If you’re in Britain or anywhere else in Europe, a short trip to London is a must.
Being one of the largest cities on earth, London has plenty to offer, making the English capital worth the visit.
Since 3 days in London is not a lot of time, a carefully planned itinerary can help you make the most out of your vacation. We have made a detailed itinerary with all the information you need to plan your trip.
This itinerary can be adjusted based on your budget so that every visitor can get a good taste of what the UK capital has to offer.
Discover the best this city offers in terms of sights, sounds, history, art, food, shopping, and so much more. Experience the best bits of London with this three-day travel guide.
Planning the Trip
Before you land at Heathrow, you must figure out where to stay during your trip and how to travel between locations.
You can switch up your days accordingly depending on where you are staying. Let’s say you choose to stay in South Bank or Bankside; you can switch your day two itinerary to day one or any other way you like.
Also, remember that there are many places you can stay and many modes of travel you can choose, but picking the right ones will cut your cost and help you make the most out of your short visit.
Where to Stay?
When choosing a place to stay in London, you must select a location that helps you quickly get to the main attractions.
Staying in some of the prime locations can ensure that you don’t spend as much money on the commute and have more time to explore the city.
These are the most convenient locations for many of the major sites and attractions, some of which you can simply walk to. However, London is a big city, so don’t expect all the key attractions to be within walking distance.
Other notable sites and locations might be spread out into other parts of the city. While these locations have plenty of great hotels, don’t expect a lot of amenities, as the main point of these venues is the location itself.
Also, these are not places where locals would live, so you won’t get a local experience here. Since 72 hours is such a short time, most people are looking for the tourist “crash course” on London rather than being in search of the local experience.
Let’s take a look at some of the key options for locations you can stay in while visiting London.
If you want to stay in a happening location that is bustling without being overly touristy, you would want to stay in Covent Garden.
The best way to discover London is by foot, which is possible if you stay in a central location like Covent Garden.
Situated in the West End of London, Covent Garden is good for history and culture, as you get a definite feel of London with its old architecture.
While the area is almost always buzzing with tourists and locals, it is not too loud or overwhelming. The location comes alive with the live music wafting through the air or with the street performances you will come across.
Not only will you have all the theatres, restaurants, cafes, and shops within walking distance, but you will also be able to walk to other nearby areas like the River Thames, Somerset House, and Trafalgar Square.
Covent street brings a lot of places within walking distance, including areas like Westminster and Southbank. You are also super close to the top shopping areas of Carnaby Street, Oxford Street, and Regent Street.
Due to its attractive location, you will mostly find luxury hotels in the area. One affordable hotel you can try is the Z Hotel Covent Garden. If you get rooms with no windows/views, it is much more budget-friendly than most other hotels in the area.
Try out The NoMad Hotel or The Henrietta if you are into boutique hotels. Or you can opt for the Covent Garden Radisson Blu Edwardian if budget isn’t that much of an issue.
Once the red light district of London, Soho is culturally and socially one of the most happening places in the city. If you want to stay in the centre of the action, Soho is the perfect place for you.
With many of the same attractions within walking distance as Covent Garden, Soho has it all.
Staying here means you are not only close to many of the key attractions of the city, but you are also in one of the most happening, trendy, and hip parts of London.
Soho is the life of the party, as within and around the area, you will find some of the liveliest nightclubs and bars. It also has many cafes, restaurants, and live music venues.
Soho has a collection of boutique shops and famous department stores, so you can shop till you drop. If you want a breath of fresh air, both St. James’s Park and Green Park are also close by.
London’s Chinatown is in Soho, which is an exotic experience in itself with its narrow lantern-lit lanes fragrant with the aroma of exciting cuisines and spices.
You will find yet another Z Hotel branch in Soho, which is a bit more affordable than other places. They have eleven different branches in the city!
You can try No.5 Maddox Street or the 4-star Hazlitt’s for boutique hotels. The Soho Hotel is probably the most popular hotel in the area and offers you an ‘artsy’ luxurious experience.
Southbank and Bankside
Travelling across the river Thames to the other side will bring you to two areas, Southbank and Bankside.
These riverside areas keep you close to some of the city’s main attractions, including Big Ben, the London Eye, and even the Tower of London across the river, which you can reach using Tower Bridge.
Other attractions in the area include Shakespeare’s Globe Theater, Tate Modern, and the Borough Market. This place is great if you are travelling with family since you will find options for food at numerous prices, which can make your vacation more budget-friendly.
The range of hotels you will find here is also more versatile, and it will be easier to find something that suits your budget, whatever that may be. This place is also heaven for solo travellers who are foodies and wish to try more flavours while staying within budget.
For a unique hotel experience, you can opt for Sea Containers. This boutique hotel was inspired by cruise liners from the early 1900s. The riverside venue provides excellent views and amenities. It even has its own Curzon cinema!
Another luxury option would be Hilton London Bankside, a Hilton hotel branch. This area has more versatility in terms of hotels, so you will find many much more affordable options throughout the area.
If you want to stay somewhere trendy that breathes the vibrancy of today’s London, stay at Shoreditch. With an ever-evolving art scene and lively nightlife, this place is perfect for travellers who want to experience the city from a Londoner’s point of view.
From colourful street art to sophisticated galleries, Shoreditch is an art lover’s paradise. While it is a bit less central than the other places mentioned here, it is a great place for the youth with many bars, clubs, cafes, and restaurants which are quite the hotspots.
From quirky boutiques to luxury chains, you will find many hotels in Shoreditch. The hotels in this area are smaller, as Shoreditch is one of those places where locals live or hang around in.
There is a Z hotel in the area and quality boutiques like Montcalm East. You will also find branches of some international chains like the Mondrian and Nobu Hotel. Nobu hotel has an eye-catching modern architectural design and modern amenities that can give you a luxury experience.
Other great places to stay include pretty much any area in the city of Westminster, including Mayfair, where the rich and affluent live, or Notting Hill, a quaint and ‘instagrammable’ suburb that rose to fame due to the BAFTA award-winning British Film of the same name.
In terms of accommodations, you have a few options. Since London is a thriving city and a popular tourist destination, you are bound to find something within your budget. Let’s explore some options for accommodation.
If you are travelling solo or with friends and are on a strict budget, you can consider lodging in a hostel. There are plenty of websites that can help you choose a quality, reputed hostel.
While they are not like hotels, they offer a few unique amenities like a living room type common room and shared kitchen. At the reception, you can sign up for tours and activities that they offer or are affiliated with. Some offer inclusive breakfast or the option to get your laundry done.
Many people use hostels for staying long term, as they are much cheaper than other options. The average cost of staying at a hostel ranges from $71-86, which is much cheaper than hotels.
If you can afford them, hotels are great for accommodation. They provide many amenities like housekeeping, room service, and laundry service.
Most hotels have their own restaurant, and sometimes there might be more than one within the premises.
Some hotels offer breakfast buffets which are often included in the price of the room, but with most, you can order food right from the comfort of your room. A few even offer 24/7 room service, which can be great if you get late-night food cravings.
Hotels come in many price ranges, and the star-rating system is a great way to decide what quality and amenities you want to pay for.
Apart hotels combine the best of hotels and luxury apartments. These are buildings with sets of apartments where you can stay, but it also provides room services and house cleaning services.
These are great for families, especially those with multiple children who require a larger living area. Most of these come with two bedrooms and an equipped kitchen.
However, people generally use this type of accommodation for longer stays, so unless you have a family and you must use the kitchen, this is not the best option for a 3-day trip.
Airbnb and Other Platforms
Apps like Airbnb give you access to vacation home rentals. These are houses and apartments you can stay in, but they often don’t offer things like room service or house cleaning.
While you might find many cheap options, the quality can be pretty bad at a lower price point. Since these vacation rentals don’t have full-time staff to maintain the premises, the quality can be poor.
Moreover, these are pretty bad for the locals as well, as it reduces the availability of houses and apartments, increasing demand and making house prices and rents sky-high.
Exploring the city on foot is the best way to go as with a city so old, every street has historical significance or something to see.
There are plenty of options for transport in London. You have the London Underground, also known as “the Tube,” the overground local trains, metro trains, trams, riverboats, buses, taxis, and of course, uber.
Whatever location you live in, it is crucial to stay somewhere that is about a 5-10 minute walk from a tube or local train station. This can not only save you money but will also save you plenty of time.
London is divided into nine transport zones. While in London, it is crucial to know which zone the station you are getting on or off from is in. For instance, Zone 1 is central London, where you will find most of the tourist attractions.
One useful thing that any London tourist should consider getting is an Oyster card. You can use Oyster Cards to pay for most modes of public transport, including the bus, Tube, tram, and many others.
Your card will be valid for as long as you want; you only need to pay for your desired number of days. For this itinerary, you will need to buy a card that will be valid for three days.
A single journey on the tube costs about £2.40 credit, while a single journey on the bus costs about £1.50.
Each zone takes you a little further from the centre, so the cost of a single journey between zones will increase with distance.
However, with your Visitor Oyster card, your journey becomes free after you make three of them in a given day.
Note that you cannot use your Oyster card for private transport services like black taxi, uber, and even Hop on Hop off buses.
Each person will need an Oyster Card of their own, including children who are five years of age or older.
The London Pass
You might have heard of the London Pass, a special card made for tourists visiting London. You can buy these based on how many days you will stay, and in the duration of those days, this pass gives you access to many of the popular tourist attractions in the city.
London Pass is quite convenient as you can buy it on the app and download it so you can enter over 60+ tourist attractions just by using your phone without paying the entry fee.
However, this pass can be quite expensive. If you are going for a short trip, like a three-day trip, you will have to go to at least 3 of the locations per day to make it worthwhile. This can make your London vacation hectic and won’t give you much breathing time.
Remember that you will have to buy a pass for each person you are travelling with, which can increase the cost significantly. After creating a plan and deciding which locations to visit, just add up the entry fees and see if it crosses the price you will pay for the pass.
If it doesn’t, there is almost no point in getting the London Pass. But, if it does, having one can make it easy to go from one place to another without worrying about the entrance fees.
Start day one as early as possible and try to head out by 9 A.M. If your room comes with an inclusive breakfast buffet, eat at the hotel to save money.
Another very useful tip for saving money is heading to the nearest grocery shop and buying some breakfast necessities like bread, jam, or any other spread. You can easily store the perishables in the hotel fridge but only do this if there isn’t any breakfast included in the room.
Since you would be spending most of your first day in Westminster, you would want to grab breakfast near your lodgings or the first site you will visit.
From your nearest tube station, go to Marble Arch. Once you get down, you will find plenty of options for having breakfast.
While there is a Starbucks, we suggest you try one of the boutique cafes in the area. You will find many within walking distance, and some serve delicious breakfast and brunch food.
Once you get breakfast out of the way, head back towards Marble Arch and enter Hyde Park.
Day one of the trip packs a lot of attractions in the Westminster area so that you lose very little time on the commute and can make the most out of the first day. However, feel free to skip at least one of these visits if you are too tired to go through all of it.
Some people might skip a tour, as each visit inside the venue can take anywhere from 90 minutes to 2 and half hours. For example, if you go to the Buckingham Tour, you will likely miss the last slot for any tour of the UK parliament.
We suggest taking a stroll in the Buckingham Palace gardens before heading to Westminster Abbey instead of opting for the Palace tour. This way, you can have your lunch and explore the abbey but still get to the Palace of Westminster in time for your booked tour.
Please pre-book or buy tickets for these attractions beforehand, and if you are getting the London Pass, make sure it covers the entrance of the attractions you want to visit.
People who first come to London don’t expect the metropolitan city to be so full of greenery. Hyde Park is huge, and it is one of the many green lungs of London.
Walk around the park, and you will see a diverse variety of flora and fauna in the vicinity. The park provides a unique habitat for this wildlife right in the heart of London.
As you explore this park, you will find many memorials, fountains, and statues scattered all over the Park.
While many events take place in the park, it is unlikely that you will run into one that early in the morning. However, experiencing the greenery can help you cope with the possible jetlag you might feel from your arrival flight.
Don’t miss the impressive Hyde Park Rose Garden! This spectacular garden features beds of colourful roses and other seasonal flowers, creating a heavily perfumed atmosphere for everyone to enjoy.
At around 10:10 AM, start heading south towards Wellington Arch and go through the adjacent Green Park.
Head towards Buckingham Palace and make sure to check out the Victoria Memorial before waiting patiently for the Change of the Guards ceremony.
Change of the Guards
This famous ceremony takes place in front of Buckingham Palace and lasts for about 45 minutes. The ceremony starts at 10:45, but come a bit early to get the best view.
This ceremony generally takes place every day from June to July and from August to May; it only takes place on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays.
Just in case, check the website to ensure the ceremony is taking place before coming around. After the ceremony ends, consider taking a tour of Buckingham Palace.
If you take a guided tour, it will last around 90 minutes. If you do spend time exploring Buckingham Palace, expect to stay around 90 minutes to 2 hours there. The ticket for Buckingham Palace is not included in the London Pass, so make sure you get a ticket online before going.
Buckingham Palace Tour
Buckingham Palace is not always open to the public. During winter and spring, you can get a ticket to the Guided Tours of the Palace, and during summer, the palace is open for ten weeks.
Summer tickets are available for purchase online, well ahead of summer. Once you get a ticket, you can walk through nineteen magnificent State Rooms of the palace. You can give yourself a self-guided tour of the parts open to the public.
While there are about 775 rooms in the palace, 19 of them are open to the public. You will see the magnificent bronze Grand Staircase of the palace, the Throne Room, a collection of Sèvres Porcelain, and many beautiful paintings by famous artists like Rubens and Rembrandt.
With a separate ticket, you can visit the gardens of Buckingham Palace, which include around 350 types of wildflowers, about 200 trees, and a dazzling lake.
Once you are done with Buckingham palace, cross through St.James Park, and on your left, you will find Westminster Abbey.
If you are feeling a little peckish and wish to have lunch, there are some decent restaurants nearby, and you can easily find them on Google Maps.
Consider heading to a pub nearby for lunch, especially if you are in the city on Sunday. One such traditional pub is the Buckingham Arms, which dates back to the early 1800s.
Consider booking ahead of time, as this pub is pretty popular. Enjoy the Sunday roast and a pint of beer before heading to Westminster Abbey.
You can also consider eating inside Westminster Abbey. In the Cellarium, which was once the storage of the abbey, you will find the Cellarium Cafe and Terrace. You can enter through the marvellous cloisters of the Cellarium and find this cafe that serves afternoon tea or lunch.
Afternoon tea is one of those things you must enjoy once you are in London. This meal can easily serve as lunch, as it is quite filling.
Most places serve an array of tea, with a three-tiered display of snacks which generally has sandwiches (with crusts cut off!) at the bottom, scones and jam in the middle, and cakes on top.
Since the Abbey is a place of worship, be respectful and dress modestly when visiting. Gentlemen must avoid wearing hats inside the abbey.
If you have a London Pass, you can use it to enter Westminster Abbey for free. Otherwise, you have to pay £27 for adults, £24 for students and the elderly (65+), and £12 for children aged 6-17.
Pay an extra £10 and take the guided tour of the Abbey to explore this historic site. The visit should take about 2 hours, with the tour lasting around 90 minutes.
Built in the gothic architectural style, both the interior and exterior of the Abbey can take your breath away.
The stunning stained glass windows themselves can make you want to reach for your phones and cameras. However, this isn’t allowed inside the Abbey. The walls of the Abbey are adorned by mediaeval paintings that depict prophetic biblical scenes.
There are plenty of writers and poets buried in the Abbey, and you will find them in the Poet’s Corner. You will also find a few memorials for Britain’s best scientists. Keep an eye out for their graves, and you will find Sir Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, and Stephen Hawkings, among others.
Palace of Westminster
Step out of the Abbey and head towards the river Thames. The stunning Palace of Westminster is situated right on the river’s North bank.
Also known as the Houses of Parliament, this is where many things related to the government happen. The Palace of Westminster is also home to the famous Big Ben, one of London’s most iconic attractions.
One disclaimer to visiting the House of Parliament is the time constraints for the tour. The guided tours, which are available on weekdays and Saturdays, can be booked months earlier. This is necessary because the closest dates are generally fully booked. The last time slot for guided tours is generally at 3:45 P.M. The last time slot for multimedia guided tours is until 4:30 P.M.
The guided tours get you through different areas of the palace, telling you what function of the government occurs where. They also tell you a lot about the history of this historical site, giving you a good insight.
If you are a UK resident, you can get this free tour. There is a process to follow, which you can find on the UK Parliament website.
You can actually have two pretty cool options for dinner on day one.
Dinner at the Houses of Parliament
One is booking a dinner right inside the Houses of Parliament. This dinner is pretty classy and not extremely expensive, and it may cost you around £55 per person.
You can enjoy a few classic English dishes while being inside one of the most historical and important places in London. But you will have to make a reservation beforehand.
Some people might opt for just the dinner instead of the tour, so you can enjoy the interior while having a tasty dinner. Opt for this, especially if you choose to get the Buckingham Palace tour.
Dinner at the Shard
If you have the London Pass, you can avail of the View from the Shard, which is included in it. If you don’t, you can directly opt for dining in one of the restaurants in the Shard.
You can also decide to get out of the area by taking a black taxi to the Shard and enjoy the night’s view. Taking the Taxi is the fastest way, as it takes less than ten minutes and costs about £13-14.
You can also hop on the subway at the Westminster Underground Station and get down on the London Bridge Underground Station. This takes about 5 minutes and will cost you around £1.50 to £2.50. It’s a 6-minute walk from the station to the Shard, which should be fine if you aren’t too tired.
The Shard is the tallest building in not just Britain but in all of Europe, so even if you don’t go up to the top, you will get a very similar view from its restaurants.
Our pick is booking a table at either Tīng or Gŏng to get a taste of the luxurious side of London. Tīng also serves great afternoon tea, so you can try it out later if you are in the area during the afternoons.
After dinner, you can either choose to head to the hotel or return to the area you are staying in and explore the local hubs.
If you don’t want to opt for either of the dining ideas suggested here, you can always try any of the local cafes and restaurants in the area.
London has plenty of delicious food options, and you can’t go wrong with many of the smaller joints scattered all over the city.
Try the local restaurants instead of the global chains. You will find these international chains everywhere, so make sure to try what is quintessentially English while in London.
You must be hectic after a day full of activity! But try to start day two a bit early.
Once again, opt for breakfast in the hotel if available or try any of the local cafes.
On both days, try to wear comfortable shoes as you will need to walk a lot. After all, the best way to discover London is on foot.
Get on the tube from the nearest station and get down at the Tower Hill Tube Station. The first thing you would want to check out is the remnants of the London Wall, which is situated in the Tower Hill Garden.
The wall was built by the Romans almost 800 years ago. You will also see some remnants of the same wall inside the grounds of the Tower of London.
Also, check out the Tower Hill Underground Station Sundial, then take a short, 4-minute walk through the Trinity Square Gardens again towards the Tower of London.
Tower of London
Our first tourist attraction of day two is the Tower of London. It is one of the oldest buildings in London, with the White Tower in the middle being almost a thousand years old.
The fortress was built by William the Conqueror as a way to protect the city and establish his dominion over the city. The original White Tower was strategically placed to monitor the citizens and the incoming boat traffic.
There are a few tours that are included with the price of entrance. These tours depart every 30 minutes, last for about an hour, and are worth it since you learn all about the Tower’s history.
This historical building has a very interesting past, so you should consider waiting for the Yeoman Warder Tour, where the guides vividly reveal the stories associated with the place, giving you a good insight into the Tower’s past.
The entrance to the Tower of London is included in the London Pass; however, if you don’t have the pass, you must pre-book the ticket.
Things to Check Out
The tower has a gruesome history of imprisonment, execution, and murder. You will find a few areas associated with the dark side of the Tower, like the Bloody Tower.
Make sure to check out the Line of Kings, which displays some of the royal armour and a collection of royal weaponry.
Another one of the key attractions is the Jewel House, which is the home to all the crown jewels. This unique collection includes St. Edward’s Crown, which is made of pure gold and is still used for crowning.
The house also holds the Imperial State Crown, which is made of 2800 diamonds and other precious stones. You will also see the famous Koh-i-Noor diamond on this crown.
Do remember to check out the Medieval Palace, where you can see the re-creation of quarters used by England’s Kings and Queens.
The palace was initially constructed by Henry III. The re-creation includes actual rare objects that date back to the 13th century. Spend at least 2 to 3 hours in the Tower of London to explore the gardens and the various towers.
Once you are done with the tower, head towards the Tower Millenium Pier. This will give you an excellent opportunity to take the ferry, which will take you across the Thames River.
While on the ferry, if you face the other side, you will get a glimpse of the HMS Belfast floating museum. The WWII warship, which was turned into a museum, has a collection of naval guns and explores the life stories of those who served on board while the ship was still actively afloat.
Once off the ferry at London Bridge City Pier, it is an 8-minute walk towards the Borough Market. You will pass the 800-year-old Southwark Cathedral, which is a gothic architectural beauty. If you have some time, you can also visit this old cathedral and take some pictures.
Then head towards the Borough Market, one of the city’s most famous markets. While there are many great markets in London, the origins of this market date back to 1014 A.D, and thus, it is one of the oldest continuing markets in the city.
What to Eat
While Borough Market is a great place to buy spices and fresh produce, it is also a great place to grab lunch. You will find a versatile range of food in this market, but some things you must try include paella, duck confit, and oysters.
Borough market is home to many amazing bakeries, so you must try their pastries, gourmet bread, and sausage rolls.
The street food in this market includes items from all over the world. From Asian to Hispanic, you will find it all.
Also, try the many cheeses and charcuterie that are available there. This visit is the main food exploration part of your trip, so make sure you try items and take home souvenirs.
There are also many gastropub restaurants near the borough market if you wish to have a hearty English lunch paired with a pint of foaming beer.
A short 8-minute walk from the Borough Market will bring you to Shakespeare’s Globe, a theatre that is a painstakingly detailed reconstruction of the famous playwright’s original Globe.
The venue offers a 50-minute guided tour, which is totally worth taking as it gives you a beautiful depiction of Elizabethan theatres.
Prebook the guided tours, as the tickets can get sold out fast. However, this tour and the entrance fee are included in the London Pass, so it will be free if you have one.
You can pre-book tickets for a beautiful theatrical performance in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, which is London’s only Candlelit theatre. While most performances occur in the evenings, some plays occur in the afternoons, around 1 or 2 P.M.
Keep an eye out for such a show for the day you choose to visit the theatre, as it is totally worth watching one of the candlelit performances; it will transport you back in time and give you an insight into Elizabethan theatres.
If you do choose to watch a show, you can skip the trip to Tate Modern or keep it short. Most visitors who have seen a show in the candlelit theatre have reported it as a magical experience.
If you choose only to take the guided tour of the Globe, you will have some time to visit the Tate Modern, which is right beside it. If you find contemporary art fascinating, you will love this art gallery.
This gallery holds 100 years of modern art, from early modernism to current artists. You will find paintings, sculptures, and other art pieces from famous modern artists like Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dalí, Roy Lichtenstein, and more!
You will get to see the revolution of the modern era of art and see everything from surrealists, futurists, and pop art.
While the entrance to the Tate Modern is completely free, there are always paid exhibitions going on in the gallery. So, if the ongoing exhibition at the time of your visit seems appealing to you, then you can buy a ticket and enjoy the show.
The Millenium Bridge
Once you are out of the Tate Modern, head towards the Millennium Bridge, which is right by the Tate Modern Garden. This beautiful bridge is a modern structure that is artistic enough to end up in the Tate Modern.
This bridge takes you from the Tate Modern on the Bankside to Saint Paul’s Cathedral on the North Bank.
If you feel like the bridge wobbles, it does. In fact, the energy that people expend to stay steady due to fear of the wobbly bridge makes it even more wobbly. But don’t worry; it is completely safe.
You might have spotted this elegant bridge twist and get destroyed in the Hollywood Blockbuster Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.
While it is a 10-minute walk, you will probably take longer to take in the sights and to take photos. As you walk across the bridge, you will see Saint Paul’s Cathedral rise on the horizon.
Saint Paul’s Cathedral
If you want to visit St. Paul’s Cathedral on day two, you must keep your visit to the Globe and Tate Modern short, as the last entrance to the cathedral is at 4 P.M.
There are guided tours that help you explore the chambers, galleries, and crypt. But these run four or five times a day and last an hour or so, which means you need to arrive by 3 PM at the latest to catch a guided tour.
If you arrive too late for the guided tour, just check out the cathedral by yourself. This cathedral has been associated with many Royal events, including the wedding of King Charles III and Princess Diana and the eighth birthday Service of Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
Things to See
You can check out the cathedral floor, the Chapel of St. Michaels, and the Chapel of St. George. If you go underground into the crypt, you can explore the Cathedral’s burial place, where lies many great English Heroes, including the architect of the cathedral and one of the most celebrated architects of all time, Sir Christopher Wren.
Up on the cathedral floor, you will find the Geometric staircase that takes you up to the dome, where the Whispering Gallery is unique for its incredible acoustics. Your whisper can be heard in this gallery from even a hundred feet away.
A 271-step climb further up the dome will take you to the Golden Gallery, giving you a gorgeous panoramic view of the city.
Very few people have the energy left to climb the whole 520 steps to the top, but the view is worth it, especially during those winter sunsets in London that take place between 3:30 and 4 P.M!!
The entrance fee to Saint Paul’s Cathedral is free if you have a London Pass!
Once you are done with Saint Paul’s Cathedral, it will be too late to visit most other tourist attractions, and you probably would be too tired to do so as well. But one incredible place you shouldn’t miss is the Sky Garden.
The Sky Garden
You will find St. Paul’s Subway Station just behind Saint Paul’s Cathedral. Get in the tube and get down at the Bank Subway Station. From there, it takes a 6-minute walk to the Sky Garden building. If you feel too tired for that, just take a black taxi, it will take about 20 to 25 minutes.
Situated on top of one of the tallest skyscrapers in the city, the Sky Garden can give you the best sunset view in the entire city. This commercial building was adoringly named the Walkie-Talkie by the locals.
You will have enough time to witness this only during summer, autumn, and spring. If you visit during the winter, you will have to head to the Sky Garden much earlier to get that view.
The Sky Garden is a greenhouse garden up at the top that is encased by a glass roof and windows. The flowering plants at the Sky Garden include some exotic species like the African Lily, Red Hot Poker, Bird of Paradise, and the fragrant French Lavender.
Enjoy the lush, landscaped garden, or hang around the observation deck to enjoy the view. The entrance to this rooftop garden is free, but a limited ticket is available daily. However, if you miss the chance, there is another way of enjoying that sunset view.
A sunset dinner in one of the restaurants of the Walkie Talkie is a great alternative to the view from the Sky Garden, especially if they run out of capacity. While the food in these restaurants won’t be cheap, the view and the food quality will feel worth it.
You have Darwin Brasserie at level 36, where they offer local cuisine made from seasonal, sustainable produce. You can watch the sun dive into the horizon as you enjoy your soup or cocktail.
You can have a premium experience at the Fenchurch Restaurant for a slightly higher price. Sip champagne at the blue hour and enjoy the panoramic view of London. Right in front of the restaurant is the Fenchurch Terrace bar, which offers high-quality wine, cocktails, and hard liquor.
If either of the options feels too expensive, you can head back to your lodging and eat at one of the local, affordable eateries.
You can also enjoy the old English Fish and Chips, available at the many street vans selling these local delicacies.
On the final day of your trip, prepare to head a bit further away from the nearest attractions and go for at least one site away from Central London.
You can easily take a day trip with anywhere from one to two and a half hours of travel time. The entire experience can take anywhere from four to eight hours, so stay prepared to spend that much time in one location.
We will provide a few options for the day trip, and you can choose the one that vibes with your taste. Try to start the day as early as possible so that you can make the most out of your time.
As always, have breakfast either at the hotel or a nearby eatery. Since the commute will take quite a bit of time, make sure you eat first. Let’s take a look at some of your options for the day trip.
The Harry Potter Warner Bros. Studio Tour
To get to the Warner Bros. Studio to get the Harry Potter Tour, you will need to travel for anywhere from one hour to an hour and a half from any Central London location.
The key is to travel early and come on the weekdays when the studio isn’t overcrowded with tourists and locals. Warner Bros. Studio Harry Potter Tour comes at various price points, ranging from £94 to £189 per person.
You have a 5-hour tour, a 7-hour tour, and a 9-hour tour; each takes you through various shooting locations and sets.
You will get a deep insight into the magical world of Harry Potter, which is perfect for anyone who has grown up loving books and movies of the popular series. Visit their website to learn more about their guided tours.
Some tours can take you directly from central London to the studio and also bring you back. This can be pretty convenient as you don’t have to worry too much about the commute.
The Windsor Castle
On your final day in London, consider visiting the world’s oldest inhabited castle, Windsor Castle. It was the official residence of Her Late Majesty The Queen and is currently home to around 150 people.
This is another trip you must take as early as possible if you want to save time for evening activities. You can take the direct train to Windsor Castle from Waterloo in central London.
These trains leave every half hour, and you can get down at South Western Railway’s Windsor & Eton Riverside train station. The journey takes less than an hour, and you can get to the castle with a 10-minute walk from the station.
While in Windsor Castle, you can take guided tours, which are highly recommended if you don’t know much about the place. A half-day trip is enough to explore Windsor Castle.
Explore the State Apartments to see the ceremonial areas of the castle that the King and the Royal Family still use. This castle also has its own Change of the Guards ceremony, which takes place at 11 A.M on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.
Check out the Royal Collection, which displays many precious royal treasures, such as paintings, sculptures, and porcelain. You must also check out Queen Mary’s Dolls’ House, which British architect Sir Edwin Lutyens created.
If you have a love for prehistoric cultures, take a trip to Stonehenge. It is the most architecturally sophisticated stone circle on earth, created by the Neolithic people of Britain.
There is a lot of speculation regarding this prehistoric pagan monument. Archeologists have speculated that it has been used as a burial ground, a place of worship, an astronomical device to predict solar events, a place for coronating Druid kings, and so much more.
Stonehenge is really an unmissable site, and since it is just a location where you mostly walk around and take photos, the visit won’t take too long.
One way to Salisbury, where Stonehenge is, is getting on the South Western Railway from Waterloo Station. The journey takes one and a half to two hours and brings you to Salisbury Train Station. Take a taxi from the station to the Stonehenge site. The entire trip won’t take more than seven hours.
Some guided tours take you to Stonehenge and a few other sites, including Windsor Castle and the quaint town of Bath. However, those trips generally take at least an entire day, if not more.
If you love soccer/football, you will absolutely love London. Being the country where the sport originated, no one takes it as seriously as the English. Whether you love club soccer or follow the national teams, visiting stadiums should be part of your itinerary.
If you follow the Barclays Premier League, for instance, you will already know that London is home to some of the English giants, including Arsenal, Chelsea, and Tottenham Hotspurs.
The entry fee to these stadiums is free if you have a London Pass; otherwise, you will have to pre-book tickets. These allow you access to the stadiums’ grounds, trophy room, and sometimes even the locker room. You can also buy team merch at the gift shops.
If you are an avid fan and want to watch one of the games, you should buy a ticket for the game. These often take place in the evenings on weekends during the football season.
If you don’t want to visit any of the clubs, consider visiting the national football stadium, Wembley Stadium. This is not only the home to soccer but also transforms into a venue where many of your favourite musicians may have performed.
If you have time and energy for shopping after your half-day trip, you should consider heading to one of the main shopping centres in London.
Some people might skip the day trip altogether and head to shop in famous areas like Oxford Street, Marble Arch, and Knightsbridge.
You will find an array of international flagship stores, London boutiques, and shopping malls where you can buy anything from clothing to cosmetics.
If you love smaller boutiques, opt for the Seven Dials area in Covent Garden. If you have been staying in that area, you must visit the Seven Dials once to experience the shops, restaurants, cafes, and bars.
While London may seem expensive, it is also easy to find stores that fit within your budget, which makes shopping for gifts and souvenirs easier than you would expect. So, take your time to shop and relax until the evening when it will be time for your last experience in London.
West End Theatres
One experience you must not miss while in London involves watching a play at one of the many theatres in London’s famous West End.
The Theatre Land has a collection of theatres that produce some of the highest-quality classic and contemporary plays you will ever see.
You have to book a ticket ahead of time, but if you haven’t, visit one of the theatres early on the day of the show to see if they have any tickets left. If you are really looking forward to ending your trip with a relaxing theatrical production, buying tickets early on is the best way.
Most of these plays start at around 7:30 in the evening and last for about two and a half hours, so you should plan to have dinner in the area beforehand, as the plays will end at around 10 P.M.
If you are confused about which play to choose, especially if you don’t know much about the theatre, opt for anything Shakespeare. It will give you a decent taste of English culture, and honestly, one can’t go wrong with Shakespeare at the West End!
Once the show ends, head back to where you are staying and pack your bags, and get a good night’s sleep before your flight on the next day.
3 Days In London: Itinerary Overview
Day 3 is meant to be experimental, as, after two days of hardcore travelling across London, you would want to take things at your own pace. You do not have to take this itinerary as is.
Take inspiration from it instead and create your own. You can skip out of any of the experiences recommended here if you are not interested or replace them with other sites/activities that are more to your taste.
A lot of people might end up simply shopping and relaxing all day or hitting the club at night. So, the right plan for you is really up to you, and we have only tried to nudge you in the right direction.
Don’t try to cram too much into your itinerary, though, and remember that you will have to do a lot of walking, even inside the venues, which are actually bigger than most people would imagine.
While it is appealing to make the most out of the trip, doing too much in a day can take the fun out of it, so only take on as much as you can handle.
Now that you have a comprehensive 3-day London itinerary, we hope it helps you make the most out of your short trip. Do take inspiration from this itinerary but feel free to add or remove activities/sites from our list of recommendations to create your own magical London trip itinerary.
However, please ensure that you don’t opt for food and shopping experiences from global chains and try out as many local things as you can, as that will give you a better picture of the real London.
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