It’s one of the most famous cities in the world, and a hotbed for tourism. So how do you make the most of your time in ‘The Big Smoke’, London? There is so much to do in London and not surprisingly for the capital of England, the city is huge; you could spend months exploring it. To help condense it all into one, jam-packed guide, we’ve created what believe is the perfect 4 day London itinerary for you.
We’ve got all the big ones in there: the Houses of Parliament with it’s iconic ‘Big Ben’ clock tower, St Paul’s Cathedral and Westminster Abbey, just to name a few. But we’ve also taken all the guesswork out of deciding on the best parks, city walks and other famous landmarks like the London Eye and Tower Bridge.
So, should we get started? Let’s head out on a four days in London trip…
Why spend 4 days in London?
We hope we don’t need to convince you. London should be on any traveller’s global bucket list. But, as James is a native Londoner, we wanted to tell you exactly why you should visit the city, and spend at least 4 days exploring.
- There is a bit of a misconception that London (and England) has terrible food. However, in our (slightly biased) opinion, this couldn’t be further from the truth! With it’s multicultural mix, London has some of the best food options in the world. Whether you are looking for high-end Michelin starred greatness, some of the best curry houses on Brick Lane, through to a really good chippy (fish and chips shop) there is everything you could possibly want. What’s more, if you stop into most pubs nowadays, the food options are amazing.
- Aside from potentially ‘Broadway’ in New York, there is no better place in the world to catch a theatre performance than in London. Let’s be honest, London is famous for it and because of this it attracts some of the biggest names, so don’t be surprised to catch a show with a Hollywood A-lister in the lead role.
- If museums are your thing, then there are so many to choose from, with some of the best curated and largest exhibitions in the world. What’s even better is that a number are still free to visit, so if you’re on a budget, a day visiting London’s museums can really save you some pennies.
- Quite surprisingly for a city of its size is also the number of green spaces and parks dotted around the city. There are a number of beautiful Royal Parks and the Botanical Gardens in Kew to explore.
- And of course, London is littered with famous landmarks and hidden tourist spots, and within 4 days in London you can (maybe) see them all. It’s just about making sure you have the right itinerary!
Related: The ultimate list of London quotes for your Insta feed.
Is a 4 days in London enough?
In our opinion, yes!
Obviously any major city in the world is difficult to navigate around, and when you add into the mix the number of attractions that you will want to see and activities you’ll want to do, the longer you can give yourself in that location the better. However, we believe that you are able to do absolutely loads in a 4 day London itinerary, especially some of the non-touristy bits!
This is partly down to the London Underground. And although it gets a bit of stick, when you are in the city centre it’s relatively easy to use and you can move between sites pretty quickly. We’ve also planned the itinerary to group landmarks that are close together within the same day, so unlike other itineraries we’ve read, you won’t spend your time stuck in London’s stagnant traffic or on the move!
Check out our Getting Around London section for more tips.
What is the perfect 4 day London itinerary?
- Day 1 – Borough Market | Shakespeare’s Globe | The Tate Modern | St Paul’s Cathedral | Sky Gardens | The Tower of London | Tower Bridge
- Day 2 – Buckingham Palace | St James’ Park | Trafalgar Square | National Portrait Gallery | Covent Garden | Soho | The Theatre
- Day 3 – Southbank | London Eye | Houses of Parliament & Big Ben | Westminster Abbey | The Tate Gallery
- Day 4 – Holland Park | Notting Hill | Portobello Road | Hyde Park | Harrods | Natural History Museum
We have tried to pack as much into the 4 day London itinerary as possible, and each of our days are set out as very walkable itineraries. We’ve also included a handy map, pinpointing all the suggested attractions – aren’t we super helpful!? ?
As always though, the weather in London can be a little rainy (it’s famous for it, isn’t it?). If so, you may want to swap in some of our bonus activities instead. Let’s be honest, no one likes trudging around a city in the rain. But, we really believe that on a sunny day, nowhere in the world can beat a day exploring London!
Related: Want to actually get out of London? Then why not check out this guide to the perfect London to Cornwall road trip.
Getting around London
Although we have looked to create our day itineraries as walkable, many people will also want to use the public transport, and even though it gets a bit of stick, it is pretty good!
What we particularly like is that you can pay to use buses, trains and the underground (tube/metro) within most of Greater London by contactless credit/debit card payment. If you want to plan your journey, the TFL journey planner is a really useful tool, else you can try one of the other great London apps, like Citymapper.
Also, a bit of an insider tip: unless you want to take a taxi to be able to say you’ve been in a London black cab, we’d recommend you steer clear. They are more expensive than Uber if you’re using them late at night, and during the day, London traffic can come to a bit of a standstill.
And then of course, if you’re wanting to explore around the suburbs and take day trips from London, then also consider renting a car. Check out the latest deals on RentalCars.
Travel Insurance for London
Got your travel insurance booked? We promise to never push a brand or product we don’t personally use, and the travel cover from Safety Wing is a policy we don’t just use, but we highly recommend. They offer some of the most flexible policies, amazing customer service and are affordable too.
Where to stay in London?
We’d definitely recommend that you look to stay in areas that are close to the tourist attractions, so you don’t spend too much time getting in to the city. If you don’t choose the right location it can mean spending over an hour (or more) commuting. So here are some places that we’d recommend to stay in London:
Budget: While it’s not the globe’s cheapest city for backpackers and those on a tight budget, London does have some great hostels. The best rated in the city centre is Wombat’s City Hostel. This friendly hostel consistently wins awards for it’s impeccable service and great facilities.
Mid-range: There are a number of middle of the road hotels in central London, although don’t think they’ll be cheap! Our favourite is the Doubletree by Hilton near the Tower of London, where we’ve stayed a number of times. It’s a fantastic location, has a wonderful restaurant, the rooms are good-sized plus you get the famous Doubletree choc-chip cookie on arrival! What’s not to love?
Luxury: Nothing says luxury in London like The Savoy Hotel. Liveried bell-hops, one of the world’s best concierge desks, sumptuous suites and a location to dream of, The Savoy is our pick of a very well-heeled bunch. Plus you’ll be in good company. The Savoy has hosted Sir Winston Churchill, Frank Sinatra and Claude Monet, just to name a few.
Should I get a London Pass?
If you are looking to visit some of London’s most iconic landmarks, then we’d definitely recommend looking into getting a London Pass, as it will save you money when visiting the key places, making it one of the best things to buy in London! Based on our suggested 4 days in London itinerary, it will definitely save you money to at least get the London Pass for Day 1.
There are also loads of great additional attractions included within the London Pass so it would be worth considering it for multiple days if there are some other activities that you are keen on. Some of the bonus activities that we have listed below are also included within the pass.
What’s more, you can add an Oyster Travelcard to your pass, which means you get access to the underground, busses and trains too, making this a very convenient option.
So start off your 4 day London itinerary by heading to London Bridge station. It’s one of the best connected stations in the capital and the main station has also recently undergone a major renovation. From the station (either the London Tube or main line) head towards the signs for Borough Market, but we’d suggest that you first head onto London Bridge itself to get your first glimpse of the river Thames. From here you can get a great shot looking back towards Tower Bridge and also of HMS Belfast, an old English WWII warship now turned museum.
Possibly the most famous market in London, there has been a market on this site since the 12th century. The retail market is open from 10am (8am on Saturdays) but you could also arrive much earlier to see the hustle and bustle of the wholesale market that operates from 2am in the morning. It’s a great place to stop and pick up some breakfast and make sure you’re well fuelled before the long day ahead. Our pick? The steaming hot scotch eggs or the delicious mini-pies.
Bankside & The Golden Hinde
Making your way back towards the river Thames and away from Borough Market, you’ll reach Bankside in Southwark which provides you a really nice walk along the river Thames. It’s one of our favourite walks in London, with the cobbled streets giving you a sense of what the streets of London used to be like in the medieval times; only rivalled by a walk in a place like Brighton Pier.
If you continue your walk along Bankside and away from London Bridge you’ll soon reach The Golden Hinde. This is a full size replica of a 1500s Galleon ship that was captained by Sir Francis Drake. It’s a pretty impressive ship and more impressive to understand that the same sized ship circumnavigated the globe.
If you keep walking along Bankside, you will soon reach Shakespeare’s Globe. This is a reconstruction of the original theatre that was built during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I for Shakespeare’s plays to be performed. Unfortunately the original theatre was destroyed in the 1600s (twice), but luckily thanks to American actor and director Sam Wannamaker it was rebuilt based on original drawings of the Globe. Meaning that if you book far enough in advance you can also catch a Shakespearean play! If you do go to see one of the plays, we highly recommend you book a cushion too – the wooden seats can become pretty uncomfortable after a while! Check out the listings here.
Continue on along Bankside and you will reach the best modern art gallery in London, the Tate Modern. Entry is free to the museum, so great if you are looking to save some money, although some of the exhibitions do have a nominal charge. If you’re looking to take in some of the world’s best modern musings, you should spend at least a couple of hours at the Tate, browsing their collections.
Opening hours: 10.00am to 6.00pm (Mon to Thurs) and 10.00am to 10.00pm (Fri & Sat)
As you entered the Tate Modern, you will have noticed the imposing bridge that crosses the Thames: the Millennium Bridge. When you leave, take a stroll across it to the north side of the river. The bridge was originally opened in mid-2000 but had to be shut almost immediately as it started swaying too much (hello, design fault!). It’s nice and sturdy nowadays, and the bridge provides lovely views down the Thames and straight ahead to your next destination: St Paul’s Cathedral.
You may also recognise the bridge from the Harry Potter film, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, where the bridge was destroyed.
St Paul’s Cathedral
One of London’s most quintessential landmarks, and one of the most impressive cathedral’s in Europe, your next stop for the day will be St Paul’s Cathedral. The cathedral is located on Ludgate Hill, the highest point in the City of London and although the current cathedral was built in the late 1600s by Sir Christopher Wren, there has been a church here since the 7th century.
The tickets cost 17 GBP p/p (21.50 USD ), but we really think that this is worth it. Your ticket provides you access to the Crypt, the Whispering Gallery (at time of writing this is temporarily closed) and the Stone and Golden Galleries, providing you some of the best views of the City of London. You are also able to purchase guided tours.
Open: The cathedral is open to the public every day from 8.30am to 4.30pm except Sundays when it is closed.
Now walking back towards London Bridge (still on the other side of the river), make your way towards the Sky Gardens. This is London’s highest public gardens, made up of three stories of fantastic flora and offering a 360 view of London. And what’s even better is that it’s free to enter! Just make sure that you book your tickets online in advance to avoid disappointment as they limit the numbers.
Location: 20 Fenchurch Street
Open: 10.00am to 6.00pm (Mon – Fri) and 11.00am to 6.00pm (weekends)
Tower of London
So the penultimate stop for the day is to head to one of the must-visit castles in London, the UNESCO World Heritage site of the Tower of London. The castle was originally built back in 1066 and was used for numerous purposes over the next 1000 years, probably most notoriously as a prison, and now home to the British crown jewels.
It’s a bit more on the expensive side at 25 GBP p/p (32 USD) but we think that you have to include it as part of your 4 days in London trip.
Open: 9.00am to 5.30pm (Tues – Sat) and 10.00am to 5.30pm (Sun & Mon)
And onto the last stop on day 1 of your four days in London itinerary, and we believe we’ve left the best for last: Tower Bridge. It’s great to stroll across the bridge and then head down to the embankment to take a few great photos. You can also take a lift up to the walkways on Tower Bridge – these are made of glass so can be a little tricky if you have a fear of heights! This costs about 8 GBP p/p (10 USD) if you book online.
Interactive Map for Day 1
Start your day off by heading to Victoria train/tube station, as a short walk from the station is where the Queen lives! Yes, first stop for today is to see Buckingham Palace. Interesting, it was actually originally a large townhouse called Buckingham House, built for the Duke of Buckingham in 1703. It only became the residence of the monarch in 1837 when Queen Victoria came to the throne.
There are only tours of the Palace between July and September each year, so if you are travelling outside these dates you’ll only be able to view this from the outside, unless you manage to crack an invite that is…!
St James’ Park
After visiting Buckingham Palace take a stroll through the gorgeous St James’ Park (actually named after a leper hospital). You’re likely see the colony of pelicans that have been ever-present residents of the park since they were gifted to King Charles II in 1664 by a Russian ambassador.
Horse Guard’s Parade
Walk along the lake in St James’ Park away from Buckingham Palace and you’ll eventually arrive at the Horse Guard Parade. Make sure you arrive by around 10.30am as each morning the Changing of the Guard ceremony takes place at 11am (10am on Sundays). It’s a really great spectacle to watch, so good to be there early to get a good spot.
10 Downing Street
Very close to Horse Guard’s Parade, you will find the residence of the British Prime Minister, 10 Downing Street (also known locally as Number 10). For obvious reasons there is tight security at 10 Downing Street, but it’s great to add to your list of places to see in the 4 day London itinerary, especially as you are so close to it.
Another iconic landmark in London, and just a short walk back past Horse Guard’s Parade, you will find The Mall, the road that links Buckingham Palace to Trafalgar Square. Ever watched a royal wedding? The Mall is the hugely important ceremonial road which the royal carriage uses when making it’s way to the proceedings.
After walking through Admiralty Arch at the end of The Mall, you will come across the most famous square in England: Trafalgar Square. The square was opened in 1844 to commemorate the Battle of Trafalgar – a naval battle in the Napoleonic Wars. However, the square has been an important London landmark for centuries before that. Smack bang in the centre of the square is Nelson’s Column, built in honour of Admiral Horatio Nelson, a war hero who died at the Battle.
National Portrait Gallery
At one end of Trafalgar Square is the National Gallery, and although a great place to visit with numerous world-class masterpieces by some of the most famous artists, we’d actually recommend that you saunter just around the corner, where you’ll find our favourite gallery in London – the National Portrait Gallery.
The gallery is a bit of a hidden gem as every time we have been it’s relatively quiet (quite the luxury in London), but also it has some fantastic paintings and photography to enjoy. It’s also smaller than the National Gallery, so you don’t need to spend the same portion of your day or fight against the crowds. Now that’s a win!
After you’ve got your gallery fix, it’s a short walk over to Covent Garden (you can also stop by Leicester Square if you want – although to us it’s not the most exciting, unless you manage to get a ticket to a World Premiere film screening – one day we’ll be on the red carpet!).
Covent Garden (not really a garden at all), was originally a trading town, then over the years turned into a market before becoming a shopping centre in the 1980s. It’s a great place to pick up some crafts and gifts along with seeing some really talented street entertainers.
Enjoy a show at a West End Theatre
And onto the final suggested activity for day 2 of your 4 day London itinerary: head to the West End and enjoy a great theatre performance. The West End is really close to Covent Garden so head down, grab a bite to eat and a drink before your show starts. There are so many fantastic theatre performances – check out a few listings here.
Interactive Map for Day 2
Wander South Bank
Kick off day 3 of this London 4 day itinerary by heading to Waterloo station (another major train and underground hub). Head out of the station and towards the river Thames – it’s well signposted so you shouldn’t get lost. Southbank is really the cultural centre of London, and a really nice place to sit and watch the world go by. Try and get a takeaway coffee and croissant and park yourself on a bench if the weather is good.
Ride the London Eye
For your first activity of the day, and for one of the best views in London, take a ride on the London Eye. It’s one of the most well-recognized landmarks in the world but, beyond that, it’s actually a really wonderful experience. You can ever hire an entire pod, if you’re willing to dish out the cash for it.
Cross over Westminster Bridge
After riding the Eye, continue walking along the South Bank of the Thames and you’ll soon reach Westminster Bridge. It’s one of our favourite bridges to cross on the river as you get the famous view of the Houses of Parliament one way and back towards the London Eye the other.
Visit the Houses of Parliament & Big Ben
And of course, a trip to London couldn’t be complete without visiting Parliament and Big Ben! Geeky fact: Big Ben is actually called Elizabeth Tower – it’s the bell inside the tower that’s Big Ben.
At the moment the Elizabeth Tower is undergoing some serious refurbishment. Unfortunately only UK residents can see Big Ben itself (and even then they have to go through quite a rigmarole to do so!). But you can do a tour of the Houses of Parliament which references Big Ben, and takes about an hour. As with most things in London, book it in advance!
Next up, and just across the square from the Houses of Parliament, you will find Westminster Abbey. There has been a church on this site since the 7th century, and ever since the coronation of Norman the Conqueror in 1066, all coronations have taken place at the Abbey along with many royal weddings. It’s a good idea to book tickets in advance – they cost 21 GBP ( 26.50 USD) and you can choose a two hour timeslot to visit.
After visiting one of the most famous churches in the country, continue the walk along the river Thames towards Millbank, as your final stop on Day 3 of this 4 day London itinerary is to visit the Tate Gallery (also known as the Tate Britain). It’s the sister gallery to the Tate Modern, named after sugar magnate Tate and Lyle.
It’s got a wonderful collection of epic British paintings, we really love the Impressionist works.
Interactive Map for Day 3
This is probably the longest of the walking days – definitely not unachievable but there are a few hills and longer strolls in between some of the attractions. So a handy tip for you is to take the number 52 bus – it pretty much hugs most of the route that we’re suggesting.
Kick start your day with a trip to Holland Park, one of the parks that makes it to our list of best parks in London. We absolutely love this place as you’ll find a number of peacocks wandering the gardens – quite an unusual sight in busy, urban London! There are a number of Underground stations near the park, but we’d suggest Holland Park as the easiest.
Notting Hill & Portobello Road
After taking some snaps with the peacocks, head back up to Holland Park station and walk to Notting Hill Gate – It’s one of the most exclusive areas in London and made more famous by the Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant film, Notting Hill. Although you can still find the famous blue door from the movie, the book store (which James actually worked at back in 2000!) was sold and is now a shoe shop. There is some good information on all the locations from the film here.
While in the area, make sure you head to Portobello Road to catch the Portobello market. The antiques market is open each day of the week bar Sundays (from 8.00am to 6.00pm).
Right near Notting Hill Gate station you’ll find Hyde Park, one of the most famous London Royal Parks. With the Diana Memorial, Kensington Palace and Serpentine to visit, it’s a wonderful place to walk around. If you’re really keen for a dip, you can actually swim at the Serpentine Lido – although the water is pretty damn chilly!
Make sure that you use the Hyde Park Corner exit of the park, as from here it’s a short walk along Knightsbridge to London’s most famous shop – Harrods. Fun fact: James also worked here in the year 2000! Harrods is a British institution and beyond taking in the beautiful window displays, you must visit the various departments and perhaps walk away with a box of English Breakfast tea, or other gifts for friends and family back home.
Natural History Museum
A little past Harrods (keep walking in the same direction away from Hyde Park Corner) and you’ll reach three fantastic museums: the V&A, Science Museum and the Natural History Museum. It’s a real toss up between which to choose (luckily we’ve included all 3 in the best museums in London below), so we have chosen the Natural History Museum as our favourite! Apart from being an absolutely stunning building it has a world-class natural history exhibition to explore. And it’s free to go into, which appeals to our very stingy side!
Interactive Map for Day 4
Bonus: Activities to add to your 4 day London itinerary
One of the most recent buildings to take it’s place on the iconic London skyline, The Shard is a 96 storey ‘super skyscraper’. So named since it was designed to imitate a ‘shard of glass’, it has an incredible observation deck – View from the Shard – although the prices are a little steep. At time of writing it cost 42 GBP (53 USD) for adults and 35 GBP (44 USD) for children, making it one of the most expensive skyscrapers to visit in the world.
Royal Albert Hall
What the West End is to theatre, so Royal Albert Hall is to classical and jazz music and the arts. Originally built to fulfil the vision of Prince Albert (Queen Victoria’s hubby), this acclaimed building houses some of the world’s leading artists, ballet and opera productions as well as awards ceremonies. Check out the listings to see what’s on, and dress up (a little) to see some of the foremost performers on this historic stage.
Okay so London has a lot of famous buildings and you could spend days visiting them all. Marble Arch is another one of these, designed to be an extravagant gateway to Buckingham Palace and to signal the British war victories. Snap a picture and then head over to do some shopping on Bond Street and on to Oxford Circus, and step into Selfridges for a quintessentially British shopping experience.
Shopping in Oxford Street and Piccadilly Circus
London has no shortage of shopping streets. Lavish boutiques, high-end department stores and both gourmet and chain coffee shops line the lanes of most suburbs in the UK’s capital. But if you really want to get the London buzz, you need to get to Oxford Circus.
Start at Marble Arch (see above) and wander down Oxford Street to Oxford Circus, then down Regents Street to get to Piccadilly Circus, stopping in to mega stores like John Lewis, Selfridges and Debenhams. And if you’re looking for a great gift for the kids, check out Hamleys – it’s a world famous toy store. But your credit card probably won’t thank you for it.
Hampton Court Palace
This one is a stone’s throw from James’ childhood home, so he has spent many a day wandering the halls. Hampton Court Palace near Kingston (not bad for shopping here too) was a favourite haunt of King Henry VIII – yes, the king who beheaded so many of his wives. Not only can you do a tour of the palace (which is super interesting), but it has magnificent royal gardens and a fun maze to visit. It’s a bit further out of the city, so a day trip out of London proper, but undoubtedly worth the effort!
Insider tip: The East Gardens of the Palace are actually free to visit every day between 9.00 and 10.00am
Baker Street, Regents Park and Madame Tussauds
Famous as the abode of Sherlock Holmes, England’s most renowned detective, Baker Street doesn’t offer too much more than visiting his house. That said, Madame Tussaud’s wax museum is just a stone’s throw from the street (it’s in Marylebone road), plus Regent’s Park – one of the best royal parks in London, is just around the corner if you need a breather. And also located here is London Zoo which is worth a visit.
Harry Potter Highlights
JK Rowling is a bit of a national treasure. Her series of Harry Potter books not only took the world by storm, but has created a legion of hardcore Harry fans who are looking for paraphernalia and experiences across the globe.
London is the epicentre of this experience. You can go to Platform 9 ¾ at Kings Cross station to get your photo taken, or take in the Cursed Child theatre show in the West End. However it’s the Warner Bros Studio in Leavesden (about 24 miles / 39 km) from the city which is the crowning jewel, as you can see where the movies were filmed and do a self-guided tour.
Insider Tip: There is a small store called Mina Lima in Soho that you must visit if you’re a Harry Potter fan. It chronicles the designs from the two artists behind the movie sets and is jam-packed with gorgeous illustrations, props and more.
Soho and Carnaby Street
Speaking of Soho, this is a must-visit part of London too. Previously associated with the sex industry, the area was gentrified in the 20th century and is now pretty famous for it’s shopping, entertainment, nightlife and food. You must visit Liberty, a gorgeous department store in Soho’s centre, or tap your foot along to some jazz at Ronnie Scotts, or visit Milk and Honey for a cooling cocktail.
Soho is also home to Carnaby Street which offers – you guessed it – more shopping! A pedestrianised shopping street there are some very eclectic boutiques. Our favourite is Irregular Choice, a shoe store which offers some weird and wonderful heels. Think Alice in Wonderland meets Trainspotting. Yup, it’s a feast for the eyes.
Explore the inviting glasshouses of flora, check out the 18m high treetop walkway and just saunter around the epic royal gardens of Kew. It’s London’s largest UNESCO World Heritage site and – nerdy fact alert – is home to the world’s most diverse portfolio of living plants.
Insider tip: If you’re here over Christmas, Kew Gardens is transformed into a veritable winter wonderland full of festive rides, mulled wine and great activities!
Afternoon Tea at Claridge’s
The British invented high tea and there is honestly no better place to enjoy the finest brews and incredibly beautifully-crafted (and delicious) pastries than Claridges. It’s almost a London institution to while away a few hours in this historic hotel. You can also book a matching manicure at their world-class spa that was recently renovated. Keep in mind that you need to book this months in advance – we recently tried to book a slot and they had a 9 month waiting list!
Although if you’re not keen on those scrumptious salmon sandwiches, you could always to head to Egerton House for a great vegan afternoon tea in London.
What are the best galleries and museums in London?
- National Portrait Gallery: This is our favourite gallery in London. The National Portrait Gallery was the first of its kind when it opened in 1856 and it has some excellent works of famous British people. We particularly love the real life drawings that look like a photograph. Oh, and yes, it’s free to attend!
- National History Museum: Think Night of the Museum, and you’ll get the picture of what to expect. Housed in one of the most stunning buildings in London, it’s worth visiting the Natural History Museum for the outside alone. And inside, you’re treated to one of the best natural history exhibits around. This one is free to the public too. At certain times of the year they also have a wonderful butterfly exhibition, the National Geographic photo of the year exhibition and also an ice rink around Christmas, so it’s worth checking what’s on.
- British Museum: Ideally we would have loved to have included the British Museum in our 4 day London itinerary, especially as it is free entrance (we love a great free activity) – however it’s not really on any of our walking routes so would mean a bit of a detour. The British Museum could be added after Soho on Day 2 if you have time, but you’ll want to give yourself at least a couple of hours here. The museum houses around eight million works – it is massive – in fact one of the largest collections in the world. And we think it is a really fascinating place to visit.
- Science Museum: If you’re a little bit of a science or engineering geek like James, you will love this place. The Science Museum is the most interactive of all of the London museums and so a perfect addition to the itinerary. This one is especially fun if you have kids. And guess what – it’s free to enter.
- The Victoria & Albert Museum (V&A): Right next to the Science Museum and Natural History museum, the V&A is the world’s largest museum of arts and design. It also houses some seriously cool exhibitions so make sure you check out what’s on. It is free admission too.
- National Gallery: So another one that we also had to leave out of our 4 day London itinerary, but we needed to be realistic about what you could fit into a day. And for us, the National Portrait Gallery just pipped the National Gallery (they’re basically right next to each other). The National Gallery has one of the finest collections of paintings in the world from Cezanne’s to Monet’s, Rembrandts’, Da Vinci’s and Van Gogh’s – it’s most famous resident is probably Van Gogh’s ‘Sunflowers’. There is an incredible amount of masterpieces to see – check out some of them here. And another one that has free admission!
Most of the museums have really good cafes that are the perfect place to grab a breather and refuel on your London itinerary.
If you’re interested in guided tours of the museums and galleries, you should check out the latest offers on Get Your Guide.
What are the best parks in London?
- Richmond Park: A little bit outside of the city centre, Richmond park is one of the best hidden gems in London, especially if you’re keen on a good walk or cycling. The largest of the Royal Parks and very accessible from central London, you can easily spend half a day enjoying this amazing green space. It was actually created by King Charles II in the 1600s as a deer park, and so it’s one of the best places to go and see these animals.
- Bushy Park: A definite soft spot for both of us – particularly James, whose family has lived on the doorstep of this Royal Park for over 30 years. If you’re looking for a good place to take a stroll or ride your bikes we’d recommend this as the best place, although with it being slightly further outside London city than Richmond park, the latter just pips it to the number 1 spot. However, if you’re able to extend your 4 days in London by a day or so, and you have some good weather, head over to Bushy Park and Hampton Court Palace for the day. Bushy Park was originally created as the hunting ground for Henry VIII all the way back in the 1500s.
- Hyde Park: The last of the Royal Parks to make our list… and probably the most famous of them all, Hyde Park already made it on our 4 days in London itinerary given its central location. It is also another of Henry VIII’s hunting grounds, but is now far more manicured than Bushy Park – so a beautiful place to take a stroll or have a picnic.
- Holland Park: Very much a unique park in London, given some of it’s residents – the stunning peacocks that you’ll find all year round in Holland Park. The park also has a beautiful Japanese garden to enjoy.
What we love most about all these parks (and the numerous others that you can explore in London) is that they are all free to enter. There is nothing better on a beautiful London sunny day than taking a walk through any of these parks. If you’ve got a favourite London park, let us know in the comments below.
Day Trips from London
If you’re looking for some of the best day trips from London to add to your London itinerary, then here are a few suggestions for you to consider:
- A day trip to Oxford will open your eyes to this world-famous University city
- With trains direct from Waterloo, why not head out to Windsor and explore Windsor Castle.
- In London and it’s beautiful weather, then escape to Brighton and relax on the beach, it’s only a couple of hours from the capital.
- Or head towards the white cliffs of Dover and stop in to Canterbury for the day, with it’s famous Cathedral, you’ll have many a tale to tell.
What budget do you need for a 4 day London itinerary?
You can definitely blow an absolute fortune in London! But there are also smart ways to do things on the cheap – especially as there are so many free museums, galleries and activities in London. Whether that’s finding a cheap place to exchange money or just finding free attractions, you can spend very little if you try. If you also put the right planning in place, and look to use saving cards like the London Pass for your trip, you can still do loads for a reasonable price.
So we’d recommend a budget of around £150/day (USD 189) if you’re looking at reasonable accommodation, travel and eating out. To be honest, if you’ve got the cash to splash, you could easy spend £500 (USD 632) a day without blinking!
What’s the best time of year to visit London?
So, let’s be honest, London is pretty famous for it’s dreary, rainy days. And rightfully so, it gets a bit of a bad rap for the weather. It’s the one thing that you’ll always hear the English talking about – and probably because on the rare occasion that you get sunny days, it’s something to shout about.
However, over the last few years, the weather has definitely changed a bit and London in summer can be unbearably hot. The city is built for the cold not the heat, so air-conditioning is a very uncommon luxury. You’ll often get 30 odd degrees (that’s around the 90s in Fahrenheit) in July and August. So that combined with it being school holidays (and a lot of European holidays) means we’d definitely not recommend these months for traipsing the streets of London.
There are two seasons that we really think are amazing in London, and the best time for your 4 days in London – late spring/early summer (May and June) and Autumn or Fall (September and October). The temperatures are more comfortable and generally quieter than the summer months (don’t expect no tourists, it’s one of the largest tourist cities in the world). Although be careful of the May bank holidays in England, best to avoid these dates!
So, that’s it. Phew – you’ve made it to the end of our 4 day itinerary for London, England. We hope we’ve given you a rock solid guide for one of the best cities in the world but we would love your feedback? Did we miss something? Is something now out of date? Let us know in the comments or get in touch!
Or if you’re looking for an alternative European city break, then maybe you’d be interested in:
- Weekend in Budapest – ultimate city guide
- Cologne Gemany city guide
- How to spend 2 days in Paris
- 2 days in Split itinerary
- What to do with a couple of days in Dubrovnik
What camera equipment and other gear do we use?
We’re living proof that you don’t need the most expensive gear to travel the world and take good photos. Here are some of our must have items that make it into the packing list for all our travels.
- Main Camera: Panasonic Lumix FZ1000
- Drone: DJI Mavic Air – Fly More Combo
- GoPro: Hero 7 Black
- GoPro Dive Case: Go Pro Housing
- GoPro Case: Smatree GoPro Carry Case – Small
- Packing Cubes: Eagle Creek Packing case
- Backpack: Osprey Farpoint 70
- Powerbank: Anker Powercore
- Phone: Xiaomi Mi 9
- Hard drive: Transcend Slim Storejet 2TB
- Laptop: Lenovo IdeaPad 720s
- Headphones: Bose Quiet Comfort 35
- Wifi Hotspot: GlocalMe G4
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