2 Day London Itinerary & City Guide
Heading to London soon? Here are a 2 Day Sample London Itinerary and City Guide, just for you!!
This past Eurotrip I took my first ever visit to London, and to the UK for that matter. England has never really been on the top of my list (if I wanted to hang out with a bunch of white people who speak English I could stay at home, right?) Well, this trip, I deemed London worthy of some time in my quick 2 week vacation, and I am so glad I did! I love history, so of course, London is a great place to go for this, but there is SO MUCH history, how do you even know where to start? NARROW IT DOWN. Find out what is important to you. I wanted a general knowledge, to learn about the theatre, and something off-color, which is exactly what I did. But before we get into the nitty-gritty, let’s talk logistics.
Unless you’ve been living under a bridge, you know that England does not run on the Euro, it runs on the GBP. A cup of coffee will run you about 4 quid, a sandwich 9-10, and so on. Recently, the GBP has been stronger than the Euro and the dollar, but this quick link will tell you exactly what the conversion is. Even if it’s not as strong as it has been, EXPECT TO DROP SOME CHANGE. I went to London thinking that I was going to spend the amount of what I would for a weekend in NYC…and boy was I wrong. I spent probably a little less than double, for the same amount of time. London is expensive, and it’s really just something you have to expect.
There are a few ways of getting around London- The Tube, Cabs, and Uber. The most convenient (and probably fastest) method being The Tube.
The cheapest form of transportation around London, and one of the best underground subways in the world. The Tube is clean, safe, and totally manageable, even if the thought of the subway scares you. Download the Tube App, which tells where all of the trains run and which stations link together. Then also download the app CityMaps2Go. This is seriously my favorite travel app because it gives you detailed, downloadable maps that you are able to use without wifi. It has all the street names, you can search for things, drop pins and see where train and bus stops are all without using data. Make sure you download the map while you have wifi before you venture out! For more of my favorite travel apps, click here!
CABS & UBER
Cabs are easily accessible in London, and they are able to hail from the side of the road, there are also taxi stands. When I was in London there was a battle going on between Uber and the city itself, so cabs were cheaper to take. Your best bet is to see the estimated cost of an Uber ride, hail a taxi and see how much it costs, then go with the cheaper option.
2 DAY SAMPLE LONDON ITINERARY
(what I did, and what you should too!)
TOWER OF LONDON
I started off my first day at the Tower of London. It provided me with a good general history of where the city began and what went on behind the walls of the tower. The ticket includes a walking tour of the grounds. Be sure to check the schedule posted at the opening gate. This tour is far more insightful than any of the plaques posted up were, and I definitely recommend it. The tour is led by one of the Yeoman Guards who lives on sight at the tower and has served in the British Military for over 30 years, so this guy really knows his stuff!! At the Tower of London, you also get to see the Crown Jewels and many of the sets of armor used by English Kings and Princes throughout history. Don’t forget to see Tower Bridge while you are there!
TOWER BRIDGE & THE THAMES RIVER
After taking the complimentary tour of the tower and exploring around a bit, grab a small munch from the cafe located outside of the park and take a stroll along the Tower Bridge. Tower Bridge is absolutely gorgeous and such a distinctive landmark of London.
BOROUGH MARKET & GLOBE THEATRE
In between London Bridge and the Millennium Bridge are the Borough Market and Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. The market is worth visiting, cute, little trinkets for sale, fresh produce, and just a lot of bustling activity. A great place for a quick lunch or snack. Keep in mind most days it closes at 5 and is closed on Sunday and Monday as well.
A few blocks down after a short walk is the Globe Theatre. Obviously, it is not the original Globe, as that burned down. Inside there are still artifacts, and the theatre also continues to put on shows and you can do a walking tour of the theatre as well. You can read more about the Globe Theatre and the options you have to visit here. If you have the time to tour it and are interested in the history, you should definitely do it, and if you are in London for more than 2 days like me, definitely take the time to see a show there, I’ve heard they’re amazing.
MILLENNIUM BRIDGE AT SUNSET
Right near the Globe is the Millennium Bridge!! If you’re a Harry Potter fan you will instantly recognize it as the bridge the dementors sweep over at the beginning of the Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. A REALLY cool bridge, it was absolutely stunning to walk across at sunset and get some gorgeous golden hour photos with St. Paul’s and the bridge in the background.
ST PAUL’S CATHEDRAL
Keep crossing that bridge and you will find yourself in front of St. Paul’s cathedral. When I stopped by, Mass was in attendance, so I sat for a few minutes and popped around. Absolutely gorgeous and free to walk into.
KING’S CROSS STATION & PLATFORM 9 3/4
I hadn’t quite had my Harry Potter fill of the day so I hopped back on the Tube to head over to King’s Cross Station. A really cool station to see anyways, here is the famous Platform 9 3/4 where you can get your photo taken at the hidden entrance to board the Hogwarts Express. A lot of fun and great for a group as well, you will probably wait in line anywhere from 20-45 minutes to get your photo taken. There is also a cute little gift shop where you can purchase anything from the Daily Prophet to Bertie Bott’s Every Flavored Beans. (I’m quite the Potter Head if you didn’t know.)
JACK THE RIPPER TOUR
I ended the evening of Day 1 London Itinerary with what I was scared would be a cheesy walking ghost tour that was a scam, but turned out to be one of my favorite things I did while in London! The Jack the Ripper walking tour started at 7:30 pm and was everything I hoped it would be, informative, funny, personal, and loads of history about London I might have never known otherwise. My guide was the author of several Jack the Ripper books and had all sorts of interesting theories and ideas on the entire matter.
The tour ended at the 10 Bells, which was a pub all the hookers at the time of Jack the Ripper drank at. I was by far the youngest person in the group, but some great people from Scottland invited me over to their table and bought my first couple of rounds and were awesome to hang out with. I used London Walks for my tour, and totally recommend adding a tour to your London Itinerary. They have several other walking tours of London in case Jack the Ripper isn’t your cup of tea. The tour cost 10 quid, and then I gave the guide a tip for his awesome job.
There really is an entirely whole lot to do, but there are some pretty interesting things to see and tour that you might consider adding to your London Itinerary. Here are the top sights.
STROLL THOUGH GREEN PARK
Always gorgeous, and always free. During the fall the leaves are spectacular.
See the road which was the cover of the Famous Beatles album, have a coffee, and enjoy The Beatles Experience.
GREENWICH VILLAGE & CUTTY SARK
All aboard the Curry Sark! This amazing vessel 🚢 located in London carried more than 1 million boxes of tea across the ocean and was the fastest ship of her time. ••••• Sorry for the hiatus of posting- with the holidays about I didn’t want to be thinking about Instagram, just busy time with friends and family! Happy holidays everyone!
I wish I had dedicated more time to spend in Greenwich Village. It’s super cute, has loads of fun food options, an adorable marketplace, and so much more. Also here I spend some time on the Cutty Sark, a famous Windjammer who sailed the world bringing tea and spices to many countries. The fastest they ever made it from Australia to London was 73 days…which is CRAZY fast. If you’re into sailing history the Cutty Sark is a MUST. Even if it’s not your thing, it’s still awesome to see the massive ship from outside of the museum. (If you didn’t know I am a sailor….read more about my story here!)
SEE A SHOW AT THE WEST END
A London Itinerary would never be complete without seeing a show at the West End!! There are TONS options to choose of shows to see. I found that tickets were much cheaper here than to see a music in NYC. I paid 70 pounds for an AMAZING seat for Wicked. GO SEE A SHOW IF YOU HAVE THE TIME. For a list of shows playing, check here.
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