London is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. But where should you choose to spend your time if you only have four days in this huge city? I’ve laid out some options for you below:
Day One: Arrive in London.
Buy an Oyster card for the Underground at the airport, or any of the train stations. Take the train to your hotel to get a feel for the amazing train system. Set up a day trip to Stonehenge and Bath at a tourist office or through your hotel for a later date during your stay. Then head to the Westminster neighborhood to check out some of London’s most iconic sights – Westminster Cathedral, Westminster Abbey, Trafalgar Square, and of course, Big Ben, just to name a few.
If you get to Buckingham Palace early enough, you can watch the Changing the Guard. It’s usually at 11:00am, but you’ll want to check out the times here. Also, it’s best to show up early to get a good spot for viewing.
Make sure to purchase tickets to any one of the many theatre plays showing during your stay. It’s a great way to spend an evening!
Feast on traditional fish & chips and a pint at a local pub before taking in a walking tour. You can take your pick of themes – Jack the Ripper, ghost tours, pub crawls, Harry Potter, the Beatles…the list goes on.
Day Two: London
Discover London and its history more in-depth with a Hop on Hop off bus tour. There are several companies offering open-top, double decker bus tours, so it’s just a matter of choosing one you like. Most will hit the major sights, but might have slight variations in routes.
Hop off the bus to explore any of the attractions that catch your fancy along the routes. In our case, we chose to stop at the Tower of London.
You can see the glittering crown jewels and hear grim stories of beheadings with a Yeoman Warder (or Beefeater) as your guide.
While you’re in the area, cross the river to see the Shard close up. If you’re really curious to see the view from the top, it’s best to book your tickets early. Advance tickets for adults are £25.95, but if you wait to purchase them on the day of your visit, the price jumps to £30.95.
Tour Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. If you’re a fan of the Bard, buy tickets to a play. Tickets in the yard (standing) are £5; lower/middle/upper galleries (seated) range from £20 – £45.
Take the London Eye for a spin and enjoy the lovely view. It’s a 30-minute rotation, but the line-ups can be just as long, if not longer than the ride itself!
Day Three: London – Stonehenge and Bath
Take a full-day trip to Stonehenge and Bath. There is often an extra side stop; in our case, a short visit to Winchester Cathedral.
Read about our experience at Stonehenge here: Stonehenge
Read about our experience in Bath here: Bath
Day Four: London
Educate yourself at the British Museum. For some museum-lovers, this could easily be a full-day visit. Or even a multiple-day visit. Luckily, it’s free!
We especially loved the Egyptian exhibits….but after a while, got “mummied-out.” If you can only handle a few hours in a museum, that’s ok – that just gives you more time for other attractions!
Why not pose with your favourite celebrities at Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum? Yes, it’s pretty cheesy. But it’s also surprisingly fun.
Note that you can also purchase combination tickets for the wax museum, London Eye, Sea Life Aquarium, etc. A few pounds saved here and there eventually add up.
If shiny wax figures aren’t your thing, go for something more squee-worthy at the historic London Zoo.
End your day with a pint and a nice Indian curry, and start planning the next adventure!