If you’re spending 3 days in London, you’ve got plenty of time to hit the highlights of this historic city. But if you’re not careful, you could end up missing out on some of the top things to do and see. That’s why we’ve created this itinerary to help you hit the highlights.
The first day of your trip will likely include be influenced by jet lag. One way to combat this is to plan some exciting options for the first day. You’ll want to pick activities on the short side, as travel will eat up a large portion of the first part of the day.
Plan to start your day with lunch, as this will help you acclimate to the local time zone and get a feel for the city. The Hyde Park area has many restaurants, including some budget-friendly options. Pick up pizza or a sandwich at the Serpentine Bar & Kitchen right in the park and enjoy a picnic on the grounds. Meander through the park after eating to see the sights, and you’ll be well positioned to visit some of the top attractions afterwards.
After lunch, you’re going to want to see some of the sights of the city. There are a number of places to visit but check out these 18 free attractions in London to help kick off your stay. Buckingham Palace isn’t far from Hyde Park, so if you’re dying to see it go ahead and walk over. If you want to get a feel for the culture and cuisine of London, take a walk thought Borough Market. This market sits along the Thames not far from Shakespeare’s Globe Theater, so you can see the theater and then grab a snack or even dinner at the market before walking along London’s most famous waterway.
If you’re facing a rainy weather situation, head to the Natural History Museum. The architecture will take your breath away, but once you enter you’ll get lost among the 70 million exhibited items on display. As an added bonus, there’s no charge for admission to this popular attraction. The British Museum is another option if you’re more into European history than natural history, and it’s also free. See mummies and the Rosetta Stone at this impressive location.
If you didn’t pick up dinner at the Borough Market, this is a great day to check out a pub, which is quintessential London dining. Even if you did eat, you can grab drinks at a place like Bradley’s Spanish Bar, Bricklayer’s Arms, or Carpenter’s Arms—some of the more popular local pubs.
Before heading back to your hotel, take a stroll along Oxford Street. You may not want to shop, but you can still enjoy the glitz and glamour of the area. Right next to Oxford Street is the Soho District, which is known for its thriving nightlife. Don’t stay out too late, though, for another day of exploration awaits!
This is your second day but also your only full day in London. If there are some nearby sights you want to see, now’s the time to experience them. Here are some options for ways to spend your day:
Option 1: Tour Nearby Sites
London has much to see and do within the city, but you may want to get out of the city limits and see some of the nearby attractions as well. Consider the Windsor, Stonehenge & Bath tour, which will take most of your day and includes a stop at a historic pub for lunch. Start your tour at Windsor Castle, just outside of London, where monarchs have lived for over 900 years. Continue on to Stonehenge, one of the most famous prehistoric sites in the country, before ending your tour at the Georgian city of Bath.
Option 2: Go Museum Hopping
If you’re not interested in leaving the city, spend your second day touring the many museums of London. Before you go pick up a handy London Pass, which will grant you access to many of the museums around London. The British Museum, Tate Modern, and Natural History Museum are all free. Pick one you didn’t see on the first day, and enjoy getting lost in art and history all over again.
You may find that restaurants near museums a bit over-priced, but there are a few affordable and tasty options. Consider Caffe Forum or Raison D’Etre for a modestly-priced lunch that you can grab and go as you explore the city.
Your afternoon is open for another museum if you wish, or you can take the time to explore some of the architectural wonders of London. Westminster Abbey, with Big Ben in the background, is something you won’t want to miss while exploring the city. In the evening a chorale service is available on a first-come, first-served basis, and it’s free! Arrive early to ensure a seat and be amazed by the acoustics of this impressive historic church.
Anyone who loves the theater should make time to catch a play while in London. Book tickets in advance for best seats and pricing.
On your final day, you’ll want to get an early start to pack in as much sightseeing as possible before you leave town. Here are a couple of options to make the most of your final day.
If you start early enough, you can see most of the hot spots in London before you have to leave. The Total London Tour is a great choice. This will take you to St. Paul’s Cathedral, Buckingham Palace for the Changing of the Guard, and on a panoramic drive through the countryside around London. A cruise on the River Thames, pub lunch, and guided tour of the Tower of London round out your activities, and you will end the tour with a ride on the London Eye. It’s the best way to see it all with limited time.
For you last night in London, head to Belgel Bake on Brick Lane for an authentic London belgel.
When planning your adventures, be sure to check before you head out to ensure the destination is open. Consider having a backup plan, especially for outdoor adventures, because London can be quite rainy. Your stay may be short, but your three days in London can be amazing if you plan ahead! Do you need help planning? Contact the go-today travel experts for help!