For first time visitors, we recommend spending at least four or five days in London, which will give you enough time to get a feel for the city and see many of its main sites. With so much to do and see check out this article on how you can make the most of your time in London!
How Many Days Should You Spend in London?
Day 1 in London
London is an enormous city, and the majority of tourist attractions are located in Central London. You could start your first day by watching the Changing of the Guard Ceremony outside Buckingham Palace. Continue with a lovely walk to nearby Parliament Square, where you can see Big Ben, The Houses of Parliament and visit Westminster Abbey, where King Charles III was crowned King of England. From here, you could enjoy a walk along the River Thames to the London Eye or stroll through St James Park to Trafalgar Square, home to Nelson’s Column and visit the National Gallery.
Top tip: The State Rooms at Buckingham Palace are only open to visitors from July to September each year. Make sure to book tickets early, as this sells out very quickly.
Two other interesting places to visit in the area are The Royal Mews (open from March to October) which is part of the Buckingham Palace complex, and the Churchill War Rooms.
As you can see, you’ll be spoilt for choice when spending your first day in London!
Day 2 in London
There are many ways to spend a second day in London. You could start by exploring Madame Tussauds. Get up close to all your favourite celebrities from Beyonce to Ed Sheeran, as well as sporting legends, presidents and film stars. See the Royal Family who will be standing on the balcony of Buckingham Palace waving to the crowds. And enjoy the 4D Marvel experience. A typical visit to Madame Tussauds lasts 90 minutes.
An alternative way to spend your second morning in London is to visit the Tower of London. This medieval fortress is home to the crown Jewels, which were worn by King Charles and Queen Camilla during the coronation. Visitors can explore the Tower’s 1,000 year old history, view the royal armouries and meet a beefeater guide. A typical visit to the Tower of London lasts 2-3 hours.
Within Central London, you can divide the city into distinct neighbourhoods and districts. It’s easy to spend an afternoon walking through Soho, shopping along Oxford Street and enjoying Hyde Park
Top tip: London is really geared towards welcoming tourists, and there are hop on hop off buses offering 4 different routes through the the major neighbourhoods of the city, as well as a free river cruise along the River Thames! These open-top buses are ideal for you to get to and from all the major London attractions which are dotted across Central London.
Spending 3 Days in London
If you are a Harry Potter fan, then don’t miss the Warner Bros Studio Tour – The Making of Harry Potter. Spend your third day seeing the sets and props used in the making of the films. Walk into the Great Hall, climb onboard Hogwarts Express and enter the forbidden forest. The Harry Potter Studio Tour is located just outside of London, and we offer Harry Potter Studio tickets with return transportation from Central London.
This is the most popular paid visitor attraction in England, so make sure to book early as possible as tickets get sold out.
An alternative way to spend your third day in London would be to visit a museum. The South Kensington neighbourhood of London is home to three world-class museums – The Natural History Museum, The Science Museum and the Victoria & Albert Museum. Kensington Palace is also located nearby and this can be combined with a wonderful walk through Kensington Gardens where you can visit the memorial to the late Princess Diana. Harrods department store and Harvey Nichols are also located in this area.
In the evening, see a musical. London has an amazing choice of theatre and musicals. Why not take in a show such as The Lion King, Hamilton, Phantom of the Opera, Mamma Mia and many more.
Top tip: These are definitely worthwhile places to visit if you are planning on spending three days in the city. For more ideas check out our one-day itinerary.
Spending 4 Days in London
On your fourth day in London, why not start by heading to Borough Market to savour London’s tasty street food, and enjoy amazing panoramic views from the nearby Shard, Europe’s tallest building. Continue with a walk alongside the River Thames in an area known as The Southbank. You’ll pass many London landmarks including HMS Belfast battleship, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre and the Tate Modern art museum. Cross the Millenium Bridge to visit St Paul’s Cathedral, an architectural masterpiece. You could even stop for lunch at a traditional English pub for some fish and chips!
You could easily spend 4 or 5 days exploring some other areas where famous attractions and sites are located such as Notting Hill, Camden Market, Soho and Covent Garden. Explore more royal attractions or spend half a day at the British Museum. Our list of things to do in London explores all the amazing things you can do in the city!
Top tips: If you are travelling with young children, check out our London with Kids page for more ideas.
Spending 5-days in London
Spend a fifth day venturing outside of London. Windsor Castle is just a short shuttle ride away. Te castle is an official Royal residence with elaborate State Apartments. St George’s Chapel, in the grounds of Windsor Castle, is the final resting place of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip. There’s also the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Stonehenge. Our Stonehenge and Windsor Castle tours are a great way to visit these sites.