4 Days in London (Best Trip Itinerary + Map)

A full itinerary for 4 days in London (+ a map with all must-see places, the best Afternoon Tea experience and how to skip the lines at Westminster Abbey and Tower of London).

Situated on the River Thames, London is the largest city and the capital of England. Founded in 50 AD by the Romans, London is now a vibrant and multicultural place with thousands of years of history. It is also the seat of the British royal dynasty.

In 1777, the writer Samuel Johnson said – “When a man is tired of London he is tired of life”. And it is still true today! With its countless attractions, world-class museums, royal palaces and beautiful parks, London is one of the most popular cities to visit in the world.

Best 4-day London Itinerary

Planning a trip to London can be a bit overwhelming, especially for first-time visitors. It’s a huge city with plenty to see and do! The capital of the United Kingdom features more than a dozen must-see attractions, including Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, Big Ben and Tower Bridge.

In order to help you plan your stay, I’ve prepared this extensive London itinerary for 3 to 4 days. It covers the city’s most famous attractions and historical sites, plus some great restaurants and hotel recommendations. You’ll also find my favourite places for afternoon tea!

4 Days in London Itinerary (for first-timers)

  • Day 1: Westminster Cathedral, Buckingham Palace, The British Museum
  • Day 2: Westminster Abbey, Palace of Westminster, Big Ben, London Eye, Afternoon tea at Ham Yard Hotel
  • Day 3: Tower Bridge, Tower of London, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Sky Garden
  • Day 4: Windsor Castle, Soho and Covent Garden, Thames River Cruise

In my opinion, spending around 4 days in London is just the right amount of time. This timeframe allows you to explore all key attractions without feeling too rushed. You’ll be able to take a day trip to Windsor Castle or Hampton Court Palace as well. However, if you’re short on time, I’ve outlined some ideas for experiencing London in 2 or 3 days after the 4-day itinerary.

Tips on your 4-day London itinerary

Accommodation – already have a hotel booked? Then check your hotel’s location and make sure it’s in a good area (see my guide on where to stay in London).

My favourite place to stay in London: Apex Temple Court Hotel
Why: great central location, walking distance to metro and bus stops
What I like: spacious quiet rooms with very comfy beds

Restaurants – if you want to dine at a particular restaurant, make a reservation, especially for Fridays and Saturdays. It is very difficult to get a table even during the week.

How to skip the lines – the capital of England is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, so there is no true low season. So my best tip is to either buy the London Pass (free entry to over 80 attractions) or book skip-the-line tickets individually for each attraction. In this way, you won’t waste hours waiting in line.

Always book tours or skip the lines tickets with GetYourGuide (you get a mobile ticket + free cancellation). Tickets from the attractions’ official websites are mostly non-refundable.

Free museums – if you’re a museum person, you’ll love the fact that a lot of the museums in London are free. There is no entrance fee to visit the famous British Museum, the National Gallery, Victoria and Albert Museum and many others.

Mapfind here a map of this 4-day itinerary for London (with all attractions and restaurants’ websites).

Money – some places like museum shops and bakeries could be cashless (accept only card or mobile payments), so make sure to have a functional credit or debit card.

4 Days in London itinerary – Day 1

Morning

Breakfast at Chestnut Bakery Belgravia

08:20 AM – 09:00 AM

Start your first day of this 4-day London itinerary with breakfast at Chestnut Bakery. This bakery, located in the heart of the Belgravia district, is my favourite one in all of London! Note that they also have a second branch in Covent Garden (in case the location is more convenient for you).

Pastries are amazing, especially the croissants! I loved the croque monsieur croissant and the pistachio and raspberry croissant.

Chestnut Bakery Belgravia
Breakfast at Chestnut Bakery Belgravia – the best bakery in London

Buckingham Palace

09:30 AM – 12:00 PM

Buckingham Palace is one of the most famous sites in London. It is the residence of the reigning sovereign of the United Kingdom and where the Changing of the Guard Ceremony takes place.

Originally, the palace was built for the Duke of Buckingham in 1703. In 1761 King George III acquired it as a private residence for Queen Charlott. The palace was remodelled and enlarged (three new wings were constructed) several times during the 19th century. Since 1837, Buckingham Palace has been the London residence of the British monarch. The first monarch to reside here was Queen Victoria.

The palace is open to visitors during the months of July, August and September. You can tour the 19 magnificent State Rooms, furnished with some of the greatest treasures from the Royal Collection. You’ll need between 1h30min and 2 hours to see everything.

Booking in advance is recommended (tickets are timed-entry and often sold out).
Entry ticket: Skip-the-line Buckingham Palace (free cancellation up to 24 hours)

The Changing of the Guard ceremony takes place at 11:00 AM on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Sunday and daily in the summer. It lasts about 40min and it’s free to attend. I’d recommend you show up at least 15min before the beginning to get a good viewing spot. Please note that the ceremony may be cancelled last minute due to bad weather (see the schedule here).

To get closer to the action and learn more about the ceremony and the royal family, join this Changing of the Guard Walking Tour.

Buckingham Palace 4 days in London
Buckingham Palace is a must-see during 4 days in London

If you are not interested in the Changing of the Guard ceremony or the palace is closed during the time of your visit, skip it. Choose another attraction nearby instead (see other options further in the post).

Lunch at Queens of Mayfair

12:00 PM – 01:30 PM

For lunch head to Queens of Mayfair, a great place for brunch. The menu is focused on seasonal produce and the coffee is excellent! I particularly enjoyed The Royal Fungus (forest mushrooms with scrambled eggs and black truffle) and The Royal Breakfast.

Queens of Mayfair
Lunch at Queens of Mayfair

Another option for lunch is Victoria House Coffee & Food. It is located away from Buckingham Palace, but just a short walk from the next attraction of this London itinerary. Victoria House Coffee & Food is a great place to try traditional English brunch. The Avo Bonus Breakfast and the Protein Breakfast were very delicious!

As London is full of awesome brunch spots, I’ll share with you one more option for lunch. I found this great place, Drury 188-189, during my last trip to London. I absolutely loved their Eggs Benedict and the fact that you can customize your avocado toast.

Victoria House Coffee & Food
Victoria House Coffee & Food
Drury 188-189
Drury 188-189

Afternoon

The British Museum

02:00 PM – 04:00 PM

The British Museum features one of the largest collections of history and art inside its walls. It was established in 1753 with the private collections of Sir Hans Sloane, Robert Harley and Sir Robert Cotton. Today the museum houses about 8 million objects in its permanent collection! Some of the highlights include the Rosetta Stone, Parthenon sculptures, the Mummy of Katebet, the Aztec serpent and many more.

Entrance is free, but if you’re visiting in the high season it is recommended to book a timeslot for your visit. To see all the highlights and learn about the history of the museum and the objects, you can opt for a guided tour of the British Museum.

I enjoyed the museum and would definitely recommend it, even if you’re not usually into museums.

4-day London Itinerary British Museum
Exploring the British Museum is a must when visiting London

Dinner at Honest Burgers Holborn

For some of the best burgers in London, head to Honest Burgers Holborn. Try the Tribute Burger (if you’re a beef lover) or Buffalo Burger (if you prefer chicken like me) with Rosemary salted chips.

Another awesome burger place is Fat Hippo (my favourite burger place in London). They are famous for their dirty fries and offer an amazing selection of chicken burgers (besides the regular ones with beef).

Honest Burgers Holborn
Honest Burgers Holborn
Fat Hippo burgers
Fat Hippo – the best burgers in London

London by Night Sightseeing Bus Tour

To discover the city’s most iconic landmarks lit up against the night sky, join this London by Night Sightseeing Bus Tour. You’ll see the famous Big Ben, the London Eye, Tower Bridge, the fountains of Trafalgar Square and the neon screens of Piccadilly Circus.

More ideas for 4 days in London – Day 1

Westminster Cathedral

The beautiful Westminster Cathedral is often overlooked in favour of the nearby Westminster Abbey. Completed in 1903 in neo-Byzantine style, it is made almost entirely of brick. The cathedral is the largest Catholic church in the UK and the seat of the Archbishop of Westminster.

Don’t miss to take a look inside – the interior is decorated with stunning mosaics and more than 100 different varieties of marble!

Westminster Cathedral
Westminster Cathedral is a hidden gem in London
Westminster Cathedral inside
Inside the Westminster Cathedral

St. James’s Park

Opposite Buckingham Palace, you’ll find St. James’s Park. This is the place with the most friendly squirrels in all of London, so don’t forget to bring a bag of nuts. There are also lots of ducks and swans. Every time I’m in London, I make sure to visit – it’s one of my favourite places to escape the crowds.

St. James's Park squirrel
Feed the squirrels at St. James’s Park

The National Gallery

The National Gallery is located right on the famous Trafalgar Square. It houses a rich collection of over 2,300 paintings dating from the 13th century to 1900. You’ll have the chance to see original works by Monet, Van Gogh, Leonardo da Vinci, Michaelangelo, Rembrandt and many more.

4 Days in London itinerary – Day 2

Morning

Breakfast at Royal Artisan Bakery

08:20 AM – 09:00 AM

Start your second day with breakfast at Royal Artisan Bakery. It’s a lovely bakery with an excellent range of baked goods and desserts from artisan sourdough bread. I really enjoyed their raisin rolls.

Royal Artisan Bakery
Breakfast at Royal Artisan Bakery

Westminster Abbey

09:30 AM – 11:00 AM

Westminster Abbey is one of the most famous churches in England. Its history dates back as far as 960 AD. The magnificent Gothic church we see today was constructed by Henry III between 1245 and 1272.

Westminster Abbey is the coronation and burial site for English and British monarchs, starting with the coronation of William the Conqueror in 1066. 30 kings and queens are buried here, among them Edward the Confessor, Elizabeth I, Mary, Queen of Scots and King Henry V.

westminster abbey 4-day London itinerary
Westminster Abbey – a must for your 4-day London itinerary
westminster abbey interior
Inside the Westminster Abbey

Booking in advance is recommended (tickets are timed-entry and often sold out)
Entry ticket: Skip-the-line Westminster Abbey (free cancellation up to 24 hours)

Some of the abbey’s highlights are the Coronation Chair (in St. George’s Chapel), the High Altar, the Quire Screen, the Poets’ Corner, and the Queen’s Window.

Westminster Abbey is incredibly stunning, one of the most impressive churches I’ve seen in Europe. I’d recommend a visit, even if you’re not usually interested in churches.

westminster abbey lady chapel
Lady Chapel at the Westminster Abbey

If you have additional time, you can take a look at the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Galleries as well (entrance via the new Weston Tower). The galleries tell the thousand-year history of the abbey through historic art, relics and historical documents. Note, that there is an additional fee to visit the galleries and tickets are timed entry.

Palace of Westminster and Big Ben

11:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Big Ben is the city’s most iconic landmark. The tower is part of the Palace of Westminster, also known as the House of Parliament.

Actually, Big Ben is not the real name of the tower. It is the name of the bell located inside of it. The tower itself is called Elizabeth Tower after Queen Elizabeth II. Big Ben stands at a height of 96 meters (315 feet) and features 4 clocks on each face of the tower.

You can visit Big Ben only on a guided tour, lasting for approximately 90 minutes. You will have the opportunity to reach the top of the tower where the Great Bell hangs. However, do keep in mind that you need to climb the 334-step spiral stairwell to the top.

The Palace of Westminster is where the House of Lords and House of Commons meet (the two houses of Parliament of the United Kingdom). The original 11th-century palace was destroyed by fire in 1834 and later rebuilt in the Gothic Revival style. The building as we see it today was completed in 1860.

It is possible to visit the House of Parliament, but only on certain days (usually Saturdays). That’s why I didn’t include a visit to the palace in this 4-day itinerary for London. Still, if this is on your list, you’ll have enough time to do it. You just need to book in advance your Palace of Westminster tour here (self-guided or on a guided tour).

The best views of the palace and Big Ben can be captured across the Thames River.

Palace of Westminster and Big Ben
Add the Palace of Westminster and Big Ben to your London itinerary

London Eye

12:00 PM – 01:00 PM

London Eye was completed in 1999 and since then has been the city’s most popular attraction. The 135m (443 feet) tall Ferris wheel features an incredible panoramic view over the whole of London.

The wheel turns very slowly, so you can easily enjoy the stunning views from the glass capsules (each of them weighing 10 tons). The ride takes approximately 30 minutes.

Booking in advance is recommended (tickets are timed-entry and often sold out)
Entry ticket: Skip-the-line London Eye (free cancellation up to 24 hours)

London Eye
Take a ride on the London Eye

Afternoon

Afternoon tea at Ham Yard Hotel

You can’t go to London and not have afternoon tea! It’s one of the most unique British experiences.

Afternoon tea is a 19th-century tradition. It all started with Anna, the seventh Duchess of Bedford in 1840. She always got hungry in the afternoons (who doesn’t), so she usually asked for some tea with cakes to be delivered to her rooms. This quickly turned into a habit and soon her friends followed her. Half a century later, the Afternoon tea was a popular social event.

Today, the tea is usually served between 12:00 PM and 04:00 PM. Food consists of several types of fresh finger sandwiches, homemade cakes and pastries and scones with clotted cream and preserves. The dress code is smart casual or formal, depending on the venue. So before booking a table, always check in advance the dress code.

There are hundreds of places serving Afternoon tea in London, ranging from stylish tea rooms and luxury hotels to tea shops and restaurants. I did quite a bit of research before finally choosing the Ham Yard Hotel. I liked the atmosphere, the food was excellent and the dress code – smart casual, so there was no need to bring an additional outfit and shoes just for the event.

Also, make a reservation well in advance (for the popular places even 2-3 months in advance). I was visiting in the autumn and a few of the restaurants were fully booked for months in advance.

My other advice is as the Afternoon tea could be an expensive experience (between £30-£80 per person), book it instead of a lunch or an early dinner.

Afternoon tea at Ham Yard Hotel
Ham Yard Hotel – the best Afternoon tea in London

Here are some other great places for Afternoon tea (besides Ham Yard Hotel):

  • Oscar Wilde Lounge at Café Royal
  • The Palm Court at The Sheraton
  • Grand Mirror Room at Rosewood
  • The Foyer & Reading Room at Claridge’s
  • Thames Foyer at The Savoy
  • Kona
  • Dalloway Terrace at the Bloomsbury Hotel
  • The Chesterfield Mayfair Hotel
  • The Rubens at the Palace

Dinner at Berenjak

For dinner make your way to Berenjak. This Persian restaurant, located in Soho, has a Michelin Bib Gourmand. Berenjak offers a menu, which reinterprets the flavours of Tehran’s hole-in-the-wall kabab houses. The hummus was the best I’ve ever tried, and the Jujeh Kabab and Kabab Koobideh were excellent!

It’s a small and very popular restaurant, so make a reservation at least 1-2 months in advance. If it’s fully booked, consider arriving at least 40 minutes before the opening times to secure a table. They typically set aside some seats at the counter for walk-ins.

berenjak soho hummus
Dinner at Berenjak
berenjak soho kabab

More ideas for 4 days in London – Day 2

Churchill War Rooms

If you’re interested in WW2, a visit to Churchill War Rooms is a must. The museum occupies the former British government command centre throughout the Second World War and it comprises two sections – the Cabinet War Rooms and the Churchill Museum.

The Cabinet War Rooms allow visitors to explore the huge underground bunker from where Winston Churchill directed the war effort during World War 2. You can explore this maze of rooms, where people actually lived and worked. Everything is exactly how it was on the day the lights were switched off in 1945.

The museum is popular, thus it’s best to book your ticket to Churchill War Rooms here in advance. The ticket includes an excellent audio guide, which I found very useful.

Churchill War Rooms
For WW2 enthusiasts, Churchill War Rooms is a must-visit while in London

Imperial War Museum

Founded during WWI, the Imperial War Museum is one of the best military museums in Europe. It covers both the service and civilian aspects of all conflicts in which British or Commonwealth forces had been involved from 1914 to the present day. The vast collection includes military vehicles and weapons, official documents, photographs and videos.

4 Days in London itinerary – Day 3

Morning

Breakfast at WatchHouse Tower Bridge

08:00 AM – 09:00 AM

Start your day with some excellent coffee at WatchHouse Tower Bridge. Located just steps away from Tower Bridge, this lovely café offers delicious sourdough toasts and cakes you can choose from the display. I really enjoyed the avocado toast with salmon and eggs Benedict.

WatchHouse Tower Bridge
Breakfast at WatchHouse Tower Bridge

Tower Bridge

09:00 AM – 09:30 AM

Often mistaken as London Bridge, Tower Bridge is one of the city’s most iconic landmarks. Constructed in 1894 in Neo-Gothic style, the bridge connects the north and south banks of London.

It is a bascule bridge, which means that two halves of the roadway can be raised to allow river traffic to pass. It was impossible to build a traditional fixed bridge at street level because this would cut off the access of ships to the port facilities in the Pool of London (between London Bridge and the Tower of London).

You can visit the Tower Bridge Exhibition, which gives you access to the bridge’s old engine room, the towers and the glass walkway between them. However, considering the little time you’ll have in London, I’d recommend seeing the bridge only outside.

Tower Bridge 4 days in London
See Tower Bridge during your 4 days in London

Tower of London

09:30 AM – 12:00 PM

The Tower of London was originally built by William the Conqueror in 1066 as a royal castle and a fortress. It was expanded in the 13th century by Henry III and Edward I and was a royal residence until the 17th century. The tower served many purposes, including a prison and an execution place for famous people like Anne Boleyn, and Thomas Cromwell.

Today the Tower of London houses the Crown Jewels. It’s a remarkable collection, which includes the Imperial State Crown, St Edward’s Crown, Sovereign’s Orb and Sceptre and many other priceless items. The Sovereign Sceptre is decorated with the First Star of Africa, the largest colourless cut diamond in the world!

When you enter the site, head straight to the Crown Jewels. This place gets very crowded and there are long lines in the high season, which you can’t skip.

Don’t miss the sentries outside the Jewel House and the King’s House. There are three ceremonies you can watch daily: the Ceremonial Opening, the Ceremony of the Word and the Ceremony of the Keys.

Booking in advance is recommended (tickets are timed-entry and often sold out)
Entry ticket: Skip-the-line Tower of London (free cancellation up to 24 hours)
Best guided tour: Yeoman Warder Tour – included in the ticket price (tours begin every 30 minutes near the main entrance)

As a history buff, visiting the Tower of London was one of the highlights of my trip.

Tower of London
Tower of London

Lunch at Grounded London

12:00 PM – 01:30 PM

For lunch head to Grounded London. It’s a great place for brunch, and the ingredients they use are locally sourced and organic. You’ll find a variety of egg dishes, sandwiches and of course sourdough toasts and pancakes. In my opinion, their French toast is one of the best in London!

Grounded London
Lunch at Grounded London

Afternoon

St. Paul’s Cathedral

02:00 PM – 03:30 PM

St. Paul’s Cathedral is one of the largest cathedrals in the world. It was built in the 17th century after the Great Fire of London destroyed the previous one in 1666.

One of the most impressive parts of the cathedral is its dome, composed of three circular galleries – the Whispering, the Stone and the Golden Gallery. From the latter, standing at 85m (214 feet) height, you can enjoy some impressive views of the city. Note that you have to climb 528 steps to reach the Golden Gallery.

Take time to visit the crypt, which is the resting place of some of London’s most notable citizens, including the Duke of Wellington and Admiral Nelson.

I’d advise you to buy your ticket to St. Paul’s Cathedral in advance if you’re visiting in the high season. An audio guide is included in the admission price. Also, free guided tours are available from Monday to Saturday usually between 11 AM and 3 PM.

St. Paul's Cathedral
St. Paul’s Cathedral is the largest cathedral in London

Sky Garden

03:45 PM – 04:30 PM

Located at the top of ​​20 Fenchurch Street, Sky Garden is the city’s highest public garden. It offers spectacular 360-degree views of London’s iconic skyline.

Housed in a massive glass bubble, the terraced garden occupies three floors. You’ll see a variety of Mediterranean and South African plants, including African Lily, French Lavender, Red Hot Poker and Bird of Paradise.

Admission is free, but you need to book a time slot in advance because they are often fully booked and rarely can accommodate walk-ins.

Booking in advance is recommended (tickets are timed-entry and often sold out)
Entry ticket: Skip-the-line Sky Garden (free cancellation up to 24 hours)

If there aren’t any free slots left, you can always book a table for any of the restaurants or bars located there and enjoy the views.

Dinner at The India Restaurant

London is famous with its Indian food, so for dinner head to The India Restaurant. They offer a variety of Indian food from classic to unique dishes. I’d recommend trying the Mixed platter starter and the Butter chicken.

The India Restaurant
The India Restaurant
The India Restaurant Butter Chicken

Another great Indian restaurant is Colonel Saab. This modern Indian fine-dining restaurant boasts a stunning interior with crystal chandeliers. The Purani Dilli (samosa), Gutti Vankaya (aubergines with gravy) and dark chocolate cake were fantastic!

colonel saab restaurant
Colonel Saab
colonel saab restaurant dessert

More ideas for 4 days in London – Day 3

Jack the Ripper Walking Tour

Join this Jack the Ripper Walking Tour to discover more about 19th-century London, following the steps of the notorious killer. You’ll visit some of the real-life crime scenes around Whitechapel and hear the stories of the unfortunate victims.

The Shard

London’s highest viewpoint is at the top of the Shard (on floors 68, 69, and 72). It gives you an incredible 360° view across the whole city. The skyscraper was completed in 2012 and it is one of the tallest buildings in Europe at 309m (1,017 feet).

Make sure to book your Shard entry ticket in advance, it’s a popular attraction and tickets are timed entry.

4 Days in London itinerary – Day 4

Morning

Breakfast at Gail’s Bakery Southbank

Before catching the train to Windsor Castle, stop at Gail’s Bakery for a quick breakfast. Their ham and cheese croissants and banana pecan muffins are excellent.

Gail's Bakery Southbank
Breakfast at Gail’s Bakery Southbank

Windsor Castle

10:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Located just an hour away, Windsor Castle is a perfect half-day trip from London. It is the oldest and largest inhabited castle in Europe! William the Conqueror originally built it as a defensive castle after the Norman conquest in 1066. The first monarch to reside there was Henry I in 1110. Since then, the castle has been the family home of 40 monarchs.

Highlights of the castle include the lavish State Apartments (the ceremonial and historic rooms), the 15th-century St. George’s Chapel and Queen Mary’s Dolls House.

Start your visit with Queen Mary’s Dolls House, as from there you can continue straight to the State Apartments. If you opt to visit the State Apartments first, you’ll need to queue once more to enter the Queen Mary’s Dolls House. Also, there is an excellent audio guide, included in the admission price.

If you’re visiting on Thursdays and Saturdays, don’t miss the Changing of the Guards ceremony at around 11:00 AM.

Booking in advance is recommended (tickets are timed-entry and often sold out)
Entry ticket: Skip-the-line Windsor Castle (free cancellation up to 24 hours)

How to get to Windsor Castle
Take a train from London Waterloo Station (WAT) to Windsor & Eton Riverside Station (WNR) – about 1h journey. From there it’s about a 10min walk to the castle.

windsor castle
Windsor Castle – the best day trip from London
windsor castle state apartments
Inside the Windsor Castle

Afternoon

Explore Soho and Covent Garden

Soho and Covent Garden are the most vibrant areas of London. You’ll find plenty of pubs, theatres, restaurants, boutiques, and specialty shops. If you’re a book lover, this is the place to look for some second-hand treasures.

There are also numerous great little bakeries. So I’d suggest you take a self-guided sweet walking tour for lunch and taste some of the delicious pastries.

Arôme Bakery
Start your tour with Arôme Bakery, a great little bakery with fantastic pastries. Taste the almond croissant, the egg custard tart and the honey butter toast.

Arôme Bakery
Arôme Bakery

Buns from Home
Buns from Home offers a nice selection of delicious savoury and sweet buns. I would recommend the cinnamon bun and the chocolate hazelnut one.

Ben’s Cookies
For the best cookies in London, head to Ben’s Cookies. I found them during my first trip to the United Kingdom and since then it’s a must-eat every time I visit the country. My favourite flavours are White Chocolate Chunk, Coconut and Milk Chocolate & Peanut butter.

Buns from Home
Buns from Home
Ben's Cookies
Ben’s Cookies

Donutelier
For the best doughnuts in London, head to Donutelier. I particularly enjoyed the Roshers Gianduja (a must-try if you’re a chocolate enthusiast), as well as the Pistachio Raspberry roll.

St. JOHN Bakery Neal’s Yard
Another great place for light and fluffy doughnuts is St. JOHN Bakery Neal’s Yard. I always opt for the classics, either the vanilla or chocolate custard doughnuts!

donutelier
Donutelier
St. JOHN Bakery Neal's Yard
St. JOHN Bakery Neal’s Yard

Whipped London
For some New York-style cheesecake, visit Whipped London. Their menu boasts around 10 variations of baked cheesecake with delicious toppings. My personal favourite was the Lotus Cookie Dough Baked Cheesecake.

Crumbs & Doilies
The last stop of the tour is Crumbs & Doilies. They offer amazing cupcakes, which come in two sizes – small and normal cupcakes. I opted for the salted caramel cupcake and the red velvet cupcake, both outstanding.

Whipped London cheesecake
Whipped London
Crumbs & Doilies
Crumbs & Doilies

Take a River Thames Cruise

Take this Westminster to Greenwich River Thames Cruise and admire the views of the city’s most iconic sights. You’ll journey past historical sights such as the Houses of Parliament and Tower Bridge.

Dinner at The Mayfair Chippy

They say you haven’t experienced London if you haven’t tried fish and chips! So for your last dinner in the city, head to The Mayfair Chippy. Alongside the classic fish and chips (the best in London in my opinion), they offer an extensive fish menu featuring oysters, crab and mussels.

Another great place for fish and chips is Hobsons Fish and Chips. They serve traditional British chips and their fish is delivered daily from Billingsgate Fish Market.

The Mayfair Chippy
The Mayfair Chippy
hobsons fish and chips
Hobsons Fish and Chips

More ideas for 4 days in London – Day 4

Take a historical pub walking tour

Join this Historical Pub Walking Tour and explore the city’s most historic pubs, 16th-century taverns and a grand Victorian gin palace. You’ll try some of the finest brews and learn more about the history of the city.

Take a Harry Potter Walking Tour

If you’re a fan of the books, this Harry Potter Walking Tour is a must-do! Start your adventure by finding out which Hogwarts House you belong in. Stroll down Diagon Alley (where Harry buys his first wand) and pass the Leaky Cauldron (the wizarding inn). You’ll see places where certain scenes were filmed and places which inspired the author the most.

The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, set in Hertford House, is one of my favourite hidden gems in London. The museum displays works of art collected in the 18th and 19th centuries by five generations of a British aristocratic family. These collectors include the first four Marquesses of Hertford and Sir Richard Wallace, the illegitimate son of the 4th Marquess.

The collection boasts a remarkable selection of Old Master paintings, including works by famous artists such as Titian, Rembrandt, Rubens, and Velázquez. You’ll also find an extensive collection of armour and decorative arts.

The Wallace Collection
Add Wallace Collection, a hidden gem, to your London itinerary

Victoria and Albert Museum

Featuring a collection of over 2.3 million objects, Victoria and Albert is the world’s largest museum of decorative arts and design. Queen Victoria and Prince Albert founded it in 1852. The extensive collection spans 5,000 years of art from cultures all over the world – Europe, North America, Asia and North Africa. And the best part is that the museum is free, like every other national British museum.

The Victoria and Albert is one of my favourite museums in London. I highly recommend it if you’re interested in history and art.

Victoria and Albert Museum
Victoria and Albert Museum – the best art museum in London

Natural History Museum

Established in 1881, the Natural History Museum features a massive collection of over 80 million items. Among some of its treasures are Hans Sloane’s nautilus shell, Charles Darwin’s pigeons, William Smith’s ammonites, Dippy (a replica of a Diplodocus skeleton), and many others.

Natural History Museum
Natural History Museum

Madame Tussauds

The first museum Madame Tussauds was founded in London by Marie Tussaud in 1835. In fact, it is the best Madame Tussauds in Europe. The museum features more than 250 wax figures, divided into 8 different zones, from music and Marvel to royalty.

You can book your Madame Tussauds skip-the-line ticket here.

Mercato Mayfair

There are tens of markets in London, where you’ll find everything from food to flowers, art, antiques, and clothes. However, there is one, which has a truly unique setting. Mercato Mayfair occupies the former St. Mark’s Church! You’ll find delicious food, craft beer and gorgeous stained-glass windows.

My tip: Try the gin cocktails at Jim & Tonic (it’s awesome).

Mercato Mayfair
Mercato Mayfair – the most unique market in London

Must buy tickets in advance

London is one of the most visited cities in Europe. So, I would strongly recommend buying skip-the-line tickets in advance or getting a London Pass (free entry to over 80 attractions). Otherwise, you’ll waste hours of your time waiting in lines.

Buckingham Palace – open only for 3 months in the summer, tickets for the palace are always in high demand, so book your Buckingham Palace ticket here well in advance.

Westminster Abbey – 1.6 million visitors per year, long lines, book your skip-the-line ticket to Westminster here.

London Eye – with 3.5 million visitors per year this is the city’s most popular attraction, so book your London Eye ticket here.

Tower of London – 3 million visitors per year, lines can stretch on for hours, so book your skip-the-line ticket to the Tower here.

Sky Garden – free entrance, but as it is a very popular attraction, you need to book a timeslot to Sky Garden here in advance.

Windsor Castle – with 1.5 million visitors per year, Windsor is the most popular castle to visit near London, so book your skip-the-line ticket to Windsor here.

2-day London itinerary

If you have only 2 days in London, I strongly suggest planning ahead by selecting the attractions you wish to visit and booking skip-the-line tickets for them. During the summer, lines can stretch for hours. I’d recommend opting for 2 or max 3 attractions per day to avoid rushing through everything. Also, consider skipping Windsor Castle (unless it’s a priority for you) due to its location outside the city, which requires additional travel time.

2 days in London

  • Day 1: Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, Palace of Westminster, Big Ben, London Eye
  • Day 2: Tower Bridge, Tower of London, The British Museum (or Soho, or Afternoon tea at Ham Yard Hotel)

Start your first day with Westminster Abbey, because it opens earlier than the other attractions. Then continue with a visit to Buckingham Palace (open during the summer), Changing of the Guard ceremony and finish the day with the London Eye (it closes at 8:30 PM during the summer) and Big Ben.

During your second day, discover East London and visit the Tower of London and Tower Bridge in the morning. In the afternoon you can visit St. Paul’s Cathedral, experience Afternoon Tea, visit the British Museum, or just explore Soho. It’s up to you!

3-day London itinerary

For 3 days in London (and if you plan your itinerary well in advance) I can say that you’ll be able to see all the key sites. You can follow the 2-day itinerary above and on the third day – take a day trip to Windsor Castle (or Hampton Court Palace) and then enjoy an Afternoon tea.

3 days in London

  • Day 1: Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, Palace of Westminster, Big Ben, London Eye
  • Day 2: Tower Bridge, Tower of London, The British Museum
  • Day 3: Windsor Castle, Soho and Covent Garden, Afternoon tea at Ham Yard Hotel

Best pass for your 4-day London itinerary

The best way to save money and not buy separate tickets for each of the popular attractions is to use the London Pass. The pass gives you:

  • free access to more than 80 of the city’s top attractions
  • a digital guide with attraction information and instructions
  • 1-day hop-on, hop-off bus tour
  • Uber boat by Thames Clippers 1-day river roamer

By using the London Pass (£184 for 4 days) you’ll save a minimum of £20 (in case you follow my itinerary exactly without visiting additional attractions). And if you add more sights, you’ll save even more. Plus, you’ll skip the line everywhere!

  • Westminster Abbey – £29
  • Tower of London – £35
  • St. Paul’s Cathedral – £25
  • London Eye – £45
  • Windsor Castle (afternoon entry only, after 1 PM) – £33
  • 1-day hop-on, hop-off bus tour – £37

Buying separate tickets (total) – £204
London Pass price – £184
Total savings – £20 per person

If you consider following my itinerary, note that the pass doesn’t include the State Rooms of Buckingham Palace. You’ll have to book a separate skip-the-line ticket for this attraction. Also, you’ll need to reserve a time slot for London Eye here in advance.

Where to stay in London

If this is your first time in London or if you’re visiting for a short time (a few days), stay somewhere central. London is a big city and although it has an excellent bus and metro system, you don’t want to waste hours in traffic or public transport.

Thus, I’d recommend you choose a hotel on the north bank, between Buckingham Palace and the Tower of London. The most central area is Covent Garden, packed with restaurants, coffee shops, and shopping boutiques. Also, make sure there is a metro station near your hotel because you’ll have to use public transport daily even if you stay central.


Page8 – Best mid-range

Guest rating: 9.0 | 3,650+ reviews

Fantastic central location between Covent Garden and Trafalgar Square. Walking distance to the British Museum, Buckingham Palace, Big Ben and many great restaurants.

Why book – great location for sightseeing, near several metro stations, quiet soundproofed rooms, 24-hour front desk


The Londoner – Best luxury

Guest rating: 9.0 | 3,220+ reviews

Centrally located on Leicester Square, the hotel is just a short walk from numerous restaurants, attractions and shops. Spacious boutique rooms with comfortable beds.

Why book – perfect central location, guest-only club, rooftop lounge, great Spa and indoor pool


Wilde Aparthotels by Staycity Covent Garden – Best apartment

Guest rating: 9.0 | 3,460+ reviews

Perfectly situated in the heart of the West End theatre district and just a few minutes stroll from Trafalgar Square. The studio apartments feature a fully equipped kitchenette.

Why book – great location at walking distance of attractions and a few metro stations, modern comfy apartments

london the plough

Getting around in London

London has an excellent public transport system, which consists of metro (known as the Tube) and buses. The metro is the most efficient way to get around the city and there are metro stations at most of the popular attractions. The red double-deck buses are a great option for shorter distances. And the advantage is that you’ll get to see much more of the city this way.

If you’re in London for a few days, the best option is to get an Oyster card. It’s a contactless card, which you can buy at any metro station. You have to pay a deposit for the card and then pre-load it with pay-as-you-go credit. The Oyster card is cheaper than buying a paper single ticket or day travel card because it offers daily capping. This means that after the third journey, you’re not paying any more for additional trips.

To use your Oyster Card just tap it on the yellow card reader when you enter a metro station or get on a bus. You need to tap it again on the yellow card reader when you leave the metro station, but don’t do this when you get off a bus or tram (you will be issued a penalty fare).

Another option to get around the city is the hop-on-hop-off bus. It features 3 specially-designed routes covering over 45 stops and a river cruise from the Tower of London to Westminster.

How to get to London

By train

To get to London from continental Europe, you have to use Eurostar (a high-speed train service). You’ll arrive at the St. Pancras International Station and from there you can take the metro to get to your hotel.

By air

London has several major airports: Heathrow Airport, Luton Airport, Stansted Airport and Gatwick Airport.

Heathrow Airport
Located only 23 kilometres west of Central London, Heathrow Airport (LHR) is the main international airport serving the city. The fastest way to get to the city centre is by taking the Heathrow Express (the earlier you book tickets, the cheaper they are). You can also get to the city by taking the metro (Piccadilly or Elizabeth line).

Luton Airport
Luton Airport (LTN) is situated 45 km north of the city. To get to the centre you can:

  • take the National Express shuttle bus, which runs 7 days a week, with 4 departures an hour during the daytime (50min journey)
  • take a direct train from Luton Airport Parkway to Blackfriars, City Thameslink, Farringdon or St Pancras International (40min journey). Note that in this case you first have to take a shuttle bus from the airport to Luton Airport Parkway.

Stansted Airport
Stansted Airport (STN) is 68 km northeast of Central London. To get to Liverpool Street Station, take the Stansted Express (trains depart every 30 minutes and take about 50 minutes).

Gatwick Airport
Gatwick Airport (LGW) is located 47.5 km south of the city centre. The Gatwick Express takes 30 minutes to get to Victoria Station, departing around two times an hour.

Day trips from London

Warner Brothers Studio

If you’re a Harry Potter fan, then you’ll want to make time to visit the Warner Brothers Studio. This is where all of the Harry Potter films were filmed. You’ll have the chance to see the original sets of the movies!

How to get to Warner Brothers Studio

  • the easiest way is to take the Warner Bros. Studio Tour (more than 13,870+ excellent reviews), which will take you directly to and from the studio. The entry ticket is included in the price of the tour
  • by public transport – you have to take a train from Euston (20min journey) or from Birmingham New Street (1h journey) to Watford Junction station and then a shuttle bus to the studio (15min journey)

Hampton Court Palace

Hampton Court Palace

Hampton Court is a must-see for everyone interested in the history of the Tudors. It was originally built in the 16th century for Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, the chief minister of Henry VIII. However, when Wolsey fell out of favour with the king, Henry VIII confiscated the palace. In fact, Hampton Court became the favourite palace of the king and it remained a royal residence until 1760.

Highlights include the Tudor Kitchens, the Great Hall and the infamous Haunted Gallery.

If you’re visiting in the summer, tickets are timed-entry, so book your Hampton Court skip-the-line ticket in advance.

How to get to Hampton Court
Take a train from London Waterloo Station (WAT) to Hampton Court (HMC) – about a 40min journey. From there it’s about a 15min walk to the castle

Cotswolds

Spend a day exploring the beautiful British countryside of the Cotswolds, an area known for its charming villages with stone cottages. Visit Bibury (the prettiest village in all of England) and the unchanged medieval towns of Burford, Bourton-on-the-water and Stow-on-the-Wold.

To explore the Cotswolds on a day trip from London, you need to rent a car. So, I’d recommend you book this Cotswolds Small-Group Tour, which will show you the best of the area in just one day.

Stonehenge and Bath

This Stonehenge, Bath & West Country Day Trip is a great option to see two popular destinations in one day. Especially if you’re not planning to rent a car.

You’ll discover the prehistoric monument of Stonehenge and the Georgian city of Bath, once the most famous hot springs in Europe. An entry ticket to Stonehenge and an audio guide are included in the price of the tour.

What to see next

If you’re visiting London as a part of a European trip, you can easily combine it with Paris. The capital of France is located just 3h away by train. For more information take a look at my perfect Paris itinerary.

How many days in London

Is 4 days in London enough

If this is your first time in the city, I’d recommend spending 4 days in London. For 4 full days, you’ll have enough time to explore the most popular attractions without feeling too rushed. Also, plan your itinerary well in advance and book skip-the-line tickets.

Less than 4 days

If you don’t have 4 full days, spend less time in Soho and Covent Garden (not a whole afternoon). Also, choose between Sky Garden or London Eye, don’t do both attractions. You can skip Buckingham Palace if you’re not visiting during the summer (the only time when the palace is open for tourists) and Changing of the Guard is not a must-see for you.

3 or 4 days in London

Definitely 4 days, especially if you want to visit the famous royal residence, Windsor Castle, which is located outside the city. Also, if you’d like to experience Afternoon tea, plan a whole afternoon only for that. Keep in mind as well, that London is a massive city and you’ll spend a lot of time getting from one attraction to another.

Best time to visit London

Spring (April, May) and autumn (September, October) are the perfect time to visit the capital of the United Kingdom. The weather is warm and nice most of the time. London is one of the most visited cities in Europe, so if possible avoid the high season, which is in June, July and August.

In December the city could be really magical with all the Christmas lights and decorations.

Also, before booking your trip, check if an event like Fashion Week or a royal celebration is going on, as accommodation will be much more expensive during that time.

Faqs about visiting London

Is 4 days enough in London?

4 days in London is enough to see the most popular sights including Buckingham Palace, Westminster, Big Ben, Windsor Castle and the Tower of London. Just make sure you book skip-the-line tickets in advance or use London Pass.

How many days do I need in London?

For first-time visitors, I recommend spending 4-5 days in London. This will give you enough time to explore the city, see the most popular attractions, take a day trip to Windsor Castle and have an Afternoon tea.

What is the best month to go to London?

May and September are the best months to see London. The weather is nice and warm and there are fewer crowds.

How much do you tip in London?

Most restaurants and cafes add a service charge to the bill, upward of 12%. In this case, there is no need to tip. However, if a service charge is not added, it’s customary to tip between 10% and 15%.

Can you drink tap water in London?

London’s tap water is generally safe to drink. However, keep in mind that some hotels’ bathroom taps could be fed from a tank and therefore the water could be used only for washing.

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4 day london itinerary

About the author

Avatar Milena Yordanova
I am a full-time traveller and I have visited over 20 countries across 2 continents. Travelling has always been my passion and I love to discover new places, cultures and food. I’m an expert in travel planning and I am here to help you plan your dream vacation.

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