In today’s post, I’m going to share with you everything looking for a great two day London itinerary.
This is a list of all the places you’re going to want to visit on your travel to London – the iconic sights that you’ve seen in postcards and films – plus a couple of curve-balls you might not have thought of, but may be worth your time to visit.
I’ve also grouped these in a logical order in terms of visiting, so as to maximise your sight-seeing over your two days in London.
- 2 Day London Itinerary
- Optional Extras On Your Route:
- 2 Day London Itinerary Map
- How to Save Money on Your London Itinerary Sight-Seeing
- Getting Around London
- Where to Stay in London
2 Day London Itinerary
1. Tower of London
What better place to start your London itinerary than with a visit to the Tower of London, home to the English Crown Jewels and the site of numerous key historical events, including the execution of all sorts of people who were deemed inappropriate by whoever was in charge at the time.
These days there’s less blood running on the grass, but you will still find plenty to do, from popping in to see the monarch’s crown through to exploring the White Castle at the centre of the keep.
My advice for getting the most out of your visit is to arrive as soon as the Tower opens, which is around 9am, and beating the crowds to the crown jewels. You’re likely going to want to spend at least an hour here, if not two – there is a lot to see (and photograph!) here.
Entry is ticketed, but it’s included in the London Pass. See opening times and prices here.
2. Tower Bridge Exhibition
On from the Tower of London, you’re going to find yourself right next to Tower Bridge, the most iconic of all the London bridges.
Here you can learn about the history of the bridge, including how it was built and how the lifting mechanism works to allow ships through. More excitingly, you can walk the glass floor walkway, a 42 meter high walkway that will definitely test any fear of heights you may have!
There’s an entry fee, and you can see opening times and prices here.
3. HMS Belfast
After you’ve crossed the tower bridge, you might consider visiting HMS Belfast, which is permanently moored on the Thames a short walk from Tower Bridge on the south bank. This historic warship, operated today by Imperial War Museums, will definitely be of interest to military buffs, or anyone with even a slight interest in boats.
Entry is ticketed, see opening times and prices here. Included on the London Pass.
4. The Shard
For a truly spectacular view of London
From the top, you get incredible views of the majority of London, up and down the Thames. There are two floors from which you can take pictures.
Entry is ticketed and ideally should be booked in advance as this works out cheaper. You can see opening times and prices here. You can also book tickets in advance either on the official site or here.
5. Houses of Parliament
From The Shard, my suggestion is that you head to London Bridge Tube station and take the Jubilee line to Westminster tube, two stops away. This is a 12 minute journey, and the only public transport you’re going to need to take during the day.
Another option is to take the river boat – this is going to be a little more expensive than the tube, but is a unique way to get around London, and it will take you straight to Westminster Pier.
Either way, you’re going to find yourself by the Houses of Parliament, official known as the Palace of Westminster. This is the seat of government in England, home to the House of Commons and the House of Lords, and is where the politics in England takes place.
6. Westminster Abbey
Westminster Abbey is definitely one of the UK’s most impressive churches. It’s here that key events in the life of the British Royal Family take place including Royal Weddings (17 to date) and Coronations (the majority of British rulers since 1066!).
Westminster Abbey is also one of the most desirable burial sites in the UK, with countless famous figures from British history buried here, including Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, Chaucer, and multiple British royals, prime ministers and more.
There is plenty to see and do here (and the line to get in can take a little while), so plan at least an hour or two to fully appreciate the property.
There’s a fee to get in Westminster Abbey. See prices and opening hours here. Included on the London Pass.
7. Churchill War Rooms
Last on our list for the day are the Churchill War Rooms. Set below the heart of the government buildings in London, this huge underground bunker is where Winston Churchill directed the majority of the war effort during World War 2.
This maze of rooms is now open as a tourist attraction, and is a really fascinating place to explore, covering both the life and times of Churchill, as well as providing insight into the rooms themselves, and the people who spent so many years of their lives working away in secrecy underneath London during the war years.
The Churchill War Rooms are very popular, so we advise booking in advance or using a London Pass, which has free entry to the War Rooms and access to the pre-booked ticket queue, which is a lot faster. You can see prices and opening times here.
This tour is around three hours in length and includes a guided visit to the Churchill War Rooms as well other sites in London related to the Blitz. You can book a small group tour or a private tour.
8. Kensington Palace
On your second day in London you’re going to head a little to the West, and take in some of the sights in this area, starting with Kensington Palace.
Today it’s occupied by both Princes William and Harry, and whilst you can’t visit the private Royal Residence, you can tour the State Rooms.
There’s an excellent café where you can have a hot drink and a sandwich, before embarking on the rest of your day’s adventures.
There’s a fee for entry, and you can see opening times and prices here. It’s free for holders of the London Pass – get yours here.
Note that due to this being a popular attraction, it can get quite busy, so we recommend purchasing your ticket in advance if you are visiting without a London Pass.
Holders of the London Pass have access to the priority queue for ticket holders and do not need to reserve a timeslot (see Kensington Palace FAQ section on London Pass here).
9. Royal Albert Hall
From Kensington Palace, it’s a lovely walk through Kensington Gardens to the Royal Albert Hall. This was opened by Queen Victoria in 1871, and is named in memory of her husband Albert, who had died six years earlier.
Tours carry a fee, and you should book in advance to avoid disappointment. You can see tour times and prices here. Free for holders of the London Pass, but we still advise booking in advance.
10. V&A Museum
Keeping with the Queen Victoria theme, your next stop is one of our favourite museums in London – the Victoria and Albert Museum, usually known as the V&A.
Free to visit (although there are usually special exhibitions for a fee), this is the world’s largest museum of decorative arts and design, with over two million objects in the collection spanning 5,000 years of human existence. As you might imagine, that’s quite a lot to take in, and you could likely spend multiple days here exploring all the artefacts on offer.
Entry is free, except to special exhibits. See opening times here.
11. Buckingham Palace
Moving on from the V&A, and the last stop on the tour is Buckingham Palace. Depending on the time of year you visit, you have a number of options for visiting Buckingham Palace. Personally, I’d advise going in the afternoon, after you’ve visited all the above, and to finish off your day. You’ll avoid the crowds associated with the changing of the guard ceremony, and have an overall far more pleasant experience.
Finally, in the summer months, you can actually tour parts of Buckingham Palace. These tours last around two hours, and operate quite late into the evenings, so you could definitely do this at the end of the day. If this is something you want to do you definitely need to book in advance to ensure you get a ticket.
Optional Extras On Your Route:
Again, there is loads more to see and do in this area, really depending on what you’re interested in. Harrods, the world famous shopping experience, is a brief walk from the V&A museum. You could also really go museum crazy, and drop in at either the Natural History Museum or Science Museum, both of which are free.
If you’re into pageantry, just round the corner from Buckingham Palace, and officially part of the grounds, the Royal Mews is a fascinating place to visit, and much less popular than its exhibits deserve.
2 Day London Itinerary Map
To help you visualise all the above we’ve put together a map so you can see where all the sights are and plan your accommodation and public transport appropriately. You can see this on Google maps here.
How to Save Money on Your London Itinerary Sight-Seeing
We’ve used them on multiple trips to London, and just love how easy they are to use. They’re available in a variety of lengths to suit any stay, plus you can pre-order an Oyster travel card to accompany your London Card if you’re interested in that convenience.
For more information and an overview of the savings for various lengths of trips and sights that the London Pass offers.
Getting Around London
London is really easy to get around, with an excellent public transport network. It’s also wonderfully walkable, as hopefully my itinerary makes clear.
For public transport, you definitely need to invest in an Oyster Card. Available both online and from most tube stations, this prepaid card is the most cost-effective way to get around in London, offering fares that are significantly cheaper compared to buying individual tickets with cash.
You just have to load it up, and then tap in and out as you go through tube stops. It also works on London buses and river boats. Note that if you have a contactless bank card, this might end up better value.
Between these options, you should find the best prices and places to stay for your trip, as well as a good selection of reviews and feedback to help you make an informed decision.