Skip to main content

If it’s your first time visiting London, you’ll likely be thinking about following a pre-planned itinerary for your first few days here. We highly recommend doing so, for the following reasons.

A man planning his trip to London using our 3-Day London itinerary

1. It saves you days of research time

Whenever we are planning a personal trip, we spend a loooot of time planning our itinerary… DAYS is not an exaggeration, and we usually miss on some amazing stuff because, well, we aren’t locals, so we usually miss those hidden gems.

If you don’t have that kind of time (or that just sounds like your worst nightmare) getting a pre-made itinerary like one of our London Itineraries is fantastic option for you, and will eliminate all of that time you would have had to spend researching attractions and food spots, finding ones you think you’d like, and then figuring out how to piece them together based on how close together they are.

A man taking a picture of the Tower Bridge in London

2. Allows you some flexibility

Having a pre-planned itinerary might sounds quite restricting, but if you’re following a detailed one like one of our London Itineraries, you’ll actually have quite a bit of flexibility built in. Because you’ll have multiple options for sights to see and where to eat, you can choose which suits your fancy at the moment, and can accommodate for unplanned closures and the like.

The view of Elizabeth Tower from the Westminster Station in London- this landmark among others is one of the highlights in our London itinerary

3. Provides you with local knowledge

We definitely can’t say this for the majority of “London Itineraries” that you find online because they’re often written by people who visited London for, like, a week, and then put together an “itinerary” on their blog.

If you follow an itinerary that’s based off of knowledge from someone who actually lives in London and knows it well, you’ll be better off, as you’ll have access to “on the ground” information that will be really helpful as you’re exploring. Our London Itineraries have loads of public toilets marked off on the digital map… we consider ourselves public toilet experts! Gross but true 😉

Also, only locals will know things like that just around the corner from Leicester Square, London’s most touristy square, is a hidden rooftop restaurant and bar with amazing views of the London Eye and the London skyline, and it’s not even that pricy of a spot.

If you’re keen to find little hidden gems like that for your London trip, have a watch of the below guide…


Image of a black cab in between two red London buses, driving on a road in central London. 

4. Reduces time wasted on transportation

London is a huuuuuuuuuge city and especially if you’re looking to go off the beaten path, you could end up spending a couple of hours a day on public transportation if you aren’t familiar with the distance between each of London’s neighbourhoods.

By following an itinerary that has been designed to limit the need for public transportation, or even not need it at all, you’ll spend less time being squashed on the tube and more time exploring above-ground.

Also if you need help with public transportation, here are the top things you need to know before you hop on the underground or a bus…


A tourist checking a physical London map, which you wouldn't have to worry about, if you purchase our London itinerary

5. Prevents you from getting lost

If you’re following an itinerary with a digital map on your phone, it will be hard to get super lost. Even if you veer off the general track of our itinerary, you can whip out your phone and get walking directions back to the spot you want to be in.

Each of our London Itineraries includes a digital map for your phone!

A group of friends taking a selfie in central London

6. Reduces clashing when traveling as a group

If there’s a few of you traveling together, you’re bound to have different tastes, possibly be different ages, and have a bucket-full of recommendations that you’ve all brought to the table and want to check out. It’s time consuming, and stressful, to sift through everyone’s ideas of what they’d like to do, and put together a cohesive itinerary that everyone will agree on.

Instead, with a little flexibility from everyone in the group, it’s easier to just say “let’s follow this itinerary” and stick to it. You’ll find that less choice is more, and that choosing what to do from a very curated list that’s already taken into account travel time will be a lifesaver.

Group of friends having dinner at a restaurant recommended in our London itinerary

7. Ensures you’ll make the most of your time

Even the type of travellers who like to go with the flow and not over plan usually worry about not making the most out of their trip. It makes sense– you’ve likely spent a lot of money to get to London, so you want to make sure you experience as many of the best bits as possible.

Following a pre-planned itinerary can help you do that, but also in the most efficient way (if it was made with efficiency in mind.)

A girl having a good time at the F1 arcade in London. Enjoy the best of the city's activities listed in our London itineraryImage Courtesy of F1 Arcade

8. Reduces overwhelm

London has hundreds of tourist attractions, thousands of restaurants, and covers 1,572, or 606 sq. miles…WOAH. If you’ve not planned out what you want to do and see before you arrive, you might hop off the plane and immediately be incredibly overwhelmed.

Less choice is always easier to handle, and will reduce that overwhelm, and a detailed itinerary will do that just that.

A tourist exploring the streets of London, walking across a bridge headed towards Big Ben.

9. Helps you get acquainted with the city

The first few days of being in London has a bit of a learning curve to it. You’ll be figuring out how to use the transportation system, and picking up cultural differences to your home country, in the least. Following a pre-planned itinerary will take out the guesswork out of “where do I go? What do I see?” as you’re getting to know how everything in London works. It’s kind of like learning on the job!

A customer checking the 6-Day London itinerary on their iPad

10. It’s like getting the answers to the test ahead of time

Any good, locally-made, detailed London itinerary will essentially be like getting handed the answers to a big test you’re about to take. There’s no extra work to be done, you just read through it, add a guidance map to your phone, and get going. Simple.

Our London Itineraries do everything we talked about in this article, and includes a 100-200+ page PDF guide detailing your options for the itinerary, as well as local knowledge like where to find free public toilets and what dish to order at a certain restaurant. It also includes an interactive digital map that you add to your phone that you can follow each day, step by step, making it super simple to follow. Plus for 2024 we have added Notion templates, with a must-dos database, a checklist and a booking and tickets tracker.

Jessica Dante

Jess is the founder of Love and London, an online travel guide that helps London tourists to visit London like they live there. She's been featured in Refinery29, Forbes, BBC Radio 2, HuffPost, and more. Jess is also a sustainable and ethical travel advocate.


  • Emil Neu says:

    Hi Jess. Came across your site while planning my 2nd trip to London. I planned my 1st trip 3 years ago and my wife was impressed with the fun, yet aggressive, itinerary. After watching your videos, I am wondering something- why do you not inform your viewers about memberships in things like the Historic Royal Palaces (www.HRP.ORG.UK)? With this membership, you are entitled to enter any of the many properties (Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace, Banqueting House, Kensington Palace, Kew Palace) whenever you want all year long, as opposed to buying a single day ticket? This can not only save people money, but it allows for flexibility in itineraries. If it rains one day, reschedule. If it’s too crowded, go back another day. If you want to go to lunch and return, no problem. In my opinion, a membership in the HRP is a must for anyone visiting London. And a family membership makes it even more affordable. Not informing people of this wonderful thing in not doing anyone justice.
    Another tip you may want to offer people, perhaps, is to visit the websites of the attractions to find hidden gems they offer. In researching my last trip, I found at Windsor Castle that we could take a tour of the Round Castle, something not offered in over a decade and also the Ceremony of the Keys at the Tower of London. Both of these, of course, took planning due to the requirement to purchase tickets (free for the Ceremony) for a specific day and time. But for me, not a problem.
    I planned out an 8 day trip to London with specific dates in mind: Windsor Castle, Ceremony of the Keys, NFL game (Oakland Raiders) on Sunday. Knowing these days, I planned the rest of the trip and it went flawlessly. We went to Buckingham Palace, Kensington, Hampton Court, Windsor, Tower, Banqueting House and, Westminster Abbey, smaller things like the Churchill Bunker, Madame Tussaud, Abbey Road and more.
    Flew in from San Francisco, stayed in South Kensington, ordered Oyster Cards and all tickets and memberships online.
    We loved London and are coming back in October (for another NFL Oakland Raiders game). This time, I am planning a day trip to Paris. We are very excited.
    Thank you for your advise, tips and recommendations.
    Emil Neu

  • deborah says:

    Hi Jess,
    I have looked over most of your videos and think you are great! I’m sure you put a lot of time and work into each one. There is SO MUCH to see and do in London, no doubt you can’t hit it all. My husband and I have been over several times, it is our favorite place to visit. Mainly because it’s so different from where we live in Colorado. Our lifestyle is pretty laid back here, so running around London is just plain fun for us. For anyone reading this, we like to plan two things a day. If we don’t get to the second one, thats fine. It leaves something for the next day, or the next trip. We love finding a new cafe and re-eatting the calories we just burned running around. :-/
    I will be bringing a few high school friends over this Oct., who have never been before. So I get to play tour guide. We will have a week to see the high spots. Should be fun to share our fav’s with them.
    Keep up the good work. 🙂 P.S. I am insanely jealous you get to live in London…… ;-}

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.