You’ve got one day to yourself in London, and you want to use it correctly. Ideally, you’d have an entire week, or even longer to spend checking out some of the tourist traps and soaking up the unique culture. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t explore within these 24 hours.
Whether you’re a London local looking for an opportunity to see the city from another perspective, or you’re visiting London your way to somewhere else, the following guide will help you to get the most of your single day in London.
Start at South Kensington
The good news for people with a tight time budget in London is that a lot of the major sights of the city are located within close walking distance of each other. That’s why there are so many busses and tours that can take you to many of the major locations fast. If you’re planning on keeping your budget low, simply take a stroll through the major sights of London instead.
You can start your day in South Kensington, and from there, drop into some museums if you’re looking to expand on your historical knowledge, or simply wander along to Knightsbridge, where you’ll find iconic shops like Harrods. If you’re planning on shopping, we do recommend going early in the morning, when the locations are likely to be a little quieter.
Head over to St James’s Park when you’re done shopping, and Buckingham Palace, which is conveniently located just around the corner. Make sure you snap as many pictures as you can here before the crowds start to gather too much, then you can head down the Mall towards Westminster.
If you’re lucky, you might see some politicians dotted around the House of Parliament, or you could just check out Westminster Abbey and the unforgettable Big Ben.
Where To Next?
Once you’ve discovered Big Ben, you’ve got a choice to make. You can take a boat down the Thames to the Tower Bridge or continue your walk across the Westminster Bridge to the South Bank, and head down the river on foot. If you’re walking, you’ll also have a chance to visit the Tate Modern and The Globe, so it might be worth trying this if your feet aren’t getting sore.
After you’re at Tower Bridge, you can head into the Borough Market to see the Shard, and visit the Tower of London, where you can see some famous Beefeaters, well-known for making their mark on London’s image forever. If you’re feeling a little exhausted at this point, don’t worry. Hop onto the number 11 bus heading to the West of London, and you can relax when you’re checking out St Paul’s Cathedral, and catching a glimpse of Fleet Street and the Strand.
Eventually, you’ll arrive at Trafalgar Square, where you can stop for a quick coffee with the stone lions and relax for a little longer with some retail therapy if you like. This is also where you can pick up some theatre tickets if you plan on seeing a show later. Just remember that a lot of the top shows sell out quickly, so the quicker you can get your tickets, the better off you’ll be.
Most of the shows on at London will finish at around 10pm, but you’ll have no problem getting back to your hotel, or wherever you might be staying after this, because the tubes run until around midnight. Make sure you figure out which line you’re going to be getting on in advance, and you can get another view of the London underground to finish off your day.