From its maze of back streets to some of the most iconic buildings in the world, you may have visited before but you’ll never find the same London. This fascinating, fun and important city changes with every visit and there’s always so much more to explore. You can easily spend 3 days in London or a whole month, and still not do it all. Sometimes we just need to have a London Itinerary and other times is all about going with the flow.
Take a trip to England’s exciting capital and discover gruesome history at its most disturbing in Queen Victoria’s London. Be wowed by the pomp and pageantry of the stunning royal palace and breathe in some fresh air thanks to the green lungs of the city’s many parks.
You’ll never be stuck for things to do in this melting pot of culture, languages and histories, so join our guide to three days in London (the most iconic city in the world). In this post, we will recommend you what to see in London in 3 days.
Table of Contents (skip directly to the info you're looking for)
Where to Stay in London
As you know, London is a huge city and there is no distinct city center; rather, London is a collection of villages which have been lumped together to make one city. Deciding where to stay can be really difficult. It will largely depend on your budget, although you definitely want to stay within zone one or two – any further out and you will spend most of your three days on public transport.
If you want to be where a lot of the action is, the West End – made up of Soho, Covent Garden, Leicester Square, Mayfair and Oxford Street – is not a bad option. You have the theatre district, art galleries and museums, and plenty of dining options right on your doorstep. Accommodation is mostly four- and five-star hotels, although there are mid-range options if you prefer.
Other areas which are centrally located are Fitzrovia, Bloomsbury, and Victoria. Victoria and King’s Cross – which is just north of Fitzrovia – are excellent options if you want to be near a transport hub. The areas around London Bridge, such as South Bank and Bankside, are also good for both transport and sights.
For those who prefer to stay a little bit out of the centre in neighbourhoods with a more local feel, I would recommend Brixton, Camden, Greenwich, or Shoreditch. Each of these districts has its own distinct atmosphere, so it would depend on your personal style and preference as to which one you choose. You will need to travel that little bit further to get to certain tourist attractions, but all of these places have great nightlife, so you would not have far to get home if you decided to have a night out here rather than in Central London.
London is well-known for being horrifically expensive. In my experience of traveling, I have found that some things in London can cost more than in areas which are considered to be the most expensive, such as Scandinavia. Then again, there are many museums in London which are completely free to enter, so this can balance out the cost.
If you do want to visit a lot of attractions which have an admission fee, you may want to consider a discount card. The two best ones on the market are the London Pass and the London City Pass; do not be fooled by the similar name, they are two separate passes.
The London Pass has a vast number of attractions included in the price, including the Tower of London, Westminster Abbey, and St. Paul’s Cathedral, and is available from one to ten days. It also includes fast track entry to some of the sights, which can be invaluable during peak times in London. I found it to be the best value.
The London City Pass also includes admission to a ton of top attractions, but you also get the choice of adding on public transport as part of your deal. Whether you opt for a discount card will largely depend on if you plan to visit a lot of the paid attractions. If your plan is to just visit the free museums, it will not be worth the money.
Best Time to Visit London
The great thing about London is that there is no real bad time to visit. If you want to have sunny weather, summer is your best bet. However, be warned that traveling to London in summer does not actually guarantee higher temperatures; you are just as likely to hit upon cool, rainy weather as you are a scorching hot day.
That being said, hot weather in London is not the same as hot weather in countries like Spain and Italy. Higher temperatures can actually feel really uncomfortable when visiting London, especially on the Tube as there are only four lines which have air con. Summer is also the time when most people travel to the city, so you will find yourself battling with crowds on a daily basis.
Like many European cities, the shoulder seasons of spring and autumn are lovely times to visit London. The crowds are (slightly) thinner, the weather not so bad, and you will either get to see the first blooms of the year or the turning of the colours of the leaves.
I particularly love autumn because all the parks turn gold, red and brown, and we often get really sunny days in October, making it such a beautiful time to visit.
Winter in London, especially the festive season, is another peak time for visitors to the city and is rather magical. Lots of events take place during this time, such as Christmas markets, but again just be aware that it is one of the busiest times of year.
What to see in London in 3 days
Day One in London
Get up early, you’ve got a lot to pack in. Today you’re going to get to the heart of the city and see what makes it so unique. Prepare yourself to go back in time and end the day on a high note (literally).
First, you’re going to visit the Tower of London. See the crowns and jewels that have graced the heads of monarchs for hundreds of years. Guarded fiercely by the Beefeater guards, the jewels have only ever been stolen once by one Captain Blood in 1671. Blood was eventually pardoned by King Charles who was said to be impressed with the scoundrel’s boldness and audacity.
After seeing the dazzling display you’ll be on your way to one of London’s most iconic stars of the skyline: St Paul’s Cathedral. Designed by Sir Christopher Wren, the cathedral has appeared as the backdrop to many films and is unmistakable with its dome that stands clear in the sky.
Next you’re on your way to Shakespeare’s Globe where the great bard himself put on so many of his plays. Lovingly restored to its original design, you’ll need to bring or rent a cushion if you stay for a play. The hard wooden seats are also part of the original design.
It’s time for lunch and the best place to go is Borough Market. Don’t plan anything, just wander around until you find a table and a cuisine that takes your fancy. Alternatively there are plenty of very popular and very old pubs nearby that part of the fabric of the market’s way of life.
Walk across Tower Bridge and end the sightseeing part of your day at The Shard. If you want to go up and check out the view, buy your ticket in advance to beat the queues.
To finish up your day in style why not head to a West End show. There are so many to choose from but old favorites such as the Lion King never disappoint, so treat yourself to your favorite.
Recommended: Useful Tips for London, England!
Day Two in London
There’s no let-up for the second day of your tour. This time you’re turning your attention to the political heart of the city and hitting up the Houses of Parliament. While you’re there, stop at the stunning Westminster Abbey. Both venues can be accessed via tours and again it’s better to book in advance if you can.
If you’re a bit of a history buff, you might enjoy visiting Churchill’s Cabinet War Rooms, an underground bunker where the former British Prime Minister and his Cabinet strategized the Second World War.
It’s time for lunch and this time, weather dependent, it’s the perfect opportunity to grab a sandwich and enjoy a picnic in St James Park. You’re a stone’s throw from Buckingham Palace so get the tour and take a look at the building the Queen of England calls home.
Here is a list with the best spots for brunch in London. You welcome!
Now for a spot of art culture with a trip to the National Gallery, featuring some of the most prestigious characters in history, ancient and modern. Spend the rest of the afternoon browsing the galleries before heading to the London Eye for a sunset ride. Make sure you’ve booked in advance to get the time you want.
Suggested: Unforgettable Things To Do In London
Day Three in London
Why not start the day with a bit of shopping. You might not be able to afford the cost of a private jet, like many of its customers but Harrods is a tourism destination in its own right so enjoy the opulence and pick up a souvenir, like one of the famous Harrods’ bears. If you are a fashion lover, here you can find tips on what to wear in London.
After exploring Kensington Palace and Gardens, it’s time to head to for one last museum and this time it’s the V&A museum, a stunning collection of art and design.
As your tour draws to a close, make some time for any last minute shopping you want to do in the iconic Carnaby Street or in the bustling Oxford Street, before finishing off your day with dinner at the trendy OXO Tower. Book well in advance for reservations.
You might be exhausted just by reading our guide, but these three days only scratch the surface of what London has to offer. We haven’t even mentioned Soho, Chinatown and Camden Market. London is a city with many faces. Turn one corner and you’re faced with leafy commons and classic Georgian town houses, turn another and you’re in the beating heart of British democracy at the Houses of Parliament.
Where to Eat in London
Finding somewhere to eat in London should not be a problem. Literally every street you walk down, there will be restaurants, pubs, cafes, fast food joints, street food stands… if you go hungry in London, there has to have been a nuclear apocalypse! Every cuisine on Earth is represented here, so there really should be no reason why you cannot find something to satisfy you.
Anyone traveling to London should visit at least one of the food markets when in town. There are quite a few dotted around the city, but probably the most central one is Borough Market, located near London Bridge station. Not only is it one of the largest in London, but it is also one of the oldest, dating back to the 12th century.
There is a fantastic selection of British and international produce and is renowned throughout the city. I also love the food markets in Camden Lock and Greenwich, and if you are going to be in or near Brixton, you should definitely head to Pop Brixton, a really cool indoor street food venue.
One thing is for sure, you’re never going to get bored. Whether you follow our guide by the letter or choose to mix and match, discover what London has to offer at your pace and uncover some of its hidden gems. We mentioned just two of the myriad of museums there are on offer and if you loved the West End once, why not take in more than one show?
Another favorite: Must see places in Europe in Winter!
With so much to see, so many great places to explore and to find great food and drinks, your London trip is going to need some planning. Get your research started by tracking down some great accommodation and buy your travel Oyster card online too. Start getting excited today and see what makes London the very best city in the world.
Enjoyed reading this post? Save it for later on Pinterest!