Cookies help us to deliver our services. By using our website, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn more.

Things to do in London in 3 days

London is a magical place full of details worth knowing. Three days is short, but long enough to boast that you have seen the city.

Ana Caballero

Ana Caballero

10 min read

Things to do in London in 3 days

View of London from The Shard | ©Jaanus Jagomägi

Many people enjoy taking a tour bus or walking tour to get a good overview of a city before heading out to explore on their own. If this is you, I recommend doing this on your first day in London to get a good orientation.

Anyway in these 3 days I will be guiding you step by step how it would be to visit London in the best possible way and taking into account the time inconvenience Let's get started!

Day 1: Explore Westminster

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

I recommend that you start your trip to London in Westminster, as it is the geographical, cultural and political center of the city - the City of Westminster is actually its own city within London! Here you will find some of London's most iconic buildings, such as Buckingham Palace, the Palace of Westminster and Westminster Abbey.

Today's route is walkable, but you can also get around by public transport, cab or a tour bus.

Parliament Square

We will start our itinerary in Parliament Square, which is a well-known public square in Westminster that is easy to reach by public transport and is also a stop on all major London tour buses. Around the square you will also find the statues of several famous people, such as Winston Churchill, Abraham Lincoln, Robert Peel and Gandhi.

This popular square is surrounded by famous buildings, such as Westminster Abbey, St. Margaret's Church, the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom and the Palace of Westminster.

Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey is one of the most famous and impressive churches in England. It dates back to 1245 and was built mostly in the Gothic style. Inside the church are tombs and monuments commemorating several of the most prominent Britons of the last 1,000 years, including kings, scientists, aristocrats and artists.

If you plan to visit Westminster Abbey, be sure to leave extra time to get in and see everything, as it is a very special place and takes time to explore. Of course, it's also a great idea to find out about Westminster Abbey prices and Westminster Abbey opening timesbefore you go.

  • 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 tickets for Westminster Abbey

Churchill War Rooms

The Churchill War Rooms are composed of two connected museums: the Cabinet War Rooms and the Churchill Museum. The Cabinet War Rooms allow visitors to explore the huge secret subway World War 2 bunker. I recommend having a tour guide to help you better understand the maze, its parts and what happened inside.

The Churchill Museum is a large room dedicated to the life of Winston Churchill. It provides information about his life from his early years until his death in 1965, with a focus on his long political career.

  • Opening hours: Every day from 9:30am to 6:00pm
  • Price: £23.00 (27.58 euros)
  • Address: Clive Steps, King Charles St, London SW1A 2AQ, United Kingdom

Book a tour of London with Churchill's War Rooms

St. James's Park

We now recommend walking through St. James' Park towards Buckingham Palace for some greenery.
The park is one of the best parks in London and is known for its famous resident pelicans. There is a café located inside the park if you need a break for tea, coffee or a light lunch.

  • Opening hours: Every day from 05:00 am to 00:00 am

Buckingham Palace

Outside Buckingham Palace| ©Craige McGonigle
Outside Buckingham Palace| ©Craige McGonigle

Buckingham Palace is the most famous palace in the United Kingdom and serves as the main London residence for the reigning sovereign of the United Kingdom.

The royal palace dates back to 1703 and was originally built as a home for the Duke of Buckingham, but was later acquired by King George III. Queen Victoria was the first monarch to officially reside in the palace.

If you wish to see the Changing of the Guard ceremony, you should skip the morning visit to Westminster Abbey or the Churchill War Rooms and arrive at Buckingham Palace before 11 a.m. It's your choice!

The Queen's Changing of the Guard ceremony takes place most days on the forecourt of Buckingham Palace at around 11 a.m. and lasts about 45 minutes.

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

Book a tour of Buckingham Palace and the Changing of the Guard

Piccadilly Circus

Now I recommend you head to Piccadilly Circus en route to Trafalgar Square. Piccadilly Circus has no clowns, but it is a famous circular road junction known for its neon signs and advertising character.

Here you will find the legendary Shaftesbury Memorial Fountain.

Trafalgar Square

Trafalgar Square is one of London' s most popular public squares and is home to Nelson's Column (a monument to Admiral Horatio Nelson) and London's famous stone lion statues.

The square also has street performers and contemporary art to enjoy and take a break.

Whitehall

Now I recommend walking down Whitehall, which is the street that runs south from Trafalgar Square towards Parliament Square.

Whitehall is named after the Palace of Whitehall, a large medieval royal palace complex that remained here until it was destroyed by fire in 1698.

**At one time it was the largest palace in the world with over 1,500 rooms!
**
As you continue your walk, you'll end up back in Parliament Square, the place where you started your day.

Westminster Bridge

Now I recommend walking across Parliament Square towards Westminster Bridge.

This bridge dates back to 1862, and from here you will have a fantastic view of the Houses of Parliament and the River Thames. You can then take a stroll along the Thames, or even take a dinner cruise on the Thames River.

Day 2: City of London

The Tower of London| ©Ray in Manila
The Tower of London| ©Ray in Manila

For the second day I recommend exploring the City of London. The City of London is another "city within a city". It is home to much of the city's financial and banking services, and is also the oldest part of the city.
Tower of London

Tower of London

The Tower of London was first built by William the Conqueror in 1078 as a royal castle and defense tower. Then, over the centuries, it served many purposes, including a fortress, a prison, and an armory.

The Tower of London is definitely one of the most popular attractions and one of the best monuments in London, so I recommend you to be there close to opening time.

If you have the London Pass you don't need to buy tickets for the Tower of London.

  • 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

Buy tickets for the Tower of London

Sky Garden

If you like beautiful views, I recommend a stop at Sky Garden, the highest public garden in London.

Although Sky Garden is technically a public garden and can be visited for free, I recommend you reserve a space in advance, as it is often fully booked, and it's not always possible to get the best views without an appointment.

Then you can also walk to St. Paul's Cathedral**(about a 15-minute walk**) or take the London Underground from The Monument stop to St. Paul's Cathedral stop.

  • 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).
  • Address: 1 SKY GARDEN WALK, London EC3M 8AF, United Kingdom

St. Paul's Cathedral

St Paul's Cathedral| ©Loco Steve
St Paul's Cathedral| ©Loco Steve

St Paul's Cathedral dates back to 1697 after the previous one was badly destroyed by the Great Fire of London in 1666.

The cathedral's dome is a recognizable feature of the London skyline and the church has long been seen as a symbol of the spirit of the British people, especially during World War II.

The church can be visited and admission to St. Paul's Cathedral includes a self-guided tour. Guided tours are often given throughout the day by church staff.

  • Hours: Monday to Saturday: 8:30 am to 4:30pm
  • Price: £ 20 (€ 23.80)
  • Address: St. Paul's Churchyard, London EC4M 8AD, United Kingdom

Buy tickets for St. Paul's Cathedral

Shakespeare Globe

Now I recommend you head across the Millennium Bridge, a steel pedestrian suspension bridgein order to see Shakespeare's Globe.

The reconstruction of The Globe was the dream project of American actor and director Sam Wanamaker. If you want to see inside the theater, you can visit the museum's exhibition and understand how it was built.

  • 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

Borough Market

Borough Market is the best known and one of the oldest markets in the UK and is believed to have been in operation since 1014!

Today, the market is full of fresh produce, fresh meats and fish, baked goods, cheeses, flowers, wines, spices and other foods. There are also cafes, demonstration kitchens and restaurants that are part of the market, as well as many food stalls selling ready-to-eat foods, including sandwiches and all kinds of street foods This is a great place for a good meal!

The market is normally open from 10am to 5pm and is closed most Sundays throughout the year.

  • 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).
  • Address: 8 Southwark St, London SE1 1TL, UK

The Shard

The Shard is a modern pyramid-shaped skyscraper that houses several restaurants, a hotel, offices, stores and a viewing gallery. It was completed in 2012 and is currently the tallest building in Western Europe at 309 meters in height with 87 floors.

The views from the Shard are free for those with a London Pass, but not so cheap for those who do not have this London tourist card; hence I recommend you to see the pricesof tickets to The Shard.

Another way to enjoy the views is to head to the GŎNG Bar on the 21st floor, and while it's not as high as the observation deck, it still offers panoramic views of the city for the price of a cocktail. This is a great place to enjoy a drink before or after dinner.

  • 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

Day 3: Kensington

Exterior of Kensington Palace| ©Steve Cadman
Exterior of Kensington Palace| ©Steve Cadman

For your last day, I suggest exploring a neighborhood like Kensington in the morning and then head to Windsor Castle in the afternoon.

Kensington Palace

Kensington Palace is a grand 17th century house that was first used as a royal residence by King William II and Queen Mary II.

Despite being a working royal palace, visitors can visit many of the palace's rooms throughout the year. There is much to see here and you can easily spend several hours wandering through the maze of rooms.

I also recommend visiting the palace on a weekday rather than a weekend. There is a cafeteria here that serves meals and refreshments, and also a garden that is worth exploring if you have time and the weather is nice.

  • Hours: March to October: 10 am to 6 pm. November to February: 10 am to 4 pm.
  • Price: Adults: £17.50 (€20.80)
  • Address: Kensington Gardens, London W8 4PX, United Kingdom

Kensington Gardens

After visiting the palace, I recommend you to spend some time exploring the surroundings of Kensington Gardens. It is a beautiful green space highly recommended for a stroll.

Probably the most striking monument in the park is the Albert Memorial, a giant monument to Prince Albert who died of typhoid fever in 1861, leaving his wife, Queen Victoria, very affected.

  • Hours: Every day from 6am until sunset.

Kensington Afternoon Tea

Drinking Tea| ©CocinaViajera
Drinking Tea| ©CocinaViajera

The tradition of afternoon tea originated in the aristocratic homes of England in the 19th century, and there is no better place to have afternoon tea than in London.

You'll have plenty of options in London, as there are thousands of places that serve tea, from casual coffee shops where you can get a cuppa and a scone (typical UK scone) to luxury hotels that offer an incredible tea experience.

Victoria & Albert Museum

The Victoria & Albert Museum, often referred to as the V&A, is one of the world's leading art and design museums. The museum's collection is extensive and items range from Chinese embroidery to paintings by John Constable.

Admission to view the permanent collection at the V&A is free. Some temporary exhibitions are also free, but there is usually a fee to enter the main ones, unless you have a London Pass.

  • Hours: Every day from 10:00 am to 5:30 pm
  • Address: Cromwell Rd, London SW7 2RL, UK

Last night in the West End

What better way to end your London adventure than by returning to the heart of the city, to the core of where it all began and enjoy the iconic West End atmosphere.

The West End is one of the world's most renowned venues, along with New York City's Broadway, for professional theater. Over 30 theaters can be found in the West End offering a wide variety of musicals and plays.

But if theater and musicals aren't your thing, there are a number of nightly performances in London every day, from rock concerts to opera, movies and comedy shows.

London also has a great nightlife with hundreds of bars, pubs, discos and clubs. No matter what your taste, you are sure to find something interesting!

Buy tickets for London musicals