Three days in London gives you a proper taste of the true wonder that IS London. Seeing one of my favorite cities in the world means you'll see the glorious Tower Bridge, the red telephone booths you see in all the movies, and learn history that you definitely didn't learn in school. This city never gets boring, and with it being one of the largest cities in the World, there’s always something to do.
Below is your 3 Day Guide to help you navigate the hustle and bustle of the city, with some of my favorite ‘Must See’ attractions, markets, shopping, and food! I've added some additional options and ideas near the end so you can make your trip our own, because it's impossible to see it all in 3 days.
Day 1 – Arriving at Heathrow Airport – Covent Garden - Trafalgar Square
If you’re anything like me, the earlier you land, the better. My flight from Dallas had me landing at Heathrow at 6:30am!! PERFECT because you have the entire day to see the city, and that’s exactly what we did. Once you get your bags and head out of the terminal (unless you’re renting a car, then this bit won’t be for you haha) follow the signs to the London Underground Speed Train. A one way ticket is 23pounds and you get to the city in 20 minutes.
For easy commute around the city, get an Oyster Card at the terminal and load some money on that. It’s really inexpensive getting around the city on the tube, but you’ll need one of these cards.
We took the train to Embankment Station to drop our bags at the Hotel. For this stay, we chose to stay at The Strand Palace Hotel, just around the corner from Covent Garden. With rooms starting at $180 a night, this was a great option (especially since the Hotel was recently renovated) because its walking distance to nearly everything!!! Once we dropped our bags and changed, we headed out for a walk, drinks, and of course food.
We spent the remainder of our afternoon walking through the shops at Covent Garden before heading to Trafalgar Square. Covent Garden has everything from designer shops, bookstores, local gifts and handmade jewelry. It is one of my favorite places to shop in London for this reason. Plus, it’s so damn beautiful.
Start walking over towards Trafalgar Square, where everywhere you turn there is 12th-19th century architecture. The Square is named to commemorate the Battle of Trafalgar, but the site around the square has been a landmark since the 1200’s. I LOVE old shit. I find it fascinating especially since we don’t have anything remotely close to this in the US.
Grab the tube or walk across the River Thames towards South Bank, where the London Eye is! You and your guests can get tickets for the ride (takes about an hour) for 30pounds. We skipped this because we had dinner reservations at The Rooftop on the Square, but definitely a Must-Do if you have a group!!
Day 2 – Natural History Museum - Harrods - Buckingham Palace - Chinatown - Dinner
First on our list - Natural History Museum. I’m more of an art girl myself, but I LOVE science and learning about what the world was like, before humans came in and did our thing! There is sooo much to see and learn in this beautiful museum; it took us nearly 3 hours to get through the entire thing. Tickets are FREE but they as you book online to reserve the time slot. They have a lovely Café inside where we grabbed some lunch halfway through as well, then we headed out to our next destination.
Harrods is a 10minute walk from the Museum which was perfect. After hours of history, we needed to do some shopping in one of the worlds most famous department stores. Opened in 1824 by Charles Henry Harrod, and after the fire that burned the store to the ground in 1883, Harrods rebuilt the store and had clients like Charlie Chaplin and Oscar Wilde. MIND BLOWN.
With over 330 different departments in the store, and covering over 1 MILLION square feet, (WHAT) it was a MUST DO for me. After walking through just a handful of the departments, we made our way to the Champagne Bar for a toast to my birthday.
From there venture over to Buckingham Palace to visit Her Majesty, the Queen. You obviously can't go in unless you book the Tour during summer (linked below) but if you're lucky you'll get to see the changing of the Guards. They used to have a set time in the morning (11am I think) but they've done away with that. Soak in the Palace and all it's glory - it's truly a stunner!
We headed back towards our Hotel, wandered into ChinaTown for a quick drink before changing to head out to Dinner. Dinner, with the most incredible view I’ve EVER seen.
We booked over a week in advance (I recommend always pre-booking with Covid) and had the most amazing meal at The Madison. Settled in the One New Change district next to St. Paul's Cathedral, this five star restaurant offers a seasonal menu of favorites, and a wonderful wine list. They have Live music and a DJ on the weekends which was so much fun! After our meal we moved over to the lounge area, closer to the DJ, so we could relax, have a chat and take some pictures of the view that stole our hearts. Truly AMAZING place!!!
Day 3 – Abuelo for Brunch - Tower Bridge - The Shard - Leadenhall Market
Crawling out of bed after a late night out is never fun…unless you’re in London! We started our recovery with brunch at Abuelo. This place is super high rated so definitely make a reservation ahead of time! We had some incredible Cappuccino’s and the prettiest Avocado Toast I’ve ever eaten in my life. I can’t wait to go back and try the Fig & Honey Mascarpone Toast y’all….the food is truly to die for. I appreciate gorgeous food, so I hope you do too! (If you don’t care, there’s a McDonalds down the street) 😊
Catch the tube over to the other side of the city and head towards the famous Tower Bridge. Seeing this beauty in person for the first time, did more than take my breathe away. Tower Bridge is obviously one of the most Instagrammable spots but don’t miss out on the Tour that teaches you all about the History of this giant Beauty. It’s 12pounds and worth every pence. (see what I did there 😉 ) You’ll learn about how it was built, the engineers behind the build, and how wonderful it is to be an employee at Tower Bridge, even to this day.
We finished the tour around 4:30 which was perfect, because that means it’s cocktail time!
Head over to The Shard for drinks at the stunning Aqua Restaurant on the 37th floor. The views alone will blow your mind, as well as the cocktail list that is sure not to disappoint. If you book well in advance – definitely go for the Afternoon Tea that is set for the Queen herself (and Themed on occasion) but at a pricey 140pounds. I tried for weeks to get a dinner reservation, but they are hard to come by. Instead, head on up to the bar and have a cocktail or two, and enjoy the view!
The River Thames is pretty easy to get across if you’re not up for walking (directly across from The Shard), so grab the Uber Boat using your Oyster card! You can take this boat all the way down the Thames for more views, or straight across to head to Leadenhall Market.
I’ll be honest – we had no clue where we were going, but we knew we wanted to find a little pub to nightcap our day out. We literally walked upon Leadenhall - one of the oldest Market's in London (14th century, also featured in Harry Potter) in the middle of the busy finance district. It was lively, gorgeous, and truly out of this world.
I will say that three days in London CAN be done, but it truly isn’t enough time. There are so many amazing areas of the city to soak in, so take your time coordinating your list and HAVE FUN!! Check out the options below for more ideas for your trip :)
Optional Must See attractions that you'll LOVE :
Where to Eat in London :
Camden Market for street food galore from all over the world
Borough Market for fish and chips and sausage rolls
Shoreditch for eclectic bars and dinner options
Ave Mario for brunch
Aqua Shard for a fancy dinner option
The Madison for live music and dinner
Sketch Cafe for brunch
Circolo Popolare for an Instagrammable Italian joint that wont disappoint
Sushi Samba for a skyrise view unlike any other
Dishoom for Indian
SoHo for speakeasy bars and actually decent Mexican food
If you want a look into the daily life in London – head over to my Instagram Highlights to see more.