London in 3 days: Itinerary with routes and maps

Discover what to see in London in 3 days as well as the best routes you can take on foot to spend three perfect days in London. With step-by-step directions you can visit the most famous attractions without missing some of its most charming corners. With our itinerary to see London in three days you will see the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace , the London Eye , The Tower of London, Big Ben , St. Paul’s Cathedral and many other famous attractions and streets of London . What will you find in this article?

Table of Contents

What to see in London in three days

The London attractions that you cannot miss if you are going to spend three days in London are:

First day Second day Third day
Changing of the Guard Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens Tower of London
st james park kensington palace London Tower Bridge
Churchill War Rooms Royal Albert Hall Borough Market
westminster abbey Regent Street HMS Belfast
Big Ben oxford street southbank promenade
london eye hamleys Shakespeare’s Globe
trafalgar square Carnaby Street, Soho, Chinatown millennium bridge
National Gallery Liberty San Pablo’s cathedral
Piccadilly Circus leicester square Museum or Market to choose
Body Worlds M&Ms and Lego stores The view from The Shard
Fortnum and Mason Covent Garden Museum or Market to choose
Burlington Arcade Musical Harry Potter Studios

Itinerary to see London in 3 days

  • Day 1 : Changing of the Guard, Westminster Abbey, Big Ben and London Eye, Southbank, Trafalgar Square. Piccadilly Circus.
  • Day 2 : Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens, Oxford Street, Regent Street and Carnaby Street, Soho Walk, Leicester Square and Covent Garden.
  • Day 3 : Tower of London to Southbank Route, Visit a London Flea Market, Visit a London Museum, Visit Harry Potter Studios, Visit Kensington Gardens and Knightsbridge.

With these routes that we have planned in a visit to London in three days, it will give you time to see the most important things in London, including the London Eye, Big Ben, Trafalgar Square, Piccadilly Circus, Covent Garden, the changing of the guard, the Tower of London, the London Tower Bridge and Saint Paul’s Cathedral. In addition, you will have time to go see some of the best museums in London and some of the famous London markets.

What to see in London day 1: Changing of the Guard, Big Ben, London Eye, Trafalgar Square and Piccadilly Circus

If you are planning your trip and you don’t know what to see in London in 3 days then follow our advice, we have been living here in London for more than 10 years, and the ideal thing is that you dedicate the first day to seeing the most important places in London. Buckingham Palace , Big Ben , and the London Eye are some of the first things you should visit in London.

London Three-Day Tour Day 1: > Changing of the Guard > Westminster Abbey > Big Ben and London Eye > Southbank > Trafalgar Square > Piccadilly Circus > What to Do Next > Route Map

Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace

One of the most “British” and interesting things to see in London in 3 days is the Changing of the Guard. We start the first of our three days in London with a walking tour that begins at Buckingham Palace . The Changing of the Guard takes place here at 11 in the morning and always attracts hundreds of tourists. We recommend being at the gate of Buckingham Palace at least at 10:30 am to make sure you get a good seat. The changing of the guard is one of the most famous attractions in London. It is a spectacular parade that can be seen for free at the gate of Buckingham Palace. Keep in mind that it doesn’t take place every day of the year, so we recommend that you take a look at our London Changing of the Guard Calendar to make sure it will take place on the day you go to see it! If you arrive at the Green Park tube station with plenty of time, I suggest you walk along Piccadilly Street as an alternative route. You can walk past the Ritz hotel and down St James’s Street to see St James’s Palace. This Palace does not allow the entrance to the public, but it has great historical importance. From here you can walk along Marlborough Road until you reach The Mall, which will take you to Buckingham Palace.

st james park

After seeing the Changing of the Guard, from Buckingham Palace we crossed St James’s Park , one of the most charming parks in the British capital. At the end of this park we find Horse Guards Parade. Here we will see an esplanade of land where famous parades on horseback are held. To continue our route to London in 3 days we must cross the dirt esplanade, but I must mention that on this same street (walking to the right) is the Churchill War Rooms , the bunker in which Winston Churchill and his government hid during the bombings and the place from which Winston Churchill directed the British military movements of the 2nd World War. You can enter this museum for free if you have a London Pass . Crossing the dirt esplanade of Horse Guards Parade we will come to Whitehall Street. Here we will meet at the entrance to Horse Guards parade to the famous Mounted Guard.

westminster abbey

We continue walking down Whitehall street until we reach the important Westminster Abbey , an icon of the British capital that you cannot miss. This is where the coronations of British monarchs take place and where some of the UK’s biggest events have taken place. Other recent events that have taken place here have included the funeral of Princess Diana of Wales, the celebration of the 80th birthday of Queen Elizabeth II and the wedding of Kate Middleton and Prince William (Duke and Duke of Cambridge). You can see Westminster Abbey only from the outside if you wish, but it is really worth visiting inside as it is spectacular. It will take approximately 1-2 hours to visit Westminster Abbey if you decide to visit inside. We recommend buying tickets in advance or you can get in for free if you have a London Pass

Big Ben and London Eye

Practically in front of Westminster Abbey we will find the British Houses of Parliament and Big Ben, the famous London clock. Of course, you will have to take a picture here! When you cross Westminster Bridge as we propose on our route, you will be able to take the perfect photo, since on one side you have Big Ben and on the other the London Eye. Without a doubt, from here you will have already seen our next destination, the London Eye : The famous London Ferris Wheel, one of the greatest attractions of the British capital. Riding the London Eye is something that you will definitely consider if it is the first time you visit London, and not riding it will give you the feeling of having missed something important! The entire lap takes about 40 minutes, and you’ll hardly notice it moving. Suddenly you realize that you are at the highest point of the Ferris wheel, and I have to say that it is an incredible feeling. To ride the London Ferris Wheel, we recommend buying tickets in advance to avoid queues, as queues can form for several hours at key times of the year. More information on buying tickets and what to expect: London Eye

south bank

From the London Eye we will continue walking along Southbank , the promenade on the south bank of the Thames, until we reach the Royal Festival Hall. Here, you will find many restaurants and cafes to rest a bit and recharge your batteries. You can enter the Royal Festival Hall, where there are public toilets as well as a cafeteria with views and a terrace on the first floor. At the back of the Royal Festival Hall we find a Street Food market (take away food) that is open on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays. The Southbank area is a super nice walk where there are always street artists and where it is not uncommon to find a market in the area in front of the Royal Festival Hall. After replenishing our strength, we’ll cross the river again over the Golden Jubilee Bridge and head up Northumberland Avenue until we reach our next destination, Trafalgar Square.

trafalgar square

The famous square of Admiral Nelson and the four lions is without a doubt one of the key points that you have to see in London in 3 days. Several free events are held here throughout the year, and it’s where London’s largest Christmas tree is put up during the month of December. In this square there is also the National Gallery free admission museum .

Piccadilly Circus and Piccadilly Street

From here we will walk through the streets of Pall Mall and Haymarket to Piccadilly Circus , the famous square of London’s giant screens. On Piccadilly Street we find the largest bookstore in Europe, Waterstones, as well as the Ritz hotel and the Fortnum and Mason store , which you cannot miss on your visit to London! Our route ends at Burlington Arcade , a shopping arcade that joins Piccadilly Street with Bond Street and is one of the first shopping arcades in London from the 19th century, where today, we can still find traditional shops.

What to do after

If you still have the strength to walk further, from here you can walk to Bond Street, one of the most famous shopping streets in London where we find numerous luxury shops. Afterwards, from here it is very easy to cross Regent Street to take a walk through London’s Soho. If you decide to do this you can consider going to the Covent Garden area , where there are many restaurants for dinner, although we plan to visit Covent Garden during the second day of your three days in London. Another option is to go back to Piccadilly Street and walk towards Hyde Park , but don’t worry, because we are going to see Hyde Park during the second day of your three days in London.

Route Map Day 1

This route that we have explained to you is our Itinerary 1 . Here is the map for you to take a look at. You can click on the map to see it on Google Maps:

What to see in London day 2: Hyde Park, Oxford Street, Soho, Covent Garden

The second day of our three days in London we will walk through the famous London park Hyde Park and then continue through the most famous shopping streets of the British capital, where you can buy some of the best typical products and souvenirs of London .

London Three-Day Tour Day 2: > Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens > Oxford Street, Regent Street and Carnaby Street > Soho Walk > Leicester Square and Covent Garden > What to Do Next > Tour Map

Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens

We start our route at the Hyde Park Corner tube station, in zone 1 of London. The first thing we are going to do is walk a bit around the famous London park Hyde Park and the truth is, if you want, you can walk almost the entire length of it if you like to walk and wear good shoes. To begin with, as soon as we enter we are going to cross a street where vehicles pass and we are going to go to a fairly wide avenue that is on our left. We will follow this avenue until we reach the central lake of the park, The Serpentine Lake. From here, if you don’t want to go through the park, you can go north through it towards Marble Arch. And from Marble Arch we can continue our route walking along Oxford Street. To explore Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens you can simply keep walking to explore at your own pace or follow the route we have designed to discover the best of Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens. On this route, we pass through the art galleries of the park, the statue of Peter Pan , the children’s playground of Diana of Wales, Kensington Palace and we will see the magnificent Royal Albert Hall , as well as the Albert Memorial. You can take between 2 and 3 hours to cover the entire park on foot, depending on your pace. But another option is to use the rental bikes to get around it a little faster.

Oxford Street, Regent Street and Carnaby Street

We drive north through Hyde Park, reaching Marble Arch and entering Oxford Street , London’s most famous shopping street. Here, you can lose yourself in the Selfridges department store or the largest Primark in London. We will go through stores like Zara, Coast, Top Shop, Marks and Spencer, Debenhams, H&M, Pandora, Swatch, Disney store… to name a few. Practically in front of Bond Street tube station, on the north side of Oxford Street you will see a very narrow alley and a sign indicating St Christopher’s Place . It is a small square with a lot of charm and it is one of our secret corners of London that we would recommend you visit, and it is the perfect place to have a coffee or eat if you feel hungry. We continue walking until we reach Oxford Circus , and here instead of continuing down Oxford Street we recommend going down another very famous shopping street in London: Regent Street. In this street, the Hamleys store is located , the most famous toy store in London. In addition, you will pass through numerous fashion stores and one of the Apple stores in London. We walk down Regent Street a bit and turn left onto Great Marlborough Street past the Liberty department store and then continue along Carnaby Street , a wonderful pedestrian zone in London’s Soho that many tourists miss. I recommend walking to the end of Carnaby Street, and then turning right onto Beak Street to go back up Kingly Street, and back again to Regent Street.

Walk through London’s Soho

We continue walking down Regent Street until we reach one of the most famous squares in London: Piccadilly Circus. This is the square of the giant screen and the statue of Eros in London. From Piccadilly Circus our route will take you through some of the streets of London’s Soho , to reach Chinatown and Leicester Square . You can also take a look at our guide: What to see in Soho in London .

Leicester Square, Neal’s Yard and Covent Garden

We finally arrived at Leicester Square, the square where film premieres take place in London, so you might bump into a famous person when you pass by! In Leicester Square you cannot miss the M&Ms stores and the largest Lego store in the world if you are going to visit London in three days. From Leicester Square we continue walking towards the Seven Dials area and discover Neal’s Yard , the most colorful corner of London. From here we will head to the magical square of Covent Garden, one of our favorite places in London. You will definitely love it. Here you will also find the London Transport Museum, a place that we recommend if you are going to spend three days in London with children . What to do after Most of London’s theaters are located in the Leicester Square and Covent Garden area, so you can always go see one of the best musicals in London to end our second day in London. In the area there are also many restaurants to go out for dinner, but if I have to recommend a restaurant, it would undoubtedly be the Sarastro .

What to see in London day 3: Tower of London, Borought Market, St. Paul’s Cathedral and Southbank

If you are going to visit London in 3 days, for the third and last day in London, I really recommend you visit the Tower of London and walk along the south bank of the River Thames, but I am also going to give you several options so you can choose what you want see, since there are people who want to visit a particular museum or go to a flea market… So, below, I’ll give you some options, so you can choose or even combine them as you like.

Day 3 of three days in London: > Tower of London to Southbank route Possible combinations: > 1: Visit a London flea market > 2: Visit a London museum > 3: Visit Harry Potter studios > 4: Visit Kensington Gardens and Knightsbridge

Walking route to see the Tower of London, Tower Bridge and stroll along the Thames

We have designed a walking route that allows you to see the Tower of London , the Tower Bridge of London , Borough Market , and then we continue taking a beautiful walk along the banks of the Thames that is spectacular if you have a bit of good weather, and we ended up seeing the millennium bridge and St. Paul’s Cathedral . Actually this is what I would recommend you to do on your third day, and you can dedicate the whole day to it if you want to enter some of the attractions that are on the way (Tower of London, HMS Belfast, St Paul’s Cathedral…) and you can even keep walking to the London Eye. It is one of my favorite walks in London, and I have to confess that many weekends you can find us doing this same route ourselves.

Option 1: Combine a visit to a London flea market with the South Bank walking tour

You can combine our walking route from the Tower of London to St. Paul’s Cathedral with a visit to a flea market very easily. When visiting one of the famous markets in London, I recommend that you take a good look at what days the market you want to visit is on, since they are not open every day of the week. One possibility is to start the day by doing this route, and after visiting the Tower of London and crossing the Tower Bridge of London, take the tube to London Bridge and go to Camden Town, which is a few stops away on the same line. underground (Northern Line), to see the famous Camden Town flea market . The Camden Town flea market is open every day of the week, so you don’t have to go on a particular day. After having visited the Camden Town flea market, it is a matter of getting back on the tube, returning to London Bridge and continuing our route on foot. If it’s Saturday, another option is to go see the Portobello Road flea market in Notting Hill , one of the most famous markets in London. This market is open all day on Saturdays, but in this case I would recommend going to Notting Hill first, and then taking the tube to the Tower of London and starting our Southbank walking tour from there. On Sunday we can visit other markets before starting this route, such as the flower market or the Spitalfields and Brick Lane markets .

Option 2: Combine a visit to a London museum with a flea market or South Bank walking tour

London has many very important and famous museums, such as the British Museum , the Natural History Museum or the Science Museum . If you are going to visit London with children , I recommend going to the natural history museum or the science museum, as they are impressive and very entertaining for children. Some of London’s museums are open late one day a week, so this information can help when planning your trip to London if you want to go in the afternoon instead of in the morning. Keep in mind that in some of these museums you can spend a whole day, but you can also spend a few hours alone and take advantage of the day to see something else, such as the Tower of London, or a flea market, or visit a museum in the morning and then do the route through the South Bank that we explained above.

Option 3: Combine a visit to Harry Potter Warner Bros Studios with the South Bank Walking Tour

Many of you who come to visit London in three days plan to visit the magical world of Harry Potter while you are here and you always ask me how to organize this famous tourist visit with our routes. Well, I think that one of the best options is to go to the Harry Potter studios first thing in the morning, and then as soon as you arrive in London go directly to the Tower of London and start our route along the south bank of the Thames until you want to return to hotel. This route can be done in the afternoon without problems, but it probably won’t give us time to visit many things, but it is a very pleasant walk.

Option 4: Walking route through Hyde Park and Knightsbridge

Another walking route that we have designed for your ” London in 3 days ” plan and that you can do on foot, is the one that begins with a walk through Hyde Park until you reach the Knightsbridge area, including the famous Harrods department store. . This route is ideal if you want to visit one of the museums located in South Kensington. For example, the Natural History Museum , the Victoria and Albert Museum or the Science Museum , since they are in this area.

Free app with routes to see London in three days

The routes that we have proposed are the ones we do with friends or family when they come to visit us in London for 3 days. They are realistic routes in which we take into account the schedules and the location of the attractions. Sometimes you will find routes on the Internet that are impossible to follow due to the distance they offer, or with errors regarding the location of certain sites… Obviously made by people who do not live in London and who have never done the route themselves. ⇒ Don’t forget that you can find all our routes in our free mobile App that works offline .

Use the Tourist Bus to visit London in three days

You already know what to see in London in 3 days, but now you want to do it in a way where you don’t have to walk a lot. The London tourist bus can help you to see London in a comfortable way in a short time, since you can get on and off the bus as many times as you want and for as long as you want. You can also use it as a method of transport to move around London, not having to worry about having to take public transport. If you are going to spend three days in London, our recommendation is that you use the tourist bus on the first day of your trip. Start by making a route around the city and thus you will be able to locate the places you want to see in more detail on the map. And then you can move at your own pace on foot.

Tourist passes to save when visiting London in 3 days

One of the ways to save on visiting multiple London attractions in three days is by purchasing a London sightseeing pass. The London Pass is the most famous tourist pass in London, but the London Explorer Pass is also a possibility that I really like. One of the biggest advantages of having a tourist pass is that at many of the attractions you will not have to queue, and I think this is a great advantage, since nobody wants to spend time buying tickets at each attraction. Deciding between one or the other will depend on the number of London attractions you are going to visit in three days.

Comparison tourist passes to visit London in 3 days:

Attraction Price (adult) Day London Pass Explorer Pass
Churchill War Rooms £22 one
westminster abbey 23 one X
london eye £30 two X
Body Worlds £25 two
kensington-palace £17 two
Royal Albert Hall £14.50 two X
Tower of London £28.90 3 X
Tower Bridge £9.80 3
San Pablo’s cathedral £20 3
View from The Shard £34 3 X
HMS Belfast £16.35 3
Shakespeare’s Globe £17 3
Tourist bus £38 Optional
river cruise £19.25 Optional
Total price £257.55£314.80 with optional attractions   £125 (3 days)Visit as many attractions as you want with the 3-Day London Pass £94 (5 attractions)Choose 3 or 5 attractions
      Buy London Pass Buy Explorer Pass

If, instead, you only want to visit a few attractions, then I recommend you take a look at the possibility of buying combined tickets . If there are combined tickets for the attractions that interest you, you will save a lot of money and time when buying them.

Recommendations Public Transport

If you are going to spend three days in London, I have always recommended without a doubt to use an oyster card per person to move on public transport in London. In this way, metro and bus trips will be much cheaper than buying single tickets. But, since it is possible to use a contactless card for transportation, I think it is easier for tourists to use one of these. There are just a few things to keep in mind, but we explain everything in our article “use contactless card for London transport use contactless card for London transport ”. If you are going to travel with children, do not forget that children under 11 travel free on public transport in London. If children are over 11 years old they will need a ticket to travel. In our article transport in London for children we explain what types of tickets are needed for children in detail.

Recommendations Accommodation

If you are going to be in London for three days, we recommend that the hotel be quite central. The best zones are without a doubt zones 1 or 2 if possible, so you won’t spend a lot of time using London’s public transport. You can see our list of recommended hotels if you have not yet chosen one, where we recommend central hotels with very good value for money. If you’ve stayed in London recently and really liked your hotel, leave us a comment and tell us about it. This way we can add it to the list of recommended hotels and help other travelers.

What to see in London in 3 days with children?

If you are going to visit London in three days with children, surely you want the trip to be special for the youngest members of the family as well. I recommend you take a look at the three-day itinerary in London that we have designed to visit the British capital with children. To create it we have taken into account the most recommended attractions to visit with children as well as ideal restaurants for the smallest of the family…

Do you need more ideas to visit London in three days?

If it is not your first time in London or you simply want to explore less touristy places, at QverLondres we have many suggestions and secret corners. So you can plan your trip to London as you like. In our article Planning a perfect trip to London we have the keys so that your trip is complete and you leave London with the feeling of having lived London to the fullest. To begin with, I usually recommend that for your trip to London to be complete, I recommend without a doubt going to see one of the best musicals in London , it is one of the things that we enjoy the most when living in London. Check out our itineraries and walking routes around London to plan each day and make the most of every second, discover our Secret Corners of London or take a look at our Visiting London section , where we write articles about the tourist and non-tourist places we have visited in the British capital.

Questions about what to see in London in 3 days?

Every day we receive numerous comments and emails from readers who have doubts when planning a 3-day trip to London. We try to answer each of them as soon as we can, so if you need our help just leave us a comment. We answer in our spare time, as apart from writing for QverLondres we both have full-time jobs. We will answer you as soon as we can!

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