Updated August 16, 2020.
Everyone will tell you two days in London is not enough—and they’re right if your goal is to see and do everything! But if your goal is to make the absolute most of your time, I have the itinerary you need! I’m a huge proponent of traveling when and how you can, never waiting until the perfect time, because it will never come. It’s better to travel for a short time than not at all, so take that weekend trip! Take that quick opportunity when it presents itself!
Breakfast: Full English
Start your first full day the British way, with beans and mushrooms! Those are not exactly an American’s first choice of breakfast food, but you might just find you like it! Don’t shy away from the black pudding either, if it’s offered, since you might like that, too!
More here: What to Eat in London
Morning: Tower of London, 9:00am
Knock this one of your list early! It’s one of the most popular attractions, so you’ll beat the crowds by going when it opens at 9:00am. Plan to spend at least an hour or two here, depending on your level of history love!
More here: 10 Things to Do in London
Next Stop: Tower Bridge and Shakespeare’s Globe
After you’ve seen the torture chamber and the Queen’s jewels, you’ll want to take advantage of your proximity to Tower Bridge—not to be confused with London Bridge! You can walk straight across the bridge on a pedestrian path, or you can head up into one of the towers and walk across from above.
Once you’ve crossed, turn right to head west along the Thames to walk about 20 minutes to Shakepeare’s Globe. Tours run every 30 minutes from 9:30am-5:00pm.
Keep reading: What to Know Before You Visit the United Kingdom
Lunch along the South Bank
By now you’re probably getting hungry again. Lucky for you, there are plenty of pubs and restaurants around! Pick one as you make your way toward the London Eye. You can even find one with a view of the River Thames if you like!
Afternoon: London Eye
Now that you’ve successfully navigated the South Bank of London, you should see the other side from above! Don’t forget you can buy your tickets online in advance to save 10% and skip the line!
More here: 5 Habits of Flexible Travelers
Next Stop: Cross Westminster Bridge and Explore Westminster
After your bird’s eye view, head over to Westminster Bridge for the best views of Big Ben and Parliament! At the moment Big Ben is undergoing restoration until 2021, but here’s a photo from my trip to London in 2016!
Read next: Top 10 Life-changing Trips
Pop into Westminster Abbey if they are open for tours when you get there (they close for tours during worship times and in the early afternoon), and if not, make sure to take some photos outside!
Supper: Pub Food
After all your stepping, you deserve some pub food!
Keep eating: The Most Iconic Foods Around the World
Morning: The British Museum
You will want to get to the British Museum when it opens! The line gets out of control pretty quickly. We were able to walk right in at 9:30am, but the line was all the way out of the property and down the sidewalk by the time we left around 11:00! The museum opens officially at 10:00am, but you can get through security and into the lobby at 9:00am. The gift shop and restrooms were open! Plan to spend at least an hour here. It’s FREE, so you can stay as long or as short a time as you want!
More here: Words to Learn in the Local Language
Lunch: Grab a Quick Lunch
Stop into the Starbucks across the street from the British Museum or another quick cafe like Nero or Pret a Manger. Then hop on the Tube and head to South Kensington Station for the Victoria and Albert Museum!
Afternoon: Victoria and Albert Museum
The V&A Museum is a definite must-do! It’s also free, and if you’re at all interested in British history, this is the place for you. It’s very well-organized by time period, and the artifacts on display are endlessly fascinating.
More here: What to Know Before You Visit London
Plan to spend an hour or two here, and maybe pop over to Harrod’s down the street if you want to do some shopping!
Dinner: Afternoon Tea
It’s not just tea and scones, my friend. Afternoon Tea is a whole meal, and it’s the most British thing you can do in London! We had Afternoon Tea at the Savoy, but there are plenty of options for this in any budget!
Check out my comprehensive post, The Beginner’s Guide to Tea in London!
Evening: A Show in the Theatre District
Round out your quick two-day trip with a world-class theatre experience! Pro tip: Find the show you want, then buy tickets from the theatre itself. We truly enjoyed seeing Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap, so if you like a good murder mystery and are not sure what to see, I recommend it!
Want more on London and the UK? Check out my United Kingdom Page!
Are you ready to take London by storm in a 2-day whirlwind? Comment below!
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