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.
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.
That's why we've included links to other posts that go into more depth about a particular location or attraction.
Of course, we hope that you will consider one of our pay-what-you-like London walking tours.
DAY 1 IN LONDON
8:00 am - The Breakfast Club
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!
10:30 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.
5:00 pm – Walk across Tower Bridge
When your tour is over, walk around the Tower of London onto the world-famous Tower Bridge to get an amazing view of London and stand on one of the most famous bridges in the world!
Then walk along the path running the Southern bank of the River Thames, seeing London from a new direction as well as passing popular sites such as Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, the Tate Modern, and the London Eye.
6:30 pm – Covent Garden
Cross the Thames on either Waterloo Bridge or the Hungerford Bridge and walk into 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 the best margarita in town at a London Favourite: La Perla Bar and Restaurant.
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!
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 – St. Katherine’s Docks
Just behind the Tower of London lies hidden docklands, dotted with restaurants, pubs, and bars, so uncover the secret and grab a bite to eat here on the water.
1:30 pm – Museum of London
If there’s only time to visit one museum you visit in London, this is the one that will give you the best London-centric experience.
Chronologically laid out, this Museum covers thousands of years of London History.
4:30 pm – Heron Tower
After the museum, head to nearby Liverpool Street and one of the tallest skyscrapers in town: Heron Tower.
With a bar at the top-selling cocktails, wine, or non-alcoholic goodies, a drink here will provide you with one of the most stunning views of London – all for the cost of a drink!
5:30 pm – 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.
8:00 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.
8:30 am - Breakfast at Muriel's Kitchen at South Kensington
Treat yourself to a great breakfast at a popular London institution. Muriel's now has three restaurants in London, but the South Kensington is the original.
Go big with a hearty plate of bacon, sausage, 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.
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.
Kensington Palace is also home to William, Kate and Baby Prince George (and soon to be Baby Number Two!) so keep your eyes peeled for some possible royal sightings!
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 which actually has reasonably priced goodies you may wish to treat yourself with!
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!
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.