places to see during london trip
Travel

The Ultimate 4-day Itinerary for Exploring London

By

Are you planning a trip to the English capital and don’t know where to start? Read our guide to find the places you can visit during your short London trip.

Red buses, black cabs, fog, tea and rain, historical monuments, royalty, giant museums, and panoramic views – thousands of ideas come to mind when coming up with a list of what to see in London in 4 days.

Many people have been to London a few times, but the truth is that even years of visiting or living there will not make you discover entirely such a vast city.

Since the start of 2021, travel advisories have changed. A new age of tourism is rushing in as people come to grips with Covid 19 and the devastation it caused.

Day 1

We start the day very early with caffeine in our blood!

This first day in London has several activities. Although we travel slow and take our time to see the places, we never hurt a little caffeine to have energy for the rest of the day (mate!).

Indeed, being your first day in London, you are going to be excited enough to go out and explore.

If you prefer to have a drink in the street, we suggest going to a chain of coffee shops. Although it will not be the best breakfast you have, there are delicious options, and the best of all is that they have super affordable prices (something difficult to find in the English capital).

Our favourites in London are Pret A Manger (lots of healthy food options with natural ingredients),  Caffé Nero, and Costa Coffee (great coffee and breakfast specials).

Enter Westminster Abbey

A resurrection of British history, the lofty Westminster Abbey is one of the most amazing chapels in Europe.

The site of crowning ceremonies, celebrations, and regal weddings, the Abbey houses the remaining human parts of over 30 rulers, just as the absolute most well-known essayists and individuals.

The structure is over 700 years of age, during which it has gone through a few fixes and even bombings during World War II.

Today it is wholly reestablished and is one of the top London attractions that we believe merits visiting.

The ticket includes an audio guide that explains each section, such as the Throne of Saint Edward, the Poets’ Corner, and the Lady Chapel.

London Eye

Crossing Westminster Bridge, you will reach the London Eye, from where you get the best views of London. Before going up, you can take the opportunity to gobble something in the surroundings. You will have time to dine quietly at night. 

On the afternoon of the first day, you visit some of the most emblematic points of Westminster.

Take a picture at Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament

After a quick lunch, walk a few steps to get your photo taken with what is probably London’s most famous skyline – the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben.

What the Palace of Westminster houses inside is the seat of Parliament. The clock tower is called the Elizabeth Tower (in honour of Queen Elizabeth II) and carries inside the colossal bell known as Big Ben.

The Palace contains more than a thousand rooms, including meeting rooms, libraries, corridors, dining rooms, bars, and gymnasiums.

Can you visit Big Ben?

No one was able to visit inside before 2021. Several restoration activities were being carried out to the tower, the bell, and the clock system.

If you are interested, something that you can visit is the Houses of Parliament.

Pass through Trafalgar square

After taking photos or walking around Parliament, you can head back to the Parliament Square side and turn north.

You will see a couple of blocks away as the most famous square and perhaps most loved by Londoners, Trafalgar Square.

The scene of shows, protests and festivities (if you are in December, stop by to see the giant Christmas tree), Trafalgar Square is likewise home to the monumental

In Trafalgar Square, the National Gallery likewise contains a highly durable assortment of 2,500 pictorial works by specialists like Van Gogh, Rembrandt, Miguel Ángel, and Velázquez.

In the same way as other historical centres in London, affirmation is free, so if you are a fanatic of painting, we suggest that you visit it.

If you prefer to visit the National Gallery with a specialist, we suggest booking a guided tour. Click here to see prices and more information.

Go shopping in Covent Garden and stroll through Soho

In a few more blocks, you will reach the Covent Garden area, where street artists, artisans, and vendors come together to accomplish one of the most lively environments in the capital.

Every one of the roads in this space is beautiful. However, Seven Dials and Neal’s Yard (a colourful alley worthy of Instagram) are unique.

Yet, the feature is the Covent Garden Market itself, otherwise called Apple Market. Many merchants are here from 10:00 to 18:00 to offer the most vied for items.

Although it is usually one of the busiest in the city (especially on weekends), we recommend not missing a walk through this London neighbourhood.

After exploring here, walk a few blocks northeast and into Soho. This area is another of the most visited and lively places of the city.

Some of the most prominent streets in this neighbourhood are Carnaby, Oxford, and Regent Street. Each one has its style and specialised business. In addition, at Christmas time they are some of the best decorated in the city.

Day 2

In the morning, we sneak into the mysterious Tower of London.

Enter the Tower of London

the Tower of London attracts millions of visitors a year. And with good reason: the walls of this enormous fortress hide years of secrets, traditions, torture, death, and history.

  • During your visit, you will be able to see some of the main attractions of the Tower:
  • The Crown Jewels Collection, with thousands of gems and pieces still in use today.
  • The guards beefeaters, guardians of the Tower, and officiate as guides that wear their typical costumes of the Tudor era.
  • The ravens, the most charismatic guests of the Tower, receive their special treatment from the Ravenmaster (Master of Ravens).
  • The Medieval Palace, a recreation of what the Tower’s apartments looked like when it functioned as a royal residence.
  • In the middle of the central courtyard, the White Tower is the oldest structure and houses a royal armour collection.
  • The Bloody Tower
  • The Royal Chapel of San Pedro and Víncula. 

The visit to the Tower has many interesting points, so we recommend that you allocate at least 2 or 3 hours for this stop (also try to go on the days that it opens earlier and not on a Sunday or Monday).

There are a bunch of travel apps out there that make booking trips and tickets extremely convenient.

Feel like an executive in the City of London

Continuing east, you will enter the modern City of London.

This part is the city’s business district, where some of the most important companies and financial institutions have offices. If you’re here on a weekday, you’ll see busy executives walking by in their suits and briefcases.

Some of our favourite buildings in this area are the Bank of England, the Fenchurch Tower at 20 Fernchurn Street and the particular “ Gherkin ” at 30 St Mary Ax.

In this neighbourhood, you can also see the Monument to the Great Fire of London, which devastated the city in 1666.

Cross the Tower Bridge

Another of the symbolic points of London, the towers of Tower Bridge, define the identity of the city like few others.

This bridge has a draw system that allows ships to pass through the Thames and upper walkways part of the official route.

While we recommend stopping by to see Tower Bridge on a visit to London, we do not believe that a visit to the catwalk and the engine rooms is essential.

If you want to do it, we recommend that you book your ticket in advance on the official website or buy the London Pass, which has access included.

Otherwise, cross the bridge in the usual way through the pedestrian crossing that borders the street. You can slow down to take photos of the Thames and the high bridge towers that rise above your head.

Go shopping at Oxford and Regent Street

Since you are likely to finish your tea early, the rest of the evening is free to walk through picturesque Oxford and Regent Street until you return to your hotel.

These streets are not only some of the busiest, famous and busiest in London, but they are also where many of the world’s leading brands have their stores.

Here, you will find clothing and accessories stores with reasonable prices, so if you plan to do some shopping on your visit to London, this is the place to do it.

In addition, the good thing is that the businesses in this area are usually open later than the typical hours, so you will be able to walk until 9 or 10 pm quietly.

Take photos of St Paul from the Millennium Bridge

After choosing one of these alternatives on the South Bank, we suggest you cross again to the city’s north.

If you leave the Tate Modern, you will be right in front of the Millenium Bridge, one of the pedestrian bridges that cross the Thames (and personally, one of the ones we like the most).

Go to the Tottenham Court Road stop and take the Central tube to the St Paul’s stop.

As you leave the station, you are likely to be surprised by the vast sky-blue dome of the Cathedral.

Somewhat overshadowed in London by Westminster Abbey, St. Paul’s Cathedral is the second largest in the world, behind only St. Peter’s in the Vatican.

To skip the lines and save on your ticket, we suggest buying your ticket in advance online.

Brick Lane

For quite a long time, Brick Lane has been known as a space with a mixed blend of various outsider networks. Today, however, Brick Lane is maybe most famous for weaving together the absolute most assorted imaginative and social get a kick out of London, going from roadcraft, vintage clothing markets and surprisingly probably the best curry houses in London.

Since 1990s, Brick Lane has turned into a central hub for specialists, hipsters, bohemians and elitists because of its innumerable bits of road artistry. Likewise, it’s home to a portion of London’s most popular dance club, free shops, and vintage style showcases that have drawn in the two local people just as travellers from everywhere in the world.

Day 3

Memories of the Imperial War Museum

Imperial War Museum’s purpose is to promote the analysis of the war conflicts that have occurred throughout history, giving great importance to the effects of the war on the civilian population.

The War Museum in London is one of the best in the world. The exhibits offer the possibility to see up close the casing of an atomic bomb, a human torpedo, tanks or military aircraft, and show the personal experiences of the military personnel who participated in the wars and those of the citizens who suffered the consequences.

The Archbishop of Canterbury’s residence is Lambeth Palace and has been his residence since 1200. In the Lambeth district, on the south bank of the River Thames, a short distance upstream from the Palace of Westminster, it is situated on the opposite shore.

Lambeth Palace

Lambeth Palace is one of the few remaining medieval buildings in London, which its inhabitants and visitors initially used to arrive by river barges. Visitors can take advantage of a guided tour of the crypt, specific rooms, the chapel and the library. Although it’s not open for public access, you can arrange a tour through its reservations department.

The O2 Arena

The O2 Arena, inaugurated in 2007, is one of the most well-known sports complexes in the British capital. It hosts the most significant musical events and, above all, the most popular sporting events worldwide.

Within the O2 Arena are several bars and restaurants, a cinema, a bowling alley, and a space reserved for organising exhibitions of all kinds. If you go to an event at the O2 Arena, you are sure to have a good time.

Match at the O2 Arena

This part is the stadium itself, which comes to mind when we imagine an area hosting shows, concerts and sporting events.

This place is where you can attend shows, sporting events and concerts by the most famous singers of the moment.

Shakespeare’s Globe

Shakespeare’s Globe Theater is a replica of a theatre built in 1599, where Shakespeare performed his most famous plays. Located less than 200 meters from the original venue, they built Shakespeare’s Globe Theater from different sources of information, which managed to create a building that is practically identical to the original.

Shakespeare’s Globe Theater is a replica of a theatre built in 1599, where Shakespeare performed his most famous plays. Located less than 200 meters from the original venue, they built Shakespeare’s Globe Theater from different sources of information, which managed to create a building that is practically identical to the original.

Take panoramic photos from The Shard

After lunch, head to The Shard, this iconic building that has dominated London’s sights since 2012.

While the London Eye is usually the choice of many for panoramic views of London, the view from the top of The Shard, almost 300 meters high, makes us choose it for this itinerary.

As almost always, it is better to buy the ticket in advance to save. In addition, advance entry allows flexible access, which means you can access it at any time of the day (while it is open).

Bring the camera with battery and available memory!

Once you get down the 72 floors of The Shard (by elevator, take it easy), we recommend heading east to the next point and taking Park Street to Bankside (the walkway that runs along the Thames).

There you will be able to pass by the Shakespeare Globe Theater, a replica of the Elizabethan theatre where the great English playwright brought many of his plays to life.

Unfortunately, the places’ tours are only English, so it is not a recommended stop for us.

Day 4

Stroll through Hyde Park

To do like Londoners (those who have money and live in this neighbourhood, at least), start your day with a walk through Hyde Park.

This monumental park of more than 140 hectares is the primary lung of the capital and is as symbolic as Central Park for New York.

You are likely to come across several runners, West London ladies walking their classy dogs and as many tourists as you on your walk.

 If you can, make a stop at Speaker’s Corner – this notable stop has filled in as an image of free discourse in London for quite a long time.

Indeed, even today, many individuals continue to come to express their genuine thoughts. Also, who needs to pay attention to them!

If you want to know more about Speaker’s Corner, what to see in Hyde Park and why we chose it for this itinerary, click here to read our article “Our ten favourites in London”.

Watch the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace

Think of London: probably somewhere in that thought are these little boys dressed in red and black and furry hats (probably on top of a double-decker bus or behind a telephone box).

Well, you will not find them there but at the door of Buckingham Palace, nothing less than guarding the royal residence of the English monarchy.

During the changing of the guard, new soldiers replace the “batch” of soldiers already at their posts. The complete change takes about 45 minutes, although we don’t think it’s worth spending that much time on it.

The issue is that you will only be able to see part of the ride by standing at a single point, and there is no point waiting to see the turn (which will be the same).

It is very symbolic and typical of the city, so we believe it is good to take a while to see it.

Keep in mind to check the days that the changing of the guard takes place: generally, it is Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday at 11.00 am. In summer it is usually every day.

However, bad weather can cancel it with little or no advance notice. We recommend you look at the calendar on the official website before going to make sure.

Also, consider that this is one of the most touristy things to do in London, so if you can arrive early to ensure a good place, all the better. 

A hidden jewel: Kyoto Gardens

If you’re looking to find undiscovered spots in London, this Japanese-style landscape is located in Holland Park and has things like an open-air theatre, sports and dining facilities. You might even spot a peacock in there!

Have lunch in Kensington Gardens and visit the Palace

To continue with the plan to save on this fourth day in London, we recommend that you buy or make a sandwich or a salad before coming here so that you do not have to sit in one of the expensive cafes in the vicinity.

The Kensington Gardens are probably the highest point in highborn London, but the good thing is that you can visit for free.

You will forget about the noise of the city. Within the gardens, you will be able to find, among other things:

  • the Italian Gardens:  a section with fountains to the north of the park,
  • the Serpentine Gallery:  a small art gallery,
  • a playground for children,
  • the Albert Memorial:  a set of sculptures commemorating Prince Albert, husband of Queen Victoria.

 In addition, there is also Kensington Palace, the residence of the monarchy for more than 300 years.

While still serving as the London residence of some of the current monarchs, the Palace is partly open to the public.

With your ticket, you can access the former royal rooms as they were in the 18th century, an exhibition focused on the childhood of Queen Victoria and a collection of Lady Di’s wardrobe.

Windsor Castle

The main attraction is the castle, Windsor Castle. The castle was built in 1080 by King William the Conqueror.

It was part of a circular set of fortifications that surrounded London, and over the centuries, it has undergone numerous renovations and transformations 

The Queen spends a decent amount of time in this castle. It is also used for state ceremonies and to receive foreign rulers and monarchs

Conclusion

There are so many unique places to see in London that you might be overwhelmed. That is why we have tried to compile a list of the most worthy places and what activities you can do. For most areas, you will need to commute by public transport. Trains, buses, and coaches built for both inner and inter-city travel provide an extensive transportation network

You may also like

Post A Comment

Your email address will not be published.