London is a huge city with so many exciting things to do. It may feel a little overwhelming trying to plan a London trip due to the vast amounts of things to do and it can be hard to know how many days you should spend in London.
Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. This post will detail how many days you should spend in London, when is the best time to go and I’ve also put together a suggested itinerary for your trip!
The itinerary details step by step where you should go, how much it costs and how to get there – it will be super useful for your trip. If you want to skip straight to the itinerary, click here.
How Many Days Should I Spend In London?
As mentioned, London is huge and has an endless supply of things to do. It takes around 90 minutes to travel from one side of London to the other. You could spend weeks in London and still not run out of things to do as it is jam-packing with activities, history, parks, buildings, palaces and so much more.
If you’re visiting London and want to see the main sights, then between 3 and 5 days would be the best amount of time to spend in London. This would give you time to see the top sights in London. Check out the suggested itinerary below for how to spend each day.
When Is The Best Month To Visit London?
Summer is the best time to visit London as the weather is warm and you’ll be able to visit all of the city’s top attractions. Anytime between May and September would be a great time to visit.
There are also certain attractions that only open during the summer, such as visiting the state rooms of Buckingham Palace (you can see it from the outside all year round though).
London can be pretty busy in the summer, especially during the school holidays. These run from the end of July until the start of September in the UK so if you want to avoid the crowds, then it may be best to avoid this time.
Visiting during the winter can be a magical time as London is lit up by thousands of lights, you can visit incredible Christmas Markets such as Winter Wonderland and all the shops are decorated beautifully.
The main downside to visiting in winter is that it gets very cold! Barely reaching more than 5ºC (41ºF), you won’t want to spend much time outside (and a lot of the things to see are outside).
When Is The Cheapest Month To Visit London?
If you’re on a budget, then you may want to visit London based on when you can get the best deal!
High season in London is during the summer and there is another peak during the winter, around Christmas time, as people flood in to see the incredible decorations and markets.
Low season in London is from the start of September to November. Avoid the school holidays (July and August) and December as prices skyrocket during these times.
The wettest month in London is November and the rain does tend to pick up a bit more from mid-October. Due to this, I’d suggest September as the best time to visit if you’re on a budget.
4 Day London Itinerary
This itinerary is a 4 day London itinerary. It details how to spend 4 days in London including where you should visit, how long to spend at each location, how to get there and how much each activity costs.
Hop-On Hop-Off Bus
This is a great way to get acquainted with the city especially as London is so big. This activity is also great if you’ve just arrived that morning or the night before and are feeling tired as you can just take a seat, relax and let London find you!
There are a few different companies that run these tours and you’ll see them all over the city. They can be a little pricey but are valid for 24 hours. Most cost between £30 and £35 per person.
It can be worth it though, as you’ll get to know the city and will see all of London’s famous sites along the way. The best part is you can jump on and off the bus whenever you want!
Top Tip: Buy your ticket online rather than in person as you will make a small saving!
The London Eye is one of London’s most iconic places to visit. No trip to London is complete without seeing this giant observation wheel located on the South Bank of the River Thames.
If you’re using the hop-on hop-off bus, then you can just hop-off at the London Eye and get back on the bus later on!
A fantastic thing to do in London would be to take a ride on the London Eye, which overlooks the River Thames, the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben and the London skyline. You’ll get an amazing view over London.
A ticket costs £27.50 if you purchase online on their website here. If you buy a ticket on the day it will cost £31.
If you’re on a budget then you can see the London Eye for free from the South Bank instead of riding on it. From here, you can also look out onto the River Thames and see the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben. There is also a grass area close to the London Eye so you could take a picnic here and relax.
Houses of Parliament, Big Ben & Westminster Abbey
After you’ve finished up at the London Eye, if you want to see a little more on foot before getting back onto the hop-on hop-off bus then you can cross over to the other side of the river using Westminster Bridge.
It is only a couple of minutes walk from the London Eye – just head towards Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament.
I would suggest just wandering around this area and exploring as it is filled with famous, historical buildings that make London famous.
As well as Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, you will also see Westminster Abbey which is located just behind Big Ben.
This is a very famous abbey which hosts coronations and royal weddings (William and Kate got married here in 2011!). If you’re interested, you can also go into the Abbey. Tickets cost £22 if you buy online beforehand and £24 if you buy at the abbey.
That’s probably enough for your first day in London, especially if you arrived in the morning. At this point, it may be good to grab some dinner and get an early night.
After breakfast, I’d suggest heading over to Buckingham Palace. This is another one of London’s most iconic sights and is the home of the Queen – if the flag is flying above the palace, this means the Queen is currently home!
You can see it for free from the outside, most people stand beside the Victoria Memorial just in front to take in the views.
There are a few Tube stations nearby so the best way to get there would be via the London Underground from your hotel. Take the Tube to either Green Park Station, St James’s Park Station or Hyde Park Corner.
One of the best times to visit is for the Changing of The Guard ceremony. This starts at 11am and takes place on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays from August to May and daily in June and July. You can check the latest schedule on their website here.
For 10 weeks during the summer, Buckingham Palaces’s state rooms are open to the public so you can book onto a tour. Tickets are £26.50 for an adult. You can check the latest information on their website here.
After seeing the palace, head over to the neighbouring St James’s Park for a relaxing stroll. This is a large, well-maintained royal park. It has a beautiful lake, lots of greenery and a resident flock of pelicans!
From St James’s Park, you can walk over to the famous 10 Downing Street which is the home of the Prime Minister. The walk will only take a few minutes as it is pretty close.
The entrance to Downing Street is protected and sits behind a fence with armed guards so you won’t be able to get too close. You can see the house from a distance so it’s still worth seeing.
You can walk over to Trafalgar Square from Downing Street – it will only take 10 minutes.
This is one of London’s most popular and famous public squares. Trafalgar square is famous for being home to the National Gallery and the National Portrait Gallery so if you’re into art then it may be worth spending some more time here and exploring these galleries.
You will also see the iconic Nelson’s Column in the square.
Leicester Square & Chinatown
From Trafalgar Square, Leicester Square is just a 5 minute walk away. This is another fantastic square to visit in London, it is filled with cinemas, theatres, restaurants, bars, clubs and shops. Why not stop off at M & M World for some treats?
Right next to this square is London’s Chinatown. This is a busy and exciting part of London featuring an array of Chinese & other Asian restaurants, souvenir shops, supermarkets and bakeries. The streets are decorated beautifully with lanterns and decorations.
One of my favourite snacks to get from here is taiyaki! They sell this in many of the bakeries and in some you can even watch it being made. This is actually a Japanese dessert (but you’ll find many different Asian restaurants here).
Less than a 10 minute walk away is Covent Garden. This is a fantasitc place to visit in London – it is a shopping and entertainment area in the West End.
There is a large piazza filled with fashion stores, a market filled with craft stalls and it is also where the Royal Opera House is located. You’ll see street performers out there every day in front of St Paul’s Church – they’re really talented and definitely worth a watch!
You could spend a few hours here, exploring the market and watching the performers. There are plenty of shops and restaurants so I’d suggest getting dinner here in the evening before heading back to your hotel. It has a great atmosphere.
Tower of London
Another must-see spot in London is the Tower of London which has 1,000 years of history. It has served as a palace, a prison, an execution site, barracks, an armoury and more. It has a lot of fascinating history that you’ll learn as you tour the site.
It is also the location of the crown jewels which are just stunning and something you can’t miss whilst in London. The diamond and bejewelled crown and sceptre used during royal coronations are simply magnificent.
Tickets cost £28.90 for an adult. You can check the latest information on their website here.
You’ll probably spend a few hours here as there is a lot to see and do.
To get here, the closest tube station is Tower Hill Station. The London Underground tends to be the best way to get around the city.
Just a 10 minute walk from the Tower of London is Tower Bridge – an iconic symbol of London. This suspension bridge is something you cannot miss, it crosses over the River Thames.
You can view this bridge from the river side and by crossing over it which is absolutely free.
You can also purchase a ticket, climb the tower and walk along the glass walkway! This is a pretty cool experience, as you can see the pedestrians, cars, red buses below as you walk. Tickets cost £9.80 for an adult.
Nearby is Borough Market which would make a perfect spot for some lunch. It is one of the largest and oldest markets in London and serves a range of fresh, delicious food from all over the world.
The food options here are just endless, there is definitely something for everyone.
Please note: Borough Market is closed on Sundays.
The View from the Shard
Close by, just a 5 minute walk is The Shard – this is currently the tallest building in the UK standing at 309 metres tall. You’ll easily spot it from all over London – it looks like a giant piece of broken glass.
You can go inside the Shard, there are a range of restaurants and bars. You can also purchase a ticket for the View from The Shard which gives the highest view over London.
It is a little pricey but does give an incredible view over London. I’d suggest definitely doing this if you’re in London on a clear day, if it is rainy or foggy then it may be better to give this a miss as you’ll pay a lot and won’t be able to see too much. Another fantastic time to do this is at sunset!
Tickets cost £25 for an adult.
Nearby, just a 13 minute walk from the Shard, is the Globe Theatre. The original Globe Theatre was built back in 1599. It was an Elizabethan playhouse which hosted the famous plays of William Shakespeare.
A modern, reconstructed version was built in 1997 on the site of the original theatre. Visitors can visit and take a tour or even watch a performance.
The tour costs £17 for an adult. You can check the latest information on their website here.
If you get lucky, sometimes the tours take place when the actors are rehearsing so you may get an exclusive, behind-the-scenes look at rehearsals! The tour lasts around 40 minutes.
Bonus: Tate Modern is next door to the Globe Theatre so if you’re interested in modern art then why not take a look around? It is a modern art museum that is free to enter and will take around an hour to explore.
St Paul’s Cathedral
From the Globe Theatre, you can head over the Millennium Bridge which is a site in itself. This bridge is quite famous and has been featured in many movies including Harry Potter and Guardians of the Galaxy so it may be a familiar site.
It will only take 10 minutes to walk to St Paul’s Cathedral which is an iconic feature of the London skyline.
This famous cathedral has hosted many famous events, such as the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana, the funeral of Winston Churchill and the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II.
You can go inside and explore this famous cathedral including the Dome Gallery which is pretty impressive.
Tickets cost £17 for an adult to enter. Most people spend around an hour here exploring.
For the ultimate view of London from above, head over to the Sky Garden. As well as having some of the best views of London, it is also free!
You do need to book a ticket in advance (you can do that on their website here) but there is no fee!
It has a large observation deck so you can look out onto the city and see if you can spot your favourite landmarks. There are also restaurants up there, so you could even stay for dinner and dine with an amazing view!
A great time to visit would be sunset, London really comes to life after dark and is lit up so viewing in the evening would also be incredible. It sits on the top of one of London’s skyscrapers – this one is nicknamed the walkie talkie due to its unique shape.
Kensington Palace & Gardens
Kensington Palace is a royal residence, currently home to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (Prince William and Kate) and their children. It is also the palace in which Queen Victoria grew up and was at one time the home of Princess Diana.
Historic parts of Kensington Palace are open to the public so you can go inside and explore the palace. You’ll see the rooms in which Queen Victoria spent her time growing up, pieces from the Queen’s and Princess Diana’s wardrobe and they also have some fun interactive and digital experiences.
A ticket for an adult costs £17.50. You can check the latest information and opening times on their website here.
The nearest tube station is High Street Kensington.
Just a 10 minute walk away from Kensington Palace is Hyde Park. This is a great park to relax in and it also has a range of different activities and things to see, making it even more interesting.
Speaker’s Corner is located within Hyde Park – this is a traditional site for public speeches and debates since the mid 1800’s where protests and demonstrations used to take place.
There is also a lake where you can hire a peddle boat which is another fun activity. You can grab lunch here from one of the cafe’s or even better, why not have a picnic! It’s a great place to relax and chill out.
Oxford Street joins Hyde Park. If you head to the corner of Hyde Park near the Marble Arch and Speaker’s Corner, you will soon appear on Oxford Street.
This is a major road in Westminster that runs from Marble Arch all the way to Tottenham Court Road. It is actually Europe’s busiest shopping street with over 300 shops.
The stores here are just something else, even if you don’t like shopping or don’t want to buy anything, it’s still worth going into some of the stores.
The selection here is like nowhere else, if there is something you need then you’ll definitely find it on Oxford Street. Don’t forget to visit Selfridges, a world famous department store that opened in 1909.
Piccadilly Circus & Regent Street
Keep walking along Oxford Street until you come to Oxford Circus. From here, you can turn onto Regent Street which also leads onto Piccadilly Circus.
Piccadilly Circus is a famous meeting point, where many main roads come together. You’ve likely seen photos of it before – it has giant neon signs and screens on the side of the buildings, the streets are alive, filled with the iconic red double decker buses, black taxis and cars.
Take a seat nearby on the Shaftesbury Memorial Fountain and take a moment to watch London in action.
Regent Street is another major shopping street with some famous stores. Make sure you pop into Hamleys which is one of the largest toy stores in the world!
It will take about half an hour on the Tube to get to the O2 Arena. Take the Tube to North Greenwich Station.
The O2 is a giant arena and venue making it a great place to visit.
They run some pretty cool experiences such as Up at The O2 where you get the chance to climb up onto the top of the arena and enjoy the incredible views! Tickets vary in price depending on when you climb (£30-£36), you can check the latest info and prices here on their website here.
Another incredible experience offered by the O2 Arena that you won’t find anywhere else is London in the Sky. This is a unique dining experience where you can enjoy first-class food and delicious drinks whilst suspended on a 22-seat table 100ft in the air.
It’s an experience you won’t forget. They don’t run this year round so you can check here on their website for dates and latest information. They even sometimes surprise guests with celebrity DJs and live musicians!
It is pretty pricey with prices starting at £79 per person and reaching £169 for some sessions.
Thanks for reading this post about how many days you should spend in London including the 4 day London itinerary. I hope it was helpful and gave you a good idea on how to spend your time in London.
Check out my other guides to visiting London here.