No matter the time of the year, bustling London is always a good idea. Explore the capital city at your own pace and make the most of the best sights with our 3-day itinerary. London welcomes more than 30 million visitors every year, offering a great range of things to do, from museums and historical sites to beautiful parks and world-class theatre.
If you are visiting London but only have a few days to spare, our itinerary will include some of the city’s top attractions, most historical locations and must-visit places.
DAY 1 IN LONDON
Changing of the Guard – Buckingham Palace
Day one, wake up early and head down to Petrichor Restaurant for breakfast at The Cavendish London hotel. Located between Green Park and Piccadilly Circus. To start the day, head over to Buckingham Palace, a 13 minute from the hotel. Take a shortcut through St James’s Park to catch a fresh breath of air.
The Changing of the Guard ceremony officially begins at 11am or 10am on Sundays. The ceremony takes place in three different locations (Buckingham Palace, St James’s Palace and the Wellington Barracks). To ensure you get a good spot to see the ceremony, as it can be tricky in the summer months, head there early to get the best view.
The ceremony lasts 1 hour and Is completely free to watch. In case you miss the Changing of the Guard, there is always a chance to snap a photo of the guards standing outside the entrance of St. James’s Palace.
Westminster Abbey is London’s most famous and oldest religious building. If you are planning to visit Westminster Abbey, please note that the visit might take approximately 2 hours to explore. The 700-year-old church in the heart of London is where hundreds of British monarchs were crowned, married and buried, including George VI, Princess Diana and Prince William and Kate Middleton. The impressive architecture is considered one of the best in the world due to its complex towers and style, boasting both medieval and Gothic designs. You will also be able to appreciate The Coronation Chair where monarchs were crowned, including the current Queen Elizabeth II.
Big Ben and Westminster
One small fact, Big Ben is the name of the bell inside Elizabeth Tower, not the tower itself, it is one of London’s most iconic landmarks and must-see London attractions. A quick snap of Big Ben can be done from various angles around the area. However, at the moment Big Ben is being renovated and the works are expected to be completed by 2021. During the refurbishment, some parts of the clock might be covered to carry out the repair, although one face of the clock should be visible. Alongside Big Ben are the Houses of Parliament, officially called the Palace of Westminster.
Coca-Cola London Eye
Cross over the Westminster Bridge to see the tallest observation wheel in Europe, the London Eye has some nice views over London and the River Thames. This experience is best done when the weather is good, otherwise, the weather is bad it will spoil the views. The wheel takes approximately 30 minutes to go around once as it moves very slowly, so you will have plenty of time to take as many pictures as you like, admire the London scenery and maybe even have a glass of champagne, this can be added to your experience. It’s best to purchase tickets in advance to avoid waiting in line and to get a better deal.
DAY 2 IN LONDON
St Paul’s Cathedral
Start your second day by heading to St. Paul’s Cathedral, located close to St. Paul’s underground station. Designed by Christopher Wren it is the second-largest cathedral in the world after St Peter’s Basilica in Rome. The inside of the church has beautiful ceilings decorated with frescos and the cathedrals iconic dome has unrivalled views of London’s skyline from their outdoor viewing platform. The dome itself has three circular galleries; the whispering gallery can be accessed by climbing up 257 steps, and a further 271 steps to reach the Golden gallery 280ft.
Is known as one of the oldest markets in the UK. The market is ideally located just a stone’s throw from the Shard and a few minutes from London Bridge. Borough Market is a busy place with high-quality fresh produce, free samples and friendly traders. For locals, this is the place to do their weekly grocery shopping, for tourists it’s a great place to discover local British and international food and drink. This is the perfect foodies dream market!
Located near the Tower of London, Tower Bridge was built to connect the two sides of the river Thames as London expanded. During your visit to the Tower Bridge, you will get to see how the bridge elevation system worked from 1894 to 1976 with the help of a vapour machine that has now been replaced by an electrical system. Explore the permanent exhibition featuring photographs of the construction of the bridge and the story of Jack Ginger Bateman, the diver that risked everything to dig the foundations of the 70,000-ton bridge to the bottom of the Thames.
DAY 3 IN LONDON
Stroll along Regent & Oxford Street
It’s the last day of your trip and a quick shopping trip will not do any harm. You can either walk towards Regent Street or take a quick underground ride to Oxford Circus. Once there walk down to Regent Street to see some iconic shops along the way, such as Burberry, Tommy Hilfiger, Polo Ralph Lauren and plenty of others. For parents looking to buy their little ones a toy, head over to Hamley’s Toy shop, we can’t promise you will walk out with only one bag.
Afternoon Tea Cavendish London
There is nothing more traditional in London than afternoon tea, with more than 150 years since the seventh Duchess of Bedford began serving a meal between lunch and dinner. The Cavendish London is right in the heart of Mayfair for the perfect afternoon break. Book a table in Petrichor Restaurant and choose from our traditional afternoon tea or our popular bottomless champagne option. Start the afternoon with a selection of Newby teas, selection of finger sandwiches, baked scones with clotted cream and preserves and a variety of pastries and cakes from only £29 per person. The afternoon menu changes seasonally.
The National Gallery, founded in 1824, is situated in Trafalgar Square. The gallery is filled with a superb collection of fine art of over 2,300 paintings, including work from some well-known artists; Van Gogh, Leonardo da Vinci, Vermeer and Velazquez. Enjoy free entrance to the National Gallery, plus why not combine a trip to the National Portrait Gallery located next door, a must for all art lovers.
How to get to The Cavendish London
The Cavendish London is in the heart of Mayfair, 5 minutes’ walk from Green Park and 7 minutes from Piccadilly Circus underground station. The hotel is easily accessible from both Heathrow and Gatwick airport in under 90 minutes or just 15 minutes away if arriving by Eurostar from St Pancras. Please be advised that The Cavendish London, similar to all 4-star hotels in St James’ London, is within the Congestion Zone and an additional charge applies if driving. If you would like to receive further information or need a taxi booked, contact our concierge team and they will be happy to organise that for you firstname.lastname@example.org
How to get around London
London can be explored by foot or public transport; cycling and taxis are an option too. When visiting London there are two options for travel; to purchase individual tickets or to get an Oyster card that will allow you to travel on almost every mode of transport and at a cheaper price. If you wish to pick up your oyster card, please visit the TfL website for more information or visit a local underground station.
If you are looking to rent a car, something we do not recommend unless you are planning to visit the outskirts of the city, parking in central London can be a challenge, and in some areas, you will have to pay an additional fee called the Congestion Charge. We would advise you to park your car at the hotel and explore the city on foot or by public transport.
London is filled with endless attractions, culture, shows, history and more, there is always something to do, you will never get bored.