3 Days in London - an itinerary for first-time visitors

3 Days In London – The Perfect London Itinerary For First Time Visitors

3 Days in London - an itinerary for first-time visitors
London is a very big city and the number of things to see and do in London in endless. However, if you have only 2 to 3 days in London, then this London itinerary is perfect for you.

Quick Summary of London Travel Itinerary

Day 1

Morning: London Eye, Big Ben, Parliament Square, Westminster Abbey
Afternoon: Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square, National Gallery, Horse Guards and Downing street
Evening: Hyde Park

Day 2

Morning: St. Paul’s Cathedral, Millenium Bridge, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, Tate Modern
Afternoon: Tower of London, Thames river walk, The Shard, Tower Bridge
Evening: Thames river cruise

Day 3

Full Day Shopping at in Central London at Oxford and Regent St.
Alternate plans to shopping full day : Notting Hill or Camden Town Market

London Itinerary Day 1

The London Eye and the Big Ben

Day 1 of 3 Days in London Itinerary - London Eye and Big Ben
London Itinerary Day 1 – London Eye and Big Ben

How to get to London Eye?

The closest tube station to the London Eye and Big Ben is the Westminster tube station on the District, Circle and the Jubilee Line. Here is Tube map of London Underground for your reference.

London Eye is a very popular attraction. Not surprisingly, it can have long queues. Skip the queues by pre-booking your tickets and printing at home.

Next, walk to Big Ben and the UK parliament which is right across the bridge from London Eye. Please note, the Big Ben is undergoing restoration and will be covered up until 2021.

Westminster Abbey

3 days in London - Day 1 of London Travel Itinerary - Westminster Abbey
London itinerary Day 1 – Westminster Abbey

The Parliament Square Garden is in front of the Big Ben. Here, you will see bronze statues of some iconic people in history such as Winston Churchill, Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Millicent Fawcett and many others.

Westminster Abbey is located opposite to the Parliament Square Garden. Westminster Abbey is the church where Prince William and Kate Middleton wed. Buy Westminster Abbey tickets online to save.

Places to eat near Westminster Abbey

There are some pubs and restaurants around Westminster Abbey. Stop for lunch here before continuing.

Downing Street

After lunch, walk towards Trafalgar Square on Whitehall street. Here you will see some armed Police Officers standing guard outside a gate. This is Downing Street where the Prime Minister resides.

Horse Guards

Day 1 of London Itinerary - Horse Guards
London Itinerary Day 1 – Horse Guards

As you walk further along Whitehall street, you’ll notice horse guards. If you are planning to take a picture with the Horse guards, be careful; the horses can kick and bite if you get too close.

Trafalgar Square

Day 1 of 3 days in London Travel Itinerary - Trafalgar Square and The National Gallery
London Itinerary Day 1 – Trafalgar Square and The National Gallery

At the Trafalgar Square , at the end of the Whitehall street opposite to the Buckingham Palace, 4 majestic lion statues will greet you. Trafalgar Square is also home to the National Gallery where you can view art from world-renowned artists.

Buckingham Palace

3 Days in London - Day 1 of London Travel Itinerary- Buckingham Palace
London Itinerary Day 1 – Buckingham Palace

As mentioned above the entrance to the Buckingham Palace is located opposite to the Trafalgar Square.

You can visit the Palace at any time during the day. However, if you want to view the Changing of the Guards Ceremony , the best time to visit is around 11:00 am.

If you do that, you will have to follow Day 1 of this London travel itinerary in the reverse order.

Places to Eat Near Green Park

After your visit to the Buckingham Palace, cut across Green Park toward Piccadilly. There are many restaurants in the area including the Ritz.

Hyde Park

After dinner, walk towards Hyde Park on Piccadilly St. Spend a relaxing evening boating in the Serpentine lake and get a peek at Kensington Palace while you are there.

London Itinerary Day 2 – St. Paul Cathedral, Millenium Bridge and Tower Bridge

London travel Itinerary for day 2 includes St. Paul’s Cathedral, Millenium Bridge, Tower of London and Tower Bridge.

How to get to St. Paul’s Cathedral

The nearest tube station to St. Paul’s Cathedral is the St. Paul’s Tube Station on the Central line.

What are St. Paul’s Cathedral opening times?

St. Paul’s Cathedral is open to visitors from 8:30 am – 4:30 pm. The galleries open at 9:30 am.

St. Paul’s Cathedral

Day 2 of 3 Days in London Itinerary - St. Paul's Cathedral
London Itinerary Day 2 – St. Paul’s Cathedral

As mentioned above, the doors the St. Paul’s Cathedral open very early. Save money on the ticket price by booking online.

Millenium Bridge

Day 2 of 3 Days in London Itinerary - Millenium Bridge
London Itinerary Day 2 – Millenium Bridge

The Millenium Bridge is located opposite to St. Paul’s Cathedral. This modern bridge is also called the “wonky bridge” due to the unexpected swaying that people experience when the bridge first opened.

As you walk on the bridge, if you look closely, you can spot tiny pieces of art called the “chewing gum” art by Ben Wilson stuck between the ridges on the floor.

Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre and Tate Modern

At the other end of the Millenium Bridge is the Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre and Tate Modern. Entry to the Tate Modern is free except for special exhibits.

You can also catch plays at the Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre which is a reconstruction of the original theatre that existed during William Shakespeare’s time.

Places to eat near St. Paul’s Cathedral

For lunch, walk back across the Millenium bridge towards St. Paul’s where you will find a number of restaurants.

Tower of London

Day 2 of 3 Days in London Itinerary - Tower of London
London Itinerary Day 2 – Tower of London

Travel from St. Paul’s Cathedral to Tower Bridge

After lunch, walk down to the Mansion House Tube station. Take the District/Circle line to Tower Hill Station (3 Stops from Mansion House). Tower Hill Station is the closest tube station to Tower Bridge and the Tower of London.

Spend the afternoon taking a tour of Tower of London. Learn about the history of London and get a chance to view the crown Jewels up close.

Tower Bridge, The Shard and Thames River Walk

Day 2 of 3 Days in London Itinerary - Tower Bridge
London Itinerary Day 2 – Tower Bridge

Walk down the Thames river path to view the Tower Bridge up close. You can also go to the top of the tower for great views.

Thames River Cruise

Enjoy the spectacular views of the Thames and the nearby London attractions like the Shard and the Gherkin and many others on a Thames river cruise.

Places to Eat Near Tower Bridge

Catch a bite to eat at one of the places below:

London Itinerary Day 3 – Shopping!

Day 3 of my London itinerary is entirely dedicated to shopping as this can be time-consuming.

If you don’t want to shop or spend only part of the day shopping then try one of my alternate Day 3 ideas .

What are the main shopping streets in London?

The main shopping street in London are Regent street, Oxford street and Carnaby street which are part of an area called Soho.

Tube Stations Near Soho

The tube stations near Soho are Oxford Circus on the Central Line, Tottenham Court Road on the Northern line and Piccadilly Circus on the Piccadilly line. If you want to go to Selfridges, the famous departmental store, you may get down at the Bond Street or Marble Arch on the Central Line.

Soho – Oxford Circus, Regent Street and Carnaby Street

Day 3 of 3 Days in London - Regent Street and Oxford Street
London Itinerary Day 3 – Regent Street and Oxford Street.

At Oxford Street in Soho, you can shop everything from high-end luxury items to souvenir items. Some of the departmental stores of note in this street are Selfridges, John Lewis, House of Fraser on Oxford Street.

If you are looking for the Apple Store and other designer fashion stores such as Coach, Burberry, Michael Kors then head to Regent Street which run perpendicular to Oxford street.

Day 3 of 3 Days in London - Carnaby Street Soho
London Itinerary Day 3 – Carnaby Street Soho

Hidden in the alleyway between the Gap Store and Coach Store on Regent Street, is the Carnaby Street. It’s easy to miss this street completely if you don’t look closely. On Carnaby street, you will find an eclectic mix of stores and many restaurants and cafes.

Places to Eat At Soho

Day 3 of London travel Itinerary – Alternate plan to Shopping

If you want to skip the shopping or only want to do it for part of the day, then there are other things you can see in London.

Alternate London Travel Itinerary Idea 1 – Notting Hill and Portobello Market

What are the Portobello market opening hours?

The Portobello market is open from 9:00 – 18:00 from Monday to Wednesday, 09:00 – 13:00 on Thursday, 09:00 – 19:00 on Friday and Saturday. The market is closed on Sunday. The main day when Portobello market is in full swing is on Saturday.

Notting Hill and Portobello market were made famous by Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts movie “Notting Hill”. Access to this area is easy; just take the Central line and get down at the Notting Hill tube station.

The best time to visit this market is on Saturdays.

You can also spend part of the day shopping at one of the big malls of London – Westfield London . The shopping mall is just two tube stations away from Notting Hill at Sheperd’s Bush on the Central Line.

Alternate London Travel Itinerary Idea 2 – Camden Town Market

Camden Town Market is a great place to check out especially if you are a Foodie. You can find a variety of food from around the world at the food stalls and shop for cheap knickknacks, vintage clothes and other items at this market. You can reach Camden Town Market from Camden Town Tube station on the Northern line.

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3 Days in London Itinerary for first-time visitors.  Visit the most important tourist attractions in London using the London underground.
A complete London travel itinerary to spend 3 Days in London.


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