3 days in London – The best 3-day London itinerary

London is without a doubt one of the world’s most exciting cities to visit. The UK capital has so much to offer, though, so is 3 days in London really enough? If you know where you want to go before you go, then the answer is most definitely a yes.

This London 3 day itinerary will show you how to see all the highlights when you visit London in 3 days. Covered are all the sites you’ll want to visit. This guide is also packed with practical information for spending three days in London.

If you’re taking a 3 day trip to London, we hope you’ll agree that this article is essential reading. As well as all the things to see in London in 3 days, by the end you’ll know how to get there and get around, where to stay and eat and even how to save cash in one of the world’s most costly cities.

This 3 day London itinerary has been put together for you by a former London resident, so you can expect to pick up a few insider tips too!

Image: Tower Bridge in 3 days in London.

3 days in London – Practical info

Getting to London

If you want your 3 days in London to be perfect, keep in mind that your trip will always begin with how you get there.


There are flights to London from most cities in the world, including all the main European cities such as Rome, Milan, Paris, Berlin, and even smaller towns like Cagliari on the Italian island of Sardinia. Most international visitors to London arrive at one of the city’s airports – Heathrow, Gatwick, London City, Stansted, Luton, and Southend.

Heathrow is the busiest and most popular, followed by Gatwick. There are good public transport connections from the airports into central London. You can even travel on the Tube from Heathrow, for example.


London also offers rail connections to destinations all over the UK and Europe. The capital has nine of the ten busiest UK railway stations, plus many more. You can connect directly to France and beyond via Eurostar services too.

Check out Omio for schedules and prices


Victoria Coach Station near Buckingham Palace also makes bus travel an option. Ticket prices can be very affordable, but journey times tend to be longer.


Driving distances in the UK are relatively short, so getting to London by car is another option.

Image: Big Ben from London's streets.

Getting around London

Public transport

The best way to travel in London for 3 days is on foot or by London Underground – also known as the Tube. You can also use the iconic red London buses, rental bikes, mainline trains, taxis and even boats on the Thames. A visitor Oyster Card is one of the simplest ways to pay for your travel.


Driving is best avoided in London. This is because parking can be an absolute nightmare in London, due to high charges and low availability. Fees also apply within the Congestion Charge zone.

Where to stay in London

London offers accommodation for all budgets. From a backpacker hostel to a famous five-star hotel, you can find it all here. Plus everything in-between.

Whether you want a bargain place to sleep at night or to experience top-notch luxury, here are some locals’ recommendations regarding places to stay in London. These are listed in order of price, from lowest to highest, and we’re highlighting some lesser-known properties here.

Image: Go to a pub when you stay in London for three days.

6 of the best places to stay in London

Room2 Chiswick – Best self-catering studios in London
Stylish studios near the Thames with kitchenettes, a laundry, a bar, a gym and a garden.

Urbany Hostel, Paddington – Best hostel in London
Top rated modern hostel with mixed dorms plus a shared lounge, kitchen, and garden.

Alhambra Hotel, Kings Cross – Best 2 star hotel in London
Spacious, warm and comfortable accommodation with garden and 24-hour front desk.

Point A Hotel, Kings Cross – Best 3 star hotel in London
Compact yet comfortable rooms with Hypnosis beds, power showers and high-speed WiFi.

The Henrietta Hotel, Covent Garden – Best 4 star hotel in London
Ultra convenient Covent Garden property with a bar, restaurant, room service and concierge

41, Buckingham Palace – Best 5 star hotel in London
Exceptional, exclusive five star hotel offering free all-day snacks, deluxe accommodation and much more.

Image: Food markets to try in three days in London.

Where to eat in London

Eating out can be one of the real highlights of any London three day itinerary. While the capital has lots of restaurants run by celebrity chefs and within five star hotels, there are many cheaper options too.

To save money on food, stick to chain restaurants or pubs rather than fine dining establishments. You can also pick up affordable gourmet and street food at London markets like Borough and Portobello. Compact, express supermarkets are also dotted all over the city, and can feed you for just a few pounds when you want a light meal such as a sandwich.

Due to competition, ethnic eateries such as the Indian ones on and around Brick Lane can also offer very good value for money.

Image: Visit Westminster in 3 days in London.

The perfect 3 day London itinerary

Day 1 – London Eye, Westminster, Trafalgar Square and Covent Garden

Your first day in London begins with a trip on the London Eye. Next, head north of the river to see iconic sights like Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey and Trafalgar Square. You can also take in a London park, a couple of art galleries and Covent Garden.

London Eye

Take an early trip on the London Eye for a bird’s eye view over the city and the river. Book a flight for 10 am or a little later, and you’ll still have most of the day at your disposal. Fast-track, skip-the-line tickets are recommended when time is tight – such as on a 3 day London itinerary for a family, couple or solo traveler.

Big Ben and Parliament Square

After your London Eye experience, take a walk across Westminster Bridge to reach the other side of the river. The Houses of Parliament, Big Ben and Westminster Abbey can all be found here. Take a few moments to watch the river flowing beneath you, look out for red London phone boxes to snap a selfie with and simply watch Londoners going about their business.

Image: Westminster Abbey to see in a 3-day London trip.

Westminster Abbey

Seeing the magnificent Westminster Abbey is simply unmissable. You’ll need an entrance ticket and about two hours to explore this famous church fully. It’s where many events significant in British history have taken place.

Here you can see the Coronation Chair, Poets’ Corner and of course the majestic Gothic architecture. You can also step inside the venue where most Royal weddings take place.

St James’ Park

Take a break for or after lunch in St James’ Park, one of the city’s unparalleled public green spaces. Walk by Horse Guards Road and you can pass 10 Downing Street – home of the British Prime Minister – en route.

Image: Trafalgar Square in London in 3 days.

Trafalgar Square

Trafalgar Square is a true London landmark and cannot be missed off your 3 days in London what to do list. Nelson’s column, the lion statues and the fountains are all famous – and the pigeons of course are infamous.

The National Gallery and/or National Portrait Gallery

On or very close to Trafalgar Square are both the National Gallery and the National Portrait Gallery. Both are free to enter, so having a look while you’re here anyway makes perfect sense. Take your pick – or wander around the corner to see both.

Covent Garden

Take a wander via Theatreland and Leicester Square to Covent Garden to while away the rest of the afternoon. Head north from Trafalgar Square up Charing Cross Road, which is lined with theaters and bookstores. You can hang a left into Leicester Square to see the site of London movie premieres, then head right along Long Acre to reach Covent Garden.

Once in Covent Garden, there are lots of shops, cafes, bars, restaurants and street entertainers to keep you happily occupied. If it’s raining, you can take shelter at the market or the historic Punch and Judy pub here. Or you could visit the London Transport Museum.

Image: Covent Garden to visit in London in 3 days.

Day 2 – Buckingham Palace, the Tower of London, St Paul’s and Southbank

Buckingham Palace

If you visit on the right day – and you can always switch this itinerary around to accommodate – then you can witness the colorful, historic Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace. It takes place on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays at around 10.45 am.

Otherwise – or as well – you can visit the State Rooms. Tickets are required to see the many treasures contained within the walls of the King’s London base. There’s a lovely garden cafe here too, once you’ve had your fill of the Royal Collection.

The Tower of London

On the second afternoon of your itinerary for London in 3 days, head to the Tower of London. Take a trip on the Circle (yellow) or District (green) line from Victoria, near the palace, to get to Tower Hill.

Buying a ticket to explore the Tower will give you an insight into Royal life in London, long before Buckingham Palace was even built. Here you can see the ancient buildings, old suits of armor, the resident ravens and of course the Crown Jewels.

St Paul’s Cathedral

When touring London in 3 days, St Paul’s is another unmissable sight for many. It’s not only a historic church but also a gallery, and there are panoramic views over the city from the top of the iconic dome. Don’t forget to test the acoustic properties of the Whispering Gallery while you’re here too.


After seeing the sights north of the river, wrap up your London trip itinerary for 3 days by taking in the Southbank area. You can stroll over the Millenium Bridge after visiting St Paul’s, and choose where to spend your time.

Places to visit include Shakespeare’s Globe, the Tate Modern, The Shard and Borough Market, one of the most famous markets in London. There’s plenty of restaurants in the area for dinner, or you can dine at Borough Market. In winter there’s a lovely Christmas market here too.

Image: Borough Market in London.

Day 3 – Kensington Palace and Museums

Natural History Museum

The best 3 day London itinerary has to include the Natural History Museum. It’s worth visiting for the architecture alone, but just wait until you see the stunning exhibits inside. There’s a nice cafe at the back of the ground floor, and it can be found in South Kensington along with two other London museums – the V&A and the Science Museum. All three are free to get into.

V&A Museum

If you have time for two museums, the V&A is vastly different from the Natural History Museum. The cafe here is outstanding, and even those who don’t like museums tend to love this place. It’s wholly dedicated to arts, design and creativity in general.

Kensington Palace

Another of the top things to do in London in 3 days is to see Kensington Palace – and its glorious gardens. In fact, the gardens are free to enter, but you’ll need a ticket for the palace itself.

At the time of writing, Kensington Palace is the official London residence of TRH The Prince and Princess of Wales, aka William and Kate. It’s also been home to British royalty for several centuries.

Afternoon tea

As afternoon tea is such a British institution, it’s the ideal way to wrap up a 3 day London tour. There are so many choices – take an afternoon tea bus, visit a top hotel like The Savoy or pick a themed option like a Harry Potter afternoon tea.

You could even combine your visit to Kensington Palace with afternoon tea. This ticket includes a feast to remember, plus a tour of Kensington Palace and the gardens.

Image: Southwark cathedral in London.

3 top tips for 3 days in London

The London Pass

A London 3 day pass – or shorter duration – can save you lots of money when in London. The London Pass lets you access over 85 attractions and activities. Passes last for 1, 2 or 3 days – or even longer.

Hop-on, hop-off London tours, Thames cruises and bike rental are included as well as entry to the likes of Westminster Abbey, the Tower of London and St Paul’s Cathedral.

Wear it well

Think about what to wear in London. Winter can be very cold, summer can be stifling and mostly the weather in London is somewhere between the two extremes. Always pack a rain jacket, poncho or umbrella for unexpected showers.

You’ll also need comfortable, worn-in footwear for wandering along the city streets for hours at a time. Or for walking around indoors when seeing the sights.

Local knowledge

Londoners often love to share their city’s secrets with visitors – so never be afraid to ask! Whether it’s your cabbie or the hotel receptionist, everyone has their go-to places to eat and visit, so make sure you ask for a local’s recommendation at some point during your stay.

about me: Angela Corrias
About the author

I'm Angela Corrias, an Italian journalist, photographer, and travel writer located in the heart of Italy's capital. Welcome to my website, your comprehensive source for your travels and expert guidance for crafting your dream travel experience.

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