On many occasions, organizing a trip means having to choose between what you can visit and what, due to time constraints, will be impossible. The amount of things to see and do in London makes it necessary to take the itinerary well studied, as its offer can overwhelm the most experienced traveler.
This six-day itinerary of London includes its main attractions, from the Tower of London to the British Museum, plus a day trip to a place as recommendable as Stonehenge. Remember that the best way to enjoy yourself is to be flexible so that you can change your itinerary as you go along if you find something that particularly interests you.
Day 1: see the main attractions in the Westminster area
One of the best places to start getting to know the British capital is the Westminster area. This remains the cultural and political center of the city and is home to some of the must-see attractions.
Buckingham Palace and the Changing of the Guard
The first visit of the day can be done, like the rest of the tour, walking, but if you prefer you can book a tourist bus in London that travel around the area. For sure, Buckingham Palace will be on the route of most of them.
Also, book a visit to Buckingham Palace with changing of the guard ceremony is a must on your trip. It is one of the most famous buildings in the United Kingdom, since it is the main residence of the British kings. Besides being able to visit the palace itself, many tourists come hoping to see the famous Changing of the Guard in London which takes place around 10:30 - 11:00 in the morning.
Enter Westminster Abbey
On the way to the next visit you can spend some time in St. James Park, one of the best parks in London. If you are lucky, you may see some of the pelicans that live in its lakes. It is also an ideal place to have a coffee before continuing to Westminster Abbey.
This abbey is one of the most important churches in England, both for its architecture and its history. It is worth visiting inside, although I recommend you to buy tickets for Westminster Abbey in advance or have purchased for example, the London pass that includes it.
On the visit you can see the tombs of some of the most famous historical figures of the United Kingdom. The remains of English monarchs also rest there. To get the most out of it I advise you to use the audio guide that you get at the entrance.
Walk through Trafalgar Square and enjoy the art at the National Gallery
From the abbey the tour continues to Trafalgar Square, one of the most popular and famous squares in the city. Here you will find the famous statue of Admiral Nelson and another one representing four lions.
If you prefer, almost all organized tours of London go through this area and usually have guides who explain all its history.
In addition to walking around the square for a while, art lovers must book a visit to the National Gallery, whose entrance is free.
The gallery houses one of the best collections of paintings in the world and specializes in European artists from the thirteenth century to the twentieth century. There you will enjoy works by Rembrandt, Titian, Velázquez and Van Gogh, just to name a few.
On the way to Big Ben via Downing Street
From Trafalgar Square you take Whitehall Street, which leads to Parliament Square. Along the way you can contemplate the surviving section of a palace that burned in 1698 and include a ceiling painted by Rubens.
The walk passes, before reaching the aforementioned Parliament Square, the famous Downing Street, where is the official residence of the British Prime Minister, specifically at number 10.
On one side of this square is the Palace of Westminster, also called the Houses of Parliament. It is in this building where is located the tower that, erroneously, is known as Big Ben. Actually, that name only refers to the bell placed there, but over time many use it for the entire tower.
After visiting all the above places you can approach the nearby Westminster Bridge and contemplate the views of the Houses of Parliament and the river.
Because of the time, it is quite likely that you will be looking for a place to have dinner along the banks of the Thames. Another good option is to hire one of the interesting night tours of London and that will allow you to see **London'**s monuments from a different perspective.
Day 2: Along the Thames
The second day of the trip will also focus on central London, but in this case focusing on the attractions located along the largest river in England, the Thames. The recommended itinerary starts at the Tower of London and will end at the London Eye.
Enter the Tower of London
The day begins with a visit to the Tower of London, a former fortress used as a prison for over 900 years. Many critics of the crown were imprisoned there and it was famous for the tortures and executions that were carried out.
Among the unfortunates who ended up in the Tower of London are such important characters as Anne Boleyn, Thomas More or Queen Jane Grey.
Booking a visit inside the Tower of London is highly recommended, especially for the exhibition showing the Crown Jewels, for its chapel or for the White Tower. If you are lucky, you can also see some of the crows that live there and that star an interesting legend.
Relax on the Thames with a little cruise
After admiring the attractions of the Tower of London you can spend some of your time to book a cruise on the Thames.
The offer of these cruises is quite wide, as well as the prices of Thames cruises. Some of them are designed for evening cruises, such as those that include dinner, while others combine the Thames cruise with a visit to the London Eye.
Two of London's most famous bridges: Tower Bridge and London Bridge
Although both bridges offer their respective exhibitions, for time reasons it is better to continue the tour. In any case, you can always choose to see one of them and improvise later.
The following stops require a return to the Westminster Bridge area. Firstly, in case you like the theme, it is worth buying tickets for London Dungeon.
This is an interactive attraction that tells the darker history of the city and ensures that the more fearful will be startled on occasion. If you think it's going to be too much for your character, not too far away is London's Sea Life London Aquarium.
Climb the London Eye and enjoy the view
If the previous visit was not suitable for the very fearful, the London Eye, a spectacular wheel 135 meters high, can cause tremors to those who suffer from vertigo.
Depending on the time, you may want to look for one of the restaurants around the London Eye for dinner.
Day 3: learn about history at the British Museum and St. Paul's Cathedral and finish with a musical.
Halfway through the trip it is time to visit another museum and one of the most important churches in the UK. In principle, the tour of this day can be done on foot, but, in case your legs start to fail you, here is a small guide on how to get around with the London Underground.
There is no doubt that this is one of the best museums in London, both for its great collection and its facilities.
Admission is free and it is so big that it is worth hiring a guided tour of the British Museum. In reality it would take several days, but you will have to settle for at least a couple of hours.
The best way to make the most of that time is to pick up the map offered at the entrance, as well as the audio guide in English.
Have a bite to eat in Covent Garden
Continuing with the walk you will reach a square full of atmosphere and magic: Covent Garden. Here there was an old flower market and today you will find numerous street artists, restaurants, pubs and food stalls.
In case you go with children, this square is home to a museum that they usually like quite a lot: the London Transport Museum.
St. Paul's Cathedral, living history of the country
It is important to buy tickets for St. Paul's Cathedral because it is simply breathtaking. In fact, its size is second only to St. Peter's Basilica in Rome.
Its interior further enhances the sense of being in front of a unique place, undoubtedly one of the best monuments in London. Within a wonderful general decoration, highlight the fresco paintings that decorate the ceilings. When visiting it is essential to climb to the dome and enter the crypt.
As in other London monuments, the entrance to St. Paul's Cathedral includes an interesting audio guide.
For contemporary art lovers: Tate Modern
On leaving the cathedral you have to cross the Millennium Bridge to reach one of the temples of contemporary art in the world: the Tate Modern. The building that houses the museum alone is worth a visit, as it was the former Bankside Power Station.
The Tate Modern, whose entrance is free, hides inside some works of the most renowned painters of contemporary art and worth seeing by booking a guided tour. Among them are authors such as Picasso, Warhol, Salvador Dali and Monet, among others.
Go see a musical
After enjoying the masters of contemporary art you have two options. The first, simpler, is to have dinner and go to the hotel. The second, which I recommend, London's West End to enjoy some of the best musicals of the West-End of London.
Day 4: Day trip to Stonehenge
For the fourth day it may be a good idea to leave the London tarmac for an excursion to the outskirts of London. Among the most interesting places to go from London I have chosen Stonehenge, both for its own interest and for the possibility of combining the visit with such beautiful places as Bath.
To make this visit you can choose to go on your own or hire an excursion to Stonehenge from London that have this place as a destination. In the first case it is important to take into account what I explain in my article on How to get to Stonehenge from London and study both the pros and cons.
Excursion to Stonehenge and Bath
To make the most of the time I propose an excursion to combine the megalithic monument of Stonehenge with the city of Bath.
Stonehenge is undoubtedly one of the most magical places on the planet, moments like the summer solstice at Stonehenge are those experiences that remain etched in the memory. When you arrive you will be able to contemplate the structures created thousands of years ago and learn something about how our ancestors lived at that time.
Bath, meanwhile, is considered one of the most impressive cities in the country. It is not only essential to visit the Roman baths that give it its name, but also other attractions scattered throughout its streets.
Day 5: route through the city's parks and one of its most impressive markets
After a busy day visiting Stonehenge and Bath, day five can start with a visit to Camden Town and its market and continue with a leisurely stroll through Hyde Park. Finally, you can choose to follow in the footsteps of Sherlock Holmes or enter the world's most famous wax museum.
Camden Town and its market
When you finish taking pictures with your favorite characters you should look for the subway stop that leads to Camden Town. In this revitalized neighborhood you will find the most famous flea market in London. In general, it usually takes a couple of hours to see it completely.
This market is located in a place that is worth seeing: between the two beautiful canals that are in the neighborhood of Camden Town. It is very interesting to get lost in all the stalls that you will find there, from crafts to food of all kinds.
Have a picnic in Regent's Park
If you feel like having lunch in a quieter place than Candem Market, a great option is to enter Regent Park, another well-known park in the city. It is the ideal place to have a picnic after shopping at a supermarket or fast food restaurant.
Regent Park is not the only option you have for a relaxed lunch. Nearby is Primrose Hill, another park that also offers wonderful views of the city.
In case the weather is bad, something not unlikely in London, you can always go into a pub in the area. In that case, I recommend The Volunteer.
Stroll through Hyde Park
Hyde Park is undoubtedly one of the best parks in London. Moreover, it is very easy to reach its entrance from Buckingham, as the distance can be covered by a comfortable walk.
If your visit to London is during the London summer, besides wandering through its paths you can try to find the statue of Peter Pan, Kensington Palace or, if you feel like it, rent a boat in the central lake of the park.
On the other hand, if you visit London in winter, Hyde Park hides one of the busiest and most fun Christmas markets in the city.
Enter the era of Sherlock Holmes via Baker Street
The millions of fans of the Sherlock Holmes stories have a must visit when they are in London: the house where Arthur Conan Doyle placed the residence of the most famous detective in history.
The house, now converted into a museum dedicated to the character is located, as all fans know, at 221B Baker Street.
Although it is not a visit that everyone likes, there is no doubt that the Madame Tussauds museum presents the best wax figures from around the world.
Inside you can see thousands of famous people from around the world, from athletes to great protagonists of history, through actors or scientists.
Day 6: Visit some of the most lively shopping streets and go up to The Shard to say goodbye to the city.
Many travelers dedicate their last day in a destination to buy some souvenirs. In this tour we have tried to make sure that shopping does not mean losing a day of sightseeing. Thus, the itinerary passes through the city's best-known and most atmospheric shopping streets, which often have some important architectural attractions and truly historic shops.
Mingle with the thousands of visitors to Oxford Street
The approximately two and a half miles that make up this street are lined with restaurants, pubs and stores that are visited by thousands and thousands of Londoners and tourists every day. In fact, many claim that it is the busiest street in Europe.
If you walk down the street towards Marble Arch you will find one of the most famous department stores in London: Selfridges, located in a building of great architectural importance.
This street is also a must if you are in London during Christmas because of the spectacular Christmas lights and a decoration considered the best in the city. You can enjoy them from mid-November.
At the end of the street you can see the Marble Arch. It is a triumphal arch that was formerly placed at the entrance of Buckingham Palace. Even today, now moved, it remains one of the best known images of the city.
Guided tour of the city center
If you are short of time and want to take a last look at the monuments of central London, one of the best options is to take a guided tour of the British capital. Even if you have already seen most of the attractions, the explanations of your guide will help you to better understand everything you have visited before.
Start the evening at Piccadilly Circus
Undoubtedly, Piccadilly Circus is London's most famous intersection, as well as an essential place to go to the many tourist spots in the city.
Saving the distances, some consider this point as the London equivalent of New York's Times Square. Just minutes away are some of the city's most popular shopping streets.
Strolling aimlessly through the streets of Soho
One of the most enjoyable things to do in a city is to simply stroll around aimlessly. London's Soho is, without a doubt, the best place to do this. In this area you will find several theaters and a good number of cult bars.
Among the points that you can not miss is Carnaby, the most famous street in Soho. Its atmosphere and its extravagant Christmas decorations have made it a must for all those who are in London at that time.
I recommend that when you walk down this street you look on the right side to find a beautiful gallery with a sign reading Kingly Court. Inside you will see a wonderful open courtyard and two floors full of restaurants and terraces.
Say goodbye with the best views of the city from The Shard
There can be no better farewell to London than The Shard, a modern skyscraper where you will find the impressive viewpoint of The Shard with the best views of London.