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Things to do in London in 2 days

London is a city full of monuments, parks, gastronomic sites and incredible places to be. Two days is not enough for London, but enough to fall in love with this famous city.

Ana Caballero

Ana Caballero

11 min read

Things to do in London in 2 days

Postcard of the Buildings in London | ©João Barbosa

I've booked you a list of several things to do in London during your two day stay , so be prepared! With 2 days in London, you will only be able to see the highlights. Keep in mind that this itinerary is designed to help you see most of London's landmarks. You can, of course, take it as a guide and modify it to your liking. Be prepared for a busy couple of days of sightseeing!

I would recommend starting your days early so that you can make the most of your time in London. I hope this itinerary provides you with some structure and all the information you need to visit the iconic landmarks, popular buildings and amazing areas I've left below. Let's get started!

Day 1: Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, London Eye and Central London

Exterior of Buckingham Palace| ©Craige McGonigle
Exterior of Buckingham Palace| ©Craige McGonigle

On the first day we will try to see the most emblematic points of the city in order to have a more generic view of what the city is like.

Buckingham Palace

It seems appropriate to start your 2 days in London at the Queen's official residence, originally known as Buckingham House. This building actually almost became the British Museum in the 17th century. During the 19th and 20th centuries, it has grown and now has 775 rooms and the largest private garden in London.

Everything about this palace is as ostentatious as you would expect, from the outside to the very inside. Even the road leading to the palace is no waste, all in red to simulate a giant red carpet.

  • Hours: July 21 - August 31: Open daily, 9:30am - 5:15 pm
  • Price: Buckingham Palace: Adults: £ 25 (€ 29.80)
  • Address: The Mall, London SW1A 1AA

Changing of the Guard

The Changing of the Guard in London is a changing of the guard ceremony performed by the Royal Guard. It is a parade that takes place in the mornings and is one of the most famous and important tourist attractions in London.

If you want to see the changing of the guard in London, you should check the times and days for this, as it only happens on certain days. I would also recommend you to check the changing of the guard website for the best places to watch this ceremony, as it takes place in some precise locations.

Book a tour to see the Changing of the Guard

Westminster Abbey

One of four UNESCO World Heritage Sites in London, Westminster Abbey is a must-see during your visit to London. This London icon has more than 1,000 years of history.

There is much to see inside Westminster Abbey. The interior of this Gothic-style church is perhaps even more spectacular than the exterior. However, to gain access you must purchase a ticket.

If you have a London Pass, one of the best tourist cards in London, entry to Westminster Abbey is included. In any case, it is advisable to keep updated on the Westminster Abbey opening hours and Westminster Abbey prices tovisit the Abbey in case there are any changes.

  • Hours: Monday - Sunday 9:30 am to 3:30 pm
  • Price: Adults: £20 (€23.80)
  • Address: 20 Deans Yd, London SW1P 3PA, United Kingdom

Book a guided tour of Westminster Abbey

Houses of Parliament and Big Ben

Houses of Parliaments and Big Bem| ©Berit
Houses of Parliaments and Big Bem| ©Berit

Once you have seen Westminster Abbey, continue through Parliament Square to the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben. No landmark is as representative of London as the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben.

The Houses of Parliament, or also known as the Palace of Westminster, is the most important meeting place of the British government. The palace was rebuilt between 1840 and 1870, and you can see it in the foreground sitting on the banks of the River Thames.

Want to visit the inside of these monuments? While tours of Big Ben are reserved exclusively for UK residents, visits to the Houses of Parliament are offered through theofficial website.

  • Hours: Monday: 1:15 pm to 5:30 pm. Tuesday to Friday: 9:15 am to 4:30 pm.
  • Price: Adults: between £25 (€29.70) and £28 (€33.30).
  • Address: London SW1A 0AA, United Kingdom

Book a guided tour of Westminster Abbey

London Eye

Your next stop will be to see the views from the London Eye. From the Houses of Parliament, cross Westminster Bridge to Southbank. From there you will see two excellent views: one towards the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben, and the other towards the London Eye.

Personally, I recommend you to admire it from the outside saving money, but especially time as there is usually a long queue. However, if the London Eye is on your list of things to do in London, then I recommend you to book tickets for the London Eye in advance.

  • Hours: January - March: 11 am - 6 pm. April and May: opening times vary depending on the day.
  • Price: Adults: £ 27 (€ 32.10)
  • Address: Riverside Building, County Hall, London SE1 7PB, United Kingdom

Buy tickets for the London Eye

Trafalgar Square

Trafalgar Square| ©a.canvas.of.light
Trafalgar Square| ©a.canvas.of.light

From Southbank, continue over Hungerford Bridge towards Trafalgar Square. Take a break to enjoy the views from the bridge back towards the London Eye and the Houses of Parliament.

Trafalgar Square is a public square surrounded by some of London's main attractions, including museums, galleries, historic buildings, statues and monuments. To this day it is still a space for public events.

National Gallery

Art lovers can visit the National Gallery, home to more than 2,300 works of art. Admission is free (excluding special exhibitions). However, if art is not something you appreciate so much, I recommend skipping this plan so as not to consume more time.

  • Hours: 10:00 am to 18:00 pm ( every day)
  • Price: free
  • Address: Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 5DN, UK

Covent Garden

A short walk from Trafalgar Square will take you to Covent Garden, an area full of street performers. In the center of Covent Garden, you'll find a variety of stores and restaurants - this can be a great place to hide out on a rainy day!

If you haven't had lunch yet, then Covent Garden is a great place to stop and grab a bite to eat. Take a stroll through Neal's Yard for a colorful oasis away from the hustle and bustle of the city, with plenty of food options, including excellent vegan meals.

  • Hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Saturday)
  • Price: free
  • Address: Covent Garden London, United Kingdom

Picadilly Circus and Leicester Square

Piccadilly Circus the heart of West-End| ©Jimmy Baikovicius
Piccadilly Circus the heart of West-End| ©Jimmy Baikovicius

From Regent Street and after walking down Oxford Street (one of the busiest streets) you must get to Piccadilly Circus. No matter what time of day, Piccadilly Circus is always buzzing. It is London's equivalent of New York's Time Square and is a major tourist attraction.

Continue along Piccadilly Circus and, by inertia, you'll reach Leicester Square. This is where London's movie premieres take place, and this part of London is arguably even better at night. It is also the heart of Theatreland, so there are plenty of theaters nearby to catch a show.

While there are also many food options in Leicester Square, it is not the most recommended place to eat due to the high prices.

Soho

Soho is the last stop on this 2-day London itinerary. This area is very popular with Londoners and tourists alike. It is certainly the perfect place to end the day with a variety of entertainment, food and nightlife options.

You will find many excellent restaurants along Wardour Street and its surroundings. You can try Princi if Italian food is to your liking.

Then to close the day you can enjoy a cocktail at one of the many bars or clubs in the area.

Day 2: Tower of London, Tower Bridge, Shard, Millennium Bridge and Sky Garden

Inside the Tower of London| ©Doug Kerr
Inside the Tower of London| ©Doug Kerr

To see as much of London as possible in 2 days, I would recommend starting early again. The second day of your itinerary will start at the Tower of London, which opens at 9am Tuesday through Saturday (and from 10am Sunday through Monday), and end at the Sky Garden.

Tower of London

Dating back to the 1070s as an imposing river fortress, this iconic historic site has served many purposes throughout its existence as a fortress, prison, royal mint and even a zoo and, today, a tourist attraction.

If you're not interested in going inside, at least walk around its perimeter, from where you can get excellent views and a sense of the scale of the tower. Entrance to the Tower of London is included in the London Pass. If you do not have this tourist card, I recommend you to know the prices of access to the tower.

  • Hours: Tuesday to Saturday: 9 am to 5:30 pm. Sunday and Monday: 10 am to 5:30 pm.
  • Price: Adults: £24.70 (€29.40).
  • Address: London EC3N 4AB, United Kingdom

Book tickets for the Tower of London

Tower Bridge

London Tower Bridge| ©Chris Schippers
London Tower Bridge| ©Chris Schippers

Once you have seen the Crown Jewels, head to Tower Bridge, one of London's landmarks.
The bridge opens quite regularly to allow tall ships to pass. It's an impressive sight, so it's worth checking the Tower Bridge website to see if it's scheduled to open during your 2 days in London.

Entry costs £9.80 (€11.66) , and with this you can experience walking along the high level walkway and, if you are brave enough, on the glass walkway suspended over the bridge What a thrill!

  • Hours: April - September: 10 to 6 pm October - March: 9:30 am to 5:30 pm
  • Price: Adults: £9.80 (€11.70)
  • Address: Tower Bridge Rd, London SE1 2UP, United Kingdom

The Shard

At 95 stories tall, London's tallest skyscraper offers breathtaking views of the city. Rising 310 m (1020 ft) above the ground, the Shard is quite simply the tallest structure in Western Europe.

For a similar free, though not quite as impressive, view, you can head to one of the bars on the 31st or 32nd floors. All of the Shard's bars and restaurants feature ceiling-to-floor windows and breathtaking views. It's entirely possible to take a look around and come back down without buying a drink.

Of course, if you want to double the experience stop by the Ting restaurant at The Shard, it serves one of the best afternoon teas which, along with the spectacular views of the city, will add days to your life. There are also several places to eat near The Shard.

  • Hours: Thursday - Saturday: 10 am to 10 pm (access until 8:30 pm). Sunday - Wednesday: 10 am to 7 pm (access until 5:30 pm).
  • Price: Adults: £32 (€38.10)
  • Address: 32 London Bridge St, London SE1 9SG, United Kingdom

Buy tickets for The Shard

Golden Hide

Golden Hide| ©Jose L. Marin
Golden Hide| ©Jose L. Marin

Your route on this 2-day London itinerary will take you past the Golden Hinde. This is a full-scale reconstruction of the first English ship to circumnavigate the world, captained by Sir Francis Drake.

You can also get on board with your London Pass. It is an impressive structure and well worth a look.

  • Opening Hours: Tuesday to Sunday 10:00 to 17:00
  • Price: Adult ticket: £ 7.95 (9.50 euros)
  • Address: St Mary Overie's Dock, Cathedral St, London SE1 9DE, United Kingdom

Township Market

You should be pretty hungry by now! Stop by Borough Market, one of the best places for street food in London. Here you will find a tempting variety of global foods.

The delicious aromas will instantly permeate your senses and if you're not hungry, just wait until you stop by!
The market is usually open every day except Sundays. Check the Borough Market website for current opening hours.

  • Hours: Monday to Thursday ( 10:00 to 17:00). Friday ( 10:00 to 18:00). Saturday ( 08:00 to 17:00). Sunday ( 10:00 to 14:00).
  • Price: Free
  • Address: 8 Southwark St, London SE1 1TL, United Kingdom

Shakespeare Globe

Shakespeare's Globe Theatre| ©Diego Delso
Shakespeare's Globe Theatre| ©Diego Delso

As you continue your walk along the south bank of the river, you're bound to come across Shakespeare's Globe. This world-renowned outdoor performing arts center is a reconstruction of the Globe Theatre, for which William Shakespeare wrote his best plays.

For fans of Shakespeare or theater, then it is well worth a visit. Also included in the London Pass, tickets cost £17 (€20.23), and can also be booked online through Shakespeare's Globe website.

  • Hours: Every day from 9 am to 5 pm
  • Price: Adults: £13.50 (€16.10)
  • Address: 21 New Globe Walk, London SE1 9DT, United Kingdom

Tate Modern

Another 5 minutes walk and you will arrive at the Tate Modern. As with most museums and art galleries in London, admission to the Tate Modern is free. This art gallery houses the largest collection of modern art in the UK.

I recommend you check the opening hours and any special exhibitions on the Tate Modern website.

  • Hours: Sunday to Thursday, 10.00 to 18.00 Friday and Saturday, 10.00 to 22.00
  • Price: Free
  • Address: Bankside, London SE1 9TG

Millennium Bridge

Millennium Bridge view| ©Brian Chow
Millennium Bridge view| ©Brian Chow

Opened in 2000, the Millennium Bridge was the first bridge to be built over the River Thames in 100 years. This impressive steel suspension footbridge connects the Tate Modern and Shakespeare's Globe on the south bank of the Thames with St Pauls in the north - a spectacle of historic monuments!

Look carefully as you walk across the bridge and you may find one of London's gems in plain sight! This is because there are hidden little pieces of art painted in chewing gum and designed by artist Ben Wilson.

For all you Harry Potter fans, you may recognize the Millennium Bridge from the opening scene of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Mystery. This is one of the many places to enjoy Harry Potter in London. If you also like Harry Potter I recommend taking a tour related to Harry Potter and his movies.

  • Hours: The bridge is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • Price: free
  • Address: Thames Embankment, London, UK

Sky Garden

Our last stop for this guide to London in 2 days is Sky Garden - one of the best things about Sky Garden is that it's free!

The themed gardens are divided into three levels. Here you will discover a prehistoric forest made up of fig trees and tree ferns, as well as flowering plants from the Mediterranean and South Africa.

Sky Garden also features observation decks, two restaurants, a bar and an outdoor terrace, so say goodbye to London with a proper dinner!

  • Opening hours: Monday to Wednesday ( 10:00 to 23:30). Thursday ( 10:00 to 00:00). Friday (09:00 to 02:00). Saturday (08:30 to 02:00).Sunday (08:30 to 23:00).
  • Price: Free
  • Address: 1 SKY GARDEN WALK, London EC3M 8AF, United Kingdom