London Itinerary 4 Days
London is one of the most well-known cities in the world and given a top spot in most tourist bucket lists. With the combination of a busy industrial city and the millions of visitors it gets every year you can imagine London can be a crowded place. It’s important to plan ahead when visiting the capital. Think about what you want to see the most and apply that thought to where you choose to stay when visiting. London is a diverse city and has many accommodation options, from plush hotels to staying on a luxury yacht. It may well be worth considering a London Explorer Pass, this is a set price and gives you better value depending on what you are going to visit have a look here.
Once you have chosen your accommodation its time to start planning your trip. This 4-day itinerary will give you a good base on how to go about spending your 4 days, but don’t feel like you have to stick to it, remember being spontaneous on your travels can give you some great stories to tell. If your looking for places to stay in London take a look at the latest prices on Booking.com.
Let’s assume you want a lie in and a good breakfast after a long journey to the UK’s capital. Start off the day exploring some of London’s most iconic museums. This is a good starting point for your trip as the majority of what you do today will be FREE, this allows you to budget better for the rest of the days. London is home to so many museums and the most popular being the Museum of Natural History. You can spend a good 3 hours here so be prepared to stay longer as there is so much to see. At the point of finishing in this incredible museum, lunch should be approaching fast. There are many great places to eat nearby or the museum itself has a great restaurant, be warned though it can get crowded.
Keeping with the museum theme and staying nearby, visiting the Science museum is a must. The science museum is great fun and an excellent choice for children and adults alike. If you find the time the Victoria and Albert Museum is the leading art and design museum in the world and certainly worth a visit.
Time can melt away when you’re visiting London as you are always doing something. So, if you feel you have some time spare at the end of your day 1, Harrods is a 10-15-minute walk away from the Natural History Museum. If you’re not up for exploring the designer floors of one of the worlds most famous stores then Hyde park is also a 10-minute walk away from the Natural History Museum. Hyde Park is over 350 acres of parkland, it is home to Diana’s memorial fountain, a huge lake, quiet grassy areas, cafes and plenty more. There are also many activities held here from horse riding to playing tennis it’s certainly somewhere you could fill your afternoon.
By the time you have taken in all of this it will be about time for dinner. If you wanted to stay around Knightsbridge or Hyde Park then there are many great restaurants to indulge in. TripAdvisor is a great way to find a decent restaurant that caters to your own tastes.
Day 1 Overview
10 am – Natural History Museum
1 pm – Lunch
5 pm – Walk over to Harrods in Knightsbridge or enjoy a stroll through Hyde Park
7 pm – Dinner
The second day of your visit should be spent touring those iconic sites, the ones from the travel brochures and on the television. You can actually view a fair amount of the popular sites easily as they are in walking distance of each other. Starting from Waterloo you can make your way towards the Thames, this is where you will find the London Eye. The London Eye serves as a good starting point for the day. Queues can be very long especially at peak times, such as weekends and holidays. You can purchase a fast track ticket which cost slightly more than the standard but you get to skip the queue through a separate entrance.
The London Eye will give you a 360-degree look at London from above and takes approximately 30 minutes. Depending on the size of the queue, you should allow an hour here. This is a memorable way to see London and will give you a good idea of where you’re heading next.
Continuing along the Thames you will pass the London Dungeons and London Aquarium, both these are worth visiting if you have time. The next iconic sites to see are just across the equally iconic Westminster Bridge. The Houses of Parliament and Big Ben are historic sites and built firmly into the UK’s history. Guided tours are available for a price but you can also go into Parliament for free, as long as it is in session you can sit in the galleries.
Big Ben is currently being refurbished until 2021 but after this date, tours will resume as usual. You can allow an hour for exploring Parliament and enjoying the hustle and bustle around this area.
Take a wander down Whitehall Road, passing by number 10 Downing Street and enjoying the statues along the way, there is plenty of history along this street. This road leads to Trafalgar Square with the famous bronze lions that protect the statue of Admiral Nelson. This square represents democracy and is often the location of numerous rallies on various issues.
The area in front of the National Gallery has been pedestrianised, making it easier for people to stroll in and out. The National Gallery is certainly worth a look, depending on how much you love art, give an hour for exploring everything there is on offer. Even if you’re not into your art it’s still worth a visit as you can spend as little time inside as you want and it’s completely FREE.
After exploring Trafalgar Square, take a walk towards one of the UK’s most famous buildings and home of the Royal Family. There are two options for walking to Buckingham Palace. You can either take the well-known road named The Mall, this is where the royals travel along for events such as the royal wedding. The most picturesque route is through St James’s Park one of London’s many Royal Gardens. This is one of my favourite parks in London, there is lots of wildlife in and around the lake. Pelicans and squirrels are some of the main attractions here, the squirrels are so tame they will come right up to you.
Buckingham Palace is a short walk through this park and is certainly worth seeing. Remember to check the times for the changing of the guard’s ceremony. Buckingham Palace is also open to tours which operate in the summertime, this gives you a good look at some of the most iconic rooms inside Buckingham Palace. After you have taken in all the royal surroundings, make your way back towards Trafalgar Square and continue towards Leicester Square.
There are some great places to eat here and the entire area is always buzzing. You may be lucky enough to see some celebrities on the red carpet as one of many global movie premiers takes place here, if not catch a movie anyway and something great to eat.
10 am – London Eye
11 am – Big Ben and Westminster
1 pm – Lunch
2 pm – Trafalgar Square and London Gallery
3 pm – St James’s Park and Buckingham Palace
6 pm – Leicester Square, Movie and Dinner
Borough market is my favourite market, this may be to do with fact that it is predominantly a food Market. The location of borough market is ideal for starting day number 3 in London. Possibly skip breakfast and have something at borough market instead. There is plenty to choose from and it is abundant in different cuisines. Remember to check the times of opening as there are certain days the market is not on. The great thing about Borough Market is that it is nearby to plenty of attractions. The Shard is a short walk away from Borough Market and is a great way to see the city from up high. There are restaurants located here or if you just want to enjoy the view you can do so by booking tickets for specific times. It is worthy to note that you can view the shard at your own pace but just need to enter at a specific time.
After enjoying both the Shard and Borough Market take a walk along the Thames River. There is a path leading from London Bridge all the way down to Tower Bridge. This is a fantastic area to stroll along. Visit the HMS Belfast whilst you walk along here, it has been turned into a museum and you can see what life was like on this iconic World War 2 vessel. If you continue alongside the river, passing City Hall you will soon see Tower Bridge appearing in the distance. This bridge is one of London’s most iconic bridges and is a must-see on any first-time visit to the capital. You can tour the bridge and see all the inner workings of the bridge whilst learning some history from times gone by. Tower Bridge also has a glass floor which if you’re brave enough to walk across gives some great opportunities for memorable pictures.
The next stop for day 3 is just across tower bridge to the famous Tower of London, home of the crown jewels. Visit the entire castle and tour the tower and prison areas including the historic torture chambers and battlements. If you’re interested in history this is certainly somewhere you should visit and even if you are not you’re bound to love all the stories that surround the Tower of London. There is so much to see at the Tower of London and it can take a fair amount of time to see it all, so give around 3 hours for this.
After visiting the Tower of London make your way towards the Sky Garden this is another spectacular place for views of the city. This building gives you uninterrupted, 360-degree views of the surrounding area, which is why it is such a popular viewing platform. There are so many great social spaces in the Sky Garden including bars and restaurants. Entry is FREE, but its best to pre-book, this gives you around 1 hour to explore London’s beautifully landscaped gardens.
If you manage to have some time spare at the end of your day try visiting the London Monument. This Monument commemorates the great fire of London in 1666, it is supposed to be a reminder of the time when London rebuilt itself after so much destruction. You can climb to the top but if you have had enough of viewing London from high up then visiting the area around Monument is still worth it.
10 am – Borough Market
11 am – Shard
12 pm – HMS Belfast
1 pm – Lunch
2 pm – Tower bridge
3 pm – Tower of London
6 pm – The Sky Garden
The final day of our itinerary will incorporate some leisurely activities. Start off by heading towards Camden town here you can explore their famous market with plenty of interesting traders. Camden Town is located right by London Zoo which is the oldest scientific zoo in the world, it has one of the largest collections and is certainly worth visiting even just for the historical benefit. They still operate in a way to encourage sustainability and care for the environment. London Zoo is located in Regents Park, which is one of London’s fantastic Royal Gardens. A stroll through Regents Park towards Madame Tussauds will help you to see how important these green spaces are to London. With all the hustle and bustle of the big city, it can be a reviving space to unwind in after a long week’s work.
Madame Tussauds is another one of London’s popular attractions so be aware that ques are inevitable. Its handy to buy an e-ticket online as it can give you faster entry which is much better than waiting in line for ages. Madame Tussauds is part of the famous waxwork museums found in many popular cities across the world. These waxworks are on full display ready for selfies galore, London even has its own 4D cinema. If shopping is more your thing then London’s most iconic retail street is just an 18-minute walk away or taking the tube is always an easier option. Oxford Street is lined with both high-end and low-end shops, including famous brands and designer labels. Selfridges is one of the most popular department stores in London and a well-known historic brand. If your visiting during Christmas time make sure to take a look at the store windows as they are decorated in all kinds of Christmas themes.
To finish off a busy day take a trip behind Oxford Street to a club called Swingers…ok, it’s not what you think. Swingers is a classy crazy golf/cocktail bar located near one of London’s most famous streets, it’s an adult only venue and perfect for finishing the day off. Inside Swingers are two bars serving all sorts of drinks from coffee and milkshakes to cocktails and beer. If your hungry they have a variety of street food stalls and when you’re playing on their two indoor crazy golf courses, they will serve you drink as you go around.
10 am – Camden Town and Market
11:30 pm – London Zoo (Lunch)
2:30 pm – Madame Tussauds
4:30 pm – Oxford Street
6 pm – Swingers
London has so much to do and 4 days will never be enough to fully experience everything. Hopefully, this guide to 4 days in London gives you a good handful of London’s main attractions mixed in with some more unusual ones. Budget is always going to be a fundamental reason for your choices whilst staying in London but hopefully, you can incorporate some of the Free activities into your visit. There are some great resources when choosing what to do so check out the “Visit London” website. Let me know about your experiences visiting London and what you find most interesting to do. Leave us a comment below.
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