3-day London itinerary: Our suggested plan for a 72-hour trip

Who says you need weeks to experience a city? If you’re short on time but big on energy, this 3-day London itinerary is your adrenaline-fueled guide. 

We’ve packed in all the essential sights, with each location just a 15 to 20-minute drive from the next. Mind, though: we’re not here for slow strolls but for pure conquest! This article is all about making every second count. 

If you’d prefer a slower or more personally curated experience, we recommend looking at our main travel guide for the city instead. Otherwise, let’s start with how to see and enjoy London in a flash!

Day one: Iconic landmarks

8:00 AM: Breakfast at E. Pellicci

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Location: 332 Bethnal Green Rd, London E2 0AG, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7739 4873

Opening hours:

  • Monday to Friday – 8:00 AM to 3:30 PM

Website

An East End legend since 1900, this Italian family-run café feels like a time capsule with a side of cheeky banter. Nevio, the ever-present owner, is a whirlwind of questions, jokes, and maybe even a bit of matchmaking if he senses an opportunity (don’t get your hopes up, though)

The traditional English breakfast here is a thing of beauty, complete with delightfully indulgent fried bread. It’s a plate piled high with tradition, the kind of fuel that’ll power you through a day of double-decker bus rides and museum hopping.

9:00 AM: Tour the Tower of London

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Location: London EC3N 4AB, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 333 320 6000

Opening hours:

  • Tuesday to Saturday – 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM
  • Sunday to Monday – 10:00 AM to 5:30 PM

Website

This thousand-year-old fortress has seen it all – royal glitz, gruesome executions, even a stint as a zoo (lions, not tea parties!). From the imprisonment of Elizabeth I (talk about a power struggle) to the rumoured hauntings of Anne Boleyn, the Tower chills you with its past.

Speaking of wows, the Crown Jewels are the ultimate bling experience. These are the real deal, worn by British monarchs for centuries, most recently by King Charles III in 2023. 

11:00 AM: Walk across Tower Bridge

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Location: Tower Bridge Rd, London SE1 2UP, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7403 3761

Opening hours:

  • Monday to Sunday – 9:30 AM to 6:00 PM

Website

Who needs a rooftop bar when you’ve got Tower Bridge? This iconic landmark dishes out panoramic views of London like nowhere else.  

But here’s where it gets really fun: step onto the Glass Floor and suddenly you’re floating above the London rush. Boats, buses, those tiny black cabs – it’s like a real-life model city with you as a sky-high giant!

Think that’s all? Tower Bridge throws curveballs. It even hosts a sunrise yoga class on that Glass Floor. Talk about a wake-up call with a view!  

12:00 PM: Have lunch at Coppa Club

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Location: 3 Three Quays Walk, Lower Thames St, London EC3R 6AH, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 8016 9227

Opening hours:

  • Monday to Saturday – 9:00 AM to 11:00 PM
  • Sunday – 9:00 AM to 10:00 PM

Website

Coppa Club puts you right in the heart of the London action. Check out the igloos: they’re like your own personal snow globe (minus the snow), offering a cosy escape with a killer view of Tower Bridge and the bustling Thames. 

The vibe here is relaxed and inviting, with friendly staff and a menu that caters to everyone. Think sourdough pizzas for those who love classic, healthy salads for the virtuous, and even fancier options like grilled chicken and prawn linguine for when you’re feeling a little posh.

1:00 PM: Visit St. Paul’s Cathedral

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Location: St. Paul’s Churchyard, London EC4M 8AD, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7246 8350

Opening hours:

  • Monday to Tuesday & Thursday to Saturday – 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM
  • Sunday – 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM

Website

St. Paul’s Cathedral? It’s the London you imagined. That dome, designed by the legendary Sir Christopher Wren, has been defining the city’s skyline since way back when. 

But inside is where the magic happens. If you’re feeling adventurous (and want to earn those pub calories), tackle the 528 steps to the Golden Gallery.  Forget those double-decker bus views – this is London from above. 

2:00 PM: Stroll through St James’s Park

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Location: London SW1A 2BJ, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 300 061 2350

Opening hours:

  • Monday to Sunday – 5:00 AM to 12:00 AM

Website

One of the best parks in London, St James’s Park is the OG of London’s Royal Parks. It’s the place where royalty has been strolling, celebrating, and maybe even gossiping for centuries. Coronations, jubilees, the whole regal shebang – it all happened here.

But it’s not just about fancy hats and horse-drawn carriages. St. James’s Park offers a peaceful escape in the heart of the city.  Think glistening lakes teeming with ducks, swans, and even pelicans (yes, pelicans in London!).

3:00 PM: Grab a bite at Borough Market

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Location: London SE1 9AL, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7407 1002

Opening hours:

  • Tuesday to Saturday – 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM
  • Sunday – 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM

Website

Ditch the limp hotel breakfast and those overpriced afternoon teas – Borough Market is where London’s real foodie adventure begins.  

You can choose from over 100 stalls overflowing with everything delicious you can think of, like artisan cheeses so fancy they probably have their postcode, crusty bread fresh from the oven, and exotic street food that’ll tantalise your taste buds.

Feeling indecisive? No problem! This market is all about the delicious graze. You can sample melt-in-your-mouth cheeses, grab a steaming cup of international coffee, and maybe indulge in one of those legendary doughnuts.

5:00 PM: Explore Buckingham Palace

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Location: London SW1A 1AA, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 303 123 7300

Summer opening dates:

  • July 11 to August 31 – 9:30 AM to 7:30 PM
  • September 1 to 29  – 9:30 AM to 6:30 PM

Website

Built way back in 1703 (talk about the old world!), it’s been the official royal crib since Queen Victoria’s reign.  Imagine posh parties and historical dramas unfolding within those grand walls – the place practically whispers secrets

Now, the real perk? During summer, you can explore the State Rooms. Expect to see 19 rooms dripping with enough gold leaf to rival the Bank of England’s vault, plus priceless artwork by names like Rembrandt and Canaletto.

And if you think those guards in their iconic bearskin hats are just for show, the Changing of the Guard ceremony will prove you wrong. This is a spectacle of synchronised stoicism! It’s marching bands, gleaming bayonets, and those legendary hats that defy every summer breeze. 

7:00 PM: Dine at The Palomar

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Location: 34 Rupert St, London W1D 6DN, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7439 8777

Opening hours:

  • Monday to Wednesday – 12:00 PM to 10:00 PM
  • Thursday to Saturday – 12:00 PM to 10:30 PM
  • Sunday – 12:00 PM to 9:00 PM

Website

This place takes bold flavours from Jerusalem and gives them a mischievous London twist. Michelin-Guide-approved? Obviously. Think hummus so creamy you’ll consider ditching cutlery and make you question if you’re still in rainy old England (you are, promise!).

Now, here’s the secret sauce: grab a seat at the counter overlooking the open kitchen. Why? You’ll get culinary theatre at its finest. Basically a great dinner and a show.

9:00 PM: Watch a play at Shakespeare’s Globe

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Location: 21 New Globe Walk, London SE1 9DT, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7401 9919

Opening hours:

  • Monday to Sunday – 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM

Website

Shakespeare’s Globe is a full-on time warp, transporting you back to the rowdy, electrifying world of Elizabethan theatre. Here, you’re practically under the stars, just feet from a stage thrusting into the crowd.

Expect playful jabs, witty banter, and maybe even a well-placed insult hurled your way (all in good fun, of course). If you can spare the time, you might even do a quick backstage tour!

Day two: Art and museums

8:00 AM: Have coffee at Wallace Restaurant

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Location: Hertford House, Manchester Square, London W1U 3BN, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7563 9505

Opening hours:

  • Monday to Friday – 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM

Website

The café at the Wallace Restaurant is a hidden oasis of sophisticated indulgence. Yes, they have excellent coffee (and sometimes that’s all we really need), but they also offer a tempting menu of breakfast goodies, light lunches, and those oh-so-civilised cakes. 

But here’s where it gets really good: you get to sip your latte in a breathtaking setting. We’re talking about a beautiful courtyard, elegant décor, and an ambience that makes you want to straighten your posture and pinky-out a bit.

10:00 AM: Explore the Tate Modern

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Location: Bankside, London SE1 9TG, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7887 8888

Opening hours:

  • Monday to Friday – 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM

Website

The Tate Modern is your gateway to the wild and wonderful world of modern and contemporary art. Expect the unexpected! Think giant installations and sculptures that make you go, “Huh…is that a banana taped to the wall?” (Spoiler alert: it might be.)

The Tate Modern’s permanent collection is completely free. So, even if you decide modern art isn’t your jam, you haven’t lost anything but a bit of time. On the other hand, you might discover a new favourite artist or stumble across a piece that sparks unexpected emotions.

11:00 AM: Check out the Design Museum

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Location: 224-238 Kensington High St, London W8 6AG, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 3862 5937

Opening hours:

  • Monday to Thursday – 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM
  • Friday to Sunday – 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM

Website

This isn’t about pretty vases or minimalist furniture (although you’ll find some of that). The Design Museum digs deep, showcasing the genius behind everyday objects and the way design shapes the world. 

This museum has a knack for making you look at the world differently. You’ll leave pondering the evolution of the sneaker, daydreaming about futuristic cities, and questioning why your phone charger isn’t more elegant.

12:00 PM: Lunch at The National Café

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Location: 839 W National Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53204, United States

Contact: +1 414-431-6551

Opening hours:

  • Thursday to Sunday – 8:30 AM to 2:00 PM

Website

Nestled inside the National Gallery, The National Café is like a delicious intermission during your art overload. So, you can soak up masterpiece vibes, then set foot into the café for a tasty reality check. 

Their menu draws inspiration from current exhibitions, offering dishes with a creative flair. It’s more than your average museum café fare – elevated sandwiches, seasonal salads, and tempting cakes nearly as pretty as the paintings you just admired.

2:00 PM: Browse the Saatchi Gallery

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Location: Duke of York’s HQ, King’s Rd, London SW3 4RY, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7811 3070

Opening hours:

  • Monday to Sunday – 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM

Website

The Saatchi Gallery is all about the newest, boldest, and sometimes downright bizarre works by emerging artists. Expect giant sculptures, mind-bending installations, and paintings that might make you question what “art” even is.

You might even discover the next big thing! Artists like Tracey Emin and Damien Hirst (the shark-in-a-tank guy) had their big breaks at Saatchi.  

4:00 PM: Visit the Victoria and Albert Museum

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Location: Cromwell Rd, London SW7 2RL, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7942 2000

Opening hours:

  • Saturday to Thursday – 10:00 AM to 10:45 PM
  • Friday – 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM

Website

The V&A is where over 2.3 million exhibit objects come out to play, showcasing a whirlwind tour of human creativity across 5,000 years. 

Think of the V&A as a time machine built on design.  Behold legendary works like the Raphael Cartoons (Renaissance masterpieces), the Ardabil Carpet (mind-bogglingly intricate), and Tipu’s Tiger (a musical instrument disguised as a fearsome predator…because why not?). 

The best part? Exploring those permanent collections is free!

6:00 PM: Dinner at Sketch

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Location: Cromwell Rd, London SW7 2RL, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7659 4500

Opening hours:

  • Saturday to Thursday – 10:00 AM to 10:45 PM
  • Friday to Saturday – 8:00 AM to 2:00 AM

Website

Each room here is a different world: there’s the pastel-pink paradise of The Gallery, the forest-inspired Glade, and even the futuristic pod-like bathrooms.

Sure, their setting is Instagram-famous, but the food won’t disappoint either. Michelin-starred chef Pierre Gagnaire delivers modern French cuisine with a playful twist. 

PS: We highly recommend their Mint Lamb Coquette if you like lamb!

8:00 PM: Attend a performance at Sadler’s Wells Theatre

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Location: Rosebery Ave, London EC1R 4TN, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7863 8000

Website

Sadler’s Wells isn’t just about ballet (although they do that beautifully too). They showcase everything from hip-hop to flamenco, contemporary dance to circus-style performances.

Plus, they’re champions of inclusion. They offer audio-described performances, touch tours for visually impaired patrons, and a range of services to ensure everyone can enjoy the magic of dance.

10:00 PM: Sip cocktails at Artesian

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Location: 1C Portland Pl, London W1B 1JA, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7636 1000

Opening hours: 

  • Sunday to Wednesday – 4:00 PM to 12:00 AM
  • Thursday to Saturday – 4:00 PM to 1:00 AM

Website

Artesian consistently tops “World’s Best Bars” lists, and for good reason. Their cocktails are like little edible sculptures with foams, mists, playful garnishes, and ingredients you couldn’t pronounce if you tried.

A night at Artesian is all about going into a world of innovative mixology, playful presentation, and seriously delicious cocktails. The “Camouflage” is a perfect example of their adventurous spirit. It’s a splurge, for sure, but one that’ll leave you with a tipsy grin!

Day three: Hidden gems

8:00 AM: Breakfast at The Breakfast Club

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Location: 12-16 Artillery Ln, London E1 7LS, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7078 9633

Opening hours:

  • Monday – 7:30 AM to 3:00 PM
  • Tuesday to Saturday – 7:30 AM to 9:30 PM
  • Sunday – 7:30 AM to 5:00 PM

Website

Sometimes your stomach craves the familiar. The Breakfast Club offers that warm hug of recognition: stacks of pancakes, mountains of crispy bacon, and eggs cooked the way you like them.

Plus, they’ve got locations scattered throughout central London, from Soho to Shoreditch.  This means no matter where your sightseeing adventures take you, there’s likely a Breakfast Club within easy reach. 

9:00 AM: Explore Piccadilly Circus

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With flashing boards since the 1900s, Piccadilly Circus is London’s answer to Times Square – if Times Square had a few centuries’ worth of history layered on top. It’s a crossroads, a meeting point, and an iconic selfie spot.

Here, you can watch the world go by. This place is a constant whirlwind – tourists snapping pics, street performers working the crowds, and locals rushing by.

10:00 AM: Shop until you drop at Camden Market 

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Location: 54-56 Camden Lock Pl, London NW1 8AF, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 3763 9900

Opening hours:

  • Monday to Sunday – 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM

Website

Considered one of the best markets in London, Camden Market is where independent designers and vintage curators reign supreme. Whether you’re a goth hunting for the perfect pair of platform boots or a fashionista seeking a bold statement piece, Camden Market is your playground.

And if all that browsing builds an appetite, luckily, Camden Market’s food stalls are a culinary adventure in themselves. You can try sizzling street food from around the world – slurp those Thai noodles, devour gourmet burgers, or indulge in a slice of artisanal heaven.

12:00 PM: Have lunch at God’s Own Junkyard

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Location: Unit 12, Ravenswood Industrial Estate, Shernhall St, London E17 9HQ, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 8521 8066

Opening hours:

  • Friday to Saturday – 11:00 AM to 10:00 PM
  • Sunday – 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM

Website

God’s Own Junkyard is where lunch gets a psychedelic makeover. Here, you’ll be sipping your tea amidst a riot of vintage signs, glowing slogans, and more salvaged neon than a classic car convention.

Don’t be fooled by the dazzling display – this place serves up classic comfort food with a vintage twist. Snag a sandwich, a slice of cake, and a steaming cuppa, then find a seat surrounded by neon chaos. 

2:00 PM: Play crazy golf at Swingers

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Location: 8 Brown’s Buildings, London EC3A 8AL, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 3846 3222

Opening hours:

  • Tuesday to Wednesday – 3:00 PM to 10:30 PM
  • Thursday to Friday – 1:30 PM to 12:00 AM
  • Saturday – 12:00 PM to 12:00 AM

Website

A fantastic spot for indoor golf in London, Swingers take the classic game and inject it with a healthy dose of cocktail-fueled, London-infused pizazz. This place houses two intricately designed 9-hole crazy golf courses that provide a fantastic game. 

Plus, they know that the secret to a great night out is a well-crafted cocktail. This is why they have bars right on the course, so you can sip between swings and celebrate those hole-in-ones (or commiserate over those epic misses).

4:00 PM: Stroll around Hampstead Village

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Hampstead Village has been a magnet for artists and intellectuals for centuries. Here, you can explore the Freud Museum, wander the rooms of Keats House, or maybe admire the sleek modernity of 2 Willow Road. 

This village also knows how to surprise. You might stumble upon a red phone booth reborn as a quirky coffee shop or find yourself drawn into an art gallery showcasing local talent.  It’s the kind of place where a simple stroll becomes a treasure hunt.

6:00 PM: Dine in the Dark at Dans le Noir?

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Location: 69-73 St John St, London EC1M 4NJ, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 3846 3222

Opening hours:

  • Tuesday to Wednesday – 5:30 PM to 11:00 PM
  • Thursday – 5:30 PM to 11:30 PM
  • Friday – 5:00 PM to 12:00 AM
  • Saturday – 12:00 PM to 11:30 PM
  • Sunday – 1:00 PM to 11:30 PM

Website

Set foot in Dans le Noir? and prepare to ditch your eyesight for the night. Seriously, pitch black! This flips your senses upside down. Suddenly, those familiar flavours take on a whole new life and textures become a mystery.

When we say mystery, we mean it. No menus here! The chefs whip up seasonal dishes designed to leave you guessing. Each bite here becomes a fun challenge. It’s the perfect excuse for playful guesses.

7:00 PM: Catch a movie at Backyard Cinema

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Location: 2-4 Armoury Way, London SW18 1SH, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 3773 9075

Website

Backyard Cinema throws out the rulebook and transforms movie-watching into an immersive adventure. Each location boasts an elaborately themed setting, meticulously crafted to transport you straight into the film.

This started as a labour of love, and that sense of community spirit is still alive and kicking. So once you’re here, expect great music, comfy beanbags, and themed snacks and drinks.

9:00 PM: Have a late-night laugh at The Comedy Store

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Location: 1a Oxendon St, London SW1Y 4EE, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 3773 9075

Opening hours:

  • Monday – 7:00 PM to 11:00 PM
  • Tuesday to Friday – 6:30 PM to 11:30 PM
  • Saturday – 5:30 PM to 11:30 PM
  • Sunday – 6:30 PM to 11:30 PM

Website

London might be known for its stiff upper lip, but The Comedy Store on Leicester Square proves the city loves a good laugh! This place has been launching comedic careers since the 1980s.  Big names like Eddie Izzard, Robin Williams, and Jimmy Carr have graced its stage.

So what’s in it for you here? Well, improv nights, topical shows, and even heckler-baiting comedians – a night here is a rollercoaster of laughs.

Unlike giant arenas, The Comedy Store keeps things cosy. You’ll be up close with the comedians, making the experience that much more hilarious and sometimes a little bit awkward (in all the best ways!).

11:00 PM: Party the night away at B London

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Location: 92b Old Brompton Rd, South Kensington, London SW7 3LQ, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7584 2000

Opening hours:

  • Tuesday to Saturday – 9:00 PM to 3:00 AM

Website

B London ditches the generic club cocktails and ups the ante with a meticulously crafted drinks menu. Expect expertly mixed potions with creative flavour infusions, served with a touch of panache. 

Forget predictable Top 40 bangers! B London’s DJs know how to curate a vibe. They expertly blend diverse genres to keep the dance floor pulsing with energy and the music obsessives happy. Plus, they host killer-themed nights and guest DJs to keep things fresh.

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