London is a huge city with so much to see and do, so congratulations on choosing a good amount of time to spend in the city to enjoy its top attractions and neighborhoods.
In our opinion, you can never stay too long in London! I lived there for over two years and have visited multiple times, and keep finding new things to explore and love.
I’ve used my experiences to craft the perfect, fun and interesting 7 day London itinerary to show you the best way to spend a week in the city.
Leave the hard stuff to our expert hands, and instead spend more time (and money) on enjoying this dream London vacation.
This itinerary can also be cut down to 5 days, if you are short on time, or want to spend more time exploring other parts of England.
- How to use this 7 Day London Itinerary
- Day 1: Royalty, Politics, London Eye & The West End
- Day 2: Ancient Meets Modern London
- Day 3: Artistic Adventures from Camden to Kings Cross
- Day 4: Harry Potter Warner Bros Studio Tour
- Day 5: The Royal High Life in Kensington
- Day 6: Exploring Time in Greenwich Village
- Day 7: Arts & Garden Views in Shoreditch
- Have longer than 7 Days in London?
- Where to Stay in London
- Getting Around London
- Itinerary London Map for each day
- Final Thoughts on your 7 Day Trip to London
Planning your trip to London last-minute?
Don’t forget to plan ahead when visiting London! Here are some of the top tours, hotels, and useful items you may need before your trip!
Top Experiences and Tours in London
- River Thames Cruise (a great way to see the city skyline!)
- The Tower of London Entry Ticket w/ Crown Jewels Exhibit (an unmissable attraction in London!)
- Harry Potter Warner Bros Studio Tour (to keep the kids happy!)
- London Eye Entry Ticket (to avoid long queues)
Top Accommodation and Hotels in London
How to use this 7 Day London Itinerary
We like to spend more time on London experiences, rather than on the London Tube or waiting in lines. Unless we’re walking from A to B, as that’s an invaluable opportunity to connect to London’s pulse.
It’s essential that you plan properly so the daily attractions are close to each other, reducing your time in transit. Our itinerary is planned that way.
I’ll share approximate timings based upon our experience. And include recommended places to eat, (important) coffee spots, and hidden gems. If these don’t appeal to your tastebuds, swap them out with something that does, just make sure to choose something close to where you’ll be.
Good news, in London there’s a pub and a pastry shop on every corner, so you can easily find somewhere to eat between exploring.
We also ate breakfast at our hotel each morning as it was provided with our room, which we highly recommend you look for when choosing accommodation.
Not only are English breakfast buffets at your hotel way better than any American one you’ve experienced (sorry, yanks!) but they keep you full until the late afternoon. So, enjoy and fill up! If it’s not included, I recommend you eat at a local restaurant to your hotel instead, or just grab and go from a bakery.
For this London itinerary for 7 days, we have included very best of London (from a tourist perspective) on day 1 & 2. The rest of the days move more into local experiences and are tailored to personal interests like the Magical World of Harry Potter.
If you only have five days in London, see which days out of the seven suit your interests more and plan for those! If you have seven days in London, follow this itinerary for a wonderful mix of top London attractions, more local experiences, and spare time to roam.
You can also join our email community, where we share more helpful travel plans and inspirations. You’ll also get access to our free printable London Bucket List and this printable itinerary in a one-page outline.
To make this London itinerary flow effortlessly, it’s important to book all your attraction tickets and tours in advance. You will get more done, if you book for the times we suggest in this outline. Buy skip-the-line whenever you can. I know it’s an extra expense, but you’ve come all this way, you want to see and do as much as you can. This is especially important if visiting in peak season.
Day 1: Royalty, Politics, London Eye & The West End
Your first day in London will take you to the top attractions in the Westminster area, experiencing some of the best views of London and the exploring the vibrant West End.
Morning: The Royal Life
- 9:30am Westminster Abbey Tour: The Royal Church of England is one of the top attractions in London. Do the self-guided audio tour of Westminster Abbey so you can learn more about the artwork, Gothic architecture, history, and notable monuments inside the building where Royalty gets married and have their coronations.
- 10:30 Walk through St James’s Park: The 58-acre St James’s Park is home to the Mall and Horse Guards Parade and offers quiet, meandering beauty with manicured, blooming gardens; ponds, ample birdlife, hundreds of shady trees. Depending on how much time you spend in Westminster Abbey, you may have to skip through here to get to the Changing of the Guards at Buckingham Palace on time. It will be waiting when you’re finished.
- 10.45am Buckingham Palace and the Changing of the Guard. Buckingham Palace has been the royal residence of the British Royal Family since 1837. Most visitors peer through the gates, but you can tour the palace from July until October, on Thursdays until Mondays. While I’d rather spend more time in St James Park, and other things to do in London than see the Changing of the Guards, others see this 45 min ceremony as an unmissable London attraction. If you don’t care about the changing of the Guards, swap Buckingham Palace with Westminster Abbey for day 1 of this London itinerary.
- Changing of the Guard times (10:45am)
- June – July: Daily
- August – May: Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays.
- Changing of the Guard times (10:45am)
Afternoon: Politics and Views
- 12.00pm Big Ben and Parliament House: While you can tour The Houses of Parliament during select days and times, most visit just for photos of the outside, and of Big Ben, the 13.5 tone iconic clock tower. It’s worth seeing the statues of well-known political leaders in Parliament Square next to Westminster Abbey.
- Lunch: There are restaurants and cafes along the embankment, across Westminster Bridge on the South Bank side. OR, moored on the Thames is the Tattershall Castle, a former passenger ferry turned pub with views of the London Eye.
- 2.00pm Whitehall Gardens: Right near Westminster is these pretty (and small) London gardens. You can enjoy beautiful views of the Thames and the London Eye as you walk to your next stop – across the Jubilee Bridge to the London Eye.
- Coffee/ tea break: Under the Jubilee bridge is the colorful artistic 10ft shipping container, which is the home of Beany Green, an Aussie Cafe chain in London. Their coffee was surprisingly mediocre, but their lamingtons were divine and will fuel you up for the afternoon activities.
- 3.00pm London Eye: Time to go up is the tallest observation wheel in Europe for beautiful London views including the Big Ben and Houses of Parliament. While you book a time slot for the London Eye, you still have to line up. The lines move pretty quickly, but I have heard of long waits. To avoid that, get the fast-track ticket. We have a full review of the London Eye and Thames River Cruise here
- 4.00pm River Thames Cruise: The Lastminute.com London Eye River cruise is a 40-minute circular tour of the Thames on a small open-top ferry with guided commentary. You’ll learn many stories about the iconic Landmarks you’ll pass like Big Bend, London Bridge, HMS Belfast, The Shard, Tate Modern, Shakespeare’s Globe Theater, the Tower of London, St Paul’s Cathedral, and Tower Bridge
Evening: Explore the West End
The rest of day 1 will be roaming the West End. Here are a few suggestions for things to do in the West End of London:
- Walk around Trafalgar Square the gathering place for Londoners whether to protest or celebrate.
- Piccadilly Circus is like a mini Times Square in New York. Full of neon lights, massive flashing advertising billboards, and people getting selfies. I find it overrated, but still worth an I was here photo! From here you can easily walk to Piccadilly, Leicester Square, Shaftesbury Avenue, the curving Regent Street, and Covent Garden.
- Soho is the proud LGBTQ area of London. It has a fun artsy vibe with a lot of cafes, stores, bars, and restaurants and theaters. It’s also the best place in London for nightlife and is filled with vibrant bars and night clubs. The House of MinaLima in SoHo is a must visit for all Harry Potter fans. You can read more about it in our teen’s guide to London.
- Covent Garden is of the most well-known places to visit in London for it;s endless restaurants, bars and retail stores. Wander the cobblestoned areas surrounding the central marketplace, which had its beginnings as a convent garden in the 1500s.
- Eat dinner at the Lamb & Flag is the oldest pub in Covent Garden. (This was one of our favorite London pubs). The Seven Dials Market also has a diverse offering of cuisines to suit any tastebud.
- Finish with a Theater Show: There are over 40 theater venues in the West End performing a variety of shows to over 14 million visitors every year. They have shows throughout the day, but most evening shows begin at 7:30pm. On our family vacation to London, Kalyra, Savannah and I went to see Matilda in the Cambridge Theater.
Day 2: Ancient Meets Modern London
During the second day of your London journey, delve deeper into Britain’s intriguing history, with a focus on its darker aspects at the Tower of London.
Visit the magnificent St. Paul’s Cathedral, and then traverse the Tower Bridge to experience the city’s contemporary and artistic atmosphere.
Immerse yourself in vibrant market atmospheres, explore art galleries, and soak in breathtaking views during this exciting exploration! You’ll have a more casual time schedule, so adapt as you see fit to wander.
Morning: The Towers
- 9.00am Tower of London: As one of the best attractions in London, The Tower of London is notorious for its long lines, which can extend into hours, that’s why we’ve scheduled it in first. Tickets will also be cheaper online. Don’t miss the free Yeoman tour with the red-coated Beefeater (Yeoman Warders) guides entertaining with gruesome stories of its macabre history from its former years (and I mean centuries) as a Royal residence, armory, treasury, and zoo
- 12.00pm Tower Bridge: Walk across the iconic Tower Bridge for free and get great views overlooking the Thames and back over the Tower of London. Check for times when the Tower Bridge will raise up its bridge arms so boats underneath can pass by (usually twice a day). Check opening times here. The best views of the bridge (taking into account sun) will be on the south side of the bridge
Afternoon: Markets and River Thames
- 1.00pm Lunch at Borough Markets: Whether you’re hungry for strawberries dipped in chocolate, soft local cheeses, bowls of Vietnamese pho, sausage rolls or a refreshingly sweet peach Prosecco, you’ll find it at the Borough Markets on the south side of the River Thames. Don’t Miss: Coffee from Monmouth and a cup of the sweet peach prosecco.
- 2.00pm Walk along Southbank Promenade: Enjoy the views and attractions along the 2.5 miles / 4 km South Bank River Thames promenade. Stop at these points along the way for more sightseeing.
- 2.30pm Visit Tate Modern Art Gallery: Any art lover will have the FREE Tate Modern Art gallery and its over 78,000 works of art on display, on their London bucket list. Don’t miss the views of the Thames, Millennium Bridge and St Paul’s Cathedral from the enclosed 6th floor Kitchen and Bar in the Natalie Bell Building.
- 3.30pm See the Shakespeare Globe: We were happy enough to walk by and give a nod to the Globe Theater. If you want to have a unique experience and see something quintessentially English, you can catch a Shakespeare production but note it’s standing only!
- 4.00pm Afternoon Drink Break: I recommend two pubs along the Thames in this area to stop for a Pimm’s & lemonade with a view: Founders Arms and/or The Anchor are great places along the Thames for a drink.
- 4.45pm Cross the Millennium Bridge – the Wobbly Bridge: Harry Potter lovers will want to know, this was targeted by Death Eaters in Harry and the Half-Blood Prince. This futuristic bridge also has gorgeous 360 views as you walk across.
- 5.00pm St Paul’s Cathedral: It’s worth touring one of the most famous cathedrals in the world and one of London’s most magnificent buildings. If the top of the dome is open (closed on our visit) make sure you go up to look at the incredible views of London (I did this when I lived in London). Ask the attendants if they can take you to the spiraling Harry Potter staircase. This staircase in St Paul’s was used as the “Divination Stairwell” located in the North Tower of Hogwarts Castle for the Harry Potter films. Check prices and availability for tickets here.
- The Viaduct Tavern, near St Paul’s Cathedral is rumored to be built on the site of a former prison. This gin palace still has five cells visible in the basement.
Evening: River Thames Sparkle
You have quite an open ended afternoon and evening in London on Day 2. You may want to save the afternoon drink from above to more of an evening one. It all depends on what time of year you are visiting and sunset time as well. Here are some suggestions:
- Sunset Views from The Shard: While a pricey London attraction, the 244m high sweeping views from the 72nd floor open-air platform make it worthwhile. It’s the tallest building in Western Europe. Aim for about an hour before sunset so you can experience the dusk golden light views, sunset panoramic views, and nighttime views when those London lights sparkle. You must reserve your tickets in advance, (plus it will also save you money).
- This Thames River cruise leaves as the sun goes down and begins with a glass of sparkling wine and canapes as you cruise and look at the lights of London go by!
- You can always head back to Covent Garden and the West End to explore more.
Day 3: Artistic Adventures from Camden to Kings Cross
Camden Town is London elective and alternative. Known to always be the home of punks, artists, and musicians, it’s also a place for great shopping, fun pubs and cafes, and fantastic live music.
This day will also include the British Museum and a visit to Kings Cross Station – both located nearby in the area north of central London.
Note Camden is liveliest on the weekend, which may cause you to swap the days of your itinerary around. It depends on what you like – bigger atmosphere or fewer crowds.
Morning: Camden Town
- 9:30am Coffee and Lamingtons from Beany Green: There is nothing better than a coffee and lamington as you cruise Regents Canal. Right near the Canal departure point at Little Venice is Beany Green. (they have gluten free lamingtons!)
- 10:15am Regent’s Canal Cruise: While the canals are dirty (it’s London), I still enjoyed the relaxing and picturesque 40-minute canal ride along Regents Canal, through the 248m Maida Hill tunnel, and past the exclusive neighborhoods of Maida Vale and Primrose Hill. It will drop you off right in the middle of Camden Markets.
- 11.00am Explore Camden Town And Camden Market: Here you’ll find loads of stalls selling all kinds of wares including an abundance of food stalls representing cuisines from around the world. Don’t miss walking up and down the main streets of Camden Town and the side streets for fantastic street art, shopping, and incredible people watching.
- 12.30pm Lunch Stop at Edinboro Castle Pub: You can eat at the markets, but we recommend this nearby London pub for it’s great outdoor beer garden and high quality food, especially for a traditional Sunday roast.
- Option: From here, you could walk off that lunch back along Regent’s Canal to Regent’s Park, Central London’s largest park. Its beauty unravels as you walk across grassy meadows, past water sculptures and topiaries; through colorful, blooming gardens; and across multiple playgrounds and sporting fields. Primrose Hill, just north of Regents Park has extraordinary views of the city skyline from the 63m summit. If you can’t fit it into today, perhaps on one of your other days in London!
Afternoon: British Museum & Kings Cross
You can walk to Kings Cross (20 mins) from Camden, or catch the tube. After that, you can explore the following attractions in the area:
- 2.00pm Kings Cross Station and Platform 9 ¾: If you’re a Harry Potter fan you may want to include this in your London itinerary. Otherwise, I wouldn’t worry. You are just walking up to the fake cart against the wall to take a picture, and typically lines are long. We were blessed with just a 10-minute wait. Across the road is St Pancreas which is the background setting for the flying car scene in the second movie.
- 2.30pm Visit the British Museum: We only ever plan for 1-2 museums in our itinerary, and I’m glad we included the British Museum. It is outstanding. You could easily spend hours here, for us just one was enough to see the highlights. It’s England’s largest museum and known to be one of the oldest and finest in the world with vast collections that span Egyptian, Greek Roman, European, and Middle Eastern cultures and histories.
- Enjoy a pin at the historic Plough Pub. Right near the museum is this refined yet very cozy Victorian pub.
You have free time now! You’re close to Oxford St if you want to do some shopping. You are also close to the West End, if you want to explore more of Covent Garden and Soho!
This could also be a good evening to do a West End Show, if it was too much for you on Day 1,
Day 4: Harry Potter Warner Bros Studio Tour
If you’re a Harry Potter fan, you won’t want to miss the tour of the Warner Bros Studios, one of London’s top attractions.
These are the working studios where the films were made – it’s the closest you can ever get to walking through this magical world.
Our family absolutely loved it, and I got tears in my eyes seeing the replica of Hogwarts Castle, just like I did when I walked upon it in Hogsmeade in Universal Studios.
It takes around three to four hours to walk through the whole self-guided tour, which features sets, costumes, props, and butterbeer from the films. Plus, there are interactive exhibits to experience from green screen broomstick rides to jumping in a few of the vehicle props.
You will need at least half a day for the studio tour, factoring in the time it takes to get out and back (at least an hour one way.)
TOP TIP: You must reserve your ticket in advance. They can book up quickly. If they are sold out, book a place on this tour from London to Harry Potter world. They have already purchased tickets, so you’re guaranteed entry and it includes bus transportation from London. You may have to pay a little more, but it means you’ll get in!
Plan the rest of your day around your studio tour time. You will probably be quite tired, so don’t schedule anything in.
I’d leave it open for exploring more of an area you fell in love with, visiting attractions you ran out of time for (or we haven’t mentioned), or just sitting in an English pub eating, dinking and watching football!
Now that you’ve covered most top tourist attractions of London, we’re going to travel into the outer zone areas and explore some cool neighborhoods and areas to discover a more local vibe, but still with a few top landmarks in London sprinkled in.
Your schedule will be a little more fluid on these days.
Day 5: The Royal High Life in Kensington
Ready to see the more affluent neighborhood with a dash of Royal?
Kensington (including South Kensington) is one of the most beautiful places in London with elegant streets lined with period architecture, beautifully landscaped gardens and parks, fine museums, and elegant stores.
You’ll also find restaurants that range from casual pubs and bakeries to upper-class fine dining. We stayed here for four nights and loved exploring the neighborhood. Here are a few ideas for this day in London.
Morning in Kensington & Notting Hill
- Morning coffee at Farm Girl. Right near here are a plethora of bakeries. So grab a breakfast to go!
- Kensington Gardens: Take your coffee and pastries to eat and relax in the gorgeous Kensington Gardens.
- Tour Kensington Palace Kensington Palace is the official residence of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (i.e. Prince William and Kate) and their children. Most famously, it was beloved Princess Diana’s home. This is also where the legendary Queen Victoria was born. You can follow her Royal footsteps on a tour through her re-imagined childhood rooms and the King and Queen State Apartments. and the magnificent King’s State Apartments and Queen’s State Apartments. I thoroughly enjoyed our tour here. There are more gardens to explore with memorial to Diana. Get your tickets here in advance for the palace.
- Go shopping in Notting Hill – a quick walk along Portobello Road in Notting Hill and you’ll feel like you’ve been transformed into a whole new city. This affluent area is known for its antique, vintage and boutique stores and is where you can pick up some unique finds. This will be a great spot to enjoy lunch.
- Hidden Gem to consider: If you have time (its a slight detour closer to Notting Hill) consider Kyoto Garden, a serene Japanese-inspired park in Kensington’s Holland Park. It’s only small, but unique and beautiful.
Afternoon in Knightsbridge and South Kensington
- Stroll through Hyde Park On the other side of Kensington Gardens is Hyde Park, one of the largest royal parks in London . It’s a tranquil place in London to visit if the noise and chaos of the city is starting to get overwhelming.
- Shop in Harrods, an infamous luxury department store in Knightsbridge. I find it overwhelming and overrated and our visit was short, but many would consider it a top thing to do in London.
- Afternoon Tea at the Ampersand Hotel: We loved our afternoon tea experience at the Ampersand Hotel in South Kensington. We chose the award-winning Science Afternoon Tea in the Drawing Room, which featured multiple experiments you can do with your food. You can make your own lemonade, look for fossil biscuits, and enjoy the billowing smoke as a waitress pours water over the dry ice that is on your dishes. They also had gluten free versions!
- The National History Museum or Victoria and Albert Museum – if you love museums, these two are arguably the best in London. Head over to South Kensington to finish a day at one of the museums. Kids will love seeing Dippy the Dyoplosaurus and the Giant Blue Whale skeleton of the Natural History Museum, or see fashion trends at the V&A.
Evening in South Kensington
You can always head back into Central London for evening entertainment or dinner. But if you want to stay in Kensington there are plenty of places to eat and drink. You’re also close to Chelsea, Shepherd’s Bush and Earl’s Court, so you have options.
We loved our Italian meal at Da Mario, Kensington. The food was delicious and affordable. It’s also colorful, pretty and paired with good service.
Don’t just take our word for it though – Princess Diana ate pizza here all the time, as have many other celebrities. Go early as it gets busy. We had to wait but popped over to the The Gloucester Arms for a drink while we waited.
Other options for pubs to visit:
- The Churchill Arms was the regular haunt of Winston Churchill and is known to be one of the prettiest pubs in London with its flower-clad façade.
- The Hereford Arms had quite a refined, cozy charm about it with its rustic wooden interior, quirky mismatch of furniture and wall hangings, and white exterior with flower boxes on the windows. It is rumored to be the drinking haunt of Jack the Ripper,
- Dishoom Kensington came highly recommended for Indian food. They have a few locations in London.
Day 6: Exploring Time in Greenwich Village
I have always and always will be enamored with Greenwich. I include it in my London itinerary whenever I visit.
The Home of Time a lovely English village feel yet sits on the edge of royalty with its grand architecture and palace heritage. Greenwich is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most historic areas of London.
It’s located about 40 minutes southeast of Central London along the Thames and is easy to get to on the Thames Ferry.
Here are our suggestions for this beautiful, and relaxed, day exploring Greenwich, England.
Morning in Greenwich
- Arrive by Ferry: You can either do a guided river cruise with commentary or take the faster Thames Clipper. If you do another Thames River sightseeing cruise, I’d skip the guided commentary to Greenwich and just get the ferry. Of, if you haven’t yet arrive via a sightseeing cruise along the River Thames.
- Stop for coffee and pastry at Gail’s Bakery
- Visit the Royal Observatory, the place of time! It’s here you can learn the fascinating history of how the Royal astronomers experimented and studied the stars to come up with today’s modern version of time. Be sure to straddle the Prime Meridian Line (the border between Eastern and Western hemispheres). The Royal Observatory is also an included attraction on the Go City Pass. You can buy separate tickets here
- Soak up the views. Look out across the leafy greens of Greenwich Village, and Greenwich Park, the old hunting park, the stunning buildings of the Queen’s House, The National Maritime Museum, and the Old Royal Naval College, with London’s Canary Wharf skyscrapers in the background.
- I loved visiting the picturesque Queens House more than I thought I would. It’s the former royal residence built between 1616 and 1635. Be sure to dance on the black and white tiled Great Hall!
- The National Maritime Museum is the largest of its kind in the world and has been likened to the architectural splendor of the Palace of Versailles. A trove of maritime treasures await in its galleries and exhibitions. It’s a favored London attraction for kids.
Afternoon in Greenwich
Now you’re free to explore Greenwich Village
- We enjoyed lunch at Grind with our friends Yaya and Lloyd from Hand Luggage Only. It’s an all-day restaurant and cocktail bar in historic Greenwich, close to the market and the Cutty Sark. They had great food, good coffee and a pretty floral vibe. WE also had coffee at the Grind near London Bridge which we liked a lot.
- The Greenwich-covered market dates back to 1737 and is the only in London located within a World Heritage site. It has stalls & shops for antiques, art & other goods, and food.
- Cutty Sark is another top attraction for kids and boat lovers. Jump aboard and explore the celebrated historic sailing ship, which was the fastest of its time. You can even have afternoon tea beneath the hull.
- Afternoon drink at the Gipsy Moth, named after the small boat in which Sir Francis Chichester sailed single-handedly around the world. With its dark blue interior, wooden floors, grand bar, wooden wall lining, and nautical artwork you’ll feel like you’re about to set sail beside the famous Cutty Sark you can see from outside the window or from the beer garden out back.
- Cutty Sark Pub is a Greenwich institution. It’s more than 200 years old and has a great riverside terrace and views across the Thames.
- Emirates Air Line Cable Car: Return to the other side of the Thames by way of this 10-minute cable car ride going above the Thames from Greenwich to Royal Victoria Dock (the weather forced a cancel for us). You can pay with your oyster/contactless card.
Day 7: Arts & Garden Views in Shoreditch
Welcome to Hip Shoreditch! Since I lived in London, this East London neighborhood has sprinted past Camden and Soho as the hippest, most alternative part of London.
Time your visit for a weekend if you can when it’s more alive with its buzzing markets and street activity.
Morning: Shoreditch & Brick Lane
- Coffee at Ozone Coffee: You can even have breakfast here. And of course, since its Aussie, order yourself a lamington!
- Shoreditch Street Art tour: Shoreditch epicenter of London’s street art scene as they fight back against the vandalism label and illegal status of graffiti. The most well-known secret street artist of all time – Banksy has left his mark in Shoreditch several times. Either walk around and see the art walk on display everywhere OR join this highly recommended Shoreditch street art tour.
- Vintage Shopping: Running through Shoreditch is Brick Lane, notorious for great vintage shopping and outstanding Indian restaurants. The Old Truman Brewery is now a space for edgy markets, vintage stores, bars, and live music venues. Columbia Flower Market on Sundays is meant to be phenomenal and fragrant
- Indian Lunch Gone are the five-pound curries from when I lived in London, but the rich, aromatic flavors and smells are ever-present on Brick Lane. You have so many choices, but we followed a suggestion from a local Indian to eat at Monsoon and it was a great choice!
Afternoon/Evening: Leadenhall Markets / Sky Garden Views
You’ll probably have a lot of free time this afternoon and evening so walk slow and adjust as you see fit.
Here are some ideas as they are close by to Shoreditch. You can also choose some alternatives for the list at the end of the post (for those with longer time in London to do instead)
- Leadenhall Markets in Central London: These beautiful covered markets were originally established in 1321 as a market for butchers and fishmongers (However history says it was the center of Roman London as a bazaar area in the 1st Century!) Much of the ornately decorated interior and cobbled laneways that you see preserved today are from a redesign in 1881. It’s now a shopping precinct with trendy bars, cute cafes, boutique stores, and a couple of taverns. One of the reasons tourists come here is that it was used as the exterior for Diagon Alley in the first couple of Harry Potter films. The Lamb Tavern is a great pub here, in operation since 1790.
- The Garden at 120 Fenchurch St is a high rise in London with a sky garden and an impressive 360-degree views that is completely free. We heard about it from the doorman at the Sky Garden as it was closed and we could not get up to their rooftop. It’s worth doing this and the Sky Garden. They’re only a block apart.
- Sky Garden views (and maybe dinner) Finish your 7 Day trip to London with incredible views from Sky Garden. Known as the Walkie Talkie building for its shape, it is currently the 5th tallest building in the city of London at 160m tall. I love how it faces the Shard on the North side of the Thames. It’s known as being London’s highest public garden and has an open-air terrace with lush plants and uninterrupted panoramas of the city’s skyline. You must reserve a ticket in advance (free) to visit the Sky Garden. (Reserve your tickets here.)
- Eat at Darwin Brassiere: A tip we received about Sky Garden was to reserve a table in the restaurant for a special dining experience with views. This also gives you access to the Sky Garden. The prices aren’t too bad when you compare it to London restaurants on street level.
Have longer than 7 Days in London?
If you have longer than 7 days in London (yay!), here are a few more ideas for how to spend your time. You can also add any of these to the above daily itineraries.
- Take a hop-on/hop-off bus tour – if your feet are tired, and they probably are, take in the final sites of London on an open top double-decker bus.
- The National Gallery is one of the top places to visit in London because it is home to the one of the largest collections of Renaissance paintings (outside of Italy, of course). You’ll find pieces by 15th to 19th century painters, including notable works by Giovanni Bellini, Leonardo Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Claude Monet, Raphael, Rembrandt, and Vincent Van Gogh.
- As we were visiting London with kids on this trip, we did not do the Jack the Ripper walking tour. But that was one of the first things I did when I moved to London. I LOVED it! Yes. It will freak you out.
- One of the best ways to experience Harry Potter locations in London is through a walking tour. I wish we did this just so we could have heard more stories and felt more connected to each location. Doing it ourselves didn’t have quite the same magic and was more just a “well this is it,” snap a photo and then leave.
- Take in a sporting match: You can either see a live match at one of the many football stadiums around the city, or simply from within a pub, or outdoor big screen when big matches are on.
- Oxford Street stretches 1.5 miles from the corner of Hyde Park all the way down to Tottenham Court Road and is filled with stores selling fashion, beauty, tech, and homeware. It is one of the busiest streets in London, especially on a weekend, so be prepared for shoulder rubbing. It just gets too intense for me.
- If you like going below the earth, here are some ideas for quirky underground tours in London.
- Richmond is an area many first-time visitors to London (or those with less time) may not get to experience, but it’s one of my favorite places in London to visit. You can explore the popular and beautiful botanical gardens, Kew Gardens. You can also go deer spotting at Richmond Park, walk along the Thames river, and explore the Tudor palaces of Hampton Court, home of King Henry VIII.
What about a day trip from London?
Good news! London is accessible to other fantastic nearby locations. You could visit for a day even, although we recommend making it an overnighter if you can!
- On our trip we visited Oxford for two nights and fell in love. Our youngest now wants to attend Oxford University and that’s a big supportive why not? from us. You can read all about our trip and the best things to do in Oxford, UK.
- And we had two nights in the 2000-year old Roman city of Bath. From exploring its fascinating Roman Baths to admiring the architecture of the Bath Abbey and Pulteney Bridge, you’ll never run out of attractions in Bath to keep you busy for a weekend. See our guide on what to do in Bath here. (You’ll love our Bridgerton-esque accommodation)
- Other top places to visit in England close to London include Stonehenge, Brighton, Cambridge, and the Cotswolds.
Where to Stay in London
We recommend booking your London accommodation near a London Underground (Or Tube Station as the Brits call them) in zones 1-2. It will save you so much time, cost, and hassle.
It doesn’t really matter where you base yourself, since London is so big you will need to use the London Underground regardless, however we recommend you stay on the tube lines with the most attractions.
The best Tube lines to get you around to the major tourist attractions in London will be the:
- Piccadilly Line (dark blue)
- Circle Line (yellow)
- District Line (green)
- Central Line (red)
- Northern Line (black)
The three hotels we stayed in during our London trip were all just minutes’ walk to tube stations and it was heaven.
We have stayed at the following places which all had excellent locations:
- Millennium Gloucester (Kensington – near Gloucester Road Tube),
- Hilton London Kensington (near Shepherds Bush and Holland Park tube)
- Holiday Inn Camden Lock (near Camden Town tube)
Getting Around London
The art of maximizing your time in London, is learning how to get around .Good news is, it’s really easy.
We highly suggest walking everywhere when you can. We’ve designed this week in London itinerary so most attractions are within walking distance to each other. Otherwise, you can easily get the tube!
Our rule is if it’s less than 20 minutes to walk, we walk. Because by the time you get deep into the Underground and wait for a tube (although they are frequent), and then take the ride, 20 minutes could easily be consumed.
I’d rather use that time seeing the streets of London move around me. There is always something fascinating to see.
Itinerary London Map for each day
I have created a map of all the stops for each day of this seven day itinerary of London, including walking routes and directions. To use click on the top left button to see the various attractions and stops. You can also make a copy and edit as you see fit. Click on the top right “View Larger map” Square. It will open in a new window. Then click on the three buttons and select copy map.
Final Thoughts on your 7 Day Trip to London
Quite frankly, you are going to have an amazing time. You couldn’t ask for a better London itinerary in terms of time and experiences.
If you follow our ideas for visiting London in seven days, you’ll experience the attractions is most famous for, as well as gaining a fun insight into London life and British culture.
Don’t forget to leave time in your schedule for a London ale, a Pimm’s & Lemonade, tea and scones, and chit chat with a local.
We’d love to hear in the comments what you’re most excited about for your London trip, and any recommendations or questions you may have.
Don’t miss these other helpful guides to London, which will go in more depth to experiences mentioned above with lots of photos to help you see if it’s the right attraction or activity for you!
- Best things to do in London
- Top places to visit in London
- Essential things to know before visiting London
- Best experiences in London for teens
- Great pubs in London to visit
- Why we loved our trip to London
Happy London travels.