London is the place to visit if you’re planning a short summer trip from the US for 3 days. London boasts infinite attractions that will keep you busy and entertained. England’s capital is a relatively easy direct flight from many east coast cities, like New York City, Boston, Washington DC, and Atlanta. There is so much to see, do, learn, and make the most of your vacation.
It’s not a fluke that many people are fascinated with the idea of visiting London. With iconic sights, spectacular edifices, sumptuous meals, and bustling nightlife, you can tell why the city hosts many tourists.
If you’re visiting London for three days, an itinerary will help you make the most of your time in the beautiful city. We’ve created one that includes must-see places and activities in the city, so pack your bags and get ready for a fun-filled three-day tour.
Ready to experience and explore the culturally diverse city of London? Let’s get started on your 3 Days in London!
3 Days in London: The Perfect Itinerary for Tourists
Day 1: Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, and the London Eye
On a short trip to London of only 3 days, a double-decker bus tour of London is one way to visit many sites. The buses operate on a fixed route with stops near many sites. So you can simply hop on and hop off where and when you desire. In addition, public transportation is inexpensive, especially with the London Travelcard, which is good for 1-day or 1-week. An alternate is to pay as a go with the Oyster Card. Besides buses, you can also take the London Underground or tube.
When you’re touring London, you should begin with Westminster since it’s London’s geographical and political center. Nearby stops include Westminster, St. James Park, Victoria, and Green Park. It houses the United Kingdom Houses of Parliament and the British Government. Westminster is also home to iconic areas like Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, and the Palace of Westminster.
Take a tube to Marble Arch and relish the beauty of Hyde Park. A walk towards the south of the park leads you to the woodland, Green Park, where you catch a glimpse of Buckingham Palace. You can decide to visit here during the famous ceremony of changing the queen’s guard, which starts at 11 am and lasts approximately 45 minutes. The ceremony occurs daily from June to July and Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays from August to May.
The Changing of the Guard ranks among the popular attractions in London. Here, the Old Guard that have been on duty are relieved of their duties by the New Guard, accompanied by a procession of the Regimental Band from Wellington Barracks.
After this popular event, pass through St. James’ Park, the oldest Royal Park, bordered by Buckingham Palace to the west. Typically, many tourists wander here after witnessing the Changing of the Guard. Next, proceed to Westminster Abbey, London’s most popular and oldest religious building, where monarchs are crowned and buried after their demise. A visit to Westminster Abbey will take you about two hours.
Next on your tour is the River Thames, where you see Big Ben, one of the iconic symbols of London, and Westminster Palace. It qualifies as one of the best things to do in London. Along the River Thames is the London Eye, a 30-minute walk on foot, but alternatively, you can take the river bus if you don’t want to walk. In addition, the London Travelcard offers discounted fares on the River Boat.
The London Eye, which is also referred to as the Millennium Wheel, offers riders a great view of the city and surrounding countryside. Your kids will love this site as they view the city from glass capsules.
After riding in the capsule for 30 minutes, you’ll likely get hungry. Grab a bite at Picadilly, a legendary square for leisure and shopping. If you enjoy the nightlife, you can drop by for a drink at the bar or club but ensure you don’t stay up too late. Your tour continues the next day!
Day 2: Walking Tour of London, Tower Bridge, Tower of London, St. Paul’s Cathedral
You can start the day off by visiting Tower Bridge. Then, take the tube to Tower Hill station and start your walking tour.
As an iconic sight, Tower Bridge can get busy with crowds thronging in and out to take pictures of the bridge and the Tower of London. However, when you visit there at night, you’ll be mesmerized by the two gigantic illuminated Gothic towers and sky-blue ironwork.
How can we forget the iconic Tower of London? If you’re a history buff, this is a must-see since it holds 1,000 years of history and heritage. The Tower of London is where the British Crown Jewels are kept, the UNESCO world heritage site, and the execution site of notable characters like Anne Boleyn, Jane Grey, and William Hastings.
A mile from the Tower of London is St. Paul’s Cathedral, a famous religious site in London that holds several memories, like the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana. Explore the cathedral for 30 minutes, learning about the art, history, and religious significance of the foremost religious center.
At the foot of Tower Bridge lies St. Katharine Docks, a marina marked by restaurants, bars, and pubs where you can dine in one of the restaurants towering over the Thames. To end your tour, you can decide to go to Camden Town, the British Museum, or The Shard. For an enjoyable experience, you can head to The Shard for incredible city views, though it comes at a cost.
As the saying goes, save the best for last! Yes, you’ve seen many popular attractions, but there are some places you must visit on your 3-day tour of London.
Take a tube ride to Charing Cross and alight at Trafalgar Square, one of the most bustling squares, guarded by four big black lions. Famous for its pigeons, Trafalgar Square is now used for celebrations, protests, and events.
Want to explore cultural heritage? Head to the National Gallery Museum overlooking Trafalgar Square. The Gallery ranks among the most beautiful museums in London, housing over 2,300 paintings, including Van Gogh’s famous sunflowers, works of Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, etc. So if you’re an art lover, this museum is where the place to visit.
A hub of entertainment, Leicester Square features many cinemas, theaters, shops, and casinos. Are you visiting London with your kids? Or do you have a sweet tooth? Make a stopover at M&M World, Europe’s largest candy shop, and the Lego store. In addition, Leicester Square has many pubs where you can grab a beer or mid-morning coffee.
The next place to visit is Oxford Street, a famous shopping street with massive stores selling many things. Harry Potter fans should check out Primark, a shopper’s paradise for clothing, houseware, and cosmetics. After the day’s tour, you can enjoy a nice meal in Chinatown.
There! You have an itinerary for 3 days in London flying from America. There are many iconic and fun places to visit, from the Tower of London to Buckingham Palace and Westminster Abbey. In addition, London has excellent food and restaurants.
So, book a flight, grab your passport, and head to London.
Thanks for reading 3 Days in London: The Perfect Itinerary for Tourists.
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