Last Updated on 14 August, 2023
Planning a trip to London and wondering how to make the most of your four days in the London? Look no further!
We have a packed London itinerary with detailed tips that cover the must-visit attractions, hidden gems, and family-friendly options. On the blog, we have also covered tips on the best time to visit London, in addition to monthly travel tips so you know what is happening in London whether visiting London in January, March, or December. We have you covered!
So pack your comfortable shoes and get ready for an unforgettable adventure in the vibrant capital of England.
Day 1: Exploring the Heart of London
We have also covered an alternative 1 day London itinerary here.
Buckingham Palace: Witness Royal Grandeur
Your first day in London starts with a visit to Buckingham Palace, the official residence of the British monarch. Marvel at the majestic facade of the palace and witness the famous Changing of the Guards ceremony, a time-honored tradition that takes place daily during the summer months and every other day in the winter. Through the summer you can book a tour around Buckingham Palace so you not only get to see the palace from the gates but inside as well as the garden.
Westminister Abbey: A Historic Masterpiece
Next, head to Westminister Abbey, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most significant religious buildings in the United Kingdom. This is among the must-see churches in London. Immerse yourself in its rich history as you explore the breathtaking Gothic architecture and discover the final resting place of many notable figures, including monarchs, statesmen, and writers.
Big Ben and Westminster Bridge: Iconic Landmarks
Whether you visit London in 4 days, 5 days or even 2 days, there is no visit to London is complete without seeing Big Ben and Westminster Bridge. Admire the iconic clock tower, officially known as the Elizabeth Tower, and capture memorable photos with the picturesque backdrop of the bridge spanning the River Thames.
London Eye and Southbank: Spectacular Views
Make your way to the London Eye, a giant Ferris wheel that offers panoramic views of the city. Take a ride in one of the glass capsules and marvel at London’s skyline from a unique vantage point. Afterward, stroll along the vibrant Southbank, where you can enjoy street performers, browse through the book market, and indulge in delicious street food. You can book London Eye tickets in advance to avoid queues. You can also choose to stay near London Eye.
Tate Modern: Contemporary Art Delight
Art enthusiasts shouldn’t miss the opportunity to visit the Tate Modern, a renowned contemporary art museum housed in a former power station. Explore the vast collection of modern and contemporary artworks, including pieces by Picasso, Warhol, and Hockney, and immerse yourself in the world of artistic expression.
St. Paul’s Cathedral: Architectural Marvel
Venture to St. Paul’s Cathedral, one of London’s most iconic landmarks. Step inside this architectural masterpiece designed by Sir Christopher Wren and marvel at its magnificent dome. Climb to the Whispering Gallery for a unique acoustic experience and ascend further to the Golden Gallery for breathtaking views of the city. Book tickets here.
Evening Drinks at Madison Bar: Rooftop Experience
As the day comes to an end, treat yourself to a refreshing drink at Madison Bar. Located atop One New Change, this rooftop bar offers panoramic views of St. Paul’s Cathedral and the London skyline. Sip on your favorite cocktail, unwind, and reflect on the day’s adventures.
Light Dinner at Zizzi or Gabriels Wharf: Culinary Delights
For a light dinner, head to Zizzi, a popular Italian restaurant chain known for its delectable pizzas and pasta dishes. Alternatively, you can explore the food options at Gabriels Wharf, a charming riverside area with a variety of eateries offering cuisines from around the world.
Finish with Drinks and a View at Queen Elizabeth Roof Garden Bar & Café: Serene Ambience
If you are visiting London in the summer months then conclude your first day in London with drinks at Queen Elizabeth Roof Garden Bar & Café. Located on the top floor of the Southbank Centre, this hidden gem offers a tranquil setting with stunning views of the Thames River. Savor your favorite drink while enjoying the beautiful surroundings. When visiting in winter or rainy periods you can opt for these cool bars on Southbank for cocktails and shelter.
Map of Day’s Attractions
Before we move on to the next day, take a look at the map below to visualize the locations of the attractions covered on Day 1.
Day 2: Cultural Immersion and Shopping Extravaganza
You can also find an alternative 2-day London itinerary here.
Covent Garden Breakfast: Start the Day Right
Begin your second day in London with a delicious breakfast at one of the charming cafes in Covent Garden. Indulge in mouthwatering pastries, freshly brewed coffee, and other morning delights to fuel up for a day of exploration.
Explore Covent Garden and the Colorful Neal’s Yard: Hidden Gems
After breakfast, take a leisurely stroll through Covent Garden, a vibrant district known for its street performers, boutique shops, and lively atmosphere. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit Neal’s Yard, a hidden courtyard adorned with colorful buildings and home to unique shops and organic cafes.
National Gallery and Portrait Gallery: Artistic Treasures
Art lovers will be captivated by the National Gallery and Portrait Gallery, both located in Trafalgar Square. Explore the vast collections of classic and contemporary artworks, including masterpieces by renowned artists such as Van Gogh, Monet, and Rembrandt. Immerse yourself in the world of art and admire the talent of centuries past.
Trafalgar Square: Iconic Landmark
While you’re in the area, spend some time in Trafalgar Square, a bustling public space known for its iconic Nelson’s Column and the famous Fourth Plinth, which hosts contemporary art installations. Take a moment to relax by the fountains and soak in the vibrant atmosphere of this central London hub.
Leicester Square and Chinatown: Entertainment and Cuisine
Adjacent to Trafalgar Square, you’ll find Leicester Square, one of London’s famous squares and the heart of London’s entertainment and nightlife district. Immerse yourself in the buzzing atmosphere, catch a movie premiere, or visit one of the theaters for a live performance. Afterward, indulge in the flavors of the Far East by exploring Chinatown’s diverse range of authentic restaurants and food markets.
Piccadilly Circus: Neon Lights and Bustling Streets
Continue your journey to Piccadilly Circus, one of London’s most famous landmarks. Marvel at the vibrant neon lights, giant digital screens, and bustling streets filled with shops, theaters, and restaurants. Take a moment to snap some photos and soak in the electric atmosphere of this lively intersection.
Soho’s Carnaby Street: Fashion and Style
Fashion enthusiasts should make their way to Carnaby Street in Soho, a haven for unique boutiques, independent brands, and trendy cafes. Explore the eclectic shops, discover the latest fashion trends, and immerse yourself in the vibrant street culture that defines this iconic London destination.
Kingly Street Food Court: Culinary Delights
When it’s time for lunch, head to Kingly Street Food Court, located in the heart of Carnaby Street. Indulge in a diverse range of cuisines, from international street food to gourmet delights, and savor the flavors of the world in this lively food hub.
Regent Street and Oxford Street: Shopping Extravaganza
No visit to London would be complete without some retail therapy. Regent Street and Oxford Street are home to a plethora of flagship stores, department stores, and designer boutiques. Explore the endless shopping options, browse the latest fashion collections, and find that perfect souvenir to remember your London adventure.
Afternoon Tea at Selfridges or West End Matinee Show: Quintessential Experiences
In the heart of London’s shopping district, take a break from shopping and indulge in a quintessentially British experience: afternoon tea. Head to Selfridges, a world-famous department store, and treat yourself to a traditional afternoon tea in their elegant tearoom. Alternatively, if you’re a fan of theater, catch a matinee show in London’s West End, known for its world-class productions and captivating performances.
Finish with a Cocktail at Aqua London, Soho: Sky-high Delights
As the day draws to a close, make your way to Aqua London, a rooftop bar located in Soho. Enjoy a refreshing cocktail while taking in panoramic views of the cityscape. With its stylish ambiance and breathtaking vistas, Aqua London provides the perfect setting to unwind and reflect on your day.
Map of Day’s Attractions
Take a look at the map below to get a visual overview of the attractions covered on Day 2.
Day 3: History, Markets, and Vibrant Neighborhoods
Continuing tips for the best London itinerary for 4 days, for 3-day activities. You can find an alternative 3-day London itinerary here.
Breakfast with a View at Duck and Waffle: Elevated Dining
Start your day with a unique breakfast experience at Duck and Waffle, a restaurant situated on the 40th floor of a skyscraper. Enjoy delicious breakfast dishes while taking in panoramic views of the city skyline. This elevated dining experience is sure to set a memorable tone for the day.
Garden At 120 or Sky Garden: Urban Oasis
After breakfast, visit Garden At 120 or Sky Garden for a tranquil escape from the bustling city streets. These elevated gardens offer lush greenery, stunning views, and a serene atmosphere. Take a leisurely stroll, relax on a bench, and soak in the natural beauty surrounding you.
Leadenhall Market: Historic Shopping Arcade
Make your way to Leadenhall Market, a historic covered market dating back to the 14th century. Marvel at the exquisite Victorian architecture, browse through boutique shops, and sample gourmet delights from the market’s various vendors. Leadenhall Market’s unique charm makes it a must-visit destination for history buffs and shopaholics alike.
Monument to the Great Fire of London: Historic Landmark
Next, visit the Monument to the Great Fire of London, a towering column erected to commemorate the devastating fire that swept through the city in 1666. Climb the 311 steps to the top for panoramic views of London’s skyline and gain insight into this significant event in the city’s history.
Tower of London: Royal Fortress
Explore the historic Tower of London, a medieval fortress steeped in centuries of history. Discover the Crown Jewels, visit the infamous Bloody Tower, and learn about the tower’s role as a royal palace, prison, and treasury. Immerse yourself in the stories of kings and queens, knights and traitors, and unravel the secrets held within these ancient walls. Right outside the tower is a London Pier where you can catch some of the best river cruises in London.
Tower Bridge: Iconic Landmark
Adjacent to the Tower of London stands Tower Bridge, one of London’s most recognizable landmarks. Take a walk across the bridge’s glass floor walkways for a thrilling experience and admire the panoramic views of the River Thames. Learn about the bridge’s fascinating history and marvel at its engineering marvel.
The Shard: Sky-high Observation Deck
For breathtaking views of the city, head to The Shard, London’s tallest building. Ascend to the observation deck, located on the 72nd floor, and soak in the panoramic vistas stretching across the capital. Capture stunning photos, spot famous landmarks, and appreciate London’s grandeur from this lofty vantage point.
Borough Market Lunch: Gastronomic Delights
Indulge in a delectable lunch at Borough Market, one of London’s oldest and most renowned food markets. Immerse yourself in a sensory feast as you explore the stalls offering a wide array of gourmet treats, fresh produce, and international delicacies. Sample local cheeses, artisanal bread, and mouthwatering street food for a true culinary adventure.
Explore Shoreditch with a Street Art Tour: Urban Creativity
Venture to the vibrant neighborhood of Shoreditch and embark on a street art tour. Discover colorful murals, intricate graffiti, and thought-provoking street art created by local and international artists. This artistic enclave showcases London’s thriving urban art scene and offers a unique perspective on the city’s creative spirit. This is not only among the best markets in South London but among famous markets in London, you need to visit.
Boxpark Shoreditch and Brick Lane Markets: Shopping and Street Food
After the street art tour, explore Boxpark Shoreditch, a trendy pop-up mall constructed from repurposed shipping containers. Browse through independent boutiques, discover unique fashion brands, and indulge in a variety of street food offerings from around the world. Continue your shopping spree at the nearby Brick Lane Markets, known for its vintage clothing, antiques, and eclectic mix of goods.
Finish off with Drinks and Cocktails at Boxpark or Boundary Rooftop Bar: Rooftop Vibes
As the sun begins to set, unwind with drinks and cocktails at Boxpark or Boundary Rooftop Bar which is among the top hotel rooftop bars in London. Boxpark’s vibrant atmosphere and variety of beverage options make it a popular choice for an evening out. Alternatively, indulge in the stylish ambiance and panoramic views at Boundary Rooftop Bar, where you can enjoy expertly crafted cocktails and unwind amidst London’s skyline.
Map of Day’s Attractions
Refer to the map below to visualize the attractions covered on Day 3.
Day 4: Breakfast or Brunch in Kensington/Serpentine Pavilion Cafe: Parkside Delights
Day 4 in London is about exploring West London with a bit of North London through in for good measure. So, start your final day in London with a leisurely breakfast or brunch in Kensington. Head to Serpentine Pavilion Cafe, nestled within the picturesque surroundings of Hyde Park. Enjoy a delicious meal while taking in the serene views of the park’s greenery and the tranquil Serpentine Lake.
If you have already been to some of the places before you can alternatively do a day trip from London for your day 4. You have the option of checking out some of the many castles near London, you can also see some of the beautiful cities near London you can visit as a day trip.
Hyde Park: Royal Green Space
After breakfast, explore Hyde Park, one of London’s largest and most beautiful royal parks. Take a peaceful stroll along the tree-lined pathways, rent a rowboat on the Serpentine Lake, or simply relax on the grassy lawns. Hyde Park offers a welcome respite from the city’s hustle and bustle, allowing you to reconnect with nature.
Kensington Palace and Garden: Royal Residence
Visit Kensington Palace, the official residence of several members of the British royal family. Immerse yourself in history as you explore the opulent State Rooms and uncover the stories of past monarchs. Wander through the palace gardens, adorned with beautiful flower beds and manicured lawns, and imagine the lives of royalty.
V&A Museum: Art and Design Extravaganza
Discover the Victoria and Albert Museum, one of the world’s leading museums dedicated to art and design. Explore its vast collection spanning thousands of years and various cultures, from classical sculptures to contemporary installations. Delve into the realms of fashion, photography, ceramics, and more, and appreciate the creativity and craftsmanship on display.
Natural History Museum: Natural Wonders
Next, delve into the natural world at the Natural History Museum, located nearby. Marvel at the museum’s grand architecture and step inside to encounter a world of fossils, minerals, and interactive exhibits. From the awe-inspiring skeleton of a blue whale to the dazzling gemstones in the Vault gallery, the museum offers a captivating journey through Earth’s history.
Harrods: Luxury Shopping Experience
No visit to London would be complete without a visit to Harrods, the iconic luxury department store. Explore its opulent halls filled with designer fashion, exquisite jewelry, gourmet delicacies, and much more. Immerse yourself in the world of luxury retail and indulge in a little shopping or simply admire the grandeur of this renowned establishment.
Sloane Square: Boutique Shopping and Cafés
For a more intimate shopping experience, head to Sloane Square, a charming neighborhood known for its boutique shops and upscale cafés. Browse through independent boutiques offering unique fashion, accessories, and home decor. Take a break at one of the quaint cafés, savor a cup of coffee, and watch the fashionable locals go by.
Saatchi Gallery: Contemporary Art
Immerse yourself in contemporary art at the Saatchi Gallery, located in the vibrant Chelsea neighborhood. Explore thought-provoking exhibitions featuring works by emerging artists from around the world. The gallery’s ever-changing displays and innovative installations provide a fascinating glimpse into the current trends and directions of the art world.
Camden Market: Eclectic Shopping and Entertainment
Venture to Camden Market, a vibrant hub of alternative fashion, street food, and live music. Explore the maze of stalls offering everything from vintage clothing and unique accessories to international cuisine and artisanal crafts. Immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere, and be sure to catch a live performance at one of the market’s many music venues.
Finish at One of the Local Pubs in Camden for Drinks: Cheers!
As the day draws to a close, unwind at one of the local pubs in Camden. Enjoy a pint of traditional British ale, mingle with locals and fellow travelers, and toast to a memorable four days in London. The pubs in Camden offer a lively atmosphere and a wide selection of beverages, making them the perfect place to conclude your London adventure.
Map of Day’s Attractions
Refer to the map below to visualize the attractions covered on Day 4.
Additional Tips for a 4-Day London Itinerary with Family
- If you’re visiting London with family, consider adding the Shrek Experience or SEALife Aquarium to your itinerary. These attractions are conveniently located near the London Eye and offer interactive experiences for children and adults alike.
- Enhance your family’s itinerary by including visits to the Sherlock Holmes Museum, Madame Tussauds, and London Zoo. These popular attractions cater to different interests and provide memorable experiences for all ages.
- If you’re traveling with children or want to buy souvenirs for your little ones, consider adding visits to Lego, Disney, M&M’s World, or Hamleys toy stores. These iconic stores offer a wide range of toys, merchandise, and interactive experiences that will delight young visitors.
- For Harry Potter fans in the family, consider skipping Shoreditch after Borough Market and heading towards King’s Cross. Visit Platform 9¾, where aspiring wizards can capture a photo with the famous trolley, or embark on a magical journey with a Harry Potter Studio Tour at Warner Bros. Studio London.
- London offers a variety of specialized tours based on different interests. If you’re a Sherlock Holmes fan, you might find the Sherlock Holmes Museum disappointing. Instead, explore other options such as a Beatles walking tour, a Doctor Who walking tour, ghost tours, a street art tour, or even a Paddington Bear tour, depending on your interests and preferences.
Additional Travel Tips
- If you’re in London on a Sunday, consider adding a morning trip to Columbia Road Flower Market. It’s a vibrant and colorful market where you can browse through a wide selection of flowers, plants, and gardening accessories.
- Wear comfortable shoes when exploring London. Many attractions and landmarks are within walking distance of each other, making it easier and more enjoyable to explore the city on foot rather than relying solely on buses or trains. Comfortable shoes will ensure that you can navigate the city’s streets and attractions with ease.
Where To Stay In London For 4 Days
There are plenty of amazing neighbourhoods to choose from when considering where to stay in London during your 4 day trip to London. We have also covered tips on budget hotels in central London, cool London hostels in parts of London to those in Kensington and Chelsea.
We have also covered hotels with swimming pools for those that love a nice swim before breakfast to hotels with catering facilities that are perfect for those visiting with small kids so that you can easily make bottles at all hours. For those visiting with pets, we have covered hotels and apartments that are dog and cat friendly.
How To Get Around London
When it comes to getting around London, there are several convenient and efficient transportation options available. Here are the most popular methods of transportation in the city:
London Underground (The Tube): Fast and Efficient
The London Underground, also known as the Tube, is the city’s subway system and one of the fastest ways to travel around London. With an extensive network of lines and stations, the Tube connects almost every corner of the city. It’s a convenient option for reaching popular attractions, and the trains run at frequent intervals throughout the day.
Buses: Scenic and Accessible
London’s iconic red buses offer a scenic and accessible way to travel around the city. The bus network covers a vast area, and you can hop on a bus at any of the numerous bus stops located throughout London. Buses are an excellent choice for sightseeing, as many routes pass by famous landmarks and offer panoramic views of the city.
London Overground: Connecting Neighborhoods
The London Overground is a rail network that connects various neighborhoods in London. It’s a convenient option for reaching areas not served by the Tube, and the trains run frequently. The Overground also provides connections to major transport hubs, making it easy to transfer between different modes of transportation.
Docklands Light Railway (DLR): East London Connectivity
The Docklands Light Railway (DLR) is an automated light rail system that primarily serves the Docklands area in East London. It offers quick and efficient transportation to popular attractions such as the Tower of London and Canary Wharf. The DLR provides stunning views of the city’s skyline and is a great way to explore East London.
Taxis and Ride-Sharing: Convenient and Flexible
Taxis and ride-sharing services like Uber are widely available in London and offer a convenient and flexible way to get around the city. Taxis can be hailed on the street or found at designated taxi ranks while ride-sharing services can be accessed through mobile apps. Taxis are a more expensive option compared to public transportation but offer door-to-door service and are a good choice for convenience and comfort.
Walking: Explore at Your Own Pace
London is a walkable city, and many of its attractions and landmarks are within a reasonable walking distance of each other. Walking not only allows you to explore the city at your own pace but also gives you the opportunity to discover hidden gems and enjoy the vibrant atmosphere of London’s streets. Just make sure to wear comfortable shoes and carry a map or use a navigation app to help you navigate.
Oyster Card or Contactless Payment: Convenience and Savings
To make your transportation experience in London more convenient, consider getting an Oyster card or using contactless payment methods. These options allow you to pay for your journeys on public transportation with ease and often offer cost savings compared to purchasing individual tickets. Oyster cards can be topped up with credit and used on the Tube, buses, DLR, and other modes of transport.
Travel Tip: Check for Service Disruptions
Before you embark on your daily adventures, it’s essential to check for any service disruptions or planned maintenance on public transportation. Transport for London (TfL) provides real-time travel information on their website and through mobile apps, allowing you to stay informed about any delays or changes to your planned routes.
London Travel Itinerary FAQ
Q: How much time should I spend at each attraction? A: The amount of time you spend at each attraction depends on your interests and the specific attractions you visit. As a general guideline, you can allocate 1-2 hours for major attractions like Buckingham Palace, the Tower of London, and the museums. Smaller attractions or those of personal interest may require less time. It’s a good idea to check the opening hours and plan accordingly.
Q: Are the attractions mentioned in the itinerary open every day? A: Most of the attractions mentioned in the itinerary are open every day, but it’s important to note that opening hours may vary. Some attractions may have reduced hours or be closed on certain days, so it’s always a good idea to check the official websites or contact the attractions directly for the most up-to-date information.
Q: Can I visit all the attractions in the itinerary with children? A: Yes, the itinerary is designed to be family-friendly, and many of the attractions mentioned cater to visitors of all ages. However, it’s worth considering the interests and attention spans of your children when planning your visits. You may need to allocate more time or choose specific exhibits or activities that are suitable for children.
Q: Are there any discounts or passes available for multiple attractions? A: Yes, there are several options available for discounts or passes that allow you to visit multiple attractions at a discounted price. The London Pass, for example, offers access to multiple attractions and can provide cost savings if you plan to visit several sites. Additionally, some attractions offer discounted rates for children, families, or online bookings, so it’s worth checking the official websites for any special offers.
Q: Is it necessary to book tickets in advance for the attractions? A: It’s generally recommended to book tickets in advance, especially for popular attractions, to ensure availability and skip the ticket queues. Some attractions offer timed-entry tickets, which allow you to enter at a specific time slot, reducing wait times. Booking online also gives you the opportunity to check for any discounts or special offers.
Q: Is it safe to walk around London at night? A: London is generally a safe city, but it’s always advisable to take basic precautions, especially when walking around at night. Stick to well-lit and busy areas, be aware of your surroundings, and avoid displaying valuable items. If you’re unsure about an area, it’s best to take a taxi or use public transportation to reach your destination.
Q: What is the best way to get from the airport to central London? A: London has several airports, and the best way to get from the airport to central London depends on which airport you arrive at. The most common options include the Heathrow Express or Underground for Heathrow Airport, the Gatwick Express or Southern Railway for Gatwick Airport, and the Stansted Express for Stansted Airport. Each airport has dedicated transportation services that provide quick and convenient connections to the city center.
Q: Are there any COVID-19 restrictions or guidelines to be aware of? A: As of the knowledge cutoff in September 2021, COVID-19 restrictions and guidelines may be in place in London. It’s important to stay informed about the latest travel advisories and follow any regulations set by local authorities and health organizations. Check the official websites of the attractions, as well as government websites, for the most up-to-date information on health and safety measures, entry requirements, and any restrictions on visiting attractions.