London in Three Days

By Renuka Nair

There’s so much you can do in London in three days.

But when planning a trip to London, you really want to make the most of everything that this amazing and diverse city has to offer. We have designed a free itinerary for you to follow which includes London’s top attractions like Big Ben, The London Eye, Westminster Abbey, The Tower of London and St Paul’s cathedral.
There is so much to see in London that our first advice when spending three days in London is to make sure that you have chosen a fairly central hotel, preferably in zones 1 or 2 if possible. This means you will then spend less time and money on public transport. We would also recommend that you plan and know what routes or itineraries you are going to follow so that you don’t have to think about where to go on the day. It’s also best if you get up early, so save the lie-ins for when you get home!
If it’s your first time in London and you want to see as much as possible, you need to think about going on a hop-on hop-off bus tour; it’s an easy way to see a lot in a city as big as London and it really helps you to figure out where things are if you use it on your first day. You will also get a free river cruise which is brilliant and something that we would very highly recommend.

London in three days: Day 1 in London

• Changing of the Guard
• Westminster Abbey
• Big Ben and London Eye
• Regent Street and Carnaby Street
• Trafalgar Square and Piccadilly Circus
• Leicester Square and Covent Garden

Big Ben and the London Eye our must-sees for your first day in London if you’re are planning on visiting London in three days, so we have designed a walking route that starts at Buckingham Palace to see the famous ceremony of the Changing of the Guard, and then we will go on to explore some of the city´s most important landmarks, such as Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, Covent Garden, Trafalgar Square, Piccadilly Circus…

This walking route is approximately 4.5 miles long, and we would allow at least 4 – 6 hours, although it could easily take you all day, especially if you go on the London Eye or visit Westminster Abbey.

Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace

Our walking route starts at Green Park Tube Station. From here, you’ll walk across Green Park to get to Buckingham Palace, where you will get a chance to watch the famous Ceremony of the Changing of the Guard. This ceremony takes place at 11 am, but we recommend that you arrive at least 30 minutes in advance as it does get quite crowded. Check confirmed dates here: Changing of the Guard in London. After watching the changing of the guard ceremony, we will then walk through the small but wonderful St James’s Park.

Westminster Abbey

We will then walk along Whitehall, passing 10 Downing Street, and make our way towards Westminster Abbey. It really is a shame to visit London and not visit Westminster Abbey so it’s something that we would recommend. If you buy your tickets in advance you’ll skip the queues and it will be cheaper than buying the entry ticket at the door. It will take you around 2 hours to visit Westminster Abbey.

Big Ben and London Eye

From here you can walk past the Houses of Parliament where you can admire the magnificent Big Ben, obviously one of London’s most famous landmarks. You will cross Westminster Bridge and get the perfect photo of Big Ben as well as the London Eye.
Once you cross Westminster Bridge, you can go towards the London Eye and continue walking along the Southbank until you get to Royal Festival Hall. This is the perfect place to stop for a coffee or a bite if you’re feeling a bit hungry as there are plenty of restaurants and cafes. Just behind the Royal Festival Hall there is also a food market during the weekends, so that’s worth a visit if you fancy a bit of street food.

Trafalgar Square and Piccadilly Circus

You will then cross the Thames along the Golden Jubilee Bridge and head towards Trafalgar Square, the famous piazza with the four lions. This is where you will find one of London’s most famous galleries, The National Gallery, which is free to enter. From here it’s only a short walk to another one of London’s famous landmarks, Piccadilly Circus.

Regent Street and Carnaby Street

From here, we would recommend that you walk along Regent Street, spotting Hamleys on your right; London’s largest and best toy store. You will then go past Liberty, one of London’s most famous stores, discover Carnaby Street and London’s famous Soho. You will end your route through Soho exploring the infamous Chinatown of London.

Leicester Square and Covent Garden

You will next discover Leicester Square where you will come across another two famous shops – M&M’s and LEGO Stores! Leicester Square is where London’s film premieres take place so you might bump into a famous actor if you are lucky (we once saw Will Smith!). From Leicester Square it’s only a short walk to Covent Garden, one of the most beautiful places in London and the perfect way to end your very first busy day exploring London. You will find lots of restaurants in this area so it is the perfect place to have something to eat or drink before heading back to your hotel.

This is also where you will find most theatres in London. If you can, we recommend watching one of the most famous musicals in London.

Day 2 in London

You will start your second day in London by walking along what is possibly London’s busiest and most popular street: Oxford Street. From there you can discover the many secrets that Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens have to offer before heading to explore at least one of London’s most famous museums. At the end of our route, you will definitely want to go to Harrods, London’s most famous department store.

• Oxford Street and Marble Arch
• Hyde Park
• Kensington

Oxford Street and Marble Arch

Our starting point for your second day in London is Oxford Street Tube Station. From here you’ll head west, discovering all the high street shops that Oxford Street has to offer. You will walk past John Lewis, Marks and Spencer and Selfridges; one of the oldest department stores in London. As you walk along Oxford Street, keep an eye out for a little sign that indicates St Christopher’s Place, a little piazza with several restaurants and cafes that is hidden away and that definitely deserves a pit stop for a quick rest. Once you get to the end of Oxford Street you’ll find Marble Arch.

Hyde Park

As soon as you enter Hyde Park you’ll arrive at Speaker’s Corner. From here we have designed a route through Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens for you to discover the most important sights of these two beautiful parks. This includes Peter Pan’s statue, the Italian Water Gardens, Kensington Palace and the Albert Memorial. If you are visiting London with kids don’t forget to take them to the Diana Princess of Wales’ Memorial Playground.

Kensington

As you exit Hyde Park, you’ll find yourselves in front of the amazing Royal Albert Hall. The Royal Albert Hall offers tours to those who would like to explore one of the world’s most famous concert halls. You will then walk towards South Kensington, where you will find some of London’s most famous museums such as the Natural History Museum, the Science Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum. It can take you a few hours to visit each of these museums but they offer free entry so it is worth visiting at least one if you have time.

Our route takes you along Kensington High Street and Brompton Road until you get to Harrods but, before you head this way, you can always stop for a coffee or something to eat around South Kensington Tube Station as there are several cafes and restaurants in the area.

Day 3 in London

If you are visiting London in three days, then we would recommend that you spend some time visiting the famous Tower of London and walking along the Southbank, as well as admiring St Paul’s Cathedral.

• Monument and North Bank of the river
• Tower of London and Tower Bridge
• Southbank

Monument and North Bank of the river

Our walking route starts at Monument’s Tube Station, from where we will start walking towards London Bridge. You will see The Monument to the Great Fire of London on your left-hand side which has a viewing platform reached by a narrow winding staircase of 311 steps. You can visit both The Monument and its viewing platform. As you continue walking you will get to London Bridge and you are then able to walk along the South Bank of the river. From here you will get some awesome views of Tower Bridge and The Shard, London’s tallest building. A perfect selfie spot!

Tower of London and Tower Bridge

Walking along the North Bank of Thames you will reach a point where you can no longer continue along the Bank of the river and you just need to follow the road until you see one of London’s most important landmarks: The Tower of London. We highly recommend that you visit the Tower of London as no one should visit London and miss the opportunity to see the Crown Jewels.
It will take you around 2 hours to visit the Tower of London and it is much easier and more convenient if you use your Keetoo App to do this. Inside the Tower of London there is a wonderful cafe / restaurant where we would recommend you try an authentic British Pie and Mash or stop for some much needed tea and cake.

Our next stop will be Tower Bridge. Not only do you get to see this magnificent landmark, but you will cross Tower Bridge on foot. Before you go up the steps to get to Tower Bridge though, we would recommend that you have a wander around St Katharine’s Dock as it is one of London’s best kept secrets. There are numerous restaurants in this area, so it’s the ideal place if you are looking to have lunch somewhere. In St Katharine’s Dock is where you can find The Dickens Inn, a unique pub housed in a beautiful 18th century warehouse, serving pub food as well as fine grill and pizzeria.

You will then continue to walk across Tower Bridge, admiring its beauty. The Tower Bridge Exhibition is also open to the public and has an astonishing viewing platform from where the views are amazing. Another great spot for a picture!

South Bank

Once you cross Tower Bridge, you will be able to walk along the South Bank of the river Thames, a very enjoyable walk that will allow you to get a proper feeling of what it means to visit London. You will first walk past London’s City Hall (Greater London Authority’s headquarters) and the HMS Belfast; Europe’s only surviving second world war cruiser, a historic warship and a museum where you will get the opportunity to explore what life was like at war at sea.
As you continue walking along the South Bank, you will come to Hay’s Galleria, one of our favourite places in London. Here you will find a selection of restaurants and cafes as well as a few shops and stalls. Our next stop will be Borough Market, one of the most spectacular markets in London. Make sure to visit during market opening days (Wednesday – Sunday) as this area is not the same if the market is closed.
Continue walking along the South Bank, passing Shakespeare’s Globe and Butler’s Wharf until you reach the Tate Modern and the Millennium Bridge. Here there’s a perfect view of St Paul’s Cathedral on the other side of the river. You can then cross the Millennium Bridge to go and see St Paul’s Cathedral or continue walking along the South Bank, as you can walk all the way to the London Eye.

More suggestions to spend three days in London

London Markets: We highly recommend a visit to Camden Market or Portobello Road in Notting Hill. You could always go to one of these markets first thing in the morning and then head to the Tower of London and start walking along the South Bank, as we mentioned above. It will be an exceptionally long day, but you can always stop and go to your hotel when you have had enough!
London Museums: Notably the Natural History Museum, Science Museum or the Victoria & Albert Museum. You could spend a whole day in some of these museums if you are not careful so it really depends on how much you want to see. You could always combine a market and a museum, or a museum and the South Bank walk mentioned above.

Best Travel Options when visiting London in three days

If you are visiting London in three days, we think that the best way to get around the city is by using an oyster card or a visitor oyster card. You can also use a contactless debit or credit card on London’s public transport system but check bank commission charges if it’s a non-UK card. This is the cheapest way to get around London in three days, and you can use any of those cards to go on public buses, tube, dockland light rail trains or trains within London Travel Zones.

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