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3 Day London Itinerary: What to See & Do plus FAQs & Insider Tips

Looking for a 3 day London itinerary? We have you covered – discover everything you need to know to make the most of your London visit with this complete guide and itinerary.

London makes it onto many a bucket list, and that’s hardly surprising – it’s one of the world’s most exciting cities! When you have limited time, though, it can be hard to know what to prioritise. Hence this 3 day London itinerary.

Full of information – including insider tips from former London residents – this 3 day itinerary for London will help you make the most of even just a short stay in the British capital.

From the quickest and simplest ways to see the sights to shopping, royalty, the river Thames and some of the city’s finest foodie experiences, this 3 days’ London itinerary has you covered.

You may even discover some surprises within this Itinerary for first-time visitors to London. Although the UK capital has a reputation for being expensive, we can show you ways to save money on all your tickets, travel and tours.

There is also a lot of free stuff to see and do in London. Whether you’d prefer a picnic in the park during summer or wandering around some of the top museums in the world in winter, when it comes to the British capital some of the best things in life really are free.

Whether you’re wondering where to stay and how to get around or are simply trying to work out how to pack it all in, this three day London itinerary aims to give you a huge head start when planning your travels. 

First off, let’s address some common issues likely to cross your mind when considering a trip to London.

Aerial view of London the highlights of which a 3 day London itinerary should cover.
Aerial view of London
Table Of Contents
  1. 3 day London itinerary – Planning a trip to London
  2. 3 day London itinerary – Insider Tips
  3. 3 day London itinerary – Getting around
  4. 3 day London itinerary – Food for thought
  5. 3 day London itinerary – DAY 1
  6. 3 day London itinerary – DAY 2
  7. 3 day London itinerary – DAY 3
  8. 3 day London itinerary – Where to stay
  9. 3 day London itinerary – Frequently Asked Questions
  10. 3 day London itinerary – Final thoughts
  11. London Travel Guide & Itinerary Planner (+ 4 bonus ebooks)
Are you planning a visit to the UK 2

3 day London itinerary – Planning a trip to London

When you’re thinking about travelling in the UK, one of the initial considerations is when to visit. How long should you spend in London, and when is the best time to go?

📆 When to visit London

London is busy during every season, with tourists from all over the world flocking to the city to see all the sights. Having said that, there are times when London is at its most crowded.

☀️ Weather in London

The UK has four seasons. Spring starts in March, and is when the weather starts warming up before summer starts in June. July and August are the hottest months in Britain.

Although the UK has a reputation for cold, wet weather, don’t be fooled. Summer in London can be stifling if there’s a heatwave, especially when travelling via the underground.

Winter is chilly, although the coldest weather tends to occur after the Christmas and New Year holiday period, during January and early February. Spring and autumn are kinder, with temperatures generally ranging from cool to warm during April, May, September and October. 

📈 Peak season in London

So the months of July and August see the best weather in London – but at times it can also get very hot in the city. Add to this the fact that these are peak periods for tourism, and you may wish to consider whether high summer is the best time to visit.

Sunny months aside, the other time when London can become very crowded is during December. This is because people head here from all over the UK, Europe and even other continents to experience the festive Christmas lights, markets, parties and shopping that typifies London in December.

🎉 UK public holidays

Known in Britain as ‘bank holidays’, public holidays are also when London can become packed with people. Bank holidays in the UK take place at Christmas, New Year and Easter. There are also two in May and one in August, as follows:

  • 25th December – Christmas Day
  • 26th December – Boxing Day
  • 1st January – New Year’s Day
  • Good Friday – date varies
  • Easter Monday – date varies
  • Early May bank holiday – 1st Monday in May
  • Spring bank holiday – Last Monday in May
  • Summer bank holiday – Last Monday in August

Please do note that this is very occasionally varied slightly when a landmark occasion occurs, particularly involving the Royal Family. In 2022, for instance, the late May bank holiday was moved to Friday 3rd June for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. 

Another point to note is that when a public holiday falls on a Saturday or Sunday, the day off is then given as a substitute day on the next weekday. You can check the exact dates of all scheduled bank holidays with the UK government website here

📅 The best time to visit London

While there are lots of factors to consider when planning the best London itinerary, it can be more pleasant to spend time in London during quieter periods. Anytime from January to June plus September, October and November tends to be less busy, as long as you don’t pick a bank holiday weekend.

If you don’t want to contend with cold weather, it’s worth knowing that the British winter is fairly mild. It does snow now and again in London during winter, but it’s not worth pinning your hopes on seeing the city covered with a twinkling blanket of the white stuff. 

Those who really aren’t used to – or fans of – colder temperatures may prefer to visit London during May, June or September. April and October can also be very mild, but the weather tends to be more hit and miss. 

A key bonus of visiting outside the peak seasons is to save money as well as avoiding overcrowding. Hotels charge less during off-peak periods and you should get around the capital more quickly too, meaning you can pack more into your itinerary for London in 3 days.

🤔 How long to visit London for

So how long do you need in London? The answer varies widely according to what you want to see and do as well as who you ask. 

Even just 1 day in London is better than nothing, and 2 is obviously an improvement on that! If possible, though, 3 days is ideal, as you can see the key sights without rushing around so much that your head starts to spin. 

Read more – Essential London planning for first-timers

Big Ben and a London bus.
Big Ben is one of the must-see London landmarks

3 day London itinerary – Insider Tips

Here are our top tips for the most enjoyable and memorable trip to London possible. Don’t leave home without checking out this list!

1. Don’t pack too much in

Having fun is surely the main point of taking a vacation or going travelling, so don’t try to do so much that fitting it all in will cause you stress. 

There are ways to save time, however. Book attraction tickets in advance and you’ll not only save on admin time, you may also get to skip the queue. 

This itinerary is only a guide. Think about what you want to see from the suggestions given, as well as any ideas of your own. This way you can concentrate on what appeals to you most so you don’t feel you’ve missed out. 

2. Stay in central London

One way to save heaps of time is really simple. Stay in a central location and you can get everywhere far faster, even on foot. This cuts down travel time immensely. It may cost a little more, but some locations are surprisingly affordable. 

You’ll also save on travel costs, so spending less money on transport means you can put that little bit extra towards your accommodation. 

The best areas to stay in include the West End, around Leicester Square, Covent Garden or Soho. You could also stay close to Westminster, or on the other side of the river Thames near South Bank, Waterloo and Bankside. 

Read – Location guide to the best neighbourhoods in London

3. Wear comfortable shoes

Even if you’re not planning to walk far, comfy shoes will make your day so much more pleasant. Don’t forget that you’ll be on your feet for hours at a time. Even hopping on and off a London bus or the tube isn’t easy in high heels!

Plus it’s best to be prepared. Distances may sometimes be further than you think, tubes are sometimes cancelled and a taxi may be nowhere in sight. 

4. Take an umbrella and/or rain jacket

Rain is a fact of life in the UK. If you’re going to be standing outside for any length of time, a packaway jacket with a hood and/or a compact umbrella are musts for your daypack. 

Imagine standing outside Buckingham Palace, waiting for the Changing of the Guard, while chilly rain soaks you to the skin. Not a way to experience something you’ll see only once in a lifetime! 

Houses of Parliament in London with two people holding Union Jack umbrellas.

5. Plan ahead

By doing a little forward planning before you leave home, you can save both time and money. Doing this also gets you ready for your trip, building up the anticipation about the places you’re about to see. 

We recommend booking entrance tickets and travel passes in advance – and don’t be put off by the fact that your plans may change. Buying through a third party like Get Your Guide means that you can often cancel to receive a full refund, as long as you do so 24 hours or more in advance. 

Using this type of ticket or pass can also mean skipping the queues, ensuring you make the most of every precious moment in the UK capital!

6. The best things in London are free

OK, so this statement may not be strictly true. There’s no arguing with the fact that many things in London can be costly.

At the same time, some of London’s highlights are indeed completely free. A wander along the Thames, a sunny afternoon in one of the city’s plentiful parks or a visit to a leading museum or art gallery can also be yours for precisely no pounds sterling whatsoever.

Just meandering around town, taking in theatreland, the smart shops of Regent Street or people watching in the busy squares can be fascinating, and as well as saving you money can make a welcome break from seeing and photographing the main tourist sights.

British Museum in London.
The British Museum in London is free to visit

7. Go overground

Although the tube is a great way to get around London, don’t spend all your time in a Victorian tunnel if you can help it. Walk, catch a bus or hail a black cab – that way you will see some of life above the surface along the way. 

8. Group your destinations

It makes complete sense to visit a bunch of attractions in one day that are clustered fairly close together, rather than being spread out all over London. 

Doing this saves on travel time and ticket costs. It also means you can focus on only certain parts of the city during each day, helping to prevent you from feeling overwhelmed. 

An example would be to combine your visits to the London Eye, the South Bank and Borough Market, which are clustered close together.  

Tower Bridge London.

3 day London itinerary – Getting around

London is a large, sprawling city and getting from one end to the other can take a lot of time. So it’s a good idea to plan your transport carefully. 

1. Stay in Zone 1

Staying as centrally as you possibly can will help enormously. Avoid anything outside of zone 1 when you’re planning to complete your London trip itinerary in 3 days; you’d just waste so much time travelling. 

2. Don’t hire a car

Don’t bother renting a car. Even Brits find driving in London stressful, and despite the introduction of the congestion charge, finding a parking spot is nigh-on impossible. Traffic can still be terrible too.

3. Use London transport

The good news is that London has a great public transport system, including underground and overground trains and buses. These are the most useful forms of transport to use in zone 1. 

If you can, avoid rush hour, when tubes are packed with commuters. Standing room only is an understatement then, as you’re lucky if you can find a narrow gap to squeeze into while breathing in! These times tend to be before 9 am and between 16.30 and 18.30, Monday to Friday. Off-peak tickets are often cheaper too. 

Read more – How to get around London by public transport

London Underground sign in London.

4. Get an Oyster card

London’s Oyster Card is used by locals and visitors alike to save money on public transport. This electronic ticket can be used to pay for journeys on the tube, overground trains, buses, and even boats and trams (the latter are found in South London only). 

An Oyster Card is cheaper than buying separate tickets, and a special Visitor Oyster Card is available to tourists from abroad. Buying one in advance will save you lots of money and also time when you arrive, and you can use it right away. 

5. Buy a London Pass

The London Pass is one of the most popular sightseeing passes available in London. As well as jump-on, jump-off transport, it includes entry to a whole wealth of London attractions.

Discounts on entertainment, eating out and shopping are also offered to London Pass holders. With entry to over 80 London attractions, it will be worth it for you if it works out cheaper than buying tickets separately. That’s another reason why a little planning can go a long way!

Read – Is the London Pass worth it? 

6. Take a London taxi trip

Taking even a quick trip in a black cab just once is worth the fare just for the experience – London cab drivers are known for being chatty and who knows what subjects might come up as they drive you from A to B. 

To be a London cab driver they will have passed a test called ‘The Knowledge’, and to do this they must prove they know the location of every street in the capital – as well as the fastest route to it. That’s the level of expertise you’re paying the fare for.

Look for a taxi driving with its light on, which shows it’s available. Stick out your arm to hail it and the driver will pull over when they deem it safe to do so. Asking about celebrities they’ve driven can often lead to the telling of an interesting tale – or there’s always the British fail-safe of talking about the weather!

7. London by bike

You can also hire from the fleets of Santander bikes you’ll see dotted around the city. Known informally as ‘Boris Bikes’, they were brought in when Boris Johnson was Mayor of London. To rent one, you can simply download the Santander Cycles app and follow the instructions.

8. London by boat

The UberBoat by Thames Clippers provides an alternative way to see the city – from the river. They are run by Uber and Transport for London, and the Oyster Card can be used to pay for your journeys. 

Boat on the River Thames.

3 day London itinerary – Food for thought

Dining out can really be a highlight of any trip to London. As a multicultural city, there are so many restaurants and cafes in the capital and standards are generally high. Here are some foodie highlights not to miss.

Full English breakfast

This may well be served at your hotel if you’ve booked the appropriate room rate. If not, ask staff for their recommendation. 

Fish and chips

The national dish. Best eaten outdoors if possible and served with lashings of salt and vinegar.

Sunday roast

If you’re in London over the weekend, a Sunday roast at a British pub is a must. Don’t miss out on the Yorkshire pudding!

Pie and mash

When you’re in London on weekdays only, sampling pie and mash is the next best thing to a Sunday roast (though it’s not the same). If you’re feeling brave, some pie and mash shops also sell jellied eels, a true cockney classic.

Curry night

Any night is curry night, particularly in the East End of London. The area around Brick Lane is best, where you’ll be spoiled for choice. 

Borough Market

Borough Market is featured in films and on TV all the time. It’s a famous foodie haunt on the south side of the river, close to London Bridge. The ideal place to pick up a picnic for savouring in one of the city’s selection of fine parks. 

Food Halls

London boasts some of the world’s finest food halls. The best and most famous are to be found at Fortnum & Mason on Piccadilly, Harrods in Knightsbridge and Selfridges on Oxford Street. 

M&S sandwiches 

If you’re after a quick bite to eat on the go, do as the British do and pop into M&S. There are branches all over the city, and they sell the most delicious sandwiches available at very palatable prices. 

Afternoon tea

You just can’t go to London without sampling the full-on afternoon tea experience. It’s as much about the tinkle of silver on china, the piano playing in the background and the grandeur of the setting as it is about the dainty cakes, freshly baked scones and finger sandwiches.

Borough Market London.
Salt beef bagel and salt beef sandwich at Borough Market in London.

3 day London itinerary – DAY 1

So you’ve arrived in London. You may even have taken your first black cab ride followed by fish and chips for supper. Here’s what to do once you get there.

The first third of this London in three days itinerary begins with a reasonably relaxed day – just in case you’re getting over jet lag! You can take a trip on the London Eye followed by a riverside stroll around the South Bank, perhaps popping into Borough Market or the Tate Modern before taking a laid-lack look at the city as seen from the waters of the Thames. 

The London Eye

Booking tickets in advance for the London Eye is a great idea – not least because of jet-lag. Experts always say you should get into the time zone of where you are as soon as possible after arrival, and having pre-paid for tickets gives you an incentive to get out of bed!

A trip on the London Eye will also give you a birds-eye view as your first introduction to the city, giving you a sense of perspective while whetting your appetite about what is yet to come. 

The London Eye: things to know

Getting to the London Eye

Waterloo, Westminster, Charing Cross and Embankment stations are the nearest to the London Eye, Waterloo being the closest of all. If you stay in the West End or just south of the river, you may wish to walk there. 

Your trip on the London Eye

Each ‘flight’ – as it’s sometimes referred to – on the London Eye takes 30 minutes. This will take you on the world’s largest, 135-metre-high and award-winning cantilevered observation wheel.

The Eye is the top paid-for attraction in the entire UK. Since it opened at the turn of the millenium, similar attractions have been built in cities worldwide. Your trip will give you panoramic views over one of the planet’s most exciting cities, including of course superb selfie opportunities!

London Eye tickets

While you can buy London Eye tickets on the official website, we recommend purchasing yours from Get Your Guide. This is because they don’t actually cost any extra, yet allow you to cancel 24 hours before your ‘flight’ for a full refund. There is also the option of booking a fast-track option – ideal when time is tight. 

Buy your London Eye tickets here

Read more – Best tickets, tips & tours for the London Eye

London Eye in London.

South Bank 

Taking a walk around the South Bank area makes complete sense after a trip on the London Eye – not least because the two are located close together, south of the Thames.  

When you leave the London Eye, keep the river to your left as you head east towards the South Bank area. Don’t rush it – watch the boats sailing by on the Thames and look out for the Royal Festival Hall as you pass. 

The South Bank and Bankside areas have plenty to keep you busy for a while, including shops, cafes, bars and restaurants. There are quirky, one off boutiques, smart cocktail bars and classic pubs, fine dining eateries and street food stalls.

Bankside is also home to Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre and the Tate Modern. If you’re a fan of contemporary art you’ll want to visit the latter, while committed foodies won’t mind wandering a little further to reach Borough Market. This is located on Southwark Street, near London Bridge and the tube station of the same name.  

Why not stay in South Bank? Recommended hotels in South Bank, Southwark & Bankside

The Globe Theatre in London.
Globe Theatre

Thames river cruise

Following a morning spent on the London Eye and in the South Bank area, next up for your 3 day stay in London is a relaxing cruise on the river. Even if you’re jet-lagged, this is an easy and pleasing way to spend the afternoon. 

This also allows you to see the city from another perspective, before delving deep into the city’s streets to explore it further. You can also make like James Bond and take a speedboat trip if you like.  

Thames river cruises typically last between 30 minutes and 3 hours, and if you prefer you can book an evening cruise with music plus fizz and canapes or a full-on dinner. Another alternative is to take a cruise along Regent’s Canal in North London. 

The hop-on, hop-off sightseeing cruise is also recommended. Tickets last for 24 hours, giving you plenty of time to see and stop exactly what and where you want to. 

Read more – Top 20 London cruises & boat trips

Tower Bridge and a boat.

3 day London itinerary – DAY 2

Seeing all the pomp and ceremony surrounding the Royal Family can be a major highlight of any visit to London. Day two therefore includes some of the key things to do in London in 3 days, including witnessing the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace and relishing a sumptuous afternoon tea.

You’re likely to have some time to spare between the ceremony and your afternoon tea, so you can consider how to spend this as you wish. With this in mind, our hotel suggestions for afternoon tea are all located close to central areas like Green Park, Covent Garden, Oxford Street and Piccadilly Circus.

The Goring is also close to the palace itself. If you want to tour the state rooms inside while you’re there, this could be the perfect place to rest afterwards while being served the most decadent afternoon tea of your life.  

Gates of Buckingham Palace in London.

The Changing of the Guard

The Changing of the Guard is one of those ceremonies that could only take place in the United Kingdom. For a start, it all happens at Buckingham Palace, so you’ll get to see where the Queen lives at the same time. If the flag’s flying, it means she’s at home!

The ceremony has taken place for centuries and moved to its current location during Queen Victoria’s reign. In all but the very worst weather, the Changing of the Guard takes place in front of the palace at 11am. 

The Changing of the Guard: things to know

  • When to see the Changing of the Guard

A key thing to know when planning your trip is that the Changing of the Guard doesn’t take place every day. Normally it happens every other day, at 11 am, on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. 

It is worth making sure before you set off, though, and you can do that via the official Household Division website here. If the weather forecast is particularly bad or suddenly changes, the ceremony may also be called off. 

  • Getting to the Changing of the Guard

The closest underground stations to Buckingham Palace are Green Park, Hyde Park Corner, St. James’s Park and Victoria. Trains from all over the UK arrive at and depart from Victoria rail station.

  • Changing of the Guard timing

It’s a good idea to arrive around 15 to 20 minutes before the 11 am ceremony to secure a spot. You can arrive sooner, but may have a long wait with nothing to do but stand around!

  • Changing of the Guard tours

You don’t need a ticket to see the Changing of the Guard – it’s one of those attractive free things to do in London in three days. You can, however, take a walking tour with an expert guide, which will help you make the most of the experience. They even know exactly which spots are the best ones to stand in. 

There are also other good alternative tours, including other activities such as a visit to the State Rooms inside Buckingham Palace. Or you could combine it with a visit to the Tower of London or a Thames river cruise, or a whistle-stop tour of the city. 

If these options interest you, we recommend reading our complete guide to the Changing of the Guard, which you can access here.  

Buy your Changing of the Guard walking tour here

Read more – Ultimate guide to the Changing of the Guard

Changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace

Afternoon tea

Once you’ve seen the Changing of the Guard and perhaps done some exploring too, it’s time to take afternoon tea at a top London hotel. Perhaps taking a wander around the area you’re headed to, first, to make sure you build up a hearty appetite. 

Afternoon tea is a British institution – and even the cause of some controversy. Firstly there’s the question of how to pronounce ‘scone’ – is it as in cone or gone? Even Brits are divided, and it’s not even as simple as a North/South issue.

The second bone of contention concerns what you put on those scones. Jam and clotted cream, of course – but in which order? According to Hello magazine, the Queen herself spreads jam on first before adding a dollop of clotted cream.

The debate rages on down in south west England, however. The Cornish do as the monarch does, putting jam on before cream, but in Devon they swear that cream then jam is the only way to do it.

Whichever you go for, you can’t miss the chance to sample an afternoon tea while in Blighty, and for many, a top-drawer hotel is the only way to do it.

Favourites vary between folk, of course, but the list typically includes grand properties like the following options. 

The Savoy

Located on the Strand between the Thames and theatreland, The Savoy is just a hop, skip and jump from Covent Garden. Afternoon tea is served here in the breathtaking Thames Foyer, with a magnificent piano taking centre stage.

The Ritz

Also in central London’s West End is The Ritz on Piccadilly. As Buckingham Palace isn’t too far away. you could walk across Green Park from one to the other. Tea is served in the former ballroom, overseen by the UK’s only certified Tea Master.

The Langham

The Langham is credited with the very invention of the afternoon tea, and the Palm Court certainly makes a stunning setting. The art deco style venue can be found on Portland Place, a secluded location close to the fashionable stores of the Oxford Circus area. 

The Goring

Located in Beeston Place, The Goring is practically next door to Buckingham Palace. The hotel began serving afternoon tea in 1840, so there’s been plenty of time to perfect what’s on offer. For a real treat, you can also wash it all down with a glass or two of Bollinger champagne.

Fortnum & Mason

This one’s not a hotel, but it is an impressive venue – and you get to browse the fabulous food hall here before or after taking tea. It’s served in the Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon on Piccadilly, and is located between Green Park and Piccadilly Circus. 

Read more – 21 afternoon tea options to choose from in London

Afternoon tea at the Ritz.
Afternoon tea at the Ritz
London with Kids

3 day London itinerary – DAY 3

Your third day in London begins with a trip to the Tower of London, before spending the afternoon just as you please. But don’t worry if you get stuck – we have plenty of suggestions as to how to spend your last half day in the UK capital! That is if you can tear yourself away from the Tower of London…

Aerial view of the Tower of London.

Tower of London

If you could only visit one historic and cultural site while in London, the Tower of London would be top of many a list. With its intriguing – and at times brutal – history, the tower is the place to see Beefeaters in their traditional red costume, the resident ravens and of course the Crown Jewels.

During your tour you can also see suits of armour worn by previous Kings, discover the Fusilier Museum and see buildings including the White and Bloody Towers and the Mediaeval Palace.

The Tower of London: things to know

  • Getting to the Tower of London

The nearest Underground station to the Tower of London is Tower Hill. If you don’t mind walking, you can also reach the Tower on foot from London Bridge, Liverpool Street or Charing Cross stations in 25 minutes or less. 

If you’re staying centrally, you may also wish to walk from your hotel. The Tower is located by the Thames and Tower Bridge, so it’s very easy to find. 

  • Your tour of the Tower of London

It’s best to arrive early at the Tower of London. This is because it gets busy later in the day. That way you can also spend as much time at the Tower as you like without having to rush. It also sometimes shuts as early as 4.30pm. 

Audio tours are available, so you can interpret and make sense of what you’re seeing while you tour the Tower. 

  • Tower of London tickets

Booking tickets for the Tower of London in advance will also help you to make the most of the limited time you have when on a London three day itinerary. 

Again we recommend booking your tickets via Get Your Guide. The cost is the same as via the official website, and the bonus is that you can get a full refund if you have to cancel up to 24 hours before your booking. 

Visitors buying through Get Your Guide also get to skip the ticket line!

Buy your Tower of London tickets here

Read more – Best tickets & tours for the Tower of London

Your London

When you’re on a 3 day trip to London, it’s easy to lose sight of what you want to see and do while in the UK. Which is why we’ve factored in some free time this afternoon. How do you want to spend your final few hours in the city? 

Here are just a few suggestions, though the possibilities are pretty much endless!

Harrods, Hyde Park & Knightsbridge

If you’re the sort that likes to shop till you drop – and you either have some cash to splash or don’t mind window shopping – then a trip to upmarket Knightsbridge is a must. 

Knightsbridge is home to Harrods, one of the world’s most famous department stores. Harvey Nichols is neither far away nor far behind, and the area also boasts a range of designer boutiques including Ted Baker, Jimmy Choo, Lulu Guinness, Rigby & Peller, Lacoste, Burberry and many more. 

At the top of the road is Hyde Park, a green oasis from the hustle and bustle. It would be easy to spend an entire afternoon here if you chose to. Don’t miss The Serpentine, a 40 acre lake that hardy Londoners drop into for a dip between May and September. 

Harrods London.

Take a sightseeing walking tour

If you’re not sure what to do and are worried about wasting your last afternoon, why not place your fate in someone else’s expert hands? 

There are numerous walking tours so you can see more of the city’s sights – even when you’re doing London in 3 days. We’ve written an entire article on all the best ones, which is divided into sightseeing and themed options, and you can read that here

How does a Notting Hill, Doctor Who, Harry Potter, Charles Dickens or James Bond tour grab you? You can read all about them in this post, which also covers the top recommended sightseeing tours you can take on foot. 

Read more – 23 of the best London walking tours

Colourful houses in Notting Hill.
Notting Hill

South Kensington Museums

London boasts some of the best museums on the planet. There are so many to choose from, but some of the best can be found in South Kensington. The Natural History Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Science Museum are all located on Exhibition Road, so if you’re not keen on one you can always dip into another. 

The Natural History Museum boasts a vast collection of specimens from all over the world, while the Victoria and Albert Museum specialises in art and design. It houses well over 2 million objects. The Science Museum, meanwhile, is for fans of all things that celebrate mankind’s history of discovery, invention and innovation. 

Exterior of the Natural History Museum in London.
Day trip from London

3 day London itinerary – Where to stay

Where to stay in London is an entire other article – or perhaps a whole lot more. Here are the links to our accommodation guides for the areas we recommend booking into when planning an itinerary for London in 3 days.

West End accommodation

Westminster accommodation

South Bank & Bankside

Covent Garden.
The Covent Garden area is a great place to stay in London

3 day London itinerary – Frequently Asked Questions

These are some of the most common FAQs that come up when planning a 3 day London itinerary – along with our answers. 

How many days is enough in London?

Any day spent in London is better than none, while at the other end of the scale the famous Samuel Johnson quote states that when a person is tired of London they must be tired of life, as ‘there is in London all that life can afford’.

For some there will never be enough time, which is why people from all over the world choose to call London home for a few months or years – or even for a lifetime. 

Is 3 days enough in London?

3 days in London is enough to see the key sights, while getting a feel for the city as a place where people live and work. It’s enough to leave you wanting more, without getting fed up of following the well-beaten tourist trail. 

How do I see London in 3 days?

Whether you’re on a 3 day London itinerary as a family, solo traveller or couple, you can save so much time by planning ahead. This includes booking a hotel in the central zone and buying travel passes and entry tickets in advance. 

The other thing to do is to focus on what you really want to see and do. There are no rules. You have 3 days. How would you prefer to spend them? What would you be sorry to miss out on? 

What do you do in London in 72 hours?

There is so much to do in London in 72 hours. See the Tower of London, the Changing of the Guard, Westminster and Buckingham Palace. Explore the museums you want to spend time in and take a break with a picnic in the park.

Stroll around the South Bank or along the Thames, or take a trip to Oxford and Regent Streets to see a dazzling array of shops. Explore the markets, take a river cruise, hop on a tube and hail a black cab. Book afternoon tea at an upmarket hotel, and enjoy fish and chips at a traditional British pub.

London really is your oyster! 

Aerial view of Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament.

3 day London itinerary – Final thoughts

Phew! There is so much to see and do in the British capital, but we hope this London 3 day trip planner will help you make the most of your stay in one of the finest cities on earth.

We hope to have shown that while a 3 days in London itinerary is pretty tight, time-wise, it is not only do-able but will also be thoroughly enjoyable!

If you have 3 days in London and what to do is a dilemma, do remember that it’s your trip. This is only a suggested itinerary, and of course you can play around with the timings to suit your schedule and preferences perfectly.

Whether your 3 day London tour takes in the Tower of London, the Changing of the Guard and the London Eye or you prefer to spend your time eating and shopping your way through the city, we hope you have a lot of fun along the way.

Have a few extra days in London? Why not take a day trip?

While you’re here, don’t forget to take a look at our London Travel Guide. It’s packed with tips and inspiration so you can create your perfect trip. 


London Travel Guide & Itinerary Planner (+ 4 bonus ebooks)

London Travel Guide and itinerary planner.