The Best 3 Day London Itinerary for 2024!

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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!

people walking on a bridge
View from the Golden Jubilee Bridge

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.

It is easy to travel to London 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 trip to London is by following this London itinerary for 3 days, which has been designed to incorporate some of the most iconic London attractions and experiences – with a little touch of local flavors and neighborhoods.

A view of a city
View of Big Ben from London Eye

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, so you can follow in our footsteps!

Table Of Contents
  1. How to use this 3 Day London Itinerary
  2. Is 3 Days in London Enough?
  3. Day 1: Royalty, Politics & The West End
  4. Day 2: When Ancient and Modern London Meet
  5. Alternative Endings for Day 2 in London
  6. Day 3: North London: Camden Town to Kings Cross
  7. Alternative Day for Harry Potter Fans
  8. 3 Day London Itinerary Map
  9. Where to Stay in London
  10. Getting Around London
  11. 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 & Tours in London:

  1. River Thames Cruise (a great way to see the city skyline!)
  2. The Tower of London Entry Ticket w/ Crown Jewels Exhibit (an unmissable attraction in London!)
  3. Harry Potter Warner Bros Studio Tour (to keep the kids happy!)
  4. London Eye Entry Ticket (to avoid long queues)

Top Accommodation & Hotels in London:

  1. The Londoner Hotel (5* Hotel in Westminster, Ideal Location near Parliament)
  2. Radisson Blu Edwardian Vanderbilt Hotel (4* Hotel with Family Rooms in Kensington)
  3. The Assembly Covent Garden (3* Hotel in Leicester Square, 2 minutes to the metro and theatres)

How to use this 3 Day London Itinerary

Trafalgar Square, London
Trafalgar Square is a popular London attraction

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.

Walking around Kensington, London
Walking around Kensington

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.)

Don't miss fish & chips in a London Pub
Don’t miss fish & chips in a London Pub

I also recommend places to eat, coffee stops, and some hidden gems down below. 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!

anchor pub london beer garden
View of the Thames from the Anchor Pub – one of our favorite London pubs.

We 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 Days 1 & 2. If you have longer than three days in London, we have our 7 day London itinerary which can also be shortened to five.

IMPORTANT:

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?

The Millennium Bridge, London, England
Walking across the The Millennium Bridge towards St Paul’s Cathedral

If you are prepared to wake up early and put your best walking shoes on, three days is enough to see the highlights of London, but if you have the time to spend longer, we recommend you spend at least 5 days in London!

We also have other in-depth posts on London and its experiences, which will help you with further reading and research.

London Tube Station
Entrance to a London Tube Station

You can also join our email community, where we share more helpful travel plans and inspirations. You’ll also get access to our free printable London Bucket List and this printable itinerary in a one-page outline:

London Bucket List + Itinerary Guides
A FREE Printable Checklist of the best things to do London and itinerary outline. 
Featured Image

Day 1: Royalty, Politics & The West End

Buckingham Palace, London
In front of Buckingham Palace

On day one in London, you’ll visit some of its top attractions in the Westminster and St James’s areas, 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 Abby, London
Don’t miss Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey is the Royal Church of England, and one of the top attractions in London. 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.

people walking down aisle in Westminster Abbey, London, England
Incredible Gothic architecture

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

people looking at view of pond in  St James Park, London
Beautiful St James 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.

St James's Park, London, England
Walking through St James’s Park

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.

A group of people standing in front of a building
In front of the main gate.

You can’t visit 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 to 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.

Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace. Image by DepositPhotos.com

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

Great view of the Houses of Parliament from our River Cruise
Great view of the Houses of Parliament from our River Cruise

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.

Winston Churchill Statue overlooking Big Ben
Winston Churchill Statue overlooking Big Ben

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

pretty flowers in Whitehall gardens london
The pretty 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.

The London Eye
Great photo spot

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.

Golden Jubilee Bridge, London
Golden Jubilee Bridge

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

London Eye over the river thames
The 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. 

The London Eye is totally worth it. Just like you’d visit the Eiffel Tower in Paris, or the Sydney Harbour Bridge in Sydney, you’d visit the London Eye in England’s capital.

The London Eye
Incredible view of the Houses of Parliament from London Eye

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

people taking photos of tower bridge
Close up views of Tower Bridge

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. 

people taking photos of big ben
See Big Ben from the River Thames

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

covent garden london
Covent Garden

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

Trafalgar Square, London
Taking it all in at Trafalgar Square

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

people standing around Piccadilly Circus looking at flashing lights
Piccadilly Circus

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)

red exterior of House of MinaLima with window displays
House of MinaLima store

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.

For families, you can find a lot to see and do in Soho too. The House of MinaLima in SoHo is a must visit for all Harry Potter fans. Look how cool MinaLima is in this video.

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.

Covent Garden

Covent Garden, London
Street entertainment in Covent Garden

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!).

Covent Garden, London
Covent Garden

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:

lamb and flag pub covent garden
The Lamb and Flag – a London icon

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

matilda cambridge theater
Matilda Cambridge Theater | Image credit: DepositPhotos.com

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.

Read more helpful tips on planning a London trip including how to get cheap(er) West End theater tickets.

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

full view of the the tower of london on the river thames
The Tower of London

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 Tower of London
The Tower of London was fascinating!

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

Tower Bridge over the river thames
The iconic 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.

woman and girl walking across london bridge
Walking across tower bridge

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

Borough Market, London
Borough Market is super popular on weekends!

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

Don’t Miss: Coffee from Monmouth and a cup of the sweet peach prosecco. There are also great murals around here and the surrounding cobblestone streets pleasant to explore. 

2.00pm Walk along Southbank Promenade

Exploring Southbank in London
Exploring Southbank in London

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

chimney and warehouse building of tate modern london
The Tate Modern (and Shard to the left)

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.

Tate Modern, London
View from Tate Modern Bar

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

tudor style exterior of shakespeare globe theatre in london
The Shakespeare Globe Theatre

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

Founder's Arms Pub, London
Founders Arms Pub on the Thames River.

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

unusual shaped Millennium Bridge, crossing the thames over to st paul view
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

people looking at at the dome of St Paul's Cathedral, London, England
St Paul’s Cathedral was spectacular.

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.

Exploring the inside of a cathedral, St Paul's, in London
Inside St Paul’s Cathedral

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.

The spiraling Harry Potter staircase
  • 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

View from the Shard in London
Awesome view 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.

A bridge over water with a city in the background
The Shard rises over the River Thames

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

Sky Garden glass building rising above london skyline with the Shard in the distance
Sky Garden faces off with the Shard

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. 

The Garden at 120 Fenchurch St, LondonThe Garden at 120 Fenchurch St, London
The Garden 120 Fenchurch

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

thames clipper boat going past london skyline on the thames at sunset
The Shard River View

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

people standing on a bridge over a body of water
Camden Lock markets

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.

A group of people walking on a city street
Camden Town is popular on a Sunday!

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

A boat traveling along a river
40-minute 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

Camden
Exploring Camden Town

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

Edinboro Castle, London, England
Lunch at the Edinboro Castle Pub in Camden

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

Read more: If you need more inspiration on pubs in London, check out our complete guide to 16 pubs we loved in London!

2.00pm Kings Cross Station and Platform 9 ¾

Kings Cross Station, London
Kings Cross Station

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.

woman holding wand at cart going into wall at Platform 9 3/4, Kings Cross Station, London
Platform 9 3/4 at Kings Cross Station in London

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

glass ceiling inside British Museum,
Inside 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…

At the gates of Kensington Palace, London
Kensington Palace

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.
hyde-park-london_(4)
Hyde Park
  • 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

people standing in front of a building with a harry potter sign
Harry Potter Studios

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.

people sitting on a moterbike
We had to book in advance for Harry Potter!

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!

Here is our full guide to the Warner Bros Harry Potter Studio Tour.

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

woman and child on harry potter wanted witches poster
Watch out for thes witches on the streets of London!

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

girl on bed Millenium Hotel with london mural on the wall
Our Millenium Hotel was right near Kensington Tube Station

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

person holding up oyster card out front of tube station
Oyster Card

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.

A group of people sitting at a train station
London Tube (underground)

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:

Final Thoughts on this London Itinerary for Three Days

View from Tower Bridge

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!

The Plough, London
London is perfect for teens!

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.

If you found this itinerary guide for London helpful, please share it with your friends, post on social media, or save to Pinterest and remember to tag us! And if you’re staying for longer check out our itinerary for a week in London.

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?

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6 thoughts on “The Best 3 Day London Itinerary for 2024!”

  1. It was so thoughtful of you to pen down with such details. Thank you so much. I’m planning to come down in may/June.

  2. Your suggested itinerary was so helpful in planning for our recent trip to London – our first in over 25 years (since backpacking days). With teens in tow, we had 7 days and included the new Gunpowder Plot experience next to the Tower of London, which was fantastic. Your hint about the science afternoon tea at the Ambersand Hotel Drawing Rooms was a hit, they get the kids food spot on (not a cucumber sandwich in sight). Great writing and thoughtful itineraries. Thanks again.

  3. Wow, this London itinerary for 2024 is fantastic! Your recommendations make it easy to make the most of a short trip to this incredible city. Thanks for sharing this helpful guide!

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