Holidays are always short, no matter how many days you plan to visit. When visiting London for the first time, it is hard to decide what to see and what to miss in that short holiday. London is known for some of its famous landmarks.
I’ve put together an order in which you can visit the famous attractions without wasting your time going back and forth for each. Let’s dig in!
Start your day early with heading to the Westminster underground station (Circle, District and Jubilee lines) and step out to see the Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament and the Westminster Abbey which is just a 5 minute walk from Big Ben.
Then cross the Westminster Bridge and head down left. You would then come across the London Dungeon and the London Aquarium, a fun place for families. Just outside, you would find the famous London Eye.
If you have some extra time, you can pay a visit to the Namco Funscape which is located just before the dungeon. It is a great place for both adults and kids who love arcade games, bumper cars, and bowling.
Then walk through the south bank of the River Thames and cross the river via Hungerford Bridge. Walk about 6 minutes straight from the stairs of the bridge and you would end up at the world-famous Trafalgar Square.
Before heading down to one of the amazing restaurants around the square for dinner, you must visit the British Museum – a public institution dedicated to human history, art, and culture.
The following day, head to the St. Pauls underground station (Central line) or Mansion House underground station (Circle and District lines) which are both 2 and 5 min walk respectively from the St. Pauls Cathedral. The cathedral has one of the world’s largest dome and is dated back to 604 AD. It is a must visit for anyone visiting London, for the awe-inspiring interior and to uncover the fascinating stories about its history.
You can then head to the Millennium Bridge, a pedestrian bridge with a unique tubular effect. It is a great place for taking holiday pictures. Or you can completely skip this option if you wish and head straight to the Tower of London via bus (only 4 stops).
After visiting the Tower of London, walk towards the great Tower Bridge and take in the stunning panoramic views of the city. Then walk towards the London Bridge underground station (Jubilee and Northern lines) through the river-bank – another great place for tourists to take some memorable pictures.
From one of the exits of the station, you can enter The Shard – the tallest building in Britain, for amazing views of the city. There are many bankside restaurants where you can have a great lunch or dinner with some amazing views, however, just to give you a heads up, these can be pricey.
Plan the third day starting with the Charing Cross underground station (Bakerloo and Northern lines). As you come out of the station, you will see Trafalgar Square. From here, your very first stop of the day is the Buckingham Palace – roughly a 15-minute walk down the iconic Mall.
Then head towards the Wellington Arch walking through the Buckingham Palace Gardens. Right on the edge of the Arch, starts one of the famous royal parks, The Hyde Park. Spending the afternoon having a picnic in the park and having a mini boating experience in the lakes is an ideal way to visit the royal park.
After a good afternoon picnic with family and having some rest from that long walk, head to the other end of the park leading to Oxford Street and Regent Street – the famous shopping streets of London. Spend the evening on a retail therapy. After all, who doesn’t shop when in London!
Hop into one of the great restaurants in the area for dinner and finish your day with visiting the final destination, the Piccadilly Circus – famous for its neon signs, different displays and the Eros fountain located in the middle of the road junction, which is now one of the city’s top landmarks. The square has a variety of cinemas, theatres, shops, and restaurants, including famous traditional English pubs.
Read more: The ultimate packing list for London
Start your day from the Canary Wharf underground station (Jubilee line and DLR). Canary Wharf is the skyscraper district of London. It is another great place for shopping and eating and drinking. If you are planning a winter holiday, you must visit this place for its famous Winter Lights.
Enjoy an afternoon tea or coffee in a café and head to the Canary Wharf Pier to get on a ferry to your next stop – The Greenwich Peninsula. Other ways to head to Greenwich Peninsula are via underground tube or a quick bus ride.
The Peninsula is famous for good food, The O2 Arena, The Emirates Cable Car, the ICON Outlet and the amazing atmosphere of the space. You can also have the Emirates Aviation Experience, which is one of a kind. Enjoy the evening with night lights, good music and great food.
Day 5,6 and 7
After an exhausting 4-day sightseeing in London, anyone would need some time out. And yes, there is a way to pace down your holiday and still get the vibe of a vacation. No, I am not talking about locking yourself up in the hotel bedroom for 3 days.
You can plan a countryside-like weekend just 2-hour drive from London. Yes, you would need to rent a car and drive down to the location called Centre Parcs – Longleat Forest. Hiring a lodge in a forest village with so many indoor and outdoor activities for both adults and children, is a great way to spend a mini vacation on your London holiday.
There is so much more to London, but if I had to pick the most famous ones for you to visit, I would pick these. With a full week planned with excursions that are to be visited in the same day and in the order so that you don’t get to waste any of your time going back and forth from one location to the other, I hope this guide gives you a much clearer view on planning your itinerary accordingly.
Make sure you buy all your excursion tickets online from the official websites. All links are given above. If you have any questions, feel free to get in touch and I will try my best to have all your questions answered. Good luck for your trip! London awaits you, of course in 2021.