The Best of London in 4 Days | An Itinerary

4 day London itinerary | an extensive guide

If you are looking for an extensive 4 day London itinerary, you have come to the right place! London is one of my favorite cities in Europe! Together with my close friend I have spent many city trips to this incredible city. We spend hours exploring the city, talking free walking tours and just being a proper tourist. After hours or research, walking the city and getting information from locals, I am now sharing my best tips for spending 4 days in London!

Though you possibly can’t see everything in London in 4 days, this very extensive itinerary covers as much ground and sights as possible.

4 DAYS IN LONDON | THE BASICS

Apart from knowing what to do and what to see in London, it’s also useful to know some of the basics of the country. What money do they use, how to get around, where to stay, what are the best times to visit and is 4 days in London really enough?

Underneath you will find the answers.

MONEY

The currency used in London is the British Pound Sterling. Currently, the exchange rate sits around (December 2019):

€1 = 0.84 GBP
$ 1 AUD = 0.51 GBP
$1 USD = 0.74 GBP

London is a notoriously expensive city, but holidays can be done on a budget (e.g. Staying in a cheaper hotel, further out from the city centre) On average 4-night accommodation in London will coast around the $ 330, -. An average lunch in a pub costs around £10 a plate and drink £1.50 – £3 for a soft drink or beer or wine, an average restaurant is between £15-£20 for the main course. Starter or deserts add another £5 – £7 each. Bottle of wine maybe £15-£20 extra. Tipping in restaurants is not necessary, but it’s good etiquette to tip around 10-15%.

In general, cards are pretty much preferred over cash. I’ve never encountered a place in London that’s cash only, most if not all companies will have an EFTPOS machine. It’s always good to have some pounds on hand. Paper bills don’t start until £5, so it’s best to bring a coin purse for carrying change.

TRANSPORT | THE CHEAPEST WAY TO TRAVEL IN LONDON?

In general, I always prefer to travel by public transport when going on a city trip. This is a lot cheaper than Taxis and Ubers. The London underground is, in my opinion, the most efficient (and fastest) way to get to your destinations.

To travel on public transport you will need an Oyster card. By getting a card It’s more than 50% cheaper than buying a paper Travelcard or single tickets with cash.

TRANSPORT THE CHEAPEST WAY TO TRAVEL IN LONDON

You can get a Visitor Oyster card before you visit London and get it delivered to your home address. A card costs £5 (non-refundable) plus postage. You can choose how much credit to add to your card. If you are visiting London for two days, we recommend you start with £20 credit. Additionally, every London airport, train station, and the tube station has an Oyster machine where you can buy a card.

Simply add money to the card, and tap it on the round yellow readers to pay for your journey. You tap in and out at gates for trains and the tube, but only tap in for buses.

If you have access to internet data during your trip, then I advise you to download Citymapper. It’s great for finding the best public transit routes from point A to B. And it’s updated in real-time, so you won’t get caught off guard by delays.

WHERE TO STAY IN LONDON?

I can’t remember nor find any information about where I stayed. I do remember that it was a cheap hotel and my friend, and I did not feel safe in that hotel. So, I wouldn’t advise you to stay there anyway.

LOOKING FOR A BACKPACKER’S HOSTEL?

Some recommended hostels with decent ratings and an affordable price range are:

  • YHA London Earl’s Court Hostel
  • Astor Museum Hostel
  • Dover Castle Hostel
  • Restup London
  • The Exmouth Arms

LOOKING FOR A HOTEL OR APARTMENT?

Here are some helpful sites:

WHY SHOULD YOU VISIT LONDON?

London is famous for its many modern and old buildings, giving the city a feel of grandeur. Home to the Big Ben, Buckingham Palace and more, the cities iconic buildings are just something you must see at least once in your life.

WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO VISIT LONDON?

The weather in London can be a bit unpredictable. So if you want to go on a city trip that can guarantee you good weather, then you should probably go to Barcelona.

Normally speaking The best time to visit London is March through May when the temperatures are mild and the city’s parks are green and blooming. However, late spring – along with summer – is also prime tourist season, and hotel and flight prices reflect the surge. The best time for bargains on flights to London is during September and October when the weather is not at its best.

BEST PLACES TO EAT IN LONDON?

If you decided to stay in London city centre, then you will pay a bit more than when going to the city’s ethnic areas. Think off – Chinatown, Kingsland Road for Vietnamese food and Brick Lane or Southall for Indian food.

Street food has really taken off recently in London as well, with food stalls from around the world at London’s markets.  Some amazing markets with delicious food are:

  • Borough Market – Open Monday–Saturday and offer fresh produce as well as delicious foods. ( also the home of Bridget Jones – you know, just in case you wondering haha)
  • Portobello Road Market  – Open Monday–Saturday and is among London’s best food destinations with fresh produce, essential and exotic ingredients, and delicious hot food.
  • Real Food Market in Kings Cross (Wednesday–Friday).

Even if you’re not buying, you can usually get tasting samples as you walk around.

Some of the best budget restaurants in London are: 

  • Mooli’s, Soho
  • Yalla Yalla, Soho and Oxford Street
  • Gelupo, Soho
  • Eat Street, Kings Cross
  • MEATliquor, Bond Street
  • Clerkenwell & Social, Farringdon
  • Mabel’s, Covent Garden
  • The Longacre, Leicester Square, and Covent Garden
  • Ruby Blue, Leicester Square, Central London, and West End

SOUVENIRS TO BUY IN LONDON 

Don’t forget to pack these goodies from London.

  • British Tea
  • Cadbury’s Chocolate
  • A Union Jack-Printed Item
  • Sherlock Holmes Pub Sign
  • Harrods Gold Bar chocolate

SAFETY IN LONDON 

London is a pretty awesome city. If you like your European capitals with a lot of history and grand buildings, then you are in the right place. Obviously, not all of the city is going to be touristy and safe. In fact, some parts of London can be pretty scary and dangerous. There’s also the chance of petty theft and scammers in some of the biggest tourist areas and the terrorist attacks.

London has remained a popular destination for solo backpackers and couples for years. So given the number of people who visit London yearly, the relatively low level of crimes against visitors to the capital, I would say that London is a safe city to visit.

4 DAY LONDON ITINERARY

For the purposes of this itinerary, I will assume that you arrived in London yesterday and that our first day will start right from when you wake up.

Day 1 | WESTMINISTER 

Westminster is a great place to start your exploration of London as it holds most of the prominent places to see in London. It is the political, cultural, and geographical centre of the city.

  • Westminster Abbey
  • Houses of Parliament
  • Big Ben
  • St.James Park
  • Trafalgar Square
  • Buckingham Palace
  • London Eye

WESTMINSTER ABBEY

The Westminster Abbey 4 day London itinerary

Westminster Abbey is a is a large, mainly Gothic abbey church located in the centre of London. The church is pretty famous the world over, as it has seen over 16 royal weddings, including Will and Kate’s, and is the burial location of 17 monarchs.

The cost to enter Westminster Abbey depends on what you would like to do.

For general tourists who would like to see all available areas available to visitors, the following ticket prices apply.

Online At the Abby
Adults £ 21 £ 23
Adults aged 60+ and students £ 18
Adults aged 60+ and students £ 20
Children 6-16 years £9 £10
Children 0-5 years Free Free
Families – 1 adult and 1 child

 

£21 £23

I would advise to booking online in advance. It will not save you a whole lot of money, but it will reduce your waiting time tremendously. More information or to book online.

HOUSES OF PARLIAMENT

Houses of Parliament, also called the Palace of Westminster, is the seat of the two parliamentary houses of the United Kingdom: the House of Lords and the House of Commons. The most famous feature of the Houses of Parliament is its clock tower, known as Big Ben.

I highly suggest taking a 90 minuted guided tour, it will provide you with excellent background info on workings of government as well as the history and architecture of buildings.

BIG BEN

Big Ben 4 day london itinerary

Big Ben is the nickname for the Great Bell of the clock at the north end of the Palace of Westminster. Elizabeth Tower stands at over 96 meters (105yrds) tall, with 334 steps to climb up to the belfry and 399 steps to the Ayrton Light at the very top of the tower. A very famous and touristy stop but a must-see.

ST. JAMES PARK

A beautiful park that basically leads from Westminster to Buckingham Palace. Beautiful to walk through in any season due to nature and animals but can get a bit busy during the day. For many tourists, the fairly tame grey squirrels are very interesting to see and feed. But please make sure you give them the correct food such as nuts or fruit. Also a great spot for a picnic or at least to enjoy your pack lunch in the middle of hectic London life.

TRAFALGAR SQUARE

A 145-foot-high monument, bearing a statue of Lord Horatio Nelson guarded by lions, marks the spot considered the centre of London.  Straight in front of you is Buckingham palace, the queens home in London.

BUCKINGHAM PALACE

Buckingham Palace serves as both the office and London residence of Her Majesty the Queen. It is one of the few working royal palaces remaining in the world today.
You can take a tour of the palace, where you will see the nineteen magnificent State Rooms, which provide the setting for ceremonial occasions and official entertaining. All rooms are furnished with many of the greatest treasures from the Royal Collection. A visit also includes entry to the special exhibition, A Royal Welcome.

Of course, while you are at Buckingham Palace, make sure you watch the changing of the guards.

Timings for the Ceremony are 11:00 Monday – Saturday and at 10:00 on Sundays. The ceremony for changing ‘The Queen’s Life Guard’ lasts about 30 minutes.

Mounted sentries change every hour from 10:00 until 16:00.

LONDON EYE

Enjoy the best views of London from the world-famous London Eye – From this 135-meter high wheel you can spot some of the city’s most famous landmarks. See if you can spot Big Ben, Tower Bridge and a tea-sipping Queen at Buckingham Palace(oh by golly).
If it’s your first time in London then I advise you to go during the day, because you see everything clearly in daylight. However, London at night is twinkly and lovely.

PRO-TIP: Do not pre-book your tickets for the eye. This because of the weather. If you get a day with dark clouds and rain, you won’t get to see very much and its quite miserable ‘up there’ when it’s cloudy and raining.

Day 2 |  FOLLOW THE RIVER 

On day two of the 4-day itinerary, we are heading for the crown jewels, for some Shakespeare and more.

  • The tower of London
  • The tower bridge
  • Potters Fields Park
  • The Shard
  • The Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre
  • St. Paul Catherdral

THE TOWER OF LONDON 

Continue your 4 days in London at the Tower of London, home to Crown Jewels and iconic Beefeaters. I would advise to either book online or get there first thing when it opens at 9 AM because it gets very busy as the day goes on.

They offer amazing Guided tours, for free! The Yeoman Warder Tours run every 30 minutes. The first tour starts at 10:00 (Tuesday to Saturday) and at 10:30 (Sunday to Monday). The final tour of the day starts at 15:30 (summer) or 14:30 (winter). Tours begin near the main entrance and last about an hour. This is a great way to get familiar with the Tower of London!

The most popular reason to head to the Tower of London is the Crown Jewels. This dazzling display of wealth and opulence is a must-see on your visit.

THE TOWER BRIDGE

Tower of London

There are 33 bridges over the Thames, and the Tower Bridge is probably the most famous and recognizable. There are several things to do when visiting Tower Bridge. First and foremost, it’s a beautiful bridge that is just begging for your camera to capture it.

You can also entre the pillars of the bridge via the Tower Bridge Experience. It offers an incredible view of London 42m (130 feet) above the river as well as the opportunity to learn all about the bridge itself and how it works.

Tickets can be purchased on the day from our ticket office or online at a discount.

Adult £9.80
Child (aged 5-15) £4.20
Adult Concession* £6.80
Child Concession (aged 5-15) £3.00
1 Adult & 2 Children £15.30
2 Adults & 1 Child £20.00
2 Adults & 2 Children £22.00
2 Adults & 3 Children £24.50
2 Adults & 4 Children £27.00
Under 5 FREE
Companion FREE

POTTERS FIELD PARK

Potters Field Park is on the south side of the Thames River, only a couple of minutes walk from the Tower Bridge. This is a very popular spot for photos as it offers some panoramic views of view of the Thames from the south side. Additionally, there are loads of restaurants here for lunch! Perfect spot for some Instagram pics.

THE SHARD

4 days in London isn’t complete without visiting the 87-floor glass skyscraper. You get a beautiful view of London from up high, and there is a bar there and a mini cafe stand for people to order a drink/hot or cold beverage/ snack and sit and enjoy the view.

It’s open until 6 PM Sunday – Wednesday, and until 10 PM Thursday – Saturday. You have more time to visit the Shard than most other attractions because it’s open late. It’s near the Tower Bridge! it the weather is not good, then I suggest skipping it on the day.

Admission is from £25.00/adult 

SHAKESPEARE’S GLOBE THEATRE

Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre Tour and Exhibition takes you through the Globe’s history and modern-day – including some amazing historical artifacts! It’s only a 20-minute walk from The Tower Bridge.

ST. PAUL’S CATHEDRAL

This cathedral is recognized worldwide for its stunning dome, additionally, the church itself is beautiful to see! The crypt, where you will find the tombs of several notable historical figures, can also be visited. Make sure to grab an Audio Description Guide to receive lots of information.

St. Paul's Cathedral, London, United Kingdom

The last entry for visitors is at 4 PM, and St. Paul’s closes for sightseeing at 4:30 PM.

Admission from £ 17/Adult 

Day 3 |  FREE CULTURE 

Did you know that most of the museums in London are free! There is a huge variety of museums in the city, so I had to add a day of culture to my 4 days in London Itinerary.  Whilst on a city trip you can brush up on history, science, and much more without spending a dime.

Not all museums are always free. Some have particular dates that you have FREE entree. Stop by the admin office or library and look in Time Out website or magazine for weekly updates of museum admissions.

Some museums who have free entree are: 

  • V&A (Victoria & Albert Museum) – The world’s largest museum of decorative arts and design, housing a permanent collection of over 2.3 million objects.
  • British Museum – A public institution dedicated to human history, art and culture – Definite must see! This was my favourite by far
  • Museum of London – Discover the history of London at the Museum of London. We tell the story of the world’s greatest city and its people. From prehistoric times to the present day.
  • Natural History Museum – A natural history museum that exhibits a vast range of specimens from various segments of natural history.
  • National Gallery – The story of European art, masterpiece by masterpiece.
  • Science Museum – Interactive and thought-provoking, the Science Museum is a great place to see, touch and experience science first-hand
  • Imperial War Museum – Imperial War Museums explores conflict from WW1 to the present day. Visit one of our five sites or explore our archives to discover real stories of modern war.

Natural History Museum, London, United Kingdom

My personal favourite is the Natural History Museum, without a doubt. Another one of my favourites is the National Gallery, it is an art museum in Trafalgar Square and holds over 2,000 paintings going back to the 13th century.

DAY 4 | JACK THE RIPPER AND MORE 

Rest your legs in the morning with a Hop On Hop Off bus ride. 4 days in London isn’t a lot of time to see everything in this amazing city, so getting on a Hop on Hop off busses allows you to cover a lot of ground without tiring your poor feet even more.

In London, there are two major Hop On Hop Off bus companies, The Big Bus (£35.10 for one day) and Golden Tours (£28.00 for one day).

This 4 days in London itinerary includes a lot, but you just can’t see everything. A Hop on Hop off tour is a great way to see more of London with limited time!

JACK THE RIPPER WALKING TOUR

There are few serial killers as notorious as Jack the Ripper, who prowed the streets of London in 1988. Depending on your braveness, you can choose to take the tour during the day or at night. Underneath are just a couple of jack the ripper tours for you to choose from (If you dare):

WHERE TO GO AFTER YOUR 4 DAY TRIP TO LONDON? 

Because of London’s great location, there are many other amazing European cities that you can check out as well. Underneath are just a couple of cool options for you:

  • Amsterdam | The capital city of the Netherlands is only a short trip from London. I would say that you should spend at least 2 days in this stunning city. 
  • Rotterdam | Rotterdam located 1 hour away from Amsterdam. Home to incredible architecture, amazing food and harming neighbourhoods, you’ll want at least 1 day in Rotterdam.
  • Brussels, Belgium  | Although it’s possible to do a day trip from Amsterdam to Brussels, you’ll want at least 48 hours in Brussels to see the highlights. This city is ridiculously stunning and a must-see in my opinion.

Additional London Resources

I hope you have enjoyed this 4 days in London itinerary! I have spend a lot of time perfecting this for you. What is your favourite thing to do when in London? let me know in the comments below.

Thank You Guys For Reading my 4 day London itinerary <3

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