Tower Bridge, London, UK

One Weekend in London: How to Spend Two Days in London

March 18, 2024

London is the capital of the United Kingdom and one of the most populous and exciting cities in Europe. It boasts a rich history, cultural diversity and world-famous attractions. London offers a unique blend of tradition and modernity, making it an attractive place to visit.

There are many reasons to visit London, as it is an interesting and diverse city with its own advantages and disadvantages.

London is home to some of the world’s best-known attractions. For example, Buckingham Palace, the official residence of the British royal family, made all the more attractive by the iconic Changing of the Guard event. The Palace of Westminster and its clock, Big Ben, is another symbol of London. The Tower of London, where the British Coronation jewels are kept, has a rich history.

London is also famous for its museums. The British Museum houses a wealth of historical and cultural treasures, including relics from ancient Egypt. The Tate Modern is a modern art gallery where contemporary art lovers can find the latest art. And the Natural History Museum boasts stunning exhibits including the famous dinosaurs and the world’s largest whale exhibit.

Walking around the city you can discover the iconic red buses, the famous taxi drivers and Hyde Park, where you can picnic or just relax in the green spaces. Furthermore, London is home to one of the world’s largest cultural centres, the South Bank of the Thames, with theatres, concert halls and galleries.

The city of London is a spectacular meeting of cultures. The trendy East End has a vibrant arts and dining scene where there is something for everyone. London’s Chinatown is one of the largest and liveliest Chinese quarters in the world, with great restaurants and shops.

So you will never be bored in London. The city is packed with activities, events and entertainment. There is an endless choice of theatre, concerts, exhibitions, shopping and dining.

However, not everyone has unlimited time to explore London. Whether visiting London as part of a European tour or planning just a weekend getaway, this article is for those who can only visit London for a short time.

We have put together a list of must-see attractions that are well worth a visit if you are only in London for two days.

What to consider when planning a two-day trip to London?

Two days is only enough time to see the most important sights in the city, but with proper planning and the best London travel tips, you can still have a meaningful trip.

We recommend a maximum of 3 activities for a day. Meals, travel, getting information (even locally, however prepared you are) take up so much time while traveling that usually no more can fit in.

Hop on hop off buses are the easiest way to get around town, but you can also buy tickets for city buses. Both bus options are time-consuming, a car may be a bit faster, but we only recommend the car if you are prepared in advance (emission zones, parking…etc.) and can drive on the left. Of course, the taxi can also be a good option.

So let’s see what we think you can fit into a two-day trip to London.

How to spend two days in London

As we’ve put together a two-day London itinerary, we’re only covering the most essential attractions.

If you have more time in London, you can also check out another article found by clicking on the link, where you can read about the top 15 things to do in London.

So here’s what to explore on a short two-day trip to London.

London Eye

The London Eye Ferris wheel is one of London’s most popular attractions. It is visible from both banks of the River Thames. You can buy tickets online or from the ticket machines on site, but be prepared for huge queues. From above, you can see the city of London quite clearly, so if you like to admire the panorama from above, it’s well worth it.

From the outside, you can photograph the London Eye from the square next to it, from the surrounding bridges or from the riverside. In the evening, the Ferris wheel is illuminated in color, making it an impressive sight even in the dark.

Big Ben

Big Ben is a symbol of London, perhaps one of the most popular.

In principle, it can be seen from the inside, after restoration work it can be visited again from 2023.

From the outside, Big Ben and the British Parliament next to it is a stunning sight. The best photo opportunities are from the bridge in front of it or beside the London Eye.

Plus: Westminster Abbey, next to Big Ben, is well worth a visit.

Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace is one of the residences of the British monarch. The building is a venue for state occasions, royal events and a popular tourist destination. From the outside, you can see the changing of the guard from the square in front of the palace. Buckingham Palace can be visited from the inside, you can buy tickets online or on the day, but expect lots of tourists.

Tower of London and Tower Bridge

The Tower is a complex of fortified medieval buildings on the banks of the Thames in central London that has served many purposes over time. It can be visited inside with a ticket.

For Tower Bridge, a different pass is necessary. The bridge is also an impressive sight and is another of London’s major attractions. The best place to take photos is from the promenade next to the bridge, where you can see the bridge and the river from the side. Of course, you have to be prepared for the crowds here too, so we recommend visiting in the morning.

We have listed three extra attractions in case you have more time to visit them.

Sky Garden

The Sky Garden is a lookout point in London from where you can get fantastic views of the city. Entry is free, but sometimes you need a pre-booked ticket. The Sky Garden also has a bar and restaurant, so you can enjoy the amazing views along with delicious meals.

British Museum

The British Museum is one of the largest museums of human history and culture in the world. It has a collection of around 8 million objects covering all fields of knowledge. Like every other state museum and art gallery in Britain, admission is free.

Madam Tussauds London

The Madam Tussauds museums are known to almost everyone, since there are several cities with such special museums. You can find life-like wax sculptures of numerous celebrities here. You can also take photos with the statues, a favorite activity for tourists there. Be sure to buy your tickets online, as the Madam Tussauds museum in London is extremely popular.

Pro tip: When you buy tickets online, they often let you combine tickets for multiple attractions, so you can save money. And there’s a pass called The London Pass, which gives you even more discounts on the price of tickets.

Top attractions outside London

If you have more time in the area, you may also want to explore the British countryside. Just a short drive from London, there are many great attractions to visit:

  • Near London, visit Windsor Castle, one of the oldest castles in the world. If you’re a fan of lush gardens and stunning architecture, don’t miss the Kew Gardens and Hampton Court Palace.
  • History enthusiasts can take a day trip to the world-famous Stonehenge.
  • Another great day trip destination from London is Dover. It’s a famous port town that offers some interesting sights.
  • Castle Combe is also a charming place to visit, often considered one of the most beautiful villages in England.
  • If you want to travel beyond the bustle of the city, consider booking a few nights in one of the cozy lodges outside London. These lodges offer a peaceful getaway in the tranquility of nature.

We hope that this guide has given you the insights and inspiration needed to create the perfect two-day itinerary in London. Whether you’re wandering its vibrant streets, admiring the historic sights, or relaxing in one of its many parks, London is a city with something to suit all tastes and interests.

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