If you’re planning on spending 3 days in London with kids you need a three-day itinerary that will enable you to get the most out of London as a family. There are so many places to visit in London, but also so many places to take the kids, that narrowing the options to plan the perfect trip to London as a family may not be easy!
And that is why we have designed this three-day itinerary – being parents ourselves, we know what it’s all about! We understand that your itinerary will also depend on the age of your kids, especially when it’s time to choose which London attractions you want to visit the most. So, whilst we have designed this guide for you to visit London with kids, we have also put together a list of the 10 most famous attractions to visit in London with kids as well as a list of 30 things to do in London with kids – so that you can easily adapt the itinerary to your family needs.
Three days in London with Kids
If this is your first time visiting London with children, we would recommend visiting some key places such as Hamleys, the most famous toy store in London, riding on a double-decker bus and going on the London Eye. But we would also recommend that you include a trip to at least one of London’s child-friendly museums – such as the Natural History Museum, the Science Museum or the London Transport Museum.
For older kids, the HMS Belfast, the Churchill War Rooms or the Imperial War Museum are firm favourites for a day out. Depending on the time of year, there will also be different activities to do in London. In the summer, the south bank (from London Eye to Tower Bridge) is a good option for children, as it is a traffic-free zone and there is so much to see and do. If you’re planning on spending Christmas in London you simply must visit Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park, a magical Christmas fair with a Christmas market where the little ones will have a great time.
As a suggestion, if you are visiting attractions in London that need tickets, we would recommend buying them in advance online. Online tickets are usually cheaper than tickets bought at the ticket office and you will also skip the queues, something that we value very highly when going anywhere with kids!
Three-day itinerary in London with Kids
Here is our three-day itinerary in London with kids which will help you make the most of your time in London, but if you’d like to consider a slightly different itinerary check out our Itinerary for three days in London.
Day 1: First day in London with children
For the first day of your trip to London, we would recommend the sightseeing bus tour, but as we understand this is not everyone’s cup of tea, we have designed two different itineraries for this first day in London – one that includes the sightseeing bus tour and one that doesn’t. Just choose the one that you fancy the most!
Option 1: Sightseeing bus tour + Thames river cruise + London Eye: If it’s the first time you are visiting London we would highly recommend the sightseeing bus tour, as it’s such a great way to see London. When you buy tickets for the sightseeing bus tour in London you get a free river cruise on the Thames, which is absolutely fantastic in our opinion. Kids will be incredibly excited when you tell them they’re about to go on an open-top bus and then a boat! This also saves you from having to rely on public transport to see all the famous London sights. It’s an ideal way to explore the city in our opinion, for both children and adults alike.
We would suggest starting the day by taking the bus from the nearest stop to your hotel and heading towards the Tower of London (stop 18). Get off at the Tower of London and take a walk around that area. You can then visit the Tower of London (tell the kids all about the Tower of London!) which will probably take you a couple of hours. Once you have visited the Tower of London you can hop on the Thames river cruise to Westminster, where you will see the London Eye and the Big Ben. From here you can hop back on the sightseeing bus. The London Eye is open until late, so it’s worth ending the day here, and then heading to one of the many nearby restaurants.
2: Without the sightseeing bus tour: If you would prefer not to go on the sightseeing bus tour, then we would recommend taking public transport to the Tower of London. Start your day by visiting the Tower of London, then cross Tower Bridge on foot, and walk along with the South Bank towards the London Eye. If you have older children with you a visit to the HMS Belfast, a warship that has been converted into a museum, is a must. See our London Itinerary>Tower of London and South Bank for more detailed information on this walking route of London.
Included attractions Day 1:
- Sightseeing bus tour and River Cruise: Information and Tickets
- Tower of London: Information and Tickets
- HMS Belfast: Tickets
- London Eye: Information and Tickets
Day 2: Second day in London with children
If you are planning on taking the kids to the Harry Potter Studios in London then it’s probably a good idea to do this on your second day. We would recommend going there first thing in the morning, as you might have some time to explore a little more of London when you return.
The other option is to start your second day by making your way to one of London’s amazing museums. As we’ve mentioned before, there are a few museums that are worth visiting in London with kids, but our favourite ones are the Natural History Museum and the Science Museum. They are both extremely child friendly. The dinosaurs in the Natural History Museum are always a big hit, and the interactive activities of the Science Museum will keep the kids entertained for hours! The only thing to have in mind when visiting these museums is that you could easily spend a whole day in each one of them! So, we would suggest picking just one of them to visit – or maybe seeing a small part of both. As both museums are located in South Kensington, one next to each other, t is possible to see them both on the same day. Both museums are free entry and normally close at 6 pm.
If you’re not too worn out (or have decided to visit just one of the museums), you could go elsewhere afterwards. South Kensington is very close to Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens, so during the summer months, you could take the kids to explore Hyde Park and take them to the Diana Memorial playground. If you are visiting London during the Christmas Holidays, then this would be a good day to visit Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park.
In the evening, why not take the whole family to see one of London’s most famous musicals!. Two of the best family musicals in London are The Lion King and Wicked, and there are performances at 2.30 pm and at 7.30 pm practically every day of the way.
Day 3: Third day in London with children
We start our third day in London with kids taking a stroll through Covent Garden, one of London’s most beautiful and magical squares. In Covent Garden you will also find the London Transport Museum, a wonderful museum to visit with children. From Covent Garden, you can easily walk to Piccadilly Circus passing through Leicester Square. The Rainforest Café is located in Piccadilly Circus, a great restaurant to take the kids to an unforgettable experience!
From here you can make your way to Hamleys on Regent Street, London’s famous 6-storey toy store (the kids will deserve a treat after all), explore Carnaby Street and then walk to Green Park, Trafalgar Square, St James’s Park and Buckingham Palace.
Tips for spending more than three days in London with kids
Suppose you plan to spend more than 3 days in London with your children. In that case, you should look into visiting attractions that children will love, such as Shrek’s Adventure, Legoland, Hampton Court Palace – or even visit another nearby city like Stratford Upon Avon (Shakespeare’s birthplace.)
Top tips for travelling to London with Children
» Transport from the airport to the city centre: The journey from the airport to the city centre can be a little tiresome as depending on the airport you may need to get the train and then the tube. If you have suitcases and children, this trip can easily become difficult. The best option is to take a taxi, which will take you straight to the door of your hotel. More information: Minicab in London.
» London Public Transport with kids: You will probably need to use London’s public transport system whilst visiting London. Kids under 10 travel for free within London travel zones. Children from the age of 11 need a ticket to go on London’s public transport. More information: Travelling in London with kids.
» Accommodation in London with children: If you are visiting London with children, it is advisable to book a hotel that is fairly central. This means you can avoid taking long journeys by tube or by bus from the hotel to the city centre. More information: Recommended hotels in London.