London in three days – What to do in 3 days

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This is page 1 of 2 – We have plenty more ideas for spending three days in London here

London in three daysDay One

What you will see:Sightseeing bus, St. Paul’s Cathedral, view from the Shard, Tower Bridge, the Tower of London… ending with a West End show

London in three days can include a sightseeing bus

We’re going to begin our London in three days with a sightseeing bus – a great way to get an overview of the city. The ticket will be valid for 24 hours so we’ll be jumping on and off the bus throughout the day.

We suggest catching the ‘Red Route’ at Trafalgar Square, travelling towards The City. The journey will take you up the Strand and Fleet Street, dropping you off outside St. Paul’s Cathedral (allow for 30 mins).

St. Paul’s was built by Christopher Wren after the Great Fire of London. Have a good look around and climb up to the famous Whispering Gallery (allow for 2 hours).

Now jump on the same bus again and ride it over London Bridge. The Shard will loom up ahead. If you’d like to check out the view from London’s tallest observation deck then get off here and allow yourself 60 mins.

Now jump on the same bus again and ride it over Tower Bridge. Don’t worry about the photos – you’ll get a better view when you get off at…

…the Tower of London. This world heritage site is home to the Crown Jewels. Why not do a Yeoman Warder tour with one of the Beefeaters? (allow for 3 hours in total)

The best way to end the first day is with a memorable show. Check out our theatre guide to see what’s on.

The same bus will take you all the way back to Trafalgar Square via the Victoria Embankment (remember to look out for Cleopatra’s Needle along the way). If you’re pushed for time, then you can get the District line from Tower Hill to Embankment instead (10 min ride, 2 min walk from Trafalgar Square).

Covent Garden, Leicester Square and Shaftesbury Avenue are all within walking distance of Trafalgar Square – the three most likely places for your theatre.

Alternatively, you could just stay on the bus and ride it all the way round Westminster, Victoria, Marylebone, and back to Trafalgar Square (but it will take ages – we don’t recommended it).

London in three daysDay Two

What you will see:London Eye, Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, the National Gallery, Buckingham Palace and Piccadilly Circus

The London Eye will give you a great view of the city. It’s best to buy your tickets beforehand, as the queues can get quite heavy (allow for 30-45 minutes queuing, and 30 minutes on the wheel).

London in three days should include a visit to Big Ben

Cross over Westminster Bridge and take some snaps of Big Ben and Parliament (allow for 30 mins) and then walk over to Westminster Abbey.

Westminster Abbey is London’s most prestigious religious building – the setting for coronations, state funerals, and the burial place of many celebrated kings and queens (allow for 90 mins).

Now head down Whitehall, past The Cenotaph and Downing Street. You might like to spend 10 minutes in front of the famous gates to see if you can spot the Prime Minister.

Continue along Whitehall until you get to Trafalgar Square again. If you like art, then you might like to visit the National Gallery (allow for 90 mins).

Continue through Admiralty Arch and up The Mall towards Buckingham Palace (allow for 15 mins walking time). Once you’ve taken some snaps, head north through Green Park to Piccadilly (10 mins walking time).

A stroll down Piccadilly will take you past the Royal Academy of Arts, Burlington Arcade and Fortnum & Mason, ending up under the neon lights of Piccadilly Circus.

There are plenty of good restaurants around Piccadilly, Leicester Square and Covent Garden.

London in 3 daysDay Three

What you will see:Two of London’s best museums, souvenir shopping at Harrods, ending with a show

Our London in 3 days will begin with a train to South Kensington. Then pick two of the following three museums. Our recommendation would be the Natural History Museum plus one other. All three are within five minutes walking distance of each other.

London in 3 days can include some museums

The Natural History Museum is called the “dead zoo” because it is full of stuffed animals from all around the world. The most popular exhibits are the age-old dinosaur bones (allow for 2 hours).

The Science Museum covers everything from the earliest computers and cars to the Apollo moon landings. They’ve also got an IMAX cinema (allow for 2 hours).


The Victoria & Albert Museum explores the history of art and design. You will see fabulous furniture, jewellery and clothes, and the world-famous Cast Room – containing replicas of the world’s greatest monuments and statues (allow for 2 hours).

London in 3 days has enough time for some shopping

All three of those museums are free, so you should have plenty of money left to splash out at Harrods. You’ll find it a short walk down the Brompton Road (allow for 1 hour shopping time, or more if you use the restaurant).

The best way to finish off your trip is with a show. You’ve already been to the theatre, so how about some music? The Royal Albert Hall is a short distance from Harrods (find out what’s on here). You can catch a 10-minute bus from Knightsbridge (numbers 9, 10, 52 or 452).

Alternatively, you could ride the No.9 bus to the Royal Festival Hall in 25 minutes (find out what’s on here). But if you really want a treat, how about watching a concert at The O2? (Find out what’s on here.)

You will need to get a tube to North Greenwich for this one, because it's miles away in Greenwich. It's a 40-minute ride, and you’ll have to change trains at Green Park.

> Use this 3 day itinerary as your own 

> Discuss London in three days 

  • Admin – “Thats not a great area because you will definitely have to travel quite a bit. The DLR (docklands light railway) will take you as far as Bank, which is in the centre of the Square Mile, but that is still nowhere near places like Trafalgar Square and Westminster, so you'll have to get a second train or a bus on from there. The only places you can really walk to from Bank are places like st pauls, tower bridge and the tower of london. Where you stay depends on how much you want to spend. Personally, i wouldnt want to go any further north and west than bayswater, paddington and marylebone. I wouldnt want to go any further east than whitechapel. And places like southwark and bankside south of the river are okay too. To be honest, docklands and canary wharf are the last places i would want to stay — even if the hotel is nice, they are just too far away and it would add extra hassle to your holiday — you'd have to be home by midnight in case you miss the last tube.”
  •  Guest – “Thank you for the very useful information!”

> Read the rest, or ask your own question


Here are some more ideas about how to spend three days in London


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