If you’re spending only three days in London, or if you’re just feeling overwhelmed when trying to plan your first few days here, I’ll tell you some of the top things to do.
Visit the London classics
I think even visitors that want to get off the beaten path in London will likely want to pass by a few of the city’s most iconic buildings and sights. This includes the London Eye, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, Tower Bridge, and many more. It’s pretty cool to be able to see these famous sights in real life. Of course, if you’re keen, you can get tickets to go inside and experience them up close.
Go for afternoon tea
I love afternoon tea! England is the birthplace of it, so I definitely think you should work it into your itinerary for your first three days in London. You’d usually have afternoon tea between 12 and 3pm-ish, and DON’T have lunch because it will definitely fill you up.
Afternoon tea consists of, well, your choice of tea of course, but a traditional one also includes three tiers of treats, like finger sandwiches, pretty little sweet treats, and warm, delicious scones with jam and cream.
I’ve included some options for getting afternoon tea, including the spot in the photo above, during your first three days in London in my 3-Day London Itinerary.
Check out a museum
If you’re into museums, London’s has plenty of them, and most are completely FREE to visit. If you like modern art, head to the Tate Modern. Or if you prefer pieces that are a bit older, visit the National Gallery.
In terms of museums that aren’t just art, there’s the Churchill War Rooms, which is always popular with history buffs. You can buy tickets here. Of course, it doesn’t stop there, there are many museum options depending on what you like. There’s even a cartoon museum!
Browse London’s markets
London’s food markets are sooooooo good. The most famous is Borough Market, which has been in London for over 400 years and still is a great place to visit. Another option is Old Spitalfields Market, which has not only delicious and affordable food, but also antiques, clothing, accessories, and other trinkets that make for nice souvenirs.
Both Borough Market and Spitalfields Market are included in my 3-Day London Itinerary.
Go to London’s best viewpoints
The London skyline is gorgeous and iconic, so seeing it from above is a pretty special thing to do. Some of the highest and most famous points in the city include The London Eye and The Shard, which is the tallest building in the EU. For a free option, although not as high, try the viewing platform at the Tate Modern, or the Sky Garden.
Visiting at least one sky-high viewpoint is worth it if you’re in London for three days minimum.
Roam London’s parks
When you arrive to London, I think you’ll be quite surprised at how green the city. Londoners enjoy the parks here even when the weather isn’t very nice, so you should do the same, don’t wait for a sunny, perfect day.
London visitors usually love St. James’s Park, but there’s also Victoria Tower Gardens, which most people completely miss but it’s a good spot for a rest or for some photos next to the river Thames.
Go shopping in London
If you want to pick up some things to help you remember your visit to London, you’ll definitely be able to find something great in this city. Visit We Built This City on Carnaby Street for funky souvenirs made by local artists, or visit one of the city’s famous department stores, my favourites being Fortnum and Mason and Selfridge’s, which is on London’s busy shopping street, Oxford Street. Those places are really great starts for your London souvenir hunt.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed when planning your London trip, then check out my 3-Day London Itinerary. It’s a flexible, non-overwhelming plan for your first three days in London, it combines some of the top things to do and see in the city, along with local-approved recommendations for food, drinks and hidden gems to check out.
In a feedback survey, one of the itinerary’s users said:
“This really does read like a very personalised itinerary; your voice shines through nicely. It’s not generic like a typical travel guide but not overwhelming either, just the right amount of information on each location/topic.”