How Many Days In London? (Tips & Sample Itineraries!)

Wondering how many days to spend in London? I have some tips for you in this ultimate London trip planning guide.

I first went to London as a college student on a semester abroad at the London School of Economics. That visit sparked a longstanding fascination with all things London and I’ve been back many times.

And no matter how much I think I know about the Big Smoke, there’s always new things to discover. The city has layers of history that could take a lifetime to explore.

Pinterest pin for how many days to spend in London
Pinterest pin for how many days to spend in London

London is simply an overwhelming cultural stimulus package. So, deciding how many days in London is enough is important.

When I’ve visited London since college, I’ve stayed anywhere from 1-9 days. So I have a good sense of what you can see in 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 days in London.

Think of London as a sprawling outdoor museum. Within the museum, there are myriad exhibitions from ancient and modern day London. But a museum has to be curated, right? That’s what I attempt to do for you in this article.

Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament from Westminster Bridge
Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament from Westminster Bridge

How Many Days In London Are Enough?

You’ll need to plan your London itinerary in advance. Decide how many days to spend in London and pre-book tickets to attractions.

These days, even if you like to be spontaneous, it doesn’t work well to do things on the fly. There are just too many tourists.

If you don’t pre-purchase skip the line tickets, you’ll have to wait in long queues unless it’s winter. That will unnecessarily cut into your sightseeing time, which you want to avoid if you only have a few days in London.

This London trip planner will help you craft the perfect London itinerary. To give you some destination inspiration, I give you five sample 1-5 day London itineraries, with extra options for day trips.

Westminster Bridge, Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament
Westminster Bridge, Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament

These itineraries will give you an idea of what you can see in X number of days in London. It will help you narrow down what attractions to see and decide how many days in London is enough for you, based on your personal interests.

What is important to you? Are you a ride or die city person? Or do you just want to see the top attractions and move on to another part of England?

Are you an art lover who wants to sample the goods at London’s incredible museums? Do you want to see some of London’s beautiful neighborhoods or hidden gems?

The more things you want to do in London, the more days you’ll need to spend in London. The longer you stay, the more time you’ll have for some amazing day trips.

the London Eye, an extremely popular attraction in London
the London Eye, an extremely popular attraction in London

Is One Day in London Enough?

One day in London is not enough time to see all the city’s attractions. And you shouldn’t bother to try.

But if that’s all the time you have, London is one of the most exciting days Europe has on offer. With some advance planning, you can definitely have a bucket list adventure and see some of the city.

If you’re a first timer to London, you probably want the “gotta do it all” city highlights option. Because what if you don’t get back to London again?

Here’s how to structure the best one day in London itinerary:

  • Tower of London
  • Tower Bridge
  • Southwark Cathedral
  • Borough Market
  • South Bank: London Eye, or Shard, or Shakespeare’s Globe
  • Parliament Square
  • Westminster Abbey
  • Trafalgar Square
  • Covent Garden
  • Show in West End
Tower of London, a must visit site no matter how many days you have in London
Tower of London

With this one day in London “greatest hits” itinerary, you’ll begin with the iconic Tower of London. It opens at 9:00 am.

This UNESCO-listed site is one of London’s best attractions. Begun by William the Conqueror, it’s one of the best castles in England and a place where you can step back in time.

For generations, the tower was a grim instrument of torture and execution. Throw in the legendary black ravens, the glittering Crown Jewels, and the scarlet-clad Beefeaters, and you can understand its popularity.

If you loathe queues, be sure to purchase a skip the line ticket in advance. The Tower is also free with the London Pass, which you can purchase for one day.

To get the full scoop on the tower, you may want to book a tour with an expert. I’ve taken this 3 hour guided tour and it was excellent. If you want to beat the crowds and start your day earlier, you can take this 3 hour early access guided tour.

After you’re done at the tower, cross the Tower Bridge (totally free) and head to the South Bank. If you want to spring for a ticket, you can also walk across the top level of the bridge. With its glass sidewalks, this can be a little intimidating.

getting ready to walk over the top level of Tower Bridge
getting ready to walk over the top level of Tower Bridge

Once you’ve crossed the bridge, head over to Southwark Cathedral and pop in for a few minutes. The church is a little Gothic gem that dates back to 606 A.D. and is London’s oldest Gothic structure.

For lunch, you can grab a bite to eat at Borough Market, which is just a few minutes from the cathedral. It’s one of London’s premiere food halls.

Then, depending on your interests, I would either book a ticket for the London Eye (huge Ferris wheel), a ticket for views at the Shard (London’s iconic skyscraper)or a guided tour of Shakespeare’s Globe Theater. (My pick is the Globe, especially if you’re a fan of the Bard.)

Then, you’ll cross Westminster Bridge and head into the Westminster neighborhood. Stroll through Parliament Square and admire all the statues of London celebrities.

Then, visit the magnificent UNESCO-listed Westminster Abbey. This is a stunning Gothic church, with a beautiful Henry VII Chapel and tombs of English royalty. You may want to book a 2 hour private guided tour of the abbey — it’s that great!

colorful buildings in Neals Yard, a passage near Covent Garden
colorful buildings in Neals Yard, a passage near Covent Garden

After visiting the abbey, head to Trafalgar Square, the heart of London. Wander through Covent Garden.

Visit Apple Market and take in the sites. Don’t forget to head over to the quaint and colorful Neal’s Yard.

To polish off your day, take in a show in the West End. I’ve seen The Phantom of the Opera, Les MiserablesWicked, and Book of Mormon there. In March, I scored a coveted ticket to the critically acclaimed To Kill A Mockingbird and it was fabulous.

Are 2 Days In London Enough?

Are 2 days in London enough? Two days is still not that much time, if you’re wondering how many days is enough for London. But you’ll be able to see the city highlights at a more relaxed pace.

With 2 days in London, you should follow the “greatest hits” itinerary above on day 1 and purchase the necessary skip the line tickets. On day 2, enjoy some other London attractions. This is what you can do with 2 days in London:

  • Tower of London
  • Tower Bridge
  • Southwark Cathedral
  • Borough Market
  • South Bank: London Eye, or Shard, or Shakespeare’s Globe
  • Parliament Square
  • Westminster Abbey
  • Trafalgar Square
  • Show in West End
  • Hyde Park
  • Changing of the Guards
  • Buckingham Palace
  • Lunch in Covent Garden
  • National Gallery of Art
  • Soho: Oxford Street, Regent Street, Carnaby Street
  • Dinner and/or theater show in Soho or at Shakespeare’s Globe Theater

Begin day 2 with a stroll through Hyde Park. It’s one of London’s most beautiful green spaces and a joy to wander through.

The main attractions are the Princess Diana Memorial, the Albert Memorial, the Serpentine (a 40 acre lake), the Bandstand, the Italian Gardens, and the Achilles Statue. Hyde Park is part of a 7 mile long Princess Diana walk, which leads tourists to the key sites associated with her.

the Changing of the Guards at Buckingham Palace
the Changing of the Guards at Buckingham Palace

Next, to get your royal fix, head over to Buckingham Palace to see the Changing of the Guard at 11:00 am.

If it’s important for you to have a good view of the 45 minute ceremony, aim to arrive by 10:00 am. You can also book a guided tour if you want to learn about the history of the pageant.

Next up is Buckingham Palace. Nothing says “Royal Family” quite like the palace. On a visit, you can see the sumptuous state rooms and admire some of the best works of art from the British Royal Collection.

You definitely need to purchase a skip the line ticket to visit the palace. You may also want to book a guided tour to get the full scoop. If you don’t want to visit the palace, but want to see the art, you can purchase a skip the ticket for the Queen’s Gallery.

After your palace visit, head over to Covent Garden for lunch. You can eat in one of the many restaurants in Apple Market. But my favorite cafe is the pretty Petersham Nurseries.

National Gallery of Art in Trafalgar Square
National Gallery of Art in Trafalgar Square

After lunch, it’s time to tackle the National Gallery of Art, London’s most prestigious art museum. It houses one of the richest and best painting collections in the world, featuring 2,000 European paintings from the 13th to the 19th centuries.

The art is displayed in chronological order in four wings on the main floor. To begin at the beginning, enter through the Sainsbury Entrance (the smaller building to the left of the main entrance). There are so many masterpieces (including Van Goghs!) that you may want to book a guided tour.

When you’re done admiring the art, head to Soho. Do some strolling or shopping along Oxford Street, Regent Street, or Carnaby Street. Then, finish your day with dinner and show in Soho.

Are 3 Days In London Enough?

If you’re trying to decide how many days to spend in London, 3 days is a fair amount for first timers. With 3 days, you’ll get to see all the top landmarks, add in another museum, and soak in the culture.

Carnaby Street in Soho
Carnaby Street in Soho

For this 3 days in London itinerary, I’ve shuffled around the sites around on Day 1 and 2, because of the flexibility of having an extra day in London. Purchase your skip the line tickets that for the sites I’ve already mentioned. I’ll briefly describe the other attractions I’ve added on this itinerary.

Here’s what you can do with 3 days in London:

  • Parliament Square
  • Westminster Abbey
  • Changing of Guards at Buckingham Palace
  • Churchill War Rooms
  • Covent Garden for lunch
  • Trafalgar Square
  • National Gallery of Art
  • Show in the West End

I’ve covered all the sites above, with the exception of the Churchill War Rooms. This wonderful museum is where Churchill waged war underground during WWII.

the Map Room in the Churchill War Rooms
the Map Room in the Churchill War Rooms

You can walk the top secret corridors of London’s war rooms. You’ll see what life was like during the long tense days and nights of WWII. It’s a fascinating tableaux of Britain’s wartime leadership at work.

You definitely need to book a skip the ticket for this popular history buff attraction. You can also book a 3 hour walking tour of Churchill’s London and the museum.

  • St. Paul’s Cathedral
  • Tate Modern or Globe Theater
  • Borough Market for lunch
  • Southwark Cathedral
  • Tower Bridge
  • Tower of London
  • Views at Garden at 120, Sky Garden, or Shard
  • Bermondsy Street for dinner

Day 2 has you starting out with St. Paul’s Cathedral. It opens at 8:30 am so you can get an early jump on the day. The cathedral is the largest and most famous of London’s many churches.

St. Paul's Cathedral
St. Paul’s Cathedral

Rebuilt in 710 by Sir Christopher Wren, St. Paul’s has been the site of royal funerals and weddings, including that of Prince Charles and Lady Diana. With the scale and classicism of St. Peters Basilica in Rome, the cathedral will make you gasp.

Definitely budget time to climb the dome for fantastic views of London. It’s a long slog at 528 steps, but well worthwhile.

Click here to purchase a ticket to visit St. Paul’s Cathedral. You also have free skip the line entry with the London Pass.

You may want to book a 2.5 hour guided tour of St. Paul’s and other London viewpoints. You can also book a 3 hour private tour of St. Paul’s.

After your cathedral visit, head to either the Tate Modern (for cutting edge modern art) or Shakespeare’s Globe Theater (for lovers of the Bard).

the Tate Modern
the Tate Modern

The Tate Modern is home to room after room of world famous modern and contemporary art. It’s not just limited to paintings either. They’re installations, sculptures, films, and photography.

The Tate Modern is a free museum. Click here if you’d like to book a guided tour of the museum.

Then, it’s time to see London from above. The Tate has an open viewing terrace on the top level. You can also take in the vast cityscape from Garden at 120, Sky Garden, or Shard.

The Garden at 120 is completely free to visit. The Sky Garden is free as well, but you need to make a reservation. The Shard is the most famous, of course. You’ll definitely need to book a skip the line ticket.

In the evening, head to the Bermondsy area for dinner and a stroll. It’s just across the Thames from the Tower of London.

Bermondsy is a bit of a hidden treasure in London that’s where the locals go. It’s a happening place with cobbled squares and grand buildings that make it feel right out of a period drama.

Bermondsy Street
Bermondsy Street

One of the hottest tables to book right now in Bermondsy is Trivet. It was a just awarded a Michelin star. You can also check out Pique-Nique, Jose Tapas Bar, Casse-Croute, or the Matby St. Market.

  • British Museum
  • British Library 
  • Wallace Collection
  • Soho
  • Hyde Park or Mayfair
  • Victoria & Albert Museum or Kensington Palace
  • Dinner in West End neighborhood

On day 3 in London, most of the attractions on the proposed itinerary are completely free. The only thing you’ll need to pre-book a skip the line ticket for is Kensington Palace.

Parthenon Marbles in the British Museum
Parthenon Marbles in the British Museum

Start your day at the British Museum, which opens at 10:00 am. It’s one of London’s most popular attractions, so expect crowds and line up early.

The museum is a treasure trove of ancient art. It houses a breathtaking collection of over 8 million global objects, antiquities, and artifacts. The most famous pieces on display are the Parthenon Marbles from the Acropolis in Athens.

When you’re done at the museum, walk 5-10 minutes to the British Library. It’s the world’s largest library. It’s stashed with all kinds of gems: printed books, maps, important documents, and illustrated manuscripts.

You can visit the Treasures of the British Library on a walk in basis. You’ll find Mozart’s hand written musical compositions, Lewis Caroll’s Alice Adventures, Charlotte Brontë’s manuscript for Jane Eyre, Jane Austen’s writing desk, the Gutenberg Bible, and the Magna Carta.

ean-Honore Fragonard, The Swing, 1767 -- in the Wallace Collection
Jean-Honore Fragonard, The Swing, 1767 — in the Wallace Collection

Next, wander over to the Marylebone neighborhood and visit the magnificent Wallace Collection. You can take the tube or make the 40 minute walk.

It’s one of the world’s best small museums, a treasure trove of art housed in a palatial mansion that once belong to the aristocratic Seymour family.

The museum has a fine collection of old Masters paintings and French furniture from the Louis XIV era. It’s most famous painting is The Swing by Fragonard.

The Wallace Collection is free to visit. But the Wallace Collection has so many masterpieces that you may want to book a proper 3 hour guided tour. The museum also gives a 30 minute “highlights” starting at 3:00 pm, but you need to make a reservation in advance.

After the Wallace Collection, head to either Hyde Park or Mayfair for a stroll. I discussed Hyde Park above.

row homes in Mayfair
row homes in Mayfair

Mayfair is one of London’s prettiest neighborhoods (and my favorite place to stay). It’s a lovely slice of west London bordered by Oxford Street, Regent Street, Piccadilly, and Park Lane. Mayfair is quiet, immaculate, and synonymous with luxury.

You can find scads of high end shopping on Bond Street and Mount Street. But what I love most is Mayfair’s parks, squares, and gardens. You may also want to book a 2 hour guided walking tour in Mayfair.

Next up, I would choose between the Victoria & Albert Museum or Kensington Palace. I don’t think you’d have time to do both.

The V&A is immense museum named for the royal couple who did so much to support the many triumphs of the Victorian era.

The V&A houses an eclectic collection of national treasures in the field of decorative and design arts. Locals say it’s the best museum in London. It’s certainly the largest and you may want to book a guided tour.

Kensington Palace was the childhood home of Queen Victoria and houses the Royal Dress Collection. You should book a skip the line ticket.

When you’re done, end your day with dinner in one of London’s chic West End neighborhoods — Mayfair, South Kensington, or Chelsea.

the London Mithraeum a temple from Ancient Rome
the London Mithraeum a temple from Ancient Rome

Are 4 Days In London Enough?

With 4 days in London, you will have time to see London’s top attractions and some more hidden gems.

You can follow the 3 day itinerary set forth above and pre-purchase the tickets that you need. Then, on day 4, add in some of these more off beat London attractions.

Here are 7 sites that I can personally recommend:

  • London Mithraeum
  • Apsly House
  • Courtauld Gallery
  • Regent’s Park & Primrose Hill
  • Camden Town
  • Museum of London
  • Eltham Palace
  • Hampstead
colorful London houses in Primrose Hill
colorful London houses in Primrose Hill

You should allocate 1-2 hours per attraction. If you’re efficient, you could do 2 sites in the morning and 2-3 in the afternoon.

As an alternative, you could see some of these hidden gems in the morning and then in the afternoon, take the train or tube for a quick jaunt to Eltham Palace or Hampstead.

If you’re interested in Roman London, the London Mirthraeum should be on your London to do list. It’s the ruins of a Roman temple dedicated to the Cult of Mithras. It’s a new and completely free attraction in London.

It’s one of Britain’s most important archaeological sites, one of only a 100 Mithraic temples found throughout the ancient Roman world.

Apsley House
Apsley House

Apsley House is the London townhouse of the Duke of Wellington and he still lives there.

The museum is the setting for the duke’s astonishing painting collection. You’ll find important old master paintings, including works by Rubens, Velazquez, Goya, and Titian.

The Courtauld Gallery is fabulous! It’s renowned for its collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art. If you’re an art lover, you will walk in and immediately recognize the paintings.

There are seminal works by Renoir, Manet, Monet, Cezanne, and Van Gogh. The museum has Britain’s largest collection of Cezanne works. There’s also a collection of early Renaissance works, including some by a Botticell.

If you’d like to relax in one of London’s largest green spaces, head over to Regent’s Park. You can walk through rose gardens, rent a boat and row on the lake, or feed the ducks.

aerial view of Regents Park
aerial view of Regents Park

5 minutes from the park is Primrose Hill. From the summit of 200+ feet, you’ll have 360 panoramic views of the city. You can relax and lay down on the grass with the locals.

Alternatively, you can head to Camden Town, which is the same general area and a hip district of London. Camden Lock Market is amazing market with over 1,000 food stalls, bars, shops, and cafes. You can even take a vegan food tour in Camden Town.

Another hidden gem in London you may want to visit is the Museum of London. This museum is tailor made for history buffs.

The museum takes you on a journey of the history of London, from its prehistoric first settlers around 450,000 B.C. to today’s contemporary multicultural hub. 

You’ll get some fascinating insight into Roman London. The collection has more than 47,000 Roman objects, including mosaics, tombstones, coins, and leatherwork.

Edward IV's Great Hall in Eltham Palace
Edward IV’s Great Hall in Eltham Palace

Want to take an easy half day trip from London instead? As an alternative, you can spend the afternoon visiting Eltham Palace or Hampstead.

Eltham Palace is so unique. It’s a medieval royal residence turned into one of the great Art Deco modernist mansions in England. Henry VIII grew up there.

To get to the palace, hop on one of the frequent trains that depart from Charing Cross and Victoria Stations and take just 20 minutes. You can also visit Eltham on a 5 hour guided tour from London.

Another quick jaunt from London is to Hampstead.

Flask Walk in Hampstead

It’s one of the most charming boroughs in northern London. You can admire the picturesque houses, chic cafes, and gaze at spectacular views of London’s skyline from Hampstead Heath.

You should walk down London’s most complete Georgian Street, Church Row, which is filled with heritage buildings. Flask Walk is a pedestrian alleyway full of quirky character and cute shops.

If you’re a Beatlemaniac, move on to Abbey Road in nearby St. John’s Wood.

In the evening, why not take one of London’s nighttime tours? One great option is a guided tour of London’s historic pubs or of the trendy pubs in the West End.

You could also opt for an evening photography tour, ride the London Eye at night, take a Thames river cruise, or a spine chilling Jack the Ripper walking tour.

Chelsea, an affluent area known for the smart boutiques
Chelsea, an affluent area known for smart boutiques

Are 5 Days In London Enough?

If you have more time, 5 days in London is fantastic amount of time to spend in London.

Follow the 4 day itinerary set forth above and then, on day 5, split your time between the neighborhoods in the posh West End and hip East End.

In the morning, spend some time strolling in the West London neighborhoods of Chelsea, Belgravia, South Kensington, or Notting Hill.

In Chelsea, you can head to the famous King’s Road, where you’ll find shops, restaurants, and galleries. In Belgravia, you can admire the floral extravaganzas on Elizabeth Street and have tea at Peggy Porschen, one of London’s prettiest cafes.

South Kensington is home to “Museum Mile” — the Science Museum, the V&A, the Natural History museum. You’ll also find the Royal Albert Hall, where you might attend a concert one night.

Notting Hill boasts row after row of Instagram perfect houses in soft pastel hues. The area was made famous by the 1999 film staring Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant. Click here to book a 2 hour walking tour of the pretty neighborhood.

Portobello Market in Notting Hill
Portobello Market in Notting Hill

Notting Hill’s Portobello Road Market is one of the most famous street markets in the world. The road holds markets six days a week, including the popular Saturday antique sale.

In the afternoon, visit some neighborhoods in East London. Take the tube or taxi from West London to the bustling Spitalfields Market to grab lunch with the locals.

From Spitalfields, you can visit Brick Lane and wander around Shoreditch. Brick Lane is a vibrant thin cobbled street running through the Whitechapel neighborhood.

You’ll be surrounded by eye-popping street art murals, bagel shops, vintage finds, and cutting edge designers. Brick Lane is also known for its Indian food and headline cafe, the Cereal Killer.

Shoreditch is a formerly gritty area of London that’s now ultra-cool and bohemian. It’s known for its vintage markets, colorful murals, galleries, and trendy bars.

colorful phone booth in Shoreditch
colorful phone booth in Shoreditch

One of the easiest and most fun ways to explore Shoreditch is on a street art walking tour. Some of the world’s greatest graffiti artists have painted Shoreditch and Brick Lane walls — Banksy, Ben Eine, Conor Harrington, Dal East, Stixx, and Thierry Noir.

You can also book a more general 3 hour walking tour of Shoreditch and East London.

If you’ve taken a tour, ask your tour guide for restaurant recommendations in the area for dinner. If not, I would try one of the restaurants on the Curry Mile of Brick Lane. Can’t go wrong with any of them.

Is One Week In London Enough?

If you’re wondering if 7 days is enough in London, the answer is yes. You can either visit some of the places you missed on my 1-5 day itineraries above. Or you can take a day trip from London.

The city is a great base for day tripping and you could see another part of England without having to move hotels.

You can check out my guide to the 30 best day trips from London. My top 5 favorite day trips from London are to Oxford, Cambridge, Bath, Stratford-upon-Avon, Windsor Castle, and Hampton Court Palace.

cityscape of Oxford
cityscape of Oxford

Oxford is a beautiful and bustling university town. It’s a 1,000 year old scholarly city with film set grandeur. 

Oxford is home to the world’s oldest English speaking university. The town is nicknamed the “Town of Dreaming Spires.” It’s full of creamy honey-toned architecture and the feel of cloistered academia.

You may want to start your one day in Oxford with a guided talking tour to get the lay of the land. You can book a small group tour with a university alumnus or a private 2 hour guided walking tour

For more information, check out my one day in Oxford itinerary, which tells you everything to do and see in Oxford.

To get to Oxford, you can book a guided tour that includes Oxford and the Harry Potter Warner Bros Studio. Or, you can book a private tour from London to Oxford.

Trinity street in Cambridge
Trinity street in Cambridge

Cambridge is an idyllic university city in Cambridgeshire England, just 60 miles from London. This charming city is home to the prestigious University of Cambridge and other gorgeous 16th century buildings worth visiting.

Cambridge has a genuine old world vibe. You can have a wander down cobbled lanes, admire great architecture, learn about the university culture, go on a punting tour, taste delicious Chelsea buns, and so much more.

There are 31 colleges at the university, but the ones you can’t miss are King’s College and Trinity College.

King’s College home to the spectacular Perpendicular Gothic King’s College Chapel. Trinity College is home to the famous Wren Library.

You can book a 9 hour guided day trip from London or a private tour. You can also visit both Cambridge and Oxford on an 11 hour guided tour.

Alternatively, can get there yourself and take a guided tour. Here’s my complete guide to taking a Cambridge day trip from London.

me visiting the Roman Baths in Bath
me visiting the Roman Baths in Bath

Ahhhhh, Bath is one of England’s most beautiful cities. Tucked into cozy green hillsides, the city has been attracting visitors since Roman times. It’s a city of romance and ruins.

Bath’s entire historic center is a UNESCO-listed site. Bath is drenched in Roman history and is a non-stop parade of stunning Georgian architecture. It was and is one of the showiest cities in England.

The top attraction in Bath is the Roman Baths. They  played a critical role in the city’s history and development. Dating back to 75 A.D., the baths are the best preserved ancient baths in Northern Europe.

You’ll also want to visit the lovely Bath Abbey. It’s a massive medieval church built in an eye catching Victorian-Gothic style. There’s a stunning fan vaulted ceiling and gorgeous stained glass.

You can book a guided walking tour of bath that includes entry to the Roman Baths. To get to Bath, you can also book a guided day tour to both Bath and Stonehenge or a guided tour that includes Stratford-Upon-Avon, Stonehenge and Bath.

half-timbered houses in Stratford upon Avon
half-timbered houses in Stratford upon Avon

Stratford-upon-Avon is a beyond picturesque medieval town on the Avon River in Warwickshire. In prime Shakespeare country, the town is an incredibly popular day trip from London.

Stratford is best known as the birthplace and home of William Shakespeare. The quaint town is a magnet for travelers who want to walk in the Bard’s footsteps and immerse themselves in Bard history. Stratford is one of the only places in the world where you can do that!

There are 5 Shakespeare homes in Stratford. If you plan on visiting them all, you can save money with a combination ticket called the Full Story Ticket. At a minimum, you should pre-book a skip the line ticket for the Shakespeare Birthplace Museum.

Aside from the Shakespeare attractions, Stratford is known for its beautiful black and white Tudor buildings. Everything is so well preserved, you might feel like you’re in an architectural stage set. For more information, check out my one day in Stratford-upon-Avon itinerary.

You can book a guided day tour to Stratford-upon-Avon from London led by a Shakespearean actor. Another good option is a guided tour that includes a visit to both Stratford-upon-Avon and the Cotswolds.

Windsor Castle
Windsor Castle

The 1,000 year old Windsor Castle is a striking 11th century castle that’s the official home of the Queen. The palace is the longest occupied royal residence in the world.

It’s home to some of the most famous paintings in the British Royal Collection. You should check out Queen Mary’s Dolls House, St. George’s Hall, the State Rooms, and the Waterloo Chamber.

St. George’s Chapel at Windsor is a stunning medieval chapel in the Perpendicular Gothic style of architecture. The chapel holds a number of famous royal tombs. This is also where Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were married in 2018.

You will definitely want to pre-book a skip the line ticket for the castle. it’s free to enter St. George’s Chapel.

From London, you can get to Windsor Castle on a guided half day tour to Windsor or a private guided tour from London. You can also visit Windsor on a longer full day guided tour that includes Oxford and Stonehenge

Hampton Court Palace
Hampton Court Palace

This palace was the former stomping grounds of the infamous King Henry VIII, one of the England’s most notorious characters. It’s the world’s greatest surviving medieval palace.

Hampton Court has a deliciously rich and scandalous history. Built between 1514-25, the palace was originally the home of Henry VIII’s chief minister, Cardinal Wolsey.

Golden Boy Henry suffered an injury there that changed the course of his life — transforming him from a dashing energetic king into a tyrannical monster.

For the full scoop, read my guide to Hampton Court Palace. Click here for an entrance ticket. Click here to book a guided tour from London.

residential red brick row homes in Kensington
residential red brick row homes in Kensington

Final Thoughts: How Many Days In London Is Enough?

So, bottom line, how many days in London is enough? Whether you stay in London for one day or one month, you will be sure to have a bucket list adventure. Every visit to London can be unique.

My recommendation for how many days to spend in London is 4-5 days. London is a huge city and there’s just so much to do.

4-5 days in London is enough to proceed at a fairly leisurely pace without rushing too much.

If you’re not an art lover and don’t care for museums, then 3 days in London will be enough for you.

If you are a real history buff and want to take a deep dive into London’s many hidden gems and historic sites, budget 5 days or more. If you have plenty of time and don’t want to rush, stay a week.

To help you have the best visit for however many days you spend in London, check out my 25+ must know tips for London.

double decker buses in London

Tips For Visiting London

1. London Cards

You can buy individual tickets for the attractions you want to see. You might consider purchasing the London Pass.

It gives you free skip the line entry to over 60 of London’s top attractions, including the Tower of London, Westminster Abbey, Windsor Castle, St. Paul’s Cathedral, and the Shard. 

The Pass also gives you free transportation on the hop-on-hop-off bus and the hop-on-hop-off river boat. You also get additional discounts on food, shopping, theater tickets, and tours. You can see a full list of attractions and benefits here.

There’s also a London Explorers Pass. With it, you can pre-select entry to 3, 5, or 7 out of 20 included destinations.

Fortnum & Mason, an upmarket department store in Piccadilly
Fortnum & Mason, an upmarket department store in Piccadilly

2. How To Get To London

London is probably your first step into England. The most common international gateway is Heathrow Airport (LHR).

To get to the city center, you can take the tube (metro) or the Heathrow Express. It’s a non-stop train service that provides a fast and direct connection between Heathrow Airport and London Paddington Station.

You can also book a private transfer from the airport to your hotel.

3. How To Get Around London

London is a walkable city. If you concentrate blocks of sightseeing in one geographical area, you could walk to all the sites.

cherry blossoms in London

But the easiest way to get around is by the “tube,” London’s metro. For that, you need to purchase an Oyster Card.

It’s a handy London pass that I highly recommend. It’s an electronic smart card used to pay for transportation in London, including the tube and buses.

You can purchase an Oyster Card online in advance of your trip and have it mailed to your home. You can also buy the card at tube stations and airports. There’s a one time £5 fee to purchase the card.

You can also use the hop on hop off bus or take an e-bike tour to get around London.

Art Deco room at the Beaumont
Art Deco room at the Beaumont

4. Where To Stay In London

This is a big topic. London has a booming hotel scene. Where you stay depends entirely on whether you prefer central London or somewhere less busy and noisy (and also on your budget).

I often stay in Mayfair because it’s beautiful and peaceful. Mayfair is loaded with some of London’s best hotels. 

In Mayfair, you can book at:

If you want something more centrally located, check out:

Westminster Abbey
Westminster Abbey

5. London History Guides

Looking for a some information on the history of London to prepare for your visit? I’ve written a couple guides you may want to read:

I hope you’ve enjoyed my guide to how many days in London is enough. You may enjoy these other England travel guides and resources:

If you’re trying to decide how many days in London is enough, pin it for later.

Pinterest pin for how many how many days in London is enough

2 thoughts on “How Many Days In London? (Tips & Sample Itineraries!)”

Leave a Comment