This 4-day London itinerary is packed full of famous sights, fun experiences, delicious food and hidden gems.
London is my favourite city in the world. It’s my home and has been for over 15 years. It’s a place where there’s always somewhere new to explore, tonnes of amazing restaurants to eat at and experiences you never imagined existing. London is vibrant, exciting and constantly evolving.
Yes, I just really love London… OK?
Lots of people visiting London for the first time only have a day or two in the city. That’s enough time for a whistle-stop tour of the sights, but if you can afford a few extra days you’ll understand a bit more of what makes London so special.
If you’re planning your trip at the moment, this 4-day London itinerary is a great place to start. It can be stressful planning a good route in a city you don’t know. Now you don’t need to worry about a thing!
Across your 4 days in London you’ll get to see all of the famous sights including Buckingham Palace, Big Ben and the Tower of London, visit some of the city’s top museums, enjoy some retail therapy, stroll through some of the prettiest parks, explore some urban and edgy areas AND even take a day trip to the Harry Potter Studio Tour.
This 4 day itinerary is perfect for families, couples or groups of friends as there’s something for everyone! Ready to start planning your dream city break in London? Here we go!
The Ultimate 4-Day London Itinerary
Day 1: See the sights of Central London
Whether this is your first trip to London or you’ve been several times before, it’s always exciting to see the city’s famous landmarks. I’d recommend kicking off your trip in style with a self-guided walking tour starting at Buckingham Palace. Time it right and you could even see the changing of the guard ceremony!
After a quick pose in front of the famous gates at Buckingham Palace, take a stroll through St James’s Park towards Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament. The architecture is absolutely breath-taking and is guaranteed to have you reaching for your camera.
Continue your self-guided tour by crossing the River Thames over Westminster Bridge and enjoying views of the London Eye. Built as temporary structure for the millennium celebrations, it was so popular it has stayed ever since.
I used to work as a tour guide on the London Eye (back in my student days) and despite going around on that wheel 200+ times, I still always recommend it to tourists visiting London. One rotation and you’ll get your bearings, see the city landmarks and enjoy a fun tourist experience all at once.
If you’re tired of walking, I’d suggest you catch a boat along the Thames from the pier in front of the London Eye all the way down to Tower Bridge. The Uber Boats by Thames Clippers stop at 23 piers along the Thames. For this journey you’ll only be going a short distance, and you’re looking to hop on board the RB1 or RB2. You can use Oyster Cards or Contactless bank cards on board.
As you head downstream, look out for more of London’s famous landmarks. On the right you’ll see the Tate Modern art gallery, which is housed in a former power station. On the left you’ll spot the enormous dome of St Paul’s Cathedral (the final resting place of Lord Nelson, the Duke of Wellington and Sir Christopher Wren.)
You’ll also pass under London Bridge and spot the looming towers of the city, as well as seeing London’s tallest building, The Shard. Kids will adore travelling by boat – it’s a really fun way to see the city.
Once you’ve taken some photos in front of the fairytale-esque Tower Bridge, it’s time to explore the Tower of London. This UNESCO World Heritage Centre is one of the oldest buildings in London and has a fascinating past. In fact, the White Tower dates back to 1078!
Over the years it’s been a royal palace, a prison and a treasury. These days it’s where you’ll find the dazzling crown jewels. I didn’t visit until I was in my 20s, but it was an amazing experience to get up close to so much British history.
I’d definitely recommend booking tickets to the Tower of London in advance, as it can get pretty busy.
You’ve packed a lot into day 1 of this 4-Day London itinerary. It’s time to enjoy some food and rest before a busy day tomorrow!
Day 2: Museums, parks and shops of West London
After a busy day of sightseeing yesterday, today we’re kicking off with some of London’s most popular museums.
South Kensington is home to three of London’s largest and most interesting museums. Not only are they located moments from each other, they’re also free to enter. Yes, totally free! Check the websites before visiting as it can be necessary to book a ticket with a time slot.
The Natural History Museum is dedicated to creatures great and small, and hosts fascinating exhibitions throughout the year. It’s home to around 80 million plant, animal, fossil, rock and mineral specimens, and is somewhere you can see stuffed dodos, whale skeletons and even learn about dinosaurs. The building is beautiful too – a true London architectural wonder.
Meanwhile, head a few paces along and you’ll be in the Science Museum. This world-class museum has seven floors packed full of interesting exhibits. It charts everything from transport to computers and biology to physics. Kids will adore the WonderLab, an area filled with interactive exhibits which genuinely make learning fun!
Or for those interested in art and fashion, the Victoria and Albert Museum is home to one of the greatest collections of decorative art, design, fashion and textiles in the world. You could spend an entire day at the museums here, but I’d recommend picking one for the morning of day three.
After spending the morning in the museums, it’s time for some fresh air. It’s lucky that a few minutes away on foot is London’s most famous park, Hyde Park. This 350-acre park is home to over 4,000 trees, a large lake, a meadow and pretty flower gardens. It’s a lovely place for a walk or a cycle. You could rent a boat on The Serpentine or even take a dip in the lido!
If you head north through Hyde Park, then west through Kensington Gardens, you’ll eventually emerge close to Notting Hill Gate, another vibrant part of London.
Spend the afternoon wandering the pretty streets and enjoying the pastel-coloured houses and old-style charm. Some of my favourite streets include Lancaster Road, St Luke’s Mews, Colville Terrace and Elgin Crescent. I just love how colourful this part of London is. You’ll definitely want to take some holiday snaps!
One of the big draws in Notting Hill is Portobello Road Market. This legendary London street is synonymous with vintage and antique shopping. The best day to visit is Saturday, as that’s when you’ll find most of the stalls on the street.
There are also plenty of pubs, cafes and street food options around the market area, so you can refuel between purchases!
That’s quite a lot to pack into day 2, so it’s time for another good night’s sleep before you find out what’s in store for day 3.
Day 3: Cool days exploring Camden and East London
It’s hard to cram the best of London into just 4 days, but I’m giving it a go with this fun and varied itinerary. After ticking off London’s most famous sights on day 1 and exploring the city’s cultural and colourful side on day 2, it’s now time for something completely different.
Day 3 kicks off with a wander up to one of my favourite London viewpoints, Primrose Hill. Close to Regent’s Park, this hill boasts a gorgeous view of the city skyline. On sunny days, it’s one of the most popular picnic spots in the entire city. You might even struggle for a spot!
After taking in the London skyline, it’s time to visit another of the city’s most famous markets. Camden Market is home to over 1000 shops and food outlets, and has a vibrant independent spirit.
After wandering through the shops in the Stables Market area, grab a bite to eat from one of the stalls out in the courtyard by the lock. From Greek souvlaki and Caribbean jerk chicken, to metre long sausages, authentic Portuguese nata tarts and liquid nitrogen ice cream, this delicious food market has something for everyone!
Be sure to soak up the quirky Camden vibes before you venture to the next spot. I’m talking street art, goths, music and more! It’s a vibrant spot and somewhere that feels very ‘London’… if you ignore the hordes of foreign tourists of course! Although, what could be more ‘London’ than tourists?!
One of my favourite walking routes in London is along the Grand Union Canal, which stretches towards the north of the centre of the city. The walk from Camden Lock to King’s Cross takes around 30-minutes.
King’s Cross is another area I love. It’s recently been regenerated and it’s fair to say it’s changed a lot – 100% for the better!
One of the newest additions is Coal Drop’s Yard – a multi-purpose shopping and eating district. It’s upmarket and cool, with lots of places you’ll be dying to visit. Feast on tacos at Casa Pastor, enjoy tasty Spanish flavours at Barrafina or enjoy cocktails out on the terrace at Parrillan. When the sun is shining, this is a great place to go.
After embracing this new hotspot, enjoy a stroll through Granary Square where, if you’re still hungry, I’d recommend eating at Caravan. With a menu of interesting small and large plates, and a buzzy ambience, it’s one of my favourite restaurants in London.
Still got some energy? Now it’s time to hop on a train east from St Pancras International over to Stratford for a stroll through the Olympic Park. There you’ll be able to see the huge stadium used in the 2012 Olympic Games as well as exploring the gardens and park areas that have become the legacy of the epic year in London’s history!
Walking through the Olympic Park is also the perfect way to reach Hackney, one of London’s coolest and most urban areas. Walk along the canal path and you’ll see huge murals by some the world’s top street artists. There are endless cool bars, pop ups, foodie spots and hidden gems in this part of London. I spot new things every time I go there – it’s constantly changing!
If you’re looking for cocktails or beers, Barge East (located on a barge, but with a large garden area too) and Number 90 are two favourites of mine. The authentic Italian pizza at Natura is also incredible!
This area is great for nightlife, especially on Fridays and Saturdays. If you’ve still got the energy to party, you’ll love Hackney!
Day 4: Harry Potter Studio Tour or who knows?
So, you’ve made it to day 4 and you’re wondering what else there is to see in London? Well, absolutely loads to be honest! The last three days have given a flavour of the city, but wow is there a lot more to see!
If you’re a fan of Harry Potter, you’ll definitely want to squeeze in a day trip to Warner Bros Studio Tour London: The Making of Harry Potter. There you can explore the real-life sets, check out props and costumes from the movies and learn about the magical film series.
If you’re planning to visit, it’s worth bearing in mind that this isn’t really IN London! It’s just outside so you’ll need to book transport as well as entry tickets. You can catch a train to Watford Junction, then hop on board the magical shuttle bus. Or, book an all-inclusive ticket which includes transport to and from the studios.
If you’d rather spend your final day in London exploring more of the city, I’ve got lots more suggestions. You could visit Westminster Abbey, the world-famous British Museum or the National Portrait Gallery. This itinerary hasn’t included Soho, Chinatown, Covent Garden, Leicester Square or Piccadilly Circus either. These spots are all pretty close together so could be explored in half a day.
If you enjoyed exploring Camden and Portobello Markets, how about seeing a few more? Borough Market is one of the foodie hubs in the city, with tasty treats from across the globe.
Alternatively, there’s a mix of vintage clothing, handmade items and food on offer at Old Spitalfields Market near Liverpool Street. This is also close to Brick Lane, also known as curry mile! I challenge you to stroll down this street and NOT stop for some Indian cuisine.
If you feel like you’ve ticked off the key sights and fancy something a little bit different, I’d recommend taking a look at my huge guide to quirky and unusual things to do in London. From awe-inspiring afternoon teas and escape room experiences, to water sports and helicopter tours, you’re guaranteed to find something you’d love to try on your final day in the city. Plus, I’ve created this London post which is full of helpful advice and tips for planning a trip to the city.
How to get around London
If you’re spending 4 days in London, the easiest way to get around is using public transport. This is a congested city, so travelling by tube will save you a lot of time.
If you’re a visitor to the UK, purchase an Oyster Card when you arrive. This is a card that can be topped up with money to cover each journey you go on. You tap the card on the entrance and exit gates at tube stations, or just once when you board a bus or a boat.
If you have a Contactless bank card, this is the easiest way to pay. Tap your card or mobile on the receiver and the barriers will open.
One other tip for visitors to London – I’d recommend downloading the App Citymapper. It’s brilliant for navigating on public transport and is always up to date with timings. I use it every single time I go out in London!
The other simple way to travel is by Uber. No matter where you go in London, you’ll never be far from an Uber. These taxis are great for getting directly from A to B.
You might also find it useful to order a London Pass. Now digital, the London Pass gives you access to over 80 attractions in the city. It’s only economic if you plan to visit a lot of attractions (which isn’t something I’ve focused on in this itinerary).
Recap of 4-day London itinerary
Day 1: Sightseeing in Central London
- Buckingham Palace
- St James’s Park
- Big Ben
- Houses of Parliament
- London Eye
- River Thames Boat Trip
- Tower Bridge
- Tower of London
Day 2: Museums, parks and shops of West London
- Natural History Museum
- Science Museum
- Hyde Park
- Notting Hill
- Portobello Road
Day 3: Cool days exploring Camden and East London
- Camden Market
- Primrose Hill
- Walk along the canal to King’s Cross
- Coal Drop’s Yard
- Granary Square
- Olympic Park, Stratford
- Hackney Wick
Day 4: Harry Potter Studio Tour OR Quirky things to do in London
I hope you have an amazing time in London and this guide helps you plan your trip. Let me know if you have any questions.
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