So, you’re spending three days in London. That’s brilliant.
But here’s the thing: London is massive, and as a visitor, there are endless attractions to occupy your time. So you’re going to need a plan. And a good one at that.
With this Ultimate London Itinerary, we’ve got you covered. Here’s everything you should see, eat, and experience during your three days in London. *This post contains affiliate links.
Three Days in London: The Ultimate London Itinerary
Where to stay in London
Before we start talking about what to do in London, let’s quickly talk about where to stay!
We chose to stay at this super stylish and comfortable 4-star hotel in Chelsea.
Chelsea is a very safe, upscale neighborhood in Southwest London with lots of shopping. It’s only a couple of Tube stops away from the center of London, so we absolutely loved staying in this area. You can find other great deals on Chelsea hotels here.
You can find amazing accommodation deals throughout London with this link!
Your first day in London should consist of acquainting yourself with the most popular touristic sites, so that you can start to dig deeper, as soon as possible!
Palace of Westminster, Big Ben, and Westminster Bridge
London’s monuments really don’t get any more iconic than the Palace of Westminster and Big Ben, and the adjacent Westminster Bridge. So it only makes sense that you start your three days in London here! If you’d like to, you can book tickets online for a Houses of Parliament tour inside of the Palace of Westminster, and if not, you can just admire the incredible architecture from outside.
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The London Eye is likely the most expensive attraction you’ll encounter during your three days in London, but the views really are worth it. One full rotation on the ferris wheel takes about 30 minutes, allowing ample time to spot all of London’s impressive landmarks and better acquaint yourself with the city. Purchase these Skip-the-Line London Eye tickets online before your visit, you can save a few pounds.
Buckingham Palace is the official London residence of the Queen, and it’s one of the few royal palaces still fully operating today. You can purchase tickets to tour the palace’s lavish state rooms and see its exquisite furnishings, sculptures, and paintings.
Before your visit, you should also check when the Changing of the Guard will occur, so you can witness this royal spectacle as well!
Hyde Park or Green Park
Hyde Park and Green Park are both royal parks of London. If you’re blessed with good weather, a stroll, and a nice picnic or bike ride through the park will be a lovely way to spend a couple of hours.
If the weather’s not ideal, swap the park visit for one of the items in our “even more time” category at the end of this article.
For foodies (and anyone with an appetite), the Borough Market is the perfect place to grab a bite; it is the UK’s most famous food market, after all.
Under the railway lines, the Borough Market bustles with people, as all kinds of stands sell dairy products, baked goods, fresh produce, and meat products. Meanwhile street food stalls serve up some of the best food in London!
From artisanal chocolates and vegetarian Indian food, to creamy gelato and freshly baked baguettes, whatever you’re craving, you can find it at the Borough Market.
Londoners love their brunch. It’s the greatest meal of the day! If your three days in London fall on the weekend, brunching is especially necessary.
Friends of Ours is our top choice for brunch in London because everything they serve is delicious (times 1,000), thoughtful, fresh, and plated to impress.
Pictured above is their Eggs Asparagus (two poached eggs, seasonal baby asparagus, beetroot and lime hollandaise, black sesame seeds, and beetroot sprouts, on seeded toast) and their Smoked Salmon and Scrambled Eggs (in-house lime cured and green tea smoked salmon, with three scrambled eggs, on seeded toast). Brilliant!
Tower of London
Originally founded by William the Conqueror in 1066 to keep out hostile Londoners, the Tower of London still stands smack in the middle of London. The Tower of London is a medieval fortress and UNESCO World Heritage Site, which has been continually built and rebuilt over the centuries.
While strolling outside of the fortress, informative signs bring the Tower of London’s history to life, and you’ll also notice how sections of the fortress look different than others, due to the reconstructions over time.
If you’d like to tour the inside, you can buy tickets online, or wait in line and buy them upon arrival.
The Tower Bridge is another one of the city’s most famous and striking landmarks.
After you’ve finished up at the Tower of London, you should make your way over to this bridge to snap lots of photos, see the bridge part for boats to pass underneath, walk across the bridge, and even go inside of the bridge to look down on London through glass floors and see the bridge’s engine rooms.
Chicken tikka masala is actually Britain’s national dish, so obviously you should eat Indian food while in London. From spicy curries and flavor-packed samosas, to garlic naan and mango lassis, the Indian food in London is on point.
If you want to savor the best Indian food in the city, Dishoom is the place. We could go on and on (and on) about how delightful this place is, but you should really just try it for yourself.
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Come nightfall, jolly people fill Covent Garden, ready to eat delicious food, see theatre and opera performances, drink lots of beer, and enjoy the many street performances.
For a great night on the town, snag a reservation at one of Covent Garden’s best restaurants (Hello, Dishoom!), then see one of your favorite broadway shows (obviously, purchase your tickets well in advance), or enjoy a few hours of drinking and dancing with locals and tourists alike.
Warner Bros. Studio Tour London
If you’re visiting London, it’s probably safe to assume that you’re also a Harry Potter fan. Because, why wouldn’t you be?
Just one hour outside of London lies the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London, where all eight Harry Potter films were created over ten years.
There, you’ll see how the movies came to life. You’ll see many of the movie sets, such as Diagon Alley, Dumbledore’s Office, the Gryffindor Common Room, the Ministry of Magic, and Hagrid’s Hut; you’ll see the real costumes and props used in the movies; and you’ll learn all about how the film makers implement special effects, do hair and makeup, manufacture props, and more.
And you’ll sip on frothy Butterbeer!
This ticket includes admission to the studios, as well as transportation from London. We highly recommend it!
Further reading: Visiting the Harry Potter Studios in London
St Paul’s Cathedral
St Paul’s Cathedral is one of London’s most widely recognized buildings, for two reasons. One: You can spot its dome from many places throughout the city. And two: It’s wildly beautiful.
Constructed between 1675 and 1710, St Paul’s Cathedral is a historic gem that’s beautiful both inside and out. The surrounding gardens also provide a wonderful setting to relax your feet and admire the church’s beauty!
The Millennium Bridge — also known as the bridge terrorized by Death Eaters in Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince — is a great work of architecture and engineering.
From the bridge, you can admire London’s skyline and the River Thames, and once you reach the other end, you can snap a photo of the bridge, with St Paul’s big, beautiful dome peeping over the background buildings.
Often, wonderful musical street performances occur there, so that’s an added bonus as well.
Fish and chips
For dinner, you’ve got to try England’s most-loved dish: fish and chips. You just can’t leave London without indulging in this hearty, oh-so-typical meal!
Baileys is often called the best place to chow down on fish and chips (and perhaps some mushy peas, too), because the portions are huge, the prices are minimal, the service is fast and friendly, and because their fish and chips — put simply — rock.
And if you have even more time…
If you get through all of the above in just three days (unlikely) or if you have more than three days in London, here are some other places you should absolutely visit!
And you can always swap these activities out for those listed above, if they tickle your fancy a bit more.
When it comes to shopping, Harrods is as luxurious as it gets. This department store is high on every visitor’s list, as it’s more than just a department store. So much more.
It’s a never-ending maze of giant rooms, each one featuring different items such as purses, perfumes, furniture, souvenirs, art, makeup, jewelry, and more.
And then there’s the food. You’ll find different restaurants and eateries inside Harrods, offering take-away food, desserts, seafood, pizzas, tea, steaks, and lots more. It’s absolutely mad!
If you can, have a look around Harrods and eat in one of its restaurants. We indulged at The Tea Room with lunch, dessert, and tea (of course!), and it was worth splurging for.
Natural History Museum
The Natural History Museum quickly becomes a favorite for all those who visit. And that’s not just because entry is free! It is, after all, one of London’s top museums.
This museum features specimens from different eras throughout history, including dinosaurs, whales, butterflies, lizards, and beetles, and it all couldn’t be more interesting. That’s not all, though.
To give you a better idea, some recent exhibitions have been the Bauer Brothers art exhibition, David Attenborough’s Great Barrier Reef Dive, Cocoon gallery, and Pond Life.
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If you throw out the chaos of thousands of tourists and the ungodly heat of Italy’s Venice, you’ll end up with London’s smaller, quieter, more English version: Little Venice. When you’ve had enough of London’s hustle and bustle, Little Venice is the perfect place to find peace and quiet to just relax!
Three Days in London: The Ultimate London Itinerary
After spending three days in London, surely you’ll have fallen for the city like millions of others have. You’ll wish you had more than just three days there. But you’ll also be happy to know that, with this London itinerary, you’ll have experienced the absolute best that London has to offer, from the popular tourist sites to every locals’ favorites spots.
Three days in London might seem short, but with this itinerary, you’ll see, do, and eat everything necessary for an unforgettable trip to England’s capital.
Further reading: Visiting the Harry Potter Studios in London
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What’s your take? Have you spent three days in London before? What are your favorite things to do? Are you visiting soon for the first time? What are you most looking forward to? Do you have any questions/concerns?
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