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If you only have three days to spend in London, then I am sorry, and I really wish you had more time. But I understand which is why I’ve written this 3-day London Itinerary to help you maximize your time!
London is one of the most diverse and experience-rich cities in the world. I lived there for two and half years and have visited as a tourist multiple times; and there is still so much I haven’t done.
London is an easy city to travel to. Since there are so many free attractions and things to do, it makes for the ideal city destination.
But if you’re short on time, the best way to maximize your visit is by following this London itinerary for 3 days, which has been designed to incorporate some of London’s most iconic attractions and best experiences – with a little touch of local flavors and neighborhoods.
Down below is a similar London itinerary to what we did on our first three days in London during our 10-day family trip to England last year.
- How to use this 3 Day London Itinerary
- Is 3 Days in London Enough?
- Day 1: Royalty, Politics & The West End
- 9:30am Westminster Abbey Tour
- 10:30 Walk through St James’s Park
- 10.45am Buckingham Palace and the Changing of the Guard.
- 12.00pm Big Ben and Parliament House
- 2.00pm Whitehall Gardens
- 3.00pm London Eye
- 4.00pm River Thames Cruise
- 6.00pm The West End
- 7.00pm West End Theater
- Day 1 in London Video Wrap
- Day 2: When Ancient and Modern London Meet
- 9.00am Tower of London
- 12.00pm Tower Bridge
- 1.00pm Lunch at Borough Markets
- 2.00pm Walk along Southbank Promenade
- 2.30pm Visit Tate Modern Art Gallery
- 3.30pm See the Shakespeare Globe
- 4.00pm Afternoon Drink Stop
- 4.45pm Cross the Millennium Bridge – the Wobbly Bridge
- 5.00pm St Paul’s Cathedral
- 7.00pm Enjoy Sunset Views from The Shard
- Video: London Day 2 Wrap
- Alternative Endings for Day 2 in London
- Day 3: North London: Camden Town to Kings Cross
- Alternative Day for Harry Potter Fans
- 3 Day London Itinerary Map
- Where to Stay in London
- Getting Around London
- Final Thoughts on this London Itinerary for Three Days
Planning your trip to London last-minute?
Don’t forget to plan ahead when visiting London! Here are some of the top tours, hotels, and useful items you may need before your trip!
Top Experiences and Tours in London
- River Thames Cruise (a great way to see the city skyline!)
- The Tower of London Entry Ticket w/ Crown Jewels Exhibit (an unmissable attraction in London!)
- Harry Potter Warner Bros Studio Tour (to keep the kids happy!)
- London Eye Entry Ticket (to avoid long queues)
Top Accommodation and Hotels in London
How to use this 3 Day London Itinerary
London is a huge city, and since you only have 3 days, I created this itinerary to reduce the amount of time getting around. Who wants to waste time on public transport?
Fortunately, there is no need, as London is so easy to get around. Just walking from Point A to B is a valuable memory making experience and is where you’ll connect so much to the London lifestyle.
But if you don’t plan properly, you could be spending far too much time zig zagging across the city when you don’t need to.
Each day’s activities will be focused on one area of London, so you can spend more time exploring and less time on the London Tube (underground train).
Adapt this three-day itinerary as you see fit, according to your budget, interests, time of arrival, and your hotel location.
I’ve put approximate timing based on what we did – with any adaptations for mistakes made. (We make the mistakes so you can avoid them.)
I’ll also recommend places to eat, and coffee stops, and some hidden gems. I realize how personal those choices can be so you may want to substitute your own in.
Just make sure you find something close to the attractions to reduce your travel time. Good news, in London there’s a pub and a pastry shop on every corner.
We also ate breakfast at our hotel each morning as it was provided with our room. Buffet English breakfasts at your hotel will be way better than any American one you’ve experienced. So, enjoy and fill up!
Only have two days in London? Simply drop off Day 3. We’ve created it so the very best of London (from a tourist perspective) is on Day 1 & 2.
To make this London itinerary flow effortlessly, it’s important to book all your attraction tickets and tours in advance. You will get more done, if you book for the times we suggest in this outline.
Buy skip-the-line whenever you can. I know it’s an extra expense, but you’ve come all this way, you want to see and do as much as you can. This is especially important if visiting in peak season.
Is 3 Days in London Enough?
If you are prepared to wake up early and put your best walking shoes on, 3 days is enough to see the highlights of London, but if you have got the time to spend longer, we recommend you spend at least 5 days in London.
Stay tuned, we’ll soon have a 5-day, 7-day and 10-day itinerary for those who can stay longer, or help you plan your activities if you return!
We also have other in-depth posts on London and its experiences, which will help you with further reading and research.
You can also join our email community, where we share more helpful travel plans and inspirations. We’re doing a 4-week Europe summer trip in June 2023, so we will be sharing more content for the UK and Europe in our mailing list!
You’ll also get access to our free printable London Bucket List and this printable itinerary in a one-page outline.
And if you really loved it because we saved you time, and possibly money, you can buy us a coffee!
Day 1: Royalty, Politics & The West End
On this day in London, you’ll visit some of its top attractions in the Westminster and St James’s area, learning about the two forms of leadership in Britain with the Royals in Buckingham Palace and the Politicians at Big Ben and Parliament House.
You’ll be taking in the views of London at the most popular attraction in the city then exploring the vibrant arts and cultural West End.
9:30am Westminster Abbey Tour
Westminster Abbey is the Royal Church of England, and one of the top attractions in London. I enjoyed I enjoyed our self-guided audio tour of Westminster Abbey more than I thought I would, as did our kids.
We wanted to see Westminster Abbey to see where the King’s and Queens of England have their coronations. It was also where members of the royal family get married, the last being Prince William and Kate Middleton.
As you walk through the pews, you can take in the beautiful Gothic architecture, while your audio guide tells you more about the artwork, architecture and notable monuments inside the building.
You also get told about the Abbey’s long history, from as far back as the coronation of William the Conqueror.
Be sure to check out the outside of the cathedral, too. I enjoyed seeing the perspective of the abbey from walking around the cloisters and gardens.
- Hours: 9.30am – 4.30pm Monday – Friday, 9.00am – 2.00pm Saturday, Sundays for services only.
- Address: 20 Deans Yd, London SW1P 3PA
10:30 Walk through St James’s Park
My favorite of all the parks in London is the 58-acre St James’s Park. It’s home to the Mall and Horse Guards Parade and is on the doorstep of Buckingham Palace.
It’s the smallest of the eight Royal Parks and has a quiet beauty about it with its manicured gardens, blooming flowers, ponds, ample birdlife, and meandering paths under the shade of hundreds of trees.
Depending on how much time you spend in Westminster Abbey, you may have to skip through here to get to the Changing of the Guards at Buckingham Palace on time. Don’t worry, you’ll walk back through it after the palace.
10.45am Buckingham Palace and the Changing of the Guard.
It wouldn’t be a visit to London without peeping through the wrought iron fence of one of the most famous palaces in the world.
Buckingham Palace is the royal residence of the British Royal Family since 1837. Although the British royals choose live elsewhere (Windsor Castle is where the Queen lived before she passed), the palace is still used for stately events and meetings.
Most tourists love to visit for the Changing of the Guards Ceremony, which takes place daily at 10.45am.
This is when The Queen’s Guard hand over responsibility for protecting Buckingham Palace and St. James’s Palace to the New Guard.
The Changing of the Guards does get crowded and make take up a chunk of your time. For me, it’s not worth it. I’d rather put that time into other things to do in London.
You can also tour the palace from July until October, on Thursdays until Mondays.
Changing of the Guard times
- June – July: Daily
- August – May: Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays.
- Starts at 10.45am and goes on for about 45 mins.
Address: London SW1A 1AA
Alternative: You may want to explore Kensington Palace and Gardens which is west of Buckingham Palace.
If you only have three days, I’d skip it and stick to this itinerary as the rest of this day is full of epic London experiences. You can guarantee Kensington is in our follow up 5-day London itinerary!
12.00pm Big Ben and Parliament House
If you did not get time to get your photos here when you were at Westminster Abbey, now is the time, as you’ll walk back through it to get to the London Eye.
The Houses of Parliament is where all the important business in running the country happens. You can tour inside during select days and times.
Big Ben is the 13.5 tonne iconic clock tower that most visitors gaze up at and can be seen from all over London.
Parliament Square is next to the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey. It has statues of well-known political leaders including Winston Churchill, Abraham Lincoln, and Nelson Mandela.
You might want to stop for lunch after visiting the Houses of Parliament. There are many great restaurants and cafes along the embankment, just across Westminster Bridge on the South Bank side. Just walk along Belvedere Road and see what takes your fancy.
2.00pm Whitehall Gardens
Around the corner from Parliament House are the very pretty Whitehall Gardens. You may want to walk halfway out on the Westminster Bridge first for some lovely views of Big Ben and Parliament House
Apart from the prettiness of the Whitehall Gardens, the views from here of the Thames and the London Eye here are great. There’s not much else to do but enjoy the views as you walk to your next stop.
Moored on the Thames is the Tattershall Castle, a former passenger ferry turned pub with views of the London Eye. This could be a top spot for your lunch on this day of your London itinerary. Otherwise, you may want to find just a grab and go lunch as the day is quite busy.
Walk across the pedestrian-only Golden Jubilee Bridge to the London Eye, enjoying the views as you go.
Under this bridge, right outside the Royal Festival Hall, is the colorful artistic 10ft shipping container, which is the home of Beany Green, an Aussie Cafe chain in London.
While sadly, I don’t think their coffee is great, I love the vibe of this place and their lamingtons are amazing (and they have gluten free ones). So, if you need an afternoon caffeine and treat pick me up, this is the spot.
3.00pm London Eye
The London Eye is the tallest observation wheel in Europe and a great way to see different viewpoints of the famous buildings in London, like the Big Ben and Houses of Parliament.
While you book a time slot for the London Eye, you still have to line up. The lines move pretty quickly, but I have heard of long waits. To avoid that, get the fast-track ticket.
- Hours: 11.00am – 6.00pm daily
- Address: Riverside Building, County Hall, London SE1 7PB
Video: London Eye Experience
You can see more of the London Eye experience in the video below, including a private pod!
4.00pm River Thames Cruise
If you would prefer to do a sunset cruise tomorrow, you may want to skip this. (It could be a good resting activity.)
Since these cruises depart at a specific time, and the London Eye doesn’t, you may want to do the cruise first, then book your London Eye for after it.
The Lastminute.com London Eye River cruise is a 40-minute circular tour of the Thames on a small open-top ferry with guided commentary.
You’ll learn many stories about the iconic Landmarks you’ll pass like Big Bend, London Bridge, HMS Belfast, The Shard, Tate Modern, Shakespeare’s Globe Theater, the Tower of London, St Paul’s Cathedral, and Tower Bridge, which you’ll get to sail under before turning around to cruise back.
You can buy a combination ticket with the London Eye, which makes it easier to fit in.
6.00pm The West End
Now you’re free to explore the West End. If you are going to go to the theater, you will be on a time limit. If not, explore at your leisure.
It will be easy to return to Convent Garden on day three of this 3-day London itinerary if you run out of time today. It’s a great area to explore so give yourself time to wander. Returning is always a great idea! I would return every weekend when I lived in London.
It’s an easy walk back over the Golden Jubilee Bridge straight into Trafalgar Square. Before a theater visit, I recommend a quick look around the following districts…
Trafalgar Square has always been a place for Londoners to gather, whether that is to bring in the New Year together, or protest, rally, or march for important rights and causes.
The 52-m high statue of Lord Nelson dominates the square and the National Gallery is the stunning building in the background.
There’s not a lot to do here, other than walk around and take photos with the fountain and lions of courage. Take note of the LGBTQ pedestrian traffic lights as you’re crossing the road. You can what Trafalgar Square is like over on our reel.
Piccadilly Circus is like a mini Times Square in New York. Full of neon lights, massive flashing advertising billboards, and people getting selfies.
It’s overrated, but many tourists love it so I’m adding it here for you. You’ll no doubt come across it as you walk around the West End.
From here you can easily walk to Piccadilly, Leicester Square, Shaftesbury Avenue, the curving Regent Street, and Covent Garden.
Soho (The Best Area for Nightlife)
Soho is the proud LGBTQ area of London. It has a fun artsy vibe with a lot of cafes, stores, bars, and restaurants and theaters. It’s also the best place in London for nightlife and is filled with vibrant bars and night clubs.
This gallery and store showcase the graphic art of the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts films, all of which was exclusively designed by Miraphora Mina and Eduardo Lima.
You can read more about it in our teen’s guide to London.
One of the most well-known places to visit in London is Covent Garden.
Wander the cobblestoned areas surrounding the central marketplace, which had its beginnings as a convent garden in the 1500s.
There are endless restaurants and bars and shopping stores. Performers rotate all day long on the street just below the balcony of the famous Punch and Judy pub (good luck trying to get on it!).
Don’t forget to spread out across the central Covent Garden marketplace area to explore the surrounding cobblestone streets and side alleys for other secret gems!
We found Cecil’s Court and Goodwin Court both of which are said to have inspired Diagon Alley.
Places to Eat in Convent Garden:
I’m sure you’re ready to collapse in a restaurant at this point. Covent Garden and the West End is overbrimming with them, many with outdoor seating. So find one you like and sit down, if there is space. If you’re going to the theater, be sure to time it right.
Here are a few ideas:
- Lamb & Flag is the oldest pub in Covent Garden. (This was one of our favorite London pubs).
- If you don’t have kids, you won’t want to miss the stunning giant tree in the middle of Waxy O’Conner’s Irish Pub on the edge of Soho and Leicester Square.
- The Crown & Anchor has good food and a comfortable lounge upstairs.
- The Seven Dials Market has a diverse offering of cuisines to suit any tastebud.
7.00pm West End Theater
There are over 40 theater venues in the West End performing a variety of shows to over 14 million visitors every year. They have shows throughout the day, but most evening shows begin at 7:30pm.
On our family vacation to London, Kalyra, Savannah and I went to see Matilda in the Cambridge Theater, while Craig caught up with his old North Sydney Bears Rugby teammates in Chelsea.
I’m glad we added this to our London itinerary at the last minute as our teen said it was one of her favorite London experiences.
Day 1 in London Video Wrap
Click play to see what Day one of this itinerary in London looks like!
Day 2: When Ancient and Modern London Meet
On Day 2 of this London itinerary, you’re going to continue learning more of Britain’s history (it’s dark kind) at the Tower of London, and the stunning St Paul’s Cathedral before crossing over the Tower Bridge into its more modern, artistic vibe.
You’ll be exploring bustling market vibes, art galleries, and stunning views!
9.00am Tower of London
The UNESCO World Heritage, Tower of London is a castle comprising twenty-two towers but sitting in the middle is the original White Tower built in the 1070s by William the Conqueror.
Don’t miss the free Yeoman tour with the red-coated Beefeater (Yeoman Warders) guides entertaining with gruesome stories of its macabre history from its former years (and I mean centuries) as a Royal residence, armory, treasury, and zoo (thank goodness they stopped that!)
After your tour, walk around the old castle grounds to see the prison towers, Crown Jewels, and many other infamous sites. Head to the Crown Jewels first. While I found them overrated, others line up for two hours just to see them!
As one of the best things to do in London, The Tower of London is notorious for its long lines, which can extend into hours, that’s why we’ve scheduled it in first. Tickets will also be cheaper online.
- Hours: General opening hours 9.00am – 5.30pm Monday – Friday, 10.00am – 5.30pm Saturday and Sunday
- Address: London EC3N 4AB
12.00pm Tower Bridge
Almost anyone coming to London is already familiar with the elegant beauty of its neo-Gothic turrets and blue suspension cables.
Walk across the iconic Tower Bridge for free and get great views overlooking the Thames and back over the Tower of London.
Check for times when the Tower Bridge will raise up its bridge arms so boats underneath can pass by (usually twice a day). Check opening times here.
If you follow our schedule as outlined in this London itinerary, the best views of the bridge (taking into account sun) will be on the south side of the bridge. The north side was completely washed out.
1.00pm Lunch at Borough Markets
Whether you’re hungry for strawberries dipped in chocolate, soft local cheeses, bowls of Vietnamese pho, sausage rolls or a refreshingly sweet peach Prosecco, you’ll find it at the Borough Markets on the south side of the River Thames.
Popular London Borough Markets are a collection of stalls and vendors selling fresh produce. It’s a great insight into local London life.
On the periphery you’ll find pubs, cafes, restaurants, murals and a few Harry Potter filming locations, including the Leaky Cauldron Pub.
Note that weekdays will be much quieter.
- Hours: 10.00am – 5.00pm Monday – Friday, 8.00am – 5.00pm Saturday, 10.00am – 3.00pm Sunday
- Address: Riverside Building, County Hall, London SE1 7PB
2.00pm Walk along Southbank Promenade
This 2.5 miles / 4 km South Bank walk along the Thames goes from Westminster Bridge to Tower Bridge. There are stunning views all around as you pass many top attractions.
While you’re walking along the promenade, you can stop off at several exciting attractions. Such as…
2.30pm Visit Tate Modern Art Gallery
Any art lover will have the FREE Tate Modern Art gallery and its over 78,000 works of art on display, on their London bucket list.
Opened in 2000 in a dilapidated old power station, it has completely revitalized this Southbank area, making it completely unrecognizable to my 22-year-old self living in London in 1997.
It’s not just a place to admire world-class art, but for its views of the Thames, Millennium Bridge and St Paul’s Cathedral from the enclosed 6th floor Kitchen and Bar in the Natalie Bell Building.
3.30pm See the Shakespeare Globe
If you want to have a unique experience and see something quintessentially English, you can catch a Shakespeare production at The Globe Theatre on the banks of the River Thames.
Warning: this a standing theater so think about that if there’s a production of Hamlet or King Lear. Our friends said they booked privileged seats for the four-hour production of King Lear. Not sure I could do 4-hours standing up. They also offered a bit of cover in case it rained, as the Shakespeare Globe is how it was during Shakespeare’s Days!
If that all sounds like your worst nightmare, just enjoy the views from the outside.
4.00pm Afternoon Drink Stop
In London, it’s common to incorporate a drink stop during your day. English pub culture is one of the delights of UK travel.
Founders Arms Pub has outdoor seating, spectacular River Thames Views, and vibrant London atmosphere (especially when the sun is out.) I enjoyed a Pimm’s and Lemonade here (iconic English drink) (Outside the Tate Modern)
The Anchor is also an old London pub with outdoor seating on the River Thames worthy of a drink break.
4.45pm Cross the Millennium Bridge – the Wobbly Bridge
The Millennium Bridge is one of the coolest, more recent additions to London city. Opened in 2000, it has a warped, futuristic look with magnificent views all around.
I loved the dome of St Paul’s Cathedral growing in front of your eyes with each step as you cross. And look behind for views of Tate Modern, and to the right for Tower Bridge views, and views of life on both banks of the river.
Harry Potter lovers will want to know, this was targeted by Death Eaters in Harry and the Half-Blood Prince.
5.00pm St Paul’s Cathedral
You’re going to see this architectural masterpiece from Sir Christopher Wren, built after the Great Fire of London between 1675 and 1710 from viewpoints all over London.
St Paul’s Cathedral is one of the most famous cathedrals in the world and one of London’s most magnificent buildings.
It’s worth a tour, and if the top of the dome is open (closed on our visit) make sure you go up to look at the incredible views of London (I did this when I lived in London)
Ask the attendants if they can take you to the spiraling Harry Potter staircase. This staircase in St Paul’s was used as the “Divination Stairwell” located in the North Tower of Hogwarts Castle for the Harry Potter films.
- Hours: 8.30am – 4.30pm Monday and Tuesday, Thursday – Saturday. 10.00am – 4.30pm Wednesday, 8.30am – 6.00pm Sunday
- Address: St. Paul’s Churchyard, London EC4M 8AD
7.00pm Enjoy Sunset Views from The Shard
The Shard View is an expensive thing to do in London, but the 244m high sweeping views from the 72nd floor open-air platform make it worthwhile. It was my favorite London view, which you can understand since it’s the tallest building in Western Europe.
Aim for about an hour before sunset so you can experience the dusk golden light views, sunset panoramic views, and nighttime views when those London lights sparkle.
You must reserve your tickets in advance, (plus it will also save you money).
- Hours: 10.00am – 10.00pm Thursday – Saturday (access until 8:30pm). 10.00am – 7.00pm Sunday – Wednesday (access until 5:30pm)
- Address: 32 London Bridge St, London SE1 9SG
Video: London Day 2 Wrap
Click play below to see what this epic day in London looks like!
Alternative Endings for Day 2 in London
My choice would be The View, but here are a couple more options for you.
Sky Garden Views and Dinner
Back across the London Bridge (near the Shard) is the Sky Garden, another great viewpoint in London. It is free, but they have limited openings that must be booked in advance. Some say the views are better from here, but I’m not too sure about that.
While it was closed (Monday) when we tried to visit, we had a similar view at The Garden 120 Fenchurch around the corner, and while it was fantastic, it still did not compare to the Shard view! It is free however, which is very attractive.
There is a restaurant at the Sky Garden, which may be a way to get up there if the viewing platform is booked. It must also be booked in advance, and I have heard great things about it. We also wanted to do that but couldn’t make it happen on this trip.
Sunset River Cruise along the Thames
Alternatively, you could end the day with a sunset river cruise along the Thames leaving from near the Tower of London.
This Thames River cruise leaves as the sun goes down and begins with a glass of sparkling wine and canapes as you cruise and look at the lights of London go by!
Day 3: North London: Camden Town to Kings Cross
Welcome to one of my favorite days in London. Camden Town was a regular outing for my friends and I. Twenty-five years later, I still enjoy visiting and I loved taking my daughters there.
We stayed here for the final few nights of our London trip and really enjoyed it.
Camden town is London elective and alternative. Known to always be the home of punks, artists, and musicians, it’s also a place for great shopping, fun pubs and cafes, and fantastic live music.
This day will also include the British Museum and a visit to Kings Cross Station. You may have to consider this day’s itinerary carefully to adapt to your interests.
9:30am Coffee and Lamingtons from Beany Green
You need this for your canal trip. It’s around the corner from where you depart at Beany Green Little Venice. There is nothing better than a coffee and lamington as you cruise Regents Canal.
Right near here is the Darcie & May Green (same owners), which is a restaurant on a boat on the canal. Brunch here is meant to be awesome and it opens at 8am, so very doable to start the day here. I had planned on it but couldn’t make it work!
10:15am Canal Cruise
The relaxing and picturesque 40-minute canal ride will take you along Regents Canal, through the 248m Maida Hill tunnel, and past the exclusive neighborhoods of Maida Vale and Primrose Hill, with homes of celebrities, and expansive and landscaped back gardens of grand houses.
An alternative Idea would be to walk between Camden and Regents Park, to explore one of London’s most popular and expansive of the royal parks and gardens.
11.00am Explore Camden Town And Camden Market
Your canal cruise will deliver you straight to the heart of Camden Markets, which is most popular on the weekends. Here you’ll find loads of stalls selling all kinds of wares including an abundance of food stalls representing cuisines from around the world.
There are endless choices for food here with cuisines from around the world.
Don’t miss walking up and down the main streets of Camden Town and the side streets for fantastic street art, shopping, and incredible people watching.
12.30pm Lunch Stop at Edinboro Castle Pub
A few blocks away from Camden Market is the Edinboro Castle Pub. We’d recommend this instead of the Camden Markets, especially on a Sunday or sunny day, because they have a fantastic outdoor beer garden and a delicious Sunday roast (and gluten-free beer).
A Sunday roast is a traditional English meal not to miss, and we enjoyed a great one at Edinboro Castle Pub.
- Hours: 12.00pm – 11.00pm Monday – Saturday, 12.00pm – 10.30pm Sunday
- Address: 57 Mornington Terrace, London NW1 7RU
2.00pm Kings Cross Station and Platform 9 ¾
If you’re a Harry Potter fan you may want to include this in your London itinerary. Otherwise, I wouldn’t worry. Even if you are a fan, it may not be worth it if you’re short on time.
You are just walking up to the fake cart against the wall to take a picture, and typically lines are long. We were blessed with just a 10-minute wait.
Kings Cross Station is a real train station and one of the busiest transport hubs in London. If you want to see the platforms (where many scenes were filmed) either catch a train somewhere or ask the guards if they can let you on the platform to take a photo.
Across the road is St Pancreas which is the background setting for the flying car scene in the second movie.
You can catch the tube or walk 20 minutes to here from Camden Town.
2.30pm Visit the British Museum
The British Museum is outstanding, and I highly recommend it as one of the best places to visit in London.
It’s England’s largest museum and known to be one of the oldest and finest in the world with vast collections that span Egyptian, Greek Roman, European, and Middle Eastern cultures and histories.
Near this London Museum is the historic Plough Pub. We recommend stopping in at this quite refined yet very cozy Victorian pub for lunch or just a pint!
Again, a 20-minute walk or short tube ride.
4.00pm Free Time! Or…
From the British Museum, you are once again near Covent Garden and the West End. Since Day one of this itinerary was so busy, you may want to move the West End theater to tonight, explore more of Covent Gard, or just relax.
If you’re thinking of adding something else to the end of your trip, here are some other attractions you could visit which would make for the perfect ending to your London itinerary…
- The National History Museum or Victoria and Albert Museum – if you love museums, these two are arguably the best in London. Head over to South Kensington to finish a day at one of the museums. Kids will love seeing Dippy the Dyoplosaurus and the Giant Blue Whale skeleton of the Natural History Museum, or see fashion trends at the V&A.
- Visit Kensington Palace and Kensington Gardens – the famous home of Princess Diana and now the residence of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
- Take a hop-on/hop-off bus tour – if your feet are tired, and they probably are, take in the final sites of London on an open top double-decker bus.
- Stroll through Hyde Park – this is one of the largest royal parks in London and is one of the best places to visit if the noise and chaos of the city is starting to get overwhelming.
- Go shopping in Notting Hill – a quick walk along Portobello Road in Notting Hill and you’ll feel like you’ve been transformed into a whole new city. This affluent area is known for its antique, vintage and boutique stores and is where you can pick up some unique finds.
- Walk along the Embankment towards Greenwich – earlier we suggested walking along the embankment towards Southbank, but why not walk the other way? You’ll pass the Maritime Museum, the Royal Observatory and Cutty Sark.
- Spend the evening at Brick Lane in Shoreditch – want to see some amazing street art? Brick Lane is another mecca for artists, and since we’re on a hippy bohemian theme in Camden today, it would be the ideal place to finish a day learning about London’s most flamboyant communities.
Video: Day 3 in London
Click play to see all the fun we had in this day out in London!
Alternative Day for Harry Potter Fans
If you’re a Harry Potter fan, you may want to incorporate Harry Potter experiences into your London trip. It’s included in our London 5 Day Itinerary.
This tour of the Warner Bros Studios is the closest you will get to being a part of the films. It’s fantastic and well worth a visit.
If that is the case, just add it into your itinerary where you can and take something out. You may switch out an entire day. You will need at least half a day for the studio tour.
It takes around three to four hours to walk through the whole tour, which features sets, costumes, props, and butterbeer from the films.
Plus, there are interactive exhibits to experience from green screen broomstick rides to jumping in a few of the vehicle props. It’s also an hour travel time out of London.
As it’s open late, you could go straight here after lunch at the Camden Markets, or, go in the morning and Camden Markets when you return!
TOP TIP: You must reserve your ticket in advance. They can book up quickly. If they are sold out, book a place on this tour from London to Harry Potter world. They have already purchased tickets, so you’re guaranteed entry and it includes bus transportation from London. You may have to pay a little more, but it means you’ll get in!
Video: Warner Bros Harry Potter Studio Tour London
Click play below to see the Harry Potter magic come to life.
Harry Potter Walking Tours
For more magical fun, you may want to join this Harry Potter themed walking tour across London. This could be a good afternoon addition to the itinerary on Day 3.
Find out which Hogwarts House you belong in and test your Harry Potter knowledge. Stroll down Diagon Alley, visit the Leaky Cauldron, and See iconic London sites such as Borough Market, The London Eye, and Trafalgar Square. Reserve your spot here.
3 Day London Itinerary Map
We have created a handy map for you, which is broken down into the walking route for each of the three days outlined above. To use it, click the top left button for the symbol key and walking directions for each day.
Click the top right button to open it in a full page. From there, click the top left drop down to make a copy of the map. Then you can adjust it as needed for your personal use. Or click the star next to the map, to add it to your Google Maps account. You’ll then find it under Your Places on the menu tab in google maps.
Where to Stay in London
Especially with a short amount of time in London, you want to choose accommodation that is in Zone 1 or 2. This is the Central London area and where most attractions featured in this itinerary will be located. It will save you time and possibly money on getting around.
Be sure to book your accommodation near a Tube Station. The best ones for Central London tourist attractions are:
- Piccadilly Line (dark blue) (will also take you to Heathrow)
- Circle Line (yellow)
- Central Line (red)
We have a list of vetted London accommodation options here, including a short review of the three hotels we stayed in.
Getting Around London
We have a super in-depth post for you on getting around London with invaluable tips on getting around on the Tube (love it), National Rail, and walking (our most favorite).
We have designed this itinerary to spend as little time on public transport as possible, so you will only need to get the train from the airport to your hotel.
You will need to get the underground to begin your day’s exploring, but for 3 days it’s not worth getting the Oyster Card and just buy single journey tickets.
If you decide to stay 5 days or more, then we recommend you can pick up an Oyster Card, which is a transport card for London and allows you to ride on all London’s public transport for a set price each day.
Top tip: If you have a contactless credit card, you can use this instead of buying a ticket and it will charge you for a single ticket journey.
Useful London Resources:
- GO CITY PASS: This discount attraction pass is a must It will save you money on London’s top attractions. See more here.
- LONDON SIGHTSEEING PASS: We prefer the London Sightseeing Pass as a discount attraction pass for its wide variety of top attractions and cool local tours. Click to learn more and purchase.
- Want to live and work in London but aren’t sure how. Let Global Work and Travel Help – click to read the full post!
- Where to stay in London – budget to luxury London accommodation [includes the 3 hotels we stayed at (and loved)]
- Tips for getting around London.
- Essential things to know before traveling to London.
Final Thoughts on this London Itinerary for Three Days
This is not a danger warning but be prepared. Your days will be long, and if like us, will involve a lot of walking.
Get walk fit before you arrive, wear comfortable shoes, have a refillable water bottle and snacks on hand, and pack your patience and good spirits. I promise you won’t regret it.
You can see and do a lot in three days in London. Our girls were 14 and 10 at the time of our trip, and we walked 20,000 steps a day and they did not complain once! You know that’s a memorable family trip!
I really hope you have the most amazing time in London and this itinerary helps you. It really showcases the best of London that you can fit into three days.
There are still more great things to see and do in London, so you’ll have to come back or stay longer.
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Comment: Have you visited London in three days? Can you offer any other tips or suggestions. Do you have any questions about this London 3-day itinerary?