Two days in London -- Sightseeing itinerary

London in two days: Need to plan two days in London?  Which are the best places to visit?

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Two days in LondonIdea One

Two days in London

Day one:This 2 day London itinerary begins with a trip on the London Eye, a boat to Tower Bridge, then you’ll spend the afternoon at the Tower of London before taking in a show

Is two days enough to tour London? Well it’s certainly not easy… you’re going to have to pick and choose the best attractions and leave lots of them out (sorry!). But you can plan a couple of days in London with our two-day itinerary. We’ve grouped together some the best places and created the perfect London day trips for tourists with only 2 days in town.

A ride on the London Eye is a great way to begin your stay. Try and get there as early as possible and buy your tickets beforehand as the queues can get quite heavy (allow for 30-45 mins queuing, and 30 mins on the actual wheel). Read Craig’s review of the London Eye before you go.

Now we’ll cross over Westminster Bridge to Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament (take some photos!). Then find Westminster Pier (on the other side of Westminster Bridge from Big Ben).

The best way to see London in a couple days is by bus or boat, because when you don’t have a lot of time you need to cram in as many landmarks and attractions as possible. So this 2-day trip itinerary for London includes a City Cruise between Westminster Bridge and Tower Pier. Boats take about 30 minutes to reach Tower Bridge. Along the way you’ll see Cleopatra’s Needle, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, the Tate Modern gallery, St. Paul’s and the Tower of London. Craig has written a review of City Cruises to show you what it’s like.

 

Get off the boat at Tower Bridge. If you’d like to go inside then you’ll enjoy some good views from the top walkways (allow for 60-90 mins), but we suggest that you give it a miss. If you want to visit London in 2 days then there are plenty of better things to do with your time, but read Craig’s review of Tower Bridge if you want to give it a go.

Lot of tourists insist that the best way how to tour London in 2 days is by cramming in as many places as possible, and do a whistle-stop tour of the city, but we think it’s much better to limit yourself to just a few attractions, and do them well, rather than speed through lots of them too quickly. So let’s spend a few hours at the Tower of London. Why not do a Yeoman Warder tour and walk around the grounds with a Beefeater? (allow for 3 hours in total) Craig has reviewed the Tower of London and also the Beefeater tour.

A great way to end your first day is with a show. Try our London theatre guide to see what’s on.

If your theatre is in Covent Garden then you can either take the No.15 bus (allow for 30 mins) or catch the tube from Tower Hill to Embankment. There are plenty of great restaurants in Covent Garden if you haven’t had anything to eat.

Alternatively, you can catch the No.15 bus to Trafalgar Square instead, and take a 2-minute stroll to Leicester Square. Leicester Square is home to the capital’s biggest cinemas.

Note: Whilst it’s certainly possible to see London in a weekend with our 2 day sightseeing tour, you might want to check out our six day tour and one week tour, and then pick and choose two individual days out of those instead.

Day two:Our day trip ideas for 2 days in London continues with Trafalgar Square, Changing the Guard at Buckingham Palace, Afternoon tea at the Ritz, Piccadilly Circus and St. Paul’s Cathedral

Two days London itinerary

A two-day trip around London wouldn’t be complete without a look at Trafalgar Square. This is home to one of London’s most famous landmarksNelson’s Column. If you like art then you might like to spend some time exploring the National Gallery as well (allow for 60-90 mins). Check out Craig’s review of Trafalgar Square and the National Gallery to see what they’re like.

Bear in mind that if you decide to visit the art gallery then you won’t have time to see the Changing of the Guard ceremony at Buckingham Palace. When people are trying to work out what to see in London in two days then this is usually at the top of their list.

The ceremony starts at 11.15 AM but we recommend getting there by half-10 for a decent spot (you will need to get there by 10 AM if you want the best spots). The ceremony takes place every day during the summer and alternate days thereafter. You can see the upcoming schedule in our events guide. Check out Craig’s Changing the Guard review beforehand, which gives some good tips about when to arrive and the best places to stand.

Take a walk through Green Park towards Piccadilly. It should be about lunchtime by now, so how about booking an afternoon tea at the Ritz Hotel? You will have to book up months in advance (3 months at least), but if you’re a two day trip as a treat then it might be worth thinking about. Ff you don’t make it then try the tea at Fortnum & Mason instead (book 1-2 weeks in advance). Fortnum & Mason is second only to Harrods as the most prestigious store in London.

Keep walking down Piccadilly and you will come to the neon lights at Piccadilly Circus. No trip to London would be complete without a photo of yourself standing underneath the Eros fountain. Craig has written a blog post about Piccadilly Circus if you’d like to see some pictures.

You’ve probably had enough of walking by now so jump on the No.23 bus towards Liverpool Street. The 25-min ride will take you past Trafalgar Square and the Strand, and drop you off outside St. Paul’s Cathedral.

Try and squeeze in a visit to the famous Whispering Gallery, but you will probably be quite pushed for time, so allow for 1 hour only. Last admission to the domes is 4.15 PM.

If you get kicked out at 4.30 PM then you might like to hang around for the daily Evensong service at 5 PM. This is a beautiful way to see the cathedral. Read Craig’s review of St. Paul’s Cathedral and the St. Paul’s Evensong service.

Note: This two day tour has only given you a taste of what’s available, and there are plenty more things to do in two days in London. If you’re wondering where to go in London for two days then try looking through our city guide and events guide.

> Use this two day itinerary as your own 

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  • Admin – “We'll try and answer this on the other topic you posted -- londondrum.com/frm/viewtopic.php?F=3&am .. Amp;t=3884”
  •  Guest – “This plan is great!”
 

London in two days Idea Two

London in 2 days

Day one:This London sightseeing itinerary for two days includes two of London’s best art galleries, the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, and a ride on the London Eye

Here’s another suggested itinerary for a couple of days in London. This day plan for tourists spending 2 days sightseeing in London begins at Trafalgar Square, home to one of London’s most famous landmarks: Nelson’s Column. Check out Craig’s blog post about Trafalgar Square and Nelson’s Column for some photographs.

On the north-side of the square is the country’s finest collection of art works in the National Gallery, where you can see pieces by Vermeer, Cézanne, Monet, Rembrandt, Rubens, Titian, Turner and Van Gogh (allow for 90 mins).

Now head down Whitehall and stop outside Downing Street (just before The Cenotaph). You might like to spend 10 minutes in front of the famous gates to see if you can spot the Prime Minister. Read about Craig’s visit to Downing Street for some viewing tips.

At the end of Whitehall is Parliament Square, Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament (allow for 20 mins to walk down Whitehall and around the square). The area around here is definitely one of the top things to see in London in two days. You can’t come to London and not see Big Ben – it should be compulsory! Craig has written about Parliament Square in his blog.

Now cross over Parliament Square to Westminster Abbey – one of London’s most prestigious religious buildings, and the setting for coronations, state funerals, and the burial place of many celebrated kings and queens (allow for 90-120 mins).

If you don’t fancy walking along the river then jump on the number 87 bus towards Wandsworth. The 15-minute ride will take you down Millbank to the Tate Britain gallery. We definitely recommend walking it though, as you can take a riverside stroll through Victoria Tower Gardens.

Tate Britain focuses solely on British art from the 16th-century onwards. Artists include David Hockney, William Blake, Hogarth, Gainsborough, Constable and, of course, the great J W Turner (allow for 90 mins). Read Craig’s review of Tate Britain on his blog.

There are a couple of ways of getting back to Trafalgar Square. You can either catch the No.88 bus towards Camden (a 25-minute ride), or catch a shuttle boat from Millbank Pier. This 10-minute ride will take you back to Embankment Pier. We definitely recommend doing that instead of the bus, because you’ll get a nice riverside view of Parliament and the London Eye.

Now cross over Hungerford Bridge to the other side of the river. We are going to end the day with a ride on the London Eye. 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 actual wheel). Read Craig’s London Eye review to see what he thought.

 
2 day trip sightseeing itinerary

Day two:Our guide to what to do for two days in London continues with two of the country’s finest museums, the world’s most famous department store – Harrods – and a show in the West End

The best two day travel itinerary includes a bit of everything: landmarks, attractions, shopping and a show to finish. But touring London in 2 days can be tiring, so this one is nice and easy. We’re just going to visit some museums. All you have to do is pick one of the following three museums to start with. Our recommendation would be the Natural History Museum, but if you’ve got children then you might prefer the Science Museum instead. All three are within five minutes walking distance of each other.

The Natural History Museum is called the “dead zoo” because it is full of stuffed animals from all around the world. It is most famous for its ages-old dinosaur bones and fossils (allow for 2 hours). Craig has reviewed the Natural History Museum on his blog.

The Science Museum covers everything from the earliest computers and cars to the Apollo moon landings. They also have some flight simulators, an IMAX cinema, and a roof-space full of airplanes (allow for 2 hours). Check out Craig’s Science Museum review on his blog.

The Victoria & Albert Museum is more for adults (and art students!), and explores the history of art and design. You can see some fabulous furniture, jewellery and clothes, and the world-famous Cast Room (allow for 2 hours). This place is a lot more interesting than it sounds, and you should read Craig’s V&A review on his blog.

All three of those museums are free, so you should have plenty of money left to do some shopping at Harrods – the world’s most famous department store. You’ll find it a short walk down the Brompton Road (allow for 1 hour shopping time, or more if you stop for a meal in the restaurant). You can see some photographs of the inside in Craig’s Harrods review.

Whilst you can certainly do plenty of London sightseeing in two days, your trip wouldn’t be complete without a ride on the London Underground, so let’s get the tube from Knightsbridge to Holborn (10 mins journey).

Follow the street signs to the British Museum, which has exhibits from ancient Egypt, Greece, Italy, Africa and the Orient (allow for 2 hours). The most famous exhibits are the Rosetta Stone and controversial Elgin Marbles. Needless to say, Craig has written a big review of the British Museum as well.

You’ll probably want to find somewhere for an evening meal at this point, so let’s head into the West End and walk down Shaftesbury Avenue. Read Craig’s review of the West End to get a taste of the night life around here.

Visit London in a couple of day

There are a couple of different places where you can spend the evening. Look through our West End theatre guide to see what shows are playing. You might end up in Covent Garden, Leicester Square or the Strand, depending on which theatre you pick. All three are within easy walking distance of Shaftesbury Avenue. If you want to spend a weekend in London sightseeing then a West End show is a great way to end it.

Note: You can see the best of London in 2 days with our sample tourist itinerary, but there’s plenty more places to visit in London in 2 days. Try looking through our city guide for some more art galleries, museums and children’s attractions.

> Use this 2 day itinerary as your own 

> Talk about this 2 day sightseeing itinerary

  • Admin – “If you've only got two days to spend in London, then we've got a few example itineraries to help you get the best out of it -- londondrum.com/planner/two-days-in-London.php. Here is idea number two.. The first day includes two of London's finest galleries, followed by some sightseeing around parliament, westminster abbey, and a ride on the London eye. The second day focuses on two big museums, some shopping at harrods, ending with a show in the west end.”
 

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