London in two days can be an unforgettable experience, as you will find that you can squeeze quite a bit and see a lot of London if you plan your 48 hours well, but the most likely thing is that you will leave London wanting to come back again soon!
You will be able to see all the must-sees of London in two days and even visit some of the attractions or one of London’s fantastic museums.
First time in London?
If it´s your first time in London you definitely need to see the most important attractions in the city, such as the Big Ben, the London Eye, famous Oxford Street and Regent Street, Soho, and we would also recommend that you visit one of London´s famous markets, maybe Camden Town or Portobello Road. This way you will leave London with the feeling of having seen a lot.
In order to help you plan your trip to London, we have designed two options for you to consider so that you can make the most of your two days in London.
London in two days option 1: Hop-on Hop-off bus tour and River Cruise
Why not consider the hop-on hop-off bus tour for either 24 or 48 hours? It’s the easy way to get to the most important places in London, whilst enjoying the ride and the views. You also get a free river cruise, which in my opinion is something that you definitely need to do if it’s your first time in London, and you also get a free walking tour included in the ticket, so you do actually get a lot for your money.
We suggest that you do the river cruise from Westminster to the Tower of of London, allowing you to alight at the Tower of London, being then able to explore the area and even visit the magnificent Tower of London, as this will take you about two hours. You can buy tickets for the Tower of London in advance, saving money and not having to queue at the ticket office, or you can enter for free without having to queue if you have a tourist pass that includes the entrance to the Tower of London, such as the London Pass. Then you can hop on the bus tour right here and continue your open bus tour to explore more of London.
If you’re visiting London in two days, as well as visiting the Tower of London you should also have time to visit the London Eye, St Paul’s Cathedral and Westminster Abbey.
London in two days option 2: Exploring London by Foot
If you’d rather see London in 2 days on foot, then you might find our walking routes useful. With these walking routes, you will get to see most of London’s big attractions, but remember, the duration of each walking route depends on the number of attractions you would like to visit.
Don’t forget that you will be able to follow our walking routes and itineraries with our free London travel app for android.
London in two days by foot: Day 1 in London
Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace
We start our first day in London with a route that starts at Green Park Tube Station. From here, we´ll walk across Green Park to get to Buckingham Palace, where you’ll get a chance to watch the famous Ceremony of the Changing of the Guard. This ceremony takes place at 11 am, but we recommend that you arrive at least 30 minutes in advance as it does get quite crowded. Make sure you check the dates too, as it does not take place every day during the year. We will then walk through St James’s Park, one of London’s prettiest parks.
Westminster Abbey, Houses of Parliament and London Eye
Once we have walked through St James’s Park and crossed Horse Guards Parade, we will walk along Whitehall, going past 10 Downing Street, and making our way towards Westminster Abbey. It really is a shame to visit London and not visit Westminster Abbey, so it´s definitely something that we would recommend. If you buy your tickets in advance you´ll skip the queues and it will be cheaper than buying the entry ticket at the door. It will take you around 2 hours to visit Westminster Abbey.
From here we´ll walk past the Houses of Parliament and we´ll be able to admire the Big Ben, obviously one of London´s most famous landmarks. We will cross Westminster Bridge and get the perfect photo of the Big Ben and the London Eye, which is located on the other side of the river Thames.
Once we cross Westminster Bridge we will go towards the famous London Eye, and this is the perfect opportunity to go on what is probably London’s most iconic attraction. If you know you definitely want to go on the London Eye I would highly recommend that you buy your tickets in advance, and if possible get fast-track tickets to skip the queues, as the queue for the London Eye can be quite long.After this, we will continue walking along South Bank until we get to the Royal Festival Hall. This is the perfect place to stop for a coffee or a bite if we´re feeling a bit hungry, as there are plenty of restaurants and cafes. (Inside the Royal Festival Hall there are also free public loos!) Just behind the Royal Festival Hall there is also a food market during the weekends, so that´s definitely worth a visit.
Trafalgar Square, Piccadilly Circus, Regent Street and Carnaby Street
After exploring South Bank, we will cross the Thames along the Golden Jubilee Bridge and head towards Trafalgar Square, the famous piazza with the 4 lions and Lord Nelson’s statue. This is where you will find one of London´s most famous galleries, The National Gallery, which is free to enter. From Trafalgar Square it´s only a short walk to another one of London´s famous landmarks, Piccadilly Circus.
From here we would recommend that you walk along Regent Street, where you will find Hamleys, London´s most famous and biggest toy store. We will then go past Liberty, one of London’s most famous stores and discover Carnaby Street and London´s famous Soho. We will end our route through Soho exploring the infamous Chinatown of London.
Leicester Square and Covent Garden
We will then discover Leicester Square, where you will come across another two very famous shops – M&M’s and Lego Stores. Leicester Square is where London’s Film Premieres take place, so you might bump into a famous actor if you’re lucky! From Leicester Square it’s only a short walk to Covent Garden, one of London’s most beautiful places, perfect to end your very first busy day of your trip to London. You will find lots of restaurants in this area, so it’s the perfect place to have something to eat or drink before heading back to your hotel.
This is also the area where the vast majority of theatres in London are, and what better way than ending your first day in London than by going to see one of the most famous musicals in London.
Day 1 Itinerary Map:
More information about this walking route: Itinerary 1: Buckingham Palace to Covent Garden
London in two days by foot: Day 2 in London
If you’re visiting London in two days, then we would recommend that you spend your second day in London visiting the famous Tower of London and admiring Tower Bridge as well as taking a pleasant walk along the south bank of the Thames, not forgetting to see or even visit St Paul’s Cathedral.
Monument and North Bank of the river
Our route starts at Monument’s Tube Station, where we will start walking towards London Bridge. You will see The Monument to the Great Fire of London on your left-hand side, which has a viewing platform reached by a narrow winding staircase of 311 steps. As you continue walking you will reach London Bridge, and you are then able to walk along the South Bank of the river Thames. From here you will get some awesome views of Tower Bridge and The Shard, London’s tallest building.
Tower of London and Tower Bridge
Walking along the North Bank of the river Thames you will reach a point where you can no longer continue along the Bank of the river, and you just need to follow the road until you see one of London’s most important landmarks: The Tower of London. We highly recommend that you visit the Tower of London, as no one should visit London and miss the opportunity to see the Crown Jewels. It will take you about 2 hours to visit the Tower of London and it’s much better if you buy the tickets in advance or you can enter for free if you have a if you have a tourist pass that includes entry to the Tower of London, such as the London Pass. Inside the Tower of London there is a wonderful cafe/restaurant where we’d recommend you tried an authentic British Pie and Mash or stop for tea and cake.
Our next stop will be Tower Bridge, and not only do you get to see it, but we will cross Tower Bridge on foot. Before we go up the steps to get to Tower Bridge, though, I would recommend that you have a wander around St Katharine’s Dock, as it’s one of London’s best-kept secrets. There are numerous restaurants in this area, so it’s the ideal place if you are looking to have lunch somewhere. In St Katharine’s Dock is where we can find The Dicken’s Inn, a unique pub housed in a beautiful 18th-century warehouse serving pub food as well as fine grill and pizzeria.
We continue to walk across Tower Bridge, admiring its beauty. Tower Bridge Exhibition has a viewing platform that you can visit, and you can also buy the tickets in advance or enter for free if you have a London Pass.
Once we cross Tower Bridge, we will be able to walk along the South Bank of the river Thames, a very enjoyable walk that will allow you to get a proper feeling of what it means to visit London. You will first walk past London’s City Hall (Greater London Authority’s headquarters) and the HMS Belfast, Europe’s only surviving second world war cruiser, a historic warship and museum where you will get the opportunity to explore what life was like at war at sea. You can buy tickets in advance to visit HMS Belfast or enter for free if you have a London Pass.
As we continue walking along the South Bank, we will get to Hay’s Galleria, one of my favourite places in London. Here you will find a selection of restaurants and cafes as well as a few shops and stalls. Our next stop will be Borough Market, one of the most spectacular markets in London. Make sure to visit during market opening days (Wednesday – Saturday) as this area is not the same if the market is closed.
Continue walking along the South Bank, passing Shakespeare’s Globe, and Butler’s Wharf until you reach the Tate Modern and the Millenium Bridge, with a perfect view of St Paul’s Cathedral on the other side of the river. You can then cross the Millenium Bridge to go and see St Paul’s Cathedral or continue walking along the South Bank, as you can walk to the London Eye, something that I would highly recommend if you have time.
Day 2 Itinerary Map:
Best Travel Options when visiting London in two days
If you are visiting London in two days, the best way to get around the city is by using an oyster card, a visitor oyster card or a contactless debit or credit card. This is the cheapest way to get around London in two days, and you can use any of those cards to go on public buses, tube, dockland light rail trains or trains within London’s Travel Zones.