How does a three-day trip to London sound like? Do you think it is enough? In this guide, we will go through an extensive itinerary of what you can do in London in three days.
Three days might seem a little short, but if you plan your trip properly you can fit as much as you can in just 72 hours. Take a look at our 3 days in London itinerary below and also read our tips and notes to ensure not to miss anything.
The first day of your 3 days in London will kick off with a royal visit to some of London's royal attractions. The day will begin at St. James Park and then proceed to Buckingham Palace. If the palace is closed, you could visit Westminster Abbey, Big Ben and London Eye. Later on, we proceed to visit the Tower of London and the Tower Bridge.
Begin your first day with a delightful breakfast at your hotel or a cafeteria of your choice, then hop on the metro and make your way to St. James Park station. From here visit St. James Park then proceed to Buckingham Palace.
From the metro station, there is around a two-minute walk to one of the entrances to the park. Since the morning will be concentrated on St. James Park and Buckingham Palace, you could add the Changing of the Guards which happens at around 11 am, just outside the palace.
St. James Park is a 17th-century royal park which offers picturesque scenery everywhere you look. Just a few minutes away from the British Monarch palace, the park is a natural splendour for anyone wanting to walk, relax and admire the natural landscape the park offers. This is the perfect way to start your holiday, slow and steady!
Later on, embark on a leisurely walk toward the majestic Buckingham Palace where you can witness the Changing of the Guard's ceremony just outside the palace gates. See the schedule of the Changing of the Guards as it is not done daily. We highly recommend you see this due to its spectacle of precision and tradition. Later on, walk towards the palace and take a tour inside the State Rooms.
Duration of Visit: 3.5 Hours if you enter Buckingham Palace.
If you happen to visit during the opening months, we highly recommend you spend as much time in the palace glamouring at the beauty of the interiors and the massive size of the palace. We were stunned when we visited and we wouldn't mind returning!
If it happens to be closed, you can take the opportunity to walk around the exterior of the palace, snap some photos and if you want, also visit Green Park, which is beside the palace.
Westminster Abbey is another royal attraction which you can visit in case the palace is closed or straight after your royal visit. From the palace directly it is only a 15-minute walk to the Abbey. It is not recommended to take the tube from St James Park as ultimately it is only 5 minutes away from the station and if you stop at Westminster Station you still need to walk another 5 minutes.
The Westminster Abbey is a church that stands as an iconic testament to centuries of British history, royal ceremonies, and spiritual significance. You are freely allowed to enter the church and worship or admire the interior. Note that this is a place of worship so kindly wear appropriate cover if you visit during the summer months. Optionally, you can take a 2-hour tour inside the Abbey with a guide.
Duration of Visit: 1.5 Hours
It is that time of day for a well-earned lunch. Spoil yourself with a visit to one of the delightful eateries near Westminster Abbey or as you approach your next stop which is Big Ben and London Eye.
If you have lunch close to Westminster Abbey then it is only a short walk to Big Ben.
The Big Ben, officially known as the Elizabeth Tower, represents British history and tradition since it was completed in 1859. A renovation lasting from 2017 to 2022 has just been completed on the 96-metre-tall Tower. The chime of Big Ben can be heard every hour. Due to its striking appearance with a backdrop of the River Thames, Big Ben attracts thousands of photographers and selfie enthusiasts every day for Insta-worthy memorable photos. You can enter Big Ben, but tickets are extremely limited and must be booked ahead.
After snapping dozens of photos of Big Ben it is time to move on and cross the Westminster Bridge and approach the London Eye. If you want to see London from a 360-degree angle then this attraction is perfect. It is accessible for adults, children and also wheelchair accessible.
The London Eye is an iconic observation wheel offering panoramic views of London's skyline. The Eye was constructed for the millennium and was planned to be there for only five years. It stands at 135 metres tall and from up there you get to see other popular landmarks such as St. Paul's Cathedral, the Shard, Buckingham Palace, River Thames and plenty more. Since the Eye is extremely popular, having tickets at hand is quite recommended as you can skip the line.
Duration of Visit: 1.5 Hours
If the Big Ben and London Eye were not enough, then we recommend visiting the Tower of London and Tower Bridge. These two landmarks are within walking distance of each other, although you will need to catch the underground to reach them. From the London Eye walk back to Westminster Station underground and catch either the District Line (Green) or Circle Line (Yellow) to Tower Hill station which is 7 stops away, then it is a short walk from there.
The Tower of London was erected on the banks of the River Thames nearly a millennium ago, marking the beginning of a new era for London. A fascinating symbol of England's rich history and regal heritage, it houses the Crown Jewels along with a storied past that makes it an important landmark for visiting the country.
The Tower Bridge is both a spectacular and historic attraction in the heart of London. The bridge crosses the River Thames between the borough of Tower Hamlets and Southwark. Today the bridge is still in operation with its drawbridges opening to let large ships through. You can go inside the Tower Bridge and explore it at your own pace.
Duration of Visit: 4 Hours for both attractions
After a long day, you might want to end day one with a nice dinner somewhere in the vicinity. If you cross the Tower Bridge towards the Shard there are lovely restaurants where you can have your dinner. After that, there is a metro station close by called London Bridge where you can catch the metro back to your accommodation.
We have come to the end of day one of the 3 days in London itinerary. Now let's move on to day two!
The second day of your 3-day holiday will start at one of London's museums where you can spend a few hours. Later on move to Kensington Palace and their gardens and eventually, Hyde Park where you will walk and discover the park's little attractions.
Start your second day with a lovely breakfast and then make your way to one or two renowned museums, the Natural History Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum or the Science Museum. All three museums are within walking distance from each other.
The Natural History Museum of London boasts an incredible collection of natural wonders that will take your breath away. An amazing collection of fossils, minerals, and fascinating specimens is on display at the museum, including the iconic skeleton of the Blue Whale in the Hintze Hall. dinosaur. You should not miss out on this museum if you love history, as it will guarantee a family-friendly trip full of historical exploration and fun for the entire family.
This museum is free to enter, however, you can pre-book your tickets beforehand here.
Duration of Visit: 3 to 4 Hours
Experience London's Victoria and Albert Museum's world of art and design! It is a world-renowned hub located in a cultural haven. The V&A Museum showcases exhibits that span eras and continents. Each visit takes you on a unique journey through the history and craftsmanship of fashion, sculptures, and decorative arts.
The museum is free to enter and a booking is not required beforehand.
Duration of Visit: 2 Hours
Science Museum in London is one of your best options for an educational and dynamic experience. There is a wide range of exhibits at the museum related to the exploration of space, medicine, engineering, communication, computing and much more. Through the museum's interactive exhibits, displays, and technology, you can take a look around and discover more about the museum.
The Science Museum is free to enter, however, a ticket is recommended which can be booked here.
Duration of Visit: 2 Hours
After spending some time at the museums, it is time for lunch. You can either find a restaurant around the museums or as you are walking to your next attraction which in this itinerary is the Kensington Palace and Gardens.
Starting with Kensington Palace, this palace once was the residence of Queen Victoria and Princess Diana. The building was erected in the early 17th century for Sir George Coppin, and was then later purchased by William III and Mary II in 1689. The palace today is a museum with re-imagined childhood rooms as well as King's and Queen's State Apartments that are open to the public.
In front of the palace can be found the Kensington Gardens. Take a stroll through the gardens and capture the serene Round Pond and the iconic Albert Memorial after a lovely visit to the palace. Several little attractions are located around the Gardens, including the Serpentine Gallery, Peter Pan Statue, St Govor's Well, Italian Gardens, Queen Victoria's Statue, and Princess Diana Memorial Garden, among others.
Duration of Visit: 2.5 to 3 Hours
Hyde Park is another royal park which happens to be joined with Kensington Gardens on the same grounds. Amongst the grounds of the park are several landmarks to which you can walk namely the Serpentine Lake and Bridge, Princess Diana Memorial Fountain, Winter Wonderland (only opening during Christmas Season), amongst others. While strolling around, you might also fancy a cup of tea and a snack at 'Colicci Serpentine Coffee House' inside Hyde Park.
Duration of Visit: 1.5 to 2 Hours
If you happen to have some extra time, you can always go back to your accommodation and unwind then go back out for dinner. As an option for a night out, you can choose to go and see a show. There are plenty of shows daily so you will find one that you will love. Head over to Ticket Network and book your seat now.
For dinner, you can go to the centre of London and walk the streets and find a restaurant of your choice and have dinner. If you happen to go and see a show you can always buy some snacks before or during intermission.
We have come to the end of day two of the 3 days in London itinerary. Now let's move on to day three!
As your final day on your holiday in London, we decided to provide three completely different options which you can choose from. Each option requires an entire day to do. We will start with a tour to the Warner Bros Studio in London then a full-day tour to Windsor Castle, Stonehenge and Bath and lastly a full day exploring London.
Are you a Harry Potter fan, who watched all the movies and goes crazy about the characters? Then this is the perfect tour for you. Go on a full-day trip to the Harry Potter Studios in Watford London and learn and discover the making of the series. Depending on which season you visit, the studios will be decorated for the appropriate time.
What do you expect to see on this tour and why do you need a whole day?
A whole day is needed since the studio is already around 1.5 hours away from central London, so you must calculate at least 3 hours of transport. There is no time limit on how long you should stay at the studios but usually, visitors stay around 3 to 4 hours. There is also a cafeteria where you can have a bite to eat.
How do I get there?
To get to the studios without any issues, you can book a tour which has transport included. You will have a set time to stay at the studios but it will be more than enough. The transport will take you from the meeting point in London to the studios and back to your original meeting point. Apart from having transport included, you will also save time from waiting in the queue when arriving at the studios which gives you more time to explore.
Without spoiling anything, here is a summary of what to expect at the studios!
The Harry Potter Studio Tour in London will take you on a journey behind the scenes of one of the most popular film series of all time, where you will be able to get a glimpse into the wizarding world. It will be an exciting experience with a video introduction, studio sets, costumes and props, workshops, and much more.
We visited and had an amazing time. Click the link below to check out our personal experience!
Duration of Visit: 1 Day
You can opt to go for a full day out of London and explore other parts of the country. This specific tour will take you to Windsor Castle, Stonehenge and Bath. Travel around in a comfortable first-class luxury motor coach as well as a tour guide.
The first stop of the tour will be Windsor Castle, where you will have the chance to see royal history with your own eyes. As an option, you can enter the State Apartments of the castle as well as the St. George's Chapel, a 14th-century marvel where kings and queens are laid to rest.
The next stop is Stonehenge, a prehistoric ancient stone circle where you will stay for less than a couple of hours. The last stop is Bath, a Georgian City, home to the iconic Roman baths. Here you will have some time to explore the wonders of the city which include the Bath Abbey, the Royal Crescent, the Circus, and the Pulteney Bridge. At an extra cost, you may visit and explore the Roman Baths. At the end of the tour, you will be taken back to London.
Duration of Visit: 1 Day
As a final option, if going out of London is not in your plans, then you can explore London a little deeper. This option is mainly focused on shopping and sightseeing.
Being that this is the last day, we do not want to waste much time and dive straight into the itinerary. The morning will be focused on shopping, where later we will head straight to Madame Tussauds and eventually Covent Garden.
Spanning almost 2 kilometres (1.2 miles), Oxford Street is London's most iconic shopping destination. From budget-friendly stores to renowned brands and high-end boutiques, this street has it all. Since the street is very long we recommend starting from either Tottenham Court or Marble Arch as these are the 'starting points' of each side of the street. If you want you could also start from the middle at Oxford Circus. These three locations just mentioned have an underground station.
Whether you are going window shopping or ready to spend a buck, you must give yourself around three to four hours. You could also grab yourself breakfast and lunch later on. This street is a shopper's dream. Keep an eye out for street performers and entertainers adding flair to the lively atmosphere. Plenty of people do not just visit for shopping, but also for the atmosphere as well as it is located in the heart of the city.
Duration of Visit: 3 to 4 Hours
After a lovely morning shopping, it is time for some more London attractions. Madame Tussauds is next on the list, with Covent Garden right after.
Have you ever wanted to come face-to-face with your favourite celebrity? Madame Tussauds in London does just that, it is a wax museum filled with lifelike figures of celebrities and historical icons. Take the opportunity to take a selfie with your favourite celebrity and also learn about them. Apart from that, experience the thrilling 4D Marvel spectacle, walk through the Chamber of Horrors and plenty more surprises.
Duration of Visit: 2 Hours
After spending a couple of hours at Madame Tussauds, you can move on to Covent Garden, a pretty place to stroll around and take photos. To get to Covent Garden we suggest you take the tube. Head over to Baker Street Station get the Bakerloo Line (Brown) and go four stops to Charing Cross Station. From here it is around a 10-minute walk to Covent Garden Market, the heart of the location.
From here, there are several things to go and see such as the London Transport Museum, Neal's Yard, the Covent Garden Market and some cute little shops around Covent Garden London.
Duration of Visit: 3 Hours
To enjoy your last evening in London, why not enjoy a lovely restaurant with a view of your favourite landmark? There are plenty of restaurants around so finding one shouldn't be a problem.
Use the map below to get a perspective of what was said in this article. We have mapped each day as well as the landmarks you will visit.
Finding a place to stay is probably one of the first things that you would probably book. Since London has a wide variety of accommodations, why not use the Booking.com user-friendly widget where you can set your travel dates, number of people and preferred area in London? The map will then automatically locate hotels according to the data you provided.
If you are still unsure about the perfect London neighbourhood, check out our in-depth guide to where to stay in London!
Start your booking adventure now!
That concludes our 'London in three days' guide, where we have laid out a complete itinerary for your London holiday. This guide was based on our first-hand experience when visiting London. Feel free to customize and alter the guide to your preferences, hence why we provided multiple options for each day.