This is a sample 3-day London itinerary and is meant as a guide to help you plan out your stay to maximize the value of your time.
You could also use this as a 1 or 2 day London itinerary.
To make this 3 Day London Itinerary, we collaborated with our team of local guides who have been living in - and leading tours in - London for over a decade! We worked together to come up with a unique mix of "must-see" attractions (such as those that our guests frequently ask about or have on the top of their lists) as well as some hidden gems that we, as locals, want to share with you!
London is a mega-city and you simply can't fit everything in a lifetime, let alone 3 days. So, you will need to be strategic. We've come up with what we think is the ideal way to include as much as possible into your time here, with restaurant and pub recommendations, too, to really make the most of your time.
You'll also notice we've included links to other posts that go into more depth about a particular location or attraction to help you decide if you want to follow our recommendations.
Of course, we hope that you will consider one of our pay-what-you-like London walking tours.
8:00 am - The Breakfast Club
The Breakfast Club is a London institution with numerous locations throughout the city and it's a BIG favourite with our team. People queue for hours to get into this Soho hotspot, so make sure to arrive early to bag yourself a fabulously British breakfast!
9:30 am – TKTS at Leicester Square
Get to the TKTS booth in Leicester Square early, as they open at 10:00 am. See what offers they have on and buy yourself a ticket for a show tonight! (We never pay full price for our theatre tickets if we can help it!)
10:00 am – London All-in-One Free Tour
Meet your friendly local London guide just inside Green Park.
This tour will show you all the highlights of London, including Buckingham Palace (and the Changing of the Guard on certain days), St. Paul's Cathedral, Parliament, etc, etc, giving you anecdotes, details, and history that you’d never discover on your own.
You’ll also have the opportunity to eat a traditional British pub on your lunch break.
4:00 pm – Walk across Tower Bridge
When your tour is over, walk around the Tower of London to get photos of this most iconic location - or even walk across!
4:30pm/5:00pm - Take an iconic journey to the West End
From Tower Bridge, you can pick up either an Uber Boat (think a bus, but on water!) or, if the weather is good and the sun is still shining, you may want to join a guided boat tour to take you westwards. Check out our post which details all the boat options to pick the right one for you.
Once you reach Westminster Pier, head a few minutes walk North into the West End.
6:30 pm – Covent Garden
You’re now in the heart of London’s West End and you should be near a theatre for your show!
Explore the cobbled back streets and grab a bite to eat and enjoy the best margarita in town at Cafe Pacifico.
7:30 pm - Take in a West End Show.
The Show Goes On! – Most London West End productions begin at 7:30 in the evening. See what's playing.
10:00 pm – London At Night
When your show is over, head to Trafalgar Square and see Nelson’s Column illuminated at night.
You can also head to Whitehall to re-visit the Houses of Parliament and see Big Ben, towering over you with lights shining bright!
For some other nighttime ideas, be sure to read our posts:
9:00 am – Tower of London
This is an absolute must for a visit to our capital city, the Tower of London holds 1,000 years of history…not to mention the Crown Jewels! This is our top, top, TOP recommendation out of all the "major" sights in the city.
Get their first thing in the morning to avoid the crowds and head straight to the Jewel House first thing, so you can explore before others arrive later on.
12:00 am – Borough Market
Walk across either Tower or London Bridge to get to Borough Market - the best food market in the United Kingdom! You'll find plenty of delicious food (and drink) to choose from at this iconic London location. There is much debate within our guide group about the best places to get food but one thing we ALL agree on is: Bread Ahead Bakery! Don't miss it.
1:00 pm – Explore the Southbank
Take your time at Borough Market and the wind your way along the best walking path in London: The Southbank. You'll have an opportunity here to visit the Golden Hind, see what remains of Winchester Palace, visit Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, and/or the Tate Modern, all in this area! You'll also find plenty of places for an afternoon drink..!
When you're done, you can walk across the iconic Millennium Bridge (Harry Potter fans note that this is the one the Death Eaters destroy in the film!) to return to the Square Mile for your next destination.
4:30 pm – Heron Tower, SkyGarden or Horizon 22
Now it's time to get a great view of the city! If you can reserve a FREE ticket, the SkyGarden is our top recommendation. Horizon22 is the newest (and highest) viewing gallery in the city, however, so that may be your preference. If you aren't able to get a reservation (they do book up quickly in peak season), consider our cheeky tip of grabbing a drink in one of the restaurants in the Heron Tower to soak in some great city views.
6:00 pm – Jack the Ripper Free Tour
Explore the backstreets of Victorian London with our expert guide and hear the stories about the world’s most famous murder victims…and their killer!
A London “must,” this tour encompasses the spirit of London’s evocative East End. You could also take our GPS-led Ripper Tour. We have been leading Jack the Ripper Tours for years (just check out the Trip Advisor Reviews) so you know you're in good hands!
8:30pm - East End and Brick Lane
Just around the corner is the East End and Brick Lane, so get yourself some delicious and authentic Indian food for dinner, and have a bit of a wander and take in all of the street art that decorates this eclectic part of town.
8:30 am - Breakfast at Farm Girl at South Kensington
Treat yourself to a great breakfast at a unique London cafe.
Go big with a hearty plate of sausage, mushroom and eggs, nibble on some pastries, or feel fit with fruit, yogurt, and granola.
The menu is always fresh and always changing, but will set you up for your day.
10:00 am - Museums
The Victoria & Albert Museum, The Natural History Museum, and The Science Museum are all literally next door to one another.
So take some time to explore these great free London Museums.
The V&A holds artifacts from both Britain and abroad and spans a great width of topics.
The Natural History Museum is popular for families with dinosaur skeletons (including a moving baby T-Rex) as well as rooms filled with gemstones.
The Science Museum has a focus on...science and features unique and interesting hands-on exhibits.
1:00 pm - Lunch Break
The V&A has a fabulous cafe and garden area with classic lunch staples like sandwiches and salads, as well as a great array of cooked dishes, desserts, coffees, and teas.
2:00 pm - Back to the Museums! Or, if you're done already, head directly to...
4:00 pm - Kensington Palace
From the museums, it is a short walk up the road to Kensington Gardens. A lovely park to explore, this is also the site of Kensington Palace.
For those who have the time, you may wish to purchase a ticket and explore the rooms inside - seeing where Princess Diana used to live and where Queen Victoria heard she was the new Monarch!
If you've not got the time or the funds, just enjoy the view of the Palace as you stroll through the fabulous park.
5:00 pm - Harrods
Perhaps one of the most famous shops in the world, Harrod's is located at Knightsbridge in Kensington.
Explore designer labels, household furnishings, the most impressive cosmetics department around as well as the sprawling food/market section (the best part of the shop, in our opinion!) which actually has reasonably priced goodies you may wish to treat yourself with!
7:00 pm - Chinatown
When it's time for dinner, take a bus through illuminated Piccadilly Circus and get off at Chinatown. Here you'll find a restaurant for every budget (and palate!).
Once finished, you are then free to explore Soho...perhaps do some shopping, people watching, or grabbing a cocktail to celebrate the end of a wonderful London adventure! Our favourite places for late night drinks are Cahoots (avant garde drinks in an incredible setting), Ain't Nothin' But - the Blues Bar (best for live music), and Simmons (unbeatable happy hours!).
Museum-lovers should read our 5-day London museum itinerary.
Do take advantage of our self-guided walking tours and our self-guided London food tours to get the most out of your visit.
Be sure to also read our Guide to London on a Budget, where you can find other budget itineraries.
You could also gather more itinerary ideas by looking at neighborhoods. Below is a list of 13 top areas.
- Old City of London
- St. James and Piccadilly
- Hyde Park and Kensington
- Covent Garden (+ Covent Garden Food Tour)
- Trafalgar Square
- Leicester Square
- Camden Town
- Borough Market
We have also created guides based on the time of year. Click on the links below for the corresponding time that you plan on being in London. These also include monthly weather expectations to help you plan how to dress.