Perfect London Itinerary
I’ve spent a lot of time in London over the last few years, and countless hours organizing itineraries to London for friends and families who visit. London is one of those places that you could live your whole life in and still not behold all its wonders. But I’ve tried my best to create this 7 day itinerary for the first time visitor that will cover a broad range of interests while seeing the most iconic sites in London along with some lesser known, more quirky sites. I’ve also included some of my favorite spots to eat. This itinerary should allow you to walk everywhere you go, depending on where you are staying. You can arrange these however you want.
Interactive London Itinerary Map
I’ve created this interactive map for you to use. There are 7 layers or “routes,” with every day being a separate layer. You can open this up on your phone into Google Maps.
Day 1: London’s Main Sights
1. Full English Breakfast at Regency Cafe
It’s your first day in London, be sure to start it off right with a full english breakfast. What’s that you may ask? Well, besides a walking heart attack, it’s usually bacon, sausage, eggs, beans, tomatoes, mushroom and toast, and no one dishes out a great no-frills full english like the Regency Cafe.
After you’ve gorged yourself, you’ll have a half mile to walk to Westminster Abbey. So much history is found here. If you are interested in British history or literature at all, you will love this!
BUY TICKETS HERE
3. Big Ben
Walk around the corner just one block away. There’s not a more iconic sight in London than Big Ben! “Big Ben” is actually the name of the bell inside the tower and the tower is called the Elizabeth Tower. But everyone lovingly refers to this part of the houses of parliament as “Big Ben” and it’s one of those iconic pieces of architecture that does not disappoint in real life. The best views are found on Westminster Bridge. Watch out for selfie sticks!
4. London Eye
Time to walk across the Westminster Bridge to the London Eye. You’ll get a fantastic view of the city from the top of this 443 foot tall ferris wheel on London’s Southbank.
BUY TICKETS HERE
5. Afternoon Tea at the Library Lounge
Just behind the London Eye you’ll find the Library Lounge in the beautiful Marriott County Hall. Enjoy a filling afternoon tea with fantastic views of the London Eye and Houses of Parliament.
MAKE A RESERVATION HERE
6. South Bank
Southbank is a fun area near the London Eye along the Thames with a roller rink called BUMP, a skate park (seen on Sherlock) and a hot chocolate stand called Beltane & Pop (they “adult” hot chocolates too). You also get the lovely view of the London Eye and Big Ben across Westminster Bridge all lit up at night!
Day 2: More Main Sights & a Show
1. Juice & Public
After indulging on your Full English Breakfast yesterday, it might be time for something a bit healthier. Try a smoothie or juice at Juice & Public.
2. Leicester Square
Then head over the short distance to Leicester (pronounced Lester) Square, where you’ll find tons of movie theaters, awesome street performers, the cheap theater tickets booth (stop here for tonight’s tickets), the M&M Store and more!
3. Trafalgar Square
Head on over to Trafalgar Square and hang out with the pigeons in Trafalgar Square and don’t miss the world’s smallest police station!
4. The Wolsely
Stop into the Wolsely for a fancy lunch at this iconic restaurant.
MAKE RESERVATIONS HERE
5. Buckingham Palace and Horseguards
Walk off your delicious lunch to visit the queen at Buckingham Palace. If you time it right you can catch the changing of the guard.
FIND TIMES HERE
6. 10 Downing Street
Ever wonder the exact address of the Prime Minister? Walk by his front door here.
7. Covent Garden Dinner
Walk to Covent Garden to take in the performers and ambiance. There are plenty of restaurants to choose from here. Hang out here until it’s time for your show.
8. Catch a Show
Most of the theaters will be around this area. Be sure to get your cheap tickets in the morning at Leicester Square.
SEE WHAT’S PLAYING HERE
Day 3: Palaces, Parks, Museums
1. Pret A Manger
Start your day off at Pret A Manger, which you can find all over the city and offer juices, smoothies, sandwiches and prepackaged healthy food.
2. Kensington Palace
Immerse yourself in British history with this interactive Palace turned museum. You can try on Victoria era clothing and play a game of cards!
BUY TICKETS HERE
This modern Japanese inspired food will be a nice change to all the meat pies and fish and chips you’ll be eating this week.
CHECK THE MENU HERE
4. Victoria & Albert Museum
Walk down the road to the world’s largest mueum of decorative arts and design. The best part? It’s free! If that’s not for you, try out the Natural History Museum or the Science Museum across the street.
Take a little shopping break at this luxury department store. Be sure to head downstairs to the grocery section for snacks. If you go at Christmas time this place is an expensive wonderland.
6. Wander Through Hyde Park
Wander through Hyde Park and work up an appetite on your way to dinner on the other side of the park.
7. Bombay Palace
Indian food is a staple in London. Hit Bombay Palace for some beautiful and authentic Indian food!
Day 4: Ancient History
Click Here for Map
1. Simply Tasty Cafe & Kitchen
It might be time for another full English breakfast, or try something new. This traditional shop serves breakfast all day, so don’t worry if you get up late.
2. Tower of London
The Tower of London is not to be missed. See the crown jewels and hang out with the beefeaters! They’re not just tour guides, but decorated veterans and all around awesome people!
BUY TICKETS HERE
3. Tower Bridge
This is one of the best views of Tower Bridge so be sure to get a picture when you’re done at the tower.
4. Lunch Borough Market
Cross the river either on Tower Bridge or London Bridge next door and wander on over to Borough Market to grab some lunch! There are so many options here, you may have a hard time not trying them all!
5. Shakespeare’s Globe Theater
After filling up on tasties from Borough Market, waddle on over to Shakespeare’s Globe Theater. You’ll need to take a tour to see the inside of the Globe, or, even better, see a show if you’re there from April-October.
BUY TICKETS HERE
6. St Paul’s
There has been a St. Paul’s church at this site since 300 AD. The church has been burned and rebuilt 3 different times. The current St. Paul’s was the tallest building in London for over 200 years. You can pay to go inside or just walk around the outside, either choice is impressive!
BUY TICKETS HERE
After a one mile walk, treat yourself to a fine meal at London’s oldest restaurant, Rule’s, established in 1798 and frequented by the likes of Charles Dickens and Charlie Chaplin. Be sure to make a reservation well in advance.
Day 5: Notting Hill
1. Daylesford Organic
If you’re looking for a healthy, organic breakfast, this place is fantastic!
SEE MENU HERE
2. Notting Hill
This affluent West London district will make you wish you could move into one of the adorable pastel terraced victorian houses and never leave. Wander the streets and take the perfect instagram picture until you get hungry again.
2. Portabello Road
Be sure to hit Portabello Road on the right day. Saturdays are the biggest (and also busiest) day, but you will find the most vendors. Find the schedule below. This should take you enough time that you can eat lunch and dinner here, or just eat all day long!
PORTABELLO ROAD MARKET SCHEDULE
Day 6: Harry Potter
Harry Potter Tour:
Today is ALL about Harry Potter! If you’re not a fan, you can skip this day, but you’ll still be seeing some awesome sights. Alternately, you can book a Harry Potter walking tour here.
- Westminster Tube (Closest tube to the Ministry of Magic as seen in The Order of the Phoenix)
- Downing Street (Muggle Prime Minister’s Office and location of communication between the Muggle PM and the wizarding world)
- Horseguards Avenue (Ministry of Magic Staff Entrance as seen in Deathly Hallows Part 1)
- Scotland Yard Place/Horse Guards Avenue (Ministry of Magic Visitors entrance as seen in the Order of the Phoenix and Deathly Hallows Part 1)
- Trafalgar Square (Location of the final Harry Potter film premiere)
- Cecil’s Court (aka Diagon Alley)
- Godwin’s Court (aka Knockturn Alley)
- The Palace Theatre (home to the ‘The Cursed Child’ – the 8th story in the Harry Potter franchise)
- St. Paul’s ( Geometrical Staircase as seen in the Prisoner of Azkaban)
- Millennium Bridge (Rebuilt after the attack by the Death Eaters! (then a walk past Shakespeare’s globe)
- Leadenhall Market
- Finish your day off at King’s Cross Station for Platform 9 3/4 and the Harry Potter Shop
Day 7: Shopping & High Tea
1. Biegel Bake or Cereal Killer Cafe
Start your day off in Brick Lane. Once associated with slums and the scene of the crime for the Jack the Ripper murders, Brick Lane is now an edgy and artistic area. Start your day off with breakfast from either Biegel Bake (most amazing bagels ever) or if you’ve got a sweet tooth, head to Cereal Killer Cafe and have your pick from hundreds of cereals from around the world in any kind of combination you like. Or have both, I won’t judge!
2. Explore Brick Lane
After you’ve gorged yourself on bagels and cereal, wander around Brick Lane and do some shopping. You never know what you’ll find. Be sure to stop in at Dark Sugars, for some seriously amazing and different chocolate!
3. Dickens Museum and/or British Museum
It’s up to you if you’d like to do both or just one. Both of these museums are fantastic. If you’re a major Dickens fan, go to the Dickens Museum. It’s small and will only take you about an hour.
4. Fryer’s Delight
This is a no frills chippy, but the fish is good and the chips are crisp!
5. Piccadilly Circus
The Times Square of London, Picadilly Circus is the crossroads of London.
6. Tea at the Ritz
If you want to finish off your trip to London with a bang, book yourself an afternoon tea at the Ritz London, where you’ll be treated like royalty! Make reservations ASAP as they book out quickly! Plan on this for dinner, because those little delicious sandwiches are endless!
I hope this is the perfect London itinerary for you and that you fall in love with this city as much as I have! What else would you add to this to make it perfect? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know!
Be sure to follow my London Pinterest Board for more ideas!