What to see in London

What to see in London in three days

Itinerary to see London in 3 days

London is a particular city, you either love it or hate it.
Is a weekend in London enough to make up your mind? Certainly not, but it’s enough to start becoming familiar with the city and understand whether or not it’s right for you.
The European metropolis is populated by more than 8 million inhabitants, the City, as it is friendly called, is a small microcosm in which different ethnic groups coexist as perhaps only in New York .
A trip to London is a trip around the world without going too far but, what if you only have 3 days?
Three days are not enough but if you are going to London for the first time this could be an itinerary you can follow to discover the main points of the city.
To find out what to do in London on Sunday click here and for a list of the best tours read: Best free and non-free tours of London

Have you found plane tickets? See also on Traveljourn
Read also: 17 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in London

What to see in London
What to see in London

Where to sleep in London

It is no surprise that London is not very cheap, and that it perhaps has among the highest costs in all of Europe, even in hostels as well.
Finding solutions at a good price, in a good area (London is very large) and of medium quality is not easy.
Therefore, if you really are saving money, try looking for a post with couchsurfing, otherwise look at these possibilities that I suggest:

  • Wombats City Hostel – Just minutes from London’s main tourist spots, a nice hostel with shared kitchen offering both dormitory beds and private rooms
  • Generator London – A rather famous chain of hostels with a modern and colorful design.
  • The Z Hotel Shoreditch – Small but functional hotel in Shoreditch, a vibrant London district
  • Megaro Hotel – Eclectic and colorful hotel in Cross St. Pancras, London. Easily accessible by metro

How to get to London from Stanted, Luton, Gatwick and Heathrow airports

There are four main airports in the city: Stansted, Luton, Gatwick and Heathrow.
In all three cases you are far from the centre, but the transport service to the city center is vast, comfortable and also rather cheaper than a private transfer.

Da Stansted  a Victoria Station

The most comfortable and practical way to reach London from Stanted, and vice versa, is the  National Express Bus – The ticket costs €10.90 per person. The bus connects Luton with Victoria Station and includes intermediate stops. 
** * Following the directives taken due to Covid-19, some stops have been suspended. For the moment, updated to 24 September 2020, the active stops are: Liverpool Street, Starford, London Victoria, Marble Arch

From London Luton to Victoria Station

Those arriving or departing from London Luton can rely on National Express Bus – The ticket costs €13 per person. The bus connects Luton with Victoria Station and includes intermediate stops such as: Golders Green, Baker Street and Marble Arch.

Da Londra Gatwick a Victoria Station

This airport is well connected by the Gatwick Express train with departures every 15.
The service is non-stop. The train terminal is the South Terminal. The train ticket costs €24 one way and €42 return.
Please note that after booking confirmation, passengers will receive an email with confirmation details and a reference number. This number, with a full name credit card as proof of identification, are required in order to print the Travelcard at the ticket machine . Book your train ticket and don’t waste time on arrival!

Da Heathrow a Victoria Station

A shared transport service, on the other hand, leaves from Heatrhow and has the advantage of leaving you directly at the booked hotel, within the city centre.
The meeting with the driver is in the arrivals hall of Heathrow airport. The driver waits with a sign reading “City Transfers UK” with the passenger’s name for easier identification. The cost is €25 per person (if you are traveling alone the cost is €50).

How to get around London

Thinking of being able to walk far and wide in London is risky, you will have to take the means of transport, on which season ticket to choose I refer to the Oyster Card Vs Travel Card post .

For those who have a few days available, I also recommend an alternative that I generally resort to when time is short but I would like to have a complete view of the city that hosts me: Hop On and Hop Off Bus , i.e. the buses that touch the main points of interest in the city from which you can get on and off as much as you want. I always do this on the first day to be able to orient myself in the city and understand what to explore in the following days and what not.

A convenient alternative is the London Pass which includes Oyster cards for unlimited transport and discounts to attractions and museums for 1/2/3/6 days and also includes the Hop on Hop off bus. An affordable price to discover the city in every corner.

London travel guides

London is a gigantic city, so it is a good idea to plan in advance what to do and how to move to best optimize your stay.
Travel guides are always excellent companions, before and during. I recommend the London Pocket
guide , 224 pages full of advice and itineraries to follow independently, or the classic London guide for those who want to know more and learn more.

Save on entrance fees

There are those who need it and those who don’t, so evaluate the attractions included, the packages start from 3.
But if you plan to visit three or more attractions than those on the list then the London Explorer Pass – starting from €69.90 per person – allows you to save on the total cost of individual attractions.

Among the activities included, the following are worth mentioning: 1-day hop-on hop-off bus tour ; Body Worlds London; the Coca-Cola London Eye ; Madame Tussauds ; the Museum of Brands, Packaging and Advertising; Sea Life London Aquarium ; the Thames cruise and hop-on, hop-off sightseeing tour; Westminster Abbey and many others.

What to see in London
What to see in London

What to see in London in 3 days

After the long introduction with practical information we get to the heart of the action and discover how to organize the weekend in the City. 
Arm yourself with comfortable shoes and clothes because London is a busy city full of things to do and see, so much so that a weekend is not enough. But if you are planning your first trip to this wonderful city, the following might be right for you. 

Day 1 – Goodmorning London!

After waking up to recover from the journey and to taste something typically English in the numerous pubs you can order the legendary English breakfast , which the English actually eat in cases of hangover (the next day’s hangover) based on eggs, roasted mushrooms, bacon, beans, potatoes and sausage.

Piccadilly Circus

We head immediately afterwards to the center of the city to start with a great classic: Piccadilly Circus.
From this square which is vaguely reminiscent of the small Times Square in New York, you can move easily on foot through the center of the city.
From Piccadilly head towards Chinatown , the Chinese district, then follow Shaftesbury Avenue , a street full of theatres.
From Chinatown you reach Leicester Square, the theater street, where since you are there you can ask for some tickets and maybe find something of interest.

Continue along St. Martin’s Street and reach Trafalgar Square in honor of the Battle of Trafalgar where Napoleon’s Empire was destroyed. On which square stands the National Gallery , a free museum where works by Rembrandt and Leonardo Da Vinci are exhibited .
It is worth dedicating at least a few hours to the National Gallery, with free entry (I still recommend leaving a donation)
Continue along Whitehall Street to reach Big Ben , probably the symbol of the city,  Westminster Abbey , entrance fee £15, and Buckingham Palace .

London Eye

You have arrived at the Thames, it is worth walking along the river through the pedestrian streets, or take a nice cruise on the Thames (45 minutes at a cost of €14) and conclude with a ride on the London Eye , the largest Ferris wheel in Europe.
Entrances are Standard and Priority skip the queue. If you don’t want to waste time I highly recommend skip the line which avoids potential long queues. At this link you will find all the ticket options to choose from. Also included in tickets on Tuqets is the London Eye 4D Experience , an interactive exhibition that will bring the city of London to life thanks to fantastic multi-sensory effects.
The ideal would be to get on the wheel when it is already dark to see the city lit up.
Cross the bridge back to Westminster and head towards St. James Park, which is the oldest park in the city.
As you walk you will pass in front of Bucking Palace , the official residence of the Royal Family.

Hyde Park

The walk ends in Hyde Park . If weather permits, combine it with a boat trip on the Thames.
Time to have dinner, pop into one of the pubs, drink one, two or three (depending on how English you want to feel), pints and get ready for the second day of discovering the city.

Day 2 – From Camden’s alternative markets to Bank’s austerity 

This day is always a nice tour de force, but in London even the holiday leaves little time, except that important distances are always covered.

Camden Town

After breakfast, take the tube to reach the Northern Line stop, Camden Town Market , an area renowned for particular characters and vintage and dark clothing shops among the canals.

British Museum

After a walk in Camden, reach Holborn station from where you can reach the British Museum , one of the most beautiful museums in the world.
Here I recommend that you be guided by a guide who will help you discover and experience the most fascinating pavilions to the fullest and optimize your time as best as possible to continue to the next stages.
A one and a half hour guided tour in Italian costs €24 per person .
Book the guided visit and optimize your time inside the museum . The cost is negligible and the benefits are priceless!

Covent Garden

After the visit to the museum, continue to Covent Garden famous for street shows and shopping and perhaps drink tea in one of the numerous bars on the square.
Walk to Holborn Station and take the 521 bus to Edward Street.
From there you walk 5 minutes to get to St Paul’s Cathedral, the most famous in London and the largest in Great Britain, after Liverpool Cathedral.

Tate Modern e London Bridge

From St. Paul, continue on foot across the Millenium Bridge and reach the Tate Modern . The museum is free.
Once you have finished the visit to the museum, as a final night walk, reach the London Bridge which, when illuminated in the evening, is even more beautiful than at night.
It’s Saturday…another trip to one of the pubs and get ready for the last day.

Day 3 – Market Sunday and Street Art

Sunday is market day throughout the city but my preference goes to Brick Lane Market .
It’s the last day, maybe on Saturday there were celebrations until late at night so no problem if you don’t feel like venturing out again and walking all day.
It’s worth getting lost in the market streets and doing a bit of shopping before flying home.

Brick Lane

Brick Lane is located in East London, an area renowned among students and artists, right here hidden between one stall and another you can find some beautiful street art works, so keep your eyes peeled or treat yourself to a final 3-hour guided tour to discover the most famous!
The guided tour costs €40 per person, an alternative tour of music and London street art. 
What to eat today? If you are in Brick Lane you can eat Indian but on Sundays Great Britain has something special, the Sunday Roast … as for the pints and the English breakfast you can order this in the pubs, it’s all done in the pubs it seems !

Shoreditch and London Street Art

Shoreditch offers numerous unique pubs in which to indulge in a few hours eating this typical dish that is unlikely to disappoint you.
In the afternoon, dedicate a few hours to the time to go home and you haven’t seen all of London except a small part… but I think that at this point you will know whether you want to return or not.
There are even those who return and then never leave. To find out more about East London and the Sunday market, for an itinerary for the day read: Sunday in London – Go EAST

What to see in London
What to see in London

London with children – Museums and Harry Potter

Families traveling with children probably want to alternate the classic places of tourist interest with interludes that will entertain even the little ones. 

I recommend as a first visit the Natural History Museum which tells the story from the birth to the extinction of the dinosaurs in a fun way. Entrance to the museum is free but it is possible to have a private guide

Other attractions that entertain children/teens are Sea Life, a beautiful aquarium where Gentoo penguins and tropical sharks also live ( you can buy the ticket at this link ); and the famous Madame Tussauds

How can we forget Harry Potter ! In London, if you know where to go you can come across many of the places that inspired JK Rowling , from Shakespeare’s Globe to the narrow streets of London that recall the street of Nocturn Alley,  the real Diagon Alley , and many others. 
With a fun 2 and a half hour tour in Italian, costing €21 per person, you can discover them all.  Book the Harry Potter tour

Day 4 BONUS*** – London is not England, an alternative tour to Stonehenge, Bath and the West Country

If you have an extra day, why consider a trip out of London and discover a bit of England?
There is a saying in town that London should not be confused with England.
In fact, if the City is on the one hand lively, exciting and multicultural, on the other hand it is tiring and chaotic, busy and full of people.
Yet it is enough to go just outside the city limits to discover a country that is not really represented by its capital .

A travel experience that perfectly combines the city with the countryside and the typical tranquility of England and which is worth discovering. 

I recommend taking part in a 10-hour tour to discover 2 of the most famous places in England through the beautiful English countryside, to visit the prehistoric site of Stonehenge , the Roman spa city of Bath and admire the typical English countryside villages of west.

Tours depart daily from London and cost €73 per person . The departure, at Gloucester Road tube station, is at 7.30 in the morning, the return is estimated for around 6.30pm.

Read also: Exploring London’s National Gallery: A Visitor’s Guide

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