previous budget suggestions but at more reasonable prices than the luxury properties in London.

Luxury accommodation

I spent one night at the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel  for a blog collaboration and that was the fanciest place I have slept at in London.

The property is beautiful, the service excellent and the location perfect as base to explore London, especially if you only have 2 days in London.

I also spent an afternoon at Cheval Three Quays where a friend of mine was staying and can highly recommend it, the apartments are new, have a great view of the Thames and are in a great location to explore London.

The Grand Staircase of the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel in London, UK

The Grand Staircase of the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel in London, UK

Where to eat in London

When I first moved to London from Italy everybody told me how the food in London was shit. Having lived here for 7 years now I can strongly disagree with that.

For Italian standards sure there is a lot of junk food out there (I’m looking at you Pizza Hut and your pizzas with burgers in the crust) but there are also a lot of amazing dining options for every budget.

London is a very international city and that’s reflected in the variety of cuisines you can find.

Since you’re only in London for two days I wouldn’t waste too much time sitting in restaurants, but there are cool and cheap dining options on the go.

Street food

The street food in London is awesome.

There are famous street food markets like Borough Market and Camden Market but you will also find street food trucks here and there all over London, especially in the busy touristy spots.

The prices vary massively depending on the cuisine, how big a portion you get, where in London it is and lots of other factors, but I’ve had meals from street food trucks in London for anywhere between 3 GBP and 10 GBP.

The halloumi fries at Camden Market, London

The halloumi fries at Camden Market, London

Eat on the go

If you don’t want to eat street food but you also don’t want to sit down at a restaurant there are tons of places you can eat on the go in London.

All the Pret A Manger, Eat, Wasabi, Itsu, LEON, Pod, Starbucks and other chains you see around serve food fresh and ready to go.

The scotch egg and sweet potato fries of Borough Market, London

The scotch egg and sweet potato fries of Borough Market, London

Chain restaurants

If you want to sit down for a proper meal without spending a fortune, worry not, there are thousands of restaurants all over London, both independent and chains.

As a tourist it can be a bit hit and miss going to an independent boutique hotel, as you can’t know if they’re good or not.

While they’re less authentic, with chain restaurants you’re always sure that a certain standard will be met. The ones of ethnic cuisines are also easier to eat at as the flavours are adapted for Western tastes.

Some of my personal favourites are Wagamama, GBK, Wahaca, Franco Manca, Rosa’s Thai, Nando’s and Pho.

Our choice of starters of Lima Floral

Starters at Lima Floral, a Peruvian chain restaurant in London

Fancy or Michelin-starred restaurants

If you want to go fancy, London can do fancy very well. London has 70 Michelin starred restaurants (and there many more fancy and delicious restaurants that don’t have Michelin stars) that you can try.

I was a student in London  so I can’t say I have much experience with these, so you might want to check out this guide by Secret London instead.

Enjoying the sunset at the London Eye

Enjoying the sunset at the London Eye

Do you need travel insurance for 2 days in London?

After my personal experience spending two nights in a private hospital in Tenerife, and having to pay for it out of pocket (it wasn’t cheap), I always recommend getting travel insurance.

You might not end up needing it, but for a small fee you can travel without worries. Personally, I suggest getting your travel insurance with  Heymondo .

Heymondo offers tailor made travel insurance, providing the best value for money for your specific trip. You can also buy it once you’re already abroad and have forgotten about it before flying (which, if you’re anything like me, is quite likely).

Besides the usual cancellation, medical expenses, luggage coverage and general travel insurance services, Heymondo also has a 24/7 doctor chat and instant assistance through their app.

As a Greta’s Travels reader, you get 5% off your Heymondo travel insurance !

Click here to get your 5% off Heymondo travel insurance!

Blonde girl in a grey jumpsuit standing next to a red phone box with London Eye behind her

Exploring Westminster in London

How to get into London

First things first, how do you get into London?

London has six major airports, and depending on where in the city you’re staying, it can be quite the journey getting to your accommodation from the airport.

If you’re flying internationally from a long-haul destination you would usually arrive at Heathrow, whilst if you’re flying from a European destination with a low-cost airline you would usually arrive at Luton, Gatwick or Stansted.

From all of these major London airports you can catch a train that will take you directly into Central London, usually at either Victoria Station, St Pancras Station or Liverpool Street depending on the airport.

However if you’re not a train person, you can also check out these coach transfers:

Bus Transfer from Gatwick Airport

Bus Transfer from Stansted Airport

Bus Transfer from Luton Airport

PRIVATE Transfer from Heathrow Airport – this is preferable if you’re a family travelling with children and don’t want to wait for trains or buses!

If you’re a family or group, getting a private transfer won’t be much more expensive than the train, and it will save you time. If you only have two days in London, you don’t want to waste time getting into the city!

Golden hour over the London Eye and Westminster in London, UK

Golden hour over the London Eye and Westminster in London, UK

If you want to save money I recommend getting the normal train service as opposed to the express airport ones.

For example Gatwick Airport has the Gatwick Express that takes you into Victoria station in half an hour for around 20 GBP.

Instead if you get the normal Southern trains service this usually stops at London Bridge, City Thameslink, Farringdon and then St Pancras International and only costs around 10 GBP.

I prefer this option because it saves me money and time, since even if the train is a bit slower it does more stops in central London where you can get off and be ready to see the city without having to take public transport from Victoria.

Similarly the Heathrow Express costs around 20 GBP and takes you to Paddington, which is pretty far from all the main attractions.

If you get the Piccadilly line you will pay around 6 GBP and it takes you straight into central London. To find the most convenient train I always check online on the Trainline .

| READ MORE: THE ULTIMATE LONDON BUCKET LIST |

Enjoying the sunset over the rooftops of London and St Paul's Cathedral from Madisons Rooftop Bar

Enjoying the sunset over the rooftops of London and St Paul’s Cathedral from Madisons Rooftop Bar

How to get around London

Ok so you’ve arrived in London, how do you actually move around this huge city? You might think me crazy but the best way to get around London is actually walking!

All the main attractions in central London are fairly close to each other, and walking from one to the other actually allows you to see the beautiful architecture around and take in the London atmosphere.

Transport for London actually put together a map with the walking times between tube stations in London (tube – that’s what Londoners call the underground system here).

Admittedly some are pretty far but look at the centre of zone 1, some stops are only 3 minutes away from each other!

| READ MORE: THE MOST BEAUTIFUL & PHOTOGENIC PLACES IN LONDON |

London tube map that shows the walking times between stations, image by TfL

London tube map that shows the walking times between stations, image by TfL

If you don’t want to walk London has a very efficient public transport system. Both the tube and buses run super regularly and cover pretty much every corner of central London.

You can get an Oyster travel card or if you have a contactless credit or debit card you can tap that to get on buses and in the tube.

Per journey you pay 1.50 GBP for the bus or from 2.40 GBP upwards for the tube depending what zone you travel to.

TfL put a daily cap in place at 7 GBP, which means after three tube journeys you’re not paying anymore for additional trips.

You can also find black cabs and ubers everywhere in London but I personally only take them in evenings if I’m going home late.

Getting in a car in central London during the day basically means wasting your whole day given the traffic situation. Ubers are also generally cheaper than black cabs.

Sunset with a view over Tower Bridge and the Shard in London, UK

Sunset with a view over Tower Bridge and the Shard in London, UK

Final thoughts on my London in 2 days itinerary

Have you been to London before? How did you find it? Let me know in the comments below!

Conscious this London 2-day itinerary turned into a pretty huge guide so if you have any questions, just let me know, happy to help if I can.

Having lived in London for 9 years I consider myself a Londoner, I hope this post will help you plan your two days in London and that you’ll love this city as much as I do.

Looking for more UK travel tips? Check out these guides:

  • Weekend getaway to Bath
  • The ultimate Brighton weekend itinerary
  • Best things to do in Stratford Upon Avon according to a local

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31 best things to do in London this weekend: 8 - 15 July 2024

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When searching for the best things to do in London each weekend, it’s hard not to end up more confused and indecisive than when you started. While it’s never a bad idea to secure a booking at one of the  best restaurants  in the capital, spend an evening in one of the latest  innovative bars  on the scene, or even explore an iconic  London attraction , we’re always on the lookout for new, exciting pop-ups, openings and events. Each week, we get the inside track on exciting things to do in  London  for the upcoming weekend to help us discover a new area of the city or explore a new address in a neighbourhood we (thought) we’d already uncovered.

31 best things to do in London this weekend

Mean Girls Savoy Theatre

1. See a new West End show

Cady and The Plastics have landed in the UK, bringing the much-anticipated Mean Girls musical to the Savoy after an impressive 833 show-run on Broadway. The hotel is celebrating in appropriate style with a new aptly-named signature cocktail (You can’t Spritz with us) in the glamorous Beaufort bar – perfect for a pre-show aperitif – and you might also spot Rosie the pink rosé van slinging Laurent-Perrier and strawberry sorbet from the hotel’s kitchen in the forecourt. Those staying overnight can book the full theatre experience with tickets and breakfast but, either way, expect a nostalgic, bouncy affair with a stellar cast, fabulous choreography, impressive staging and plenty of earworms. And for heaven’s sake, remember to wear pink (or you’ll be sat with the art freaks). Charley Ward

Address: Savoy Theatre, Savoy Court, Strand, London WC2R 0ET Website: thesavoytheatre.com Dates: Showing now

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2. Seek out a sunny spot

Discover The Berkeley ’s rooftop, a sun-drenched oasis above the bustling streets of Knightsbridge and Belgravia. Whether you're lounging on a chic sunbed or enjoying a table by the pool, you're in for a treat with the new menu of tacos and Patrón Tequila cocktails. Indulge in a fruity Tequila Colada, a twist on the classic coconut cocktail, or savour the smoked lamb shoulder tacos with pickled jalapeños. And don't miss the chance to create your own guacamole for a truly Mexican-inspired feast.

Address: The Berkeley, Wilton Place, London SW1X 7RL Website: the-berkeley.co.uk Dates: From Thursday 11 July

Beerfest. City of London Corporation

3. Sample craft beers in Guildhall Yard

Beerfest returns for its 10th year this Thursday, as food stalls and renowned brewers set up shop in Guildhall Yard for one day only. Sample tipples from the finest brewers from the UK and Ireland, including St Austell Brewery, Guinness, Harvey's Brewery, and Meantime Brewing Company, as live bands soundtrack the afternoon in the distance. Thanks to a range of non-alcoholic, low-alcohol and gluten-free options, this is one for every type of beer lover.

Address: Guildhall Yard, London EC2V 5AE Website: thecityofldn.com Price: Advance tickets from £16.20 Dates: Thursday 11 July

The House of KOKO

4. Catch superstars in Hyde Park

Tickets are still available to catch world-class acts on the Great Oak Stage at BST Hyde Park this weekend. Stevie Nicks headlines on Friday with support from Brandi Carlile and Nina Nesbitt, while Kylie Minogue plays an exclusive show on Saturday following Ella Henderson and Anitta's performances. In addition to general admission tickets, there are plenty of hospitality offerings and lip-smacking spots. Among them is a pop-up curated by private members’ club House of KOKO, Incognito and Casamigos Tequila. Explore bespoke fashion installations and sip signature cocktails while tucking into delicious dishes before returning to the buzzy festival atmosphere.

Address: Hyde Park, London Website: bst-hydepark.com ; incognito-group.com Dates: Friday 12 and Saturday 13 July

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5. Check out a new summer terrace

As long as the sun shines in the capital, eye-catching terrace pop-ups open doors to discerning diners and cocktail lovers. Amano Covent Garden’s rooftop hideout is a fizzy collaboration with Aperol Spritz – sip on vibrant concoctions and feast on pintxos and tapas dishes . Meanwhile, Katherine Jenkins’ award-winning Cygnet Gin and Double Dutch are the stars of the show at Lavo’s Terrace; swing by for aperitivo hour on Wednesdays between 5pm and 7pm for £15 cocktails and complimentary canapés including wild mushroom arancini and the signature Lavo meatballs.

Address: Hotel Amano Covent Garden, Drury House, 34-43 Russell Street, London WC2B 5HA; Lavo, The BoTree, 34 Marylebone Lane, London W1U 2DR Website: amanogroup.com Dates: Open now

6. Inspire young minds

The Young V&A is celebrating its first birthday with a series of events and exciting exhibitions. Join in a day of free, family-friendly creative activities, workshops, and live performances on Saturday 13 July; highlights include a series of pop-up shows by local creatives in Young V&A’s Town Square. There’s still time to catch Sound Explorers , an interactive exhibition created in collaboration with the School of Noise that invites little ones to experience the museum through sound and music.

Address: Young V&A, Cambridge Heath Road, Bethnal Green, London E2 9PA Website: vam.ac.uk Dates: Birthday celebrations, Saturday 13 July; Sound Explorers until Friday 19 July

Alexandra Palace Kaleidoscope

7. Explore an eclectic festival

Ministry of Sound Classical headline Alexandra Palace’s Kaleidoscope Festival this weekend, supported by Soul II Soul, Erol Alkan and a host of other acts. Before the 30-piece London Concert Orchestra performs a captivating set of live dance classics, stages and areas host live performances by spoken word artists, musicians, and comedians, including Simon Amstell and Sophie Duker. It’s a family-friendly event – get little ones involved in arts and crafts, circus skills and musical fun in the family area.

Address: Alexandra Palace, Alexandra Palace Way, London N22 7AY Website: kaleidoscope-festival.com Dates: Saturday 13 July

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8. Savour Palestinian flavours

Notting Hill ’s renowned Palestinian restaurant, Abuk, continues its series of #CookforPalestine supper clubs. The next lip-smacking set-up on Monday 15 July is a collaboration with premium Palestinian spirit Arak, from Muaddi Distillery. Sample the triple-distilled spirit created from grape juice infused with aniseed, and enjoy dishes from the new summer menu. Highlights include beitinjan bil tahinia (roasted aubergines, tahini, Pomegranate seeds, dill, parsley, nigella seeds and pine nuts) and a summery dessert of farawla sumac (phyllo, strawberries pressed in sumac, strained yoghurt, sumac and pink peppercorns).

Address: Akub, 27 Uxbridge Street, London W8 7TQ Website: akub-restaurant.com Price: £150 per person Dates: #CookforPalestine supper club, Monday 15 July

Somerset House Terrace bar with San Miguel

9. Dance to acts at Somerset House

Pip Millett, Nia Smith and Corinne Bailey Rae are just some of the names entertaining crowds as part of the ongoing Somerset House Series this weekend. Secure some of the last tickets between Thursday and Sunday, fuelling up at the Somerset House Terrace Bar with San Miguel beforehand. Tuck into Jimmy Garcia’s dishes, from crispy pan con tomate to juicy peach salads paired with chilled San Miguel beers.

Address: Somerset House, Strand, London WC2R 1LA Website: somersethouse.org.uk Dates: Until Sunday 21 July

WalthamstowOnSea

10. Visit the seaside (in E17)

Enjoy all the fun of the seaside in East London as Walthamstow-On-Sea returns to Big Penny Social, the UK’s largest beer hall. Lounge in deckchairs or seek shelter in beach huts, sipping cocktails and ice-cold pints from the beach bar. Send postcards to loved ones and tuck into quintessentially British fare, from fish and chips to soft serve ice cream .

Address: Big Penny Social, 1 Priestley Way, London E17 6AL Website: bigpennysocial.co.uk Dates: Open now

There's certainly no shortage of new restaurant openings in the capital right now. However London's most discerning of...

11. Tuck in at a supper club

There's certainly no shortage of new restaurant openings in the capital right now. However, London's most discerning of foodies often crave something with a little more community feel from time to time. Look no further than the city's supper club scene . Food markets and event spaces fill up every week with hungry Londoners as chefs take residence in kitchens to cook up a storm. Sign up to all the relevant newsletters to stay in the loop – these events sell out at breakneck speed.

Borough Market

12. Savour street food favourites

For every Michelin-starred hotspot in London, there are a dozen delicious street food stalls selling their wares. After days of exploring London’s attractions or visiting the latest exciting pop-up, head to Seven Dials Market for slices of pepperoni drizzled in honey from Bad Boy Pizza Society or indulgent burgers from Truffle. Alternatively, explore all Camden Market offers, or pick up picnic treats from Borough Market and lounge by the river. Other honourable street food menus from our team include Juma Kitchen, Duck Frites, and Gyoza Guys.

Midlands Grand roast

13. Rate London's roast dinners

The French have haute cuisine; the Japanese embrace Omakase – in London, it’s all about the battle of the Sunday roast . Securing a coveted spot in one of the city’s best restaurants for a hearty plateful is one of our favourite pastimes. Head to The Midland Grand Dining Room in King's Cross for an opulent dining experience, tuck into truffle cauliflower cheese at The Laundry in Brixton or unwind over a glass of red at Hicce Hart Islington. Roasts aren't just for winter, so head to one of London's leafy boroughs, such as Richmond or Hampstead, for a meaty feast al-fresco after a sunny stroll through a local park.

JOIA Rooftop Summer

14. Reach for the rooftops

Rejoice – it's rooftop bar season once again. South of the river, eye up the glitzy Battersea Power Station development from all angles at Joia Rooftop Bar , where live entertainment and events are flavoured by Portuguese tipples and smokey flavours. Heading East? Boundary Shoreditch is an oasis far from the hustle and bustle on the streets below, and an ideal hideout for crisp glasses of rosé and tasty sharing plates.

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15. Sample London's lastest cocktails

Competition on London's cocktail bar scene is fierce, as beloved speakeasies compete with a constant flurry of new openings. Unique concoctions are a surefire way to keep clientele engaged. Soma , the sleek subterranean bar below Soho's Indian restaurant Kricket, is one spot for a special tipple or two. New takes include ‘Peas’, a sweet and tangy muddle of Santa Teresa 1796 Rum, Disaronno Velvet, garden peas yoghurt and mint, and ‘Shallot’, made with Hapusa Gin and pickled shallot.

In true Traveller style one of our favourite hobbies is exploring the hot new hotels opening their doors in the capital....

16. Have a nose around London’s new hotels

In true Traveller style, one of our favourite hobbies is exploring the hot new hotels opening their doors in the capital. Best of all, there’s no need to stump up the eye-watering fee for a dazzling suite. The Peninsula is home to myriad bars and restaurants, from Cantonese restaurant Canton Blue to Brooklands, the Modern British hideout with fabulous views. The BoTree is now open on Marylebone Lane: step inside for supper at the brasserie or enjoy a mixologist-led evening at the teal-marble bar, which curves across the space, while trying out the bar menu curated by chef Stefano.

It may be party season up and down the land but theres one that is never short on RSVPs  and its a kaleidoscopic...

17. Go ABBA-crazy

It may be party season up and down the land, but there’s one that is never short on RSVPs – and it’s a kaleidoscopic extravaganza featuring all the ABBA classics. Mamma Mia! The Party sees the sell-out West End tale given a new lease of life, performed in a Greek courtyard complete with a pyrotechnic water fountain and restaurant tables that performers must navigate. While the four-course dinner is truly delicious, the focus is the immersive show, which works its way around the taverna between courses. It’s an unforgettable evening of napkin-waving, feet-stomping and, of course, lots of singing. Elsewhere, ABBA Voyage continues its run thanks to unprecedented popularity; see life-like avatars perform all the greatest hits at what could be one of the best parties in the city.

Pasta cooking class

18. Cook up a storm

Cooking classes are ideal for groups of friends or a date night idea, and there’s always something special sizzling away in London. Pasta Evangelists’ Pasta Academy is best for hungry Italophiles, where passionate chefs instruct clueless cooks on the dos and don’ts of homemade pasta making. Many events have a theme, so check the website and decide whether you want to learn the Roman methods, try a taste of Tuscany , or see how Puglia does it. For something a little more in-depth, head to Sauce by The Langham , where leading chefs such as Michel Roux Jr. lead the way – cocktail masterclasses and kid-friendly courses are also regularly held.

Cas Frango outdoor seating

19. Dine al-fresco

Dining in the city's prettiest outdoor restaurants is one of our favourite pastimes come spring and summer. Savour intense Portuguese flavours on one of Casa do Frango 's terraces from Picadilly to Victoria or dream of La Dolce Vita over pizza and arancini at Daroco Soho following the launch of their heated terrace. Other honourable mentions for London's prettiest outdoor dining spots include Petersham Nurseries Café in Richmond, Seabird in Southwark, and The Orangery in Kensington, which has just opened following an extensive renovation.

First there was yoga then came acupuncture reiki breathwork cryotherapy and the Headspace app. But now busy Londoners...

20. Get zen at a sound bath

First, there was yoga, then came acupuncture, reiki, breathwork, cryotherapy and the Headspace app. But now, busy Londoners are seeking respite from city life over sound baths . The different frequencies emitted by gongs, chimes and Tibetan bowls work to soothe the mind and heal the body, stimulating the brainwave frequencies associated with total relaxation and switching on the nervous system's repair mode. Clementina Jackson

Red and Fallow deer in summer season. Summer time in Richmond Park city of London

21. Pick a park for an adventure

The best way to escape the hustle and bustle of the city is to embark on a stroll through one of the many parks , commons, and other green spaces London has to offer. Head for the southwest and amble through Wimbledon Common, picking up iced coffees and sweet treats at the Windmill Cafe; extend the walk into Richmond Park and the leafy suburbs of Richmond-upon-Thames if time permits. North of the river, head for Hampstead Heath and the swimming ponds, or scout out pretty views and planetariums in Greenwich Park before an al fresco lunch in one of the historic pubs nearby.

KOKO club london

22. Let loose in a live music venue

London’s live music scene is one of the most eclectic in Europe, and there’s always a superstar act or up-and-coming performer to be found. Soho ’s notorious music venues, such as Ronnie Scott's and 100 Wardour Street , host musicians and singers that span endless genres, while Camden’s pubs hosted artists, including Adele and Amy Winehouse, before their names became known worldwide. Check out the recently renovated Koko Camden for evenings of live music and late nights of dancing, or discover something new at a Sofar Sounds gig – where rising stars take to the stage in unique venues announced just before the event.

The Connaught Patisserie

23. Treat yourself to something sweet

We Londoners like a sweet treat, so it’s a good thing there are so many bakeries in the capital to choose from. There’s nothing better than picking up freshly-baked almond croissants from Pophams on a Sunday or popping into Fabrique for brunch -ready sourdough. Bakery-mania is evolving, though, and the most exquisite bites can be found in patisseries such as The Connaught Patisserie by Nicolas Rouzaud and Maison Bertaux . Lastly, a moment for doughnuts – cast your eyes on the designer desserts at Donutelier and consider yourself a convert.

If being locked in a room with a ticking clock and dozens of clues is your idea of fun youre in luck in London. The...

24. Try and escape

If being locked in a room with a ticking clock and dozens of clues is your idea of fun, you’re in luck in London. The escape room craze continues, and there are many places to chase an adrenaline fix. See gory scenarios from the SAW movies played out by live actors under flickering lights and the gaze of Jigsaw at Saw: Escape Experience – make it out alive and sip themed cocktails in the cosy cocktail bar. Control Room B in Battersea Power Station is another fun adventure: solve mind-bending puzzles, decipher cryptic clues and unveil the mysteries that lie in wait.

Shaftesbury Avenue illuminated at night

25. Get theatrical

Think of London, and any culture vulture’s mind instantly wanders to the theatrical opportunities across the West End. Bop to ABBA classics at Mamma Mia! , or get all the family involved at Matilda: The Musical . Whatever you’re looking for, you’ll find it in one of the historic theatres – and sometimes for less than you’d expect. Fully-grown thespians, check out TodayTix for discounted last-minute tickets to the classics and fringe shows.

Tower of London

26. Buff up on your London history

London’s history dates back more than 2,000 years, and there are London attractions detailing everything the capital’s ancient riverbanks have witnessed. Uncover gruesome details of how prisoners were treated in the Clink Prison close to London Bridge , or take a tour of the Tower of London , guided by a beefeater, as they surprise and delight with fascinating nuggets of the royal residence’s history. Go even further back in time at the London Mithraeum – the ancient Roman temple dedicated to the god Mithras, found under the Bloomberg headquarters.

Whether youre an early riser or a night owl theres always a unique way to get sweaty in the capital. Start the day by...

27. Sweat it out

Whether you’re an early riser or a night owl, there’s always a unique way to get sweaty in the capital. Start the day by stretching towards the sunrise at Sky Garden , where yoga and pilates sessions occur throughout the summer. Joining the likes of Boom Cycle and SoulCycle recently is the Psycle site in Victoria, complete with a 50-bike ride studio and state-of-the-art barre and yoga space.

No were not talking about the bookstores everyone knows and has on their high streets  but no judgment for picking up...

28. Build up the book collection

No, we’re not talking about the bookstores everyone knows and has on their high streets – but no judgment for picking up those holiday reads on the go. London is full of charming independent bookstores worth exploring on those drizzly summer afternoons. Gay's The Word on Marchmont Street is the UK's oldest LGBTQ+ bookshop, set up in January 1979 by gay socialists as a community space that funnelled all profits back into the business. Alternatively, hodophiles feel most at home in Stanfords , the world’s largest map and travel book retailer in Covent Garden .

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29. Check out an exhibition

There's no shortage of captivating exhibitions in London right now. Whether you're into fine art, contemporary design or history, the capital's galleries have something for everyone. Hello Brain! at The Francis Crick Institute explains the mind-bending complexity of the brain, and runs until December, while Tropical Modernism: Architecture and Independence is a fascinating showcase at the V&A South Kensington. For something more under-the-radar, gallery hop around arty East London neighbourhoods, stopping off for a street food fill along the way.

Claridge's

30. Unwind at a spa

While we're a fan of spa weekends, nothing beats a visit to one of the capital's most sumptuous spas . Restore your glow with a facial at Claridge's Spa, do some lengths in one of the city's best pools (Bulgari Hotel London to Dorchester Collection's 45 Park Lane among them) or ease aching muscles at one of the more affordable spots across the city.

Punting on the river Stour West Gate Canterbury Kent UK

31. Escape (for a few hours)

One of the best things about living in London is how easy it is to explore nearby cities and coastal towns. Hop on a train from one of London's largest rail hubs such as Paddington or King's Cross St Pancras and you'll be picnicking on a sandy stretch or licking ice creams in a nature reserve in no time. Our favourite spring and summer hideouts include the historic city of Canterbury, the lush plains of the New Forest, and the seaside revelry along Brighton and Hove's coast. For more inspiration, see our guide to the best day trips from London .

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Padstow, best weekend breaks

The best weekend trips from London

We're having a heatwave and there's never been a better time to plan your next break from the city

Ellie Walker-Arnott

London's teeming with stuff to do, but its endless array of museums, parks and attractions can lose their allure for even the most imaginative city dweller. So when that wanderlust hits (and you don't fancy booking a flight to Porto) here's where to go for an easy weekend away, full of the UK's best  restaurants , museums, shops, stunning scenery and hotels.

When you want to get out of London without any faff, look no further than these gorgeous getaways – from cosy rural retreats to proper city breaks.

This article includes affiliate links. These links have no influence on our editorial content. For more information, click  here .

RECOMMENDED: Stay nearer to home with  17 dreamy day trips close to London , or check out the very best  walks near London.

Been there, done that? Think again, my friend.

Great weekend getaways from London

1.  edinburgh.

Edinburgh

The Fringe in August is of course when the city comes into its own, but Edinburgh’s brimming with things to do and see during the other 11 months of the year. Climbing Arthur’s Seat is obligatory, as is trekking to Edinburgh Castle – then an evening picnic on the Meadows before hitting the dancefloor at small but legendary venue Sneaky Pete’s. Come bedtime, Rabble has gorgeous mid-century ‘rough-luxe’ rooms in the heart of the New Town, with a top-notch restaurant downstairs. While we’re on the subject of food: pop-up-turned-bricks-and-mortar-venture Ting Thai Caravan is well worth a visit to feast on street food to a soundtrack of, say, The Stooges. Still got itchy feet? Glasgow’s less than an hour away by train.

Get there  One hour and 20 minutes by plane; four hours 20 minutes by train from London King’s Cross; around eight hours by car.

2.  The Yorkshire Dales

The Yorkshire Dales

It’s probably the UK’s most famous national park, and for good reason – the Dales has staggering good looks and drama in spades. A weekend gives you plenty of time to roam the vast Bolton Abbey Estate near Skipton and be wowed by the Ribblehead viaduct and the natural amphitheatre of Malham Cove (see if you can spot the pair of resident falcons). The Dales are heaven if you live to stuff yourself silly – it’s well worth touring the Wensleydale Creamery, home of the famous cheese, and nosing around Theakston’s brewery. Speaking of pints, The Black Bull near Sedbergh is in a class of its own, with a fantastic, modern kitchen. It's also an inn, so you can kill two birds with one stone and rest your head here after enjoying their finest food and drink. 

Get there: two hours 15 minutes by train from London King’s Cross to Leeds; around three hours 30 minutes by car.

3.  The Peak District

The Peak District

The Lake District’s slightly gentler cousin has loads to recommend it: pretty market towns like Bakewell (home of the tart!), miles of undulating hills and stately Chatsworth, home to the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire. If the weather’s fine you could spend a whole weekend exploring the Peak District National Park on foot or on two wheels (bikes can be found at Blackwell Mill Cycle Hire), stopping off at the likes of the Devonshire Arms at Beeley for real ale and venison pie. After all that yomping about you’ll want a comfy spot to lay your head, and The Peacock at Rowsley, a historic country house near Bakewell, the plush four-poster beds will do the job nicely.

Get there two and a half hours by train from London St Pancras; around three hours by car.

4.  Padstow

Padstow

This pretty-as-a-picture port really is the cream of Cornish. It’s synonymous with everyone’s favourite seafood chef, Rick Stein – get to his fish-and-chip shop early to beat the queue. Or for a slightly less-trodden path, head to Prawn on the Lawn for the best shellfish you can stuff your mouth with. Mosey around the independent galleries and boutiques, before taking the Black Tor Ferry over the water to Rock for a pint at The Mariners, now co-run by chef Paul Ainsworth. Hire bikes and cycle the 18-mile Camel Trail to Bodmin, sign up for a lesson at Waves Surf School, or just take a kite for a spin on the beach. All that sea air means you’ll sleep like a log – book one of Georgian townhouse St Petroc’s cool, contemporary rooms, or a luxe tipi at Cornish Tipi Holidays if you have a car.

Get there  three hours 43 minutes by train from London Paddington to Bodmin Parkway, and a bus; around five hours 30 minutes by car. 

5.  The Cotswolds

The Cotswolds

Think of the English countryside and chances are you think of the Cotswolds: 750-odd ridiculously green and pleasant square miles straddling Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Somerset, Warwickshire, Wiltshire and Worcestershire. Each county has its own unique charm, but for a textbook weekend stick to Gloucestershire, land of Jilly Cooper, honey-coloured stone cottages and retired rock stars. Immerse yourself in nature: go leaf-peeping at Westonbirt Arboretum, take a clay pigeon-shooting lesson at the Cotswold Clay Club and coo over grazing cattle as you drive into Minchinhampton. Push the boat out with a stay at The Wild Rabbit in Kingham – a Pinterest board come to life – and don’t miss The Wheatsheaf Inn’s superlative Sunday roast.

Get there:  one hour 30 minutes by train from London Paddington to Moreton-in-Marsh; around two hours 30 minutes by car.

6.  The Gower Peninsula

The Gower Peninsula

It’s official: this south-westerly chunk of Wales is one of the UK’s best-looking spots (in 1956 it became the first area to be hailed as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty). It’s very close to Swansea but much of its coastline feels pleasingly remote – beaches like pebbly Pwll Du, for instance, are only accessible by foot. Explore ruined Pennard Castle and Three Cliffs Bay, and if the waves are beckoning you sign up for a lesson at Progress Surf School near Llangennith. For a meal to remember, The Beach House at Oxwich Bay has a Michelin star and stunning seafood, while Surfside Cafe on Caswell Bay has been hailed as one of Britain’s best beachfront eateries. Come bedtime, head for award-winning barn conversion Slade Barn, which has beautiful Scandi-style interiors and a surfing beach a five-minute walk away.

Get there four hours by car. 

7.  Winchester

Winchester

It’s always had the looks, but Winchester never used to have that much in the way of personality. Suddenly, though, this handsome cathedral city has become Hampshire’s coolest corner. The food’s fantastic, for starters: you can breakfast on cruffins at Hoxton Bakehouse, settle in for craft brews and tacos at Overdraft, then tuck into a chilli beef burrito pie while flipping through a vintage comic at Piecaramba. Winchester’s the perfect base to explore the rest of Hampshire from, too: nose around Jane Austen’s house in Chawton and join a tour at Hambledon, the UK’s oldest vineyard. Accommodation-wise, you’ll get the VIP treatment at Hotel du Vin – or try gorgeous boutique B&B Hannah’s.

Get there  one hour by train from London Waterloo; one hour 45 minutes by car.

8.  Bristol

Bristol

The West Country’s undisputed foodie capital, Bristol’s got it all. From cheesecake at Hart’s Bakery to modern British plates in a shipping container at Box-E, you could easily spend 48 hours here doing nothing but eating. And then there are the sourdough toasties with a side of Gallic charm at Bar Buvette and Poco’s internationally influenced tapas (don’t miss the merguez with buttered kale at brunch). Make time to visit the Clifton Suspension Bridge, the gorgeously restored lido and Stokes Croft’s street art – and don’t forget to sip some legendary Exhibition cider in The Coronation Tap (it’s so strong it only comes in halves). Bed down in former merchant’s house Number Thirty Eight, or at the utterly lush Bristol Harbour Hotel.

Get there  one hour and 38 minutes by train from London Paddington or if you’re watching your wallet National Express coaches run from Victoria for just £3.90 one way; around 2 hours 30 minutes by car. 

9.  Oxford

Oxford

Those dreamy spires are just the start of Oxford’s charms. As well as being an ancient university city with history in every brick, it’s a young, thriving cultural hub with plenty of great places to eat and drink (The Varsity Club's where it's at if you're after cool rooftop vibes). Tick off the Ashmolean and the Pitt Rivers Museum, then wander through Port Meadow and the University Parks, stopping off for burgers at The Rickety Press. Shop till you drop in the Covered Market, make like Inspector Morse with a pint of Wychwood Hobgoblin at The White Horse on Broad Street (one of the show’s filming locations), then turn in at boutique B&B The Glove House in Woodstock – or bunk up in the Artist Residence, a sweetly chic pub with rooms just outside the city.

Get there  one hour by train from London Paddington; one hour 30 minutes by car. 

10.  North Norfolk

North Norfolk

With its vast skies and meandering waterways, North Norfolk has an eerie beauty all of its own. Start off with a visit to see the seals at Blakeney Point (the pups arrive in the winter), then head to Cromer, where you can tuck into the famous crab at The Jetty, stroll down the pier and stock up on local preserves at the farm shop. Make time to chuff along the North Norfolk Railway from Sheringham to Holt, and see if you can book a tour of Voewood House, an arts-and-crafts masterpiece. After all that fresh air, bed down at The Chequers Inn in Thornham, a gastropub with luxe rooms in a building that dates back to 1499. Or for a splurge, head inland to The Gunton Arms, a plush inn set in a deer park with a magnificently meaty menu.

Get there: three hours 30 minutes by train from London Liverpool Street to Cromer, with changes; around three hours by car.

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weekend travel london

20 things to do in London this weekend 13 - 14 July

On Sunday we will be cheering on England in the Euros – but it’s a multi-national week here at the Slice, with recommendations for Bastille Day and reviews of Egyptian and Indian restaurants.

With the Wimbledon finals, a Euros final and the iconic Cocktails in City festival back in town – where else would you rather be this weekend?

Read on for a whole range of recommendations for 13 and 14 July, handpicked as always by The Slice .

Welcome to the Slice

The Slice is your weekly guide to what’s happening in  London , so if you’re looking for restaurant reviews,  drinks  deals or just a great new exhibition to visit on a rainy Saturday in the capital, we’ve got you covered.

Click here for this week’s edit of the best things to do in town – and if you want get the next edition before anyone else, sign up  here !

1. Find the perfect place to cheer on England (or Spain if you’re that way inclined)

It’s here. Despite all the criticism the manager and the team faced throughout the tournament – England are in the Euros final. Incase you haven’t chosen where you’re going to be yet, we’ve compiled a list of the best pub gardens and big screens to watch the matches over the next few weeks.

Check out our handy guide right  here .

2. Watch the Wimbledon finals on the big screen

London’s iconic summer staple tennis tournament is entering its final few days! If you’re wondering where you can watch the last round of matches (hopefully in the glorious sunlight), we’ve got you covered:

FREE: Strawberries & Screen will be returning to Duke of York Square in Chelsea for the screening of the Wimbledon Championships Men and Women’s Finals this weekend. Just arrive as there’s a designated space for walk-ins! 

FREE  King’s Cross:  Everyman  – watch from the iconic canal-side green-steps

Chelsea:  Bluebird Chelsea  – expect  giant tennis ball  decorations

FREE  Battersea:  Power Station Park  as part of The Wimbledon Experience

FREE   Vauxhall:  Metropolis London  

Mayfair:  Langan’s Brasserie  – make sure to grab their new ‘Sidecourt Sour’ cocktail 

FREE  Canary Wharf:  Summer screens  – you can also catch other live sports and free film screenings here too 

FREE  Waterloo:  The Refinery Bankside  – one of the largest screens in the capital 

FREE  Paddington:  Merchant Square  – from 11am every day with al fresco cocktails available

3. Drink away at Cocktails in the City

By Rob Buckhaven

20 popup bars in one Central London, private garden sounds like my idea of hedonistic heaven. In a measured way, get it? Throw in street food, live music, workshops and tastings and I’m practically shaken with anticipation. I mean, the list of bars is something to behold, with the likes of Café Pacifico, Coya, Disrepute, Royal Cocktail Exchange, The Coral Room, The Hoxton and Zetter Townhouse, all serving their signature cocktails. Only this year it’s the Games Edition, which is more like the Hunger Games, with less vicious death scenes. Battle of the Bars will see bar teams sparring to win the title of Best Bar Team, Best Cocktail and Best Bar Experience. Meanwhile, there are sessions including ice sculpture-building, build your own Paloma with 818 Tequila, or why not play croquet, chuck on some headphones for H.A.U.S Silent Disco Party, do some archery (aiming carefully) or head to the tasting stage for masterclasses by top-tier bartenders.

£22 per person, including welcome cocktail, live music and tasting sessions. 11 – 13 July, Bedford Square Garden, Bloomsbury. Book here .

🍹 The Slice recommends – the new premium rum brand Vapoura Rum has a stand at the festival and will be offering a series of delicious bespoke cocktails in collaboration with South American high-end restaurant INCA .

4. Bastille Day

Despite having to watch the Euro 2024 final from their TV screens this Sunday after crashing out in the semi-final, the French are still going to be celebrating on the 14 July. Bastille Day is France’s national day and there’s an abundance of restaurant deals and things to do in London this week to celebrate – here are some of our recommendations:

Clapham Grand. Dance along with 1000 others to classic French music from the 80s, 90s and 2000s. Expect tricolore balloon releases and all-night drink discounts. £12.36. 9:30pm – 3am, 13 July. Book here .

Bar Antoine. Enjoy a French-inspired buffet including grilled salmon and French cheeses, live music plus free-flowing Moët & Chandon champagne for an additional £30. Parfait . £90pp. Four Seasons Hotel, Mayfair. 14 July. Book here .

Balthazar. A staple of London’s francais scene, Balthazar is celebrating with a special menu, French-inspired cocktails and classic French jazz music from 7pm to serenade you through the night. Mains from £9.75. 12 – 14 July. Book here .

Best places to eat

5. discover delicious egyptian cuisine at alaz.

Filled with community charm, Alaz (meaning ‘more delicious’ in Arabic) is the restaurant born out of Sabrina Tolba’s hugely popular Egyptian catering business with her business partner Abeer Abdelghany. One of the most endearing aspects of this vibrant dining experience is that there are very few shallow-end entry points for the Western palette. Authenticity is key here, and homemade street food favourites such as the carb-heavy Koshari and the rich Molokheya made from jute leaves have all the traditional flavouring that takes a few bites to acclimatise to but rest assured, you’re rewarded handsomely. There are no stereotypes here so don’t expect to see statues of pharaohs and pyramids to enchant you in, instead let good food do what good food does best – make you nostalgic for a place you might have never visited before.

Mains from £11.95. 448 Chiswick High Rd, Chiswick. No need to book – walk-ins are encouraged. Find out more here .

6. Experience the artistry of fusion cuisine at Akira Back

Akira Back blends dramatic design with a fusion of Japanese and Korean cuisine, curated by Chef Akira Back, whose upbringing in Korea and Colorado infuses his dishes with adventurous creativity. Guests are welcomed into a striking dining room designed around the elements of earth, wind, and water. A triple-height sky roof floods the space with natural light, complemented by a grand marble staircase that adds an air of opulence to the ambience.

Enjoy cold dish offerings like the Jeju Domi Sea Bream, Yellowtail, and Salmon Tataki. Transitioning to hot dishes, the Miso Black Cod, Bulgogi Tacos, and Jidori Chicken showcase Chef Back’s mastery of blending Korean and Japanese influences. Book here.

7. Pick up free (dough) balls in Wimbledon

To celebrate Wimbledon’s return, Pizza Express in Wimbledon Village will be giving away free tennis ball tube-inspired Dough Balls Doppio tubes to passers-by on their way to the tennis between 9-14 July.

Share a pic of yourself with the Dough Balls, tag the restaurant, and you’ll be entered into a £100 PizzaExpress gift card too!

8. Visit Richmond’s new rotisserie paradise

If you’re looking for somewhere to go for bottomless brunch or dinner this weekend and fancy escaping central London for a bit, rotisserie chicken spot Cocotte has opened a brand new restaurant in Richmond this week. The new 62-seater eatery is serving up chicken, burgers, chicken & truffle croquettes, as well as French Remoulade, with a range of tasty sides and their famous secret sauces.

Customers can sit inside, or if the weather is good this weekend there’s also an outdoor terrace where you can catch some rays while sipping on a Margarita, Amaretto Sour, or a mocktail of your choice.

9. Try the world’s best pizza – in Chiswick

You’d be forgiven for thinking that Europe’s best pizza would be found in Italy, somewhere like Rome or Naples. Luckily for us, it happens to be right here in London.

Napoli On The Road, which has restaurants in Chiswick and Richmond, was recently crowned the best pizzeria in Europe in the 50 Top Pizza Awards 2024. If that wasn’t enough, owner Michele Pascarella, a chef from Naples who has been making pizza since he was 11 years old, was crowned the best pizza chef in the world at the most recent World 50 Top Pizza Awards. And the pizza really is that good – read our full review of Napoli On The Road here .

Pizzas from £11.95. 9A Devonshire Rd, Chiswick; 12 Red Lion St, Richmond. Book here .

10. Indulge in Le Choux’s juicy cookies

Le Choux has become a new London favourite (and staple) when it comes to the bakery game, and we can see why. Founded by the lovely Abigail with humble beginnings at Old Spitalfields Market, she’s grown the business to her own kitchen & shop in Notting Hill! The team are French choux pastry specialists, offering profiteroles and french patisserie in London with some pretty fun concepts like the profiterole choux-eclair. If you’re looking for large juicy cookies, crispy choux or if you just fancy a sweet treat when you’re in West London – this is the place for you!

11. Taste TA-KO’s delicious tacos

By Courtney Pochin

Stoke Newington is a trek for those south of the river, but trust me, TA-KO is worth the journey. Order the veggie tacos – sublime char siu jackfruit is just like eating pulled pork, but my favourite had crispy cauliflower with black bean and tamarind ragu, avocado and pepper mayo, it has  such  a good crunch. Delicious drinks, game-changing food, and everything is gluten-free. 

Ta-kos from £5.  8 Stoke Newington High St.  Book  here .

12. Try Ladurée gorgeous new cafe

Ladurée are best known for their very pretty macaron shops – but their newest concept is this gorgeously stylish cafe in Notting Hill.

In addition to their signature macarons you’ll also be able to order a coffee with a macaron on top, the Latte Plaisir Sucre. Or if you fancy something cooler, their soft serve is a fab option too! Warning – it’s very sweet.

Where to go for a drink

13. grab yourself a free pimm’s and beer.

🍹  Greene King pubs across the country are offering free glasses of Pimm’s, the nation’s favourite summer drink. All you need to do is follow this link to get your unique code to use in any of these participating venues .

🍺 Whenever it rains it seems to pour, which has been the story of the Wimbledon championships so far. Never fear though, as Stella Artois has jumped in and is covering the cost of pints whenever play is paused at Wimbledon in various Stonegate pubs across the country – no matter where you are.

14. Enjoy the sun at a rooftop bar

From terraces on top of skyscrapers to  vibey rooftop restaurants , London is full of high up perches to get soak up the sunshine and incredible views with a glass in hand.

We’ve rounded up some of our favourite central London suntraps  here .

15. Try elegant Indian cocktails at Mint Leaf

A chic champagne bar and a cosy cocktail lounge are not what you typically expect to find in an Indian restaurant, but we can confirm – it works. On arrival at Mint Leaf, you’ll also be greeted by a resident DJ playing mellow house music while clutching a pair of maracas in each hand. The signature cocktail menu is full of winners, but we recommend the ‘ Hanging Garden ’, a creamy and mango-infused twist on the classic Pina Colada. Onto the food. For starters, the duck paired with figs blends sweet and savoury together beautifully, while the Lamb Chettinad curry for a main might just be one of the most tender pieces of meat you have ever tried. A date night must.

Signature cocktails from £16 and mains from £23. 12 Angel Ct, Bank. Book here .

16. Dance the night away at Little Violet Door

Following on from its house party siblings the Little Scarlet, Yellow, Blue and Orange Doors across London, The Little Violet Door has now opened in Carnaby. Expect kitchen discos, late night cocktails and good vibes all night long.

Book your table here .

17. Revisit Barbie Land at the Design Museum’s new exhibition

💕 Hiya Barbie! A year on from the doll’s billion-dollar film mega hit, a special exhibition has launched at the Design Museum which explores the evolution of the world’s most famous doll. Book here .

18. Experience the exhilarating Monster Jam at the London Stadium

The exhilarating madness of Monster Jam is coming back to the UK this Saturday, where the world’s best drivers and their 12,000-pound monster trucks tear up the dirt in wide-open competitions of speed and skill. Get your tickets here .

19. Take part in Northcote Road’s Festival

The Northcote Road Festival is back this Sunday with the iconic road turning completely pedestrian to house live entertainment, a screening of the Wimbledon Men’s Final, a dog show and over 50 stalls featuring street food and artisan products. Free to attend. This year’s theme is LFBTQ+, promoting diversity within the community. Learn more here .

20. Take the kids out to Babylon Park

Ideal summer holiday fun particularly on a rainy day (which, let’s face it, we can probably expect more of them), for children and those looking for nostalgia. Spread over two floors, there are things for children of all ages, including a roller coaster and retro games. The unlimited pass is worth paying for, if it’s available.

8 Castlehaven Road, Camden. Book here .

See you next week!

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Its time to celebrate in London this week (Picture: Marco Bottigelli)

View of Big Ben and London skyline on summer's morning

11 things to do in London in July 2024 to soak up the best of summer

From wimbledon to bst hyde park.

Georgia Brown

While June saw the first signs of summer hit the city, July brings around Wimbledon, open-air theatre, music festivals, and dare we say, the official start of Pimm's season? 

If you're looking for things to do in London this month, look no further than HELLO!' s guide of the best restaurants, bars, pop up events, family-friendly activities, exhibitions, events and more happening in the capital. 

Read on to discover the very best things to do in London in July, tried and tested by HELLO! 's writers…

Best restaurants to visit in London in July 

Foodies need not look far to find an array of exciting restaurants and elegant dining spots to level up your next social soirée. Read on to discover what restaurants and bars team HELLO! is loving this month.

Los Mochis Notting Hill brunch

Add Los Mochis brunch to your weekend to do list

If you're looking for a distinctive breakfast experience on a tranquil street in Notting Hill, Los Mochis is the perfect choice. Los Mochis blends Mexican flavours with Japanese techniques, evident in every aspect, from the food and drinks to the décor and service.

On a sunny day, I treated myself and my family to breakfast at Los Mochis, and it turned out to be a memorable morning. We enjoyed our meal while basking in the sunlight. I ventured out of my comfort zone with a hot chocolate infused with chilli—quite the experience! For my main course, I opted for 'El Ingles,' a classic English breakfast that did not disappoint. My husband chose the mouthwatering 'Huevos Rancheros Bagel,' while my kids indulged in the Churros. Thankfully, the portion was generous, so we all got to taste them, and I can confirm they were delicious.

Los Mochis offers a wide range of breakfast options. You can choose from 'Light & Healthy' selections like granola, fresh fruit bowls, and acai bowls, or indulge in 'Sweet & Naughty' treats such as churros, pancakes, and waffles. Whether you’re in the mood for a healthy start or a decadent treat, Los Mochis has something for everyone.

Reviewed by Andrea Caamano, Website Editor

Milkbeach London menu

Go Down Under at Milk Beach Soho

I know this might seem like an odd thing to admit, but before I went to Milk Beach Soho I had no idea what constituted as Australian cuisine - and I don’t think I could have found a better introduction to modern Australian dining than at Milk Beach Soho. The restaurant’s set up is a high-ceiling circular room in beachy tones - with a very cool and friendly atmosphere. Then there was the food. 

Where to begin? I absolutely loved the mushroom dumplings with burnt onion consommé and chilli oil, my only complaint is that I would have had six more! The unique prawn toast with sesame and gochujang sweet ‘n’ sour sauce was also a total treat, as was the Koji marinated chicken ‘Schnitty’. I can’t wait to go back!

Reviewed by Emmy Griffiths, TV & Film Editor

The Petersham's afternoon tea spread

La Merenda at The Petersham, Covent Garden

Ask anyone to picture a delicious afternoon tea and you will no doubt conjure up images of classic jam and clotted cream-topped scones served with English breakfast tea and finger sandwiches.

However, The Petersham in Covent Garden has put an Italian twist on the English classic and it couldn't make for more of an indulgent summer afternoon outing. The upscale Mediterranean restaurant, located in Floral Court, has launched La Merenda - its own afternoon tea offering which takes inspiration from the Boglione family’s Piedmontese heritage.

HELLO!  was invited down for a taste of Turin and it was such a treat. The offering was brought out in stages, starting with a crisp glass of Ayala rosé champagne, before a choice of (countless) teas and the most delicious espresso-infused hot chocolate I have ever tasted, otherwise known as the Piedmont Bicerin.When it came to the food, The Petersham created a true spectacle - hand delivering our food on a tiered serving platter topped with a splendid bouquet of fresh flowers. A generous portion of sandwiches were on offer, ranging in innovative flavours from grilled zucchini and stracciatella to tuna and Sicilian avocado - not a hint of cheese and cucumber in sight!

I absolutely loved the pizzettes made from flaky pastry. The 'Classica' topped with tomato, oregano, burrata, and olives was my favourite - the flavours packed a punch while the pastry kept it light and moreish.The highlight of the afternoon tea was the sweet course. From a creamy pistachio tartlet to the refreshing Crostatina alla Frutta, the dish had it all and with six options to try, you are bound to find something you like.

The setting at The Petersham adds to the relaxed sense of luxury. I was able to dine al fresco under an umbrella on a hot day while sipping champagne and indulging in expertly crafted treats - divine! The service was impeccable and the Floral Court setting is a blissful secluded nook of the atmospheric Covent Garden where you can truly unwind.

To book, visit petershamnurseries.com

Reviewed by Katie Daly, Junior Lifestyle Writer

Beaverbrook 'A Skyfull of Stripes' balloon dining

Fly high at Beaverbrook

Having lunch somewhere fancy is up there on anyone's list, and they don't come more special and more fabulous than Beaverbrook's Hot Air Balloon Dining Experience. Remarkably close to London, you can take the train to the stunning Surrey hotel, which was the very first to offer this service four years ago and we are so delighted it's back for its fourth year. 

Every year the hotel changes the designs of the balloons and this year the theme is imaginatively called 'A Sky Full Of Stripes'. The ruby red and bubblegum pink colourway is the stuff dreams are made of and will totally elevate your Instagram feed for sure!

The six balloons are placed in front of the picturesque historic house and can fit four diners in their spacious baskets. It really is the finest alfresco experience you can think of.

The three course meal which is part of the service is truly a delight - the first course is a beautiful sashimi platter that is SO aesthetically pleasing. Following on is an exceptional Yakiniku barbeque (vegetarian options and pescatarian options are also available if meat isn't your bag) and dessert is the best looking, and most exquisitely delicious Baked Alaska, with coordinating ice cream stripes visible with the first bite.

It's a wonderful treat to mark a special occasion, or even a standout meal for no particular reason, which you will remember forever. Summer dining never looked so good.

Prices start at £85 per person. To book, call +44 (0)1372 571 300 or visit   www.beaverbrook.co.uk now.

Reviewed by Laura Sutcliffe, Fashion and Beauty News Editor

Mimosa restaurant at The Langham

Enjoy a taste of the Mediterranean at Mimosa

Dining at a hotel restaurant is never a guaranteed win. Sometimes they lack ambiance, often the sky-high prices are not worth the money, or the quality of the food just isn't there. All of this cannot be said though for The Langham's newest offering, Mimosa – the Mediterranean-inspired space that recently opened in the five-star, central London hotel.

The aim is to transport diners to the French Riviera, to capture the spirit of the Côte d'Azur, and to let patrons experience a real joie de vivre. From the moment my friend and I stepped in, Mimosa did exactly this. From the pink and terracotta colour scheme, to the très chic table settings featuring ocean-inspired crockery, it all felt very south of France sublime.

The whole menu is designed to share and I would recommend starting with the restaurant's signature opener, the Mimosa Eggs. Devilled eggs aren't something I'd usually get excited about, but the black truffle ones were a decadent way to start what soon became a very indulgent meal. Pan con tomate, one of my all-time favorite traditional Catalan dishes, came next, but the extravagant Mimosa version was served with a platter of smokey cecina, a nice extra touch. 

For mains, we shared the yellowfin tuna steak. I was expecting one large piece, but it was presented in a more refined way of meaty slices of tuna drizzled with crushed peppercorns and pepper sauce. Another stand-out and full-of-flavour dish was the lobster tagliolini pasta, baked in a tomato and tarragon sauce. 

We, by no means, needed dessert, but after much persuasion we were encouraged to try the L'Ananas dish, which was a real masterpiece in itself and I'm so glad we did. Served in a hollowed-out pineapple and resting on a bed of ice, it's a creamy and exotic version of crème brûlée. It was the last of the theatrically presented dishes that made the whole dining experience a truly luxurious treat.

Reviewed by Ainhoa Barcelona, Content Managing Editor 

lucky cat mayfair

Dine like the stars at Lucky Cat by Gordon Ramsay

Savage Garden rooftop

Sip on cocktails as the sun goes down at Savage Garden

With the weather warming up, there's no better way to spend a summer evening than sipping a delicious cocktail while watching the sun go down over the London skyline – and Savage Garden is the perfect place for it. 

Located in the heart of the city at the top of the DoubleTree by Hilton, the rooftop terrace overlooks Tower Bridge and the Tower of London and it's safe to say the panoramic views of the city are unmatched. 

But it's not just the outdoor setting that's impressive, the main bar features decadent and stylish decor including glass ceiling panels and gold light fixtures, giving the place a glamorous feel. 

I visited Savage Garden on the evening of its 6th birthday bash – and this place certainly knows how to throw a good party. As the DJ took centre stage in front of the bar, dancers clad in colourful costumes and feather headdresses twirled their way around the room. 

After being seated on the balcony, I started my evening perusing the impressive cocktail menu. While I opted for a delicious rosé elderflower spritz, I could have spent the entire evening sampling their unique mix of drinks. They've even partnered with global Ocean conservation charity, Ocean Conservation Trust, for one of their gin-based creations, where £1 of every drink sold is donated to the cause. 

As for the snacks, Savage Garden has a wide range of mouth-watering small and large plates. We started off with the duck bao buns, which were super succulent, and the bang cauliflower wings covered in gunpowder spices and accompanied by a cool coconut raita. 

We then moved on to a portion of Italian cheesy arancini with vegan Nduja mayo – I could have eaten about ten of these. The Bite Me Beef sliders with smoked cheddar and homemade bacon jam were also a highlight of the meal. 

Whether you're there to party or simply soak up London's skyline, Savage Garden is a must-visit.

Reviewed by Nicky Morris, Senior TV & Film writer

Best things to do in London in July 

Level up your social schedule with our recommendations of fun things to do in London this month.

Kings of Leon at Hyde Park

The best of live music at BST Hyde Park

Throughout July, London's breathtaking Hyde Park becomes home to a legendary summer festival; BST Hyde Park.

The annual event first kicked off in 2013 with The Rolling Stones reliving their legendary 1969 gig, plus Bon Jovi, Lionel Richie and many more packing out the park for memorable summer nights.

Got Glastonbury blues or gutted you missed out on tickets? Several headliners, including Shania Twain, SZA, and Kylie Minogue are set to perform gigs at the epic Hyde Park venue this month.

To explore all acts and buy tickets, visit  www.bst-hydepark.com/tickets

If you fancy going VIP at BST Hyde Park, check out Accor’s free to join Loyalty Program called ALL Accor Live Limitless. For details on ALL Limitless Experiences, visit limitlessexperiences.accor.com and get up to 10% off Accor hotel stays .

Lucky Voice Liverpool Street bar area

Sing your heart out at Lucky Voice

"I didn't have fun at karaoke," said no one, ever. Lucky Voice is always a guaranteed fun night out regardless of whether you have the X Factor or not.

We ventured to Lucky Voice Liverpool Street for a night of birthday celebrations for a friend, and collectively agreed to make karaoke night a new birthday tradition. We sang musical hits, rapped to Eminem, belted like Whitney Houston and spent the evening reliving memories from Taylor Swift's Eras tour. 

Most impressive are the booth's high-tech screens that allow you to become your booth's very own DJ, with adjustable LED lighting, a spinning disco ball, an ever growing catalogue of an impressive 11,000 songs (which include 11 languages), and of course the famous Lucky Voice "thirsty" button for those all-important food and drink refills. The cocktails continued to flow and the glitterball added some much-needed disco fever for our 80s ballads. 

Lucky Voice’s newest addition in Waterloo is the capital’s glittering hotspot for karaoke fans - not one to be missed if you're passing through Zone 1.

Reviewed by Georgia Brown, Senior Lifestyle & Fashion Writer

Albert Schloss in London

Experience the hottest party in town at Albert Schloss

Albert Schloss is an institution. The alpine bier hall, cook haus and stage show concept has proved so popular up North that a London branch was the next logical step. I was therefore keen to check out its fourth nationwide venue in Soho, promising fabulous live entertainment, free-flowing drinks and hearty food. If the launch night is anything to go by, it definitely lived up to expectations.

A unique concept, Albert Schloss promises round-the-clock revelry and is open from 9am to 3am (with an early finish time on Sundays), meaning it's a one-stop shop for all your food, drink and entertainment needs in the heart of the West End. Breakfast? Sorted. Sunday roast and a cheeky pint? It comes with DJs. Post-dinner drinks that turn into a party? Absolutely.

Set over two floors and featuring five bars, a stage for live performances (including burlesque dancing, cabaret, juggling and more) and an on-site bakery selling Bavarian treats, there's something for every mood and occasion. I had a friendly game of shuffleboard one minute before watching a fabulous cabaret show the next. As the lights dimmed, the crowd started signing and began dancing on the beer hall tables, I thought this was exactly what the capital needed (especially for us weary millennials) – day-to-night fun, all under one roof.

The launch party was attended by food gurus including Jay Rayner and Simon Rimmer, so I had high hopes for the menu, too. Sampling delightful canapes including sticky pork belly and mustard infused sausage rolls, it certainly appeared to be great quality for the price point. The wider menu includes a range of Schnitzels, wursts, sandwiches and even fondues, all with a special Schloss twist.  

Albert’s Schloss London is located at 20-24 Shaftesbury Ave. For more information, check out albertsschloss.co.uk .

Reviewed by Kate Thomas, Lifestyle Managing Editor

bam karaoke box

Sample London's newest brunch at BAM Karaoke Box

If there's one thing about me, it's that I love a brunch. So when I discovered London's new venue, BAM Karaoke Box , offering just that, I simply had to go and test it out. 

Situated in Victoria, the swanky venue offers themed brunches every Saturday, from noughties to hip hop, and Britney to Bollywood. Alongside your meal, you get 90 minutes of bottomless prosecco, and let me tell you, the staff are highly attentive when it comes to refills.

After an entertaining brunch session, you'll be whisked away into your private karaoke room for two more hours of amusement. So, grab your best friends, get your glam on, and book up this super fun activity.

Reviewed by Arianna Chatzidakis, Creative Content Director

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Holidaymakers stranded overnight after bad weather grounds flights

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People sit delayed in an airport.

Holidaymakers trapped overnight at Heathrow had to sleep on plastic terminal chairs after Atlantic storms grounded dozens of flights.

Heathrow and Gatwick Airports cancelled 125 flights on Sunday into Monday – impacting roughly 10,000 EasyJet and British Airways passengers.

After forming in the Atlantic Ocean in late June, Hurricane Beryl pounded the Caribbean, parts of the US and Mexico, sending a wave of torrential rain.

But its impact is being held hundreds of miles away in Britain, with torrential train and air traffic control issues sending the major London airports into chaos.

In Heathrow Terminal 5, which sees 10.5 million passengers travel through it each year, passengers unable to book hotels were seen surrounded by their luggage.

BA binned 51 flights departing to or from Heathrow on Sunday and 31 more on Monday. Flights to and from Lanzarote, Budapest and Venice were cancelled, as were two round-trips to Rome and services to Naples, Barcelona and Larnaca in Cyprus.

Easyjet grounded 34 flights on Sunday and nine the following day in Gatwick.

A passenger sits with their luggage in Heathrow.

Both Heathrow and Gatwick’s websites report no major delays or cancellations at the time of writing.

EasyJet passengers hoping for a refund will be disappointed to know they likely won’t get their money back, as air traffic control restrictions are considered ‘extraordinary circumstances’.

Passengers heading to and from destinations including Lanzarote, Budapest, Venice, Belfast, Edinburgh, Rome, Naples, Barcelona and Larnaca have all been affected.

Ryanair has also issued a statement: ‘ATC services, which have had the benefit of no French ATC strike disruption this summer , continue to underperform with repeated ‘staff shortages’.

‘We apologise to our passengers for these repeated ATC flight delays which are deeply regrettable but beyond Ryanair’s control.’

One passenger wrote on X that their flight was cancelled after the passengers had arrived at the gate in Gatwick.

A passenger sits with their luggage in Heathrow.

Phil said: ‘After a one-hour delay, we were told the crew were out of hours. We were left stranded.’

Gatwick Airport wrote on X: ‘Poor weather, including numerous thunderstorms, across the UK and much of Europe, are causing some delays at the airport this afternoon.

‘London Gatwick would like to apologise to any passengers whose journeys have been impacted.’

Some passengers shared their experience of spending four hours sitting on the tarmac at Gatwick Airport due to bad weather.

One plane flying from Stuggart to Heathrow was struck by lightning yesterday, forcing it to divert to Gatwick Airport.

Passenger Jeco, who shared an image of the lightning bolt on X, said: ‘The crew were amazing when our flight got struck by lightning on the approach to Heathrow.

A tree uprooted by the effects of Hurricane Beryl lies in a lawn, Monday, July 8, 2024, in Bay City, Texas. (

‘It was shocking. The flight had to divert to Gatwick.’

Commercial passenger planes are thought to be hit by lightning once or two each year, according to the USA’s  National Weather Service .

Beryl has spent more than a week tearing through the Caribbean, destroying roughly 98% of buildings across Carriacou and Petite Martinique, Grenada. Three people were killed.

Homes, schools and churches, among other buildings, were flattened by the hurricane in St Vincent and the Grenadines. Across Jamaica’s southern coast, two people died and hundreds of thousands of households were without power.

Beryl battered Cancún and Tulum in Mexico last week and reached Houston, Texas, over the weekend. At least six people have been killed by fallen trees or by drowning, officials confirmed yesterday.

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at [email protected] .

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Money blog: The big-name chocolate share bag with half the sugar of rival products

Welcome to the Money blog, your place for personal finance and consumer news and tips. Leave a comment or your Money Problem/consumer dispute (don't forget to leave a contact number/email) in the box below.

Friday 12 July 2024 08:00, UK

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With hotel prices rising and flight costs showing little hope of returning to pre-pandemic lows, travellers can question whether buying insurance for their holiday is really worth it. 

When deciding whether to make the purchase, it may be useful to know the most common issues that cause people to make a claim. 

Transport delays and medical costs topped the chart as the most frequent reasons for holidaymakers to look for compensation, according to GoCompare.

Lost baggage had caused 26% of people to file a claim.

The research found 76% of jet-setters secured travel insurance before their holiday.

Half of those who opted not to buy it said they didn't think they needed it, while 24% reported that it was too expensive and 10% simply forgot.

GoCompare spokesman Rhys Jones said travel insurance could be an "important safety net" for travellers, offering protection against a range of unexpected costs. 

"Purchasing a travel insurance policy the moment you book a trip will give you peace of mind that if any of your travel arrangements don't go to plan, whether in the airport or while you are away, you won't be left out of pocket," he said. 

"Whether it's a two-week beach vacation, a long weekend away or a business trip, we always recommend using a comparison site to look at all the options available.

"Remember to read the fine print before you purchase, and keep the details handy after you leave, just in case you do need to make a claim." 

It can be hard to balance the demands of eating well without spending a lot. In this series, we try to find the healthiest options in the supermarket for the best value - and have enlisted the help of  Sunna Van Kampen , founder of Tonic Health, who went viral on social media for reviewing food in the search of healthier choices. We also speak to dieticians each week.

Usual caveat: this series isn't trying to outline the outright healthiest option, but help you get better nutritional value for as little money as possible.

This week we're looking at chocolate. 

"Making the right chocolate choices can drastically cut your sugar intake without spoiling the fun," says Sunna. 

We previously looked at how to turn chocolate into a superfood by swapping milk chocolate to increasingly higher percentage dark chocolate - but now we turn to the kind of high street favourite we can't help but open in front of the telly.  

Let's get straight into Sunna's cost and sugar rankings...

M&M's Chocolate - 125g for £1.65, 66% sugar content

Galaxy Counters - 122g for £1.65, 58% sugar content

Cadbury Buttons - 119g for £1.65, 56% sugar content

Reese's Mini Cups - 90g for £1.75, 54% sugar content

Maltesers  - 102g for £1.65, 53% sugar content

Maltesers Dark Chocolate - 88g for £1.65, 32% sugar content

"There seems to be a clear correlation here that we have to factor into our choices," Sunna says.

That is - cocoa is expensive and sugar is cheap. 

"So, the better 'value' bigger packs are just loading you with more sugar," he says.

How much sugar can we eat?

The NHS recommends adults have 30g of sugar a day, with that decreasing to 24g for seven to 10-year-olds and 19g a day for four to six-year-olds. 

"A cut in sugar is not just good news for our waistlines, but also for our overall health, contributing to a balanced diet without the same spikes in blood sugar levels," Sunna says.

Those spikes can cause sudden drops in energy, spates of hunger and potentially lead to type two diabetes. 

Putting those figures into context

Take the M&M's mentioned by Sunna in that table. 

"They offer 125g bag with 66% sugar content which is an astounding 82.5g of sugar per bag," he says.

"That's over 20 teaspoons of sugar - or nearly three times your daily recommended intake for adults in just one bag - and we all know that one bag never makes it through movie night unfinished."

At the bottom end of the list is Maltesers Dark Chocolate. 

"At just 32% sugar in an 88g bag, we are talking about a cool 28g of sugar per bag. 

"That's still seven teaspoons of sugar and 93% of your daily allowance - but is a whopping 65% less sugar than M&M's - so that's a big win for your health."

Zooming out

Let's take an even further step back. 

If you consume 60 bags' worth over the course of a year, then you could be in for a massive 3.2kg of sugar savings per year if you switch from M&M's to Maltesers Dark Chocolate. 

"That's definitely worth it considering the price you'll pay is exactly the same - albeit for a 30% smaller bag," Sunna says.

"You could look at it being a 30% more expensive choice for the healthier Dark Maltesers, but your health will certainly thank you and your bank account will look the same at the end of the day."

If the dark chocolate alternative just isn't for you, then try picking options that have lower sugar content - and use the examples above as a guide. 

The nutritionist's view - from Nichola Ludlam-Raine, dietitian at  nicsnutrition.com ...

"When we cut down on sugar, it's crucial not to overlook other aspects of our diet, particularly saturated fat. 

"Many foods, including chocolate, marketed as 'low sugar' or 'sugar-free' (many 'diabetic' chocolate bars may say this on the front) often compensate for taste with increased levels of saturated fats or sweeteners - too much of which may cause an upset stomach. 

"These fats, when consumed in excess, can raise cholesterol levels and increase the risk of heart disease. 

"Therefore, while reducing sugar intake, one must also be mindful of saturated fat content to ensure a truly balanced and health-promoting diet.

"In the quest for healthier alternatives, 70% cocoa chocolate often strikes a happy balance between health and taste. 

"Dark chocolate with this level of cocoa content tends to have less sugar compared to milk chocolate while still retaining a satisfying taste. 

"Additionally, it offers several health benefits, including antioxidants, which can contribute to heart health and improved cognitive function. 

"However, it's still important to consume it in moderation, as even dark chocolate contains calories and some saturated fat."

Sky News has approached Mars Wrigley Confectionary Ltd, which owns M&M's, for comment. 

Read more from this series... 

Wagamama is venturing into the brunch market, launching its first-ever morning menu in 22 locations across the UK, according to industry magazine the Caterer.

Chicken katsu waffle and bao buns filled with bacon and sausage will be available from 8.30am on 17 July.

So far, the brunch menu has only been available at its airport sites, but a national rollout may be coming.

Find the 22 confirmed locations below:

  • Birmingham Brindley Place
  • East Midlands Designer Outlet
  • Nottingham West Bridgford
  • Sheffield Meadowhall
  • Ashford Designer Outlet
  • Bristol Clifton
  • Cardiff Library
  • Tunbridge Wells
  • Battersea Power Station
  • Covent Garden
  • Royal Festival Hall, Southbank

Every week we provide an overview of the mortgage market with industry experts - then hone in on one area and compare the best rates with Moneyfactscompare ...

As we reported yesterday, the chance of an August rate cut has receded slightly, to 50/50, following some hawkish noises from Bank of England figures...

This sentiment has yet to make an impact on the high street, where major lenders have continued to announce minor cuts to their fixed deals in anticipation of a summer move down from the current base rate of 5.25%.

Nationwide, Barclays, Virgin Money, Halifax and Coventry have all cut rates this week.

David Hollingworth, a director at L&C mortgage brokers, told the Money blog: "As one lender cuts, the sheer level of competition in the market ensures that others will have to respond. 

"Although cuts in recent weeks have tended to be relatively small, momentum is now building and improvements this week are starting to produce new best buy rates.  

"Barclays will today launch a new five-year fixed rate at 4.09% for homebuyers with 40% to put down, marking a new benchmark rate and edging ever closer to 4%."

However, Mr Hollingworth cautioned that fixed rates were already pricing in base rate cuts, "so borrowers shouldn't necessarily bank on rates tumbling ever lower and certainly not back to the ultra lows of a few years ago".  

He advises securing a rate now and then reviewing it if there's continued improvement.

Here's how average rates are looking right now...

Elsewhere, Virgin Money and Clydesdale announced cuts to the standard variable rate (SVR).  

This is good news for those on SVR or linked products, but borrowers should still be shopping around for a better deal, Mr Hollingworth says. 

The cut from 9.49% to 9.24% for Virgin Money will still leave it at the higher end and borrowers can clearly slash the rate by switching.  

Another news-making development this week was HSBC increasing maximum lending limits, allowing it to offer its deals to more customers that require larger loans.  

"This will help to bring the range of core products to a wider audience and should heighten the competition in the market, not just for those requiring mammoth mortgages but also enabling a higher borrowing for those with small deposits," said Mr Hollingworth.

Focus on buy-to let

Moneyfacts finance expert Rachel Springall says: "Overall, it has been a relatively quiet week for rate tweaks in the buy-to-let sector, but landlords have been mentioned in the news.

"According to a recent survey from buy-to-let lender Landbay, the majority of landlords said they plan to increase rents over the next year."

Commenting on the analysis, Landbay distribution director Rob Stanton said: "Today's market now means landlords also have to factor in higher interest rates and operating costs. With no alternative, many landlords have to consider increasing rent to cover their outgoings. 

"As a large number of landlords look at their remortgage options, they can be encouraged by the innovation we have seen from lenders across the buy-to-let market."

These are the best rates on offer this week...

And these are this week's Moneyfacts best buys, which look beyond the main rate at incentives and overall cost...

Virgin and Clyesdale Bank have announced a slight drop in their standard variable rate mortgage rates - in what could be seen as a precursor to a base rate cut in a few weeks' time.

From today, their SVR stands at 9.24% - down from 9.49%.

Barclays and Halifax have also announced they are dropping selected fixed- rate deals from tomorrow - continuing a trend we have seen in recent weeks.

Cowboy builders face a crackdown on trader recommendation websites under new guidelines proposed by the industry watchdog.

The Competition and Markets Authority says the web pages must tackle fake reviews and vet the tradespeople they advertise after "worrying evidence" emerged.

The regulator has published a first draft of its advice following concerns over websites that fail to sanction rogue traders, offer a complaints process, or monitor traders while making misleading claims about their trustworthiness.

Plusnet customers will from today see their mid-contract price changes expressed as "pounds and pence" rather than percentages in a bid by the internet provider to make information clearer for customers.

Price comparison service Uswitch has praised the move which gives "greater clarity" to consumers.

"The new model provides certainty when it comes to the cost of your contract and makes it easier for customers to manage their finances," the Uswitch telecoms expert Ernest Doku said.

The new model, which applies to new and existing customers who take out contracts after today, will see mid-contract charges at a flat rate for all customers - a yearly increase of £3 per month.

People with coeliac disease are paying up to 35% more for their weekly shop, research has found, with some even eating gluten to avoid paying higher costs despite the potential impact on their health.

A new report by Coeliac UK has found that 77% of people with the disease struggle to afford gluten-free products from supermarkets.

Seven in 10 people said shopping gluten free "adversely affects their quality of life" due to the cost and availability of the food on supermarket shelves and online.

Around 4% are choosing to eat gluten despite the risk to their health because of concerns around the cost of gluten-free food, while 27% would eat products with "may contain" for the same reason.

The research by Coeliac UK revealed that loaves of bread are 4.5 times more expensive on average, while pasta and plain flour are twice as pricey when made gluten free.

If you're thinking of stocking up on Sainsbury's snacks and drinks for Sunday's big game, you'd better do it ahead of time.

Like rival Tesco, the supermarket has announced it is closing convenience stores and petrol stations early across England so staff can tune into the Euros final.

More than a thousand branches will be closing at 7.30pm on Sunday, rather than 10pm or 11pm.

"We want to give our colleagues the chance to tune in live and cheer on England with friends and family. The atmosphere in stores is electric after last night's win," said Clodagh Moriarty, chief retail and technology officer.

Supermarket hours are unaffected as they usually close before the 8pm kick-off. 

Any online grocery orders which have already been booked will be honoured.

All branches will reopen at their usual time on Monday.

A new competitor has emerged on the condiment shelf - Nando's ketchup.

It's being advertised as a twist on the traditional sauce, with a touch of "peri-peri magic" for your chips, burgers or bolognese.

This translates into a small amount of spices like cayenne pepper, bird's eye chilli, ginger, garlic, and paprika, as well onion and lemon purees.

We've taken a look at how it stacks up against the other ketchups on Asda's shelves below, with some key takeaways:

  • Hellmann's has the most tomatoes and the least calories per serving
  • Asda's own brand is by far the most affordable - with a very similar ingredients list to market leader Heinz
  • Nando's is, just, the most expensive per 100g, though it's tricky to compare against all the below as some are only available in bigger bottles
  • The main ingredient in Leon's, uniquely, is not tomatoes but water
  • Leon's has the least sugar per serving

Price per 100g: 94.3p (for normal sized bottle) Main ingredient: Tomato paste (140g tomatoes per 100g) Calories: 17kcal per serving Sugar per 100g: 20g

Price per 100g: 80p (for normal sized bottle) Main ingredient: Tomatoes (148g per 100g) Calories: 15kcal per serving Sugar per 100g: 22.8g

Asda own brand

Price per 100g: 14.9p (only available in jumbo sized bottle) Main ingredient: Tomatoes (148g per 100g) Calories: 15kcal per serving Sugar per 100g: 21g

Price per 100g: 92.2p (normal sized bottle) Main ingredient: Water (with tomato paste second at 25%) Calories: Not available Sugar per 100g: 16.6g

Price per 100g: 29.2p (one up from normal sized bottle) Main ingredient: Tomatoes (117g per 100g) Calories: 17kcal per serving Sugar per 100g: 22g

Price per 100g: 40p (two up from normal sized bottle) Main ingredient: Tomatoes (168g of tomatoes per 100g) Calories: 13kcal per serving Sugar per 100g: 18g

Asda is the first to offer Nando's tomato sauce but it is expected to roll out at Sainsbury's, Tesco and other supermarkets in the coming months.

Earlier this week, business presenter Ian King answered questions from Money blog readers about what the new Labour government means for their personal finances.

One question related to the two-child cap on child benefit - which Labour have at times suggested they're ideologically opposed to, but won't commit to changing because of the cost.

Responding to a question about whether taxes could be raised for oil and gas companies to pay for scrapping the cap, King said: "The Resolution Foundation has estimated that the two-child benefit cap will save the government £2.5bn during the current financial year - which would rise to £3.6bn if applied to all families claiming universal credit.

"Labour is committed to raising the levy on North Sea oil and gas producers from the current 75% to 78% - and has earmarked the money raised will go towards funding its wider plans for energy and, in particular, decarbonisation.

"It would be ill-advised to raise taxes further. The decisions it has made have already had an impact on investment in the North Sea, as I report here.

"And don't forget, the cap is not just about saving money. It's also about avoiding awkward newspaper headlines and stories about big families being paid a small fortune in benefits of the kind that embarrassed the last Labour government and angered so many of its traditional working-class supporters in particular."

You can read all 21 of King's answers here ...

A "nationwide issue" has been affecting card payments.

Many social media users were reporting being unable to pay for their shopping in supermarkets this morning.

More than 600 people were flagging issues with Visa on Down Detector as of 9.45am, while over 100 had problems with Mastercard payments as of 10am.

A sign in one Sainsbury's store was requesting customers pay for their shopping in cash.

The supermarket said on social media it had been aware of a "nationwide issue" with card payments.

Vanessa Meehan, in Twickenham, said: "I've just been turned away at Sainsbury's as they can't accept card payments. Petrol station also coned off. The car is running on fumes and I need to get supplies."

A Sainsbury's spokesperson told Sky News at 11am that contactless payments had resumed after being "briefly unavailable for a few minutes this morning".

They said this was caused by an issue with its third-party payment provider.

"We're accepting all payments as usual and continue to monitor the situation. We're sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused," the supermarket said.

Asda also confirmed its payment systems were back up and running following temporary issues with Visa.

A Visa spokesperson confirmed to Sky News it had been aware cardholders were experiencing issues when making payments.

"While Visa's systems are operating normally, we are working with our partners to investigate," they added.

Mastercard said it was "aware of some payment transaction issues at select merchants in the UK" and was working to gather more information.

"There is no current indication that these issues are related to our network," a spokesperson said.

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    The weekend sees a host of events taking place, including the Goodwood Festival of Speed and people travelling to London for the televised Euros final, meaning even more cars than usual will be out. That'll be in addition to families heading to Thorpe Park, as well as people going to Gatwick and Heathrow airports.

  27. TfL announces weekend closures of southbound ...

    These dates have been chosen to avoid key events happening in London during the summer. Plans for the Silvertown Tunnel were first developed in 2012. When it opens in 2025, the new tunnel will help reduce traffic congestion and deliver faster, more reliable journeys in east London, making travel times up to 20 minutes quicker.

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    In some London boroughs, primary schools are starting to close, because parents find they cannot live in the capital and raise a family. They're moving out - reducing demand for London school ...