Going to London soon & not sure how many days it takes to see the highlights in London. Learn how much time you will need to spend in London!
Many friends ask us how long to spend in London and how many days are needed to see all the must-visit places in London. As with everything in life, you can spend as little as 1 day in London or a few weeks if your goal is to see all the top 99 things to do in London.
So, how many days in London are needed? We have been living in the capital of the UK for over 15 years and we still haven’t seen everything.
Are 3 days enough for London?
While London is a vast and dynamic city with plenty to explore, three days can provide you with a good introduction to its major attractions and highlights. With careful planning and prioritization, you can cover many of the must-see sights and immerse yourself in the city’s vibrant atmosphere.
During your three days in London, you could dedicate one day to exploring iconic landmarks such as Buckingham Palace, the Tower of London, Tower Bridge, and St. Paul’s Cathedral. Another day can be spent visiting world-class museums like the British Museum, the National Gallery, or the Victoria and Albert Museum. You may also want to take a leisurely stroll along the South Bank, enjoying views of the London Eye, Shakespeare’s Globe, and the vibrant street performers.
Additionally, you can immerse yourself in the local culture by visiting lively markets like Borough Market or Camden Market, indulging in traditional British cuisine at a pub, and perhaps catching a West End show in the evening.
While three days will not allow you to see everything London has to offer, it will give you a taste of the city’s iconic landmarks, cultural attractions, and vibrant atmosphere. Just remember to plan your itinerary wisely, make use of public transportation, and be prepared for London’s fast-paced lifestyle.
What about 4 days in London?
Are 4 days in London too much? With four days in London, you’ll have a bit more time to explore the city and delve deeper into its various attractions and neighborhoods. Here’s a suggested itinerary for your four-day stay:
Day 1: Explore Central London
- Begin by visiting iconic landmarks like Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square, and the Houses of Parliament with Big Ben.
- Take a walk along the scenic South Bank, enjoying views of the London Eye, Shakespeare’s Globe, and the Tate Modern.
- End the day with a visit to Covent Garden, known for its street performers, shops, and restaurants.
Day 2: Immerse in History and Culture
- Spend the morning at the British Museum, home to an extensive collection of world artifacts.
- Afterward, head to the Tower of London to explore its history and see the Crown Jewels.
- Cross Tower Bridge and explore the vibrant neighborhood of Shoreditch, known for its street art, trendy shops, and food markets.
Day 3: Museums and Parks
- Begin the day at the Victoria and Albert Museum, where you can admire art, design, and historical artifacts.
- Visit the Natural History Museum and the Science Museum, both located in the same area and offering fascinating exhibits.
- In the afternoon, relax in Hyde Park or Kensington Gardens, and visit Kensington Palace if you’re interested in royal history.
Day 4: Neighborhood Exploration and Shopping
- Spend the day exploring neighborhoods like Notting Hill, known for its colorful houses and Portobello Road Market.
- Visit Camden Town for its vibrant market, alternative culture, and canalside atmosphere.
- End the day in the West End, where you can catch a matinee or evening performance of a famous musical or play.
This itinerary provides a mix of historical landmarks, cultural attractions, museums, and neighborhood exploration, allowing you to experience different facets of London. Remember to adapt the plan to your preferences and check opening times and any specific events happening during your visit.
Can I make it to 5 days in London?
Absolutely! With five days in London, you can further enhance your exploration of the city and delve deeper into its diverse offerings. Here’s a suggested itinerary for your extended stay:
Day 1: Historic London
- Begin by visiting the Tower of London and taking a guided tour to learn about its fascinating history and see the Crown Jewels.
- Walk along the Thames River and explore the historic neighborhood of Greenwich, home to the Royal Observatory, Cutty Sark, and Greenwich Park.
- Enjoy stunning views of the city from the Greenwich Meridian Line and visit the vibrant Greenwich Market.
Day 2: Art and Culture
- Spend the day immersing yourself in London’s art scene. Start with the Tate Modern, a renowned contemporary art museum housed in a converted power station.
- Visit the nearby Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre and take a guided tour or catch a live performance if available.
- In the afternoon, explore the artistic district of South Kensington, where you can visit the renowned Victoria and Albert Museum, the Science Museum, and the Natural History Museum.
Day 3: Royal London
- Begin your day with a visit to Buckingham Palace to witness the Changing of the Guard ceremony (check the schedule in advance).
- Explore the picturesque Kensington Palace and its beautiful gardens.
- Take a stroll through St. James’s Park and visit Westminster Abbey, where British monarchs have been crowned and weddings have taken place.
Day 4: Day Trip and Markets
- Take a day trip from London to Windsor Castle, the oldest and largest inhabited castle in the world, located just outside the city.
- Return to London and spend the afternoon exploring the vibrant markets such as Camden Market, Borough Market, or Portobello Road Market.
Day 5: Neighborhood Exploration and Relaxation
- Dedicate the day to exploring some of London’s unique neighborhoods. Suggestions include Notting Hill, Covent Garden, Soho, or Marylebone.
- Visit smaller museums and galleries in these neighborhoods, browse through independent shops, and enjoy a leisurely lunch at a local cafe.
- End your day by relaxing in one of London’s beautiful parks such as Hyde Park, Regent’s Park, or Richmond Park.
With five days, you have more time to discover hidden gems, take leisurely walks, and immerse yourself in the city’s vibrant neighborhoods. Feel free to adjust the itinerary based on your interests and preferences. London offers endless possibilities for exploration, so make the most of your extended stay!
Where to stay in London for 3-5 days?
3* Hotels in London:
4* Hotels in London:
5* Hotels in London:
We hope you will spend a great time in London!
OK, let’s focus on you and try to answer the question of how many days do I need to visit London.
What is the best month to go to London?
The best time to visit London is from April till the end of June. The temperature starts to increase around Easter time. All of London’s parks are very green and blooming at that time of the year, which adds charm and character to the city. Spring is also a great time to explore the most romantic places in London.
Do avoid Bank Holiday Monday weekends which are the first and last weekend in May – many Brits will come to London so the city will be overcrowded. The prices are also higher during that time as well as they are during summer in July and August.
What is the cheapest month to travel to London?
If cost is the main thing dictating your travel plans, then try to visit London during the low season. From early September to November will be your best budget option. It really is the cheapest time to visit London.
The plane tickets to London are usually much cheaper during this time of the year and many hotels have good bargains too. Brits take vacations mainly in July and August, so with kids back to school in September, there will be fewer British people travelling on trips to London from early September.
Please note that the weather will start getting worse around mid-October so your chances to have a rainy, wet day in London increase drastically.
If you want to see Christmas lights in London, then this will cost you a bit more as prices in December go massively up!
How many days do I really need in London?
This will really depend on the few below factors. There is never one perfect answer. It’s totally up to you, your personality, your interests and the type of tourist you are.
- Time of the year
- Things you are interested in
- Is London part of a European itinerary?
- Trips out of London
Let’s try to focus on all the above points in order to answer the key question: how many days to spend in London?
How long to spend in London: Time of the year
Planning a trip to London might be very overwhelming – especially if this is your first time in the capital city. How long do I need to spend in London? The first thing you have to consider is the time of the year!
Is winter the best time to visit London?
Winter is not really recommended as the best time to visit London. Yes, we do have an amazing Christmas Market but as a 1st-time visitor, your main goal will be all the top attractions in London.
If winter is the only time you can visit London, make sure you plan an additional day to spend in the city. It will probably take you longer to see the top attractions and you might do breaks more often to try fish and chips or get a coffee from Costa.
How long to spend in London: Budget
How much is a trip to London? Budget will play a massive role during your trip to London. It will not only determine how many days you can afford to book a hotel for but also which places you will visit in London.
All the main attractions will cost you a bit (or more ;)) but you can also see them from outside, which will save you money and time in London. Few examples of top attractions in London with prices:
Each of the attractions will take you from 1 to 3 hours to fully complete, which can already make almost a whole day in London.
How long to spend in London: Transport
London is a huge city! A real monster!
Going from west to east can even take you 90min on the tube. Yes, the capital city is very well connected and public transport is stunning. Still, many attractions are located very far from each other. This might have an impact on how much time you will spend in London.
In central London, you easily get to the main attraction on foot, without the usage of any public transport. But for the more remote places to visit like Richmond Park or Wembley Stadium, you will have to get a tube.
How long to spend in London: Things you are interested in
Have you got any must-see places in London you really want to visit? Do you love museums and staring at old things for ages? If yes is the answer, then you should plan more time in London.
There are many different museums in the city so you can spend days in London just visiting a few of them. Love river cruises and spending time in cosy coffee shops? If so, you will need at least a week in London (if not longer).
On the other hand, if you are very quick with visiting places and are more interested in buildings and the top sightseeing then you will need less time in London. Taking Hop-On Hop-Off London Bus Tour can also shorten the time you need in London as you will be able to see a lot of London’s attractions in a relatively short time.
How long to spend in London: Is London part of the European itinerary?
If you are visiting London as part of a European itinerary, then you will be most probably limited by time. A tour to visit the main cities in Europe (like Amsterdam, Barcelona or Berlin + London) will easily take 2-3 days in each of the destinations.
How long to spend in London: Trips out of London
If you have a few spare days while visiting London, then you should definitely go for one of the best day trips from London. We would highly recommend visiting Stonehenge, taking a trip to the Isle of Wight or some of the best places to visit in Cotswold. There are many great places to visit in England so you can plan an additional few days on top of the days you will stay in London.
So, what’s the perfect amount of days needed in London?
That will give you a feeling that you have checked all the main boxes in London. And you will definitely have enough time to visit all the top landmarks in London you know from TV and movies. Don’t forget to do a day trip from London too! That will give a different perspective and hopefully you will fall in love with other England’s attractions!
How many days in London FAQ:
There are top 99 things to see in London – you would need 2 weeks to see them all!
Book the Landmark London Hotel or Point A Hotel London Paddington to be based in some of the best areas in London.
You can see London in one day if you are limited with time.
There are many landmarks in London like Trafalgar Square and Big Ben. You ale need to see Richmond Park and Little Venice while staying in London.
Are you thinking about moving to the capital city? Learn about the best places to live in London!
Interested in London, England and the United Kingdom? We have more articles for you:
- Best Guide to SEVEN SISTERS Cliffs Walk in Sussex, England
- Visiting Stonehenge – TOP Tips for 1st-time visitors
- Isle of Wight things to do – TOP 11 attractions & places to visit on the I.o.W.
- Best places to visit in the Cotswolds: Things to do & Top tourist attractions!
- Bucket List Ideas UK – 50 MUST have on your UK List!
- 33 Best Places to Visit in England – TOP Places in South & North England
- 20 Best Day Trips from London by Car & Train – Get out of London NOW!